Countries that fail to economically optimise their own natural and domestic markets are doomed to an eternity of economic slavery
A story out of Nigeria emphasised the importance of local production and local markets for strong and sustainable economic growth.
The Punch, a Nigerian newspaper, asserted, “Actively promoting patronage of locally made products is a tested route to stimulating local agriculture, mining, manufacturing and exports.”
In the Virgin Islands, government must be commended for a new focus on the maritime industry and sustainable agriculture as an economic panacea. These two industries, if properly and appropriately leveraged, promise to boost the domestic market and offer job opportunities to hundreds of Virgin Islanders and others.
The preceding is fully in line with the Punch article, which states, “For any country to emerge from underdevelopment, that country must persistently and consciously create an enabling environment for local production.”
Bangladesh and China are cited as examples where local content patronage — political, social and economic support of local businesses — has turned these two countries into leading exporters, with millions of new jobs created as a result.
Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of ready-made garments after China, and this is a single category of product contributing 20 percent to gross domestic product and employing 20 million people.
Indonesia was once trapped in subsistence agriculture. However, new manufacturing added 18.1 percent to GDP by 2015, the food and beverage sector accounting for 30.8 percent of this boon, with an additional $14 billion in investment pledged by foreign and local investors.
The Global Business Guide reported textile product exports in Bangladesh of about $13 billion in 2018.
India’s political leaders continue to promote patronage of its local vehicle brands. Today, India boasts the fourth largest automobile industry in the world, attracting $20.85 billion in foreign direct investment between 2000 and 2018, and $14.5 billion in vehicle exports in 2014.
Patriotism begins at home, with local consumers buying local products and services. However, these products must be competitive. And that is where technology and great management synchronise to stop an overreliance on foreign imports.
Any country that truly desires to emerge from underdevelopment must consciously and persistently create the enabling environment for local production.