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Options for Developing Countries in an Evolving Trade Landscape

Nihal Pitigala's picture
A new trade policy landscape is emerging with slower trade growth and greater uncertainty. Both developed and developing countries alike are reevaluating their own trade strategies and alliances.  The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and some of the key plurilateral agreements that cover trade in telecommunications, information technology, and government procurement, among others, reflect ongoing commitments to a multilateral system.

Steps to Better Data on E-Trade for Developing Countries

Michael Ferrantino's picture
UNCTAD’s E-Commerce Week took place recently in Geneva, Switzerland. This third E-Commerce Week was the largest ever, with over 900 registered participants, plus walk-ins from the Geneva community. This is nearly triple last year’s attendance. The large turnout reflected the heightened interest of developing countries in e-commerce as a tool for promoting economic growth and opportunity. Highlights of the week included the launch of the online platforms for the multi-stakeholder E-Trade For All initiative  and its private-sector partner Business For E-Trade Development, and a special panel on digital transformation for small businesses and entrepreneurs, featuring Alibaba’s Jack Ma.

Helping Firms Diversify, One Incentive at a Time: the Experience of Nepal

Gonzalo Varela's picture
Policymakers care about export diversification. High product and market concentration increases a country’s vulnerability to external shocks. Sudden closure of export markets triggered by regulatory changes or dramatic changes in international prices, for example, could even threaten macroeconomic stability when export baskets are concentrated.

The ECA Region is Falling Behind in Digital Trade in Services

Shawn W. Tan's picture

International trade is a major driver of economic growth and digital technology can accelerate this process. The Internet greatly expands firms’ potential to produce new goods and services and serve new markets. In particular, the Internet is having a dramatic impact on services, especially in retail, financial and professional services sectors. Firms in these sectors can create new digital products such as music, videos and books, and digitize their services as well as deliver them over long distances. This ability has led to a remarkable global expansion of digital trade in business, professional and technical services.

Measuring the environment for e-commerce: A new tool

Michael Ferrantino's picture
In order to promote e-commerce for development, policymakers and analysts increasingly want to know what the conditions are in their countries to support online business activity, and how their countries stack up against others. To this end, the multi-stakeholder eTrade for All initiative, an initiative launched in 2016 at the UNCTAD Ministerial Conference in Nairobi to improve the ability of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to engage in and benefit from e-commerce, has developed a new tool for assessing the e-trade environment at the country level. This tool was developed jointly by UNCTAD and the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice and utilizes data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), UNCTAD, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Universal Postal Union (UPU), World Economic Forum, and the World Bank Group.
 

3 challenges Latin American economies must overcome to boost intraregional trade

Anabel Gonzalez's picture
In the latter part of the 20th century, trade integration helped drive economic growth in advanced and developing countries, lifting millions out of poverty.
 
Since the early 2000s, however, a slowdown in the pace of trade reform, a post-crisis uptick in protectionism, and risk of further reversals are taking a toll on trade, productivity and income growth. In this context, regional integration is increasingly seen as a powerful driver of growth and new opportunities.
 
Regional integration: a worldwide trend
 

The Future is Here: Technology trends currently shaping the world of Logistics

Karuna Ramakrishnan's picture
Also available in: Spanish

Emerging technologies are transforming global logistics. The evidence is everywhere: Logistics companies are exploring autonomous fleets and “lights-out” warehousing, and are looking to Big Data for transport management and predictive analytics. Crowdsourcing start-ups are using a high-tech/asset-light business model. And e-brokerage platforms are providing real-time information from pickup to delivery.
 

Now that the Trade Facilitation Agreement has entered into force...

Anabel Gonzalez's picture

The entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement on February 22 is a remarkable achievement. The TFA spearheads a global effort to reduce trade costs, helping countries to connect to the global economy. This is particularly relevant for low-income countries who need trade to reduce poverty and nevertheless face costs that are on average three times higher than those of advanced economies.

Searching for New, Better Data to Measure GVCs

Klaus Tilmes's picture
Statistical and international development agencies are working together to try to improve and develop novel ways of measuring countries’ participation in global value chains (GVCs) in the hopes that better data equals better development outcomes.

More and better data capturing the dynamics of GVCs are needed to help governments put in place appropriate policies that support GVC integration and boost employment and productivity in agriculture, manufacturing, and services, while also improving worker well-being, social cohesion, and environmental sustainability.

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