Profit at a price

International trade has been a regular part of the history of mankind from the days of the silk route to china or the Arab routes to India for spices. Places like Constantinople which were the center of the trade routes were regularly fought over for control of the trade. The Europeans brought a new front in international trade by taking over most of the sources of international trade by taking control of countries.

Over time as independence spread through the world, international trade thrived by the major powers creating power vacuum’s and fostering civil wars. The US, UK, France and Russia kept up profit margins by propping up friendly governments and dictatorships by the constant supply of armaments, ammunitions and have the local economies have an unhealthy dependence on foreign supplies.

The Asian tiger economies of China and now to an extent India seem to have followed this “business model” of achieving trade and profit without addressing any local concerns. Sudan’s economy has a significant dependence on Chinese trade. The Chinese could have pressurized Sudan to stop the massacre in Darfur much earlier, but they have chosen to ignore the issue while hundreds of thousands of people die in the region. Similarly the military junta in Myanmar which has kept the 1994 nobel peace prize winner Aung San Su Kyi under house arrest for the past decade, is propped by mainly by Chinese assistance.

India unfortunately with an eye on the Chinese growth has also started trading with Myanmar without taking any principled stand on the gross human right violitions. India which has historical ties with Iran is also inking new agreements with the state for its natural gas reserves, irrespective of Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and putting the entire middle east in more turmoil.

The Asian economies are now treading on the same paths that the western economies took to grow. This blind quest for power and money will end up with more of the current unequal distribution of wealth while the poor grow poorer. At what price can the profit generated can be justified.

2 thoughts on “Profit at a price”

  1. Most things in life come with a price attached to them. You give up something hoping for something better. I don’t really have a soft spot for anything remotely political, but I do think that some of these are very tough decisions to make. Also, instead of just blaming politics and politicians, it’s us who should be part of the mechanism for change. Yeah, it is very unfortunate that Suu Kyi is being punished for speaking up, but I think the people of Myanmar should revolt instead of waiting for an external country to help them. Historically, in most cases civil uprisings have brought a much needed change and we all know how external help, well, might be more of a curse.

    Anyways, time for something new. When’s ur next post coming up? Or are your stupid collegues and bosses keeping u busy? 😉

  2. I agree with Anu. When’s the next post coming? We hang on your every word! 🙂

    I also agree that if you’re the Myanmar people, you’re either going to stand and fight or continue to be ignored b/c help is not on the way…

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