Monday, January 30, 2006

This is why you don't do business in corrupt countries.

(image from

We're not on the "your taking advantage of all of those poor people" bandwagon when it comes to Globalization. We're on the "You're hurting all of us when you do what you do, even those poor people" bandwagon.

Doing business in unstable, even chaotic, countries is bad for everyone involved. Unfortunately, many companies are slow on the uptake. It's hard to see how it's good for business to demand human rights.

Nigeria is a prime example of a country with natural resources that has been taken advantage of by outside companies, nations, etc. (not so different for the rest of Africa). It's generally perceived that the reasons that companies go into poorer, less-developed countries is that they want to eat off the backs of impoverished people. Well, in most cases that is and isn't true.

When it comes to oil, though, the business goes where the product is, and when people want oil they get it.

What many people don't see is the fact that when oil companies do business in unstable countries (i.e. Nigeria) they are paying more for the oil because the country is, oh, say, in a civil war.

This isn't the first time that rebel attacks and violence have endangered oil exports from Nigeria.

If people around the world don't start demanding human rights be a larger part of international commerce, their going to keep paying more for goods that come from unstable countries like Nigeria.

See: In Our Own Best Interest Schulz, The End of Poverty Sachs


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