The year 2005 marks an important juncture for development as the international community takes stock of implementation of the Millennium Declaration—signed by 189 countries in 2000—and discusses how progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be accelerated. The MDGs set clear targets for reducing poverty and other human deprivations and for promoting sustainable development. What progress has been made toward these goals, and what should be done to accelerate it? What are the responsibilities of developing countries, developed countries, and international financial institutions? Global Monitoring Report 2005 addresses these questions. This report, the second in an annual series assessing progress on the MDGs and related development outcomes, has a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa—the region that is farthest from the development goals and faces the toughest challenges in accelerating progress. The report finds that without rapid action to accelerate progress, the MDGs will be seriously jeopardized—especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is falling short on all the goals. It calls on the international community to seize the opportunities presented by the increased global attention to development to build momentum for the MDGs. The report presents in-depth analysis of the agenda and priorities for action. It discusses improvements in policies and governance that developing countries need to make to achieve stronger economic growth and scale up human development and relevant key services. It examines actions that developed countries need to take to provide more and better development aid and to reform their trade policies to improve market access for developing country exports. And it evaluates how international financial institutions can strengthen and sharpen their support for this agenda. Global Monitoring Report 2005 is essential reading for development practitioners and those interested in international affairs.
This study asseses trade liberalization in programs supported by the IMF by reviewing multiyear arrangements in the 1990s and six detailed case studies. It also discusses the main economic factors affecting trade policy targets.
Mr. Peter P Uimonen, Mr. Arvind Subramanian, Ms. Naheed Kirmani, Ms. Nur Calika, Mr. Michael P. Leidy, and Mr. Richard T. Harmsen
This study reviews major issues and developments in trade and their implications for the work of the IMF. Volume I, The Uruguay Round and Beyond: Principal Issues, gives an overview of the issues and developments in the world trading system. Volume II, The Uruguay Round and Beyond: Background Papers, presents detailed background papers on selected trade and trade-related issues. This study updates previous studies published under the title Issues and Development in International Trade Policy.
This paper reviews major issues and developments in the trade area and outlines the challenges governments face as they seek to liberalize trade in the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations and address new trade issues. In industrial countries, the reorientation of policies was most apparent in steps taken to liberalize financial markets and foreign direct investment, privatize public enterprises, and deregulate services, particularly in the transportation and communication sectors. Among developing countries, a growing number recognized the merits of outward, market-oriented policies and took steps to liberalize their trade regimes and open their economies to international competition. By and large, the increased focus on market principles in industrial countries did not carry over to trade and industrial policies or, most notable, to the agricultural sector. Despite strong growth performance in 1983–1989, little progress was made in rolling back the protective barriers that had risen during the preceding recessionary period; protection persists in agriculture and declining sectors and has spread to newer high-tech areas.
This paper summarizes major measures taken in the international exchange and trade systems in 1988 and developments in exchange arrangements and the evolution of exchange rates. The exchange arrangements adopted by members since 1973 cover a broad spectrum of degrees of flexibility, from single-currency pegs to a freely floating system. Most countries have adopted arrangements that fall clearly into one or another of the major categories of the present classification system adopted by the IMF in 1982, and countries with dual markets usually have one market that is clearly more important than the other, which allows accurate classification by major market. Changes in IMF members' arrangements for their currencies during this decade have shown a distinct tendency to move toward more flexible arrangements and away from single-currency pegs, continuing a trend that began in the mid-1970s. A qualitative sense of the significance of the trend toward more flexible arrangements can be conveyed by the degree that world trade is affected by countries adopting different arrangements.
The food price spikes have prevented millions of people from escaping extreme poverty. The record prices in 2008 kept or pushed 105 million people below the poverty line in the short run. They hit urban poor and female-headed households hardest. While food prices dropped sharply in 2009 with the financial crisis, they quickly rebounded and by early 2011 were almost back to 2008 levels. Sudden, unexpected increases in food prices impose particularly severe hardship on many households because they need time to adjust to higher prices. The large, initial impact on poverty of a rise in food prices tends to decline over time as production increases and the income of the poor in rural areas rises, but it is usually not large enough to offset the initial negative impact on poverty in the short run.
Even temporarily high food prices affect the long-term development of children. Conditions of early life (from conception to two years) provide the foundations for adult human capital. Vicious interactions between malnutrition,1 poor health, and impaired cognitive development set children on lower development paths and lead to irreversible changes.
The global recovery shows signs of stalling amid deteriorating financial conditions. Global growth slowed to 3.9 percent in 2011 and is projected to decline further to 3.5 percent in 2012. The strongest slowdown is being felt in advanced economies, but the worsening external environment and some weakening in internal demand is expected to lead to lower growth in emerging and developing countries as well. This outlook is subject to downside risks, such as a much larger and more protracted bank deleveraging in the Euro Area or a hard landing among key emerging market countries. Against these broad developments, food, fuel, and other commodity prices have eased somewhat from their peaks in mid-2011; where high commodity prices had become a concern for broader price stability, this price decline has provided policy makers with greater flexibility to ease monetary policy.
Trade is an excellent buffer for domestic fluctuations in food supply. There is no global food shortage: the problem is regional or local—one of moving food, often across borders, from surplus production areas to deficit ones—coupled with affordability. World output of a given food commodity is far less variable than output in individual countries. Thus increased trade integration holds considerable potential to stabilize food prices, boost returns to farmers, and reduce the prices faced by consumers.