Better off together: how regional trade can best boost economic growth
Strengthening economic cooperation among developing and developed countries will be examined during UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board meetings.
The impact regional integration has on economic growth will be a key topic during a major meeting of trade, investment and policy experts that gets underway in Geneva next week.
During UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board (TDB), which runs from 11 to 22 September, delegates will scrutinize strategies for fostering stronger and more integrated economies across the globe.
“Regional integration is an important catalyst to reduce trade barriers and increase developing country participation in regional and global value chains,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.
The meetings will also take stock of the work done since the fourteenth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIV), held in Kenya in July 2016. The “Nairobi Maafikiano” report, adopted by governments at that summit, highlighted the link between regional integration and sustainable development.
In between the quadrennial conferences, the TDB meets up to three times a year to oversee UNCTAD’s activities and deal with urgent policy issues, as well as management and institutional matters.
This edition of the TDB – the 64th to date – will identify specific policy mechanisms through which regional integration can be strengthened to increase economic growth, maximize development gains and boost the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was set out by the international community two years ago.
A high-level dialogue taking place at the TDB will be an opportunity for senior figures to exchange experiences on regional economic integration matters through the presentation of best practices. The aim is to help craft practical policy recommendations on how Regional Trade Agreements can promote inclusive and sustainable development and meet emerging challenges, while supporting structural economic transformation.
The upcoming TDB will also offer an opportunity to review the evolution of the world economy in 2016 and 2017 and analyse the factors that are making this recovery the longest and slowest on record. Delegates will likely demonstrate their concern over the continued slow pace of growth in advanced economies, as well as issues of debt and financial fragility.
The TDB debates will consider recent trends in financial markets and flows and address the vulnerabilities faced by developing countries. Delegates will also address rising inequality as one of the fundamental constraints on faster global economic growth. The session will examine how inequality and financial instability jointly pose structural limits to inclusive growth, and propose a global agenda to address them.
Some of the key agenda items will be:
Globalization and Interdependence
The session will review the Trade and Development Report, 2017: Beyond Austerity – Towards a Global New Deal
Building productive capacities in the least developed countries and graduated least developed countries: Lessons learned
Economic Development in Africa: Tourism for transformative and inclusive growth
The session will conduct a review of the Economic Development in Africa Report 2017: Tourism for Transformative and Inclusive Growth
Investment for development: Investment and the digital economy
The session will present the analysis, findings and proposals of the World Investment Report 2017: Investment and the Digital Economy
The State of Commodities – Establishing development linkages in the extractive sector: Lessons from the field.