Complexities of MICs

When talking about classifying MICs it’s important to be aware of the fact that there is no holistic approach. Different organizations have developed various classifications based on national income, level of industrial development, trade openness and other indexes. However, a so-called “one- size- fits- all” approach is difficult to realize due to the diversity of the countries not only in terms of their territory size and population but also in terms of their political systems, levels of human development, their achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and other social factors.

A widely used definition is that of the World Bank, dividing the MICs in an upper and lower segment based on per capita gross national income. In the United Nations system the category of middle- income countries is often utilized to refer to developing and transition economies not categorized as least developed countries. While often used to measure the growth and prosperity of a country at average, it is felt that these classifications may be inadequate for actually characterizing MICs in view of the complexities of their prosperity challenges, including those linked to the uneven distribution of wealth, sustainability and connectedness. It is for these reasons that to date the international community has not agreed upon a universally valid classification.

The variety of countries with their specific features and interests as mentioned above present a great challenge for finding a joint strategy of MICs. The outcome of the High-Level Conference should inspire further discussions on the trends and scenarios in the  post-2015 development agenda, and facilitate the establishment and improvement of related network governance structures for knowledge sharing among middle-income countries.