November 29, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, turned out to be a unique day in the annals of international diplomacy, and for the organizers of the 9th Session of The Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe, EOOA, lecture series. It had a sitting head of state, Vaclav Klaus as keynote speaker. Klaus, a ‘free-market’ economist was credited with being the architect of the ‘velvet divorce’ of post-communist
To achieve this, Klaus said that any change of ‘that type’ should be a sequence of policies that had nothing to do with a-once-for-all radical change. However, for that sequence of policy change to be effective, Klaus said that ‘’liberalization and deregulation are ‘’unavoidable’’ and must be done as radically as possible. Klaus enjoined the audience at the NIIA that they had nothing to fear from the over demonized term ‘’globalization’’. According to him, what they must be wary of is ‘’free aid’’, ‘’protectionism’’ and ‘’fair trade’’, terms which he said were constructions of developed nations to keep developing nations where they needed them. ‘The imposition of such standards – however messianically the rhetoric of various would – be globalists may sound – is an effective way to eliminate the existing comparative advantages of economically less developed countries and to block their successful participation in the world trade’’, Klaus said. According to him, developed nations are aware that there are huge discrepancies of income and wealth if they do not open up their markets for developing countries to be involved. ‘’Either the goods and services move freely and the people stay where they are, or the movement of goods and services is blocked and the people move around, searching for better economic opportunities abroad. It is as simple as that’’, he said.
In the same vein, Klaus said that developing countries like
Michael Anyiam Osigwe, coordinator-general of the EOOA, said in a welcome address that one of the greatest obstacles to