Asia is considered the great
development success story, while Africa and to a lesser extent
South America have lagged since the 1970s. Asian countries are now
increasingly engaged in outward economic activity also into Africa
and South America, challenging established patterns, and there is an on-going discussion of South-South economic cooperation as alternative development path. The 2012
Barnes Symposium examines issues associated with mostly emerging Asian
multinational enterprises, private and quasi-private sector driven
development, business and human rights in Africa. In the Subsaharan African context, among African countries policy currently focuses on issues whether economic development is better served by seeking more international trade and investment versus a focus on African trading blocks in regional terms.