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).
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.
THE DISTRIBUTION of any country’s export and import trade, by destination and by origin, differs substantially from the corresponding distributions for many other countries. Such differences, as well as the differences in size of over-all trade, have an important bearing on the way in which trade flows respond to price changes. For example, if country A expands its exports as a result of a reduction in its price level, the change in value of exports from some other country, B, will naturally depend on the size of B’s total exports, but also on the extent to which B trades with country A and on the extent to which A supplies foreign markets that are important outlets for B’s products. Or, for another example, suppose that A’s trade balance deteriorates as a result of a loss in price competitiveness. The extent to which country B will share in the offsetting improvement in the collective trade balance of other countries will depend on such factors as the importance of A’s products in B’s imports, on the importance of imports in B’s total expenditure, and on the extent to which B’s exports depend on markets that are heavily supplied by A. These structural variables are ratios of recorded trade flows.
The growth in world trade slowed in the first half of the 1980s compared with both the previous decade and relative to output. The slowdown in the early 1980s was particularly pronounced in developing countries, whose share of world trade has tended to decline. World trade growth picked up during 1986-87 and exceeded the growth of world output, but by a narrower margin than in the 1970s (Table 1).1
Since 1981, the industrial countries have restored their share of world exports to almost the level prevailing in 1973, before the quadrupling of oil prices (Table A1).20 The counterpart of this increase has been a decline in the developing countries’ share to less than 20 percent of world exports. The trends in the major industrial countries diverge: Japan’s share rose, whereas the U.S. share declined, and the EC share remained roughly stable if intra-EC trade is excluded.
Since 1981, major changes have occurred in the pattern of trade of developing countries (Tables A15 and A16). Their share of world exports has declined, reflecting the substantial decline in the value of oil exports that offset the increase in their share of world non-oil exports, including world manufactured exports. The rapid growth of exports of the four Asian newly industrializing economies (NIEs)—Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China—stands out in this trend. An increasing proportion of developing countries’ exports of manufactures was directed toward industrial countries, reflecting the continued importance of industrial countries as a market for the products of developing countries.
Following price and exchange rate liberalization, domestic consumer prices in Russia moved closer to market levels. This paper quantifies the magnitude of the associated relative price changes. It also shows that relative price variability has been positively correlated with inflation. It is further established that convergence toward international relative and absolute price levels is far from complete, and that geographical price dispersion within Russia has declined since early 1992 but remains fairly high.