The Optimistic Economist – transparency in trade

Andrew Stoeckel at TEDxCanberra caught my attention when he noted that:

“A 1% increase in the rate of trade to GDP leads to a 2-3% increase in income per person”
Taking the long view, Andrew examines the three pillars of prosperity – productivity, trade and property rights, focussing on trade and why it functions as a key driver.

One of the points he mentions is that relative advantage and that imports are under emphasized.

The purpose of exports is to pay for the imports to pay for our standard of living. Tens of millions of people depend on the removal of trade barriers to improve their standard of living.

Ironically we often hear about how badly NZ is doing on exports with our inflated dollar but at the same time we are consuming large flatscreen TV’s and other goodies at a very good price and even at $2.15/ litre petrol is still comparatively cheap.

If our exchange rate goes down our exporters do better but everyone else takes a hit in the pocket as the oil price flows into everything.

But back to trade – removing trade barriers helps not just us but many others as well.

“The World Bank esti­mates remov­ing all remain­ing bar­ri­ers to trade would lift some 300 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty. So why do gov­ern­ments restrict trade and what can be done about it?”

A in related news a new paradigm for finance. Here is a talk by David Blood from TEDxHelvetia. He talks about re balancing impacts and timelines and looking for a sustainable capitalism which trades off returns for impact.

It sounds a bit like “triple bottom line” but he doesn’t use that description at all.

After ‘retiring’ from his role as CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, David Blood set up Generation Investment Management with Al Gore in 2004. At TEDxHelvetia, David brings a pragmatic approach to the world of social finance and aims ‘to encourage businesses around the world to be more responsible, ethical and sustainable.’

Here is a view on China’s impact on trade and the global economy from TEDxMelbourne. Ross O’Brien from The Economist muses on the local economic impact from China on our thinking for sustainability of business. Australia’s economy compared to China will be a rounding error so NZ hardly figures but we do need to understand this much better.

O’Brien sees Australia as an ideal partner for China. He mentions “rocks and crops economies” but also dreams and aspirations for the future.

Only 1 sleep left till #TEDxAkl tomorrow now. I may have a shot at some live blogging.