Trade and Development Report 1987

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This publication identifies the key issues in the global economy and the design of development strategies addressed in the Trade and Development Report over the past three decades, tracing them through its various editions. It shows how ideas, opinions and proposals expressed in the Trade and Development Report, and the analytical approaches used, differed from those of “the mainstream” and their evolution in response to new challenges. This review revisits the concept of interdependence and explains the approach of the reports to macroeconomic and financial policies in both developed and developing countries. It also summarizes development policy failures and successes over the years.



Overview by the Secretary-General of UNCTAD

The world economy is now even more burdened by deflationary pressures than it was a year ago, when we identified them as the prime threat. Again, growth has slowed; investment remains depressed, in both developed and developing countries; commodity prices have declined; new lending to developing countries has contracted and debt servicing has become more onerous. And again, trade conflicts have sharpened, and uncertainties regarding key prices and the "rules of the game" have mounted. All this is compounding the maladjustments and distortions in the world economy and making structural adaptation more difficult for all. What is more, because of slow growth, technological progress is causing acute distress among commodity producers and the unemployed and souring international economic relations - instead of raising living standards and promoting international harmony. In many countries there is a growing feeling that the costs of integration into the world economy are outweighing the benefits. The problem, however, arises not from international economic integration per se, but from the way in which the various components of the world economy are deflating and distorting each other, because of inadequate management of interdependence.


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