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Thinking development against the mainstream

30 years of UNCTAD's Trade & Development Report

Marking the 30th anniversary of one of the world’s more influential economic annuals experts pointed out that themes long sounded in UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report retain current prominence – particularly those citing the questionable wisdom of unbridled free markets. Other prominent themes concerned the persistence of trade imbalances, the risks of overdependence on commodities exports, the risks of premature liberalization of capital flows, the need for new mechanisms to deal with sovereign debt, and the problems posed by income inequality, Carla September reports.


The report, first published by UNCTAD in 1981 – when it explored the themes of “world development in historical perspective” and “the world economy in transition” – was celebrated with a day of panel debates on 20 February in Geneva reviewing its origins and evolving ideas, its approach to development strategies, its macroeconomic reasoning, and its evolving theories on international economic governance ...

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Find in this article:

UNCTAD's flagship report: To often a lonely voice
Contantly warning of world economic dangers
The limits of G20

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