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Trade and Development Report 1999

Fragile Recovery and Risks - Trade, Finance and Growth

image of Trade and Development Report 1999

A valuable resource for those involved in international business and economic development, the Trade and Development Report (TDR) 1999, issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), examines current performance and prospects in the world economy. It offers further reflections on the Asian financial crisis and discusses the euro and the international financial system. The report also examines asymmetries in the international trading and financial systems, which continue to hamper growth prospects in developing countries.

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Introduction

The belief that rapid integration into the glo- bal economy would create more favourable con- ditions for growth in developing countries has permeated much thinking in development policy in the past two decades. Severe and persistent balance-of-payments crises in the 1980s revealed the full extent to which faster growth in the South had come to depend on a steady rise in export earn- ings and on assured capital inflows, and how harm- ful interruptions to these external flows could be. When they occurred, they were interpreted as proof of self-inflicted structural wounds in devel- oping countries resulting from years of inward- oriented development strategies and misguided policies. Close integration into the world economy through rapid liberalization of trade, finance and investment was thus seen as the surest foundation for success, allowing developing countries to over- come resource and foreign-exchange constraints on capital accumulation and growth.

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