In the October cover story (South Side
Story) you are right in saying that the India, Brazil, South Africa axis is the next big thing. With the US taking on the role of the worldís sole policeman, a strong counterweight is needed for balance. The next big battles are going to be fought in the field of trade and the blocs that have the votes and the bargaining power will win. What we seeing these days is nations like the US are becoming trading nations from manufacturing nations. Only time will tell whether it is a good decision to let industries move out of the country but as of now the US economy is sailing on trade winds. India too needs to move somewhere along that trajectory. And for that it needs some strong friends.
The IBSA is one Third World club thatís not fighting but where instead some business is getting done. Unlike the Non-Aligned Movement, which you correctly described as a group with disparate interests, IBSA has development as its core issue. That matters a lot these days, when trade is the biggest issue in diplomatic pow-pows.
IBSA will work because all its three members have one common agendaóremoving poverty by attaining hyper-growth. That kind of economic growth is possible only if you have like-minded countries forming blocs and having free trade among themselves. India, Brazil and SA have large populations, large markets and donít envy each other. Indiaís efforts to sign trade pacts with China met with little success because of the envy factor.
The trick to getting business done is keeping the club small. The US-led blocs of the Cold War worked because they were small and the members were unitedóideologically at least. NAM and CHOGM did not work because the hordes of members were part of other smaller clubs where their interests were well served. Despite the odd hiccup, India and Brazil have started voting together in multilateral forums. Such voting in unison is what we call blocs.
Business Unusual was a great photo feature. You publish stuff thatís not seen in any other magazine. Keep it up and add more to that gallery. By the way, the US-India Investment Seminar & Business Expo should also have had some reps from among the big names in Indiaís private sector.
World Affairs is an interesting addition to the magazine. There is no reason why there should be no
non-NRI stuff. Itís quite readable and the reader gets some gossip on the side. Itís like a side dish to the main course.
The health section by Arti Gaur in the October issue was superb. Iím going to keep it paste it up in my kitchen so I know just what to eat as the seasons change.
Pat on the Back
Give yourself a pat on the back for putting together a great magazine thatís unique on the stands.