Trade & Investment

‘Beggar Thy Neighbour’ Policy Advice

The harmful effects of falling corporate tax rates have been acknowledged in a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) research paper. This trend, since the early 1980s, has been especially detrimental for developing countries, which rely on direct taxation much more than developed economies.

The Moral Responsibility for Arms Trade

“I don’t want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster.” 1 These were the words of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 22 May 1940 when he learned of individuals profiting because of the booming arms trade industry during the Second World War. Seven decades down the line, President Roosevelt’s warning against the rise of the military-industrial complex and war profiteers is more relevant than ever and a telling testimony that for many in safe places war means profit. But, should the pursuit of economic profit be allowed to supplant ethical considerations, especially when weapons often end up in the hands of terrorists, human rights violators and criminal governments?

Bretton Woods Institutions: Enforcers, Not Saviours?

According to their own internal evaluations, both the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have huge credibility deficits due to the policy conditionalities and advice they have dispensed to developing countries in recent decades.

Boom or Bust -Education Will Determine Africa’s Transformation

August 12, marks International Youth Day, and the theme for this year is ‘making education more relevant, equitable and inclusive’, is particularly apt for Africa. Consider this. Every 24 hours around 35,000 African youth are looking for work.

Europeans Mobilising for New IMF Head

In the grand European political reshuffle of 2019, it turned out that Christine Lagarde was the answer to the conundrum of who should replace Mario Draghi at the European Central Bank. But her move opens another question. Who succeeds Lagarde at the International Monetary Fund?

Free Speech and the Hong Kong Protests

Sometime in the summer of 1974, I was leaning against the gunwale of the ferry between Calais and Dover, watching the moonlight streaming dark waters. When I turned to the left I found that a Chinese lady also looked out over the calm sea. What she told me changed my world view.

Bretton Woods Institutions: From Solution to Problem

July 2019 saw the 75th anniversary of the historic conference of 44 countries held at the Bretton Woods (BW) resort in New Hampshire during July 1-22, 1944. Conference At BW, John Maynard Keynes, representing the UK, and Harry Dexter White, for the USA, both sought a new international monetary system following the Great Depression, which many attributed to the functioning of the gold standard before World War II.

Foreign Private Investment in Low-Income Countries: More Important Than You Think

In a world of stagnating public aid, limited fiscal space, and rising public debt in low-income countries (LICs), can they realistically expect to rely more on private finance from foreigners? What does the evidence suggest?

Privatization Increases Corruption

International financial institutions (IFIs) have typically imposed wide-ranging policy reforms – called ‘conditionalities’ – in exchange for country governments to secure access to financial assistance. While IFIs may demand anti-corruption policies, other IFI policy conditionalities, such as the privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), can create new rentier opportunities, undermining government will and capacity to curb corruption.

Facebook and Friends Threaten to Libralize the World

On 17 June, a Facebook white paper proposed a new global digital currency it plans to launch in the first half of 2020. The Libra will be managed by a ‘not for profit’ Swiss-based Facebook-led consortium of ‘for profit corporations’, with Uber, eBay, Lyft, Mastercard and PayPal among its founding members.

Rwanda: Open for Business

Claire Akamanzi spends her days working on innovative ways to bring more business to her country. As CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), a multiagency governmental department billed as a “one-stop shop” for investors, Akamanzi has seen the country earn accolades for its business-friendly environment, recently winning the #2 spot regionally in the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings.

Industrial Policy Finally Legitimate?

For decades, the two Bretton Woods institutions have rejected the contribution of industrial policy (IP), or government investment and technology promotion efforts, in accelerating and sustaining growth, industrialization and structural transformation. Finally, two International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff members, Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov, have broken the taboo. They embrace industrial policy, arguing against the current conventional wisdom that East Asian industrial policies cannot be successfully emulated by other developing countries.

Financialization Undermines Real Economy

The relationship between finance and the real economy is arguably at the root of the contemporary economic malaise. Unlike earlier acceptance of simple linear causation, recent recognition of a curvilinear relationship between finance and economic growth, implying ‘diminishing returns’, has important implications.

Could the Election of Qu Dongyu as FAO´s General-Director be a Turning-point for Sustainable Agricultural Development?

Agriculture is the bedrock of sedentary human civilization, without it we would have no governments or nations. It was food surplus generated by agriculture that enabled people to live in cities and form regimes able to organize food production in such a manner that some community members could engage in other activities than direct food production and thus give rise to the ideologies, techniques and goods which now constitute and govern our existence.

Kenya’s March Towards Demographic Dividend with Investments in Health Sector Partnering with The Netherlands

Demographic dividend is a term which is increasingly preoccupying discussions among development economists and the donor community in general in Kenya. The term refers to countries with the greatest demographic opportunity for development and those that are ushering in a period in which the working-age population has good health, quality education, decent employment and a lower proportion of young dependents. Smaller numbers of children per household generally lead to larger investments per child, more freedom for women to enter the formal workforce and more household savings for old age. When this happens, the national economic payoff can be substantial, and this is the demographic dividend.

A Bad Free Trade Agreement Is Worse than Nothing

With growing economic conflicts triggered by US President Donald Trump’s novel neo-mercantilist approach to overcoming his nation’s economic malaises, many voices now argue that bad free trade agreements are better than nothing. After US withdrawal following Trump’s inauguration in early 2017, there is considerable pressure on signatory governments to quickly ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the successor to the TPP.

From Tony Blair to Mette Frederiksen

Social Democrats, who had been steadily disappearing following the crisis of 2008, have been making a small comeback in the last year. Now they are in power in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland and, most recently, in Denmark.

Sharing the Burden of Refugees; the World Can Do Better

As the world marks World Refugee Day on June 20th to celebrate the strength, courage and perseverance of refugees, a glaring concern remains just how inadequate the global response to the refugee crisis has been.

An Economic No-Brainer: Empower Women, Empower Economies

As the first woman to lead the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a leader in advocating for increased investment and action toward gender equality, Christine Lagarde helps Deliver for Good explore the steps needed to build sustainable financing & economic opportunities for girls and women.

Financialization Promotes Dangerous Speculation

Financialization has involved considerable ‘innovation’, often of opaque, complex and poorly understood financial instruments. These instruments typically have large debt components involving leveraging, deepening connections across markets and borders.

The Art of the Deal: What Trump May Teach Us

A friend of mine who became wealthy as an art dealer but eventually lost his fortune told me: "Money isn´t everything, but it helps." This made me think of Donald Trump, who likes to describe himself as an entrepreneur, i.e. ”owner of a business enterprise who, by risk and initiative, attempts to make profits."1 The keyword is profits. According to Trump, success is measured through wealth. Like chess and poker, entrepreneurship is about winning and losing. Trump characterizes people he dislikes as losers, while he considers himself to be a winner.

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