The World Bank published “Unfinished Business ?, The WTO’s Doha Agenda”
The World Bank, in association with the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London, published in November a book in which the conclusions differ from the strained and frustrating 10-year-long Doha Round negotiations. Will Martin and Aaditya Mattoo, editors of the volume, insist on the substantial economic benefits and development improvements, which could emerge from a success in concluding the WTO Doha Round. The book highlights the gains of a much-needed liberalisation of world markets. By advocating for the setting of a more ambitious agenda, which would take in account the realities of the 21st century, such as climate change or food security issues, Unfinished Business ?, The WTO’s Doha Agenda offers what is severely lacking in the current process: solutions.
For more information, or to download the book, please visit the World Bank Website.
New EU study shows significant economic benefits from a Doha deal
The European Union published on the 31st of October 2011 a new study showing that reaching a Doha deal would imply a significant increase of world exports. The conclusions provided by the study further strengthens the idea that failing in concluding the current DDA negotiations would represent a dramatic missed opportunity for the international trade community. According to the study, by reaching a deal on the liberalisation of industrial goods, agriculture and services, as well as on the trade facilitation, the gains for the countries would rise up to $359 billion annually, and could even reach $505 billion if an agreement on sectoral liberalisation of industrial goods was also implemented.
The study offers a strong analytical basis to policy makers, highlighting the importance of a successful DDA at different levels. Developing, emerging and developed countries would all profit from an ambitious agreement; It shows that such a success in negotiations would represent 0.2 percent of additional global economic growth, while barely affecting EU workers’ wages. In the meantime, contrary to a common perception, the realization of Doha would lead to increased tariff revenue for some regions, and especially Sub-Saharan Africa.
More key findings of the study on UE website
EU begins modernization review of Trade Defense Instruments
On the 28th October, the European Commission announced that a review of how it effectively supports and protects European companies facing unfair competition from across the globe would be launched soon. The objective is to improve the efficiency of the so-called Trade Defence Instruments, whose last revision dates from 1995. Protection provided by such a system is defined as “vital” by Karel De Gucht, EU trade commissioner, “in the face of challenges from an increasingly globalized economic environment”.
Through a wide consultation and open evaluation process, the European Commission should be able to deliver a reform proposal in autumn 2012, based on the input from all stakeholders involved in EU trade, including producers, importers and exporters, as well as business organizations, EU capitals or the EU parliament. These results, along with the ones provided by a Trade Defence Evaluation due to be completed by independent experts in January 2012, should bring clear directions to the reshaping of EU’s Trade Defence System, and ensure that the system is still efficient in tackling unfair trade threatening EU companies.
More information on this issue on UE website
Release of World Bank and IFC Doing Business 2012 report
Doing Business 2012 is the ninth in a series of annual reports benchmarking the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. 183 economies falls under the scope of the research, which is focusing on 11 crucial areas of the life of a business, such as dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, protecting investors or paying taxes. According to the report, Singapore, Honk-Kong, New-Zealand and the United States trust the first four places on the ease of Doing business in 2012. But in term of improvements made between 2010 and 2011, Morocco is leader this year, climbing 21 places to 94th. On the other hand, sub-Saharan Africa is the region where making business is the most difficult; economies in the region are the most likely to have both weaker legal institutions and more complex regulatory process. Although, sub-Saharan countries are working on improving their business environment; between 2005 and 2011, the rate of African countries having implemented at least one reform suggested by Doing Business has grown from 33 percent to 78 percent.
More key findings of the report here
The World development report 2012 focuses on gender equality and development
During the last two decades, women have benefited from significant gains in rights, education and health, as well as in access to jobs and livelihoods. During this period, more than 136 countries have shown the political will to tackle gender equality between men and women by guaranteeing it through their constitutions. Sub-Saharan region is one of the regions suffering the most from gender inequality. By addressing directly gender inequalities in its last publication, the World Bank is clearly setting the issue among the ones leading the global agenda. “Gender equality is not a developing country problem; it’s a global issue”, said Sudhir Shetty, co-director of the report. If growth doesn’t necessarily implies gender equality, the report clearly shows that gender equality leads to it; countries that have been able to set policies that tackle gender inequalities show significant competitive advantage compared to the others.
More information on the report here
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