Welcome to The Trade Post, the World Bank’s new blog on international trade. Here, our trade experts will share their research, observations and questions. We will post when a new, interesting trade study is published or when a solution to one country’s trade policy issue might be applicable to others. We will discuss data, trends and complex ideas. But, above all, our goal is to make our work accessible and understandable, and we hope to engage a wide audience.
Some of our past blogging – originally published elsewhere in the World Bank– can be found here in our archive. We have remarked on the ways extreme flooding in Thailand exposed the vulnerability of supply chains, pointed out political hurdles to infrastructure planning in Africa, and described Indonesia’s efforts to make its main port more efficient. We believe that, while some of the issues we address are technical, we find them fascinating and we should be able to explain them to any layperson willing to listen.
We promise to post at least once per week, so please come back and see us frequently. While we will often talk specifics, we hope you will also join in on debates about the big questions. Tomorrow, for example, Bernard Hoekman, director of the World Bank’s International Trade Department, will discuss a new trade study that is being presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It reaches some interesting conclusions about how countries could make trade more efficient.
In the coming weeks, we will launch a new database that takes an innovative approach to measuring the cost of trading between countries. We will look at the factors that make foreign direct investment (FDI) most beneficial to developing countries. And we will discuss why efficient borders may be vital in attracting global production networks, such as those that manufacture the Kindle and iPhone.
Please keep in mind that we can’t make this project work without you. The Trade Post is designed as a dialogue, not a pulpit. So send us your ideas, responses and questions. If you work in the World Bank, tell us about an interesting trade project – research or operational – or even a quirky experience that made you think about trade. If you are a government official, share with us your observations about how your country trades, or a story about collaborating with the World Bank – it can be critical, we’re open to that! And if you are simply interested in trade and development, send us a note. Our blog coordinator, Julia Oliver, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.