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Category Archives: International Trade

Trade between developing countries – so-called ‘South-South’ trade in merchandise exports has now reached a record $4.7 trillion (in current prices) in 2012. This is a highlight of the fact that total world merchandise exports have more than tripled over the last 20 years to reach $18 trillion. These figures have recently been published by UNCTAD in its Handbook of … Continue reading

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Merchandise exports from developed countries fell last year

There was a fall in the merchandise exports of developed nations of 2.75% in 2012, according to figures just released by UNCTAD. However, this was offset by a rise of 3.6% amongst developing countries, although much of that increase occurred in petroleum and gas exporting countries. In fact, developing countries that are primarily exporters of commodities other than fuels saw … Continue reading

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High trade growth for least-developed countries

The value of the total exports of least-developed countries (LDCs) including goods and commercial services, grew by 23.9 per cent in 2011 to reach US$229.8 billion, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). However, the LDC coordinator in the WTO, pointed out that “a lot remains to be done”. LDCs’ exports of manufactured goods and commercial services expanded by 24.8 … Continue reading

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African free trade area by 2017?

African leaders are now calling for a continental free trade area, a measure which is backed by a new World Bank report which shows that African countries are losing out on billions of dollars in potential trade earnings due to high trade barriers with neighbouring countries. The Bank found that it is easier for Africa to trade with the rest … Continue reading

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International trade growth grinding to a halt

Merchandise trade growth slowed strongly in most major economies in the third quarter of 2011, according to figures just published by the OECD. Total imports of G7 and BRICS countries contracted by 1% in the third quarter, compared to 4.2% growth in the previous quarter. Total export growth slowed to 1%, compared to 4.6% in the previous quarter. Merchandise trade … Continue reading

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Trade slows in major economies

Merchandise trade growth slowed across major economies in the second quarter of 2011, according to figures just released by the OECD. Total imports of G7 and BRICS countries grew by only 1.1% in the second quarter compared to 10.1% in the previous quarter. Total export growth slowed to 1.9%, compared to 7.7% in the previous quarter. China’s imports grew by … Continue reading

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New free trade area to be set up in Southern Africa

Three of Africa’s key trade blocs are currently in talks concerning a merger. These blocs are the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the East African Community (EAC), and are currently negotiating to form the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFRA). According to the World Bank, trade amongst countries in sub-Saharan Africa … Continue reading

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Strong growth in merchandise trade in OECD countries

Merchandise trade continued to grow strongly across major economies in the first quarter of 2011, according to statistics just released by the OECD. Total imports of G7 and BRICS countries grew by 11% in the first quarter compared to 8.2% in the previous quarter. Total exports grew by 8.5%, compared to 8.2% in the previous quarter.    China’s trade surplus … Continue reading

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China’s April trade surplus will cause problems with the US

China recorded a trade surplus of $11.4bn or £7bn in April. This was from a surplus of only $140m in March but was about four times greater than analysts had been expecting. Why does this pose a problem for the US? It is because many Americans believe that the Chinese currency, the yuan, is undervalued. An undervalued currency means that … Continue reading

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Growth is beginning to respond but there will be an uneven recovery

Economic activity in OECD countries will gradually pick up steam over the coming two years, but the recovery will be uneven and unemployment will remain persistently high, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook. The OECD sees the main challenge to countries at the moment as the ability to move from a policy-driven recovery toward self-sustained growth.  “As stimulus is withdrawn, … Continue reading

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