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Trade and Development Report 2005

New Features of Global Interdependence

image of Trade and Development Report 2005

The world economy is still expanding, but there are serious risks of a setback. Several populous Asian countries, in particular China and India, have emerged as new engines of economic growth. Thanks to their vigorous expansion and their appetite for natural resources, many of their developing-country trade partners have reaped windfall profits from rising commodity prices and from surging demand for intermediate products. Some dark clouds are looming over this rather rosy horizon. Oil prices are historically high and place a huge burden on many developing countries. And there has been no multilateral action that might gently defuse global current-account imbalances. The Trade and Development Report recommends that international initiatives to alleviate poverty and reach the MDGs should not ignore the importance of a smooth unwinding of global economic imbalances that will allow the Asian Miracle to continue, along with its positive repercussions for other less wealthy countries.

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Towards a new form of global interdependence

In the past, developing-country trade relied mainly on primary commodity exports to developed countries in exchange for imports of manufactures. The comparatively small proportion of developing- country manufactured exports tended to be in resource- and labour-intensive products.

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