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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Solid growth for world recovery, but not without its dangers

The world economy is moving from a post-crisis bounce-back to a period of slower growth over this year and next. This is according to the latest Global Economic Prospects 2011 published by the World Bank. The report estimates that global GDP grew by 3.9% in 2010, but will slow to 3.3% this year, before recovering to 3.6% in 2012. Fastest … Continue reading

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New open data site from the World Bank

This is big news for all you information junkies out there who need access to lots of up-to-date figures. The World Bank has just launched an open data site with more than 2,000 financial, business, health, economic and human development statistics. Until now, most of this has been available only to paying subscribers. Now the site and indicators are also … Continue reading

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Poorest countries need to adopt a new approach

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has just published its “Least Developed Countries Report 2009”, which looks at the world’s 49 poorest countries.   The report says the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) need to focus macroeconomic policy on building up both the productive capacity of their economies and infrastructure. Also, they need to ensure that their fledgling banking … Continue reading

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Developing countries hit by falling FDI inflows

Developing countries have not been immune from the global recession or the fragile nature of financial markets. In fact, net private capital inflows to developing countries fell to $707 billion in 2008, which was a severe drop from the peak figure of $1.2 trillion in 2007. It is projected that international capital flows will fall further in 2009 to $363 … Continue reading

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World Bank slashes forecasts for growth and trade

The World Bank now predicts that global GDP growth will now contract by 1.7% in 2009, which means that world output will contract for the first time since the 2nd World War.   According to Hans Timmer, Manager, Global Trends in the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group: “Even if global growth turns positive again in 2010, we are not yet … Continue reading

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Global economy to shrink for first time since World War Two

In a paper prepared for last weekend’s G20 meeting of Finance Ministers, the World Bank said that the global economy is likely to shrink this year for the first time since the second world war. With growth at least 5 percentage points below potential, the World Bank forecasts that global industrial production could be as much as 15% lower by … Continue reading

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