Trade & Investment

Scaling up Development Finance

The Business and Sustainable Development Commission has estimated that achievement of Agenda 2030 for the Sustainable Development Goals will require US$2-3 trillion of additional investments annually compared to current world income of around US$115 trillion. This is a conservative estimate; annual investments of up to US$2 trillion yearly will be needed to have a chance of keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C.

Small Entrepreneurs Emerge as Backbone of Bangladesh’s Rural Economy

She was born in the early 1950’s to an ultra-poor family in Kundihar, a remote village of Banaripara of Barisal division in Bangladesh. She was a beautiful baby and her father named her ‘Shahndah Rani’ which means ‘Queen of Evenings’. But in reality her life was far from that of a queen.

Towards a Resource Efficient and Pollution Free Asia-Pacific

Senior government officials from across Asia and the Pacific will meet in Bangkok this week for the first-ever Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment. The high-level meeting is co-convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and UN Environment and is a unique opportunity for the region’s environment leaders to discuss how they can work together towards a resource efficient and pollution-free Asia-Pacific.

Quantitative Easing for Wealth Redistribution

Following the 2007-2008 global financial crisis and the Great Recession in its wake, the ‘new normal’ in monetary policy has been abnormal. At the heart of the unconventional monetary policies adopted have been ‘asset purchase’ or ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) programmes. Ostensibly needed for economic revival, QE has redistributed wealth – regressively, in favour of the rich.

When Policies Speak the Same Language, Africa’s Trade and Investment Will Listen

The rising Maputo-Catembe Bridge is a hard-to-miss addition to Mozambique’s shoreline.

Leadership Failure Perpetuates Stagnation

What kind of leadership does the world need now? US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s leadership was undoubtedly extraordinary. His New Deal flew in the face of the contemporary economic orthodoxy, begun even before Keynes’ General Theory was published in 1936.

UN Analytical Leadership in Addressing Global Economic Challenges

The United Nations recently released the 70th anniversary issue of its flagship publication, the World Economic and Social Survey (WESS). First published in January 1948 as the World Economic Report, it is the oldest continuous publication analyzing international economic and social challenges. The 2017 issue reviews 70 years of WESS policy recommendations, many of which remain relevant today to address global challenges and to achieve the 2030 Agenda or Sustainable Development Goals.

“The Time is Now” to Invest in Youth, Girls

The demographic dividend: though not a new concept, it is one of the major buzzwords at the UN this year. But what does it really mean?There are 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 around the world, the most in the history of humankind.

Migrant Contributions to Development: Creating a “New Positive Narrative”

Despite the “undeniable” benefits of migration, barriers including public misconceptions continue to hinder positive development outcomes, participants said during a series of thematic consultations here on safe, orderly, and regular migration.

Alcoholism Cannot Explain Russian Mortality Spike

The steep upsurge in mortality and sudden fall in life expectancy in Russia in the early 1990s were the highest ever registered anywhere in recorded human history in the absence of catastrophes, such as wars, plague or famine. The shock economic reforms in the former Soviet economies after 1991 precipitated this unprecedented increase in mortality, shortening life expectancy, especially among middle-aged males.

Kenya and Ethiopia Join Forces to Advance Peace, Security, Development and Hope

The Horn of Africa is often synonymous with extreme poverty, conflict, demographic pressure, environmental stress, and under-investment in basic social services such as health, education, access to clean water and infrastructure.

Early Death in Russia

The transition to market economy and democracy in the Russian Federation in the early 1990s dramatically increased mortality and shortened life expectancy. The steep upsurge in mortality and the decline in life expectancy in Russia are the largest ever recorded anywhere in peacetime in the absence of catastrophes such as war, plague or famine.

Brazil’s Shipyards – Victims of a Failed Reindustrialisation Process

“I have lived through three good periods and two bad ones,” prior to the present crisis in the Brazilian shipping industry, said Edson Rocha, a direct witness since the 1970s of the ups and downs of a sector where nationalist feelings run high.

How to Achieve Universal Goals, Strategically

Discussion around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a list of 17 goals listed by the UN, was all the buzz in the conference rooms of UN headquarters this week.

Civil Society on SDG Engagement: “We Are Not Guests”

Showing up in record numbers, civil society groups are urging greater inclusion and accountability in sustainable development processes at a UN high level meeting.

Reforming the International Financial System

When we fail to act on lessons from a crisis, we risk exposing ourselves to another one. The 1997-1998 East Asian crises provided major lessons for international financial reform. Two decades later, we appear not to have done much about them. The way the West first responded to the 2008 global financial crisis should have reminded us to do more. But besides accumulating more reserves, Southeast Asia has not done much else.

We Have to Reclaim the Public Policy Space for SDGs

At the High-Level Political Forum which currently takes place at the United Nations in New York several events, for instance a SDG Business Forum, are devoted to the critical role of business and public-private partnerships (PPPs) in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Argentina Plans Billions of Dollars in Railway Projects

Development in Argentina in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century was closely tied to that of the railway. The eighth largest country in the world, Argentina’s economy grew through exporting agricultural and livestock products, and the railways were key to founding centres of population and transporting goods to the ports.

Mexico’s Methane Emissions Threaten the Environment

Mexico is in transition towards commercial exploitation of its shale gas, which is being included in two auctions of 24 hydrocarbon blocks, at a time when the country is having difficulty preventing and reducing industrial methane emissions.

1997 Asian Crisis Lessons Lost

After months of withstanding speculative attacks on its national currency, the Thai central bank let it ‘float’ on 2 July 1997, allowing its exchange rate to drop suddenly. Soon, currencies and stock markets throughout the region came under pressure as easily reversible short-term capital inflows took flight in herd-like fashion. By mid-July 1997, the currencies of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines had also fallen precipitously after being floated, with stock market price indices following suit.

Ending Child Marriage Could Add Trillions to World Economy

The benefits of ending child marriage are many—boosting a young girl’s morale and increasing her chances of education and work, and by that virtue, curbing high population rates in developing economies and boosting growth.

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