Friday, May 30, 2008


A publication titled “Development and Globalisation: Facts and Figures” was launched at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) meeting in Accra yesterday.
It summarises trends in trade, development and interrelated issues such as finance, technology, investment and sustainable development.
The report, the second after the first publication in 2004, was prepared by UNCTAD’s Division on Globalisation and Development Strategies, in collaboration with other divisions.
Launching the publication, the Director of the Globalisation and Development Strategies Division of UNCTAD, Mr Heiner Flassbeck, stressed the need for better analyses based on empirical data on globalisation and development and noted that the publication sought to do exactly that.
He said it was an improved one which highlighted important information that could help in the development of policy on trade and development and added that it would now be published annually or bi-annually.
In an overview of some of the useful data that could be used in the publication, Mr Flassbeck said capital flows and the current reversal of trends that saw developing countries becoming net exporters of capital and developed countries net importers challenged orthodox development theories.
He said analyses in the book were useful for consideration in public policy and actions.
The 76-page publication of economic statistics and analyses of economic performance trade and investments gives a snapshot of trends in global growth and composition of demand, payment balances and determinants across regions and countries, external resources and international trade in merchandise and resources.
The foreword to the book, written by the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mr Supachai Panitchpakdi, points out the key roles being played by developing economies in the global economy.
Apart from accounting for 37 per cent of the world’s merchandise exports in 2006, many also had achieved current account surpluses that had become important providers of capital for the rest of the world, he added.
Reiterating a point made prior to the UNCTAD XII session, Mr Panitchpakdi said a second generation of globalisation was emerging, with a distinctive characteristic being economic multipolarity in which greater roles were played by the South.
“The new economic weight of some developing countries creates significant opportunities for the rest of the developing countries. It also highlights the need for policy diversity,” he said.
Meanwhile, an overview of the publication contained in a press statement released by the UNCTAD Press Unit at the launch said the ratio of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) between developed and developing countries fell from 20 to 1 in 1990 to 16 to 1 in 2006.
With only 16 per cent of the word’s population, developed nations generated 73 per cent of world nominal GDP in 2006, although the proportion was down from 80 per cent in 1992.
It said the progress on developing countries had been rapid, with all developing regions benefiting from recent growth trends. However, significant differences remained, with annual GDP expansion between 2003 and 2007 being 6.2 per cent in Asia, 3.7 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean and three per cent in Africa.


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