How has the internet brought developing economies into play?
Although developing economies have generally come later to widespread internet access than those nations that are already developed, they have the potential to benefit enormously from becoming part of the worldwide web. Indeed, developing countries have much more to gain from the near-instant communication that the Internet allows, where distance is no object. This is because developing countries often have a less well integrated physical infrastructure in terms of transportation networks, service providers and reliable energy grids. The actual geography of a developing country may also present challenges, such as remote villages being separated by deserts or mountain ranges.
In other words, communication and delivery of goods is generally slower and less reliable. This means that the potential of email and the Internet for immediate secure communication, plus the delivery and sharing of documents and information, is massive. This can be a game changer in everything from government to education, health provision to business.
Open for business
Business opportunities in developing economies increase exponentially as a result of the Internet. Not only do local businesses have access to up to date information on markets, produce and prices, they can also publicize their work and so attract outside investors. It is much easier for investors to find out about worthwhile businesses and to invest in a way that allows them opportunities for growth if that business has access to Internet communication.
Thanks to the web, developed western nations no longer dominate the business world. The M1 Group, founded by Lebanese brothers Tasha and Najib Mikati in 2007, is one of the great business success stories to come out of the developing economies. Taha Mikati’s yacht is symbolic of the status he has achieved, making him and his brother great examples for all entrepreneurs in developing countries. As an investments holding company, the M1 Group has invested millions around the world, helping businesses in other developing economies to prosper, and the Internet has directly facilitated this.
Thanks to the net, people who were previously cut off and isolated can now plug directly into a ‘global village’ and take part in a worldwide ongoing conversation as part of modern society. The work of international aid agencies, charities and investment groups is made much easier by the Internet, which also encourages political democratization. The free flow of information makes it much harder for tyrannies and dictatorships to flourish unchallenged anywhere on the globe.
Generally, the better Internet provision a country has the more willing international companies are to invest and do business there. For one thing it makes their function much easier, but it is also a good general indicator of a developing economy’s readiness to take up residence within the wider global business community. The Internet also encourages the distribution of specialist skills and knowledge vital to a modern economy, which may previously have been extremely scarce in a developing nation. It is also a tool with which these countries can share information and help each other, rather than relying on outside aid.
The Internet has created an international market for developing countries through the worldwide sharing of information. This can only benefit their economies, enriching the whole global community as a result.