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Building knowledge for trade and development

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        The Oceans Economy: Opportunities and Challenges for Small Island Developing States (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2014, 38 pages
        Categories: Commodities, Globalization and Development Strategies, Trade and Environment

        This report is the consequence of a joint effort from a team of experts from UNCTAD and the Commonwealth Secretariat to better understand the implications of the nascent and evolving concept of the oceans economy. This report underlines the importance of sustainable oceanic activities for the development of SIDS and other coastal states.Both opportunities and challenges for SIDS are identified in existing and emerging trade-related sectors such as sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, renewable marine energy, marine bio-prospecting, maritime transport and marine and coastal tourism.It also points at the need to consider the formation of regional economic groupings that combine their "economic exclusive zones" under a common oceans economic space in order to be able to seize, manage and sustainably use joint resources and build common infrastructures.

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        O contencioso brasil-estados unidos sobre o algodão: um caso bem-sucedido de desenvolvimento de capacidades (English)
        Case study by Mário Ferreira Presser e Luciana Togeiro de Almeida, 2015, 6 pages
        Categories: Commodities, International Economic Law, VI Members Research

        Capacity Building Case Study - Brazil-US: Cotton

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        Oil Prices and Maritime Freight Rates: An Empirical Investigation (English)
        Report by UNCTAD, 2010, 40 pages
        Categories: Commodities, Trade Facilitation

        The study assesses the effect of oil prices on maritime freight rates for containerized goods and two particular commodities, iron ore and crude oil. Results also indicate that, since 2004, the elasticity of container freight rates to oil prices is larger; this suggests that the effect of oil prices\\non container freight rates increases in periods of sharply rising and more volatile oil prices. The results are of particular interest in view of increasing oil supply constraints expected over the coming decades which may lead to significant increases in oil prices, possibly to levels which have not yet been reached.

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        Only Words? How Power in Trade Agreement Texts Affects International Trade Flows (English)
        Discussion paper by UNCTAD, 2018, 23 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Related Capacity Building

        The texts of international trade agreements are often recycled from previous treaties. Large and rich countries are more likely to act as "rulemakers" who have an internally consistent treaty network, while smaller and poorer countries are more likely to be "rule-takers" whose treaties resemble those of their partners more than their own. To study whether rule-makers benefit more from trade agreements than rule-takers, the paper uses a new text corpus of machine-readable trade agreement texts, Texts of Trade Agreements (ToTA). It builds indicators of textual similarity that capture how much an agreement resembles each party's previous agreements and introduce them into a gravity model of international trade. The results show that the exports of countries that had a greater influence on the treaty text increase more than their partners'. In an "average" situation, the rule-maker increases its exports by about 16.3%, while the rule-taker only increases its exports by about 8.8%.The effect is driven by the influence of the importer, suggesting that powerful countries effectively restrict access to their markets. The results demonstrate that the recycling of trade agreements has real economic effects, suggesting that countries should carefully assess text proposals when negotiating a trade agreement.

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        On the Complementarity of Regional and Global Trade (English)
        Working paper by Souleymane,Coulibalya/WB, 2008, 16 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This paper proposes a closer look at the issue using COMTRADE aggregate exports of capital goods, intermediate goods, consumer goods and raw materials for 2002-06 to evaluate the impact of a country import of intermediate goods from its neighbors on its global export performance using a granger-causality test based on an extended-gravity model. For Sub-Saharan African countries particularly, there is a strong positive correlation between countries previous regional import of intermediate goods and their current exports, indicating that developing neighborhoods are also experiencing such complementarity between regional and global trade, the relation being stronger beyond a threshold of global competitiveness.

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        On the Determinants of Exports Survival (English)
        Discussion paper by Marco Fugazza, Cristina Molina, 2011, 43 pages
        Categories: Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This study series paper examines the exporter's survival in foreign markets through an empirical investigation of possible determinants of exports survival rates such as fixed and sunk cost to export. It contains descriptive statistics of stylized facts that qualifies trade duration across groups of countries. The results are shown by region. The final part contains the results showing that the overall trade relationships with either higher average or initial trade values face lower hazard rate which have important policy implications.

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        On the Importance of Market Access for Trade (English)
        Working paper by Fugazza, Marco, Nicita, Alessandro, 2011, 36 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

        One of the consequences of the proliferation of preferential trade agreements is that an increasing share of international trade is not subject to the most favoured nation (MFN) tariff, but enters markets through preferential access. Preferential access affects trade because, by providing some countries with a relative advantage, it is essentially a discriminatory practice. This paper examines the extent to which preferential access affects bilateral trade flows. The empirical approach consists first in providing two indices: one summarizing direct market access conditions (the overall tariff faced by exports) and one measuring relative market access conditions (the overall tariff faced by exports relative to that faced by competitors). Then, the indices are used in a gravity model in order to estimate how changes in market access conditions affect international trade. Although those conditions are generally more important, the results indicate that the relative advantage provided by the structure of preferences also affects the magnitude of bilateral trade flows. That is, bilateral trade flows depend on the advantage provided by the system of preferences over other competitors.

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        O Papel Dos Sistemas Gerais De Preferências (English)
        Policy brief by Barral, Welber, Pancotto Bohrer, Carolina, 2011, 12 pages
        Categories: Policy Reviews and Briefs, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        O trabalho abordará o papel dos SGPs no comércio exterior brasileiro, specialmente no que tange às exportações para EUA e UE. O Brasil é usuário de ambos os sistemas, que passam por momento de transformação. Nos últimos anos, o país tem empreendido considerável esforço para manter as vantagens tarifárias no âmbito do SGP norte-americano, o que constitui elemento importante nas relações comerciais entre Brasil e EUA. No entanto, existem questionamentos tanto internos quanto externos relativos à participação do Brasil no SGP daquele país. No caso do SGP europeu, existe também bastante preocupação, especialmente em função do recente anúncio de que o bloco vai rever seu SGP, o que provavelmente terá como resultado a exclusão de países médios como o Brasil. Esta pode ser, inclusive, uma estratégia européia para forçar um acordo com o MERCOSUL e os impactos para o comércio exterior brasileiro podem ser relevantes.

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        Opening a Pandora’s Box: Modeling World Trade Patterns at the 2035 Horizon (English)
        Working paper by Lionel Fontagné, Jean Fouré, 2013, 48 pages
        Categories: Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        Economic projections for the world economy in relation to the construction of Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) baselines. The document shows projection of world trade trajectories up to 2035. It includes world trade patterns in comparative advantages, demand, and capabilities of different regions. Mentions models such as the production factors model and the factor-specific productivities. It shows trade elasticity regarding trade and income. It also shows demographics, gross domestic product, saving rates, factors and current account trajectories on the CGE baseline. Lastly it suggests trade policy scenarios as demand and trade patterns.

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        Opportunities in the Southern Pattern of Trade Specialization: Identifying Potentialities in Natural Resource Activities (English)
        Case study by Bianchi, Eduardo; Uzquiza, Laura; Fairlie, Alan, 2010
        Categories: Commodities, VI Members Research

        This Vi joint research project between Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) and Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) analyzes the evolution of natural resource activities in Latin America and the impact of trade liberalization and the Southern pattern on growth, labour, poverty and income distribution. The analysis looks at two case studies in Peru (mining) and Argentina (natural resources) and describes several challenges for public institutions in ensuring export development along the lines of the Southern pattern.

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        Orderly workouts for cross-border private debt (English)
        Presentation by Steven Radelet, 2000, 22 pages
        Categories: Finance for Development

        What: This paper examines a variety of proposals for international versions of the three basic components of a debt workout: a debt payments standstill, provisions for new finance, and the framework for restructuring. The paper addresses the question as to how standstills and workout arrangements can be designed that would help stop a panic and an overshooting of capital withdrawals from emerging markets, and subsequently provide a framework to close insolvent firms and reorganize more viable enterprises. Who: Useful for teachers and students focusing on international private sector debt and cross-border bankruptcies. How: Can be used as a background reading for courses on international debt and bankruptcy issues.

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        O Regionalismo No Século XXI: Comércio, Regulação E Política (English)
        Discussion paper by Machado Oliveira, Ivan Tiago, 2012, 36 pages
        Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, VI Members Research

        This paper aims to analyze how the waves of regionalism represented changes in the way trade policy has been conducted, expanding the game of political negotiation with variable geometry and determining its influence on the political regulation of international trade. To do so, the concept and a typology of regionalism in its economic bases are presented. Moreover, the relation between the rules of the multilateral trade regime and those of regional agreements will be explored by analyzing the proliferation of the latter and the tensions, antagonisms and complementarities between regionalism and multilateralism. Finally, the waves of regionalism and some of the most relevant theoretical and analytical approaches that seek to explain them will be presented in order to shed light on the study of regionalism in trade policy strategies within the framework of a new political regulation of international trade in the 21st century.

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        Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa (English)
        Report by UNCTAD/UNEP, 2008, 61 pages
        Categories: Commodities, Trade and Environment

        Food security is an issue of great concern in many developing countries. Despite pledges, the number of people suffering from hunger has increased every year. This report is the result of joint efforts between UNCTAD and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through their joint capacity building task force on trade, environment and development (CBTF). This study examines the relationship between organic agriculture and food security in Africa, particularly East Africa, which is where the CBTF has been implementing a project on organic agriculture since 2004. Organic agriculture is a holistic production system based on active agro-ecosystem management rather than on external inputs, and it utilizes both traditional and scientific knowledge. The evidence presented in this study supports the argument that organic agriculture can be more conducive to food security in Africa than most conventional production systems, and that it is more likely to be sustainable in the long term. Organic agriculture is ideally suited for poor marginalised smallholder farmers in Africa, as they require minimal external input, use locally and natural available materials and encourages farming that is more diverse and resistant to stress. In particular, the recent food price hike and rising fuel prices stress the importance of making agriculture less energy and external input dependant. Case studies have shown that organic agriculture increases agriculture productivity. Transition to integrated organic agriculture has been shown to increase access to food by increasing yields and increasing total on-farm productivity and hence reduce poverty and improve rural livelihoods.

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        Organic fruit and vegetables from the tropics: Market, certification and production information for producers and international trading companies (English)
        Discussion paper by Montek S. Ahluwalia, 2000, 26 pages
        Categories: Commodities

        What: The purpose of this discussion paper is to evaluate the impact of developments on the relative roles of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the future. Initially the paper provides a brief overview of the changing roles of the Fund and the Bank and it then summarizes why the crises of the 1990s are fundamentally different from earlier episodes of balance-of-payments difficulties and therefore calls for very different responses. It also discusses some of the main elements which have been proposed as part of the new financial architecture and examines their implications for the roles of the Fund and the Bank. Finally the paper presents a summary assessment of various proposals for improving coordination between the Fund and the Bank. Who: For a lecturer or research work on the roles of the international financial institutions. How: Can be used as a background reading material on the relative roles and overlaps of IMF and the World Bank.

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        Os Brics Na OMC: Políticas Comerciais Comparadas De Brasil, Rússia, Índia, China E África Do Sul (English)
        Book by Oliveira, Ivan (IPEA) and Thorstensen, Vera (FGV), 2012, 484 pages
        Categories: Emerging Economies and South South Cooperation, VI Members Research, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The result of a research project of the Department of International Studies at IPEA, in partnership with researchers from FGV, the study analyzes the trade policy of the BRICS countries, particularly with respect to their participation in the multilateral trading system.

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        Outsourcing and development (English)
        Discussion paper by Navdeep Suri, 2005
        Categories: Competitiveness, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        What: A study of a newly emerging market for outsourcing of services, with a focus on outsourcing to developing countries. Reviews the market, trends and players (wealth of data) and presents different views from both developed and developing countries about the benefits and losses from service outsourcing. Shows the political economy background of this discussion in a broader context of a shifting competitive advantage debate. Short case studies of India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Ghana, South Africa. Examines how outsourcing of services links to the treatment of services in the WTO. Who: University teachers and students, and anybody interested in the very topical issue of service outsourcing to developing countries. How: Chapters presenting different opinions about the benefits or losses of outsourcing for developed and developing countries could serve to stimulate discussion among (groups of) students. Chapter about inter-modal linkages useful for understanding the interrelationship among the different modes of services delivery in the WTO and their evolution. Cases to show how use of IT can benefit developing countries.

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        An Overview Assessment of the Revised WTO Draft Modalities for Agriculture (English)
        Study by Gifford, Mike and Montemayor, Raul/ICTSD, IFPRI, 2008, 22 pages
        Categories: Commodities, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

        The revised draft modalities text issued by the Chair of the WTO agricultural negotiating group on February 8, 2008, reflects the considerable incremental progress which has been made in elaborating, clarifying and putting into legal language the first draft of July 2007. However, there are still a large number of issues which remain open and which will need to be narrowed down further by senior officials before ministers can be asked to resolve the most politically sensitive. The Chair has suggested half a dozen to a dozen issues are about the maximum ministers could be realistically asked to settle. This paper provides an overview assessment of the implications of the revised modalities text in terms of its ambition and balance as viewed from the perspective of both developed and developing countries, and identifies the key issues that will likely require ministerial decisions. It goes on to examine what additional issues could be added as part of a final deal once there is agreement on modalities and there is an assessment of the ensuing draft schedules. It concludes by venturing some views on the likely trade-offs between agriculture and other parts of the Doha negotiations, particularly the non-agricultural market access (NAMA) negotiations. This assessment draws from and builds on the complementary detailed analysis which has been undertaken on the implications of the new draft modalities text for four major Doha participants - the US, EU, Brazil and India.

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        An Overview of Major Sources of Data and Analyses Relating to Physical Fundamentals in International Commodity Markets
        Working paper by Fajarnes, Pilar / UNCTAD, 2011, 32 pages
        Categories: Commodities, Trade Policy Analysis and Trade Data Sources

        This paper, written by Pilar Fajarnes, of UNCTAD's Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, assesses the current situation with regard to the availability of information on physical commodity markets, pointing to some of the existing information gaps and areas for improvement. It also provides a comprehensive overview of the various information sources covering agricultural commodity markets (food, tropical beverages, agricultural raw materials), energy commodities, and metals and minerals markets. A wealth of website links contained in the paper facilitates the access to relevant information.

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        Overview of the World's Commodity Exchanges 2006 (English)
        Report by UNCTAD and Swiss Futures and Options Association (SFOA), 2006, 38 pages
        Categories: Commodities

        What: This extract from the publication "The World's Commodity Exchanges: Past - Present - Future" was prepared by UNCTAD and the Swiss Futures and Options Association (SFOA) for the International Bürgenstock Conference 2006. At first, the paper analyses the current global commodity futures and options markets relying on a wide set of data and charts. Then, all the major commodity exchanges in the world are presented and their recent development is discussed. An annex comprises data sources on the biggest commodities exchanges and the global trade in futures and options. The paper ends with a list of relevant UNCTAD publications on commodities. How: Particularly useful for an international finance course with an emphasis on commodity trade. Who: Mainly for investors interested in commodities.