Four countries confront the harsh and disruptive effects of the global economic downturn
A KEY indicator of the depth of the current global economic crisis is the slump in world trade. Behind the projected fall in overall international trade volume in 2008 and the bigger drop forecast for 2009 lie compelling stories of individual countries grappling with collapsing export markets, evaporating trade finance, and fickle migration flows. Steel producer Ukraine and consumer electronics manufacturer Singapore face shriveling demand and drooping prices for their output. At the same time, cotton exporter Burkina Faso’s production reforms encounter fading textile buyers, and hi-tech nursery Ireland fails to keep its migrant labor employed.