Thursday, 25 November 2010

Good governance and increased prosperity

On recent trips to Asia both the British Prime Minister, David Cameron and the US President, Barack Obama have made the point of highlighting one of things that can make the Commonwealth stand out in the future – the importance of the link between good governance and increased prosperity.

Addressing the tricky topic at his lecture in a Chinese’s university, David Cameron said ‘I am convinced that the best guarantor of prosperity and stability is for economic and political progress to go in step together.’. This approach is key to the Commonwealth future success, I have always argued that the Commonwealth should give an equal focus to both the Harare Principles, on good governance and human rights and to the Edinborough Economic Declaration. This is proven by many Commonwealth members, who are required to abide by certain rules regarding governance, human rights and the rule of law, or face expulsion from the association. It is no coincidence that the same countries are nearly always investment destinations of choice.

Making this point very clearly, President Obama in his address to the Joint Session of the Indian Parliament during his recent trip said "As India marks 60 years with a strong and democratic constitution, the lesson is clear: India has succeeded, not in spite of democracy; India has succeeded because of democracy,"

Britain, India and other Commonwealth countries can help in the development of other countries by explaining how their focus on good governance has led to increased investment and increased prosperity. Commonwealth successes, are based on a respect for the rule of law, human rights, etc as it is these things that give investors the confidence to invest in the association’s member states rather than other countries.

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