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A positive new era

•Looking into the new year ahead in these dark economic days, it is easy to overlook the wider, more positive long-term changes taking place in our world.

2012 will be the first year since the Industrial Revolution that the countries of the emerging world will export more than the countries of the rich West. While many people in the developed world fear this erosion of their comparative economic power, in fact this trend will ensure a far more equal future income distribution of the world's growing wealth.

Globally, in 2012, life expectancy will continue to rise nearly everywhere, infant mortality rates will continue to decline significantly, and rates of participation in education will continue to increase. More people than ever before are set to enjoy a standard of living far higher than that of their parents.

These long-term trends are set to continue, regardless of the outcome of any European summit or US debt committee crisis. In many respects, the rise of the economic East has come at the perfect time. By taking over the world engine of economic growth from a wounded, indebted West, it will give us the years we need to put our internal economic houses in order.

Shane Brett
Global Perspective Consulting,
Dundalk, Co Louth

Irish Independent