Center Hosts Public Talk on BRICS by Marcos Troyjo

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Marcos Troyjo

Center Hosts Public Talk on BRICS by Marcos Troyjo

September 09, 2015

Marcos Troyjo, director of BRICLab and adjunct professor at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, spoke at Columbia Global Centers | East Asia on September 8th, examining the trajectory of globalization over the past 25 years and what the world might look like in 2030.

Troyjo said the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Ⅱ heralds a new chapter for collaboration among BRICS countries (BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). 

Troyjo reviewed the "deep globalization" made possible by the end of the Cold War and how the following period was guided by the values of the market economy and representative democracy, the prominence of the U.S., the rise of Asia headed by Japan and the logic of regional economic and political integration. At the heart of deep globalization were innovations by big companies and how they pursued them. He illustrated “corporate reinvention” as a kind of innovation using the example of IBM, in that “decisions are moving downwards while power is moving upwards, big companies break into small business units with their own target plans, corporate objectives, and own marketing teams.” 

With the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and the beginning of the "Great Recession," Troyjo noted that we were now running a risk of de-globalization in which countries and companies restructure their strategies into protectionist and individualistic actions. He stressed that one of the characteristics of this de-globalization process is that “the certainty of the notion that liberal economic frameworks as the best way to prosperity is no longer there, and many double standards are floating around regarding the reform in the United Nations and how we pursue collective peace and security.”

Together with other characteristics, including the changing nature of the U.S.economy, the rise of Asia especially China, technological innovation, and the major change in geo-economics due to the convergence between mature economies and emerging economies, Troyjo  said that “de-globalization has not ceased to exist, and we are witnessing a DNA change of adaptation,” which requires reshaping global relations of the world.

Despite all the challenges we confront, Troyjo said we are moving away from de-globalization to re-globalization.

“Re-globalization is all about talent, the incremental talent, at the individual, corporate and national levels.” He emphasized that “such talent means making right connections of different levels rather than simply being experts in a certain sector.” In the era of new trade investment geometry, the rebirth of geopolitics, as well as China 2.0, he said we must pay attention to four factors which determine the dynamics of a country: stock of knowledge, capital, entrepreneurship and an ecosystem that favors the interaction among the previous three dynamics. 

(Contributed by Shenli Cai, Edited by Bin Pei and Joan Kaufman)