The recession is not over

By Staff Writer
The current economic upturn might just be temporary and there is an 80% chance that difficult times could return to haunt consumers for another three to five years, so says strategist and scenario planner Clem Sunter.

The trouble that lead to the recession in the first place has not vanished, the recession happened because of astronomical amounts of debt starting with the banks and then the governments. The trouble is that, while a government can provide aid to a bank, who can help out governments?

The Franchise Expo launched on Thursday and Sunter warned that the game would change after the recession.

Sunter predicts that banks will be much more strictly regulated, especially on the international circuit, this will lead to credit being more difficult to obtain. The biggest surprise is that, for the first time in 600 years, Asia will be economically equal to the West.

Growth will be fuelled by technologies which are designed to preserve resources like oil, minerals and water and the biggest challenge for South Africa will be to establish centres of excellence.

"In almost any area that one could think of the country has centres that are simply world-class - the aim must be to enhance them, not to tear them down," Sunter said.

"Examples of excellence include the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and the Red Cross Children's Hospital.

"Sars should be used as a model to improve the service delivery of other state departments. South Africa has one of the top 10 children's hospitals in the world, and it's a government hospital.

"Why couldn't Red Cross be used as a model to raise standards at Groote Schuur and Chris Hani Baragwanath?"

Sunter believes that developing a dual economy could be the way forward for South Africa. He said that a competitive export-focussed economy will allow the country to focus on its strong points and earn foreign exchange while the inward-looking economy will focus on small enterprises.

Sunter believes that the development of resources, wine industries and marketing South Africa as a gateway to the rest of the continent are the key areas South Africa need to focus on and added that the US, Japan, China and Germany managed to build their economies by focussing on the development of small enterprises and entrepreneurship.

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