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World Economic and Social Survey 1996

Current Trends and Policies in the World Economy

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Authoritative and reliable, the Survey is a detailed assessment of the state of the world’s economic and social situation. Its forecasts for the upcoming year and lucid description of national and international economic policies, emerging issues and trends make it ideal for the international businessman or economist. Issued annually, since 1948.

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The international economy

The international economy in the mid-1990s contains several encouraging features and presents at least one major difficulty. On the positive side, world trade in 1996 is in its third consecutive year of unusually strong growth. The prices of many commodities exported by developing countries have remained strong. The World Trade Organization, the new international organization established to oversee the operation of the international trading system and handle disputes and in which virtually all the world’s nations wish to participate, is now a year. old. International financial flows continue to spread rapidly around the globe and foreign direct investment (FDI) is reaching new highs. Immediately after the shock of the Mexican balance-of-payments crisis, Mexico took strong adjustment steps, which the international community supported fmancially, that facilitated Mexico’s return after only a few months to the international financial markets. In addition, the international community formulated a strategy to prevent future emergencies, while setting up special fmaricing as a fall-back. Moreover, substantial progress fmally seems to be on the near horizon as regards addressing the severe debt difficulties ofa number of lowincome countries in a more comprehensive manner.

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