Dr. Anne-Maria Brennan loved science as a young girl. But instead of encouraging her, those around her made attempts to steer her in the “right direction”. “The right direction was in nursing, teaching and secretarial courses. I was told that girls do not study physics,” she tells IPS.
Multilateralism Versus Regionalism: Which Path Should African Countries Pursue to Expand Trade and Investment Opportunities?
Increasingly, the ability of multilateralism to address contemporary global issues such as climate change and international trade is being questioned. In the case of international trade, WTO Members have thus far not been able to conclude the Doha Round, which was launched in November 2001. The Round was supposed to have been concluded on 1 January 2005, but it has been beset by persistent differences among the WTO Members. Whereas most developing countries believe that the Round is still active and have called for the fulfilment of all Doha mandates, several developed countries are of the view that the Round has run its full course and overtaken by developments in the global economy. They note that three out of the ten top economies in the world are developing countries – Brazil, China and India – and that several developing economies are also competitive in certain sectors of the global economy and that by granting significant flexibilities in the negotiations to these competitive developing economies, the Round’s mandates are no longer valid and that differentiation among developing countries should be part of the broader on-going discussion on WTO reform.
One mercantilist view is that exchange rate undervaluation – e.g., via accumulation of foreign exchange reserves in China’s case – is ‘industrial policy’ to promote export-led growth, benefiting producers of exports while discouraging imports.