Wednesday, April 11, 2012

From Borges to Paz

This has been published in the World Economic Forum blog on 11 April 2012

Borges's story " the garden of forking paths" was the inspiration for the title of the latest BID report, " The world of forking paths – Latin America and the Caribbean facing global economic risks ". The story is about the revelation of a labyrinth that had many paths which forked again and again providing many alternative realities. The Borgesian fiction is becoming a reality...In thecurrent Latin American economic story, many labyrinths are opening. European labyrinth, US labyrinth, Chinese and Indian ones too. Without getting lost in the labyrinths, the Latin Americans should play their part smartly and find their best way forward.

In the past, the Latin Americans suffered from dependencies and had blamed the external forces such as cold war and washington consensus. They sought a new indigenous development model based on their own strengths and problems. They have found one in the Brasilia Consensus which is a pragmatic and balanced combination of pro-poor and pro-market policies.
For the first time in the history, Latin America is politically and economically strong, confident and autonomous enough to decide its destiny internally and externally. The region has withstood the recent global crisis without too much adverse impact and passed the test of its resilience against external shocks. The global rebalancing caused by the emergence of BRICS and the post-western world give the space and time for Latin America to find its own place. So now it is time for this New Latin America to think and plan for the long term.

It is this new context which provides the background for the theme " Regional transformation in a new global context " of the meeting of the WEF on Latin America being held in Puerto Vallarta on April16-18, 2012.

Octavio Paz's " The labyrinth of solitude" could be an inspiration for the Puerto Vallarta meeting. Paz has interpreted India to the Latin Americans through his book " Vislumbres de la India". In his poem, " A tale of two gardens " Paz makes a connection between his childhood garden in Mixcoac and the garden of his Ambassadorialresidence in New Delhi and sees complementarity between India and Mexico. There is a larger and long term complementarity and potential partnership between the New India and the New Latin America which could be one of the topics for the WEF meeting.