The Status of Development, Aid, Trade, and Investment in the Global South

  • Justin van der Merwe
  • Nicole Dodd
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This chapter presents snapshots of the current state of development, aid, trade, and investment in the Global South. Despite the Global South’s export capacity and wealth of raw materials, only five countries in the Global South (countries with low or medium levels of human development) posted a trade surplus in 2015. A small proportion (about a quarter) of the revenue received from the Global South returns to it. This aid is directed at humanitarian, economic and political purposes, and is not necessarily directed at countries with the lowest levels of human development. Contrary to what commonly represented in the media, countries undergoing reconstruction are not the major recipients of FDI. FDI is more likely to flow into stable and established countries with a minimum level of human development in place. Less surprisingly, FDI is likely to flow out of countries where there is political instability and conflict.


  1. Amnesty International. (2018). Yemen: The forgotten war. Retrieved May 27, 2018, from
  2. Chancel, L., & Piketty, T. (2017, July). Indian income inequality, 1922–2015. Retrieved May 27, 2018, from
  3. Dornan, M., & Pryke, J. (2017). Foreign aid to the pacific: Trends and developments in the twenty-first century. Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, 4(3), 1–19. Scholar
  4. Evans, D. (2016, December 12). East Timor’s gas dream is doomed, ConocoPhillips and Woodside have failed. Forbes. Retrieved from
  5. Human Rights Watch. (2018, May 27). World report. Retrieved from Guinea Events of 2015:
  6. Humanitarian Foresight Think Tank. (2016, July). Eritrea: Future transition and regional impacts. Paris: Institut de Relations Internationales et Strategiques.Google Scholar
  7. Irwin, A., & Wilson, C. (2009). Cape Verde Islands. Guilford: Bradt Travel Guides.Google Scholar
  8. Kaira, C. (2016, March 14). Trade deficit highest in 10 years. The Namibian, p. 1. Retrieved from
  9. Lain, S. (2018). The potential and pitfalls of connectivity along the silk road economic belt. In M. Laruelle (Ed.), China’s belt and road initiative and its impact in central Asia (pp. 1–10). Washington, DC: George Washington University.Google Scholar
  10. Malk, B. Y. (2017). State-induced famine in Eritrea: Persecution and crime against humanity. Journal of Politics and Law, 10(4), 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Matsangou, E. (2017, April 19). El Salvador’s economic shackles. World Finance, p. 1. Retrieved from
  12. Ryall, J. (2015, April 1). Super typhoon Maysak strikes central Pacific islands killing at least five. The Telegraph, p. 1. Retrieved from
  13. Seoraj, N. (2016, October 8). Guyana loses $4.8B to drought—During 2015–2016, Minister Holder reports. Guyana Chronicle, p. 1. Retrieved from
  14. Sibarani, F. (2016, January 21). Foreign direct investment into Indonesia grows 19.2% in 2015. Indonesia-Investments, p. 1. Retrieved May 27, 2018, from
  15. Taylor, I., van der Merwe, J., & Dodd, N. (2016). Nehru’s neoliberals: Draining or aiding Africa. In J. van der Merwe, I. Taylor, & A. Arkhangelskaya (Eds.), Emerging powers in Africa (pp. 107–128). Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. United Nations Development Programme. (2016). Human Development Index. Retrieved April 2, 2018, from
  17. United States Department of State. (2018, May 27). The Gambia 2015 human rights report. Retrieved from United States Department of State:
  18. Van der Merwe, J. (2018). The one belt one road initiative: Reintegrating Africa and the Middle East into China’s system of accumulation. In L. Xing (Ed.), Mapping China’s one belt one road initiative. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  19. World Bank. (2018). World integrated trade solutions. Retrieved May 27, 2018, from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justin van der Merwe
    • 1
  • Nicole Dodd
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Military StudiesUniversity of StellenboschSaldanhaSouth Africa
  2. 2.School for Human and Organisational DevelopmentUniversity of StellenboschSaldanhaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations