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  September 14th, 2017 | Written by


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  • UNCTAD: The global economy is stuck in second gear.
  • UNCTAD report seeks to build more inclusive and caring economies.
  • UNCTAD report forecasts the risks of ignoring the excesses of hyperglobalization.

With the global economy stubbornly stuck in second gear, UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report—released today—sets out an ambitious alternative policy route to build more inclusive and caring economies.

“The world economy remains unbalanced in ways that are not only exclusionary, but also destabilizing and dangerous for the political, social and environmental health of the planet. Even when economic growth has been possible…, the gains have disproportionately accrued to the privileged few. At the same time, a combination of too much debt and too little demand at the global level has hampered sustained expansion of the world economy.”

Austerity measures adopted in the wake of the global financial crisis have exacerbated the situation, the report argues. “Such measures have hit the world’s poorest communities the hardest,” says the report.

In the absence of a coordinated expansion led by the advanced economies, UNCTAD has assessed alternative options for sustaining the limited global economic pick-up and forecasts the risks of ignoring the excesses of hyperglobalization.

The UNCTAD report addresses the following key questions: How can global institutions halt the cycle of hyperglobalization fueling restrictive business practices? Will robots reduce the benefits of industrialization as a development strategy? What is the relationship between increasing women’s employment and more inclusive growth? How does indebtedness relate to insecurity?

The Trade and Development Report 2017 argues that now is the ideal time to crowd in private investment with the help of a concerted fiscal push – a global new deal – to get the growth engines revving again, and at the same time help rebalance economies and societies that, after three decades of hyperglobalization, are seriously out of kilter. However, in today’s world of mobile finance and liberalized economic policies, no country can do this on its own without risking capital flight, a currency collapse and the threat of a deflationary spiral. What is needed, therefore, is a globally coordinated strategy of expansion led by increased public expenditures, with all countries being offered the opportunity of benefiting from a simultaneous boost to their domestic and external markets.

The Trade and Development Report 2017 calls for more exacting and encompassing policy measures to address global and national asymmetries in resource mobilization, technological know-how, market power and political influence caused by hyperglobalization that have generated exclusionary outcomes, and will perpetuate them if no action is taken.

The report argues that, with the appropriate combination of resources, policies and reforms, the international community has the tools available to galvanize the requisite investment push needed to achieve the ambitions of the SDGs and promote sustainable and inclusive outcomes at both global and national levels.