United Nations

Published: Tuesday 30 April 2002

The Poor Will Decide: Future business growth depends on the poor. Successful companies tomorrow will be those that will bring these people, currently on the sidelines of the global economy into the mainstream. Such corporates must focus on social and environmental values today.

"These values will create major new opportunities and pitfalls in a competitive economic environment," says the report recently released by the un Environment Program, the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

This document titled "Tomorrow's Markets: Global Trends and their Implications for Business", is aimed to help businesses respond to emerging economic trends and marketplace solutions to global problems like poverty and lack of health care and education.

The report states that currently 78 per cent of the world's population is poor, 11 per cent is rich and another 11 per cent are middle-income. The largest target audience is therefore the world's poor, who will determine consumption levels and business growth too.

Future areas of opportunity therefore lie in the fast growing economies of developing nations where consumer markets and labour forces are likely to become concentrated.

Moreover, world population is expected to expand by 50 per cent by 2050, with the vast majority of growth occurring in developing countries.

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