Global trade is increasingly dominated by the complex and circuitous routes followed by goods and services as they are upgraded into finished products, a recent UNCTAD report entitled “GVCs and Development: Investment and Value Added Trade in the Global Economy” says (see reference). And developing countries’ share of value-added trade is growing rapidly, reports Carla September.
According to the report, these “global value chains” (GVCs), orchestrated for the most part by transnational corporations (TNCs), offer opportunities for poor countries to gain access to international markets, just as they offer opportunities for statistical confusion to economists. The ever-more complicated webs of investment and trade, by which raw materials extracted in one country may be exported to a second country for processing, then exported again to a manufacturing plant in a third country, which may then export to a fourth country for final consumption. The authors of the report say that the value chains administered in various ways by TNCs now account for 80% of the $20trillion in trade each year ...
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.
The year 2015 was marked on the one hand by the inability of the European Union (EU) to emerge from the crisis, and on the other by a dramatic rise in the number of people taking flight from their homes and from their homelands, because of wars and terrorist attacks, in many cases caused by the destructive policies of the EU and of its member states.
The world economy stumbled in 2015 and only a modest improvement is projected for 2016/17 as a number of cyclical and structural headwinds persist, says the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2016 report. Global growth is estimated at a mere 2.4% in 2015.
Within a few weeks leftwing governments in Latin America have experienced a breath-taking decline. The Latin American (centre-) left forces suffered several strategic defeats. They occurred in the biggest Latin American economies. First in Argentina, than in Venezuela, and also in Brazil the days of an uncontested majority of left forces are definitely over now.
14 years after their previous strategy on gender mainstreaming, the WBG has decided to develop a new Gender Equality (GE) Strategy. This briefing document presents WIDE+ critical reflections and key recommendations to enhance the new World Bank Group's (WBG) strategy on Gender Equality.