It can often be difficult to distinguish international peace from economic prosperity. From Switzerland to to Singapore, the nations of the world with the fastest-growing economies have carefully cultivated peaceful relationships with their neighbors and a positive image upon the international stage. Even now, however, certain leaders stand out among the rest for their contributions to both global peace and global economics.
Foreign Minister of Poland Radoslaw Sikorski
Without a doubt, Sikorski’s greatest responsibility of late has been his role as the go-between economic expert for Russia and the European Union in the wake of recent events in Ukraine. Sikorski has remained adamant that Poland’s role is twofold—the nation stands as both a vital part of the European economy and an important peacemaker in Eastern Europe, and neither role is possible without the other.
Vice President of Afghanistan Mohammad Karim Khalili
In addition to his tireless work for the rights of the Hazara minority in Afghanistan, Khalili has become something of a trendsetter in international economic politics. This year, he dedicated a portion of the country’s national funds towards supporting and attending the Astana Economic Forum, an international economic conference, in the hopes of finding a way to revitalize Afghanistan’s economy.
President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou
President Ma Ying-jeou accurately summed up his foreign policy when he confidently declared, upon inauguration, that there would be “No war, no independence, and no unification” with mainland China. Instead, he has leveraged Taiwan’s business partnership with the United States to negotiate with mainland China as an equal, with an interest in developing strong trade relationships.
Minister of the Economy of Indonesia Hatta Rajasa
Minister Hatta Rajasa has of late instituted a bold new plan to increase Indonesia’s economic stability, both for its own benefit and that of other nations. By encouraging fewer, but higher quality, mineral exports and putting a stop to irresponsible loans, Rajasa hopes to build lasting trade relationships with the rest of the world. While this may slow Indonesia’s current economic growth, Rajasa maintains that, given time and political stability, profitability will be attainable.
Too often, cynical politicians from around the world take advantage of war to personally profit. The remarkable leaders profiled in this article have shown that the opposite can be true as well: that peace, profit and happiness follow one another naturally.