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GREAT insights Magazine

Shifts in trade development

Volume 5, Issue 6 (December 2016/January 2017)

December 2016

ECDPM. 2016. Thematic focus: Shifts in trade development. GREAT Insights Magazine - Volume 5, Issue 6. December 2016/January 2017.

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Editorial
Dr. San Bilal, Head of Economic Transformation and Trade Programme, ECDPM
How come trade policy seems to be in such turmoil these days? There is no doubt that trade is an important factor of economic prosperity. As such, it is recognised as an integral part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, notably as a means of implementation to achieve the sustainable development goals. These are not just about developing countries, but concern all countries.

Trade regimes

African perspectives on trade and the WTO
Vicky Chemutai, World Trade Organization, and Patrick Low, University of Hong Kong
Swathes of Africa are on the brink of economic transformation, but challenges remain. These challenges call for far-reaching structural change built on regional and global engagement, supported by enhanced infrastructure.

From regionalism to cross-regionalism
Christian Deblock, University of Quebec
Commenting on the relationship between prolific and pioneering regional trade agreements and a faltering WTO, the author questions whether the latter can regain initiative and control on trade regulation.

Trade agreements can substantially boost exports
Swarnali A. Hannan, International Monetary Fund
Trade agreements can generate substantial export gains, on average an increase of 80 percentage points over ten years. The gains are higher when emerging economies have agreements with developed countries. Looking at specific agreements, all the countries in NAFTA have gained substantially due to the agreement.

Do international trade rules prevent local content policies?
Isabelle Ramdoo, African Minerals Development Centre
International trade and investment rules discipline the use of industrial policies, including local content policies. Yet, developing countries still maintain numerous flexibilities and significant policy space to stimulate linkages.

Changing context

Global trade slowdown and SDGs
Mohammad A. Razzaque, Commonwealth Secretariat
The unprecedented slowdown in global trade can have important implications for achieving SDGs. It is high time for the global community to consider actions that will revive global trade flows and enhance the participation of poor and vulnerable countries in them.

A simple and targeted trade policy for developing countries after Brexit
Max Mendez-Parra, Overseas Development Institute
Although the UK may have achieved the same outcomes working within the European Union, Brexit constitutes an opportunity to improve trade policy towards developing countries, making it simple and skewing its benefits towards the poorest countries.

The CFTA clock is ticking…
Kathleen van Hove, European Centre for Development Policy Management
African officials continue to move the CFTA process, discussing the negotiating modalities. Civil society and private sector call for pragmatism.

Gender, labour and sustainability

Links between trade and gender in the African services sector
Irene Ochem, Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum
Gender-sensitive policy-making and legislation is needed to address the challenges with gender inequality and harness the great potential that trade in the services sector holds for women’s economic empowerment and sustainable development in Africa.

EU trade policy: Gender-sensitive or gender-blind?
Elina Viilup, European Parliament
A better understanding of the gender dimension of trade agreements would contribute to better policy making. The EU has made considerable progress in mainstreaming gender equality in some policy areas, including development policy, but trade policy has been left too much aside.

CSR in international trade and investment agreements
Rafael Peels and Elizabeth Echeverria M., International Labour Organization
While reference to Corporate Social Responsibility in trade and investment agreements is becoming more common and comprehensive, the practical implications are still uncertain.

Labour standards in EU free trade agreements: Working towards what end?
James Harrison, Mirela Barbu, Liam Campling, Ben Richardson and Adrian Smith, University of Warwick and Queen Mary University of London
Our research in the CARIFORUM bloc, South Korea and Moldova suggests there is cause for concern about the EU’s ability to protect and promote actual labour standards in its FTAs.

The EU trade policy approach to human rights and sustainability: The case of EPAs
San Bilal, European Centre for Development Policy Management
In promoting sustainability and human rights dimensions through EU trade deals like EPAs, dedicated attention must be paid to institutional settings, dialogues, review and monitoring, aid and accompanying measures.

Regulars

Talking Points Blog highlights

Weekly Compass highlights

In addition to structural support by ECDPM’s institutional partners The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark, this particular issue also benefits from funding from the Department of International Development (DFID), United Kingdom.

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