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Trade and Development Report 2000

Global Economic Growth and Imbalances

image of Trade and Development Report 2000

A valuable resource for those involved in international business and economic development, the Trade and Development Report (TDR) 2000, issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), examines current performance and prospects in the world economy. Held in high regard by political decision makers and researchers the world over, the Report this year examines whether the current recovery in the global economy is built on solid foundations. It asks how the promise of an economic future underpinned by new technologies stands with the growing instability and uncertainty of market-driven globalization. The Report also looks at the elements of the East Asian recovery and considers policy options likely to bring about sustainable growth and development.

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The world economy: Performance and prospects

In contrast to the turbulence of the previous year, 1999 was characterized by a stabilization of global economic conditions and a revival of world production and trade. The widely anticipated major disruptions, and even the threat of global recession, arising from the “Y2K computer bug”, turned out to be, in effect, a non-event. Although the risk itself may have been exaggerated, the absence of serious disruptions is perhaps a reflection of the massive business spending undertaken to cope with the problem. While there are no reliable figures, the most widely quoted amounts for such expenditure on global information technology (IT) range from $300 billion to $600 billion, which is some 1–2 cent of global GDP. It appears to have provided an important boost to the world economy, giving an additional stimulus to the United States and helping recovery in East Asia.

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