World Economic and Social Survey 2000

Trends and Policies in the World Economy

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Part one. State of the World Economy: chronicles a remarkable recovery in the world economy after the crisis years 1997-1999. Although the volume of international financial flows has not returned to its pre-crisis level, international financial markets are again displaying a sense of calm. International trade has also largely recovered from the setback it suffered following the financial crises. Part two. Escaping the Poverty Trap: identifies a number of critical steps for the poorer countries to break out of their “poverty trap” and find a path to sustained and sustainable development. The objective of part two is to identify some of the actions that countries can take to start a period of rapid and sustained growth that would allow living standards to increase appreciably over a relatively short period of time.



Creating technological capabilities

Technological progress, or rather the ability to generate new technology and to put it to use, has been the major determinant of the wealth of nations. It was the capacity of the present-day developed countries to generate and use technology that powered the Industrial Revolution, thereby producing a hitherto unparalleled increase in the living standards of their populations. In the twentieth century, the “green revolution” saw the advance and application of technology to increase agricultural yields in many developing countries. This removed from many millions of people the spectre of famine.


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