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WTO helps developing countries adjust to major shifts in tradingMonday, October 27, 2014 > 09:34:48
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has enabled developing countries to take advantage of, adapt to and mitigate risks arising from these trends, the World Trade Report 2014 has said.
According to the report, the WTO ensured that countries take binding commitments which increase certainty over their trade policies, by providing flexibilities that better allow developing countries to undertake such commitments, and by facilitating technical assistance to build trading capacity within those economies.
In addition, countries undertaking substantial reforms related to WTO accession were found to grow around 2.5 per cent faster for several years afterwards, the report notes.
The World Trade Report 2014 which was made available to the Ghana News Agency on Friday identifies these four trends as: the rise of the developing world; the expansion of global value chains; the higher prices of commodities; and the increasingly global nature of macroeconomic shocks.
“We have entered a new era in the link between trade and development,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said in marking the launch of the report. “Driven in large part by trade, some developing economies have made remarkable progress in recent years, but much still needs to be done to close the gap for many poor economies.”
“The potential of trade in supporting development has not yet been fully realized,” he continued. “However, the emerging trends highlighted in this report suggest that trade will be a major force for development in the 21st century.
“The WTO’s work is therefore more important than ever. We must continue to deepen our understanding of these issues to ensure that developing countries can reap the benefits of trade more fully in the years to come.”
The report shows how trade contributed significantly to the unprecedented economic development that has taken place since 2000.
It said trade had allowed many developing countries to benefit from the opportunities created by emerging new markets, to integrate into the world market through global value chains at lower costs, and to reap the rewards from higher world commodity prices.
The WTO has underpinned this progress by providing certainty, thereby creating the predictable environment that allowed economic activity to flourish.
In addition, it helped contain protectionism in the face of the greatest economic crisis in 70 years, thus helping to safeguard the economic gains made by developing countries in the recent past.