Market Access, Transparency and Fairness in Global Trade

Market Access, Transparency and Fairness in Global Trade

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31 Dec 2010
9789213615010 (PDF)

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This new Report concludes that market access begins at home. It argues that further reducing barriers to trade between developing countries needs to be an essential part of the way forward. The report is the first of an annual series on market access issues and focuses on reducing global poverty by improving market entry and trade transparency for developing countries. In this Report, a new methodology was applied, offering more accurate estimates of global poverty distribution and the impact of export growth on poverty.

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  • Foreword

    The International Trade Centre seeks to promote export impact for good – a normative position that recognizes that mere exporting in itself is not enough. Through supporting and facilitating export development in developing countries, we seek to contribute to enhancing value added and welfare in developing countries and contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

  • Acknowledgements

    This report was prepared under the overall direction of Willem van der Geest, ITC’s Lead Economist. Contributions were made by staff from the ITC’s Market Analysis and Research section, working closely with invited authors from research and academic institutions.

  • Note & abbreviations
  • Overview
  • Towards fairness and transparency in global trade

    Our analysis is based on two premises: first, institutions and rule setting are essential for achieving fairness and transparency in international trade, and second, institutional cooperation can strengthen deliberations and decisionmaking processes. In order to enhance fairness in international trade, we need to strengthen existing relations between the WTO and other international institutions, increase inter-institutional cooperation in the production of norms, expand the use of WTO observer status and make increased cross-reference to non-WTO norms in WTO dispute settlement possible. Fairness in trade may also require a sharper focus on social solidarity ethics, which is defined to include the values of development, respect for the environment and social justice.

  • Market access and entry for developing countries
  • Export development and poverty reduction

    This chapter examines the relationship between export development and poverty reduction in developing countries. It spells out implications for both developing country policies as well as international measures to improve markets.

  • Voluntary standards: Boom or bust for developing countries?

    This Chapter presents a detailed and in-depth analysis of the outcomes and impact of ‘Fair Trade’ voluntary standards on producers and exporters in developing countries. In assessing voluntary standards as one type of intervention in markets, it is important to understand that the policy choice is between different aspects of second-best solutions.

  • The trade vulnerability of emerging and developing countries

    Economic vulnerability arises when a country is prone to a sudden and prolonged break in its growth pattern (crisis); this needs to be distinguished from the mere notion of economic shock. It is important to ascertain whether some trigger points (such as large account deficits) are merely precursor signs of shocks or whether they announce a crisis. Most countries do indeed experience major shocks -to their terms of trade for example - but not all shocks materialize in a crisis. However, it is important to note that dependence and interdependence do not equate with economic vulnerability. Trade linkages per se do not render the trading countries more vulnerable. It is argued in this section that it is the type of trade structure (or export structure) that makes a country vulnerable rather than its mere openness through trade.

  • Statistical annex

    In this annex a number of detailed tables on trade are presented to further elaborate trends observed and conclusions reached within this report. In most cases methodologies have been elaborated within the relevant chapters of the report.

  • Endnotes, bibliography and cited references
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