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Trade

A new measure of economic development?

Tokyo had Godzilla; New York had King Kong. But will Beijing ever be taken seriously as a great world city before it is destroyed by a giant monster?

Imagethief's post is a lot of fun, and we discover that, among others:

Somalia’s resolve

To move cash the few score miles between Mogadishu, Somalia's lawless official capital, and Jowhar, the seat of its transitional government, a local money-vendor has to pay $6,000. For that he gets an armoured lorry, 30 gunmen and three “technicals” — jeeps with heavy machineguns. What he doesn't get is insurance or any recourse to a state authority if his gunmen are killed, for state authority does not exist. But the money vendor still moves the cash, if the amount is big enough, and still makes a profit.

Yes, we have bananas. We just can't ship them.

From Friday's New York Times, a piece I wrote in a personal capacity:

At this week's ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Hong Kong, negotiators have once again hit an impasse over how and when to open the rich world's agricultural markets to farmers in the poorest countries. What few people have realized, however, is that poor countries don't have to wait for the World Trade Organization. There is plenty that they can and should do to help their own farmers to trade.

‘Africa needs freer markets’

The only way to give food security to 200 million sub-Saharan Africans is to give them the tools, not to rely on yet more aid and government mismanagement. World food production has increased with population by 90% in the last 50 years; the real price of food has declined by 75%. Yet Africa has none of the factors that made this possible: greater agricultural productivity, internal economic freedom and international trade.

Good intentions are not good enough

The World Bank has recently released ‘Reaching The Poor: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why.’ The disturbing finding is that most health programs designed to reach the poorest instead help the better-off. Neither public nor private pro-poor initiatives shine. But should policies target certain groups? And if so, what is the best way to do this?


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