Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts

21 April 2019

How global value chains open opportunities for developing countries

David Dollar

Traditional trade statistics measure the gross value of trade. When a smart phone goes from China to the United States, what is recorded as an export is the full value of the phone. It would be more accurate to say that the United States is importing different types of value added from different partners: labor-intensive assembly from China, more sophisticated manufacturing inputs from South Korea, and services from the United States, since even foreign-brand phones have a lot of U.S. technology.

In recent years, major economies have produced annual input-output tables that deconstruct production into its many constituent parts. There is a growing amount of research into the value added in trade, as well as into the stages of the value chain. These studies provide new perspectives on trade. The Global Value Chain Development Report 2019, produced by the World Trade Organization and other partners, has a wealth of findings, some of which are especially relevant to developing countries.

THE CASES OF CHINA AND VIETNAM

20 April 2019

Hate Speech on Social Media: Global Comparisons

by Zachary Laub

A mounting number of attacks on immigrants and other minorities has raised new concerns about the connection between inflammatory speech online and violent acts, as well as the role of corporations and the state in policing speech. Analysts say trends in hate crimes around the world echo changes in the political climate, and that social media can magnify discord. At their most extreme, rumors and invective disseminated online have contributed to violence ranging from lynchings to ethnic cleansing.

The response has been uneven, and the task of deciding what to censor, and how, has largely fallen to the handful of corporations that control the platforms on which much of the world now communicates. But these companies are constrained by domestic laws. In liberal democracies, these laws can serve to defuse discrimination and head off violence against minorities. But such laws can also be used to suppress minorities and dissidents.
How widespread is the problem?

12 April 2019

Record High Remittances Sent Globally in 2018


WASHINGTON, April 8, 2019 — Remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached a record high in 2018, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief.

The Bank estimates that officially recorded annual remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries reached $529 billion in 2018, an increase of 9.6 percent over the previous record high of $483 billion in 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017.

Regionally, growth in remittance inflows ranged from almost 7 percent in East Asia and the Pacific to 12 percent in South Asia. The overall increase was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation. Excluding China, remittances to low- and middle-income countries ($462 billion) were significantly larger than foreign direct investment flows in 2018 ($344 billion).

Among countries, the top remittance recipients were India with $79 billion, followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), the Philippines ($34 billion), and Egypt ($29 billion).

11 April 2019

What’s Driving the Global Slowdown?

ESWAR PRASAD

Faced with an increasingly synchronized global slowdown, policymakers must use a judicious mix of monetary and fiscal measures and recommit to broader reforms of product, labor, and financial markets. How well they respond to these challenges will shape the course of the world economy for years to come.

ITHACA – The drumbeat of warnings about a looming worldwide recession is growing ever louder. According to the latest Brookings-Financial TimesTIGER indexes, which track the global economic recovery, growth momentum is declining in virtually all of the world’s major economies. And what this portends in the longer term is ominous, especially given the limited macroeconomic policy options for stimulating growth. 

The current slowdown is mainly the result of weak business and consumer sentiment, geopolitical uncertainties, and trade tensions. These factors have dampened corporate investment and could hurt future growth prospects, too. If the downturn persists, current high levels of public debt and low interest rates will limit the ability of policymakers in large advanced economies to provide significant fiscal or monetary stimulus. Other, less conventional monetary-policy measures, meanwhile, would come with significant risks and uncertain payoffs.

10 April 2019

Rethinking Trade: Global Competitiveness Through Regional Cooperation

By Matthew Rooney

Thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. annual trade with our neighbors has increased by $800 billion since 1990. Our trade with the rest of the world rose by an even greater $2.3 trillion. These are big numbers that represent real wealth creation for Americans. During that period our economy has almost doubled in size and we have created more than thirty million net new jobs

Building off NAFTA’s success, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, improves access to the Canadian and Mexican markets for U.S. products, modernizes provisions for the digital age, and strengthens protection of intellectual property. These provisions play to the particular strengths of the United States.

Unfortunately, the Agreement also responds to concerns about globalism that threaten the economic benefits that American consumers and businesses enjoy as a result of low barriers to trade. In particular, its more restrictive requirements for regional content of imported cars will probably have unpredictable effects on the global competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry. 

9 April 2019

The 2020 Election Marks a Global Inflection Point

By Reva Goujon, Reva Goujon

You may have noticed by now that there is a strong air of existentialism surrounding the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign. Environmental policy has vaulted from being a fringe electoral issue to prompting calls for a national emergency on climate change. The "socialist" label is being bandied left and right as a way of questioning the very survival and moral legitimacy of U.S. capitalism. And foreign policy debates are raging over China's attempt to unseat the United States in a tech-fueled battle for global supremacy — a global great power competition.

These are big, whopping issues. And while they're certainly not new, they're currently being debated with fresh and unusual levels of frankness and ferocity.

So, why is all this existential angst spilling over now?

The Rear View

8 April 2019

World’s Poorest Of The Poor To Hit One Billion By 2020 – OpEd

By Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan

In the arid dunes of sub-Saharan Africa, women walk six hours to fetch water with nothing to eat. Arriving home, one mother decides who among her four children will eat the last oatmeal from a food aid caravan three weeks back, and who will starve.

The picture is no different in the Philippines where in the Visayan region, rural mothers scour the forests for something to eat as crops have failed. Their counterparts in Manila eat whatever food they get from the garbage, unmindful of their health.

These are images of the world’s poorest of the poor. They are trapped in long-term poverty where most likely, their children, if they survive, will live in worst or similar conditions. They are hardcore poor, extreme poor and ultra poor. They are the victims of chronic poverty because they are in it for a long, long time, an entire life or even across generations.

The world’s 7.5 billion people, in one chart


Which countries do people live in, globally?

It’s a very simple question, but it’s also hard to get an accurate sense of the answer by browsing through a lengthy table of country-level population data.

That’s because there are close to 200 countries spread around the globe, with populations ranging from near 1.4 billion (China or India) to countries a mere 0.001% of that size. How is it possible to do the mental math in interpreting such a wide range of data points simultaneously?

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global syste


Geo-economic developments are illustrating the power of global partnerships but also the constraints of current systems. As Japan begins its presidency of the G20 for the first time this year, there is an opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to a cooperative approach toward economic growth and to update our trade system so that it is more resilient and responsive to new technology.

For Japan, 2018 marked a productive period in terms of strengthening global commerce: the European Union and Japan signed the Economic Partnership Agreement this past summer and the eleven-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership entered into force at the end of last year. Combined, these deals are expected to add a total of 750,000 new jobs and ¥13 trillion annually to the Japanese economy.

Indeed, these projections are in line with the broad benefits we have seen from globalization over the past quarter century. Since 1990, global GDP has doubledin real terms and the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty has dropped from 36 percent to 10 percent, according to the World Bank. A key driver behind this has been trade.

5 April 2019

Globalization in transition: The future of trade and value chains

By Susan Lund, James Manyika, Jonathan Woetzel, Jacques Bughin, Mekala Krishnan, Jeongmin Seong, and Mac Muir

Although output and trade continue to increase in absolute terms, trade intensity (that is, the share of output that is traded) is declining within almost every goods-producing value chain. Flows of services and data now play a much bigger role in tying the global economy together. Not only is trade in services growing faster than trade in goods, but services are creating value far beyond what national accounts measure. Using alternative measures, we find that services already constitute more value in global trade than goods. In addition, all global value chains are becoming more knowledge-intensive. Low-skill labor is becoming less important as factor of production. Contrary to popular perception, only about 18 percent of global goods trade is now driven by labor-cost arbitrage.

Three factors explain these changes: growing demand in China and the rest of the developing world, which enables these countries to consume more of what they produce; the growth of more comprehensive domestic supply chains in those countries, which has reduced their reliance on imports of intermediate goods; and the impact of new technologies.

3 April 2019

How global development leaders think their field is changing

George Ingram and Kristin M. Lord

Last year, we interviewed 93 leaders from government, NGOs, private development contractors, corporations, foundations, and multilateral organizations on how they see global development changing, what they forecast in the near and mid-term future, and how their own organizations are adapting. Their perspectives coalesce around a few broadly held themes—and diverge widely on a host of other topics.

Overall, we found a fragmented field that is very much in transition. Development organizations are struggling with uncertainty and striving to keep pace with rapid change. Leaders are proud of what they do and the advancements in global development but painfully aware of the lack of progress in many areas and of the development sector’s shortcomings. Changes in the sector elicit both excitement and fear. For leaders, they induce worry about the relevance of their own organizations and the ability of the sector to adapt and add value.

Though we encourage readers to review the full report to appreciate the breadth and richness of the findings, we summarize three top conclusions below:

1. FUNDING IN FLUX

The most-mentioned issue is the future of funding for development. There is broad concern over a plateau in official development assistance (ODA), and inadequate financing for development overall as well as for specific areas of need. There is also concern for the long-term financial health of development organizations that are overly dependent on government donors.

Global Energy Perspective 2019


Energy systems around the world are going through rapid transitions that affect many aspects of our lives. The continuation and acceleration of these shifts will bring important changes to the way we fuel our cars, heat our homes, and power our industries in the coming decades. Our Reference Case provides our consensus view on how energy demand will evolve

2 April 2019

Globalization in transition: The future of trade and value chainsJanuary 2019 | Report

By Susan Lund, James Manyika, Jonathan Woetzel, Jacques Bughin, Mekala Krishnan, Jeongmin Seong, and Mac Muir

Although output and trade continue to increase in absolute terms, trade intensity (that is, the share of output that is traded) is declining within almost every goods-producing value chain. Flows of services and data now play a much bigger role in tying the global economy together. Not only is trade in services growing faster than trade in goods, but services are creating value far beyond what national accounts measure. Using alternative measures, we find that services already constitute more value in global trade than goods. In addition, all global value chains are becoming more knowledge-intensive. Low-skill labor is becoming less important as factor of production. Contrary to popular perception, only about 18 percent of global goods trade is now driven by labor-cost arbitrage.

Three factors explain these changes: growing demand in China and the rest of the developing world, which enables these countries to consume more of what they produce; the growth of more comprehensive domestic supply chains in those countries, which has reduced their reliance on imports of intermediate goods; and the impact of new technologies.

1 April 2019

‘Objective Journalism’ Has Always Been A Myth – OpEd

By Ryan McMaken*

One of the great myths of modern journalism is that it is possible for journalists to report facts and make judgments in an objective manner. This myth has come under increasing attack in recent years as the mass media’s continued hostility to the Trump administration has become ever more fevered. Nevertheless, many both inside and outside the profession cling to the idea that “objective” reporting is possible.

We hear about this ideal frequently from journalists themselves — not surprisingly — who fancy themselves as investigators and researchers who are above ordinary human biases. Instead, they merely communicate information, making it digestible for the common man, and telling the reader all the most important information about a topic.

This idea dates back at least as far as the 1920s, and is often attributed to Walter Lippmann who explains this ideal of objective journalism at length in his 1922 book Public Opinion.1

31 March 2019

The World's Third Pole Is Melting

By Dechen Palmo

The Tibetan plateau, which holds the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) ice sheet, is known as the world’s “Third Pole.” It holds the largest number of glaciers and snow after the Arctic and Antarctic. The Tibetan plateau has more than 46,000 glaciers, 14.5 percent of the world’s total. These glaciers give birth to Asia’s major river systems — the Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween, Mekong, Yangtze, and Yellow Rivers that provide lifelines to many countries and support a population of around 2 billion people.

But due to climate change, the Tibetan plateau’s glaciers are depleting faster than anywhere else on earth. The loss of Tibetan glaciers means the loss of livelihood for the people who are dependent on these rivers — over a quarter of the world’s total population.

Under the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), experts from different regions have come together to develop the first Hindu Kush Himalayan assessment report, which was released on January 5, 2019. The report corroborates a 2014 report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showing that as temperatures rise with climate change, at least one-third of the Hindu Kush Himalayan glaciers will be depleted by 2100, even if global warming is held at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

These are all the world's major religions in one map

Frank Jacobs

Devotees try to form a human pyramid to break a clay pot containing curd during the celebrations to mark the Hindu festival of Janmashtami in Mumbai August 10, 2012. Janmashtami, which marks the birthday of Hindu god Krishna, is being celebrated across the country today. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui (INDIA - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - GM2E88A1BFZ01A picture says more than a thousand words, and that goes for this world map as well. This map conveys not just the size but also the distribution of world religions, at both a global and national level.

Strictly speaking it's an infographic rather than a map, but you get the idea. The circles represent countries, their varying sizes reflect population sizes, and the slices in each circle indicate religious affiliation.

The result is both panoramic and detailed. In other words, this is the best, simplest map of world religions ever. Some quick takeaways:

Christianity (blue) dominates in the Americas, Europe and the southern half of Africa.

Islam (green) is the top religion in a string of countries from northern Africa through the Middle East to Indonesia.

25 March 2019

A Case For Area Studies – Analysis

By César Braga-Pinto*

Scholars of history and literature, anyone who appreciates culture, share a keen interest in memory and, in countries with volatile politics, a fear for the fate of priceless documents and precarious archives. This takes place amid a broader crisis with dismissal of the humanities. Language and literature departments may be among the most vulnerable, especially teaching and research in the less commonly taught languages, such as Portuguese, which constantly struggle to prove their relevance.

Scholars of the humanities are alarmed. Eric Hayot, a professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies, calls attention to the steady decline in tenure-track jobs advertised, by as many as 50 percent, and a corresponding decline of humanities majors reported by institutions. To remain relevant, scholars in the humanities must pursue all avenues of interdisciplinarity, although the scope and viability of such studies vary among institutions. Likewise, the nature and scope of research and teaching, or the discipline and departments, do not always coincide.

24 March 2019

Let’s Talk About Geoengineering

DAVID KEITH

There is growing scientific interest in solar geoengineering as a possible means of combating climate change in conjunction with emissions cuts. But by foregoing debate and research on these new technologies now, political leaders may actually increase the risks of their future misuse.

CAMBRIDGE – Negotiations on geoengineering technologies ended in deadlock at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, last week, when a Swiss-backed proposal to commission an expert UN panel on the subject was withdrawn amid disagreements over language. This is a shame, because the world needs open debate about novel ways to reduce climate risks.

Specifics aside, the impasse stemmed from a dispute within the environmental community about growing scientific interest in solar geoengineering – the possibility of deliberately reflecting a small amount of sunlight back into space to help combat climate change. Some environmental and civil-society groups, convinced that solar geoengineering will be harmful or misused, oppose further research, policy analysis, and debate about the issue. Others, including some large environmental groups, support cautious research.

23 March 2019

Toward a New Global Charter

CARL BILDT

Whereas the failure to forge a lasting world order at Versailles resulted in the catastrophe of World War II, the establishment of shared principles under the 1941 Atlantic Charter led to eight decades of prosperity and relative stability. With the world undergoing another geopolitical sea change, a new global charter is needed.

STOCKHOLM – In August 1941, even before the United States had entered World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt met secretly off the coast of Newfoundland to discuss how the world could be organized after the war. A similar feat had been attempted at Versailles just over two decades earlier, but it had clearly failed.

Churchill and FDR’s assignation resulted in the Atlantic Charter, which established a set of shared principles and institutions that still define the international order eight decades later. In 1944, the Bretton Woods conference laid the groundwork for the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other global financial institutions; the establishment of the United Nations soon followed. The defeated Axis powers were transformed into dynamic democracies with market economies, and were integrated into the new global system, while stability was maintained through cooperative security structures spanning the transatlantic and Pacific theaters.

20 March 2019

Global Energy Perspective 2019


Energy systems around the world are going through rapid transitions that affect many aspects of our lives. The continuation and acceleration of these shifts will bring important changes to the way we fuel our cars, heat our homes, and power our industries in the coming decades. Our Reference Case provides our consensus view on how energy demand will evolve.