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Geography Mock Exam Example Essays

This  essay was written under exam conditions. Whilst it is not necessarily a "model answer", it demonstrates the quality required to gain a higher grade in the exam. It was written within one hour.

Theme : Development Strategies

With reference to examples, critically analyse strategies that have been used and/or are being used to promote development


Recent developments in world relations, communications and trade have suggested numerous possible development strategies for LEDCs, whilst the growth of population and use of resources in these countries have brought the issue of development to a larger and more urgent scale. Indeed, various possibilities, passing from the use of aid, through that of trade and agriculture to the advantages enabled by industry have, or are being used, though the fundamental success of these methods and directions may be discussed.

The donation or "transaction" of aid from the more to the less developed countries has in the past been freely used as a solution to underdevelopment and a promoter of economic growth. Indeed, whether in Brazil, Malaysia or India, various forms of aid have been given under different conditions and with different results. Indeed, though the money was evidently beneficial to the countries, negative consequences have by far outnumbered the positive.

Whilst certain aid, such as that given by non-governmental organisations (or NGOs) have often proved effective, the large majority of aid has either tied receiving countries economically to the donating country and give them preference in trade (such as the highly criticised case of Britain exchanging aid with the selling of military equipment) or the aid has been attached to a growing and problematic amount of credit. Whilst the Third World Debt issue is very much present today, the offer of aid to the more politically and economically balanced LEDCs has often lead to the marginalisation of the poorer countries, numerous factors suggest that the use of aid as a development strategy is particularly weak and unadvisable.

The integration of trade and the world market forms another opening for the development of many LEDCs. Indeed, it is increasingly possible and perhaps increasingly desirable for both MEDCs and LEDCs to open up to the exchanges which dominate commerce today. The Pacific Asia area is the perfect illustration of trade and exchanges with the Triad. Export directed economies have permitted this, whilst the existence of comparative advantages such as cheap labour have proved attractive factors for the United States or Japan, anxious to conquer foreign markets and invest. Multinational Corporations seek to de-locate firms and use cheaper primary resources. On the one hand, this strategy may indeed seem beneficial to all : nations such as Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore have indeed emerged through it , and have often been considered as a model for other LEDCs. However, it may be suggested that the Asian model is not a truly "exportable" one. Numerous coastal regions, good and numerous resources are advantages not available to all, such as the Sub-Saharan nations. Moreover, strategically placed in Japan's sphere of influence and previously crucial to the United States , anxious to avoid the spread of Communism in Asia, both members of the Triad have helped the emergence of these nations. In addition to this, the 1998 Economic Crash in their area suggest that the "model" is perhaps not a strong and faultless as previously perceived. Trade, though aiding development through exchanges, is not a possibility for all LEDCs and remains a fragile strategy.

The strategic use of agriculture in LEDCs has often proved an efficient method and path to development. Firstly, agriculture and the development of equipment and trade surrounding it is generally the initial situation of LEDCs before the passage to a more industrial base. The development of agriculture has proved to be a necessary step for nations desiring development. Moreover, the use of biotechnology in the Green Revolution has formed an essential part of these developments. Whilst the use of HYVs (High Yielding Varieties) or MVs (Modern Varieties) has permitted countries such as India to multiply their production of grain by six, the use of this modern technology equally promotes an increase in education and knowledge. However, this system is yet again not faultless : the cost of such methods marginalise countries unable to risk using them, the new varieties' gradual vulnerability to disease as well as the environmental issues it raises are factors to be considered. This strategy is therefore equally debatable.

Finally, the promotion of manufactured products in LEDCs have often proved the originator of successful patterns of development. The production of light industry such as textiles or the trade of basic manufactured consumer goods has driven export directed economies, mass consumption products and the integration of world markets. The Triad, for example, are particularly interested in trade with LEDCs. Foreign investment and the increasing strength of the economy through these products have often led to the development of infrastructures, education or other services as a nation's wealth increases (as seen in the Pacific Asian model). Another aspect of this may be considered in India, where the use and production of light industry on a local level has promoted employment and the gradual development of various regions. However, the strategy is also questionable as the trade of products has and is leading to the dependency of LEDCs on their trading nations, such as the Triad. Moreover, as their strategy increases, the problems of urbanisation and a polluted environment arise. This seems as yet, however, the most efficient method for the development of LEDCs today as trade becomes the measure of all development.

Therefore, whether through aid, trade, the use of agriculture or manufactured products, LEDCs have the possibility of a number of development strategies, though each of these do not always apply to particular countries. It is also increasingly hard for LEDCs under a certain line of poverty to avoid the marginalisation which blocks the possibility of trade.


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