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From Jobs to Careers: Apparel Exports and Career Paths for Women in Developing Countries

This report contributes to the apparel and female empowerment debate by asking, How does exporting apparel contribute to the jobs-to-careers transition? And is an apparel-led export strategy sufficient to induce this transition? It focuses on seven countries where the apparel industry plays an important role in their export baskets: Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Vietnam. Apparel has been an important export for them all at some point over the past three decades, and except for Egypt, they have all been top apparel exporters to the global market. The report is structured around the path from jobs to careers, which is filled with both opportunities and obstacles and thus in need of targeted policies (figure O.1). Previous literature has found the positive employment effects of apparel exports, particularly on jobs. A hope is to shift the paradigm of how we think of women’s participation in the labor force by demonstrating the importance of the distinction between jobs and careers.

Published - 2021
Building SME Competitiveness in the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean: Policy Proposals by the Private Sector

The situation and performance of SMEs as well as the implementation, coordination and effectiveness of policies in support of these economic agents are very different in the European Union and in Latin America and the Caribbean. This circumstance, far from posing a barrier, opens new opportunities rooted in the historical complementarity and the cultural and economic affinity of the two blocs and the presence of counterbalancing economic cycles, which should allow construction of a deeper and more balanced relationship that offers mutual benefits. This document seeks to contribute in that direction by summarizing the key concerns and needs of the private sector with respect to the challenges facing SMEs in both regions.

Published - 2013
Non-Tariff Measures to Trade: Economic and Policy Issues for Developing Countries

This study contributes to a better understanding of the implications of NTMs for developing countries in two regards. First, it provides an analysis of the utilization, methods of quantification and impacts of NTMs. These issues are discussed in sections I, II and III. Secondly, the study also illustrates some aspects of NTMs and the policy responses Governments and the international community might deploy to address some of the issues related to NTMs. These issues are presented in sections IV, V and VI. 

As a whole, this study brings two main messages to trade analysts and policymakers in regard to NTMs. The first is that, given their importance but the still limited understanding of them, further research and analysis are required. The second is that a multilateral policymaking process, although difficult, is critical to minimizing their distortionary and discriminatory effects.

Published - 2013
Geographical Indications: An Introduction

This publication provides an introduction to geographical indications, explaining their basic features, use and protection as an intellectual property right. Written for non-experts, it is a starting point for readers seeking to learn more about the topic. While the publication focuses primarily on the protection of geographical indications as an intellectual property right, it also addresses the economic and social dimensions of geographical indications and responds to the questions most frequently raised by policymakers, producers and other stakeholders who wish to begin the process of developing a geographical indication scheme for a product.

Published - 2021
Making Intellectual Property Work for Business

Although many businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the central and growing importance of IP for their business, most have no easy way to learn about the proper and effective use of the tools of the IP system in their business models and strategies. Knowledge, skills and competencies in IP asset management are in short supply and, therefore, often very expensive or inaccessible for the vast majority of enterprises. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are especially in need of such expertise as they are generally not really aware of the pitfalls and/or the potential benefits of the effective use of the tools of the IPR system for their competitiveness and success. In this context, business membership organizations, such as ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) and its National Committees, chambers of commerce and trade associations, are uniquely placed to help businesses access quality IP asset management expertise through services tailored to their needs. Business associations also play an important part in educating their local business communities and policy makers about the role of the IP system.

Published - 2011
Methodology for the Development of National Intellectual Property Strategies

This publication presents the revised Methodology. It sets out a guide to the formulation process and outlines some broader issues that need consideration in creating a national IP strategy. The revised general framework set out in this guide should accommodate the range of different development needs and capacities of member states – from the creation of a comprehensive national IP strategy covering all major sectors of interest to the country to a more modest version matching the development needs and resource constraints of any particular country. In addition, the revised guidelines can also be used with some adaption to support the development of a wide array of more narrowly focused types of national IP plan or sectoral project, such as: • undertaking a resource and management diagnostic of an IP office (IPO), including the institutional status of the office; • developing specific IP strategies for the promotion of innovation, competitiveness and creativity; • strengthening the capacity of national IP governmental and stakeholder institutions to manage, monitor and promote creative industries; • elaborating on IP policies/plans for specialized institutions; • bolstering the use of IP in the informal economy; or • promoting the commercialization of research and the development of technology.

Published - 2020
Caribbean AgTech Investment Opportunities

The aim of this catalogue is to provide potential investors with information on investment opportunities in the AgTech sector throughout the twenty-three (23) member states of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies(CAIPA)

Published - 2021
Caribbean Export Development Agency Implementation Report 2017-2020 - 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme

This Implementation Report highlights this work, and the reach of the Agency across CARIFORUM from January 2017 - December 2020. The Agency’s continued focus on key interventions such as, access to finance, capacity building, export promotion and investment promotion has not gone unnoticed as identified by participants quotient of over 9,500 CARIFORUM beneficiaries from 257 work programme interventions. This is a solid indication that Caribbean Export is not only reaching the substantial portion of the CARIFORUM private sector, but this target group is also engaged and committed to their growth and development as well.  Key statistical highlights on the number of interventions and participants are provided in the report.

Published - 2021
Report – Absolutely Caribbean: Unlocking the Profit Potential of the Caribbean

In this report, the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) will offer readers a snapshot of the quality across several categories, including food, drinks and natural products. The Agency will also highlight the huge potential for Caribbean products across several European markets, ahead of its first ever virtual event in November, 2020. The online event is a joint venture between Caribbean Export, the European Commission and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, and has been launched off the back of a successful three-day trade show and conference, which took place in Germany in 2019.

Published - 2020
Building Business, Transforming Lives for a Resilient Caribbean - Strategic Plan 2021-2024

The Caribbean Export 2021-2024 Strategic Plan sets out a transformational agenda for the Region. With business firmly at the center, an innovative, high performing Caribbean Export will support the development of a resilient competitive private sector, that creates high value jobs leading to the economic growth and development of our Region consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Published - 2021
Global Economic Prospects, January 2021

Following a collapse last year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic output is expected to expand 4 percent in 2021 but still remain more than 5 percent below pre-pandemic projections. Global growth is projected to moderate to 3.8 percent in 2022, weighed down by the pandemic’s lasting damage to potential growth. In particular, the impact of the pandemic on investment and human capital is expected to erode growth prospects in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) and set back key development goals. The global recovery, which has been dampened in the near term by a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, is expected to strengthen over the forecast horizon as confidence, consumption, and trade gradually improve, supported by ongoing vaccination. Downside risks to this baseline predominate, including the possibility of a further increase in the spread of the virus, delays in vaccine procurement and distribution, more severe and longer-lasting effects on potential output from the pandemic, and financial stress triggered by high debt levels and weak growth. Limiting the spread of the virus, providing relief for vulnerable populations, and overcoming vaccine-related challenges are key immediate policy priorities. As the crisis abates, policy makers need to balance the risks from large and growing debt loads with those from slowing the economy through premature fiscal tightening. To confront the adverse legacies of the pandemic, it will be critical to foster resilience by safeguarding health and education, prioritizing investments in digital technologies and green infrastructure, improving governance, and enhancing debt transparency. Global cooperation will be key in addressing many of these challenges

Published - 2021
A Decade after the A Decade after the Global Recession: Lessons and Challenges for Emerging and Developing Economies

his book takes stock of the past decade and asks whether EMDEs are ready to face the next global downturn. To this end, it assesses the macroeconomic and financial developments over this period and draws lessons for EMDEs that should help policy makers as they prepare their countries for the next possible global downturn. The book offers three main conclusions.

First, perhaps for the first time, many EMDEs were able to implement largescale countercyclical fiscal and monetary policy during the last global recession. They were in a position to stimulate activity because they could draw on sizable policy buffers accumulated during the prerecession period of strong growth: government debt had fallen, current account and fiscal deficits narrowed, and inflation had moderated. Those EMDEs with more resilient economies and with more forceful stimulus experienced milder growth slowdowns during the 2009 global recession.

Second, looking ahead, the good news is that policy makers are now equipped with stronger policy frameworks than in earlier global downturns. Rule-based approaches to policy setting are more common among EMDEs, with many adopting fiscal rules and inflation-targeting regimes to implement counter-cyclical policy. Such frameworks served these economies well during the global recession. EMDEs that have adopted—and credibly implemented—these policy frameworks will likely be in a better position to weather the next downturn and establish the foundations for robust and sustainable growth.

Third, on the flip side, there is some not so good news. The book cautions EMDE policy makers that their economies are now less well prepared to face a global downturn than before the 2009 global recession. Vulnerabilities to external shocks have grown, including through higher debt and weaker fiscal positions, accompanied by diminished long-term growth prospects, undermining the effectiveness of a possible response to the next downturn. Those EMDEs that rely on commodity exports also face a world where demand growth for their commodities will likely be weaker than before the global recession. International trade more generally, the foundation of many of the success stories among EMDEs, is under threat from a changing geopolitical and multilateral landscape. The past decade was also a lost opportunity to undertake the types of business and governance reforms that bring about strong and sustained long-term growth. 

Published - 2020
What’s Cooking: Digital Transformation of the Agrifood System (2021)

What’s Cooking: Digital Transformation of the Agrifood System investigates how digital technologies can accelerate the transformation of the agrifood system, including by increasing efficiency on the farm; improving farmers’ access to output, input, and financial markets; improving quality control and traceability; and increasing efficiency in the design and delivery of agriculture policies. It also analyzes the role of digital agriculture in improving equity and environmental sustainability in food systems and highlights the risks that could emerge along the way, including risks associated with data governance, inadequate competition within and between digital platforms, and the potential deepening of the digital divide. With these in mind, it identifies public policy entry points to spur this digital transformation while minimizing the risks. More important, the report aims to ignite a discussion around these emerging trends in digital agriculture and lead to change. With change comes opportunity for positive transformation and the opportunity to steer the agrifood system in a direction that will deliver the triple benefits of healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy economies.

The goal of this report is twofold. First, it examines the pathways through which digital technologies can accelerate the transformation of the agrifood system. Second, it outlines the role public policy and investment can play in maximizing the positive and minimizing the negative impact of digital technologies on this transformation. The report investigates how digital technologies can improve the allocation of physical, natural, and human capital on the farm and reduce transaction costs off the farm, gaining efficiency. It also analyzes the role of digital agriculture in improving equity and environmental sustainability in food systems and highlights the risks that could emerge along the way. The role of governments in this process is to increase the space for private sector activity, improving the policy and regulatory environment and using public investments to crowd in private sector investment. In creating incentives to prompt private economic agents to maximize societal benefits, the public sector must also mitigate the potential (sometimes unknown) risks arising from digital agriculture.

Published - 2021
The Human Capital Index 2020 Update: Human Capital in the Time of COVID-19

This report accompanies the release of 2020 data on the HCI. Building on momentum from the first edition in 2018, the 2020 issue updates the index using new and expanded data for each of the HCI components through March 2020. As such, the report provides a snapshot of the state of human capital before COVID-19 and a baseline to track its impact. COVID-19 struck at a time when the world was healthier and more educated than ever. Yet data presented in this report reveal that substantial human capital shortfalls and equity gaps existed before the crisis. Worldwide, a child born just before the advent of COVID-19 could expect to achieve on average just 56 percent of her potential productivity as a future worker. Gaps in human capital remain especially deep in low-income economies and those affected by violence, armed conflict, and institutional fragility. Expanded sex-disaggregated data show that girls currently enjoy a slight edge over boys in human capital accumulation in most economies, reflecting in part a female biological advantage early in life. Women continue to be at a substantial disadvantage, however, in many dimensions of human capital that are not captured by the HCI’s components, including participation in economic life. In addition to describing HCI data and methodology, this report documents the evolution of human capital over the last decade. Human capital outcomes progressed in almost all economies by about 4 percent on average during this period, thanks primarily to better health and increased access to schooling. Many economies, however, struggled to improve learning outcomes, because educational quality often failed to keep pace with gains in enrollment. The various dimensions of human capital improved with economic development, and they did so at a surprisingly similar pace across country groups. Progress was only slightly faster in low-income economies, which are further away from the frontier of full health and education.

Published - 2021
Economic Institutions for a Resilient Caribbean

This volume focuses on economic institutions defined as rules and organizational arrangements that, if they govern the design and implementation of fiscal and monetary policies, can better align those policies with long-run citizen interests. Specifically, the economic institutions covered are those that promote more sustainable fiscal management, adequate implementation of monetary policy, and more resilient financial systems. On fiscal management, the book covers public revenue administrations, public financial management systems, public debt management institutions, fiscal rules, medium-term fiscal frameworks, independent fiscal councils, and the design features of sovereign wealth funds. While pension schemes are not a fiscal institution, they are also analyzed because of the fiscal burden and contingencies that these systems may entail. In terms of institutions that support effective monetary policy, the focus is on the importance of central bank independence and transparency. On financial systems, the book analyzes the relevance of financial regulation and supervision to promote more stable and efficient markets that are better suited to confront challenges and more resilient against external shocks. Some institutional enhancements that foster access to credit and deeper financial systems are also analyzed.

Published - 2021
Development of Strategies and Best Practices for the Development of Geographic Indicators (GIS) / Origin Linked Products (OLPs) for Select Products in CARIFORUM Countries: The Jamaica Jerk Producers' Association

This Caribbean Export Development Agency commissionedtcase study specifically focuses on the use of Geographic Indicators (GIs). In terms of areas where the region can compete, the offer of branded niche, origin-linked products are considered one of the most promising in light of the growing interest of consumers in these types of products which they associate with authenticity, culture and quality. This case study presents the experience of the Jamaica Jerk Producers’ Association (JJPA) which has the distinction of being the first producer group in the Caribbean to achieve a GI registration. It aims to provide an understanding of what a GI is, the various strategies which can be used to protect a GI, the process of registering and managing a GI and the reasons why the registration of a GI is considered to be important to the future development of Jamaica Jerk as a global brand.

Published - December 2017
Consultancy for the Development of a Case Study of the Protection of a Business Intellectual Property

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) understands that “intellectual property is an important business tool that must be integrated into an entity’s business strategy”. It is necessary for businesses to develop an appreciation for intangible business assets similar to that for traditional tangible assets and to achieve this Caribbean Export has commissioned the creation of a business case study to build stakeholder knowledge of the importance of identification and protection of a business’ intellectual property. This business case study has a specific focus on the role of intellectual property (IP) protection in brand development. It focuses on Marie Sharpe’s Fine Food Limited which is a well-known Belizean agro-processor which has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of a line of pepper sauces using the local habanero pepper. The company is a fine example of a successful family-owned business which has been able to establish a good reputation at home and abroad for its products and a growing market. But it has not been easy, and a number of stumbling blocks were encountered. We look at how the firm was able to overcome these challenges, exploit its opportunities, learnt from its lesson and retain the position it has attained.

Published - December 2017
Final Report on Consultancy to Provide Expert Advise/Study on the Feasibility of the Kalinago Craft An Origin Linked Product (OLP)

The focus of the work done under this project was on the development of a system for the protection and commercialisation of Kalinago Craft as an Origin Linked Product (OLP).

Published - 2019
Going Viral: COVID-19 and the Accelerated Transformation of Jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean

In Going Viral: COVID-19 and the Accelerated Transformation of Jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean, the authors dig into the underlying trends that were transforming the labor market even before the pandemic. Unfortunately, the current economic crisis associated with the pandemic has only accelerated these trends, bringing the region nearer to the future and consequently making the policy reforms needed to help create more and better jobs even more urgent.

Published - 2020
International Debt Statistics 2021

International Debt Statistics 2021 (IDS) affirms that achieving long-term debt sustainability will depend on a large-scale shift in the world’s approach to debt transparency. The report provides more detailed and more disaggregated data on external debt than ever before in its nearly 70-year history, taking important strides in filling existing data gaps for low- and middle-income countries where the risks are greatest. The data include breakdowns of what each borrowing country owes to official and private creditors by creditor country and the expected month-by-month debt-service payments owed to them through 2021. Increased debt transparency will help many low- and middle-income countries assess and manage their external debt through the current crisis and work with policy makers toward sustainable debt levels and terms. IDS provides a unique data set to shape the solutions that will be needed in the coming years. It shows a creditor landscape that is changing quickly—with developing countries borrowing from new sources of bilateral and commercial financing and increasingly complex debt instruments. These trends compound the difficulty of managing COVID-19-related debt crises, adding to the value of more granular debt data.

Published - 2021
Who Decides Social Policy? Social Networks and the Political Economy of Social Policy in Latin America and the Caribbean

This book makes two types of contributions. On the one hand, it presents theoretical and methodological tools to study the political economy of social policies from the perspective of SNA. These tools help to accurately identify actors, their resources and interaction, and the consequences they have for policy making. On the other hand, this book illustrates the utility of identifying the social networks that define the design of social programs, and the effects these networks have on the political economy and the success or failure of social policies. These analytical and methodological contributions, combined with specific examples of policies and programs in the region, aim to enhance the efficiency, efficacy, and sustainability of public policies in the social area.

Published - 2020
The State of Economic Inclusion Report 2021: The Potential to Scale

The State of Economic Inclusion Report 2021: The Potential to Scale brings to light a shifting global landscape, as reflected through the experiences of the 75 countries featured in the review. The momentum for this shift is driven by the scale-up of government-led programs that build on social protection, livelihoods and jobs, and financial inclusion investments. This shift is also fueled by a promising evidence base and a groundswell of learning, originating especially from graduation programs within the nonprofit sector.

Efforts to scale up respond to high levels of extreme poverty and most recently the fallout of COVID-19. By 2030, following a business-as-usual scenario, an estimated 479 million people are projected to be living in extreme poverty, and the share of global poor living in fragile and conflict-affected countries is expected to reach 50 percent by 2030. In the final months of 2020, the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic raises the possibility of more than 80 million people being pushed into extreme poverty. Emerging experiences show the potential of economic inclusion programs—as part of integrated policy responses—to mitigate the economywide and sector-specific downturns created by this pandemic and ultimately to facilitate the restoration of livelihoods and the recovery of communities.

Published - 2021
WTO Agreements and Public Health: A Joint study by the WHO and the WTO Secretariat

This report deals with the relevant WTO Agreements and the way they may influence health and health policies. In undertaking this joint study, the WHO and WTO Secretariats seek to examine the linkages between trade and health policies, so as to enable both trade and health officials to better understand and monitor the effects of these linkages.

The report examines the main WTO Agreements related to health and health policies, namely the Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and Trade in Services (GATS). It also refers to the fundamental WTO principles of non-discrimination and national treatment, which guide the actual implementation of the Agreements inter alia as they relate to health issues.

Published - 2002
World Trade Report 2012: Trade and public policies: A closer look at non-tariff measures in the 21st century

The World Trade Report 2012 ventures beyond tariffs to examine other policy measures that can affect trade. Regulatory measures for trade in goods and services raise new and pressing challenges for international cooperation in the 21st century. More than many other measures, they reflect public policy goals (such as ensuring the health, safety and well-being of consumers) but they may also be designed and applied in a manner that unnecessarily frustrates trade. The focus of this report is on technical barriers to trade (TBT), sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures (concerning food safety and animal/plant health) and domestic regulation in services.
The Report examines why governments use non-tariff measures (NTMs) and services measures and the extent to which these measures may distort international trade. It looks at the availability of information on NTMs and the latest trends concerning usage. The Report also discusses the impact that NTMs and services measures have on trade and examines how regulatory harmonization and/or mutual recognition of standards may help to reduce any trade-hindering effects.
Finally, the Report discusses international cooperation on NTMs and services measures. It reviews the economic rationale for such cooperation and discusses the efficient design of rules on NTMs in a trade agreement. It examines how cooperation has occurred on TBT/SPS measures and services regulation in the multilateral trading system, and within other international forums and institutions. A legal analysis is provided regarding the treatment of NTMs in WTO dispute system and interpretations of the rules that have emerged in recent international trade disputes. The Report concludes with a discussion of outstanding challenges and key policy implications.

Published - 2012
World Trade Report 2013: Factors Shaping the Future of World Trade

The world is changing with extraordinary rapidity, driven by many influences, including shifts in production and consumption patterns, continuing technological innovation, new ways of doing business and, of course, policy. The World Trade Report 2013 focuses on how trade is both a cause and an effect of change and looks into the factors shaping the future of world trade.
One of the most significant drivers of change is technology. Not only have revolutions in transport and communications transformed our world but new developments, such as 3D printing, and the continuing spread of information technology will continue to do so. Trade and foreign direct investment, together with a greater geographical spread of income growth and opportunity, will integrate a growing number of countries into more extensive international exchange. Higher incomes and larger populations will put new strains on bothrenewable and non-renewable resources, calling for careful resource management.
Environmental issues will also call for increasing attention. Economic and political institutions along with the interplay of cultural customs among countries all help to shape international cooperation, including in the trade field. The future of trade will also be affected by the extent to which politics and policies successfully address issues of growing social concern, such as the availability of jobs and persistent income inequality. These and other factors are all examined in the World Trade Report 2013.

Published - 2013
World Trade Report 2014: Trade and development: recent trends and the role of the WTO

The World Trade Report 2014 looks at four major trends that have changed the relationship between trade and development since the start of the millennium: the economic rise of developing economies, the growing integration of global production through supply chains, the higher prices for agricultural goods and natural resources, and the increasing interdependence of the world economy.
Many developing countries have experienced unprecedented growth and have integrated increasingly into the global economy, thereby opening opportunities for countries still lagging behind. However, important barriers still remain.
Integration into global value chains can make industrialization in developing countries easier to achieve. Upgrading to higher-value tasks within these supply chains can support further growth. But competitive advantage can be lost more easily, and achieving such upgrading can be challenging.
Higher prices for agricultural goods and natural resources have helped some developing countries achieve strong growth. But higher prices can cause strains for net importers of these goods.
Growing interdependence within the global economy allows countries to benefit more quickly from growth in other parts of the world. But it can also cause challenges as crises can be quickly transmitted across borders.
Many developing countries still have a long way to go in addressing their development challenges. The multilateral trading system provides developing countries, and particularly least-developed countries, with unique opportunities to do so. Further progress in the Post-Bali Agenda would therefore be important to making trade work more effectively for development.

Published - 2014
World Trade Report 2015: Speeding up trade: benefits and challenges of implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which was agreed by WTO members at the Ministerial Conference in Bali in December 2013, is the first multilateral trade agreement concluded since the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995. The TFA represents a landmark achievement for the WTO, with the potential to increase world trade by up to US$ 1 trillion per annum.
The 2015 World Trade Report is the first detailed study of the potential impacts of the TFA based on a full analysis of the final agreement text. The Report finds that developing countries will benefit significantly from the TFA, capturing a large part of the available gains.
The Report’s findings are consistent with existing studies on the scale of potential benefits from trade facilitation, but it goes further by identifying and examining in detail a range of other benefits from the TFA. These include diversification of exports from developing countries and least-developed countries to include new products and partners, increased involvement of these countries in global value chains, expanded participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in international trade, increased foreign direct investment, greater revenue collection and reduced incidence of corruption.
The TFA is also highly innovative in the way it allows each developing and least-developed country to self-determine when and how they will implement the provisions of the Agreement, and what capacity building support they will require in order to do so. To ensure that developing and least-developed countries receive the support they need to implement the Agreement, the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility was launched in 2014 by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo.

Published - 2015
World Trade Report 2017: Trade, Technology and Jobs

While the world continues to change at an increasingly rapid pace, questions about the effects on jobs and wages of technological advances and trade – two of the most powerful drivers of global economic progress – have gained prominence in the debate about the impact of globalization. What are the effects of technology and trade on labour markets? Are all benefitting or are some being left behind by globalization and advances in technology? What are governments already doing and what else could they do to ensure that trade and technology are as inclusive as possible?
The World Trade Report 2017 examines how technology and trade affect employment and wages. It looks in particular into the part played by technology and trade in the shift of employment from manufacturing to services, in the decreasing proportion of middle-skilled jobs, in the growing value placed on skills within the jobs market and in the increasing participation of women in the workforce. It analyses the challenges for workers and firms in adjusting to changes in labour markets and how governments can facilitate such adjustment to ensure that trade and technology are inclusive.
The Report finds that labour markets have evolved in many different ways across countries, suggesting that country-specific factors play a pivotal role. It also finds that although technological advances and trade have yielded important benefits for economies overall, certain types of workers and/or regions may sometimes be adversely affected. It also finds that, although interrelated, technology more than trade appears to be responsible for the decreasing share of manufacturing jobs and for the declining number of middle-skill jobs relative to low- and high-skill jobs. The Report concludes that helping workers adjust to changes in the labour market and ensuring that benefits are spread more widely can increase the positive impact of open trade and technological progress.

Published - 2017
World Trade Report 2018: The Future of World Trade: How Digital Technologies are Transforming Global Commerce

Trade has always been shaped by technology but the rapid development of digital technologies in recent times has the potential to transform international trade profoundly in the years to come. Computing, automation and data analytics are coming together in entirely new ways that deeply impact what we trade, how we trade and who is trading. What will be the consequences of the “new digital revolution” on the world economy, and in particular on international trade?
The World Trade Report 2018 examines how digital technologies – and in particular the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and Blockchain – affect trade costs, the nature of what is traded and the composition of trade. It provides an analysis of the changes at play and estimates the extent to which global trade may be affected over the next 15 years. The Report discusses the opportunities arising from the development of digital technologies, in particular for developing countries and smaller firms, but also the challenges. It also examines how international trade cooperation can help governments both seize these opportunities and address the challenges.
The Report finds that one of the most significant impacts of digital technologies is the extent to which they will reduce trade costs. It also highlights that digital technologies will affect the composition of trade by increasing the services component, fostering trade in certain goods such as time-sensitive products, changing patterns of comparative advantage, and affecting the complexity and length of global value chains. A number of simulations outlined in the Report show that future technological changes are expected to increase trade growth, especially in trade in services, and that developing countries are likely to gain an increasing share of global trade. The expansion of digital trade is likely to entail considerable benefits but international cooperation is needed to help governments ensure that digital trade continues to be an engine of inclusive economic development.

Published - 2018
World Trade Report 2019: The Future of Services Trade

Services have become the most dynamic component of global trade, with an increasingly important role in the global economy and in everyday life. Yet the extent of services’ contribution to global trade is not always fully understood.
The World Trade Report 2019 attempts to remedy this, making use of a new dataset developed by the WTO that captures the various ways in which services are supplied across borders. The Report examines how trade in services has evolved in recent years and looks at why services trade matters. Major trends affecting trade in services, including demographic changes, digital technologies, rising incomes and climate change, are reviewed. The Report also estimates how services trade may evolve over the next 20 years and the prospects for enhancing international cooperation on services trade policy.
Trade costs for services are higher than those for goods but these costs are falling, largely due to the impact of digital technologies, the Report finds. It highlights how declining trade costs are expected to expand the share of services in global trade and how this could contribute to more inclusive growth and development. If economies are to reap the benefits of the growing role of services trade, international cooperation will need to intensify.

Published - 2019
World Trade Report 2020: Government Policies to Promote Innovation in the Digital Age

In the digital age, a growing number of governments have adopted policies aimed at boosting growth through innovation and technological upgrading. The World Trade Report 2020 looks at these trends and at how trade and the WTO fit with them.
A defining feature of government policies adopted in recent years has been their support of the transition towards a digital economy. Trade and trade policies have historically been important engines for innovation. In particular, the multilateral trading system has contributed significantly to the global diffusion of innovation and technology by fostering predictable global market conditions and by underpinning the development of global value chains. As data become an essential input in the digital economy, firms rely more on intangible assets than on physical ones, and digital firms are able to reach global markets faster without the amount of physical investment previously necessary in other sectors. Success in the digital economy will depend on openness, access to information and communication technology (ICT) goods and services, collaboration on research projects, and the diffusion of knowledge and new technology.
The World Trade Report 2020 shows that there is a significant role for international cooperation to make the pursuit of digital development and technological innovation more effective, while minimizing negative spill-overs from national policies. The WTO agreements, reached a quarter of a century ago, have proved to be remarkably forwardlooking in providing a framework that has favoured the development of ICT-enabled economies across all levels of development. Further international cooperation at the WTO and elsewhere would enable continued innovation and reduce trade tensions to help international markets function more predictably.

Published - 2020
World Trade Organization: Annual Report 2020

This report covers the WTO’s activities in 2019 and early 2020. It begins with a message from the Director-General and an overview of 2019. This is followed by more in-depth accounts of the WTO’s areas of activity over the past year.

Published - 2020
Women, Business and the Law 2021

Women, Business and the Law 2021 is the seventh in a series of annual studies measuring the laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunity in 190 economies. The project presents eight indicators structured around women’s interactions with the law as they move through their careers: Mobility, Workplace,Pay, Marriage, Parenthood,Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension.

Amidst a global pandemic that threatens progress toward gender equality, Women, Business and the Law 2021 identifies barriers to women’s economic
participation and encourages reform of discriminatory laws. This year, the study also includes important findings on government responses to the COVID-19 crisis and pilot research related to childcare and women’s access to justice.

By examining the economic decisions women make throughout their working lives, as well as the pace of reform over the past 50 years, Women, Business and the Law makes an important contribution to research and policy discussions about the state of women’s economic empowerment. The indicators build evidence of the critical relationship between legal gender equality and women’s employment and entrepreneurship. 

Data in Women, Business and the Law 2021 are current as of October 1, 2020.

Published - 2021
The WTO Agreements Series Technical Barriers to Trade Third Edition

This handbook discusses the text of the TBT Agreement as it appears in the Final Act of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (Final Act), signed in Marrakesh on 15 April 1994. The various WTO multilateral agreements (including the TBT Agreement and the amended General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994)), as well as a few plurilateral agreements, are all contained in the Final Act. The Final Act, in turn, is part of the treaty that established the WTO: the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement). The WTO superseded the GATT 1947 as
the umbrella organization in charge of multilateral trade.
The WTO Secretariat has prepared this handbook to assist public understanding of the TBT Agreement. The handbook first presents the basic structure of WTO agreements. It then provides a brief overview of the background, purpose and scope of the TBT Agreement, as well as the types of measures it covers. It sets out the key principles of the TBT Agreement and discusses how these have been addressed in recent key disputes brought under this Agreement. Next, it focuses on transparency, a cornerstone of the TBT Agreement. It also describes the mandate, role and work of the TBT Committee, and considers how
TBT‑related matters have arisen in negotiations at the WTO. The handbook also contains the full text of the TBT Agreement, a compilation of decisions and recommendations by the TBT Committee over the years and a list of observers in the TBT Committee.

Published - 2020
The Caribbean Accommodation Sector as a Consumer of Locally Produced Goods and Services and Contributor to Government Revenues

The survey was conducted among the membership hotels of the CHA within the ten countries identified. All of the 604 hotels comprising 78,034 rooms were circulated with the survey instrument. 54 hotels or 8.9% of the population representing 11.5% of the rooms or 8,991 rooms responded and were interviewed or supervised in completing the survey. 32 stakeholder and supplier interviews were conducted across the sample countries and form the basis for the Appended
Stakeholder’s Report. The sample size overall was however, sufficiently large for us to make generalizations for the entire sample population with a level of precision of ±5 percent at a 95% level of confidence.

The 9 participating CARIFORUM countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago. Guyana declined participation and was replaced by Trinidad & Tobago. United States Virgin Islands participated at its own expense.

Published - 2007
Technology, growth, and inequality Changing dynamics in the digital era

Digital transformation is a defining feature of our time. The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating this transformation. The new technologies hold considerable promise. But they also pose new challenges. Digital technologies have dazzled for sure, but they have not so far delivered the expected dividend in higher aggregate productivity growth. And inequality has been rising. As digitalization and new advances in artificial intelligence transform markets, policies must rise to
the challenges of change. The digital economy must be broadened to disseminate new technologies and productive opportunities among smaller firms and wider segments of the labor force. Policies must play their part to better harness the potential of innovation in our digital era and turn it into a driver of stronger and more inclusive growth in economic prosperity.

Published - February 2021
Adapting to the Digital Trade Era: Challenges and Opportunities

This book from the World Trade Organization (WTO) Chairs, members of the Advisory Board and WTO Secretariat staff examines what the rapid adoption of digital technologies will mean for trade and development and the role that domestic policies and international cooperation can play in creating a more prosperous and inclusive future.
The first section identifies the challenges and opportunities posed by digital technologies to developing countries and the role of international cooperation, whether regionally or in the WTO, in addressing them. The second section discusses how countries in different developing regions view the opportunities and
challenges of digital technologies and how policymakers are responding to them. The third section considers examples of how digital advances, for example the growth of e-commerce and the development of blockchain technology, may contribute to inclusive growth. The fourth and final section discusses the role of domestic policies and regional approaches to digital trade and offers some key findings.

Published - 2021
Facilitating Trade through Regulatory Cooperation: The Case of the WTO’s TBT/SPS Agreements and Committees

This publication explores how the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and on the Application of Sanitary and
Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and their related Committees promote opportunities for international regulatory cooperation (IR C) between WTO members.
Policy makers can draw from a variety of approaches to achieve their policy objectives and address the trade costs of regulatory divergence, including unilaterally, bilaterally and multilaterally. International organizations serve as institutional fora within which governments can engage in IR C.
The WTO plays an important role in supporting members’ IR C efforts, through two key activities. First, the WTO provides a multilateral framework for the conduct of trade relations among its 164 members, with a view to ensuring that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. In particular, the WTO provides a forum for its members with respect to: (i) negotiations of trade agreements; (ii) the implementation, administration and operation of existing trade agreements; (iii) trade-related capacity building; and (iv) a dispute settlement system. Second, the WTO Agreements set important legal disciplines, the implementation of which promotes good regulatory practice (GRP ) and IR C at the domestic level with the aim of reducing unnecessary barriers to trade.
This is particularly the case for the SPS and TBT Agreements, which establish obligations on WTO members for the preparation, adoption and application of
technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures and standards, as well as SPS measures, in order to facilitate the conduct of international trade in goods.
The Agreements provide a unique multilateral transparency framework that contributes to cooperation, by setting notification requirements for proposed regulatory measures with potentially significant trade effects. The Agreements strongly encourage WTO members to use relevant international standards as the basis for their measures. In addition, disciplines on equivalence and recognition of foreign conformity.

Published - 2019
WTO TBT Enquiry Point Guide: Making Transparency Work

This guide is an attempt to organize a voluminous existing body of TBT Committee decisions and recommendations and the text of the Agreement itself, together with information on the practices of members (derived mainly from the survey) in a structured way that can be helpful when considering the tasks that an enquiry point or other governmental entity might normally undertake when implementing the TBT Agreement’s transparency provisions.
The guide opens with the establishment of enquiry points, tasks that relate to notifications, responses to requests for information or comments, and the coordination of and reactions to members’ notifications. It then goes on to discuss other activities undertaken by enquiry points. Finally, it outlines some of the challenges that have emerged with experience.

Published - 2018
Trade and Food Standards

This report describes how the institutional frameworks of FAO and the WTO come together to create a system for international food standards and trade, outlines how this system functions in practice, and presents some emerging issues at the intersection of food standards and trade. This publication explains how international food safety standards are set through the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization
(FAO/WHO) Food Standards Programme – the Codex Alimentarius Commission – and how these standards are applied in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement).

The publication describes the two organizations, how they operate together, and how countries can and should engage to keep international food standards up to date and relevant, and to resolve trade issues. The publication also highlights the need to invest in domestic capacities to be prepared now and in the future to keep food safe and to ensure that trade flows smoothly.

Published - 2017
Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Jamaican Businesses (with emphasis on MSMEs)

This study examines the impact of containment measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic on Jamaican businesses, with a focus on MSMEs. A contextual analysis was conducted to establish the global and local context just before and throughout the first stages of the pandemic. An assessment of the impact of the pandemic on Jamaican businesses was primarily based on a survey of 390 non-financial businesses. The sample selected had representation across all sectors, parishes and business size. The main survey results were supplemented by responses from a small sample of financial firms, as well as elite interviews with key private and public sector stakeholders. A scenario analysis was conducted to assess the likely outcome of prolonged containment measures on Jamaican businesses. The business support policies of the GOJ were also assessed. Policy recommendations conclude the report.

Published - July 2020
A Caribbean Settlement Network: Can Blockchain Ease Intraregional Trade in the Caribbean?

This paper analyzes the potential effects that distributed ledger technology (DLT) could have on intraregional trade volumes in the Caribbean. Using a two-step panel regression gravity model for 15 CARICOM countries, the analysis finds that non-tariff barriers (NTBs), such as distance and culture, bilateral exchange rates, transfer fees, and required documentation, have negative effects on trade. There are a rising number of pilot projects across the world that apply DLT for payment settlements and trade facilitation. These are starting to generate encouraging evidence that the application of DLT could indeed help reduce the prevalence of some of these NTBs and thus promote trade. Policy recommendations that stem from this analysis include: (i) promoting greater regional
political consensus for both economic regional integration and the use of DLT; (ii) investing in the underlying infrastructure for new technologies, ensuring it is compatible with major trading partners’ technological and regulatory requirements; (iii) continuing the development of regulatory frameworks that can make the use of DLT a reality in a safe manner; and (iv) encouraging more pilot projects to generate greater evidence for the region.

Published - 2020
World Trade Organization – Trade Profiles 2020

Trade Profiles provides a series of key indicators on trade in goods and services for 197 economies. The data are taken from a variety of sources, and each profile is presented in a handy two-page format, allowing for easy comparison between economies.

Trade Profiles contain detailed information on merchandise trade flows, including top products traded by each economy, an expanded section on trade in commercial services, as well as statistics on intellectual property. The information, available for WTO members, observers, and other selected economies, is derived from multiple domains, such as customs statistics, national accounts, Balance of Payments statistics, Foreign Affiliates Statistics (FATS), and industrial property statistics. Data are sourced from WTO Secretariat and external sources and presented in standardized and visualized format for quick reference.

  1. The second section is dedicated to Merchandise Trade indicators (customs-based statistics) - information on total trade flows broken down by broad product category and major origins and destinations. This section provides statistics on top exported and imported agricultural and nonagricultural products at the HS 4-digit level according to the definitions of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and WTO Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA products).
  2. The first section provides a snapshot of the importance of trade in the economy - the economy’s ranking in world merchandise trade and trade in commercial services.
  3. The third section deals with Trade in Commercial Services - information on total trade flows (Balance of Payments based statistics) broken down by main service item and major origins and destinations. It also contains information on inward and outward FATS sales. This section provides detailed trade statistics for transport, including its breakdown by mode of transport, travel, other commercial services and goods related services.
  4. The fourth and last section covers Industrial Property Indicators - annual number of applications for patents, trademarks, and industrial designs in the name of residents and non-residents of the reporting economy.

Published - 2020
Making It Big: Why Developing Countries Need More Large Firms

Economic and social progress requires a diverse ecosystem of firms of different sizes playing complementary roles. This report focuses on the particular role that larger firms—defined as firms with 100 employees or more—play in this ecosystem. Fewer than 1 out of 20 enterprises operates at this scale across the world.

This report shows that large firms are different than other firms in low- and middle-income countries. They are significantly more likely to innovate, export, and offer training and are more likely to adopt international standards of quality. Their particularities are closely associated with productivity advantages—that is, their ability to lower the costs of production through economies of scale and scope but also to invest in quality and reach demand. Across low- and middle-income countries with available business census data, nearly 6 out of 10 large enterprises are also the most productive in their country and sector.

Published - 2020
Trade Integration as a Pathway to Development?” LAC Semiannual Report (October 2019)

After a period of rapid economic growth associated with high commodity prices, the Latin America and Caribbean region has entered once again a phase of lackluster performance. Some countries continue to do well, but the largest economies in the region have faced recession, macroeconomic turbulence
or growth deceleration. It would be tempting to attribute the sluggish growth of the region to a less conducive external environment. But overall the slowdown seems more self-inflicted than imported.
The outlook for Latin America and Caribbean is not particularly encouraging. A tepid export response constrains the prospect of growing through external demand whereas limited fiscal space leaves little room to stimulate domestic demand. The outlook could deteriorate further if the international environment became less conducive. Economic growth has already decelerated in the European Union, and many forecasters anticipate a slowdown in the US and China.

A possible explanation for the slow economic growth of the Latin America and Caribbean region is its relatively low integration in international trade and global value chains. This low external openness of the region is not due to geography, but rather to policy choices, primarily in the countries on the Atlantic side, that have kept trade restrictiveness at a higher level than in most other developing regions.

tThis publicaton looks at how Latin American and Caribbean countries have embraced preferential trade agreements as a way to foster their economic integration for decades.

Published - October 2019
The Economy in the Time of Covid-19

For the last five years the economic performance of Latin America and the Caribbean has been disappointing, with growth rates being barely positive on average. Supporting the trends in social spending made possible by unusually high commodity prices was becoming increasingly difficult, which confronted
many countries with painful adjustments. Over 2019, social unrest erupted across the region, reflecting a widening gap between popular expectations and economic and social realities. And then, in early 2020, international oil prices collapsed. This is also when the Covid-19 outbreak unfolded.

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have a rich history of severe adverse shocks, including precipitous falls in commodity prices, dramatic tightening of financial conditions, and major natural disasters. The current external environment of the region bears similarities with this history, which implies that previous experience will be very valuable. But the Covid-19 epidemic brings in a new dimension, as the measures needed to contain the outbreak of the epidemic also result in a major supply shock.

An estimation of the impact of general and targeted measures on the number of Covid-19 cases was conducted for this report, building on daily data from 25 countries. The results show that general containment measures always result in fewer Covid-19 cases over time than targeted measures. But both are considerably more effective if they are implemented shortly after the first case is registered. For example, targeted containment measures adopted 15 days after the outbreak of the epidemic do more to slow down its progress than general measures adopted after 30 days.

Assessing the economic cost of containment measures on economic activity requires high-frequency data on economic activity. Examples include nighttime light data from satellite imageries, electricity consumption, or the number of daily commutes as assessed by shared ridership applications. For this report, the selected high-frequency indicator was the volume of nitrogen dioxide, as measured through satellite imageries. These emissions are highly correlated with active combustion by vehicles and other machinery. The results confirm that general measures to contain the Covid-19 epidemic led to dramatic declines in economic activity.

Published - April 2020
Fiscal Rules and Economic Size in Latin America and the Caribbean. Latin American Development Forum.

This study and its background papers were prepared before the COVID-19 health pandemic engulfed the world, causing major economic fallout. The research and writing were conducted between 2017 and 2019. Part of the motivation for this work came from the authors’ reflections following the collapse of commodity prices and ensuing terms-of-trade shock in 2014–15, which pulled many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) into a recession and exposed massive fiscal and structural vulnerabilities. Only some countries had saved the commodities’ windfall over 2010–14, including through the use of fiscal rules, creating the buffers needed to cushion this adverse shock. Like then, many LAC countries entered 2020 with limited fiscal buffers—at a time when the COVID-19 crisis requires a significant fiscal impulse to support jobs, firms, and households.

A lesson then and now is that fiscal policy mechanisms that enable countries to save in good times so that the savings can be used during rainy days—or stormy ones like those the world is enduring today—are critical. A well-designed, well-implemented fiscal rules framework can be essential in achieving this aim.

Published - 2020
Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020: Reversals of Fortune.

As countries work to address these converging shocks, the World Bank Group’s new report, Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020: Reversals of Fortune, presents new data, original economic simulations and forecasts, and analysis that provide insight into the roots of the current reversal of economic fortune, what it means for the world’s poorest, how countries are taking action to address this crisis, and how to put poverty reduction and development back
on track.
The human cost of COVID-19 is immense, with hundreds of millions of people in the developing world reversing back into poverty. The report’s projections suggest that, in 2020, between 88 million and 115 million people could fall back into extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic, with an additional increase of between 23 million and 35 million in 2021, potentially bringing the total number of new people living in extreme poverty to between 110 million and
150 million. Early evidence also suggests that the crisis is poised to increase inequality in much of the world. The crisis risks large human capital losses among people who are already disadvantaged, making it harder for countries to return to inclusive growth even after acute shocks recede.

Our Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020 report jointly analyzes three converging forces that are driving this increase in global poverty and that threaten to extend its effects far into the future: COVID-19, armed conflict, and climate change. Climate change may drive about 100 million additional people into poverty by 2030, many of whom reside in countries affected by institutional fragility and armed conflict, and where global extreme poverty is increasingly
concentrated. Facing these multiple shocks, nations will need to work on many fronts to save lives and livelihoods, provide for their most vulnerable citizens, and restart inclusive growth.

This report provides new evidence on emerging “hot spots,” where multiple threats to poor people’s lives and livelihoods converge. Many of these hot spots are in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region now expected to be home to about a third of the people who are newly impoverished by COVID-19. The World Bank Group has stepped up its support for regions in which extreme poverty is increasingly concentrated, armed conflict is disproportionately prevalent, and large
populations face severe risks linked to climate change, from flooding to locust swarms. We are working on a multitude of urgent issues, including food support, digital connectivity, and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

Published - 2020
Short Answers to Big Questions on the WTO and the Environment

This booklet by the Trade and Environment Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO) aims at improving understanding of the role of trade and trade rules with regards to environmental issues. It seeks to answer, in easyto-understand terms, some of the key questions of the trade and environment debate as they relate to the multilateral trading system. In this sense, it is not an exhaustive analysis of the issues covered, but rather an attempt to provide basic information and examples to answer some common questions raised about trade and the environment.

Published - 2020
Women and Trade: The Role of Trade in Promoting Gender Equality

The goal of this report is to improve the understanding of the impacts of trade and trade policy on gender equality, and to provide policy makers with evidence on the benefits of trade for women and with potential policy solutions. The report uses a conceptual framework that illustrates the diverse transmission channels through which trade and trade policy can affect women, according to three key economic roles they play: workers, consumers, and decision makers. The report also gathers and analyzes new data1 to show how trade and trade policy can affect women and men differently—in wages, consumption, and welfare, and in the quality and quantity of jobs available to them. New empirical analysis based on these data suggests that expanding trade can act as an impetus for countries to improve women’s rights and boost female participation in the economy. The report comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has laid bare the economic opportunities and challenges women face, some of which are driven by trade. For example, trade in goods and services, especially online, has helped women to mitigate the negative impact of the crisis. At the same time, women’s specialization in the manufacture of apparel and the provision of touristic services has left them more vulnerable to the trade shock of this crisis (box O.1). Overall, because some trade links have already broken and near-term trade growth remains weak, women are in danger of losing a sizable share of the economic gains they have reaped as a result of trade.

Published - 2020
Handbook of Deep Trade Agreements

This Handbook takes a first step towards filling this important gap in our understanding of international economic law and policy. It presents detailed data on the content of the eighteen policy areas most frequently covered in PTAs, focusing on the stated objectives, substantive commitments, and other aspects such as transparency, procedures, and enforcement. In terms of the coverage of policy areas and the granularity of information within each area, this is the most comprehensive effort to date. Each chapter, authored by a leading expert in his or her field, explains in detail the methodology used to collect the information and provides a first look at the evidence in each policy area.
The new data and analysis will inform experts and policymakers in their efforts to design, negotiate, and take advantage of DTAs that promote development. This information will also enable researchers to develop indicators on the depth of trade agreements in different policy areas, assess the similarities between these arrangements, and benchmark countries’ DTAs relative to their partners. It will also help identify the rules that benefit only participants and those that have large spillover effects on non-participants or excluded countries. Finally, the new data and analysis in this study will allow researchers to identify areas where there is de facto convergence across different players, thus facilitating the adoption of commonly agreed multilateral rules.

Published - 2020
The African Continental Free Trade Area: Economic and Distributional Effects

This analysis quantifies the long-term economic and distributional implications of AfCFTA. It assesses the implications for economic growth, international trade, poverty, and employment, including for female and male workers. It quantifies the short- and long-term implications of tariff revenue. The analysis relies on a global computable general equilibrium (CGE) model and a microsimulation framework to quantify the agreement’s impact. The CGE model is calibrated to the most recent database produced by the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP). The GTAP database is supplemented by additional data that quantify other barriers to trade. To date, studies on the economic implications of Africa’s regional integration have mainly focused on tariff and nontariff barriers (NTBs) in goods. This analysis extends those studies to cover NTBs in services and trade facilitation measures. Most important, the analysis is extended to investigate the implications of AfCFTA for poverty, impacts on unskilled workers, and women.

Published - 2020
Extreme Outlier: The Pandemic’s Unprecedented Shock to Tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean

The COVID-19 crisis will have devastating implications for countries around the world— particularly tourism-dependent economies. This paper highlights the vulnerability of many Latin American and Caribbean countries, that are among the most dependent in the world on the tourism sector. Using shock simulations applied to activity in the tourism sector, it highlights how potentially damaging the pandemic could be for output, employment, and the balance of international payments across the region. The analysis suggests the pandemic is likely to imply an unprecedented shock, and that governments will have to look beyond traditional policy tools to safeguard their economies and citizens, and to ensure that the tourism sector—both operators and those employed by the sector—will be in a position to resume its substantial contribution when the crisis dissipates. COVID-19 represents an unprecedented extreme outlier eveent, and government efforts to protect the sector and their citizens must be equally unparalleled.

Published - June 2020
Fragility and Conflict: On the Front Lines of the Fight against Poverty

Under Sustainable Development Goal 1, all countries have pledged to end extreme poverty by 2030. This book examines what are likely to be the most intractable barriers to reaching that goal: conflict and state fragility. The book addresses policy makers and their technical teams, global and national development practitioners, advocates, and all those with a stake in stopping extreme poverty from disfiguring human lives. The book aims to show why addressing fragility and conflict is critical for poverty goals. It presents new estimates of welfare in economies in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS), filling gaps in previous knowledge, and analyzes the multidimensional nature of poverty in these settings. It  discusses the long-term consequences of conflict and introduces a data-driven classification of countries by fragility profile, showing opportunities for tailored policy interventions and the need for monitoring different markers of fragility. The book delivers five key messages:

■ Extreme poverty is increasingly concentrated in FCS, and global poverty goals will not be met without intensified action there.

■ Data deprivation affects 70 percent of people in FCS and represents a major barrier to understanding and addressing their welfare needs.

■ Poverty in FCS typically involves simultaneous deprivations in multiple dimensions, and intervention strategies must also act through multiple channels.

■ Conflict compromises development by damaging human capital and productivity, with effects that last for generations.

■ Clustering countries by fragility profile reveals two important findings. First, there  is significant heterogeneity within FCS countries, calling for a differentiated  policy and programming approach for more effective solutions. Second, there are important markers of fragility, in both FCS and non-FCS countries, that need to be monitored for preventive action.

Published - 2020
Food Safety Handbook: A Practical Guide for Building a Robust Food Safety Management System

The IFC Food Safety Handbook is designed to enable enterprises in developing markets to reduce key risks in growing a sustainable food business to meet the ever-increasing demands, needs, expectations, and trust of customers, wholesalers, retailers, government food safety regulators, and, ultimately, consumers. IFC has developed the handbook with the support of food industry experts. It is based on Codex Alimentarius requirements and best industry practices and standards.3
The handbook provides companies with the expertise to develop, implement, and maintain modern food safety management systems based on hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) system principles.4 HACCP aims to identify and prevent potential food safety problems proactively. In simple terms, this means safely handling and storing ingredients and supplies that enter and exit food sector businesses.
The handbook offers an entirely voluntary system to help companies identify gaps in their existing practices and develop more efficient food safety systems. By following the sections relevant to their facilities and business, companies may carry out the following:
▪ Apply the handbook within any process regardless of production facility size or location and regardless of food safety sophistication ▪ Develop systemic science-based approaches to food safety management ▪ Benchmark a food safety system against the best international practice ▪ Use the handbook as a simple, practical self-service tool, replicating the steps it describes on all production lines as necessary ▪ Tailor the handbook templates in accordance with enterprise needs

Published - 2020
Purchasing Power Parities and the Size of World Economies: Results from the 2017 International Comparison Program

This report presents the latest results from the International Comparison Program’s (ICP) 2017 cycle and provides a view of the global economy prior to the emergence of this pandemic. The ICP 2017 results will serve as a crucial benchmark of the pre-COVID-19 size of the world economies from which to measure the economic impact on various countries across the globe. The ICP 2017 results are based on the most comprehensive price and national accounts expenditure data available, using the best methods that have been developed to date. We trust that users of the ICP 2017 results will find this report useful and that those results will provide them with a base of crucial information for research in comparative analysis and policy making.

Published - 2020
Global Investment Competitiveness Report 2019/2020: Rebuilding Investor Confidence in Times of Uncertainty

The Global Investment Competitiveness Report 2019/2020 comes at a critical time— a period of economic uncertainty marked by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a challenging global policy environment for investment and trade, rising protectionism, and shifting trade and investment preferences. These forces are changing the patterns of international production and corporate decision-making, creating both opportunities and risks for foreign investment. The report was developed in the months that preceded the outbreak of COVID-19 and focuses on trade and investment policy uncertainty due to policy shifts, globally and nationally. It finds that rising policy uncertainty is darkening the outlook for foreign direct investment. Unfortunately, these negative effects will only be exacerbated by the economic challenges and policy uncertainty brought by the spread of the virus. Considering the difficult global environment, this report focuses on what the governments of developing countries can do to enhance investor confidence, maximize investments’ contributions to inclusive growth, and foster the investment competitiveness of their economies. It delivers novel analytical insights, fresh empirical evidence, and actionable recommendations for governments eager to raise investor confidence in times of uncertainty.

Published - 2020
From structures to services: the path to better infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean

The word infrastructure means different things to different people. Most associate it with structures such as ports, airports, roads, sewerage, and power plants. Fewer people associate it with the services those structures deliver, even though they depend on those services. Electricity, transportation, water, and sanitation are indispensable services in modern societies, enabling people to be productive, healthy, and pursue their aspirations.1 The focus of this book is on the infrastructure services that consumers need and demand but that are so often overshadowed by the traditional brick and mortar structures of infrastructure. Consider water, for example. Consumers understand the need for water treatment plants and pipes, and the rest of the physical infrastructure that transports water to their homes. But what they really want is to be able to turn on the faucet at any time of day or night and get clean, potable water at the right pressure. 

Published - 2020
Exporting to the EU - Condiments & Sauces

This Export Guide aims to provide the buyer requirements and the official import requirements for condiments and sauces in the European Union market.  The guide is divided into (1) musts, requirements you must meet in order to enter the market, such as legal requirements, (2) common requirements, the ones you need to comply with in order to keep up with the market, and (3) niche market requirements for specific segments.

Published - August 2019
Exporting to the EU - Rum

This guide provides information on the European Union regulations on Rum, including the definition, description, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks, the use of the names of spirit drinks in the presentation and labelling of other foodstuffs, the protection of geographical indications for spirit drinks, the use of ethyl alcohol and distillates of agricultural origin in alcoholic beverages, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 110/2008.

Published - August 2019
Exporting to the EU - Cosmetics

The cosmetics sector is particularly attractive to general exporters due to the low import tariffs imposed by the EU. For example, there is a zero-tariff charged on hair products, manicure and pedicure products, perfumes, many essential oils and lip and eye makeup. Information about these tariffs can be found on the TARIC Database, a website maintained by the European Commission (EC).
Section 1 of this report provides information on the categories of products covered by the Cosmetics Regulation. Section 2 outlines the regulatory process required to place a cosmetic product on the EU market. Section 3 explains how exporters can identify regulatory requirements for the use of specific ingredients. Section 4 discusses the prohibition of selling products that contain ingredients that have been tested on animals. Section 5 addresses enforcement. Section 6 explains requirements concerning nanomaterials, and Section 7 provides links to websites containing more specialized information.

Published - August 2019
Exporting to the EU - Cultural and Creative Industries

This guide provides information on market access for Services, which includes cultural and creative industries in the European Union, for CARIFORUM parties varies in conditions depending on the areas of services. In most of the cases a must is recognition of accreditations of the professionals by the receiving EU particular country, but areas where entrepreneurship is the rule, professional accreditation is not the rule. It is a must to understand that not all services are alike, and the ones presented in this guide are the ones that maybe needed by or in the entertainment business.

Published - August 2019
Global Economic Prospects, June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic shutdown in advanced economies and other parts of the globe have disrupted billions of lives and are jeopardizing decades of development progress.
This edition of the Global Economic Prospects assesses the impacts of the pandemic and analyzes possible courses and outcomes. It presents clear actions needed by the global community and national policymakers—to limit the harm, recover, and rebuild better and stronger than before.
The report describes a global economy suffering a devastating blow. Our baseline forecast envisions the deepest global recession since World War II. The report also includes an exhaustive analysis of the outlook for emerging market and developing economies, many of which are now fighting on two fronts—containing the domestic outbreak and its consequences while coping with the economic spillovers from the deep recessions in advanced economies.
Looking a layer deeper, the report investigates the depth and breadth of the economic and humanitarian storm. The COVID-19 recession is the first since 1870 to be triggered solely by a pandemic. The speed and depth with which it has struck suggests the possibility of a sluggish recovery that may require policymakers to consider additional interventions. For many emerging market and developing countries, however, effective financial support and mitigation measures are particularly hard to achieve because a substantial share of employment is in informal sectors.

Published - June 2020
Women, Business and the Law 2020

Women, Business and the Law emphasizes the work still to be done by making a contribution to research and policy discussions about the state of women’s economic opportunities. Since its inception in 2009, it has measured laws and regulations that restrict women’s economic inclusion. This year, the project explores the relationship between women’s empowerment and economic outcomes. Women, Business and the Law 2020 finds that over time, reforms increasing women’s equality of opportunity contribute to more successful economies, higher female labor force participation, and better development outcomes. Over the last two years, 40 economies from all regions and income groups have made women’s economic empowerment a priority by executing 62 reforms facilitating women’s entry into the workforce. Such reforms allow governments to cultivate a business environment that benefits women entrepreneurs and employees, enhancing economic productivity and accelerating development.

Published - 2020
World Tariff Profiles 2020

The World Tariff Profiles is a joint publication of the WTO, ITC and UNCTAD devoted to market access for goods. This statistical yearbook contains a comprehensive compilation of the main tariff parameters for each of the 164 WTO members plus other countries and customs territories where data is available. Each tariff profile presents information on tariffs imposed by each economy on its imports complemented with an analysis of the market access conditions it faces in its major export markets.

The publication is presented in five main parts. The first part shows summary tariff and trade statistics for all countries and territories for all products, as well as a breakdown into agricultural and non-agricultural products. The second part shows for each of these countries and territories one full page with disaggregation by sectors and duty ranges. It also contains a section on the market access conditions faced in their respective major export markets. The third part covers information on non-tariff measures which are of increasing importance in international trade. The fourth part contains the special topic which presents a new subject in each edition. The annexes are in part five and include the data sources and the compilation of “Frequently Asked Questions”.

Published - 2020
SME Competitiveness Outlook 2020 COVID-19: The Great Lockdown and its Impact on Small Business

The SME Competitiveness Outlook 2020 analyses th eimpact of the pandemic on small firms, international supply chains and trade. It provides projections and a 15-point acion plan for businesses, policymakers and business support organizations to whether the crisis - and gear up for a new normal that needs to be resilient, digital, inclusive and sustainable.  The report combines analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on firms based on a large-scale global survey, with case studies and a thought leader viewpoint.  The projected drop in supply chain trade is evaluated by region, and in 85 country profiles.

Published - 2020
Pivot: The Future Makers - Building our People and Places

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) invited Singularity University (SU), a global learning and innovation community, to facilitate workshops with Caribbean leaders and entrepreneurs at the Pivot Event. The objective was to develop moonshots to transform the region. Each team was led by an SU Expert with significant experience and knowledge within the moonshot area. The three areas of focus included: The Future of Transportation, Digital Transformation, and The Future of Tourism. The SU Experts utilized a strategic narrative and design thinking approach with the Pivot 2020 Future Makers during the event, enabling teams to ideate technology and concepts capable of driving innovation in the Caribbean. Future Makers were pushed to think exponentially about innovative concepts that could lead to significant positive impacts on the societal, technological, economic, environmental, and political aspects of the region. At the culmination of the Pivot Event, each group pitched their moonshot concept to the larger audience. Following the final pitches, Singularity University continued to explore and unpack how the moonshot concepts might manifest in real life using our strategic narrative process. Each of the nine moonshot concepts in this manifesto have been developed into fictional stories as a simple and powerful means of conveying possible, probable futures

Published - 2021
World Development Report 2020: Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains.

This Report offers a detailed perspective on GVCs. It covers not only the degree to which they contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction, but also the extent to which they lead toinequality and environmental degradation. It discusses how new technologies are reshaping trade, finding that automation will help rather than hurt trade. It also raises concerns about the inadequacies in the global trading system that are fueling disagreements among nations.
In particular, the Report highlights what can be done by countries that have been largely left out of the GVC revolution. Important steps such as speeding up customs procedures and reducing border delays can yield big benefits for countries making the transition from simply exporting commodities to basic manufacturing. Strengthening the rule of law reinforces trade as well. Also helpful are investments that improve connectivity by modernizing communications
and roads, railways, and ports. Liberalizing road, sea, and air transport is also important, and it is often less costly.

Published - 2020
Leveraging Supply Chain Finance for Development

Trade financing, an esoteric and poorly understood branch of finance, is demonstrably critical to the pursuit and conduct of international trade, by companies of all sizes, and by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular. Those based in developing and emerging markets are in even more urgent need of the liquidity and risk mitigation solutions available through trade financing.
The global financial crisis has demonstrated beyond debate that there is an important role for public sector and international institution actors in assuring the availability of adequate levels of affordably priced trade finance, particularly (but not exclusively) in times of crisis.
It is worth noting explicitly that the discussion which follows necessarily refers to various instruments and structures of trade and supply chain finance for the sake of clarity and to provide concrete examples; that said, reference to trade finance and supply chain finance should be understood in the widest possible sense, encompassing any financing and related activity in risk mitigation, that aims to support the conduct of cross-border trade. The focus ought to be on a holistic understanding of this domain, its linkage to the conduct of trade and its clear potential to contribute to international development and poverty reduction.

Published - September 2015
Global Economic Prospects, June 2019: Heightened Tensions, Subdued Investment.

This report also details the difficulties low-income countries face in the effort to improve living standards. A number of these countries achieved middle-income status between 2000 and 2018, but current low-income countries face a steeper road to deliver the same progress. Relative to countries that made the earlier leap to middle-income ranks, many of today’s low-income countries are poorer, more fragile, constrained geographically, and heavily reliant on subsistence agriculture. It will take comprehensive policy changes to tackle these difficulties.

This edition of Global Economic Prospects includes analytical essays on the benefits and risks of government borrowing, recent investment weakness in EMDEs, the pass-through of currency depreciations to inflation, and the evolution of growth in low-income countries (LICs).

Published - 2019
Leveraging Trade Agreements to Succeed in Global Markets

Recent efforts by governments to liberalize trade are creating new opportunities. But companies need to understand the structure of these new trade rules, and related ways to leverage global market opportunities. This knowledge will help them identify from which country they can most efficiently serve customers in foreign markets. It will also help them to better evaluate prospects for expansion.
Purpose of this paper is to provide preliminary ideas about how agri-food players can best position themselves to act defensively and offensively in the context of a changing trade world.

Published - July 2014
Monitoring Report 2015/2016: Development Goals in an Era of Demographic Change.

This year’s Global Monitoring Report presents new and more intuitive measures of poverty that allow us to measure depth and help contribute to the policy
dialogue and action agenda in this urgent area.
• We have seen progress in achieving shared prosperity, with a majority of countries registering solid income growth in the poorest 40 percent of their income distributions. But in many countries, the incomes of the bottom 40 percent declined, including in half of the high-income countries. Ensuring that income is shared more equitably should be a priority for all countries.
• Poverty reduction and shared prosperity are held back by unequal progress on the non-income dimensions of development, like access to essential services. We must urgently address the widespread inequalities of opportunity in education, health, and other sectors.
The thematic section of this report shows that advancing these critical challenges will take place against the background of major demographic changes. The global population is growing much slower in 2015 than at the beginning of the MDG period in 2000. It is also aging at record speed.

Published - 2016
Financial Services and Preferential Trade Agreements: Lessons from Latin America

This volume chronicles the recent experience of governments engaged in liberalization of financial services in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its seven chapters aim at providing readers with an understanding of the process, substance, and likely effects of financial market opening through trade agreements in the region. The volume also aims at helping policy makers and negotiators, both within and beyond the region, better understand the complexities of financial services negotiations.
The volume fills an important gap in the literature on trade in services by focusing attention on the dynamics of trade and investment liberalization in a sector of considerable technical complexity and regulatory intensity—financial services. The subject is analyzed in a sample of countries (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica) from a “first-mover” region in the financial services liberalization front, Latin America, and in the confines of one specific type of negotiating setting, preferential trade agreements (PTAs).

Published - 2010
Accounting for Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean: Improving Corporate Financial Reporting to Support Regional Economic Development

This book seeks to identify the broad trends and drivers for reform in the LAC region’s corporate financial reporting practices, drawing on the Bank’s experience from 17 Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) on Accounting and Auditing (A&A). It showcases country success stories and distills lessons learned in priority areas for reform, with a view to maximizing the chances of success for a corporate financial reporting reform agenda.

This book suggests a demand- driven approach to building capacity within the profession in LAC, focusing on professional certification and accompanying measures to improve accounting education at the university level. A certification system culminating in a professional examination is one way to ensure that new entrants into the profession have a minimum level of qualification. The creation of robust certification requirements can also bring other indirect benefits, including increased demand for high- quality accounting education at the university level, heightened prestige of the accounting profession, and enhanced oversight of supervised entities. Creating such a system will require time and the mobilization of the accounting and auditing profession (for example, to
administer the certification examination). In parallel, universities should seize the opportunity to revamp their accounting curricula to meet the requirements of professional certification.

Published - 2010
Achieving Effective Social Protection for All in Latin America and the Caribbean: From Right to Reality

This book highlights the main findings of a regional study by the World Bank, From Right to Reality: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Achieve Universal Social Protection by Improving Redistribution and Adapting Programs to Labor Markets (Ribe, Robalino, and Walker, forthcoming). It shows that the reforms of the past two decades have expanded SP coverage to the most vulnerable groups, but the process has been uneven and ad hoc, creating a two-tier, fragmented system. As is well known, LAC’s traditional SP system, based on mandatory employee and employer contributions to social insurance (SI) funds, including pensions, unemployment insurance, and health insurance, was truncated, inequitable, and fiscally unsustainable. Two decades of reform 
efforts have produced important advances. In many countries, contributory SI has been modernized, for example, through pension reforms to improve fiscal sustainability and to correct distorted incentives. At the same time, targeted, noncontributory mechanisms have been established to provide income support and health services to those excluded from contributory SI (above all, the poor and informal sector workers). The benefits offered by such programs, however, often are markedly inferior to those from traditional SI and contribute to the fragmentation of the labor market.

Published - 2010
Global Economic Prospects, January 2020: Slow Growth, Policy Challenges.

Following a year during which weak trade and investment dragged the world economy to its feeblest performance since the global financial crisis, economic growth is poised for a modest rebound this year. However, for even that modest uptick to occur, many things have to go right. Global growth is set to rise by 2.5 percent this year, a small rise from an estimated 2.4 percent in 2019, as trade and investment gradually recover. Emerging market and developing economies are anticipated to see growth accelerate to 4.1 percent from 3.5 percent last year. However, that acceleration will not be broad-based: the pickup
is anticipated to come largely from a handful of large emerging economies stabilizing after deep recessions or sharp slowdowns. Even this tepid global rally could be disrupted by any number of threats. Trade tensions could re-escalate. A sharper-than-expected growth slow-down in major economies would reverberate widely. A resurgence of financial stress in large emerging markets, an escalation of geopolitical tensions, or a series of extreme weather events could all have adverse effects on economic activity.
This edition of Global Economic Prospects analyzes several topical themes underlying the fragile outlook.

Published - 2020
Reforming Non-Tariff Measures: From Evidence to Policy Advice

High levels of trade costs persist in the world trading system, despite recent progress in tariff reduction, trade facilitation, and logistics. At least some of these costs can be attributed to non-tariff measures (NTMs), policies imposed by governments other than ordinary customs duties which have an impact on the price at which exports and imports are traded, the quantities traded, or both. Such costs are particularly worrisome if they have a discriminatory or protectionist effect, or violate countries’ international commitments. However, even NTMs designed to carry out domestic regulatory objectives – for example, protection of human, animal or plant health, consumer or workplace safety, or the environment – can have substantial effects on international trade, which should be considered when such policies are developed. This book discusses some of the analytical methods that can be used to accompany the process of policy development for NTMs. It discusses the broad economic rationale for improving the design of NTMs;, illustrates the main forms of quantification of NTMs and their effects, including inventory approaches, price-based approaches, and quantity-based approaches; proposes a new analytical and measurable concept of “regulatory distance” to help guide deep integration efforts at the regional level; provides a discussion of the effects of NTMs on household expenditures, poverty, and firm competitiveness; and shows how empirical analysis of NTMs can be used to inform policy advice. As such, it should provide a valuable addition to the arsenal of tools available for applied analysis of international trade policy.


Published - 2018
World Investment Report 2019: Special Economic Zones

The World Investment Report 2019 surveys the universe of SEZs today, provides an overview of SEZ laws and regulations, and assesses the sustainable development impact of SEZs. The report offers recommendations through three lenses: lessons learned from the past, a forward-looking perspective and a pioneering idea in the form of “SDG model zones”.



Published - 2019
Trade and Development Report 2019: Financing a Global Green New Deal

This year’s Trade and Development Report suggests that meeting the financing demands of the Agenda 2030 requires rebuilding multilateralism around the idea of a Global Green New Deal, and pursuing a financial future very different from the recent past. The place to begin building such a future is with a serious discussion of public financing options, as part of a wider process of repairing the social contract on which inclusive and sustainable outcomes can emerge and from which private finance can be engaged on more socially productive terms.


Published - 2019
The Least Developed Countries Report 2019: The Present and Future of External Development Finance – Old Dependence, New Challenges

This report re-examines that dependence and contributes to development policy debates by showing the linkages between development goals, structural transformation, sustainable development and human rights. Human rights are scarcely mentioned in those debates, yet the connection is evidenced by the fact that both the objectives of the Istanbul Programme of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals aim at the realization of human rights in general and, specifically, of the right to development. While no single human right has ascendency over the various other human rights, the realization of the right to development creates an enabling environment for the realization of all human rights.


Published - 2019
Review of Maritime Transport 2019

The Review of Maritime Transport is a recurrent publication prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat since 1968 with the aim of fostering the transparency of maritime markets and analysing relevant developments. Any factual or editorial corrections that may prove necessary, based on comments made by Governments, will be reflected in a corrigendum to be issued subsequently. This edition of the Review covers data and events from January 2018 until June 2019. Where possible, every effort has been made to reflect more recent developments.


Published - 2019
Digital Economy Report 2019: Value Creation and Capture: Implications for Developing Countries

This first edition of the Digital Economy Report – previously known as the Information Economy Report − examines the implications of the emerging digital economy for developing countries in terms of value creation and capture. It highlights the two main drivers of value creation in the digital era − digital data and platformization – and explores how current trends of wealth concentration could be replaced by trajectories leading to more equitable sharing of the gains from digitalization.

The Digital Economy Report (DER) (formerly known as the Information Economy Report) this year examines the scope for value creation and capture in the digital economy by developing countries. It gives special attention to opportunities for these countries to take advantage of the data-driven economy as producers and innovators – but also to the constraints they face – notably with regard to digital data and digital platforms. This topic is timely, as only a decade remains for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Digital disruptions have already led to the creation of enormous wealth in record time, but this is highly concentrated in a small number of countries, companies and individuals. Meanwhile, digitalization has also given rise to fundamental challenges for policymakers in countries at all levels of development. Harnessing its potential for the many, and not just the few, requires creative thinking and policy experimentation. And it calls for greater global cooperation to avoid widening the income gap.




Published - 2019
Technology and Innovation Report 2018: Harnessing Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development

The Technology and Innovation Report 2018: Harnessing Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development notes that change is becoming exponential thanks to the power of digital platforms and innovative combinations of different technologies that become possible every day. This opens exciting possibilities for the democratization of frontier technologies to materialize in development solutions. The Report proposes strategies and actions, some of them based on existing experiences in STI policy for development, and some more innovative ones to make technology an effective means of implementation of our common development agenda – nationally and globally.

The Report also suggests that countries develop policies to help people navigate the transition period that lies ahead. This may require that stakeholders adapt the social contract to the new world that frontier technologies are forming. Education will become an even more indispensable lever for development and social justice. Since digital technologies as enablers and multipliers of other frontier technologies we should ensure that all – and specially women and girls – are given a real chance to build digital capabilities. Lifelong learning will need to be supported. For those who may struggle to keep up with the transformation, countries will have to be innovative in providing effective social protection mechanisms.



Published - 2018
Commodities and Development Report 2019: Commodity Dependence, Climate Change and the Paris Agreement

In today’s era of accelerated climate change, developing countries, particularly commodity dependent developing countries (CDDCs), least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), are under multiple pressures. They are faced with challenges of diversifying their economies and achieving sustainable development. In addition, they are deeply affected by the direct impacts of climate change, as well as the impacts of climate mitigation and adaptation measures by other countries. In this context, the Commodities and Development Report 2019 highlights the particular vulnerabilities of CDDCs, focusing on the main commodity sectors on which they depend. The report provides valuable insights into the climate related challenges confronting those sectors, and discusses policies, strategies and actions needed to overcome those challenges, both at national and international levels. These are crucial if countries are to meet the central goal of the Paris Agreement to keep the rise in the earth’s temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels by the year 2100, and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.



Published - 2019
Bringing E-money to the Poor: Successes and Failures

Bringing E-money to the Poor: Successes and Failures reviews the experiences of countries that have demonstrated notable success in applying new technologies and institutional innovation to provide the poor and vulnerable with entry points into the financial system. Its case studies are based on extensive field research and interviews with financial sector practitioners, users, policy makers, and regulators. Detailed contextual analysis and an emphasis on critical conditions help identify the drivers of success, as well as the challenges and risks.

Although new technologies and innovative methodologies in the finance industry are numerous, the study focuses on e-money initiatives such as mobile money, interoperable and multifunctional automated teller machines (ATMs), and prepaid debit cards for social grant programs. The four cases selected—Kenya, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Thailand—illustrate the importance of leadership by the authorities, innovation by the private sector, and a flexible “learn before regulating” approach. The result has been a transformative expansion of financial access not only to the poor but also throughout the economy.



Published - 2017
Risk Modeling for Appraising Named Peril Index Insurance Products: A Guide for Practitioners

The guide encourages practices in the index insurance industry that are in the best interests of various stakeholders (insured parties, policyholders, insurers, reinsurers, and regulators) and build confidence in the products offered. As such, it supports actuaries and other professionals involved in designing and pricing index-based insurance products in following the principles outlined in the Actuaries’ Code of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, United Kingdom. 

A central goal of the guide is to promote clear communication of the features of products developed to facilitate informed decision making by new and existing buyers of index-based insurance products, insurers, reinsurers, regulators charged with approving new products, and other affected stakeholders.


Published - 2017
Uncovering the Drivers of Utility Performance: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean on the Role of the Private Sector, Regulation, and Governance in the Power, Water, and Telecommunication Sectors

This book conducts a micro-level analysis of various determinants of infrastructure sector performance that affect development. This book focuses on the distribution segment of three basic infrastructure services: electricity, water and sanitation, and fixed telecommunications. This books aims to answer four main sets of questions: what are the main performance trends in the region, and how heterogeneous are they?; how does the performance of state-owned and private utilities differ?; how does the institutional design of regulatory agencies affect sector performance?; and what management mechanisms create incentives for improved performance?. This book begins by describing the main elements that characterize sector performance, defined as the delivery of reliable, affordable service that complies with certain quality standards. It focuses on the relationship between sector performance and the following determinants: private sector participation, regulatory agencies, and corporate governance. It also examines related aspects, such as contract design, market structure, and, for telecommunications, market competition. This book first explains the dynamics of utility performance and the interactions between key internal variables and utility performance in each sector. The book is organized as follows: chapter one is introduction. Chapter two outlines changes in the electricity distribution, water and sanitation, and fixed telecommunications sectors in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region over the past 15 years. This chapter tells multiple stories of the substantial improvement in these sectors and fills in knowledge gaps by benchmarking utility performance at the regional, country, and utility levels. Chapter three synthesizes the impact private sector participation has had on electricity distribution, water and sewerage, and fixed-line telecommunications. This chapter also identifies whether private sector participation characteristics such as the sale method; investor nationality; and award criterion affect performance. Chapter four explores the institutional design of regulatory agencies and the link between regulatory governance and sector performance. Chapter five assesses the governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in infrastructure, based on survey results from 45 SOEs in the water and electricity distribution sector of LAC. Chapters six examines other potential determinants for sector performance, including corruption, cost recovery, contract arrangements, and competition. Chapter seven summarizes the book s main results and describes the array of possibilities for moving forward.



Published - 2013
Central America Urbanization Review: Making Cities Work for Central

Central America is undergoing an important transition. Urban populations are increasing at accelerated speeds, bringing pressing challenges for development, as well as opportunities to boost sustained, inclusive and resilient growth. Today, 59 percent of the region’s population lives in urban areas, but it is expected that 7 out of 10 people will live in cities within the next generation. At current rates of urbanization, Central America’s urban population will double in size by 2050, welcoming over 25 million new urban dwellers calling for better infrastructure, higher coverage and quality of urban services and greater employment opportunities. With more people concentrated in urban areas, Central American governments at the national and local levels face both opportunities and challenges to ensure the prosperity of their country’s present and future generations. The Central America Urbanization Review: Making Cities Work for Central America provides a better understanding of the trends and implications of urbanization in the six Central American countries -Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama- and the actions that central and local governments can take to reap the intended benefits of this transformation. The report makes recommendations on how urban policies can contribute to addressing the main development challenges the region currently faces such as lack of social inclusion, high vulnerability to natural disasters, and lack of economic opportunities and competitiveness. Specifically, the report focuses on four priority areas for Central American cities: institutions for city management, access to adequate and well-located housing, resilience to natural disasters, and competitiveness through local economic development. This book is written for national and local policymakers, private sector actors, civil society, researchers and development partners in Central America and all around the world interested in learning more about the opportunities that urbanization brings in the 21st century.



Published - 2017
Inclusive Global Value Chains : Policy Options for Small and Medium Enterprises and Low-Income Countries

This report's focus is making global value chains (GVCs) more inclusive. To achieve inclusiveness is by overcoming participation constraints for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and facilitation access for Low Income Developing Countries (LIDCs). The underlying assumption is that most firms in LIDCs are SMEs. Even larger firms in LIDCs are likely to face similar challenges to SMEs, including a less supportive domestic operating environment and weaker institutions that lead to higher fixed costs and challenges to compete on the international markets. The two major points of this report are (1) participation in GVCs is heterogeneous and uneven, across and within countries, and (2) available data and survey-based evidence suggest that SMEs’ participation in GVCs is mostly taking place through indirect contribution to exports, rather than through exporting directly. The report makes the case that policy action, at the national and multilateral level, can make a difference in achieving more inclusive GVCs through: a holistic approach to reform spanning trade, investment, and domestic policies countries and investments in expanding the statistical base and analysis of GVCs and in sharing knowledge on best practices on enabling policies and programs. The report elaborates on three broad areas of recommendations: (1) establishing a trade and investment action plan for inclusiveness defining clear and achievable objectives on trade and investment policy and identifying the necessary complementary domestic policy actions; (2) complementing trade, investment, and domestic policy actions by providing the needed political leadership and support to enhance collaboration across the sectors, and establishing global platforms for sharing best practices; and (3) providing political support for the establishment of a multi-year plan to expand and upgrade the statistical foundation necessary to increase the capacity of all countries to identify and implement policies that can contribute to stronger, more inclusive and sustainable growth and development, globally.

Published - 2016
Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture

Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture, the fourth volume in the series, argues that there are large potential gains to be made in productivity, and hence income, precisely where the vast majority of the extreme poor are found—in rural areas and engaged in small-scale farming. Thus, increasing agricultural productivity must be central to the growth and poverty reduction  agendas. It is also critical to food security and environmental sustainability objectives. This said, recent research suggests some reconsideration of current approaches: the potential gains from reallocating land and labor are probably less promising than  previously thought. Hence this volume instead focuses on intensifying the generation and dissemination of new, more productive practices and technologies, as well as removing the barriers farmers face to adopting them. The emergence of value chains and private sector research organizations offers important alternatives to direct public sector approaches to these ends, but their cultivation requires additional reforms, particularly with respect to the overall policy environment and incentives. 

Published - 2020
High-Growth Firms: Facts, Fiction, and Policy Options for Emerging Economies

This volume, the third in the series, focuses on the disproportionate contribution to overall growth by a relatively small share of firms that quickly scale their employment and output and generate positive spillovers along the value chain (high-growth firms). Policy makers across the world are keen to identify and support such firms in an effort to boost development. However, episodes of high growth are typically short-lived, and the empirical support for the ability to successfully target these firms is, at best, lukewarm. The analysis in this volume sheds new light on key features and drivers of high-growth firms in developing countries and leads to rethinking of public policy priorities to support firm growth.

Published - 2019
The Innovation Paradox: Developing-Country Capabilities and the Unrealized Promise of Technological Catch-Up

The centrality of innovation to the rise of advanced economies was captured by David Landes’ (1969) classic metaphor of The Unbound Prometheus, referring to the Greek god who released the power of fire to mankind. Defined as the introduction of new products, technologies, business processes, and ideas in the market, as well as the invention of new ideas, innovation drives Schumpeter’s creative destruction process (Schumpeter [1942] 2008), underlies modern growth theory, and is the critical ingredient in historical accounts of how countries achieve prosperity.
In turn, the gains from Schumpeterian catch-up afforded to follower countries— arising from the radiation of ideas, products, and technologies to developing countries—represents an externality of truly historic proportions that should rise with increased distance from the technological frontier. Yet Prometheus remains bound in developing countries. This study documents that, despite the vast potential returns to innovation, developing countries invest far less, measured along a variety of dimensions, than advanced countries. Firms and governments appear to be leaving billions of dollars on the table in forgone productivity growth and lost competitiveness. Indeed, policy advice to move into production baskets thought to be more growth-friendly misses the critical point that countries unable to innovate in their present industries are unlikely to do so in new industries.
To explain this innovation paradox the report focuses on three central determinants of innovation performance: (1) the critical complements to innovation investment needed to realize the high potential returns; (2) the range of firm capabilities required to undertake innovation and take it to market; and (3) the required government capabilities for implementing effective innovation policies. The analysis draws on two important traditions, the neoclassical and the National Innovation Systems (NIS) literatures, highlighting the common ground between them, with the ultimate goal of contributing to more coherent and effective policy making in developing countries.

Published - 2017
Doing Business 2020: Comparing Business Regulation in 190 Economies

By documenting changes in regulation in 12 areas of business activity in 190 economies, Doing Business analyzes regulation that encourages efficiency and supports freedom to do business.1 The data collected by Doing Business address three questions about government. First, when do governments change regulation with a view to develop their private sector? Second, what are the characteristics of reformist governments? Third, what are the effects of regulatory change on different aspects of economic or investment activity? Answering these questions adds to our knowledge of development. With these objectives at hand, Doing Business measures the processes for business incorporation, getting a building permit, obtaining an electricity connection, transferring property, getting access to credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, engaging in international trade, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also collects and publishes data on regulation of employment as well as contracting with the government (figure O.1). The employing workers indicator set measures regulation in the areas of hiring, working hours, and redundancy. The contracting with the government indicators capture the time and procedures involved in a standardized public procurement for road resurfacing. These two indicator sets do not constitute part of the ease of doing business ranking. 

Published - 2020
Climate and Disaster Resilience Financing in Small Island Developing States

This report is the first attempt at quantifying the flow and patterns of concessional finance in support of climate and disaster resilience in SIDS.6  By clarifying the nature, scope and volume of concessional funding for climate and disaster resilience, it aims to inform policy and decision makers, in both SIDS recipient governments as well as among funding providers, and promote a more effective provision and use of financing for resilience. Unlike climate mitigation, CCA and DRM are largely dependent on public resources due to the nature of the investments and the policies they address.  Amongst public resources, concessional finance is particularly important for SIDS due to the general recognition that SIDS are bearing the brunt of the impacts of climate change,  and that their limited fiscal space may prevent them from using domestic resources or borrowing to meet the additional costs of investing in climate and disaster resilience. This report, therefore, focuses primarily on the nature and trends of concessional finance, while recognising the importance of other funding sources, including private sources, and the need for SIDS to mobilise and catalyse them to achieve resilient development. In addition, while all financing is important, concerns about fragmentation and access difficulties have been raised most often with respect to climate and disaster funds. While several lists of SIDS exist, this report investigates the volume, scope and nature of concessional finance used to support climate and disaster resilience in the 35 SIDS that are eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) (see Table 1), comprising nine Least Developed Countries (LDCs), five Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and 21 Upper Middle-Income Countries (UMICs).   The report begins with an overview of the impacts of natural disasters and the relevance of building resilience in SIDS, and illustrates the complex landscape of climate and disaster resilience financing. It analyses the sources and patterns of concessional financing (grants and concessional loans from bilateral and multilateral providers that meet the ODA definition) and the main recipients across SIDS. It then identifies a number of emerging policy challenges related to climate and disaster resilience financing and concludes with a set of preliminary recommendations for the international community.  The report is based on a unique statistical database built on a methodology developed specifically for it from the OECD Creditor Reporting System (CRS) (see Annex 2 for details on the methodology used to develop the database). The report also draws from a comprehensive OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) survey to OECD DAC members and multilateral development banks (MDBs)10 on policies and practices in support of SIDS financing challenges and opportunities. Due to data limitations and the focus of the report, other official flows and private financing are not included in the analysis. 

Published - 2016
Building SME Competitiveness in the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean: Policy Proposals by the Private Sector

In December 2012, in the framework of public-private dialogue between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean organized by AL-INVEST/EUROCHAMBRES and ECLAC, a series of interviews were conducted with some 50 business leaders and opinion shapers in countries of both regions. The consultation was intended to gather and systematize private sector views about the steps needed to improve the performance of SMEs and thereby take advantage of the opportunities inherent in the growing relationship between the two blocs, with a view in particular to the upcoming Fourth Business Summit and the First Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of

Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union, scheduled for January 2013. This document incorporates that survey and is intended to stimulate discussion and thinking at the highest political and business echelons of the European Union and of Latin America and the Caribbean about the role of smaller-sized firms in domestic economies and the kinds of support they need in order to overcome their most important limitation, which is their productivity gap vis-à-vis larger firms. As SMEs improve their competitiveness they will be in a position to “go international”, tackling new and more complex markets and gaining access to the knowledge economy, innovation, networks, market information, etc. This in turn should encourage them to continue building their capacities and to become part of a virtuous circle.

Published - 2013
Belize in the Cocoa-Chocolate Global Value Chain

This report uses the Global Value Chain (GVC) framework to examine Belize’s position in the global cocoa-chocolate industry and identify opportunities for local business to improve their position in the sector. While Belize is a relatively small player in terms of overall production volume, it has a distinguished historical tie to cocoa and is developing a reputation for premier quality. Specifically, the close ties of Mayan culture to chocolate manufacturing helps position Belize as a high-value producer of cocoa beans and chocolate.

There are, however, country-wide constraints that threaten Belize’s competitiveness moving forward. Overall productivity is low, and infrastructure remains a challenge. Furthermore, the chief organizer of producers, the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) has recently experienced a reduction in capacity and the loss of certification, meaning critical supportive activities that the industry needs are left unmet. Many of these challenges are surmountable; however, they will require a concentrated effort by domestic and regional stakeholders. Most notably, there is a need for more in-depth collaboration and coordination among all industry actors in the country to help ensure future competitiveness.

Published - July 2018
Belize in the Offshore Services Global Value Chain

This report uses the Global Value Chain (GVC) framework to examine Belize’s position in the offshore services industry and identify opportunities for local business to improve their position in the sector. Belize is in the early stages of development in the offshore services Global Value Chain (GVC). However, the sector is an increasingly relevant player of the country’s economy: in 2017, offshore services exports accounted for 17% of total service exports and 4% of GDP (UNCTAD Stat, 2018; WBI, 2018).

Despite being an English-speaking location in close proximity to the US both in cultural and geographical terms, Belize’s offshore services industry suffers from a limited workforce, shortage of skills required by the industry and mediocre work ethic. Several country-wide constraints further threaten Belize’s competitiveness moving forward; these include: severe deficiencies in the quality of teaching and poor access to Internet and digital devices across all educational levels; inadequate labor framework; poor quality of available infrastructure (e.g. buildings, telecommunications, electricity, and roads); informality and challenges to identify it; weak data security and intellectual property protection; and absence of policy direction, combined with both coordination and bureaucracy failures.

Published - July 2018
St. Lucia in the Cruise Tourism GVC

This report uses the Duke Global Value Chain (GVCC) framework to examine St. Lucia’s position in the cruise tourism global value chain (GVC) and identify opportunities for small businesses within the sector. While cruise tourism remains a small niche within the broader tourism industry—its 24 million passengers constitute just 2% of worldwide travelers—it is a critical economic activity in the Caribbean. More than two-thirds of the tourists in the region are cruise-ship passengers. Although cruise ship tourism is not as lucrative as other forms—tourists on cruise ships spend as little as one-tenth the consumption of stay-over visitors—it still accounts for an aggregated US$3.1 billion in expenditures in 2014-15 and supported roughly 75,000 jobs in the Caribbean.

St. Lucia conforms to this regional trend. Cruise tourism has a large footprint on the island, contributing 63% of the 1.05 million tourists who traveled to the island in 2017. Although there has been some fluctuation, the number of cruise arrivals has trended higher in more recent years. Passenger spending had lagged before 2016 before displaying an upturn. Despite this, there are still some weaknesses in the sector, most immediately the low impressions of St. Lucia’s cruise tourism products as well as the lack of strategic agenda. This report identifies some of the most prominent constraints and outlines potential upgrading strategies to boost passenger expenditures.

Published - July 2018
Saint Lucia in the Banana Global Value Chain

Published - July 2018
Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2019

Enabling the Business of Agriculture measures how regulation affects the livelihood of domestic farmers. Farming is a challenging business—especially when undertaken on a smaller scale. Most farms are comparatively small, with about 84% of all farms having less than two hectares of land for growing crops and livestock.1 Globally, there are about 570 million farms, employing an estimated 28% of the world’s workforce, including the majority of the world’s rural poor workers.2 Farmers manage numerous risks on a daily basis. Often regulation fails to support farmers and may even create obstacles. Focusing on the perspective of the farmer implies prioritizing regulatory areas where farmers are likely to face the biggest obstacles.

Farmers need access to high-quality inputs—including seed, fertilizer, machinery, animal feed and veterinary medicinal products. They need access to finance and to market opportunities. Enabling the Business of Agriculture focuses on farmers’ transactions with a large variety of actors across agriculture market systems. These include seed and fertilizer companies, phytosanitary offices, water management authorities, feed and veterinary medicine producers, pest control offices and warehouse operators. Regulation impacts these transactions. Long waits and exorbitant costs to procure farming inputs can be a deterrent for farmers to expand business operations. If a farmer uses a low-quality seed or fertilizer, the consequences may not become fully apparent until harvest time. As not all countries have the capacity to produce inputs such as fertilizer and veterinary medicinal products, these inputs often need to be imported. In these countries regulatory obstacles to trade limit the productivity of agribusinesses.3 Similarly, not having the possibility to use agricultural products as collateral through a warehouse receipts system can limit farmers’ ability to access finance.

Building on previous Enabling the Business of Agriculture reports published in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the indicators were refined to cover the areas where regulatory constraints to productivity are most significant. The 2019 methodological revision reduced the overall number of data points contributing to the overall country scores and simplified substantially the scoring and weighting methodology. Indicator development was guided by a review of the academic literature and consultations with civil society organizations, partner institutions, practitioners, public and private sector representatives, researchers and technical experts. While country contexts differ and policy recommendations should be informed by a wide variety of diagnostic tools, the data that underlie the indicators presented in Enabling the Business of Agriculture are globally comparable and can be used to benchmark countries’ performances.

Published - 2019

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