Annual Christmas presents

December 8, 2007

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Christmas is coming soon, like every year. The pre-Christmas period November and December brings with it its serial release of Annual Reports or Surveys relevant to this blog. Please find below a few presents:

Foreign Policy published with A.T. Kearney this year’s Globalization Index. A few major countries are sliding down the rankings. This ranking is a bit more “pop”, compared to the more academic KOF Globalization Index. Comparing both raises raises the never-ending questions of what it means to be globalized. What parameters do you use? What strikes me is that small countries are systematically considered more globalized than big countries. Well: how normal!

The German Marshall Fund released its annual Euro-American poll on attitudes towards international trade and aid. This year, it seems that it is outsourcing rather than trade that appears more menacing to US Americans, Germans, French, and a few other Europeans.

The WTO published with great delay its World Trade Report 2007. Actual trade figures for 2006 were already published earlier this year. The rest of the report includes a stock-take of the now ten-year old agreement on trade in information technology products and examines the possible effects of the current macroeconomic imbalances on trade. But most of the report is an academic exercise entitled “Six decades of multilateral cooperation. What have we learned?”, aiming at finding out what makes countries cooperate in international trade. Good question in a period of deadlock in the Doha Round. For students currently involved in an International Political Economy course this is an excellent textbook with an invaluable bibliography and summary of all relevant academic theory. But for issues of concrete policy relevance for today’s challenges I’d suggest to rather have a look at the newly released report of the Warwick CommissionThe Multilateral Trade Regime. Which Way Forward?“. N.B. This report is NOT annual..;-).

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