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Mrs. Harinder K Malothra, Mr. Milan M Cuc, Mr. Ulrich Bartsch, and Mr. Menachem Katz

Abstract

The fact that oil-producing countries in Africa have not achieved better social indicators than other African countries gives rise to the question of whether this was despite or because of the inflow of billions of U.S. dollars in foreign investment in oil installations, and government oil revenue. The persistent underachievement of development goals has come to be seen as the “resource curse.” This paper has shown, however, that macroeconomic policies and governance can be designed in a way that turn oil revenue into a “blessing.”

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta and Yongzheng Yang

Abstract

In recent years, African policymakers have increasingly resorted to regional trade arrangements (RTAs) as a substitute for broad-based trade liberalization. This trend has long-term implications for the effectiveness of trade policy as a tool for poverty reduction and growth. This paper examines the record of RTAs in promoting trade and investment. It also explores policy measures that may help improve RTAs' performance.

Mrs. Harinder K Malothra, Mr. Milan M Cuc, Mr. Ulrich Bartsch, and Mr. Menachem Katz

Abstract

How can a country turn oil revenues into a blessing rather than a curse? With growing international interest in new offshore oil deposits in sub-Saharan Africa, there is also greater scrutiny of the reasons why many oil-producing countries in the region have experienced disappointing economic performance over the past 20 to 30 years. This paper discusses the latest thinking on best-practice institutions and policies, compares this thinking with current practice in African oil-exporting countries, and presents a plan for the future, taking into account African policymakers’concerns.

Mr. James Y. Yao, Mr. Gamal Z El-Masry, Padamja Khandelwal, and Mr. Emilio Sacerdoti

Abstract

Despite strong economic growth, averaging just below 6 percent per year over the last two decades, a “U”-curve phenomenon of Mauritian unemployment can be observed (Figure 5.1). The unemployment rate plunged from about 21 percent to less than 4 percent from the early 1980s to the early 1990s. Notwithstanding sustained economic growth averaging 5½ percent per year between 1991 and 2002, the declining trend in unemployment was reversed, and the rate steadily increased, reaching approximately 10 percent by end-2002. According to the 2000 census, a majority of the unemployed were young, had never held a job, had failed primary or secondary school education, had no technical or vocational training, and were single and family supported. Despite the rising unemployment rate, two paradoxical facts about the 1990s can be noted: (1) the EPZ was crippled by skilled labor shortages and was compelled to import foreign workers, mainly from China; and (2) the number of unfilled skilled-job vacancies, especially in the financial services sector, increased over the decade.21 There is little consensus in Mauritius as to the exact nature and causes of the unemployment problem.22

Mr. James Y. Yao, Mr. Gamal Z El-Masry, Padamja Khandelwal, and Mr. Emilio Sacerdoti

Abstract

Mauritius is a small island economy in a remote section of the Indian Ocean. The island was visited by Malays, Arabs, and Portuguese in the sixteenth century. The first colonial settlement in Mauritius, however, was made by the Dutch, who proclaimed it a Dutch colony in 1638 but then left in 1710. The French ruled the island until 1810, when they lost it to the British during the Anglo-French war. After the abolition of slavery in 1833, indentured laborers were brought from India to work in the sugarcane fields. As a result, Hindu Indians now form the majority of the population, followed by Creoles (of mixed, predominantly African, origin), Muslim Indians, Chinese, and Europeans. Mauritius has been independent since 1968 and became a republic in 1992.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta and Yongzheng Yang

Abstract

RTAs have been proliferating exponentially throughout the world. Nearly all countries now participate in at least one RTA, and approximately 300 RTAs, both bilateral and plurilateral, are now in force.3 A sequence of events—the failure to launch a round of multilateral trade talks in Seattle in 1999, their short-lived recovery after the Doha ministerial meeting in 2001, and an impulsive breakdown in Cancún in 2003—has sparked a renewed enthusiasm for preferential arrangements.

Mr. Christian H. Beddies, Mr. Enrique A Gelbard, Mr. James McHugh, Ms. Laure Redifer, and Mr. Garbis Iradian

Abstract

Armenia’s high growth rates over the past three years have been fueled by fast-growing exports, donor inflows, remittances, and FDI. Strong export-led growth is rather surprising in a country that lacks natural resources, has been subject to a trade blockade from two important neighbors, and has poor transportation routes. This chapter analyzes changes in Armenia’s trade patterns in recent years, the role of government policies, the success of the diamond industry, and the costs and consequences of the trade blockade.

François Corfmat and Adrien Goorman

Abstract

Goods being carried under transit are generally not subject to the payment of duties and taxes, provided the conditions laid down by the customs administration are complied with.109 Customs transit systems are designed to facilitate the movement of goods crossing the territory of one or more states without jeopardizing revenue through diversion of such goods to the domestic market. To do this, while avoiding excessively burdensome and costly formalities, a balance has to be struck between the requirements of the customs authorities and those of the transport operators. This chapter considers how this might best be done.110