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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.
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.
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.
I. 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
II. 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).
III. 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 goodsrelated services.
IV. 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Global Review of Aid for Trade is a biennial event that examines Aid-for-Trade actions in development countries. With its theme “Connecting to Value Chains”, the 4th Global Review discussed the implications of global value chains from a trade and development perspective – and debated how Aid for Trade can help developing countries, and in particular Least Developed Countries, overcome the barriers they face in connecting, adding value and establishing value chains. Debate was informed by a series of publications that discussed the results of a global extensive monitoring and evaluation exercise, notably the flagship joint OECD-WTO publication “Aid for Trade at a Glance: Connecting to Value Chains”.
This publication brings together summary reports of the Plenary Sessions and Side Events held during the 4th Global Review event. The summary reports of the Plenary Sessions were prepared by the WTO Secretariat. Summary reports of the Side Events were prepared by Side Event organizers and the WTO Secretariat. To find out more visit: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/devel_e/a4t_e/global_review13_e.htm
Doing Business uses a different approach to measuring the quality of regulation. It focuses on whether an economy has in place the rules and processes that can lead to good outcomes, linked in each case to Doing Business measures of efficiency. In the area of dealing with construction permits, for example, Doing Business now measures the quality of building regulations and the qualification requirements for the people reviewing building plans as well as the efficiency (as measured by time and cost) of the process for completing all the formalities to build a warehouse. Doing Business does not assess the process for designing building regulations; instead, it gauges whether an economy has the kind of building regulations and quality controls that enable well-constructed buildings.
Doing Business continues to focus on regulation that affects domestic small and medium-size enterprises, operating in the largest business city of an economy, across 11 areas.1 Ten of these areas—starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency—are included in the distance to frontier score and ease of doing business ranking. The distance to frontier score captures the gap between an economy’s performance and a measure of best practice across the entire sample of 36 indicators, where 100 is the frontier and 0 is the furthest from the frontier. Doing Business also analyzes labor market regulation, which is not included in the distance to frontier score or ease of doing business ranking.
This report provides an overview on The bahamas's openness to and restrictions upon foreign investments. Looks at conversion and transfer policies, dispute settlements, protection of property rights, and transparency of the regulatory system etc.
The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be reformed for the period 2014–2020. As policy coherence for development is a guiding principle for EU policies, one of the touchstones of the CAP reform is whether it is in line with the objectives of development cooperation. The Dutch Government also highlights the importance of taking policy coherence with development objectives into consideration during the CAP reform process.
This report contains an analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed CAP reform in developing countries and of the opportunities for a CAP reform that is more coherent with sustainable agricultural production in developing countries. The assessment is based on a literature review, results of agro-economicenvironmental modelling and on interviews with experts in European agriculture, environment and development.
This market survey provides exporters of spices and herbs in developing countries with a wide range of facts, figures and information with respect to the European Union (EU) market. The emphasis of this survey lies on those products which are of importance to DC suppliers. Besides, where relevant and if information is available, this study focuses on organic spices and herbs on the EU market. The spices and herbs market in individual EU countries is discussed further in separate CBI market surveys, which can be downloaded from http://www.cbi.eu/marketinfo.
The original Handbook, published 10 years ago, provided a clear overview of the requirements of the GATS as it relates to the legal services sector. But times have moved on and there are new developments to be considered, including a rise in interest in bilateral and regional trade agreements (see the new section (XIII).
The IBA continues to urge its member bar associations to become involved in national discussions and negotiations that take place concerning the GATS, and many bars will have seen the significant impact of the implementation of GATS in their jurisdiction. The Bar Issues Commission’s specialist ‘International Trade in Legal Services’ Committee also continues its work on resolutions and guidelines that support the legal sector in this area.
Please note that Sections X-XIII of the Handbook have entirely new content. The topics covered by these newly-rewritten sections include the following:
• GATS Implementation Efforts – GATS Track #1 and the Doha Round’s Progressive Liberalization Negotiations
• GATS Implementation Efforts – GATS Track #2 and the Negotiations to Develop Disciplines on Domestic Regulation
• GATS Implementation Efforts - The Role of the IBA
• Other Developments of Interest (including the proliferation of bilateral and regional trade agreements)
This publication provides information on doing business with the Dominican Republic.
This publication provides information on doing business with Belize.
This publication provides information on doing business with Barbados.
This publication provides information on doing business with Suriname.
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report, most Caribbean countries have made starting a business much easier in recent years. This is the result of changes in regulations and in the implementation of new reforms for business registration over time. However, despite reducing the time and cost needed to register a company, the international ranking of most Caribbean countries fell, as other countries made registering even easier. Nevertheless, registering a company has become easy enough that further reforms to shorten the time or reduce costs are not crucial. Given the past progress, it is preferable to study the registration process and the quality of the business registry to assess whether further simplification is warranted, or the quality of the business registration should be improved.
Private or nonprofit digital skills training programs, referred to as coding bootcamps, have emerged to address severe shortage of talent in the area of digital skills. Bootcamps are not perfect; they do not represent the magic bullet that will contrive such skills out of thin air, nor should they be touted as such. Nevertheless, they are creating alternative educational pathways in economies affected by the extraordinary challenges brought about by the digital revolution. Evidence indicates that bootcamp graduates are eagerly welcomed by top companies all around the world in their desperate need for human capital with programming skills and dexterity for such areas as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analysis.
This report maps this new breed of provider of digital skills training around the world as well as in Latin America, highlighting the trends and lessons learned where possible. The analysis in this paper does not constitute an assessment of the effectiveness of bootcamps involving an experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation. Rather, it endeavors to document and verify the extraordinary claims of bootcamps regarding their outputs in terms of the acquisition of skills and the employability of their graduates. Hence, it examines the issue of results by using all the information that has been gathered.
The coding bootcamp industry is nascent, having emerged less than 10 years ago with a handful of providers in the United States. It is now a burgeoning industry that has grown remarkably fast and spans across the world. Bootcamps appear rather effective at identifying the needs of industries, swiftly tailoring their instruction to meet the latest industry trends. They deliver highly sophisticated, albeit significantly practical, skills in a short period of time at a relatively low cost. There is variation in the quality of coding bootcamp programs, but almost as quickly as the industry has emerged, entities have established themselves to assist prospective students by providing rankings and certain standards from which to judge the cost-benefit of enrolling in a coding school. Bootcamps are increasingly rigorous about their admission process, which often includes two separate interviews that establish an applicant’s potential technical capabilities and her/his soft skills.
Gender equality is a critical component of economic growth. Women are half of the world’s population and we have our role to play in creating a more prosperous world. But we won’t succeed in playing it if the laws are holding us back.
To develop a better understanding of how women’s employment and entrepreneurship are affected by legal discrimination, Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform examines ten years of data through an index structured around the economic decisions women make as they go through their working lives. From a 25-year-old getting her first job or a mother balancing work with caring for her children, to a woman on the brink of retirement, the index explores how the economic decisions women make are affected by the law.
2014 Caribbean Economic Review provides information on the Caribbean Development Bank’s preliminary estimate of growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the Region in 2014 and provides an outlook for 2015.
The 2019 Annual Report begins with a message from the WTO Director-General and an overview of the past year. This is followed by more in-depth accounts of the WTO’s areas of activity over the past 12 months.
This study analyzes the patterns of development in the Caribbean and gives particular focus to the challenges to and opportunities for sustainable development. The study is divided into two parts. The first part of the study examines trajectories for development in the Caribbean, while the second addresses the relationship between competition and integration.
The significant development gains attained since independence have been threatened in the last decade. Slowing productivity growth, rising debt, increasing crime and social dislocation in recent years have adversely affected growth in per capita income and social welfare. The study therefore calls on policy makers to promote dynamic drivers of growth and development in the region. The key requirement in this regard, is the need to strengthen import productivity,2 or the efficiency with which the region uses foreign exchange. This can be done by producing and exporting more high-value services such as education and the output of the creative industries. The sub-region also needs to strengthen its systems of governance by providing more opportunities for citizens to participate in decision making.
In addition, the region needs to address the inherent relationship between competition and integration by developing improved systems to cushion the negative impacts on weaker members of the integration arrangement. These could include a more robust development fund and capacity building to enable losers to benefit from regional trade and investment. However, regional integration should provide a platform for moving up the value chain, through research and development and innovation to produce more competitive exports.
Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago plus the eight member states of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and the outlook for 2014 and 2015. Data were collected from a review of reports from national governments and through interviews with government officials in each of the countries analyzed. The main findings are that while the Caribbean still faces a number of fiscal challenges it is anticipated that the situation will improve with positive growth over the medium term. At the same time, unemployment rates, especially for the service-based economies, are relatively high and continue to increase slowly in some cases. The survey also finds that inflation rates are relatively low, which has a positive impact on fixed income earners. With respect to investment, the domestic private sector remains risk averse as credit to this sector been increasing slowly. At the same time, public sector credit has declined, in part due to a number of programmes aimed at constraining the public sector. Better economic performance is projected in 2014 and 2015, due to improved performance of the major export markets, the United States and Europe, and improved domestic investment. This is likely to increase employment and domestic demand, which have been depressed in the face of fiscal consolidation measures. It is also expected that inflows of both foreign direct investment (FDI) and remittances will increase due to anticipated better economic performance in the United States and Europe and that this will improve the current account balances.
Approaches to underdevelopment based on misallocation of resources have two premises. First, that there is huge heterogeneity in terms of underlying productivity among potential and actual entrepreneurs. Second, that the mechanisms that guide resource allocation do not necessarily result in the resources going to the most productive entrepreneurs. Using the Townsend Thai data and the Million Baht program studied by Kaboski and Townsend (2012), we show evidence for both these premises. First, using the fact that the Townsend Thai data include a long time series of pre-intervention information, we estimate TFP household by household. We then show that the effect of the Million Baht program, which was a source of additional short-term credit in the village, varies dramatically by pre-program TFP. There is no discernible effect in terms of income or business prots among low pre-program TFP households but the high TFP households show a large increase in prots (more than 1.5 THB increase in prots for 1 THB in loans). This effect doubles when we restrict to high TFP households that had a non-agricultural business before the intervention. On the other hand, program credit is not allocated based on baseline TFP. However market credit partly mitigates the disparity.