Trade and Development Report 2002

Developing Countries in World Trade

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The Trade and Development Report 2002 (TDR 2002) analyzes trends and outlooks for the world economy and focuses on export dynamism and industrialization in developing countries. It demonstrates that, although integration into world trade is essential, it is not in itself sufficient for ensuring a country's development. The Report questions the conventional wisdom that export growth and foreign direct investment (FDI) automatically generate commensurate income gains. Why is it that developing countries are trading more, but earning relatively less? UNCTAD thinks they are competing among themselves to export similar labour-intensive manufacturing products to the same markets. It suggests that countries should move into higher-value exports by upgrading technology and improving productivity. What next for developing countries after Doha and Monterrey? And what will China's WTO accession mean for other developing countries - and for China itself? There are signs that a world economic recovery may be under way. If so, will it be sustained at a fast enough pace to benefit most developing countries? This would require a 3% growth rate in the industrial world - a rather unlikely prospect, predicts UNCTAD.



The world economy: Performance and prospects

For the first time since the oil price hike at the end of the 1970s virtually all regions of the world are experiencing a simultaneous economic slowdown, and a new sustained global upswing is not yet in sight. The sharp downturn in the United States economy over the last quarter of 2000 and into 2001, aggravated by the events of 11 September, appears to have bottomed out, but a strong rebound has not yet materialized. In the Euro area growth has stalled and unemployment is rising. Japan, after a year of negative growth, faces the possibility of prolonged recession in 2002, and it may have to rely on a depreciation of the yen to avoid an even more serious economic situation. In the developing world some indicators have recently improved, but most countries are not in a position to fight the global slowdown with domestic measures and must await recovery in the developed world.


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