A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development

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        Access To Financial Services As A Driver For The Post-2015 Development Agenda
        Policy brief by UNCTAD, 2015, 4 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, International Financial System, Policy Reviews and Briefs

        This policy brief aims to highlight several components of a best-fit policy mix to expand financial inclusion. New technologies and innovative business models exhibit great potential to overcome access barriers. Governments have an important role in setting up sound regulatory frameworks and conditions to expand the supply and affordability of financial services, to ensure that such services remain supportive of the real economy, and to create an expanded demand for them, such as through financial education and empowerment. Actions towards financial inclusion could contribute to facilitated, speedier, safer and less costly transfer of remittances, the importance of which is also recognized within the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

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        Accommodating an Independent Scotland: How a British-style Constitution for the Eu Could Secure Scotland's Future
        Discussion paper by European Policy Centre, 2012, 12 pages
        Categories: VI Members Research

        There is a marked wariness at EU level about the prospect of Scottish independence. But British-style constitutional thinking on flexibility could prove useful in reducing the bloc's difficulties with asymmetry that motivate its hostility towards Scottish independence, write Roderick Parkes and Arno Engel in this Discussion Paper.

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        Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the Least Developed Countries: a Compendium of Policy Options (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2018, 223 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Related Capacity Building

        This Compendium reviews the policy recommendations derived from the analytical reports of UNCTAD’s Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes over the past 14 years. It is primarily addressed to LDC policymakers, as an easily accessible reference, offering a comprehensive and coherent set of policy options which LDC governments may consider in their challenging undertaking of achieving the SDGs. At the same time, the Compendium also serves as an appeal to their development partners for collaborative support at the international level.

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        Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Through Consumer Protection (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2017, 32 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Related Capacity Building

        The publication Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through Consumer Protection aims to provide policymakers and enforcers with a basis for reflection on the positive impacts that protecting consumers bears in promoting a more inclusive and sustainable development. This approach will help them improve the consumer protection framework while also devising and implementing development strategies. Equally, it underscores the close link between Agenda 2030 and the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection. This publication begins with a general overview of the contributions made by consumer policies in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. It then focuses on two issues that are of special relevance to this matter: sustainable consumption related to Goal 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production; and consumer protection in health-care delivery, according to Goal 3 on Good Health and Well-being.

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        Adapting to Climate Change: What Role for the Eu?
        Policy brief by European Policy Centre, 2010, 4 pages
        Categories: VI Members Research

        Although most action on climate-change adaptation will need to be taken at national, regional or local level, there are compelling reasons why the EU should also play a role, says this Policy Brief by Annika Ahtonen.

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        Addressing Non-Tariff Measures in ASEAN (English)
        Working paper by Pasadilla, Gloria/ARTNeT, 2013, 63 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        Intra-ASEAN trade has increased six-fold since 1993 but greater integration challenge looms in addressing non-tariff measures. The paper discusses the various ASEAN work programs on NTMs and assesses the incidence of Members’ NTMs on various products. Various ways of accelerating the reduction of non-tariff barriers are discussed, including dispute settlement mechanisms. The paper highlights the importance of a unilateral approach in addressing NTMs and the use of regulatory impact analysis to improve policy making.

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        Addressing the Global Food Crisis: Key Trade, Investment and Commodity Policies in Ensuring Sustainable Food Security and Alleviating Poverty (English)
        Note by UNCTAD - CNUCED, 2008, 61 pages
        Categories: Commodities, Science and Technology, Trade and Poverty

        UNCTAD publishes this document after a period of price rises and shortages in food commodities - which has led to a "global food crisis" - and in the light of discussions held at UNCTAD XII in Accra on UNCTAD's potential role in ameliorating the crisis. The paper is therefore divided into two sections, addressing the underlying causes of the crisis and the potential policy response to it, including UNCTAD's contribution. The first half of the paper gives a useful summary of the underlying causes of food price rises and shortages: this includes the supply-demand imbalance, the role of speculation and export constraints, the rise in energy costs and the impact of biofuels, low agricultural productivity in developing countries and the lack of investment and aid in agricultural technologies, the multilateral environment and rules governing agriculture, and the role of competition. The second half of the paper looks at the policy responses to these factors and it maybe useful for students to discuss their application to individual country cases.

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        An Advanced Guide to Trade Policy Analysis: the Structural Gravity Model (English)
        Book by WTO; UNCTAD, 2016, 144 pages
        Categories: Trade Negotiations, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The gravity model is one of the most successful frameworks in economics. Hundreds of papers have used the gravity model to study and quantify the effects of various factors on international trade. This book guides the reader through the challenges of applying the model and provides recommendations on how to obtain reliable partial equilibrium estimates for the effects of trade policy. The book has been written by experts who have rich practical experience in this field. It is aimed at government experts engaged in trade negotiations as well as graduate students and researchers involved in trade-related study or research.

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        Advanced Training Tools for Multilateral Trade Negotiations on Agriculture (English)
        Manual by UNCTAD, 2003, 69 pages
        Categories: Commodities, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        This training module serves to inform trade experts and negotiators of developing countries of the major economic trends in agricultural trade and of the multilateral rules, which govern the trade in agricultural products. In so doing, it also serves to put the current WTO trade negotiations in agriculture in context.

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        Africa–BRICs Cooperation: Implications for Growth (English)
        Case study by UNECA, 2013, 48 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Emerging Economies and South South Cooperation

        This study shows what effect trade with, and investment and aid from, the BRICS (Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa) could have on growth, employment and structural transformation in Africa. In addition, it shows how Africa could maximize the benefits of its engagement with the BRICS, and minimize the risks. The study offers policy recommendations based on comparative analysis of BRICS’ practices in their cooperation with Africa.

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        Africa Capacity Report 2015: Capacity Imperatives for Domestic Resource Mobilization in Africa (English)
        Report by African Capacity Building Foundation, 2015, 184 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Related Capacity Building

        The objective of the Africa Capacity Report (ACR) is to measure and examine capacity in relation to the development agenda in African countries and this year’s theme focuses on the capacity development challenges in domestic resource mobilization. The report looks at the state of trends in domestic resource mobilization and illicit financial flows across the continent, and it identifies capacity gaps and requirements for countries to mobilize more resources domestically and reduce illicit financial flows abroad.

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        Africa Capacity Report 2015: Capacity Imperatives for Domestic Resource Mobilization in Africa - Overview (English)
        Summary by African Capacity Building Foundation, 2015, 8 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Related Capacity Building

        The objective of the Africa Capacity Report (ACR) is to measure and examine capacity in relation to the development agenda in African countries and this year’s theme focuses on the capacity development challenges in domestic resource mobilization. The report looks at the state of trends in domestic resource mobilization and illicit financial flows across the continent, and it identifies capacity gaps and requirements for countries to mobilize more resources domestically and reduce illicit financial flows abroad.

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        African Continental Free Trade Area (English)
        Discussion paper by Agatiello, Osvaldo/UNCTAD, 2016, 52 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        The paper, African Continental Free Trade Area, subtitled 'Advancing Pan-African Integration (Some Considerations),' provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges for African continental economic integration through the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) initiative. It discusses complementary building blocks for intra-African trade to flourish within Africa when it is stimulated by the adoption and implementation of the CFTA, and provides guiding principles for approaching the CFTA and priority policy measures for adoption by African countries to ensure sustained trade growth and economic integration following the CFTA.

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        African Continental Free Trade Area: Developing and Strengthening Regional Value Chains (English)
        Discussion paper by Dairon, Emily/UNCTAD, 2016, 78 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        The paper, African Continental Free Trade Area, subtitled 'Developing and strengthening regional value chains in agricultural commodities and processed food products', comes after the African Union Assembly decided in an assembly in 2012 to boost intra-African trade and to fast track the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). The study aims to provide an analysis on requisite policies and measures needed for fostering the development and strengthening of regional supply and value chains in agricultural commodities and processed foods. Its aim is to contribute to the setting up and strengthening of regional agro-foods supply chains.

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        African Continental Free Trade Area: Policy and Negotiation Options for Trade in Goods (English)
        Discussion paper by Farahat, M/UNCTAD, 2016, 37 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        This discussion paper is part of the series on the 'African Continental Free Trade Area.' It continues the discussion by presenting an overview of the practical possibilities of an free trade area (FTA) on the African continent. The paper is divided in three main parts. Part I deals with the requirements for establishing FTAs in goods. Part II analyses the harmonization of macro-economic policies, the applicability of non-tariff measures and trade facilitation. Part II considers the negotiation process among key stakeholders and the leaders.

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        The African Continental Free Trade Area: the Day After the Kigali Summit (English)
        Policy brief by UNCTAD, 2018, 4 pages
        Categories: Policy Reviews and Briefs

        The African Continental Free Trade Area is a remarkable achievement. At a time when trade is questioned in some parts of the world, African leaders gathered in Kigali on 21 March 2018, and took a bold step in favour of trade and of the economic integration of the continent. This policy brief examines the expectations for the Free Trade Area and outlines areas that require prompt action by African nations for the agreement to deliver on its expectations. In the challenges that lie ahead, including the next chapter of the Kigali Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area, UNCTAD will continue supporting African nations.

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        African Governance Report Ii (English)
        Report by UNECA, 2009, 290 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Policy Reviews and Briefs

        The report assesses and monitors the progress on governance in Africa, identifies capacity gaps in governance institutions and proposes policy interventions to promote good governance. It combines three research instruments: a national expert opinion panel, a scientific sample household survey and desk research. The report covers 35 countries.

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        The African Growth and Opportunity Act: An Empirical Analysis of the Possibilities Post-2015
        Report by UNECA, 2013, 68 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This report provides an analysis of outcomes of U.S.-Africa trade under five categories of post-2015 scenarios. These scenarios look at the trade and income implications of not extending AGOA beyond 2015; expanded product eligibility for AGOA; revisions to the currently eligible countries; a restructuring of AGOA to resemble the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) of the European Union; and the effects that a possible EU-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) could have on AGOA or an EPA-like situation, with an additional scenario examining how a continental free trade area (CFTA) would play into such an integrated trade environment. The results indicate, first of all, that should AGOA not be extended and current AGOA-eligible countries revert back to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), then trade losses would be distributed in a very unequal fashion across the continent due to the variation in AGOA-eligible products that are exported by different countries. The results also show that expanding product eligibility for AGOA would only have small effects on the exports coming from AGOA-eligible countries— unless complete duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) market access was granted because the most import-sensitive sectors for the U.S. (e.g., sugar, cotton and clothing) are still where Africa would gain the most.

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        African Statistical Yearbook 2012 (English)
        Book by AFDB, AU, UNECA, 2012, 353 pages
        Categories: Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This 2012 Yearbook presents a time series showing the performance of African countries for various economic and social indicators over the period 2003–2011. The book consists of two parts: a set of summary tables followed by country profiles (information is provided both in English and French). Topics that are covered include Social demographic indicators, Monetary and Financial Statistics, Economic Statistics, Economic Infrastructure and Investment Climate as well as Millennium Development Goals.

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        African Women’s Report: Measuring Gender Inequalities in Africa - Experiences and Lessons from the African Gender and Development Index (English)
        Report by UNECA, 2009, 262 pages
        Categories: Trade and Gender

        The report aims to accelerate gender equality in the social, economic and political fields highlighting difficulties that African countries are facing with respect to the full realisation of women’s rights due, among other things, to the persistence of negative cultural and religious beliefs and attitudes towards women. It also demonstrates the different and changing dimensions of gender inequality being experienced in some countries. The report is based on the use of the African Gender and Development Index.

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        Africa’s Development And The Global Trading System: Challenges And Options (English)
        Working paper by OSABUOHIEN, Evans S. / Covenant University, Nigeria and EGWAKHE, Johnson A. /Adventist University of Central Africa, Rwanda, 2011, 27 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        This paper empirically explores development in Africa in relation to the global trading system using panel data techniques. It examines the economic development of African economies in relation to the countries’ regional grouping and also assesses Random Effects (RE) and Generalised Method of Moments (GMM) estimates. The results establish, among other things, that sub-regions with higher level of domestic investment had higher values in economic development indicators.

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        Agricultural Subsidies in the WTO Green Box: Ensuring Coherence with Sustainable Development Goals (English)
        Report by Meléndez-Ortiz, Ricardo; Bellmann, Christophe; Hepburn, Jonathan/ICTSD, 2009, 16 pages
        Categories: Commodities, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        Current WTO requirements set no ceiling on the amount of green box subsidies that governments can provide, on the basis that these payments cause only minimal trade distortion. Governments are thus increasingly shifting their subsidy spending into this category, as they come under pressure to reduce subsidies that are more directly linked to production. However, growing evidence suggests that green box payments can affect production and trade, harm farmers in developing countries and cause environmental damage. This information note summarises some of the findings.

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        Agricultural Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Developing Countries: Policy Options for Innovation and Technology Diffusion. (English)
        Policy brief by Lybbert, Travis; Sumner, Daniel/ ICTSD, 2010, 42 pages
        Categories: Science and Technology, Trade and Environment

        Climate Change exacerbates the already daunting challenges facing the agricultural sector, and this is particularly the case in developing countries. Innovations in agriculture have always been important and will be even more vital in the context of climate change. This paper highlights technological and institutional innovations required to meet these challenges, the constraints to their development, transfer and dissemination and importantly suggests ways to overcome such constraints.

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        Agricultural Trade Reform and Poverty in the Asia-Pacific: A Survey and Some New Results (English)
        Working paper by Gilbert, John / UNESCAP, 2008, 46 pages
        Categories: Trade and Poverty, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        We review the literature on the relationship between agricultural trade policy reform and poverty, and the results of recent detailed simulation studies applied to economies in the ESCAP region. We then use the GTAP model to evaluate the possible impacts of the most recently proposed modality for agricultural trade reform under Doha on the economies of the ESCAP region. We compare the results to a benchmark of comprehensive agricultural trade reform. We find that the current proposal does not result in significant cuts to applied tariffs, and has very modest overall effects on welfare. Poverty in the region would decrease overall, but the distribution across countries is uneven. By contrast, comprehensive agricultural trade reform, with developing economies fully engaged, tends to benefit most economies in the region in the aggregate, and to consistently lower poverty.

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        Agriculture, Trade Reform and Poverty Reduction: Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa (English)
        Case study by Kym Anderson, CEPR and School of Economics and Centre for International Economic Studies, University of Adelaide, 2004, 37 pages
        Categories: Trade and Poverty, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        What: An interesting study that explores the poverty implications of the post-Doha multilateral trade reform agenda of the WTO for Sub-Saharan countries. It addresses the effects of trade reform on poverty at three levels: first developing countries as a group; then on different types of developing countries and finally on different types of households within developing countries. Who: Relevant for anyone studying or teaching trade in an LDC context in relation to poverty reduction. How: Can be used as a background reading on the implications of the current WTO Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTN) on low-income countries and offers a lot of relevant reference materials.

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        Aid for Trade : A Failing Grade in LDCs? (English)
        Policy brief by UNCTAD, 2012, 4 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development, Trade Related Capacity Building

        The Aid for Trade programme was launched at the 2005 World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong (China). Its reported aims are to bring greater coherence to existing trade-support programmes and to generate additional funds to assist developing countries to build supply capacity and trade-related skills, so that they can adjust to the post-Doha trading environment. There are some positives to take on the first of these aims but despite the expectation of supplementary resources (‘additionality’), much of the programme has been a repackaging of existing trade-related aid flows. This has worrying implications for the future of the scheme and for the developmental impact of aid more generally.

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        Aid for Trade at a Glance 2009: Maintaining Momentum (English)
        Report by WTO / OECD, 2009, 318 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development, Trade Related Capacity Building

        The report presents the results of the second monitoring exercise of the Aid-for-Trade Initiative and documents its success so far. It examines trends and developments, and presents a comprehensive analysis of donor and partner country engagement. In addition, it addresses the regional dimension of aid for trade and showcases three cross-border infrastructure projects. Moreover, the report provides country factsheets that help assess the outcomes and impacts of aid for trade. The outlook is clearly affected by the current global economic crisis. However, aid for trade must remain an essential component of development assistance.

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        Aid for Trade, Infrastructure, and the Growth Effects of Trade Reform: Issues and Implications for Caribbean Countries (English)
        Working paper by Moreira, Emmanuel Pinto/World Bank, 2010, 45 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development, Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This paper examines how aid-for-trade programs can help to magnify the growth benefits that developing countries can reap from trade reform and global integration, with a special emphasis on the Caribbean region. The first part discusses various rationales for trade-related aid, viewed both as a compensatory scheme (aimed at cushioning the impact of revenue cuts and adjustment costs) and a promotion scheme (aimed at alleviating supply-side constraints). In the latter case, particular attention is paid to the role of infrastructure as a constraining factor on trade expansion. The second part discusses the relevance of aid-for-trade arguments for Caribbean countries and identifies a number of specific issues for the region. The third part illustrates the potential growth effects of aid-for-trade programs with simulation results for the Dominican Republic -- a country where infrastructure indicators remain relatively weak. The results illustrate the potentially large growth benefits that a temporary and well-targeted aid-for-trade program can provide to countries of the region.

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        Aid for Trade: Resource Materials for Trade Development (English)
        Report by UNECE, 2013, 35 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development, Trade Related Capacity Building

        This publication provides information about the resources available, free of charge, from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) that can be used to support Aid-for-Trade projects. The resources include international conventions, publications, standards and training materials, and are available to all interested stakeholders in Aid for Trade: countries, bilateral donors, development banks, international organizations and non-governmental organizations. They are developed by country-nominated experts and the UNECE secretariat under the supervision of a wide range of intergovernmental bodies.

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        Aid, private capital flows and external debt: a review of trends (English)
        Report by Least Developed Countries Program, 2000, 28 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development, International Financial System

        What: Based on the Least Developed Countries report from 2000, this is a clear and detailed presentation of external finance and how it contributes to finance development. Who: This document is a good introduction to the problem of external finance for anyone studying or teaching the subject. How: Could be used as a basis for a lecture on development finance.What: Based on the Least Developed Countries report from 2000, this is a clear and detailed presentation of external finance and how it contributes to finance development. Who: This document is a good introduction to the problem of external finance for anyone studying or teaching the subject. How: Could be used as a basis for a lecture on development finance.

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        An Analysis of the Agricultural Domestic Support under the Uruguay Round Agreement: the Blue Box (English)
        Discussion paper by UNCTAD, 2003, 69 pages
        Categories: Commodities, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        What: Domestic agricultural support is a sensitive issue for all countries producing agricultural commodities. Some countries grant large subsidies to producers, while others cannot afford such expensive policies. The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture was a first step towards improving competition in the field of international agricultural trade. The new agenda of negotiations, agreed at the Doha Ministerial Conference, set new challenges for negotiators in terms of market access, export subsidies and domestic support. Although those three areas are linked to each other and are of importance, this short paper is not intended to address the whole problem but to focus on "Blue Box" measures in the context of domestic support. This paper will define the Blue Box, describe the type of subsidies used under it and briefly analyse its potential for trade distortion. Who: For teachers, students and researchers on agricultural subsidies and its effects on international trade. How: This study can be used as a background reading for issues on the effects of agricultural subsidies in international trade.

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        Applying a Gender Lens to Science, Technology and Innovation (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2011, 73 pages
        Categories: Science and Technology, Trade and Gender

        Prepared by UNCTAD for the 55th UN Commission on the Status of Women, this Report emphasizes the need of integrating a gender perspective into science, technology and innovation (STI) policies. It illustrates the contribution of women to STI (women in science, women in innovation) -- and how STI can contribute to women’s livelihoods and development activities (science for women).  Examples of good practices, as well as key recommendations for gender-sensitive STI policymaking are provided that support women’s development in key sectors, gender equality in science and technology related education, employment and entrepreneurship.

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        The Arab Spring, the Changing Mediterranean, and the Eu: Tools As a Substitute for Strategy?
        Policy brief by European Policy Centre, 2011, 4 pages
        Categories: VI Members Research

        What is missing, argues Rosa Balfour in this Policy Brief, is a guiding vision to make EU foreign policy more than the sum of its parts.

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        Areas of cooperation for 2005-2006 - Vi work programme (English)
        Outline by Virtual Institute, 2005
        Categories: Vi Meetings

        A short overview of the areas of cooperation for the network over the coming year. Focusing on teaching materials, research, using the website, exchanging resources and providing support and advice, this short proposal outlines - why, what and how we propose to do these things.

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        Are You Experienced? Survival And Recovery Of Trade Relations After Banking Crises (English)
        Working paper by Beverelli, Cosimo, Kukenova, Madina, Rocha, Nadia, 2011, 28 pages
        Categories: Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        We examine the impact of banking crises on the duration of trade relations. We also investigate the effect of product-level characteristics, such as the size of exports and exporting experience, and of sector-level financial dependence variables, on the time to recover after a banking crisis. Using highly disaggregated US import data from 157 countries between 1996 and 2009, we first provide evidence that banking crises negatively affect the survival of trade relations. On average, the occurrence of a banking crisis decreases the rate of survival of trade relations by 13 percent. Moreover, we find that both the size of exports and exporting experience matter for recovery of trade relations after banking crises. Sectoral financial dependence has an experience-specific effect. Relations with more experience recover faster in financially dependent sectors. There is instead no clear evidence indicating effects of size heterogeneity, neither in financially dependent sectors nor in non-financially dependent ones. The results are robust and consistent across alternative econometric models.

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        Article XXIV and RTAS: How Much Wiggle Room for Developing Countries? (English)
        Note by South Centre, 2008, 33 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The issue of ‘WTO Compatibility’ of regional trade agreements (RTAs) has been intensely debated ever since the days of the GATT. RTAs are governed by Article XXIV in the GATT. The Article however does not have a development dimension. This paper argues for the need to insert strong Special and Differential Treatment clauses into Article XXIV in order to be legally consistent with GATS V. It also looks at the ways in which some WTO Members, especially developed countries, have protected their markets in their RTAs. These are grounds for developing countries to legitimately open up less fully.

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        ASEAN Investment Report 2016 (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2016, 276 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development, Investment

        With the theme “Foreign Direct Investment and MSME Linkages”, this latest edition examines the drivers and motivations that underpin investments in ASEAN. It takes a closer look at MNE activities and operations in the ASEAN region. Specifically, it examines the case of two important sources of FDI to ASEAN, that of Korea and the United States, with useful insights on the approaches taken, and the success and challenges faced. An additional feature of this year’s report is the study and analysis on the investment activities of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in ASEAN – namely on their linkages and internationalization strategies – why and how they do so. The Report analyses the role of ASEAN MSMEs in realizing the goals of the ASEAN Economic Community and in improving the overall investment environment. The Report is prepared under a technical cooperation arrangement between the ASEAN Secretariat and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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        Asean Investment Report 2018: Foreign Direct Investment and the Digital Economy in Asean (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2018, 296 pages
        Categories: Investment

        The 2018 Report looks into the investment landscape and implications of digital economy and e-Commerce in ASEAN, and also discusses the policy options and digital economy strategy for the region. ASEAN needs to keep the momentum of rising investment in the ICT sector by intensifying its collective effort to narrow the digital divide, develop digital skills, address logistical bottlenecks and payment systems, and manage the potential risks of the digital revolution, as it moves forward to embrace the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

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        The Asian Developmental State and the Flying Geese Paradigm
        Discussion paper by Kasahara, Shigehisa / Erasmus University, 2013, 36 pages
        Categories: Emerging Economies and South South Cooperation, Globalization and Development Strategies

        This paper contemplates an outlook of the developmental state in the light of growing regionalist drive in East Asia. More specifically, it explores the possibility of developmental regionalism. Developmental regionalism, in this framework, upholds a hybrid of limited liberalism at the national level and protectionism at the regional level. It is also a hybrid of North-South and South-South cooperation for achieving agreed specialization. While the discussion is at the exploratory stage with respect to concrete policy implications, developmental regionalism could contribute to bridging the aforementioned two contending concepts.

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        Asian Participation in the WTO Dispute Settlement System (English)
        Note by Curran, John, 2012, 12 pages
        Categories: International Economic Law, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The WTO dispute settlement system provides member countries with the opportunity to have their trade-related disputes heard and adjudicated upon in a rules-based forum. By design, every country has equal access to the system; however it is much less frequently used by developing countries. This Information Note examines how Asian countries are engaging the dispute settlement system, and examines whether the constraints generally limiting developing country participation also apply to select Asian countries.

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        Asia-pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014 (English)
        Report by UNESCAP, 2014, 124 pages
        Categories: Investment, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014 provides analysis of trends and developments in regional trade and investment, as well as insights into their impact on countries’ abilities to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. It shows that while the Asia-Pacific region remained the most dynamic pole of the global economy, growth in trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in 2013 did not yet return to the pre-crisis levels. Growth in services exports from the Asia-Pacific region lagged behind the world total in 2013, with 65 per cent of all services exports originating from just six countries: China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, China, which suggests large gaps between the countries in the region in terms of their trade competitiveness. In 2013, Asia-Pacific attracted almost 38 per cent of global FDI inflows. The increase in investment inflows was lower than at the global level and in other fast-growing regions such as Latin America, but was accompanied by a noticeable diversification of FDI destinations within the region. With regard to trade policies, the report points to a trend of increasingly restrictive measures across the region, dominated by behind-the-border non-tariff measures, many of which have had a negative impact on the region’s least developed countries and small and medium sized exporters. The proliferation of preferential trade agreements continued, although there is evidence of a plateau being reached, especially with regard to the involvement of Asia-Pacific countries. Much attention is now focused on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which involves 16 Asia-Pacific economies, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between 12 countries from Asia and the Pacific Rim.

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        Asia -pacific Trade and Investment Report 2015, Supporting Participation in Value Chains
        Report by ESCAP, 2015, 211 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Investment, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2015 published by the Trade and Investment Division of the United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific analyzes trends and developments in intra- and inter-regional trade in goods and services; foreign direct investment; trade facilitation measures; trade policy measures; and preferential trade policies and agreements in the region.

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        Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2015: Supporting Participation in Value Chains - Executive Summary (English)
        Also available in Russian, Chinese
        Summary by ESCAP, 2015, 26 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Investment, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2015 published by the Trade and Investment Division of the United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific analyzes trends and developments in intra- and inter-regional trade in goods and services; foreign direct investment; trade facilitation measures; trade policy measures; and preferential trade policies and agreements in the region.

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        Aspectos Normativos De La Inversion Extranjera En Colombia (English)
        Discussion paper by Ceron Z., Pilar V./Universidad EAFIT, 2007, 112 pages
        Categories: International Economic Law, Investment, VI Members Research

        La presente investigación tiene como objetivo central hacer un estudio detallado y profundo -estado del arte- de las normas domésticas e internacionales en materia de inversión extranjera, a la luz de las principales teorías de las Relaciones Internacionales. En el nivel doméstico la normatividad sobre este tema se encuentra dispersa a lo largo de todo el ordenamiento jurídico, en diferentes regímenes, haciéndose difícil la comprensión del tema. En el estudio además de unificar estas disposiciones se hizo un análisis extenso sobre las mismas. El mismo ejercicio se realizó en el ámbito internacional, para lo cual se analizaron todos los acuerdos, convenios y tratados internacionales en materia de inversión, ratificados o negociados por Colombia hasta la fecha, como quiera que son éstos los que marcan la pauta en materia de elaboración de normas locales con base en modelos propuestos por la comunidad internacional.

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        Assessing Progress in Africa Toward the Millennium Development Goals: Mdg Report 2010
        Report by UNECA, 2010, 122 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade and Poverty

        In five years’ time, world leaders will assess the progress that has been made in meeting the Millennium Summit commitment to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty”. That commitment, enunciated in the Millennium Declaration of 2000 and encapsulated in the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),has been the main impetus to advance international development over the last decade.This year’s report shows that, prior to the onset of the food and fuel crises and the global recession,African countries were making steady progress toward attainment of the MDGs. According to this report, there has been progress achieved in reducing poverty rates and moving toward the targets of several of the MDGs, even though Africa still has the highest proportion of people living in extreme poverty within the developing world. The advances made are attributed, in part, to improvements in the political, economic,and social landscape across much of the continent.

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        Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (English)
        Report by UNECA, 2003, 281 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        What: The ARIA report provides the first comprehensive assessment of regional integration in Africa, analyzing all the sectoral and policy-issues. The report finds that the extent of integration is far below what should have been achieved given the amount of energy devoted to the issue. It recommends further analysis of the challenges facing Africa’s integration agenda. How: Background reading on regional integration in Africa. Who: Policy makers, researchers and lecturers dealing with regional integration in Africa.

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        Assessing Regional Integration in Africa Ii: Rationalizing Regional Economic Communities (English)
        Report by UNECA, 2006, 180 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        What: The ARIA II report examines the effectiveness of Africa's regional economic communities (RECs) in pushing forward the regional integration agenda towards a fully functioning African Economic Community, which will remove all barriers to movement of people, goods and services across the continent, thereby creating a single economic space. The report finds that in general the regional economic communities have made commendable achievements. However, a substantial resource gap exists between the mandates of the RECs and their capacity to deliver, based on their financial and human resources. Furthermore, many RECs are pursuing similar mandates, and with countries belonging to numerous RECs, limited resources are spread thinly thereby limiting their effectiveness. There is therefore an urgent need to strengthen the capacity of the RECs and harmonize their programmes. How: Background reading on regional integration in Africa. Who: Policy makers, researchers and lecturers dealing with regional integration in Africa.

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        Assessing Regional Integration in Africa Ii: Rationalizing Regional Economic Communities - Highlights (English)
        Summary by UNECA, 2006, 12 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        What: The ARIA II report examines the effectiveness of Africa's regional economic communities (RECs) in pushing forward the regional integration agenda towards a fully functioning African Economic Community, which will remove all barriers to movement of people, goods and services across the continent, thereby creating a single economic space. The report finds that in general the regional economic communities have made commendable achievements. However, a substantial resource gap exists between the mandates of the RECs and their capacity to deliver, based on their financial and human resources. Furthermore, many RECs are pursuing similar mandates, and with countries belonging to numerous RECs, limited resources are spread thinly thereby limiting their effectiveness. There is therefore an urgent need to strengthen the capacity of the RECs and harmonize their programmes. How: Background reading on regional integration in Africa. Who: Policy makers, researchers and lecturers dealing with regional integration in Africa.

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        Assessing Regional Integration in Africa Ii: Rationalizing Regional Economic Communities - Key Facts (English)
        Report by UNECA, 2006, 3 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        What: The ARIA II report examines the effectiveness of Africa’s regional economic communities (RECs) in pushing forward the regional integration agenda towards a fully functioning African Economic Community, which will remove all barriers to movement of people, goods and services across the continent, thereby creating a single economic space. The report finds that in general the regional economic communities have made commendable achievements. However, a substantial resource gap exists between the mandates of the RECs and their capacity to deliver, based on their financial and human resources. Furthermore, many RECs are pursuing similar mandates, and with countries belonging to numerous RECs, limited resources are spread thinly thereby limiting their effectiveness. There is therefore an urgent need to strengthen the capacity of the RECs and harmonize their programmes. How: Background reading on regional integration in Africa. Who: Policy makers, researchers and lecturers dealing with regional integration in Africa.

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        Assessing Regional Integration in Africa IV: Enhancing Intra-African Trade (English)
        Book by UNECA, 2010, 527 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        ARIA IV, which is a joint-publication of the ECA, the AUC and the AfDB, finds on average that over the past decades, only about 10 to 12 per cent of African trade is within the continent which is one of the lowest intra-regional trade levels worldwide. Low intra-African trade implies that many opportunities are lost for benefiting from the gains of trade, promoting growth and accelerating development. Indeed, the empirical research reviewed in ARIA IV suggests that there is a positive correlation between trade openness and economic growth, in particular through the transmission of technological innovation and the creation of enhanced capacity to compete with more advanced economies on the international market.

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        Assessing Regional Integration in Africa VI: Harmonizing Policies to Transform the Trading Environment (English)
        Report by UNECA, 2013, 84 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Facilitation

        This paper carries forward the momentum of January 2012’s Decision and Declaration on boosting intra-African trade and fast-tracking the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area by 2017 by addressing the issue of harmonizing rules of origin and trade facilitation instruments to facilitate Continental Free Trade Area negotiations by member States. The report starts with a brief overview of progress in regional integration, followed by discussions on the harmonization of three key prerequisites to pave the way for a meaningful continental market—namely rules of origin, trade facilitation instruments and cross-border linkages for information and communications technology.

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        Assessing Regional Integration in Africa V - Towards an African Continental Free Trade Area
        Report by UNECA, African Union, African Development Bank, 2012, 168 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        This report is assesing the regional integration in Africa. The focus of attention lies therefore in the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area. Chapter one gives an overall introduction to the issue, chapter two continues then with an overview of regional integration in Africa. Further on chapter three describes the theory of free trade areas, while chapter four of the report applies the theory to the case of an African Continental Free Trade Area. Chapter fives looks at the perspectives for a fast-tracking African Continental Free Trade Area. While the report focuses in chapter six on the movement of people and the right of residence and establishment, it concentrates its analysis in chapter seven on the movement of goods and services and in the final chapter on the movement of investment and capital.

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        Assessing South-South regional integration: Same issues, many metrics (English)
        Discussion Paper by Lucian Cernat, UNCTAD, 2003, 33 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        What: The purpose of this paper is to quantify the impact of several Regional Trading Arrangements (RTAs) on the trade flows among participants and with third countries. It examines the possible trade effects of several South-South RTAs by using two different methodologies (the gravity model and CGE analysis). Owing to the differences in assumptions and methods, the results of each methodology do not easily lend themselves to comparison. The findings suggest that regional integration among developing countries can act as a practical instrument for their gradual integration into the global economy. In addition RTAs are very much part of a larger framework for regional cooperation aimed at promoting regional stability, sound and coordinated economic policies and a better regional economic infrastructure. Who: For teachers, students and researchers studying regional economic integration. How: Can be used as a background reading on a course on regional integration and globalization issues.

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        Assessing the Financial Vulnerability to Climate-related Natural Hazards (English)
        Working paper by Mechler, Reinhard; Hochrainer, Stefan; Pflug, Georg; Lotsch, Alexander; Williges, Keith/World Bank, 2010, 35 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development

        National governments are key actors in managing the impacts of extreme weather events, yet many highly exposed developing countries - faced with exhausted tax bases, high levels of indebtedness, and limited donor assistance - have been unable to raise sufficient and timely capital to replace or repair damaged infrastructure and restore livelihoods after major disasters. Such financial vulnerability hampers development and exacerbates poverty. Based on the record of the past 30 years, this paper finds many developing countries, in particular small island states, to be highly financially vulnerable, and experiencing a resource gap (net disaster losses exceed all available financing sources) for events that occur with a probability of 2 percent or higher. This has three main implications. First, efforts to reduce risk need to be ramped-up to lessen the serious human and financial burdens. Second, contrary to the well-known Arrow-Lind theorem, there is a case for country risk aversion implying that disaster risks faced by some governments cannot be absorbed without major difficulty. Risk aversion entails the ex ante financing of losses and relief expenditure through calamity funds, regional insurance pools, or contingent credit arrangements. Third, financially vulnerable (and generally poor) countries are unlikely to be able to implement pre-disaster risk financing instruments themselves, and thus require technical and financial assistance from the donor community. The cost estimates of financial vulnerability - based on today's climate - inform the design of"climate insurance funds"to absorb high levels of sovereign risk and are found to be in the lower billions of dollars annually, which represents a baseline for the incremental costs arising from future climate change.

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        Assessing the Impact of Political Economy Factors on Rules of Origin Under NAFTA (English)
        Working paper by Portugal-Perez, Alberto /World Bank, 2009, 38 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        Rules of origin are legitimate policy instruments to prevent trade deflection in a preferential trade agreement short of a customs union. Trade deflection takes place when a product imported into the preferential trade agreement through the member with the lowest external tariff is transhipped to a higher-tariff member, while yielding a benefit for the re-exporter. Yet, when captured by special interest groups, rules of origin can restrict trade beyond what is needed to prevent trade deflection. By how much do political economy factors account for the stringency of rules of origin? This study quantifies the impact of both determinants - those considered "justifiable" because they prevent trade deflection and those deemed to arise from "political economy" forces - on the restrictiveness of rules of origin under the North American Free Trade Agreement, approximated by a restrictiveness index. The main finding is that political economy forces, especially from the United States, raised significantly the restrictiveness of the rules of origin. Indeed, in industries where political-economy forces were strong prior to the North American Free Trade Agreement, as when the U.S. Most Favored Nation tariff was high or the revealed comparative advantage of Mexico (the United States) was strong (weak), more stringent rules of origin were introduced. Thus, stricter rules of origin are associated with higher production costs reducing the potential benefits of enhanced market access that is initially pursued by this type of agreement.

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        Assessing the Impact of the Current Financial and Economic Crisis on Global FDI Flows (English)
        Study by UNCTAD, 2009, 72 pages
        Categories: International Financial System, Investment

        The year 2008 marked the end of a growth cycle in international investment that started in 2004 and saw world foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows reach a historic record of $1.9 trillion in 2007. Due to the impact of the ongoing worldwide financial and economic crisis, FDI flows are estimated to have declined by 15 per cent in 2008. A further decrease in FDI flows can be expected in 2009, as the full consequences of the crisis on transnational corporations’ (TNCs) investment expenditures continue to unfold. The fall in global FDI in 2008–2009 is the result of two major factors affecting domestic as well as international investment. First, the capability of firms to invest has been reduced by a fall in access to financial resources, both internally – due to a decline in corporate profits – and externally – due to the lower availability and higher cost of finance. Second, the propensity to invest has been affected negatively by economic prospects, especially in developed countries that are hit by the most severe recession of the post-war era. The impact of both factors is compounded by the fact that, as of early 2009, a very high level of risk perception is leading companies to extensively curtail their costs and investment programmes in order to become more resilient to any further deterioration of their business environment. All of the three major types of FDI (market-seeking, efficiency-seeking and resources-seeking) will be impacted by these factors, although with different magnitudes and consequences on location patterns. For dealing effectively with the crisis and its economic aftermath, it is important for policymakers to resist the temptation of “quick fix” solutions or protectionism, and to maintain a favourable business and investment climate overall. Recent announcements and commitments made at the London Group of Twenty (G-20) Summit in April 2009 have reconfirmed this policy stance.

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        Assessment of the Impact of Trade Policy Reform in Countries Acceding to the World Trade Organization: The Gender Dimension (English)
        Working paper by UNCTAD, 2010, 62 pages
        Categories: Trade and Gender, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The following overview sets forth a generalized background into the gendered impacts of trade liberalization. Reflecting findings reported by gender specialists examining such impacts, this paper first indicates policy areas that warrant particular scrutiny by governments concerned with gender equality and disparate impacts of economic liberalization between females and males due to social constructs. Next, a description of the WTO rules on accession highlight areas of trade policy that are the locus of attention in the proceedings leading to WTO membership. A brief depiction of the acceding governments’ extra-WTO legal obligations to pursue gender-equality follows. Finally, the paper sets forth a number of generalizable policy suggestions as to how governments in WTO accession processes could minimize negative aspects of liberalization and how they could maximize the positive potentials held by liberalization.

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        Assessment of Trade in Services and Development Gains (English)
        Discussion paper by UNCTAD, 2004
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies

        What: Liberalization of trade in services has become a main concern of many developing countries as it reaches out to areas previously considered as the exclusive domain of the public sector. The main challenge that developing countries are facing is how to strengthen domestic supply capacity in services and reconcile trade, development, social and equity considerations. The objective of this note is to identify questions and to provide some reflections on the methodology for undertaking assessment of services in their developmental and trade dimensions in developing countries. A purpose of the assessment is to identify the best policies that developing countries could pursue. Who: Useful for anyone teaching and/or studying liberalization of trade in services. How: Can be used as a background reading for courses on liberalization of trade in services in developing countries.

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        Assessment Report on Energy Efficiency Institutional Arrangements in Asia (English)
        Report by UNESCAP, 2010, 212 pages
        Categories: Competitiveness, Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade and Environment

        Energy security is high on the agendas of ESCAP member States. The dependence of many of these countries on imported energy resources from other regions of the world and the unequal distribution of relatively abundant energy resources in the region punctuate this concern. The volatility of the price of oil due to supply and demand economics is another related issue. Under these circumstances, the technical and economic viability of energy efficiency has come into sharper focus. Promoting energy efficiency has been identified as an effective energy, economic and climate policy aimed at managing demand for energy, increasing economic revenues by decreasing cost, and reaping the rewards for mitigating climate change, respectively. Energy efficiency is a technical term in the energy sector that means using less energy to provide the same level of energy service. The institutional dimension, which has been lagging behind in development and policy debates for many years, is the focus of this publication.

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        Assuring Development Gains and Poverty Reduction from Trade: the Labour Mobility and Skills Trade Dimension (English)
        Book by Puri, Lakshmi /UNCTAD, 2008, 129 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies, Migration and Development

        What: It is becoming increasingly clear that the issue of global labour movement and integration is a key topic at the interface of trade, development and globalization. In 2005 the global labour force numbered 2.8 billion, of which 2.25 billion was developing country labour force. This paper attempts to provide a comprehensive picture of the impact on trade, development and poverty reduction brought about by global labour movement and integration. It attempts to answer the question as to how temporary labour mobility can be better managed so as to contribute to improving people's livelihood and welfare prospects while at the same time moving closer to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, in particular the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. How: The paper looks at temporary labour mobility and skills trade as it relates to trade and development from the perspectives of both sending and receiving countries. It sets out the problem of labour mobility, the state of play in the global labour market, push-pull factors that cause labour mobility and succinctly, the seven inconsistencies of the labour movement conundrum. A detailed examination of the socio-economic costs and benefits to sending and receiving countries provides a balanced overview of the picture.

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        Assuring Food Security In Developing Countries Under The Challenges Of Climate Change (English)
        Discussion paper by UNCTAD, 2011, 50 pages
        Categories: Commodities, Trade and Environment

        For a large number of developing countries, agriculture remains the single most important sector. Climate change has the potential to damage irreversibly the natural resource base on which agriculture depends, with grave consequences for food security. However, agriculture is the sector that has the potential to transcend from being a problem to becoming an essential part of the solution to climate change provided there is a more holistic vision of food security, agricultural mitigation, climate-change adaptation and agriculture’s pro-poor development contribution. What is required is a rapid and significant shift from conventional, industrial, monoculture-based and high-external-input dependent production towards mosaics of sustainable production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. The required transformation is much more profound than simply tweaking the existing industrial agricultural systems. However, the sheer scale at which modified production methods would have to be adopted, the significant governance and market-structure challenges at national and international level and the considerable difficulties involved in measuring, reporting and verifying reductions in GHG emissions pose considerable challenges.

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        Atlas of Global Development - A Visual Guide to the World’s Greatest Challenges (English)
        Report by The Work Bank, 2013, 147 pages
        Categories: Globalization and Development Strategies

        This report illustrates the most important development challenges facing our world today. Based upon authoritative data from the World Bank's World Development Indicators, it provides information on critical global topics - from poverty, population growth, and food production to climate change, foreign direct investment, and international trade. In addition, it includes detailed information about targets for the Millennium Development Goals.

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        Azerbaijan - The Key to EU Energy Security (English)
        Article by European Policy Centre, 2011, 2 pages
        Categories: VI Members Research

        This commentary by Amanda Paul and Gulmira Rzayeva analyses the state of play regarding the Shah Deniz II gas decision and the remaining difficulties ahead.

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