The resulting debt crisis provided the means by which the Bretton Woods Institutions could further entrench themselves as the implementation agents of the globalisation process. The US Government chose to empower the institutions to lend to the indebted countries that desperately needed capital in order to remain financially solvent; but in order for countries to access these loans, the countries were required to implement the so-called "Washington Consensus" policy prescriptions: trade liberalisation, privatisation of the public services, deregulation of economic management and economic austerity measures. In this way, the institutions were authorised to become the managers of a crisis that they had helped to create
Haere Atu, get off Aboriginal Land and get out the Pacific
The Australian Government says it is committed to promote stability and trade growth with Pacific island countries.
Australia’s Trade Minister, Simon Crean, said the government was working closely with its Pacific neighbours to strengthen their capacities to trade everything in the region and beyond.
Crean, in a statement to the second Biennial Sir Alan Westerman lecture in Australia, said his government was doing this through its ongoing commitment to fund regional education and training initiatives, including the recently announced Pacific seasonal worker pilot scheme.
He said it was clear that sustainable economic development in the region could not be achieved through development assistance alone.
“Our experience – like that of most other nations – shows that full participation in world markets is a powerful driver of domestic economic growth,” Crean said.
“At this time of global financial turmoil, strengthening the international trading system is essential – and we therefore need to galvanize our efforts in order to conclude the WTO Doha Round.
“However, Australia fully understands that trade liberalisation on its own is not enough to drive economic development.
“Many developing countries have not been, and are not now, in a position to take full advantage of the potential benefits of trade. They include some of our Pacific neighbours.”
Crean said Australia believed the greater regional economic integration would provide significant gains for Pacific island economies.
He highlighted the recent Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Niue where leaders agreed they undertook to work towards starting negotiations on the regional economic arrangement known as ‘PACER Plus’ at the next Forum Leaders meeting in 2009.
“Australia wants to help the Pacific engage more deeply with the regional economy, but to do so in a way that helps them take full advantage of the opportunities of greater market access,” Crean said.
“We will work with our Pacific neighbours to strengthen their capacities to trade within the region and beyond. We are committed to funding regional education and training initiatives, including through the recently announced Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme.
“Australia values its close, collaborative relationship with the countries and communities of the Pacific. This is our region, and we are determined to see it prosper and grow.”