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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
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
Culture in the CARIFORUM- European Union Economic Partnership Agreement: Rebalancing trade flows between Europe and the Caribbean?

The provision on preferential treatment for developing countries (Article 16) is known to be one the most binding and powerful of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), now ratified by 145 countries around the world and the European Union. While the potential of Article 16 in contributing to dynamic cultural exchanges with long-lasting effects in both developed and developing countries is evident, its actual implementation and impact on the ground remain underdeveloped and underexplored. This study conducted by Mira Burri and Keith Nurse, which examines the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) concluded in October 2008 between the European Union (EU) and CARIFORUM States, seeks to fill this gap. This agreement was one of the first North/South regional trade agreements compatible with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules seeking to effectively improve market access opportunities and ensure wider and more balanced exchanges. It was also the first to implement many of the 2005 Convention objectives through a dedicated Protocol on Cultural Cooperation (PCC). 

Published - 2019
Curacao Moving Forward: Investors Guide

Curaçao welcomes direct foreign investments into its economy. This document is intended to serve as a guide for investors interested in learning more about what Curaçao has to offer and provides as such all relevant information about the country’s investment opportunities as well as key information regarding the process of successfully establishing an operation in Curaçao.

Published - [2014]
Legal Analysis of Services and Investment in the CARIFORUM-EC EPA: Lessons for other Developing Countries

This paper provides a legal analysis of services and investments in and CARIFORUM-EC EPA and contains lessons for Developing Countries. The research builds on a comparative analysis of the CARIFORUM-EC EPA with a draft text of the PACP-EC EPA that was prepared by the European Commission in 2008. That analysis was part of a broader project on the impact of trade in services agreements in the Pacific Islands funded by a Faculty Research Development Fund grant from the University of Auckland.

Published - July 2010
Literature Review of the Economic Impact of Creative Industries on the Caribbean Economy

In the context of the substantial economic difficulties experienced by Caribbean economies during the recent global recession and the continuing struggle by some economies to emerge from its aftermath, the review of Caribbean economic strategy has become urgent. The global recession underscored the dangers of overdependence on a single or a few major economic industries as drivers of economic growth and particularly the vulnerabilities of the tourism industry, the dominant industry in the Caribbean. While there is some attempt to strengthen tourism industry performance through increased promotions; enhanced airlift capacity; diversification into new areas of activity (for example, sports and health tourism); and market diversification (non-traditional markets in Europe, Latin America), the identification and development of new industries is being pursued as another important option to strengthen the regional economic architecture. In this context, the current focus on the possible development of creative industries (CI) is understandable. However, in the context of resource scarcities, there is clearly need to investigate potential economic and social benefits of the industry before further commitment to CI development.  The presentation below focuses the analysis on the economic impact. However, the social benefits of creative industries such as the contribution to a sense of national identity; fostering of social cohesion in communities; attractiveness to and opportunities for youth who might otherwise go astray; and other considerations ought to be part of the discussion going forward. 

Published - February 2015
Study on Business Opportunities for Dominican Republic Firms in CARICOM

The study on Business Opportunities for DR Firms in CARICOM was commissioned by Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) in the framework of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme’s (RPSDP) implementation under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), entrusted to CEDA by the CARIFORUM Directorate and the European Union.

This study is intended to match a similar study identifying Business Opportunities for CARICOM Firms in the Dominican Republic, completed in 2015.

Among the main objectives of the RPSDP is the promotion of trade and export development among CARIFORUM States. In addition, under the Component “Promoting stronger trade and investment cooperation between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic”, CEDA will support activities which can boost stronger trade cooperation among CARICOM and DR firms.

The scope of this study was to undertake a market intelligence desk analysis focused on goods and services trade flows with a view to identifying and mapping products and services business opportunities, as well as potential distributors and/or business partners and specific marketentry constraints limiting the increase of DR’s market share in CARICOM countries.

Published - December 2017
Identification and Mapping of Bi-National Value Chains within High-Potential Sectors Between Haiti and The Dominican Republic: Preliminary Report

Fair trade and organic cocoa, chocolate and bananas products all of which can be produced along the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti have correspondingly experienced rapid global growth.  With overweight and diabetes becoming a growing worldwide problem interest in the quality and nutritional value of food will continue to grow. Environmental pollution and food borne diseases will further encourage demand for organic foods of all kinds. Furthermore as global tourism travel and labour migration accelerate so the demand for ethnic and geographic foods grows. It is for this reason that speciality foods particularly those based on cocoa and banana were the focus of this value value chain study which focused on projects along the border area between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Published - January 2017
Belize’s Regional Integration Options: Guatemala and Mexico

Belize is a small, open economy. As such, its economic performance is highly correlated with what happens to exports of goods and services. When these perform well, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grows at a fast rate. When exports perform poorly, GDP does the same. This correlation between export growth and GDP growth has been demonstrated on numerous occasions, including in a recent report by the author that looked at the role regional integration could play in enhancing Belizean export performance.

This is a follow-up to that report looking in more detail at the role integration can play in relation to Belize’s two territorial neighbours: Guatemala and Mexico. Belize is now on a long-run growth path of GDP that is too low (see next section). If Belize wants to achieve a higher sustainable long-run rate of growth, it needs to export more goods and services. There is no other way that is sustainable, since all other growth strategies will lead to balance of payments difficulties in a short period of time.

There are no simple solutions for achieving a higher rate of growth of exports since the obstacles are numerous and complex. Yet there is much that can be done since Belize suffers from an unintentional antiexport bias as a result of the way the financial and tax systems as well as trade and educational policies operate.2 Indeed, so strong is this bias that it gives an unfair advantage to foreign companies that do not face the same cost of capital and often receive tax advantages not available to domestic firms.

This report does not seek to address all the obstacles that Belizean exporters face. Instead, it looks at trade with the two countries with which Belize shares a territorial border. The reason is simple. Countries tend to do more trade with their neighbours, ceteris paribus, than with other countries. Yet when we examine Belizean trade with these two countries, domestic exports are very small.

Published - April 2017
Belize’s Regional Integration Options

Belize is geographically close to Central America and Mexico and shares a common language with most CARICOM countries. Indeed, given the widespread use of Spanish in Belize, it could be argued that Belize shares a common language with Central America and Mexico as well. It might therefore be expected that Belize would have strong export ties with its neighbours. Yet, it does not. And as a result of the weakness of the export links, the virtuous circle is lacking. The infrastructure links with the neighbours are poor, service exports are very limited and functional cooperation is not as great as it could or should be.  There are historical and political reasons for this state of affairs. These obstacles should not be exaggerated, however, and there is scope for improvement. With luck, this will lead not just to a realignment of exports from more distant markets to closer ones, but also to an increase in overall exports with a rise in the ratio of exports of goods and services to GDP. This in turn will ease the pressure on Belize’s balance of payments.

Published - 2013
Trucking Services in Belize, Central America, and the Dominican Republic: Performance Analysis and Policy Recommendations

This study is part of a series of actions promoted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in the area of freight logistics in Central America, Belize, and the Dominican Republic. It encompasses a preliminary analysis of trucking, which will be updated as the data collection process proceeds.
International freight transport within Central America faces two complex challenges: distances are short and cargo volumes are small to consolidate a dense network of short sea shipping. But the territory is extensive and the road network is not developed enough to efficiently serve the freight market. Furthermore, no transnational railroad network exists. This context gives trucking a key role in international transport.
The importance of trucking in freight transport in the countries studied makes it necessary to identify the areas that require decisive public policy to improve its performance.

Published - February 2013
Services for Trade Competitiveness: Country and Regional Assessments of Services Trade

Services for Trade Competitiveness: Country and Regional Assessments of Services Trade presents select case studies on the role of services for trade. The book shows the types of barriers that affect services trade, their potential impact, the role of services determinants, including regulations, the role of services linkages for other economic activities, and policy choices to foster the role of services in developing economies. This volume presents selected applications of the methodologies developed by the TRI Unit in order to showcase how other countries could adopt these new methodologies to assess the competitiveness of their services sector, understand the types of barriers to services, and learn from the resulting policy implications. The chapters are based on new diagnostics tool for assessing services and services trade developed by the TRI Unit in 2012–15. Although these assessments were produced several years ago, their novel methodologies, findings, and policy implications remain valid today.
The book builds on the World Bank’s extensive applied research on services trade policy and performance. The Trade and Regional Integration (TRI) Unit at the macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice has developed several analytical tools to help countries map their relative position in the global competitiveness space and to support informed policy decisions to seize the benefits and opportunities provided by services trade. The case studies included in the book cover low- and middle-income countries using a range of methodologies and datasets. The book illustrates how new methodologies developed by the World Bank can help policy makers, academics, and experts to assess the competitiveness of the services sector. It helps to answer pressing questions on services competitiveness, on trade diversification, how to create a more conducive regulatory environment to promote service sectors, and how to support countries’ participation in trade agreements. 

Published - 2019
Trade Matters: New Opportunities for the Caribbean

Despite, the high openness to trade of Caribbean economies, the Caribbean’s share in global trade has fallen. The rapidly changing environment for Caribbean exports present both opportunities and challenges for economies highly dependent on external markets. The report examines the potential benefits on the welfare of the Caribbean of redefining the relations with the Caribbean’s main trading partners, of reaching out to new growth poles and of redesigning regional preferential trade agreements. Using a gravity model, the report benchmarks how economies in the region have performed and calculates areas of revealed comparative advantage. It examines the roles that labor productivity, the business environment and the investment climate have had in shaping the pattern of trade, and concludes with a set of policy recommendations.

Published - [2016]
Spotting Products with Export Potential – An ITC Assessment to Support Export Promotion Activities in 64 Developing Countries

The study provides regional analysis, country and sector fact sheets to assess the existing export potential and diversification opportunities of 64 developing countries in European, emerging and regional markets. ITC has applied and customized its methodology to support the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) in its selection of value chains with the aim of achieving better targeted and more effective interventions.

Published - 2015
Conceptualizing the foundations of a regional e-commerce strategy: Open networks or closed regimes? The case of CARICOM

Although there has been much to boast about in advanced countries regarding e-commerce as a viable business strategy, many doubt its application to developing countries. Several papers examine individual case studies from advanced developing countries but few have presented a systemic focus on the ecosystem of an e-commerce sector, and even fewer on small island developing states (SIDS) such as the Caribbean, and those often lack a comprehensive awareness of the sector, and/or are dated. The central aim of this conceptual paper therefore is to address this lacuna by discussing the importance of understanding the broader political, social, cognitive, and economic issues and their implications and applications inherent in the development of an e-commerce sector. From this, the main objective will be to conceptualize an e-commerce strategy for their development. To realize this main aim, the article leverages a historical comparative perspective that critically examines causal analysis, experiences, and iterative processes gleaned over time from a structured analytical comparison of several national and regional case studies to conceptualize the factors and conditions under which e-commerce may contribute to, and can be adopted for development. As its main objective, the paper then presents a policy framework of recommendations guided by mutually reinforcing macro processes of change that converge at the intersection of business, policy, and information technology to inform development advocates, policy planners, and citizens within the region of what such a strategy should entail. 

Published - 2016
Towards e-commerce legal harmonization in the Caribbean

The purpose of this publication is to provide up-to-date information on the legal framework of Caribbean countries following the Regional Workshop on E-Commerce Legislation Harmonization in the Caribbean held from 29 September to 2 October 2015 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The workshop was sponsored by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, SELA, ACS and the Government of Finland. This study reports on progress made by the countries in regard to electronic transactions/electronic signatures, online protection of consumers, protection of personal data, industrial and intellectual property, domain names, cybercrime, security of information and pending legislation and challenges.  

Published - 2017
Transforming Green Bond markets: Using financial innovation and technology to expand green bond issuance in Latin-America and the Caribbean

This paper presents a brief review of the green bond market, analyzing some of the issues inhibiting its development, and keeping on to explore how the market can be enhanced. In particular, the paper explores two key dimensions: i) the risk profile of the green bond instrument; and ii) the transaction costs associated to green bond issuance and reporting.

Published - 2019
Measuring the Blue Economy: The System of National Accounts and Use of Blue Economy Satellite Accounts

The paper comprises four sections: (a) Blue Economy; (b) measuring the Blue Economy; (c) case study of Jamaica; and (d) way forward. The first section establishes key Blue Economy indicators and highlights the traditional Blue Economy industries in the Caribbean Region. The second section outlines the theory behind measuring Blue Economy activities and explains methodology used in the paper. The third section, case study of Jamaica, applies the measurement techniques from the second section, utilising data from Jamaica’s SNA and estimates the potential intermediate and final demand from increased Blue Economy investments. The conclusion provides a synopsis of the activities required to provide for better measurement of Blue Economy and its contribution to national output.

Published - October 2019
The Future We Aim For: Towards a “360 Resilience” Development Paradigm for the Caribbean

This policy brief discusses strategic imperatives to build “360 resilience” in Caribbean countries. In this regard, it calls for a change of course in the region’s development trajectory and puts forward strategies to build resilience on several fronts: economic, fiscal, technological, social, environmental, and governance and institutional. Specifically, it argues for the following: (i) unlocking the economic potential of the Blue, the Green, and the Orange Economy; (ii) modernizing agricultural production and practices; (iii) strengthening fiscal governance; (iv) expanding the use of digital technologies; (v) building human and social capital; (vi) protecting environmental assets and reducing hazard and climate risks; and (vii) developing new governance and institutional models.

Published - September 2019
Study on the State of Agriculture in the Caribbean

This report on the State of Agriculture in the Caribbean supports the development of a new CDB Agricultural Policy and Strategy Paper (APSP), by identifying key trends in agriculture in BMCs, and the related opportunities for investments to promote growth, reduce poverty, and ensure sustainability. 

Published - 2019
How to solve the investment promotion puzzle: a mapping of investment promotion agencies in Latin America and the Caribbean and OECD countries

This report is an early step toward answering the investment promotion questions, as is “Mapping Investment Promotion Agencies in OECD Countries” (OECD, 2018) . It presents rich new information on the organization, activities, and operative practices of IPAs in 51 countries, comprising 32 OECD countries and 19 Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) countries (outside of the OECD area), providing a thorough understanding of who agencies are, what they do, and how they do it. The main aim is to provide IPA experts and their governments with an overview of the current status of investment promotion in different countries, in particular through a cross-regional perspective, and support reflection on their future strategic orientations. It is also hoped that it will become a building block for further research in the area of investment promotion, including proper impact evaluations.

Published - 2019
Caribbean Regional Integration: A Report by the UWI Institute of International Relations (IIR)

The purpose of this study is to analyse the Caribbean regional integration process, to help identify options for moving it forward. This in turn will help to inform future strategic engagement by different stakeholders with a view to facilitating and assisting in the development of the regional integration agenda, by:

1. Identifying the key issues, areas and actors within the regional integration process on which stakeholders can focus to drive real change; and

2. Identifying and assessing if (and how) various stakeholders (such as development partners, regional institutions, the private sector and civil society) can effectively support the regional integration process.

Published - April 2011
Regional integration in the Caribbean: The role of trade agreements and structural transformation

Despite having relatively open economies and a dedicated strategic focus on export expansion, Caribbean economies still account for a small proportion of global trade (goods and services).  Indeed, the continued failure of the institutional machinery of the Caribbean and the mechanics of the Single Market to deliver the competitiveness, productivity, trade and welfare gains upon which it was premised, has limited the region in its development efforts. This, not surprisingly, has increasingly brought the relevance and validity of the current regional integration initiative into question. In addition, the subregion’s bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have not yielded the intended broad-based expansion in exports, with utilization rates among many CARICOM countries being relatively small. 

The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, which came into force at the end of 2008, sought to address the absence of trade-led growth within the subregion by leveraging development support and market access towards deepening subregional integration as well as enhancing supply side capacity, competitiveness in CARIFORUM. However, the agreement has not yet succeeded in improving intra-regional trade or subregional integration. More specifically, empirical analyses have unmasked a clear disparity between the competitiveness of the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean commodity exports in the EU market. Hence it may be necessary for the subregion to examine alternative platforms for delivering convergence. 

It would appear that domestic production systems within the subregion have not been transformed to optimize resource allocation and facilitate exploitation of strategic extra-regional niche markets, where preferential access is on offer. What is equally crucial is that the subregion generally has relatively low trade complementarity with the EU and North America, its major export markets. This notwithstanding, the Caribbean has relatively higher and increasing complementarity with the Central American Integration System (SICA) and Asia, suggesting that these economies may be the subregion’s natural trading partners. 

This paper therefore posits that the subregion adopt a new dais of regional integration, which favours deeper trade and economic integration with countries which are the region’s natural trading partners. This would, however, necessitate greater intervention by regional governments and the private sector in the production of regional public goods that are crucial for structural transformation towards the sustainable development of the subregion. Under such conditions, the nexus of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), FTAs and regional integration frameworks advanced here can be expected to be net trade creating, efficiency enhancing and welfare gains optimizing.

Published - October 2014
Measuring Music

Measuring Music is an annual report by UK Music to assess the impact of British music on the economy. This, the second year of publication, is a groundbreaking report which analyses the contribution of music in 2013.
We use bespoke methodology and questionnaires to help overcome certain failures in the way the national accounts capture economic data for our sector.
Over time, the annual Measuring Music report will be an established bible on the economic strengths of the sector and its key component parts in any given year.

UK Music’s second annual economic study measures the contribution music makes to UK plc. To produce this report, we were entrusted with data on the performance of record labels, music publishers, the live industry, producers, managers, recording studios as well as musicians, singers, songwriters, composers and lyricists.

Published - 2013
Trade in Services Strategy 2013-2015: Services Sector Export Competitiveness Roadmap

ITC is introducing a suite of targeted new initiatives to build developing country export competitiveness in services. The distinctive ITC priority focus is to bring world-class services expertise to the task of building services enterprise competitiveness and concrete export outcomes in ITC beneficiary countries. The initiatives will follow up and reinvigorate the previous ITC programme on Trade in Services and its associated stakeholder contacts. Consistent with the ITC Strategic Plan, the programme’s objectives are: 1) Produce and improve access to, and use of, reliable and user-friendly services-related trade intelligence, building awareness around the importance of services as a potential export driver for developing countries, including LDCs; 2) Build and strengthen trade support institutional capacity to foster an enabling business environment, to benchmark regulatory practices and to promote services exports;  3) Enhance the export readiness of services SMEs in responding to market opportunities, including in global and regional value chains; and 4) Achieve, as a cross-cutting objective, a higher level of sustainable and inclusive participation in the regional and international services economy. 

Published - 2013

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