Sharp fall in global foreign direct investment last year

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows declined by 18% in 2012 to a level which was close to the trough reached in 2009, according to the Global Investment Trends Monitor just published by UNCTAD. The Report puts this down to the uncertainty which has been caused by the weakening macroeconomic environment, with falls being registered for global growth in GDP, … 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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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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How can Africa’s agriculture boost development through trade?

Why has Africa become a net food importer? This was the question raised by Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation, at a conference entitled “Harnessing Agriculture for Development through Trade” yesterday. This conference was based on a publication produced by the CUTS International resource centre. Lamy pointed out that Africa became a net-food importer in the 1980s, … Continue reading

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Could the UK be consigned to the “slow lane of history” for the next 40 years?

The global financial crisis has accelerated the shift in economic power to the emerging economies, according to a report published by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) today. This is one of the conclusions from their “The World in 2050” report. This suggests that the so-called E7 group of emerging economies (China, India, Brazil, Russia, often referred to as the BRICs, with Mexico, … Continue reading

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Trade expansion can be a low-cost stimulus

  Director-General Pascal Lamy of the World Trade Organisation gave a speech in Shanghai last Friday in which he emphasized the importance of trade to the worldwide recovery. He said: “Trade can be thought of as a stimulus package available to both developed and developing countries.  It has to be part and parcel of the economic recovery effort for growth … Continue reading

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Trade continues to grow in G7 countries

Export volumes of merchandise trade were up 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2009, whilst import volumes grew by 3.1%, according to new figures from the OECD. The biggest increases were in the US and Japan where export volumes rose by 6.4% and 6.1% respectively, and import volumes rose by 3.4% and 3.0% respectively. However, when we compare these figures … Continue reading

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World Trade has been a casualty of the global crisis

Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation recently gave a speech in Brussels at which he explained the deterioration in world trade over the past year. He said: “These are not easy times. We know that in 2009, growth of real world GDP was negative, estimated at -2.2 per cent. Furthermore, the global unemployment rate reached its highest level … Continue reading

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