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Trade and Development Report 1992

image of Trade and Development Report 1992

The world economy has been suffering its most severe recession since the Second World War. Production has fallen in the United States and flattened in Japan. Western Europe is stagnating: the boost provided by German unification has petered out, while high interest rates remain. Growth has picked up in Latin America, but remains slow there and in other developing regions, other than parts of Asia. Central and Eastern Europe are suffering a precipitous fall in living standards; the transition process is proving much more painful than anticipated. Overall, signs of improvement are scant.

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Reforming public enterprises

It is generally agreed that in most developing countries public enterprises (PEs) have performed poorly, and need to be radically overhauled in order to accelerate economic growth. However, there is less agreement on the nature of the reforms needed. On one view, they should be directed at reducing the role of the State in the economy and freeing the private sector to operate on the basis of incentives and market mechanisms generally. This view puts special emphasis on privatization.

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