BRIEF BACKGROUND NOTE
The compelling need to explore and sustain strategies for extracting vital positions within the public space for the promotion and perpetuation of critical interests, and advancement of the same is at the root of the formation of pressure groups or what may be described as Associations, or in this case, Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Within a socio-economic environment, there is usually a large pool of competing interests, each with valid and compelling claims on the national treasury as well as, well-founded public policy infrastructure. Hence the management of the varying demands of each or a collection of the competing interests will underscore the effective aggregation of the pressure groups for the pursuit of the ultimate good of the public.
The challenges inherent in the creative management of the multifarious processes for responding, in appropriate measures and strength, to the sometimes conflicting competing interests within the socio-economic space are often shared by the various pressure groups or associations involved in exploring economic opportunities in Nigeria, and indeed anywhere else.
THE SOCIAL & POLITICAL ECONOMY
The social and political economy often, necessarily throws up a wide range of transaction processes which optimize the various choices open to society and Man for survival, growth and development in a multitude of areas such as health, housing, nutritional needs, transportation, leisure, lifestyles, etc.
Those transaction processes are inadvertently, largely rooted in commerce and industry, which constitute the basis for such socio-economic pressure groups like the bi-lateral chambers of commerce and industry to aggregate their spirited efforts to covet the choicest positions in the public policy infrastructure space and hence be able to push their sectoral agenda.
In order to put the whole transaction process in perspective, it may be useful to state, as it is widely known, that Commerce and Industry represent the whole system of an economy which warehouses the overall business environment. And some aspects of the whole system include the legal, economic, political, social, cultural and technological and curiously self-serving interests.
It may also be useful to point out that these aspects of the system constitute the building blocks of the overall public policy infrastructure which essentially drives the growth and development of the local environment with desirable impact on the people.
Commerce therefore constitutes the enabling environment which impacts on the viability of a national economy by way of evolving and processing a wide range of activities, functions and institutions which are involved in moving goods and services from producers to consumers.
And the fact that production of goods and services are key ingredients of commerce also underscores the vital link between commerce and industry. Hence it is commonly argued that industry represents the process of production of economic goods and services within an economy. And a key component of production is manufacturing.
In the erstwhile economies of the developed continents of the world, the incipient industrial revolution was characterized by the development of production factories for large-scale manufacturing activities with the attendant positive impact on society and Man.
The mechanized assembly line was introduced to assemble product parts in a repetitive manner, with individual workers performing repetitive chores during the process. During and following the industrial revolution, it might be possible to argue that one-third of global economic output was derived from the manufacturing industries.
Against this backdrop therefore, many developed countries and lots of semi-developed economies, such as China and India, today depend largely on industrial production for significant portions of their Gross Domestic Production.
It is therefore, pursuant to the new reality; the reality of emerging industrial production and the growing number of countries where this change is taking place as well as the inter-linkages of the new emerging economies, underscored by a web of interdependence, even against a growing backdrop of a recourse to effective domestic-demand economies to drive GDP growth.
It is this new reality that motivated the dynamics of competing interests and the aggregation of peculiar interests under specific umbrellas. These collectives were styled, Bi-lateral Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in order to pursue and sustain beneficial socio-economic agenda mostly trained on contributing to the public good.
And Nigeria, through the strategic Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, must evolve and sustain creative policy engineering processes for taking advantage of two key developments here:
- The incipient global process in a growing number of countries for exploiting effective domestic-demand, especially population-reliant, to drive inclusive growth in GDP.
- The dynamics of aggregating independent peculiar foreign socio-economic interests in the domestic productive space.
We will continue this expose next week as we continue to update you on knowledge resources you can use.
This is BISIKE SERIES!