Global Trade Updates
Peripheral Europe’s import demand falls deeper than that of the EuroZone
A turbulent 2011 saw world trade moving in fits and starts as it rebounded from one disruption after another. By January 2012, import growth in the EU25 had fallen to negative 9 percent, a plunge almost halfway to the lowest point during the "great trade collapse" of 2008/2009. Imports in the rest of the world picked up in January 2012. The EU is a key export destination consuming over a third of world exports, so a contraction there has a significant global impact, not least on developing countries. Export growth in all developing regions shrank in the third quarter of 2011. While the year ended on an uptick for all regions, the trend is still negative in some.
Trade Growth Trends
According to WTO recent estimates (April 2012), world trade expanded in 2011 by 5.0%, a sharp deceleration from the 2010 rebound of 13.8%, and growth will slow further still to 3.7% in 2012. The WTO attributes the slowdown to the global economy losing momentum due to a number of shocks, including the European sovereign debt crisis..... Read more here.
In the Regions
VIEWS FROM THE FIELD:
In each Quarterly edition, we profile a Bank staff member who is doing interesting trade work in the field. In this issue, we highlight Richard Record, Trade Specialist (East Asia and Pacific), who tells us about the innovative trade work happening in Laos. Richard presented the topic during the PREM Days Conference in Washington, DC on May 2nd.
World Bank: What is your background?
Richard: I work as a Trade Specialist in the East Asia and Pacific PREM Sector Department, and am based in the Vientiane Office. Prior to joining the Bank I worked for four years on trade and private sector development issues in East Africa, including a spell as special economic advisor to the Malawi Minister for Industry and Trade. I also worked as an economist for two years in Vietnam.
World Bank: What project(s) are you currently working on?
Richard: My primary responsibility is management of the Bank's country engagement on trade and competitiveness in Lao PDR. The program includes the Lao Trade Development Facility Multi Donor Trust Fund, an IDA Customs and Trade Facilitation Project, a National Single Window Program financed via the Trade Facilitation Facility, as well as grants from the JSDF and Gender Action Plan. I also lead a trade-related analytical program in support of Lao PDR's efforts to join the WTO and integrate more effectively into the regional economy, including work on export survival, trade facilitation and logistics, labour markets, gender and trade. The current phase of our program ends in 2013, so we are now starting preparation of a second phase based on priorities outlined in Lao PDR's 2012 update to the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS).
Read Richard's full interview here.
The Trade Department
The International Trade Department's recent release of the Trade Policy Monitor (TPM) showcases an under-utilized legal resource available to developing countries: the Advisory Centre on WTO Law. The ACWL helps developing countries fight back against the imposition of anti-dumping and other contingent protectionist policies by other governments. It is an invaluable advocate for developing country exporters, including firms with relatively small foreign sales. The TPM reports that "the ACWL has fought for exporters in a developing country client in more than 30 different formal WTO disputes and been involved in 20 percent of all WTO disputes [since 2001]." However, the ACWL is not permitted to proactively seek clients and thus should be aggressively pursued by individual governments.
The trade outcome analysis led by José Guilherme Reis as a contribution to a Russia Export Diversification study pointed out low and declining levels of product diversification, as well as a low survival rate of export relationships linked to weaknesses in the country's business environment and to the fact that Russian firms face inadequate competition. The report was discussed in a round-table with government officials and local economics professors and was widely covered in the Russian media. The panel discussed approaches to accelerate innovation through quick learning that would allow innovative ideas and ventures to succeed when they are good and to die quickly and cheaply when they are not, as well as reforms that the government may want to consider to address the above challenges.
The International Trade Department will publish the third edition of the Logistics Performance Index and its indicators (LPI) 2012 on May 16, a tool designed to measure logistics efficiency in 155 countries across the world. The multi-dimensional indicator, which rates countries on a scale of 1 to 5, has shown in the past that low-income countries are improving faster than wealthy countries. In domestic policy debates, it has served as a catalyst for reform in several countries. Indonesia, for example, uses components of the LPI to measure the performance of its trade ministry.
Streamlining Non-Tariff Measures: A Toolkit for Policy Makers Online | PDF | Purchase
Trade Competitiveness Diagnostic Toolkit
Online | PDF | Purchase
Risk-Based Compliance Management: Making it Work in Border Management Agencies PDF
Gender Dimensions of Trade Facilitation and Logistics: A Guidance Note PDF
Trade Policy Monitor PDF
Connecting to Compete: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy Release Date: May 16, 2012
Please visit our website www.worldbank.org/trade for a full list of publications and publication updates.
The Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network plays a key ‘integrator’ role in the Bank by taking the lead on many high-profile issues in development, from economic policy and public sector governance to gender and trade. The International Trade Department is fully engaged throughout PREM Learning Week, which spans from April 26 to May 11, 2012 and PREM Days, held May 2-3, 2012:
Thurs, 26 April
World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS)
Mon, 30 April
Trade Component during EP Sector Onboarding
Trade Competitiveness Diagnostics
Slides: Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3
Quantitative Methods in Trade and Development
Slides: Modules 1 & 3 | Module 2
Wed, 2 May
Trade Spotlight: Laos (as part of PREM Days Innovative Showcase)
Slides: Session 1 | Session 2
Tues, 8 May
Trade Analysis Tools (as part of EP Sector Bootcamp)
Slides: Trade Analysis Tools
Wed, 9 May
Global Logistics: Performance Assessments and Surveys
Slides and Videos
Blogs & Other News
Exporting is easy: the challenge is making it sustainable
In the "Growth and Crisis" blog, the International Trade Department's José Guilherme Reis, Lead Economist, and Thomas Farole, Senior Trade Specialist, write about the ease with which small economies can take advantage of global value chains and attract investments that shift the level and composition of their exports away from traditional industries. But this trend also comes with increasing risks and challenges, including the danger of the host country becoming "no more than a source of cheap labor." ..... Read more here.
International Trade Can Help Africa Grow
In the "Africa Can..." blog, Daniel Lederman, Lead Trade Economist, International Trad Department, details the findings from his latest paper on the relationship between trade and economic growth in Africa. Both the blog and the paper explain the quantitative techniques used to conclude that African trade's positive correlation with growth as seen in the data is more than just correlation. Rather, the increases in the trade-to-GDP ratio have a causal and statistically significant impact on growth.....Read more here.
Why Dwell Time Matters
In the "Growth and Crisis" blog, Henry Sandee, Senior Trade Specialist, East Asia and Pacific, explains how high dwell time at international ports hurts economies by adding uncertainty to the exporting process--making it harder for local industry to sell goods abroad--and by adding costs to domestic businesses and consumer prices. He examines Indonesia's struggles with the topic and explores the World Bank's role in assisting countries with their dwell time-reducing efforts.....Read more here.
The World Bank is working to put more trade data online
The World Bank has been collaborating with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to give developing countries free access to information about trade flows and competition in export industries. The project makes a series of databases available for free online, and places an emphasis on facilitating access for users in developing countries – for example, providing a version that works well even with slow internet access. The databases, called Market Access Tools, include trade and investment information for more than 200 countries. They help academics in trade and industry better understand the international market, and help governments and businesses design strategies for exporting goods...Read more here.
Trade and industrialization after globalization's 2nd unbundling: how building and joining a supply chain are different and why it matters On April 12th, Professor Richard Baldwin of Geneva's Graduate Institute delivered a seminar at the World Bank chaired by International Trade Department Director Bernard Hoekman:
NBER Working Paper 17716
Power Point Presentation
Thinking Equal in Trade Facilitation: Mainstreaming Gender in Trade Facilitation and Logistics On January 10th, Kate Higgins of Canada's North-South Institute discussed the issue of gender equality in trade facilitation and logistics projects. The event was a precursor to the publication of her Guidance Note on the topic earlier this month. Web Link | Power Point Presentation