The North-South Institute


Emerging Economies

UN Photo - Kibae Park - Busan - 2011

The fallout of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, and the resulting policy responses by advanced industrialized nations to salvage their economies, has led to uncertainty about future global growth prospects, but also to a rare opportunity to seriously re-think the conventional approach to development policy. The conventional approach generally stressed the role of market mechanisms over the role of government in delivering prosperity. But these conventions were reversed during the crisis, as centres of the free-market system endured the bailouts of banks, other financial sector companies, and even motor vehicle manufacturers.

At the same time, there are new voices influencing the ongoing debate over development policy. Having followed a less-orthodox reform path, leading emerging economies such as Brazil, India, and China, astutely navigated their economies through the crisis and experienced strong recoveries that further legitimized their policy-making processes. In this way, some contend that this ‘power of example’ is causing decision-makers from developed and developing countries alike to increasingly look to emerging markets for practical policy advice and inspiration.

With so much public attention focused on emerging markets today, it would be an oversimplification to treat these countries as a homogenous group. Deeper understanding of domestic conditions and institutions is sorely needed in order improve our understanding of growth drivers and better adapt and calibrate the reform experiences of emerging economies for the benefit of other developing countries. Greater analytical nuance at the national and sub-national level is also needed to understand the motivations of these economies in their growing international engagements. This exercise, it should be noted, is as useful in informing the policy responses of other developing nations as it is to developed ones, including Canada.

Our research seeks to provide greater context to the complexity of domestic reform paths in leading emerging economies. The aim is not only increase policy interaction and exchanges among developing countries, but ultimately to help uncover viable and pragmatic policy alternatives to what, until recently, were held up as ‘best practice’ policy advice.


Policy Brief: South-South Trade, Investment, and Aid Flows, by Daniel Poon (NSI), June 2013.

Policy Brief: Is China Blocking Africa’s Economic Development?, by Daniel Poon (NSI), June 2013.

Policy Brief: South-South Policy Spaces and Tools, by Daniel Poon (NSI), June 2013.

Report: South-South Policy Space Dimensions (draft) by Daniel Poon (NSI), September 2012.

Journal Article: China’s Move up the Value Chain: Implications for Canada, by Daniel Poon in Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, Vol. 18 No. 3, September 2012, p 319-339.

Policy Brief: Canada-China Economic Relations: Beyond Petroleum, by Daniel Poon, December 2011.

Opinion: World Economic Forum (on Africa) meets the BRICS, by Daniel Poon in OpenCanada.Org, May 2013.

Opinion: Canada’s Pivot to Asia: Now we need a strategy, by Joseph K. Ingram and Daniel Poon in iPolitics, October 2012.

Opinion: A Pivot to Asia? Canada’s ‘Real’ Globalization, by Daniel Poon in Policy Options, Vol. 33 No. 8, September 2012, p 42-47.

Opinion: Thinking Outside the CNOOC-Nexen Box, by Daniel Poon in iPolitics, August 2012.

Opinion: BRICS: a new international economic order, by Joseph K. Ingram and Daniel Poon in Embassy Magazine, March 2012.

Opinion: Reform in China: Crossing the River on a Bridge of Slogans, by Daniel Poon in iPolitics, December 2012.

Presentation: Chinese Soft Power: a window for development? for the international conference “China and the World after the 18th NCCPC” February 21-22, 2013 Montréal, Québec

 The BRICS at the WTO Doha Development Round, led by Pablo Heidrich, 2009.

For more information, please contact:

Rodney Schmidt
Vice President Research