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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

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.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The European Communities (EC) were established by the Treaty of Paris (1951) and the Treaties of Rome (1957).1 The original six EC members2 were later joined by the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark in 1973, Greece in 1981, and Spain and Portugal in 1986. Excluding intra-area trade, the EC now accounts for almost one fifth of world exports and nearly as much of world imports. Its weight in world trade is thus somewhat less than that of the United States and Japan taken together (Table 9).

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Ministers, meeting on the occasion of the Special Session of CONTRACTING PARTIES at Punta del Este, have decided to launch Multilateral Trade Negotiations (The Uruguay Round). To this end, they have adopted the following Declaration. The multilateral trade negotiations (MTN) will be open to the participation of countries as indicated in Parts I and II of this Declaration. A Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) is established to carry out the negotiations. The Trade Negotiations Committee shall hold its first meeting not later than 31 October 1986. It shall meet as appropriate at Ministerial level. The Multilateral Trade Negotiations will be concluded within four years.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Administered protection: Use of administrative procedures (e.g., in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations) in a manner that impedes trade flows.

Bruce Fitzgerald

This paper reviews the World Bank lending for structural adjustment. The World Bank has always stressed the need to use limited investable resources efficiently. It has attempted to identify investment priorities in recipient countries and lent for projects that promised a high rate of return. The Bank’s Operational Manual defines structural adjustment lending as nonproject lending to support programs of policy and institutional change necessary to modify the structure of an economy so that it can maintain both its growth rate and the viability of its balance of payments in the medium term.

Manmohan S. Kumar

The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.

Philippe Bourcier and Mohsen Shirazi

Many developing countries could use natural gas to reduce oil imports or allow larger oil exports. What are the economic, institutional, and contractual issues that need attention?

William R. Cline

Commodity Boom: How Long Will It Last?" asks how economies will fare after the record-high prices of key raw materials posted in recent months, which build on dramatic increases from their lows of 2000. The lead article warns that the impact on headline inflation levels might persist throughout 2008, even without further commodity price hikes. It urges policymakers to ensure efficient functioning of market forces at the global level, and to move swiftly to protect the poorest. Another article addresses the effects of climate change on agriculture, warning that farm production will fall dramatically-especially in developing countries-if steps are not taken to curb carbon emissions. Other articles on this theme argue that policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions need not hobble economies, and that financial markets can help address climate change. "People in Economics" profiles John Taylor; "Picture This" says the global energy system is on an increasingly unsustainable path; "Country Focus" spotlights South Africa; and "Straight Talk" examines early warnings provided by credit derivatives. Also in this issue, articles examine China's increasing economic engagement with Africa, and the outsourcing of service jobs to other countries.