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World Economic and Social Survey 2001

Trends and Policies in the World Economy

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Part one. State of the World Economy: chronicles how the very positive developments in output and international trade, with reasonably buoyant levels of international finance for emerging markets for the first half of 2000, turned into retrenchment. The ongoing downturn in the business cycle in developed countries has been unusual in a number of respects when contrasted with previous downturns in the post-war period. Part two. A Globalizing World: Risks, Vulnerability and Opportunity: looks at some examples of vulnerability in the context of globalization, with the discussions focusing on how the liberalization of financial markets can bring benefits to individual countries; how trade shocks can be absorbed and whether the risk of such shocks reduces the potential gains from trade; how three small landlocked transition economies survived the shocks arising from the collapse of the centrally planned system; and how a country can cope with a recurrent and, to some extent predictable, natural disaster, and flooding. The insights from these chapters should help the international community as it confronts the issues of vulnerability and globalization.

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The current situation in the world’s economies

The international economic environment, which has a critical bearing on the prospects of the majority of the world’s economies, was shaped in 2000 and the first half of 2001 mainly by changes in real demand in the world’s largest economies, rather than, as in 1997-1998, by the financial misfortunes of a small number of developing and transition economies.

English

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