World Economic and Social Survey 2010

Retooling Global Development

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The Survey points out promising directions for reform, including strengthening government capacities for formulating and implementing national development strategies; doing more to ensure that official development assistance is aligned with national priorities; strengthening the international trade and financial systems so that countries with limited capabilities can successfully integrate into the global economy; creating new mechanisms for dealing with deficiencies, such as specialized multilateral frameworks through which to govern international migration and labour mobility, international financial regulation, multinational corporations and global value chains regulation, as well as sovereign debt workouts. Most importantly, the Survey highlights the need for a strong mechanism for global economic coordination which establishes coherence across all areas of global economic governance.



Retooling global trade

Export-led growth emerged as a pillar of development strategies in the last three decades. The progressive reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade between countries has been instrumental in generating a fivefold expansion of the volume of world exports since 1980. Paradoxically, economic growth in most developing countries has not matched the rates of economic progress achieved in the first decades after the Second World War when many followed import-substitution strategies. Exceptions to this pattern—notably China and the newly industrializing countries in East Asia—have systematically followed a pragmatic approach that combines a gradual exposure to external markets with an effective collaboration between the private and the public sector towards building dynamic long-term competitiveness. Their experiences suggest that neither protectionism nor abrupt liberalization is the best strategy for achieving high and sustained rates of economic growth.


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