The recent "British jobs for British workers" remarks by British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and USA president's "Buy American" remarks are perturbing especially in third world countries where the West has preached liberalization.
The benefits of an open market cannot be underestimated. According to an OECD report, protectionism costs the world economy over $450 billion a year. The OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in June 2008 underscored that open markets are not only imperative in contributing to global growth and development, but they also help attenuate the problems caused by high food prices by exploiting the potential of markets to balance global supply and demand.
The virtues of equal opportunities, competitiveness and merit have enabled nations make giant economic strides. These values ought not be sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. Doing this would plunge the world into a worse economic recession.
On the other hand, African leaders ought to expeditiously focus on increasing the productivity levels of their citizens and move the continent away from over reliance on exports of raw commodities.
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