European Briefings on Globalisation, North-South Relations and International Ecology
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Issue 1/Jan-Feb 2007

Article no: EN20070128-Issue-1-2007

Issue 1/Jan-Feb 2007

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Intellectual property rights are supposed to play a crucial role at the coming G-8 summit in Heiligendamm. The subject itself is politically highly explosive. The German federal government?s G-8 agenda leans heavily toward the short-term interests of knowledge owners (= industrialised countries). Thus it contradicts its own claim to assume ?responsibility for the political, economic and social shaping of globalisation?, writes Klaus Liebig.
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The world economy is expected to moderate in 2007 after three years of historically high growth according to a new UN report, titled ?World Economic Situation and Prospects 2007?. Stepping back from the all-time high growth in world gross product (WGP) of 4.0 per cent reached in 2005 and the estimated 3.8 per cent growth for 2006, global growth is expected to slacken at a pace of 3.2 per cent in 2007. WDEV summarises the report.
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Whereas the prominent globalisation critic Walden Bello already sees the ?retreat of globalisation? ? 15 years after its advent ?, the World Bank in its most recent report, Global Economic Prospects (see note), believes that a new globalisation wave is about to hit and the decisive issue is how to manage the globalisation of the next 25 years. Yet the protagonists, notes Rainer Falk, have more in common than generally assumed.
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Global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows grew in 2006 for the third consecutive year to reach US$1.2 trillion, according to UNCTAD's first estimate for the year. The total is a 34 per cent increase from 2005 (see table), although still short of the record of US$1.4 trillion set in 2000. The continued rise in FDI largely reflects high economic growth and strong economic performance in many parts of the world. Such growth has occurred in both developed and developing countries. Michael Monks reviews the latest figures.
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The creditor landscape is rapidly changing. New donor countries such as China, India and Venezuela are stepping forward with offers of rapidly-disbursed and almost condition-fee cash to low-income African and Latin American nations. This relatively new development has the ?traditional? international donor community seriously worried. By Gail Hurley.
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