by Noriyuki Morimoto
In order for the economy to grow, businesses must take creative and ingenious actions in an environment of free and fair competition. Without competition, there is no growth.
However, even if it is true logically that there is no growth without competition, competition does not necessarily mean growth. Furthermore, the premise of competition is free and fair trade, and the issue here is fair trade, not competitive trade.
Even if we can say that the economy’s inherent growth potential cannot be fully realized when free and fair trade is undermined, fair trade alone cannot be the primary cause of economic growth. No growth without competition does not mean that competition will ensure growth, but rather that free and fair trade is the minimum requirement for economic growth.
In other words, the chemical reaction of economic growth cannot occur without the catalytic action of competition or fair and free trade. The catalyst is not the main actor in a chemical reaction, but only an assistant to help the main actor function.
What, then, is the main driver of economic growth? Needless to say, it is the unabated proliferation of mankind’s instinctive desire for a better life. However, living in Japan, we are reminded that the growth of materialistic desires has its limits.
Or is the self-propagation of capital the engine of growth in a capitalist economy? Even if that is the case, in Japan, capitalism is now in a state of half-death, as the excess accumulation of capital and the stagnation of the capital profit rate have been entrenched for a very long time.
Therefore, innovation is recognized as the main driver of economic growth. No growth without innovation, so if there is innovation, will there be growth? Also, does this suggest that competition, or free and fair trade breeds innovation? How does innovation happen? Being in Japan, questions arise there as well.
Chief Executive Officer, HC Asset Management Co.,Ltd. Noriyuki Morimoto founded HC Asset Management in November 2002. As a pioneer investment consultant in Japan, he established the investment consulting business of Watson Wyatt K.K. (now Willis Towers Watson) in 1990.