This paper contains further work by the Fund staff on trade issues and developments following the pattern of the surveys prepared in 1978 and 1981, mainly focusing on commercial policies of the major trading nations. It also includes a discussion of agricultural protection and issues relating to international trade in agricultural products.
This paper contains further work by the Fund staff on trade issues and developments following the pattern of the surveys prepared in 1978 and 1981,1 mainly focusing on commercial policies of the major trading nations. It also includes a discussion of agricultural protection and issues relating to international trade in agricultural products.
Since 1973, the growth of international trade has been slower and more uneven than in the previous two decades, and there have been significant shifts in the structure of trade (Table 1). During 1963–73, world exports (in volume terms) increased every year, at an average rate of 8½ per cent. During 1974–81, there was a striking variation in annual growth rates, ranging from a decline of 3 per cent to an increase of 11 per cent; on average, exports grew by 3½ per cent annually. In 1980–81, export growth was negligible (0.5 per cent a year). On the assumption that there will be no increase in protectionism, the April 1982 World Economic Outlook by the Fund staff projected a modest increase of 2 per cent in world trade in 1982 and an average growth of between 4 and 5 per cent annually in the subsequent years up to 1986. Thus, it is evident that the dynamism that was characteristic of international trade in the 1960s and early 1970s is unlikely to be restored under the central assumption of unchanged policies.
This section reviews the principal trends in the evolution of international trade in manufactures, discusses briefly some estimates of levels of protection, and describes recent trade actions and pressures for protection in selected sectors in the major trading nations. The coverage of countries and sectors is selective. Certain reported administrative or ad hoc actions in some countries in recent months, such as delays in customs clearance or administrative tightening of import licensing practices, are difficult to verify and are not covered. In addition, the quality of information on some types of restrictions such as “voluntary” export restraint arrangements varies between countries or sectors. Accordingly, the information presented in this section is intended to be illustrative of recent changes in the commercial policy stance of major countries. Owing to their importance in world trade, the emphasis is on actions in the United States, the European Community, and Japan. This has been supplemented by information on trade actions of other major trading nations.
Although business men in developing countries may justifiably feel that they are breaking new ground in advancing its industrialization, as a group they follow a predictable pattern of activity.
This section discusses, somewhat extensively, the principal trends in international agricultural trade, agricultural policy objectives and instruments employed in major trading nations, and principal trade actions and developments affecting agricultural commodities. It concludes with a discussion on some consequences of agricultural protection. The discussion covers temperate zone and competing zone agricultural products in which OECD countries dominate. The survey focuses on the European Community, the United States, and Japan because of their importance in agricultural trade—the first two as exporters and importers, and Japan as an importer. Australia and New Zealand, both important suppliers, and Canada, a major exporter and importer, are also covered. The focus of this section is on the implications of agricultural policies for world trade and efficient resource allocation; the authors are inevitably not in a position to assess the extent to which these policies have contributed to fulfillment of other domestic social goals.
The Selected Issues paper provides an overview of trends, performance export growth, value added, and employment, account of the structure and evolution of Lesotho's textiles during the decade through 2002, and discusses future prospects and key issues. It analyzes the implications of the phasing-out of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and also reviews the HIV/AIDS situation in Lesotho. It discusses the current situation, the measures to enhance financial intermediation, and the Southern African Customs Union Arrangement and its effects on revenues. The paper also includes the summary of tax systems, July 2003, and the exchange trade system.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix provide background information and analytical support for key policy issues discussed in the 2004 Article IV Consultation discussions with Mauritius. The impact of the erosion of trade preferences on exports, growth, and employment is assessed under two scenarios—a moderate and an extreme scenario. To quantify the adverse impact of trade liberalization, the paper estimates various elasticities of GDP growth to exports, and unemployment to growth. The paper also analyzes the labor market institutions and low-skilled employment in Mauritius.
This paper discusses quantitative indicators that measure such macroeconomic variables as the growth of national product, inflation. The importance of considering several indicators in a dynamic context becomes particularly relevant during periods when needed economic and financial adjustment measures are undertaken. Rationales given for maintaining negative real interest rates in developing countries range from keeping down the cost of servicing the public sector’s debt, or of investment, to avoiding the consequences of other policies.
Syria faces two interrelated medium-term challenges posed by the prospective decline in its oil reserves. The recently approved five-year plan (FYP) laid down a comprehensive strategy to address these challenges. Syria’s public finances are headed for challenging times in the coming 10–15 years. Large fiscal deficits have marked the economic history of many developed and developing countries alike during the 1970s and 1980s, with damaging consequences to their economies. Although financial markets can help keep the deficit bias in check, market discipline has proved mostly inadequate.