Global trade is increasingly dominated by the complex and circuitous routes followed by goods and services as they are upgraded into finished products, a recent UNCTAD report entitled “GVCs and Development: Investment and Value Added Trade in the Global Economy” says (see reference). And developing countries’ share of value-added trade is growing rapidly, reports Carla September.
According to the report, these “global value chains” (GVCs), orchestrated for the most part by transnational corporations (TNCs), offer opportunities for poor countries to gain access to international markets, just as they offer opportunities for statistical confusion to economists. The ever-more complicated webs of investment and trade, by which raw materials extracted in one country may be exported to a second country for processing, then exported again to a manufacturing plant in a third country, which may then export to a fourth country for final consumption. The authors of the report say that the value chains administered in various ways by TNCs now account for 80% of the $20trillion in trade each year ...
At first glance, everyday life seems not to have changed in Istanbul. The streets are congested; people hurry to the ferry or the bus. For weeks, there has been no terror attack. Nevertheless, there are some visible changes. There are much more policemen in the streets. In some days, the Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping street on the European side, seems to be under a state of siege. At every street corner, there is police van with the blue light switched on.
Recent disturbing trends in international finance have particularly problematic implications, especially for developing countries. The new United Nations report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 (WESP 2017), is the only recent report of a multilateral inter-governmental organization to recognize these problems, especially as they are relevant to the financing requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Trump government signals unequivocally the end of international US hegemony. An international hegemon is able to define rules that find relatively broad acceptance internationally and plays a role in safeguarding international economic stability. The Trump government announced measures that go against the present economic rules while not proposing new ones.
The global deficit in quality jobs and deteriorating economic conditions in a number of regions threatens to undo decades of progress in poverty reduction, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) 2016.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.