Pour sortir l'Afrique de la pauvreté

PEKIN – Tous les pays à faibles revenus ont le potentiel pour avoir une croissance économique dynamique. Nous le savons parce que nous l'avons vu constaté à plusieurs reprises : une économie agricole pauvre se transforme en une économie urbaine moyenne ou même à revenus élevés en une ou deux générations. La clé est de saisir la fenêtre d'opportunité pour l'industrialisation résultant de la délocalisation de la production, selon l'exemple des pays à revenus élevés. Cela fut vrai aux XIXème et au XXème siècle et cela reste vrai aujourd'hui.

Le Japon a saisi son opportunité dans les années qui ont suivi la Seconde Guerre mondiale, en utilisant des industries exigeantes en main-d'œuvre, comme le textile et l'électronique de base, pour gérer son économie jusqu'à ce que la hausse des coûts de main-d'œuvre réduise son avantage comparatif dans ces secteurs. Ce changement a ensuite permis à d'autres économies asiatiques à faibles revenus (Corée du Sud, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapour et dans une certaine mesure, Malaisie et Thaïlande), de suivre les traces du Japon.

La Chine bien sûr est le tout dernier pays de la région à avoir emprunté ce sentier battu. Après plus de trois décennies de croissance économique vertigineuse, elle est passée du statut d'un des pays les plus pauvres de la planète à la plus forte économie du monde. Et maintenant que la Chine commence à son tour à perdre son avantage comparatif dans les industries exigeantes en main-d'œuvre, d'autres pays en développement, notamment en Afrique, commencent à prendre sa place.

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