Paraguay: the China of South America?, The liberal world order needs a new leader, Can we stand alone?, Striving for greatness, How to stem the exodus

A roundup of global commentary for the Nov. 28, 2016 weekly magazine.

Michael Sohn/AP
US President Barack Obama is welcomed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel prior to a meeting with government heads of France, Italy, Spain, and Britain in the chancellery in Berlin, Nov. 18.

ABC Color / Asunción, Paraguay

Paraguay: the China of South America?

“According to ... the Brazilian site Globo.com, Paraguay is on its way to becoming the ‘new China’ for Brazil...,” states an editorial. “Brazilian manufacturers are discovering that Paraguay ... has cheap electricity and labor, as well as fewer taxes.... It should come as no surprise, then, that following the political and economic crisis that Brazil has recently suffered ... Brazilian businesses are contemplating the advantages of moving their plants to Paraguay.... [O]ur government needs to guarantee legal and social security for the investors ... [and] for the workers of our country, so that the fruits of progress also fall onto the table of Paraguayans. For this to happen, we need to eradicate the corruption and impunity that is corroding the foundations of the Paraguayan state.”

Spiegel Online / Hamburg, Germany

The liberal world order needs a new leader

“The West was constituted in its modern form in ... 1917...,” writes Dirk Kurbjuweit. “President Woodrow Wilson ... declared war on Germany and sent soldiers to Europe to secure victory for the Western democracies – and the United States assumed the leadership of the Western world.... One hundred years later: Trump.... Trump, who preaches American nationalism, isolation.... The leaders of the West, minus America, face monumental tasks ahead. They are tasks for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She represents a strong country and she has a strong moral foundation, as she demonstrated in the refugee crisis. She doesn’t have to be a Woodrow Wilson, but she should become a decisive leader of Europe.”

The Chosun Ilbo / Seoul, South Korea

Can we stand alone?

“Foreign-policy pledges of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump have been characterized by two major themes – isolationism and self-interest,” states an editorial. “Both could have a deep impact on the Korea-U.S. alliance, which is the sole foundation of this country’s security.... So far it has been possible to rely on the U.S., and many Koreans have grown to see national security matters as someone else’s business.... That attitude is no longer tenable.... Koreans must think seriously about their ability to defend themselves when the U.S. they have long regarded as a friend and protector becomes a mere business acquaintance.”

The Jordan Times / Amman, Jordan

Striving for greatness

“According to the recently published Fragile States Index ... Jordan ranks 77th, four places lower than last year,” states an editorial. “This drop is attributed in no small measure to the challenges the country is facing due to the repercussions of the armed conflicts in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, mostly the former, from where about a million-and-a-half refugees came pouring into Jordan, putting enormous strain on the already overstretched resources.... Had the regional situation been different, Jordan would have been in a much better place.... That does not mean that the government may relax its vigilance. On the contrary, it must continue efforts to improve both the economy and the security preparedness, without departing from the democratic path.”

ThisDay / Lagos, Nigeria

How to stem the exodus

“While there are serious discussions across the world about the growing challenge of young people who continue to embark on what has become suicide journeys across the Mediterranean Sea, leaders in Africa are still living in denial...,” states an editorial. “More specifically, despite the fact that many of these people actually leave our shores, there has been no coherent response from the Nigerian authorities.... As we have argued in the past, it is important to interrogate the conditions that create the desperation to leave the country for unknown destinations. Today, we live in a country where many are not only poor but cannot find jobs.... [T]he first task is to provide opportunities at home for our teeming population of young people.”

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