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Imbalanced Development between Developed and Developing Countries


By Zhao Jinping, Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations of DRC

Since the outbreak of international financial crisis, the world economy has entered a period of profound adjustments, and the major manifestations include the evolvement of the economic pattern, the shifts of globalization drivers and the restructuring of relevant rules. Generally speaking, against the backdrop of a slowed recovery of the world economy, issues related to imbalanced economic development have failed to be markedly improved while divergence between various countries turns out to be further more prominent and especially the development of developed and developing nations has become remarkably imbalanced, imposing a severe impact on world economic and social development. Conflicts of such imbalanced development are manifested in the following aspects: 1. South-North developments are markedly imbalanced. After the outbreak of global financial crisis, developing countries have contributed evidently more to world economic growth than developed ones. However, the narrowed gap in economic totality has not fundamentally dented the enormous difference between southern and northern economic development. 2. Prospects for trade and investment are gradually diverged. The global financial crisis spelled new changes in the trend of economic globalization and trade liberalization led by the World Trade Organization is severely impeded. This divergence is shown in the fact that developing states gain gradually less from international trade and investment while developed ones see signs to turn around.3. Innovative resources differ hugely. Developing countries are going to depend on technological transfers and spillovers from developed ones in the high-tech sector for a long term. But this is becoming increasingly difficult in light of innovation competition and escalated protectionism. The technological divide between both parties is doomed to deepen further. 4. There exists an unbridgeable digital divide. The large population in developing states have failed to hitch a ride on the high-speed train of the Internet, which will further enlarge world economic imbalance. 5. The "rule restructuring" process proves to be difficult. Developed countries intend to introduce new rules such as competitive neutrality, labor standards, state-owned enterprises into multilateral or regional trade arrangements for preserving their invested interests, posing more formidable challenges to developing ones. World economic imbalance would exist for a long time should such situation remain unchanged.