This report of the Secretary-General highlights activities of UN programmes, funds and specialized agencies on climate change and includes an overview of current UN activities on the topic organised by key areas. It also forms part of the background for an up-coming General Assembly thematic debate on climate change.
DI - 18/01/2007
The document provides an integrated view of climate change as the final part of the IPCC’s Fourth Assesment Report. This Synthesis Report is based on the assessment carried out by the three Working Groups of the IPCC.
DI - 10/1/2008
The WESP 2008 provides an overview of recent global economic performance and short-term prospects for the world economy. According to this report, the world economy is facing serious challenges in sustaining the strong pace of economic growth seen over the past few years.
DI – 1/12/2007
This WEC study analyses the possible energy policy futures, focusing on policies to ensure energy sustainability. Experts from five regions and all energy domains worked together to produce four different scenarios to predict how differing levels of cooperation and government involvement would affect the energy future of the World.
DI - 31/10/2007
The fourth Global Environment Outlook: environment for development (GEO-4) warns about the major threats to the planet such as climate change, the rate of extinction of species and the challenge of feeding a growing population. The UNEP’s publication is a comprehensive and authoritative UN report on environment, prepared by about 390 experts. It identifies priorities for action and describes the changes since 1987, 20 years after the WCED produced its seminal report (Our Common Future).
DI - 1/10/2007
This publication of the Statistical Office of the European
Communities contains information on EU-27, EU-25, EU Member States and
Candidate Countries, as well as Iceland and Norway, in the form of time series.
This data is focused on the principal components of the energy balance and the
evolution of the main energy indicators since 2000, and the trends in energy
supply and consumption, by fuel.
The 7.7% growth forecast for 2006 represents a 0.5 percentage point increase from the April forecast. This upward revision of the Asian Development Outlook 2006 significantly reflects accelerated growth in the People Republic of China due to booming investments and exports.
The improved global economic environment for many developing countries -- including the current upswing in some nations resulting from high demand for oil and other raw materials, and the expanded manufacturing prowess of others, such as China -- needs to be turned into a dynamic process of economic growth and structural change that creates employment and raises living standards over the long term, the new UNCTAD report says
The 2006 Commitment to Development Index (CDI) ranks 21 rich countries on how well they help poor countries. Each rich country gets scores in seven policy areas, which are averaged for an overall score
Latin America and the Caribbean will grow by around 5% this year, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Despite substantial improvement over the last quarter-century, the region continues to show less dynamism than the rest of the developing world. Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela take the lead. (Executive summary and chapter I)
The document adopted by the leaders of the world's seven richest nations - the US, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada – and Russia at the St.Petersburg Summit held from 15 to 17 July. Global energy security, development of modern education systems and fight against infectious diseases were the priority themes, as well as globalization, international trade and Africa
The WESS is a publication of the UN Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD), which provides objective analysis of pressing long-term social and economic development issues, and discusses the positive and negative impact of corresponding policies. Diverging growth and development is the theme of 2006 report, which shows that in the industrialized world the income level over the last five decades has grown steadily. This has not occurred in many developing countries, thereby causing a rise in already high world inequality
UNODC's 2006 World Drug Report provides one of the most comprehensive overviews of illicit drug trends at the international level. The analysis of trends, some going back 10 years or more, is presented in Volume 1. Detailed statistics are presented in Volume 2. Taken together, these volumes provide the most up-to-date view of today's illicit drug situation
The main objective of Asian Development Bank medium-term strategy II (MTS II), covering 2006-2008, is to strengthen the poverty reduction impact of ADB’s assistance programs in the context of the key challenges facing the region. To this end, it has adopted five priorities: catalyzing investment, strengthening inclusiveness, promoting regional cooperation and integration, managing the environment, and improving governance and preventing corruption
The World Bank (WB) GDF 2006 report says net private capital flows to developing countries reached a record high of US$491 billion in 2005, driven by privatizations, mergers and acquisitions, external debt refinancing, as well as strong investor interest in local-currency bond markets in Asia and Latin America. The document also shows that capital flows between developing countries are now growing faster than those between developed and developing countries particularly in FDI
The European Commission’s spring economic forecasts put economic growth in 2006 to 2.3% in the EU and to 2.1% in the euro area, up from the up from 1.6% and 1.3% in 2005. The main impulses stem from a robust increase in investment, continued strong world growth and an improved outlook in Germany. In 2007, growth is expected to slow down to 2.2% in the EU and 1.8% in the euro area
The third annual Global Monitoring Report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) highlights economic growth, more and better quality aid, and trade reforms, as well as governance as essential elements to achieve MDGs. Published jointly by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the 2006 edition records significant progress attained on several fronts. But it also underlines that progress is incomplete, too slow, and, above all too disparate. A number of countries are likely not to achieve these goals, in many cases for lack of means, but also due to lack of “good governance”
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of countries in the region will grow 4.6% in 2006, up slightly from last year (2005). For 2007, growth is expected to slow a little to around 4%. This is the projection from Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in its report published by Economic Projections Centre. (In Spanish)
The recent World Economic Outlook -International Monetary Fund (IMF) twice-yearly report focused on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects- highlights global imbalances as the biggest threat to what was otherwise an “unusually favourable” economic environment. Though the global growth in 2006 has exceeded 4 per cent, the WEO cautioned against becoming complacent about high oil prices
In 2005, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Latin America and the Caribbean (not including financial centres) reached over US$61.6 billion, similar to the level recorded in 2004. ECLAC report shows that Latin America and the Caribbean have not yet fulfilled their potential for attracting FDI and also face the challenge of increasing the quantity and improving the quality of these capital inflows, to expand their impact on the development of production in the region. The countries receiving the most FDI were Mexico (US$17.805 bn), Brazil (US$15.193 bn), Chile (US$7.208 bn), Argentina (US$4.662 bn) and Colombia (US$3.921 bn)
According to the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB-MIF), Latin American and Caribbean workers living abroad sent a record USD 53.6 billion in remittances to their homelands during 2005, up 17 percent from the previous year. This new estimates were presented at the seminar A Global Revolution in Banking: Remittances and Microfinance held ahead of the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB, which will take place here April 3-5
The Spain Article IV Executive Board Consultation, which describes the preliminary findings of International Monetary Fund staff at the conclusion of its mission in this country. The document underlines that “[Spanish] economic policy must be directed to moderating domestic demand pressures and setting the stage for a sustainable continuation of growth”
The European Council meeting on 23 and 24 March, under the Austrian Presidency, focused on job creation, cutting red tape, investment in skills and scientific research, and energy. Also, “the European Council calls for a Energy Policy for Europe” and "welcomed reports of the President of the Spanish Government on the announcement of a permanent ceasefire made by the terrorist group ETA." The document includes: European Pact for Gender Equality and Declaration on Belarus
United States and India Joint Statement (2 March 2006). President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reaffirm their commitment to expand the ties between their two countries in the following areas: international economy and trade, energy security, environment, innovation and knowledge economy, global safety and security
In a study released by the Lisbon Council, OECD education expert Andreas Schleicher says that six years after European Union leaders vowed to create “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world,” spending on education in Europe at all levels (primary, secondary and tertiary) remains well behind Japan and the United States. "If Europe wants to retain its competitive edge at the top of the global-value-added chain, the education system must be made more flexible, more effective and more easily accessible to a wider range of people"
European Commission published on 8 March 2006 a Green Paper on developing a common,coherent European Energy Policy. The Green Paper outlines how a European Energy Policy could meet the three core objectives of energy policy: sustainable development, competitiveness, and security of supply. Also, it invites comments on six specific priority areas, containing over 20 concrete suggestions for possible new action
Presenting interim projections for major OECD economies, OECD Chief-Economist Jean-Philippe Cotis said economic momentum on both sides of the Atlantic is now largely back in line with OECD projections released three months ago, but some of the factors sustaining buoyant growth may not continue to do so (6 March 2006)
The GEO Year Book 2006 is the third annual survey of the changing global environment produced by the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with many world experts in environmental research and action. The Year Book includes global and regional overviews. It highlights the linkages between environmental well-being, vulnerability and poverty; records recent findings on the value of ecosystem services; and describes new research findings on polar and ocean changes that may prove a turning point in the urgency of our awareness and response to global change
This report is a joint product of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the five United Nations regional commissions (Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)). It provides an overview of recent global economic performance and short-term prospects for the world economy and of some key global economic policy and development issues. One of its purposes is to serve as a point of reference for discussions on economic, social and related issues taking place in various United Nations entities in 2006.
The UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics is a comprehensive collection of statistical data relevant to the analysis of international trade, investment and development.
India is a potential world power. India’s stable democratic political system, huge middle-class population, immense military clout in South Asia, rising economic fortunes and global ambitions make it a potential power that could play a very important role in world affairs. But it still must address numerous challenges. In order to become an economic powerhouse, India must tackle several structural issues, such as reining in the runaway fiscal deficit, freeing its manufacturing sector from antiquated labour laws, selling state-owned assets and using the freed-up cash for investments in physical infrastructure.
The Gulf of Guinea’s tremendous potential is creating investment opportunities for the region. Some of its resources, such as oil, minerals, and forests, continue to attract significant investments whereas others, like natural gas, could be exploited to their full potential if necessary investments were undertaken. Nevertheless, the Gulf of Guinea has to cope with numerous challenges, both exogenous and endogenous, before it can fully benefit from its riches. One of these problems stems from the overwhelmingly weak institutions and governance, pointed by stylized facts, which add to the risks of “natural resource curse” and can feed the theory of the “Paradox of Plenty.” The case is made that regional institutional arrangements and increased involvement of the international community and the African Diaspora should complement the efforts in which countries in the region should engage to address policy and governance issues. Complementary avenues are proposed, including maintaining stability and security, making better use of the region’s own assets, putting in place a favourable business environment, and augmenting exports with value addition.
This annual publication includes official country figures up to November 30th, and an analysis of developments in the region's economy in 2005 and projections for 2006. The Latin American and Caribbean economy grew by 4.3% in 2005, which represents the third consecutive year of growth in the region. Per capita GDP is estimated to have risen by about 3%. The performance of the domestic demand and the expansion of 3.3% of the world economy in 2005, contributed to these results. For 2006, GDP growth for Latin America and the Caribbean is projected to come in at about 4.1%; this rate would be high enough to bring about an annual average growth rate above 4% during 2003-2006 and an accumulated growth of 11% in per capita GDP. However auspicious, it can not be ignored the fact that the region is growing at lower rates than developing countries as a whole, whose GDP is increasing at an average rate of 5.7%, for the period 2003-2006
The world is economically freer today than it was a year ago, according to the 12th annual Index of Economic Freedom, released by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal—and that means greater prosperity for those countries that embrace open markets. The Index findings are straightforward, according to editors Marc A. Miles, Kim R. Holmes and Mary Anastasia O’Grady. “The countries with the most economic freedom also have higher rates of long-term economic growth and are more prosperous than are those with less economic freedom,” the report says. Of the 157 countries graded in the 2006 Index, 99 improved their overall scores, compared to 51 whose scores worsened and five that remained unchanged. Overall, 20 are classified as “free,” 52 as “mostly free,” 73 as “mostly unfree” and 12 as “repressed.”
An important role of the International Labour Organization (ILO) is to identify global employment challenges where economic growth and decent work opportunities are most needed around the world. The Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM) highlights global trends relating to the world of work using world and regional estimates and country-level data of labour force participation, employment, employment by sector, unemployment, youth unemployment, employment elasticities and working poverty.
In the light of the above, the maximum total figure for expenditure for EU 27 for the period 2007-2013 is €849,303 million in appropriations for commitments, representing 1.03% of EU GNI. All figures are expressed using constant 2004 prices. There will be automatic annual technical adjustments for inflation.
After reaching annual average growth rates above 2% last year, economic activity in the euro area and the EU has been more subdued this year, but is expected to return to potential at the beginning of next year. The main factors behind the outlook include an accommodative macroeconomic policy mix, benign financial conditions, wider profit margins, a weaker nominal effective exchange rate and a robust global environment. Over the forecast horizon, the recovery is underpinned by an acceleration in domestic demand, with a slight stimulus in net terms from the external sector.
The themes of the 2006 Global Economic Prospects (GEP) are international remittances and migration, their economic consequences, and how policies can increase their role in reducing poverty. The GEP explores the gains and losses from international migration from the perspective of developing countries, with special attention to the money that migrants send home. The report also considers policy initiatives that could improve the developmental impact of migration, with particular attention to remittances.
The theme of this pamphlet is global economic change and its impact on Europe; not just on the European Economy –on employment levels and standards of living- but on how European Union now develops. It is often said that in the new world of global economic change no country or continent, whatever its success now, can take its future prosperity for granted: and that not just nations, but continents, will rise and fall depending upon their ability to adapt to global change. This pamphlet central argument is that the policies relevant to this new global Europe will be different from those appropriate to the Europe of the trade bloc era. But, just as Europe successfully met the challenges of building a post-war prosperity from the ruins and devastation of war, we believe Europe can now develop the policies necessary for prosperity in the new global era.
The EU’s enlargement to the East has been an economic success. Trade between the old and the new members is thriving. Foreign investment by West European companies has helped to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Central and Eastern Europe, and it has generated multi-billion euro profits for the investing companies. Workers from Poland, Hungary and elsewhere have plugged skill gaps in those EU countries that have opened their labour markets. Money from the EU budget is flowing into the East’s poorest areas. Even East European farmers – previously the region’s most ardent eurosceptics – are much happier now that they can sell their goods to the whole EU, and have at least some access to EU farm subsidies.
Politically, however, the EU has not digested the accession of the ten new members.
This report provides comprehensive, comparable and up-to-date statistics on trade in merchandise and commercial services for an assessment of world trade flows by country, region and main product groups or service categories. Some 250 tables and charts depict trade developments from various perspectives and provide a number of long-term time series. Major trade developments are summarized and discussed in the first part of the report under Overview. Detailed trade statistics are provided in Appendix tables. This volume has been produced by a team of statisticians from the Statistics Division in collaboration with the Development and Economic Research Division of the World Trade Organization.
More than two-thirds of the 159 nations surveyed in Transparency International’s 2005 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) scored less than 5 out of a clean score of 10, indicating serious levels of corruption in a majority of the countries surveyed. Despite progress on many fronts, including the imminent entry into force of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, seventy countries - nearly half of those included in the Index - scored less than 3 on the CPI, indicating a severe corruption problem. Among the countries included in the Index, corruption is perceived as most rampant in Chad, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Myanmar and Haiti – also among the poorest countries in the world.
In 2004-2005 the international economy has been influenced by two phenomena that have been taking shape for a number of years now. The first is a new geography of international trade and financial flows, one of whose most salient features is China’s greater presence in the world economy and financial system. The second has been the United States economy’s strong reactivation in 2004, which has made the global economy’s growth pattern more dependent on this country. These two factors, which go a long way towards accounting for the robust expansion of the international economy and trade flows in 2004 and 2005, have both direct and indirect effects on the Latin American and Caribbean economies, given how important the United States and China are to the region as trading partners. The nature of these effects is largely determined by these two economies’ particular modalities of growth, as well as the structure of their trade and financial ties. The impact is also shaped, however, by the specific ways in which the region is linked to these two economies and by the profile of its trade and financial relations with the global economy.
The globalization of production is reshaping the international economic landscape. With that, the conventional wisdom of developed countries as capital and technology exporters and developing countries as importers is gradually giving way to a more complex set of relationships. The geography of international investment flows is changing. Developing countries are emerging as outward investors, and their importance as recipients of foreign direct investment in more knowledge-intensive activities is increasing. The World Investment Report 2005, focusing on the internationalization of research and development by transnational corporations, illustrates some of these changes.
The World Economic Outlook presents the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups (classified by region, stage of development, etc.), and in many individual countries. It focuses on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects. It is usually prepared twice a year, as documentation for meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, and forms the main instrument of the IMF's global surveillance activities. (IMF, September, 2005)
Doing Business in 2006 is the third in a series of annual reports investigating regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. This edition provides analysis on those regulations that help create jobs and those that deter it. New quantitative indicators on business regulations and their enforcement can be compared across 150 countries - from Albania to Zimbabwe - and over time. Doing Business in 2006 updates the indicators presented in previous reports: on starting a business, hiring and firing workers, getting licenses, getting credit, protecting investors, enforcing contracts, and closing a business. Two news sets of measures are added, on paying taxes and trading across borders. The indicators are used to analyze economic and social outcomes, such as productivity, investment, informality, corruption, unemployment and poverty, and identify what reforms have worked, where and why. (World Bank, September 2005)
From the perspective of the Millennium Development Goals, it is good news that in 2004 per capita incomes grew almost everywhere in the developing world, and that short-term prospects are favourable. The bad news is that in sub-Saharan Africa even GDP growth of close to 5 per cent is still insufficient to attain the MDGs. The global outlook for 2005 and beyond is overshadowed by increasing global trade imbalances. How can these be corrected without a worldwide recession? The solution has to build on higher domestic demand in Europe and Japan, but a coordinated international macroeconomic approach that includes the major developing countries is also needed. (UNCTAD, September 2005)
The Fallout: The hurricane's shock waves are already hurting at the gas pump. But the ultimate price tag depends on how fast America's energy hub can recover.
The human tragedy wrought by Hurricane Katrina, so visible in the anguished faces of her victims and shocking portraits of devastation dominating the national news media, is incalculable. The historic city of New Orleans, the cradle of important elements of American culture like jazz and its distinctive cuisine, has been laid waste, and given her precarious relationship with the sea, may never be the same. Rebuilding and recovery in the broader region likely will be costly, take years, and will require enormous sacrifice from its people and help from the nation.
Once the floodwaters have been pumped out of New Orleans —which may take weeks—insurers expect a deluge of claims. Estimates of the losses range from $9 billion to $25 billion. The high end of this range would make Katrina the most expensive natural disaster in America’s history for underwriters, topping the $21 billion paid out after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Some 621 million people in Asia and the Pacific, or 19.3% of developing Asia's population, lived on less than $1 a day in 2003, according to new estimates from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Progress in Asia-Pacific countries will, therefore, be key to achieving Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)
The economy of Latin America and the Caribbean grew around 6% in 2004; it will increase to over 4% in 2005 and is estimated to grow to a rate near 4% in 2006. Based on these forecasts, a four-year period of economic growth with an important recovery of GDP per capita would be completed. As occurred in 2004, ECLAC expects growth in 2005 to be widespread, including all countries in the region
Economic policy in the euro area pursues the objectives of achieving solid economic growth, a better performance of labour markets and restoring sound public finances in the context of a single monetary policy which aims at maintaining price stability. Although inflation has remained just above the ECB’s definition of price stability, longer-term inflation expectations remain firmly anchored to price stability. However, progress towards the other goals has been disappointing thus far partly owing to adverse shocks such as higher oil prices or exchange rate shifts. On unchanged policies and with population ageing the euro area’s potential output growth is set to decelerate over the next decades and eventually stabilises at around one per cent per annum by about 2020
OECD Employment Outlook 2005, presents OECD's latest review of labour market trends and issues. In addition to its regular overview of labour markets in OECD countries and its comprehensive statistical annex, this edition also includes articles covering trade adjustment costs in OECD labour markets, regional disparities in labour markets, the role of in-work benefits in increasing employment of the unemployed and inactive, and evaluating the impact of labour market programmes and public employment services.
The EU and China have agreed a deal that will manage the growth of Chinese textile imports to the EU until 2008. The agreement on 10 product categories of concern limits the rate of imports while allowing fair and reasonable growth for Chinese exports. By finding a wide and balanced agreement, the EU and China ensure a period of adjustment textile industries in the EU and developing countries, provide greater predictability for importers and retailers, and preserve the prize of market liberalisation for China.
Speech by Mr Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, at the “Forum économique international des Amériques” Conférence de Montréal, Montreal.
The EU budget invariably leads to heated debate and tough negotiations, yet the amounts concerned represent only a very small proportion of aggregate public spending in the EU (some 2.5 per cent) and barely 1per cent of gross national income (GNI). The current aim is to try to reach an agreement in the last month of the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU, June 2005, on a new Financial Perspective (FP), the medium-term budgetary framework, for the period 2007-13. Although the Commission proposals are presented with new headings and an apparent emphasis on growth, the detail reveals that EU spending will continue to be dominated by the CAP and cohesion policies, which would still account for some three-fifths by the end of the FP. (London School of Economics)
Regional Trade Agreements (RTA) are a major and perhaps irreversible feature of today’s multilateral trading system. The number of preferential agreements as well as the world share of preferential trade has been steadily increasing over the last ten years. Sluggish progress in multilateral trade negotiations under the Doha Development Round appears to have accelerated further the rush to forge RTAs. Between January 2004 and Februrary 2005 alone, 43 RTAs have been notified to the WTO, making this the most prolific RTA period in recorded history.
The annual Asian Development Outlook provides a comprehensive economic analysis of 42 economies in developing Asia and the Pacific. On the basis of the Asian Development Bank’s unique knowledge of the region, this 17th edition overviews aggregate trends and medium-term prospects by subregion—East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, and the Pacific—in the context of global economic movements. The region’s developing economies achieved their strongest performance in 2004 since the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98. Aggregate gross domestic product for the region expanded by a remarkable 7.3%. Growth was underpinned by a combination of sustained external demand and generally buoyant domestic demand. Spurred by a robust expansion in major industrial countries, continued strong growth in the People’s Republic of China and deepening regional integration, exports from regional countries surged.
Spain is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, but has very limited domestic energy resources. As a result, Spain's energy imports should increase significantly in coming years. (Paper published by the Energy Information Administration of the US Government)
The Spanish economy has enjoyed many years of brisk growth and has recovered swiftly from the recent international slowdown. Activity has been boosted by low interest rates and strong job creation, and underpinned by structural reforms and a sound fiscal policy. As a result, the income gap with the euro area steadily narrowed. However, tensions have arisen that could undermine the strong growth performance as inflation is relatively high, eroding competitiveness, while the surge in house prices does not yet show signs of abating. Also productivity gains have remained meagre and unemployment is still high. (OECD Economic Surveys)
The Global Information Technology Report 2004-2005 is the fourth in a series assessing the state of the networked readiness of 104 economies. It is an update of the previous Reports, capturing new insights and best practices and gleaning policy lessons from various country experiences. The Report remains the most comprehensive and authoritative international assessment of the preparedness of countries to capture the benefits of participating in the Networked World. The Report uses the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), covering a total of 104 economies in 2004-2005, to measure "the degree of preparation of a nation or community to participate in and benefit from ICT developments".
The overall performance of the Spanish economy has been distinctly positive: output growth and employment creation have been brisk, enterprises and banks have strengthened their balance sheets, and the fiscal accounts are in good health. A key feature of this performance is the shared recognition—across party lines and through society—of the benefits of fiscal stability, wage moderation, and growth-enhancing structural reforms, and the pursuit of policies consistent with these goals. The new government thus faces a propitious environment to pursue its announced priorities: fiscal stability, transparency, and productivity enhancement. We support these priorities and look forward to their expression in concrete measures to deal with both immediate and longer-term challenges (IMF Country Report, February 2005)
The 1980s were described as a lost decade for Latin America and led to a spate of reform programs being introduced across the region at the start of the 1990s. In spite of this, the 1990s, too, were a decade of disappointment. Most countries grew at rates well below their potential, making poverty reduction as elusive as ever. There were capital account and currency crises in several countries. This study is an attempt to analyze what went wrong and why, and to draw lessons for the future. Why have growth rates been so low? Why did so many countries in the region fail to maintain the confidence of the international financial markets? And what are the economic policy implications of the failures of the 1990s?
The World Economic Forum has published a list of the Global Risks at a Glance: Economical, Geopolitical, Societal and Environmental Risks
One of the universal weakness in the world economy continues to be the slow growth of employment and the persistence of high rates of unemployment and underemployment in most developing countries. Unless improved economic growth is reflected in increased employment, it will prove difficult to reduce poverty (Report published by United Nations)
The essential purpose of this Report is to examine the functioning of the WTO and to consider how well equipped it is to carry the weight of future responsibilities and demands. Certainly, the conclusion of the current trade round will have implications for the future functioning of the organization but the reflection that this Report, elaborated by the Consultative Board to the Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, is intended to launch should go beyond the Doha Development Agenda
In the morning of December 26, 2004, an earthquake that measured 9.0 on the Richter scale hit the province of Aceh in the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The seismic movement induced a tsunami or giant wave that shortly afterwards affected not only the Aceh area, but also some coastal areas in Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand. Hours later the giant wave reached Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka. Again hours later, it reached the shores of Seychelles, and even those of Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania in Africa. However, it appears that despite the imprecedented scale of loss of human life, homlessness, and displaced populations, the macroeconomic impact of the disaster will be limited and marginal. The damage is largely confined to rural areas rather than key economic and densely populated urban centers and industrial hubs.
With the publication of this edition, The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom marks its 11th anniversary. The idea of producing a userfriendly “index of economic freedom” as a tool for policymakers and investors was first discussed at The Heritage Foundation in the late 1980s. The goal then, as it is today, was to develop a systematic, empirical measurement of economic freedom in countries throughout the world. To this end, the decision was made to establish a set of objective economic criteria that, since the inaugural 1995 edition, have been used to study and grade various countries for the annual publication of the Index of Economic Freedom
This annual study is a valuable tool for shaping economic policy and guiding investment decisions. It is one of the leading monitors of the competitive condition of economies worldwide.The report is unique in that the methodology combines publicly available data with survey data that captures the perceptions and observations of business leaders in a given country
This year 2004 has witnessed several adverse developments, including notably the oil price hike and the ongoing and geopolitical tensions in North-East and West Asia. Nevertheless, aided by an environment of exceptionally low interest rates and the dynamics of lower costs for finance, among other positive countervailing forces, global and regional economic activities have shown remarkable durability in 2004. Barring new negative shocks, growth in production and income in the ESCAP developing region in 2004 could be one half of a percentage point higher than the rate in 2003 as a whole
This first EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard was produced as part of the research investment Action Plan (“Investing in research: an action plan for Europe”), which aims to raise the level of R&D investment in the EU to 3% of gross domestic product (GDP), as fixed by the Barcelona European Council in 2002. The Scoreboard lists the research investments of the top 500 EU and top 500 non-EU corporate R&D investors
Today there are 550 million people who work, but still live on less than US$ 1 a day. These "working poor" represent 20 per cent of total world employment. In spite of the record levels of global unemployment, the reality for most of the world’s poor is that they must work – often for long hours, in poor working conditions and without basic rights and representation – at work that is not productive enough to enable them to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. While it is clearly the case that employment is central to poverty reduction, it is "decent and productive" employment that matters, not employment alone.
During the past year, there has been considerable debate about, and much international criticism of, China’s exchange rate and its currency regime. This paper’s theme is that criticism of China’s exchange rate policy is not simply a reflection of scapegoating, policy failures, and a lack of strategic planning outside China. China’s exchange rate policy itself is seriously flawed given its current macroeconomic circumstances and its longer-term policy objectives
2004 has turned out to be a remarkable year for East Asia on several dimensions. Economic growth is expected to top 7 percent for the region overall, while among its developing economies it should reach near 8 percent, the strongest since the regional financial crisis, and more than one percentage point higher that expected at this time one year ago. Yet, amid these triumphs, recent data also suggest that the cyclical recovery in East Asia has peaked and that activity is shifting or has already shifted into lower gear
The representatives of the member countries of the Paris Club met from November 17 to November 21 and agreed on November 21, 2004 with the representatives of the Republic of Iraq on a comprehensive debt treatment of the public external debt owned to them providing a total amount of debt reduction of 80% in three phases
"We gathered in Santiago for the 12th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, under APEC's 2004 theme, "One Community, Our Future". We reaffirmed our commitment to achieve sustainable and equitable growth and reduce economic disparities for the well-being of our people by meeting the Bogor Goals of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, enhancing human security, and promoting good governance and a knowledge-based society". 2004´s Leaders Declaration, 12th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting
While the multilateral WTO talks remain mired in contentious debate, new bilateral and regional preferential trading arrangements are mushrooming all over the globe. The surge in regional trading arrangements prompts many questions that this Global Economic Prospects 2005 takes up: what type of regional and bilateral arrangements are most beneficial -and which types stifle development?; are these agreements inspire deeper integration that multilateral trade agreements cannot?; do they contribute to -or detract from- incentives for countries to engage in the multilateral Doha trade talks?
Europe has built a distinctive economic and social model that has combined productivity, social cohesion and a growing commitment to environmental sustainability. The Lisbon Strategy, refocused on growth and employment in the way this report suggests, offers Europe a new frontier for that economic and social model
"Corruption in large-scale public projects is a daunting obstacle to sustainable development, and results in a major loss of public funds needed for education, healthcare and poverty alleviation, both in developed and developing countries", said Transparency International (TI) Chairman Peter Eigen. If we hope to reach the Millenium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015, governments need to seriously tackle corruption in public contracting. TI estimates that the amount lost due to bribery in government procurement is at least US$ 400 billion per year worldwide
Based on a sample of reserve holdings among developing countries, this paper shows that the drop in the dollar will lead to a loss in the value of reserve holdings for the average developing country among the group examined of between 1.8 percent and 5.6 percent of GDP
A group of economists from developing and developed countries have met in Barcelona on September 24 and 25 2004 to consider the prospects for growth and development around the world. They have discussed the effects of economic reforms applied by many developing nations over the last two decades, the lessons for economic policymaking that emerge from this experience, and the performance of the international economic system into which poor and middle-income countries are increasingly integrated
Benefits from good trade policy may be attenuated or even undermined if governments pursue deficient policies in other areas of economic activity, according to the 2004 World Trade Report published by the WTO Secretariat. This year’s World Trade Report, the flagship publication of the WTO, is the second report in a new series “designed to deepen public understanding of trade and trade-related policy issues and to contribute to more informed consideration of the options facing governments” writes WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi
The average level of real income in the richest countries is 50 times that of the poorest. The richest tenth of South African population enjoy levels of consumption per person almost 70 times those of the poorest tenth. Citizens of the world also experience profound differences in influence, access to legal systems, power and social status, whether at the level of individuals, between men and women, or between groups. This WDR will explore the relationship between equity and development strategy
This is an article written by Agustín G. Cartens, Daniel C. Hardy and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Julio María Sanguinetti, they argue, former Uruguayan president (1985-95), once commented that “the banking system will never take you to paradise, but it can bury you in hell in an afternoon”. His words continue to echo in Latin America, which has been struggling to find ways to make financial systems more resilient and to avoid or minimize the cost of crises that do occur
Owing to the EU-Turkish customs union, there is already a considerable degree of convergence between Turkey and the EU in the area of trade. In fact, Turkey is the only candidate country that has a customs union with the EU. At least with respect to the trade in goods, Turkey is almost part of the Single Market. The challenge of enhancing the present state of trade integration could be approached in two ways. First, the customs union could be deepened by refining the arrangements and addressing its shortcomings. Secondly, the degree of trade integration could be enhanced by incorporating areas such as services and agriculture – thus widening the customs union – which is also explored in detail. The paper concludes that the Turkish-EU customs union has been a technical success overall and functioned on a sound basis.
The CGD/Foreign Policy Commitment to Development Index ranks 21 of the worlds' richest countries based on how much their policies help or hinder development in poorer nations. The index examines seven policy categories: foreign aid, investment, openness to immigration, responsible environmental practices, contributions to internationally approved security operations, support for technology development, and openness to international trade. Spain has dropped from number 6 in 2003 to number 20 in 2004.
The World Economic Outlook presents IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups (classified by region, stage of development, etc.), and in many individual countries. It focuses on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects
Report issued by Civitas (The Institute for the Study of Civil Society) on immigration's positive or negative contribution to the economy
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has published a new edition of the ADB India Economic Bulletin, which includes the most important macroeconomic and financial data for the country as of the end of 2003, as well as short-term economic forecasts. On this occasion it also has an additional chapter on 'Managing Capital Flows and Foreign Exchange Reserves: Some Lessons from India's Experience ' by Professor Mihir Rakshit
January 1, 2004 was the 10th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, or TLCAN in Spanish –Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte–), by which the Governments of Canada, the US and Mexico created the world's largest free trade area. To mark the occasion, the Carnegie Endowment for Internacional Peace –a renowned US think-tank– has published a report that examines NAFTA's impact on the region over these past ten years.
The Spanish economy has weathered the difficulties posed by the world economic slowdown of the last three years remarkably well. While European economies languished, growth in Spain proved resilient and unprecedently rich in job creation, and real convergence progressed further—in marked contrast to previous slowdowns. As a global recovery emerges, Spain stands out as the major euro area country where the pickup is most evident. This overall performance is a tribute to the two pillars guiding economic policy: a stability-oriented fiscal policy, in observance of the EU's Stability and Growth Pact and of Spain's own Ley de Estabilidad Presupuestaria, and the pursuit of structural reforms. (International Monetary Fund, 17 November, 2003)
The purpose of this Needs Assessment is to inform the Donor Reconstruction Conference scheduled for October 23-24, 2003, of the current status and priority reconstruction and rehabilitation needs in each sector, focusing on the most urgent requirements for 2004 and indicative reconstruction needs for the period 2005-2007. IN addition, this report strives to put the sector assessments in their proper context, highlighting the need for a sustainable approach to reconstruction and development, and outlining a number of policy reform options. Overall investment needs along with a discussion of absorptive capacity are provided in the final chapter