This morning the School Economics hosted the second annual Peet Strydom colloquium. The theme of the years colloquium was: Emerging markets: Growth resilience, or hitting a low growth trap?
Prof Peet Strydom leaded the discussion with an overview of the challenges facing emerging market economies such as China, Brazil, India and South Africa. He focus was specifically on the importance of inclusive political and economic institutions to support development. He argued that South Africa does not measure up well when it comes to investment in people and a stable and reliable government.
Prof Waldo Krugell followed and discussed the Chinese growth experience and the transformation challenges facing China today. Whether the current slowdown is followed by a hard of soft landing may be less important that the challenges facing Chinese policymakers. Chinese growth rates have been built on exports and investment and with a global slowdown and signs of overinvestment, reforms will be required. A closer look at the Chinese experience and the challenges that they face now, shows that the Chinese model of state-led growth is not a possibility for South Africa.
Prof Raymond Parsons brought gross domestic politics into the discussion and argued against a developmental state, in favour of a delivery state. He outlined South Africa’s growth strategies since 1994, the disappointments and offered some explanations. He argued that the country has to buy into the National Development Plan and needs political leadership.
Prof Andre Duvenhage focussed on the politics of delivery, spesifically at local level. He raised the concern that in the run-up to Mangaung, political survival may be more importnant than sound economic decisions. The challenges facing South Africa include strong ideology (NDR), a weak state (conflict in the alliance, the second transformation) and socio-economic challenges (specifically unemployment and inequality).
The detailed presentations and papers will be available here on the blog soon.