Home ENGLISH NEWS “Industrialization is development. There is no development without industrialization.” Opinion Column Nicholas...

“Industrialization is development. There is no development without industrialization.” Opinion Column Nicholas Virzi.

The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, concluded his opening speech at the XVII Industrial Congress in Guatemala, with the exact words of the title of this article. The Congress was celebrated by the Guatemalan Chamber of Industry (COI) on Friday, September 9.

Wise words from the President. It is obvious that he was well advised.

It is a common theme among the international community is to speak of human development. Also, it has become a common practice to criticize the focus on economic growth. The critics base their arguments on the idea that the creation of greater wealth is not synonymous with development. A parallel claim is that the rich keep all of the profits and are the primary beneficiaries of economic growth.

Economic growth is not development, at least not in the way that development has been defined since the economist Amartya Sen published his book “Development and Freedom” in 1999. “Development is more than a number,” says Amartya Sen.

Sen’s argument has been incorporated into the UN approach in the Human Development Reports published by the UNDP (UN Development Programme). According to the UNDP, it is incorrect to try to measure the success of a country based on its income level.

“Although income is fundamental, without resources any progress is difficult to achieve, we must also take into account if people can lead a healthy and long life, if they have the opportunity to receive an education and if they are free to apply their knowledge and talents to shape their own destiny.” –UNDP, 2010.

It is worth mentioning that nobody disputes that education and health are essential for individual and collective well-being, but there are many ways to achieve it.

The UNDP approach has been widely adopted by general development experts and aid agencies. Unfortunately, this has led to recommendations that developing countries should apply public policies that are popular in developed countries. This is a mistake.

Nicholas Virzi

Nicholas Virzi

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