This eighth edition contains:
The Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank (IEG) has released its report on the World Bank’s trade programs. The report, entitled Assessing World Bank Support for Trade, 1987-2004
is now available for download. The report finds that although the World Bank was successful in opening markets, the net result was not as directly beneficial to the recipients of trade assistance as initially envisaged. IEG recommends that the World Bank focuses on alleviating shocks and social inequalities that may result from opening markets to trade. The Management Response
to the report has also been made available.
The Trade Progress Report: The Doha Development Agenda and Aid for Trade: Hong Kong and Beyond
is now available at the Development Committee website. The report outlines a number of scenarios for the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and reviews the progress that has been made thus far. The report urges all WTO Members to increase their efforts to reach a satisfactory outcome. The report calls attention to the importance of agriculture to a successful conclusion of the negotiations, and summarises progress that has taken place in the various negotiating groups and the amount of work left to be done before modalities can be established. Appended to the report is a table summarizing the evolution of negotiating positions chronologically since the Doha Mandate categorized according to the relevant trade issues.
Global Monitoring Report 2006 was released at the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings
. The third annual Global Monitoring Report, subtitled “Strengthening Mutual Accountability, Aid, Trade, and Governance”, was published on April 20, 2006. Produced by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the report points to evidence of progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in cases where mutual accountability between donors and developing-country governments is effective. While noting that favorable growth over the last five years has contributed to remarkable progress, the report also highlights better quality aid and trade reforms, as well as governance – the way in which a country's government gains and exercises authority to manage public goods and services – as essential elements to achieve the MDGs. The report defines a framework for governance, and proposes tools for monitoring it.
To download the full text, read the press release, find out more about the elements of global monitoring, or explore regional highlights, visit the Global Monitoring Report 2006 website
The Global Development Finance report
was launched on Wednesday 31st May simultaneously in Tokyo, London and Washington. The report says that net private capital flows to developing countries reached a record high of $483 billion in 2005, driven by privatizations, mergers and acquisitions, as well as mounting investor interest in local-currency bond markets in Asia and Latin America. The surging flows, including foreign direct investment and refinanced debt, among others, coincided with a 5.9-percent economic growth in the developing world last year, about double the three-percent growth in developed countries.
The surge in capital flows also reflects rising trade flows and financial integration among developing countries. South-South trade rose to $562 billion in 2004, up from $222 billion in 1995, and in 2004 accounted for 26 percent of developing countries’ total trade. South-South FDI also rose, reaching $47 billion in 2003, up from $14 billion in 1995, and in 2003, accounted for 36 percent of developing countries total FDI.
Trade Note Series
The authors – Kym Anderson and Ernesto Valenzuela – examine the estimated gains from cotton subsidy and tariff reform compared with the prospective gain from wider adoption by developing countries of genetically modified (GM) cotton. How much greater would these gains be if the global cotton markets were not distorted by subsidies and tariffs? The authors find that the lifting of all cotton subsidies and import tariffs would raise the international price of cotton and bestow large benefits upon developing country cotton producers, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa. They find that most of the harmful effects accrue from domestic support programs in developed countries, rather than tariffs or subsidies. Importantly, their results show that adoption of GM cotton would be overwhelmingly beneficial for all countries involved in cotton trade, reaping benefits between 8 and 12 times larger than that resulting from the complete or partial removal of cotton subsidies and tariffs.
Revised Trade Note
New Policy Research Working Papers of Interest
These papers, and all older papers, are also available using the Document Search on the Bank's Development Economics Research website and on the Social Sciences Research Network.
On April 20, 2006, 13 MPs and secretariat representatives from parliamentary organizations worldwide met with the Bank’s trade team to learn more about the Bank’s trade programs, the outcomes of Hong Kong, and where negotiations stand today. The organizations are part of ongoing consultations launched during the ‘Mobilizing Parliamentarians for Development Conference’ in Vienna in June 2005.
Book launch: Safeguards and Antidumping in Latin American Liberalization: Fighting Fire with Fire
The World Bank, in cooperation with the WTO, held a seminar on the use of antidumping and safeguard mechanisms during Latin American liberalization. Hosted by Alejandro Jara (Deputy Director General, WTO) and Patrick Low (Director, Economic Research and Statistics Division), the seminar featured speakers from several Latin American countries who contributed to the above-mentioned publication (edited by J. Michael Finger – retired World Bank – and Julio J. Nogues – Universidad T. di Tella).
The book focuses on the national experiences of Latin American countries during their economic liberalization in the 1990s and the use of antidumping measures in particular to shield domestic industries from dramatic tariff reductions. In the case of Argentina, there is clearly a negative relationship between the number of AD cases and the business cycle, for example.
The essays contend that, under certain circumstances, “contingent protection” instruments can be supportive of general economic liberalization. However, most of the papers suggest that the current rules are inadequate and there is ample scope for modification. In the authors’ opinions, there is far too much room for discretion due to the lack of transparency in the process.