Date: June 17, 2008
Time: 12:00 - 1:30 pm
Venue: World Bank J Building, Auditorium J1-050, 701 18th St. NW
Description: A new database and ranking tool by the World Bank shows that in 2007 most countries have continued to improve policies and institutions supporting trade integration in the global economy. Countries that have the best policies and institutions also tend to have stronger and more consistent trade and export performance.
The World Trade Indicators (WTI) 2008 database and ranking tool allows benchmarking and comparisons of countries and customs territories across trade-related indicators and will help policymakers and researchers analyze the key at-the-border and behind-the-border factors affecting the trade peformance of countries and regions. Drawing from international databases and including some new measures of trade policy and performance, the user-friendly WTI database makes it possible—for the first time—to rank countries and compare their performance on all policy and institutional dimensions, namely trade policy, the external environment, institutions and business climate, and trade facilitation, that economists believe affect trade and export performance.
Trade briefs and Trade-at-a-Glance (TAAG) tables capture the main findings at the country level from the database and the analytical work of relevant international orgzanizations. The WTI 2008 publication summarizes patterns and trends in trade policies and institutions as well as trade outcomes revealed by the database across countries, regions and income groups. An extract from its Executive Summary is attached below.
The WTI website - www.worldbank.org/wti2008
Rakesh Nangia, Acting Vice President, World Bank Institute
Mr. Nangia is the World Bank Institute’s (WBI) Acting Vice President and Director of Operations. The latter position he assumed in September 2006 and he was appointed Acting Vice President of WBI in March 2007. In his more than 20 years in the World Bank, Mr. Nangia’s career has spanned a wide range of countries and positions, including development work in Africa, East Asia, Eastern Europe and South Asia, as well as in the Bank's Corporate Secretariat and Central Accounting group. Prior to his current position, Mr. Nangia served as Manager, Portfolio and Country Operations, in Vietnam.
Ngozi N. Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director, World Bank
From June to August 2006, she was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria. From July 2003 to June 2006 she served as Minister of Finance and Economy of Nigeria and Head of Nigeria's much acclaimed Presidential Economic team. Previously, she pursued a 21-year career as a development economist at the World Bank, where she held the post of Vice President and Corporate Secretary. This included two tours of duty working in the East Asia Region, the last tour as Country Director Malaysia, Mongolia, Laos and Cambodia during the East Asian financial crisis; two duty tours in the Middle East Region, the last as Director, Operations (deputy vice-president) of the region. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala also served as Director of Institutional Change and Strategy. From 1989 to 1991 she was Special assistant to the Senior Vice President, Operations. She has received numerous awards, and is a member or chair of numerous boards and advisory groups. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was the founder of the first ever indigenous opinion research organization in Nigeria (NOI Polls) in partnership with the Gallup organization, which strives to strengthen democracy and accountability in Nigeria. She was co-founder of the Makeda Fund, a US$50 million private equity fund designed to invest in women-owned and women-influenced small and medium enterprises in Africa.
Roumeen Islam, Manager, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, World Bank Institute
Prior to joining WBI, Ms. Islam was Staff Director of the World Bank's World Development Report 2002: Building Institutions for Markets. She was advisor to the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President in the Bank's Development Economics group. Ms. Islam has also worked in World Bank Operations in several regions. Her professional expertise includes public expenditure rationalization, fiscal stability, growth strategies, trade and exchange rate issues, sovereign debt rationalization, financial sector reform, and private sector development.
Gianni Zanini, Lead Economist, World Bank Institute
Since late 2002, Mr. Zanini has led the WBI’s trade team, working on capacity building and external training programs in trade policy reform and in the multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade agreements and negotiations. He has more than 21 years experience at the World Bank, first as a country economist and then as an evaluator of the performance of adjustment operations and country assistance programs. Prior to working at the World Bank, he taught macroeconomics at the University of California, Davis, and worked as business staff writer for some of Italy's major news