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How Sustainable & Liberal Trading in NSDS can Impact Local Communities

National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) 

National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDS) has been defined as a coordinated and participatory approach to a specific country’s thoughts and actions to achieve economic environmental and social objectives in an integrative manner. To be sustainable means to meet the present’s needs without compromising the ability to meet the future generation’s needs.

There are no specific requirements for implementing an effective NSDS, namely because each country faces its challenges and therefore, each has to determine their way of development.

Macedonia, which is fully-fledged towards the Sustainable Development Goals, several attempts have been made to implement a NSDS in the past decade. Although not necessarily every country has to label their strategic actions as an NSDS, we can undoubtedly say that specific action has been taken upon in resolving issues in Macedonia, mainly regarding proposal and implementation of climate change action, institutional reforms and sustainable consumption and production. Still, the lack of planning resources has made the implementation process harder. Furthermore, government decision-makers are actively pushing towards European Union membership to grow economically and increase resources.

Sustainable Liberalized Trading – National Strategic Value & Local Downscaled Benefits

Sustainable and liberal trading means being part of the international trade network that supports domestic economic and social goals in an eco-friendly way, without any, or at least most restrictions that are currently in place. Although many countries using bilateral or multilateral agreements have lifted many restrictions in trading, the burden of tax, import & export mixes that are not diversified and lack of synergy between long term and short term goals in policy shout out for a more systematic approach towards creating a strategy.

Sustainability of trade is important because today’s modern trade has saved many people from poverty, not just that but today’s sustainable trading system that most developed countries implement has a minimal negative impact on societal and environmental costs making an investment in technology more possible, technology nonetheless that enables these economies to be less dependent on natural resources which are rapidly being drained.

According to the Sustainable Trade Index by Hinrich Foundation of 2020  which considers many factors and metrics to assess nations implementing sustainable trading, it is clear that the countries that have been developing long term, some national strategy on sustainability are at the top of the list. Mainly East & South-East Asia countries like Singapore and South Korea have been rapidly developing their economies due to early implementation of some NSDS long before the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 of the United Nations stressed out the need of some form of NSDS.

Macedonia, faces many challenges in policy making and institutional change, mainly the low manufacturing capacity and education have contributed to Macedonia being import oriented. The process of liberalization of trade is especially crucial for developing countries and their economic performance such as Macedonia as it is a country which spends 48% of the yearly budget on so called “current expenses” which account for expenses that budgetary users from Retirement Funds and Government Institutions use to cover basic salaries, pensions and miscellaneous expenses. 

Sustainable development in trading is necessary in order to diminish the percentage of budget use for these types of expenses without compromising the lives of everyone who benefits from them, in essence bigger income from investments and diversification and complex exports are needed when it comes to trade. Having a solid and unified National Sustainable Development Strategy in place can benefit not just the country coffers  but also promote infrastructure, social, education and private sector development which return on investment with a more ready workforce, employment, better public goods and services, and importantly make government subsidies more readily available and substantial, in direction of minimizing negative impact on environment to as many people as possible, capturing the concept of sustainable development.

Filip Dzhambazoski

Filip Dzambazoski works as Marketing & Communications Assistant at Impact Foundation. Filip's completed his branch of studies in Law but is passionate about exploring new fields and expanding his knowledge. For him, "Realizing your passion by helping others find theirs" directly correlates to the way we should shape today's leaders into the future decision-makers.