n.11 October 2006
Work longer, work differently. The ageing society is a problem exploding throughout the world. A problem that, as noted in “The Economist” some time ago, is proving a difficult test for financial and welfare policy in all the countries of the world. One thing is certain: reducing social security expenses is not enough. The key lies in finding how to make the elderly socially productive. In the Dossier of this number of east, articles by Donato Speroni and Simone Cofferati discuss this problem from various points of view and, above all, report the most important experiences felt in Europe and worldwide.
Tiziano Treu, the well-known jurist, Minister of Labor in the Dini government and the first Prodi government, intervenes in the Bolkestein Directive. Not as a recrimination of the compromise imposed on the European Commission by political forces, but rather to re-launch the unresolved matter of liberalizations.
Economist Stefano Chiarlone analyzes the different models of economic specialization of the two Asian giants, China and India; especially India, noting that every day this great country features areas that are more advanced than those of China.
Especially interesting is the article by Piero Sinatti on the causes and modalities of Russian re-armament, to which is added an analysis by Fernando Orlandi and Hans Holzhacker of Ukrainian policy and economy.
Enzo Piacenza ascends the stage of “glocalist” leaders, from the cashmere group of the same name, as well as Dario Ferrari of Intercos, world make-up giant.
Finally we have two reports on two cities that have become popular destinations of mass tourism: Istanbul, seen by the anthropologist/ photographer Monika Bulaj; and Singapore and Bangkok, as seen by young journalist Silvia Sartori.
by Ugo Tramballi
In an order of things of a quasi-Copernican nature that used to exist between the United States and Europe there was once a division of labour in the Middle East: with an unrivalled military force, the former exercised political power to impose solutions to conflicts; the latter took care of collecting funds and organising the economic reconstruction of disaster areas. This model was used not only in the Middle East: it also worked with more success in the Balkans. But it was for the Near East, and above all for the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians, that it was defined and implemented during the Clinton era.
The controversial point is the method by which the EU directive intends to expand competition in the services sector. However, the liberalisation of this sector is indispensable: suffice it to say that, while services account for about 60% of European GDP, trade in services accounts for a mere 5 percent. This explains the compromise that has been reached.
The two Asian giants have very different models of specialization. While China has focused on labour-intensive production in advanced as well as traditional sectors, India, despite being dogged by infrastructural delays, has benefited from its investment in tertiary education and could hence become, without problems, back office to the world. However, it is important that India continues its path of reforms.
Small to medium-sized Italian companies are finding themselves pulled in two directions: on the one hand they are looking to improve operating costs while maintaining market shares and production levels; on the other they are watching out for new opportunities in research and development. The objective is to improve product quality and differentiate the offer from the standards of the ever-more numerous and aggressive international competitors. And all of this is taking place during a new season of industrial districts.