Trade and Development Report 1998

Financial Instability - Growth in Africa

image of Trade and Development Report 1998

A valuable resource for those involved in international business and economic development, the Trade and Development Report 1998 (TDR), issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), examines current performance and prospects in the world economy. With the main theme of 'International Financial Instability and the World Economy', this illuminating publication offers a special focus on the East Asian crisis, addressing the global impact of the crisis, its causes and its consequences, especially on developing countries. It discusses how financial instability continues to prevail, underlining the 'systemic' nature of the repeated bouts of financial instability at roughly two-year intervals. The Report also focuses on African development. The analysis brings out the failures of the structural adjustment programs and advocates, among others drastic steps, lifting the external debt burden and giving African countries leeway in terms of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. TDR98 reveals that the prospects for the years ahead are extremely uncertain and puts forward recommendations on how future crises might be prevented.



Trade, accumulation and industry

The major challenge facing a large number of low-income, predominantly agrarian economies in Africa is how to break out of the vicious circle of low productivity and heavy dependence on a small number of primary commodities. The challenge is a long-standing one. Efforts in most countries in the years following independence tended to concentrate heavily on developing import- substituting industries in order to increase productivity and diversify the production structure. Today the emphasis has shifted to improving export performance. It has been increasingly recognized that, given the limited size of domestic markets and the dependence on the import of intermediate and capital goods, expanding export capacity and increasing international competitiveness are vital for rapid growth and development.


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