Archive for October, 2011
The WTO’s annual report on trade statistics, released last Friday, shows trade rising fast in the new millennium’s first decade. As the (nominal-dollar) world economy grew from $32 trillion in 2000 to $63 trillion in 2010, exports of goods and services rose from $7.8 trillion to $18.9 trillion. In percentage terms this jump – from 25 percent to 30 percent of world output – leaves the share of trade at a modern high point, eclipsing the earlier peak in pre-crisis 2008.*
The world’s four biggest economies account for $5.9 trillion of the exports, or about a third of the total. The same four, in the same order – U.S., China, Germany, Japan – buy a slightly larger fraction of imports, $6.1 trillion. Over the decade, their statistics (combining goods and services trade, and arranged by growth totals) look like this:
IMPORTS 2000 2010 Change
WORLD: $8.10 trillion $18.90 trillion 135% / $10.8 trillion
China: $0.26 $1.58 510% / $1.32 trillion
U.S.: $1.44 $2.33 62% / $0.89 trillion
Germany: $0.63 $1.32 110% / $0.69 trillion
Japan $0.50 $0.75 50% / $0.25 trillion
EXPORTS 2000 2010 Change
WORLD $7.78 trillion $18.90 trillion 135% / $11.1 trillion
China $0.28 $1.76 525% / $1.48 trillion
Germany $0.63 $1.50 138% / $0.87 trillion
U.S. $1.05 $1.80 70% / $0.75 trillion
Japan $0.55 $0.81 47% / $0.26 trillion
The U.S. remains the leading exporter by a shade, and (despite China’s import surge and a sharply diminished share of world imports) the leading importer by a wide margin. Based on current trends (but see below the “Further Reading” line for two alternative hypotheses) China would surpass the U.S. as top exporter in 2012, and as top importer somewhere after mid-decade.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is pleased to announce its Fall 2011 cohort of Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows and Visiting Fellows. In residence are leading practitioners, journalists, and scholars from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, Ethiopia, Iran, Russia, and Tanzania.
The Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program seeks to deepen the knowledge, enrich the skills, broaden the perspectives, and boost the morale of some of the world’s most creative and courageous democratic activists and scholars. The program is housed at the International Forum for Democratic Studies, NED’s research and publications arm, in Washington, D.C. Established in 2001 and named in honor of NED’s two principal founders, former president Ronald Reagan and the late congressman Dante Fascell, the program has enabled over 170 activists, practitioners, scholars, and journalists from more than 70 countries to deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change.
Mr. Hikmet Hadjy-zadeh (Azerbaijan) is co-founder and president of the Far Centre for Economic and .Political Research, a Baku-based think tank. He is examining the phenomenon of quasi-democratic regimes, using Azerbaijan as his primary case study.
Dr. Tamirlan Kurbanov (Russia) most recently served as a program officer at the Moscow office of NDI, promoting citizen participation in public life. During his fellowship, he is exploring effective methods of promoting civic engagement among youth.
Prof. Ibrahim Haruna Lipumba (Tanzania) has served since 1999 as national chairman of the Civic United Front, a liberal political party in Tanzania with strong support in Zanzibar. He is examining the structure of governance institutions in developing countries with functioning democracies and rapid economic growth, in order to draw lessons for building accountable institutions that will foster sustainable and equitable development in Tanzania.
Ms. Birtukan Midekssa (Ethiopia) is a former federal judge and leader of the pro-democracy opposition movement in Ethiopia. She is studying the factors that have contributed to the weakening of Ethiopia’s democratic opposition and is exploring ways of strengthening it.
Mr. Hollman Morris (Colombia) is an accomplished investigative journalist who has spent most of his career covering Colombia’s internal armed conflict, with a particular focus on human rights issues. He is working on a report and video documenting instances of abuse and intimidation in Colombia.
Mr. Azizullah Royesh (Afghanistan) is founding director of the Kabul-based Marefat High School, where he teaches courses on civic education, humanism, Quranic interpretation, Dari, and English. He plans to write a book about his struggles to incorporate modern education and democracy into Afghan life.
2011–2012 Visiting Fellows
Ms. Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh (Iran) is a women’s rights activist, journalist, and filmmaker from Iran. A founding member of the Stop Stoning Forever campaign and the Iranian Women’s Charter Movement, she is currently a coordinator of Zanan TV, an online television channel that promotes gender equality in Iran. She is studying how new developments in information and communication technologies apply to cross-border democracy development.
Mr. Danail Danov (Bulgaria) is executive director of the Communications and Human Resources Development Centre, a media and communications organization based in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is examining how American democracy has coped with the challenges posed by digitization of media, including the impact of Internet content regulations on freedom of speech and civil society development.
A complete list of the 2011–2012 Fellows and their bios can be found online at http://www.ned.org/fellowships/current-past-fellows.
SOURCE National Endowment for Democracy
By Sarah McGregor
(Bloomberg) — Ethiopia’s “highly distorted” monetary policy requires urgent reorganization because it is stunting growth and undermining macroeconomic stability, the International Monetary Fund said.
The Horn of Africa country’s five-year economic-development plan that starts in the fiscal year beginning July 8, 2010, and targets annual growth of 11.2 percent is “very ambitious,” the Washington-based lender said. The IMF projects output for the period will range from 6 percent to 8 percent a year.
“The main concerns stem from heavy financing needs that have not been secured, insufficient prioritization and the limited role envisaged for the private sector,” the IMF said in an e-mailed report today. “High and rising inflation and entrenched negative real interest rates also threaten Ethiopia’s macroeconomic stability.”
The coffee-producing nation’s commodity-dependent economy grew 8 percent last year, versus 10 percent in 2010, the fifth- fastest in sub-Saharan Africa after the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Nigeria, IMF data showed.
Expansion may slow to 6 percent in the fiscal year through July 7, 2012, from an estimated 7.5 percent last year, because of rising inflation, restrictions on private-bank lending and a difficult business environment, the IMF said on May 31. Unrealistic Ethiopia’s goal to reduce inflation to less than 10 percent, from 40.1 percent in September, won’t be easily achievable mainly because the central bank’s monetary policy is unsuitable to tackle rising prices, the IMF said today.
“Single digit-inflation projections in the plan appear unrealistic as long as a loose monetary policy and a heavy dependence of public-sector financing on bank credit continues,” the lender said. The development plan envisions Ethiopia increasing crop production, boosting infrastructure and improving electricity generation to meet its growth goals.
Ethiopia plans to ramp up debt offerings to finance its planned 5,250-megawatt Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, after raising 7 billion birr ($407.5 million) in bond auctions in the past six months, Communications Minister Bereket Simon said on Sept. 27. The 80 billion-birr hydropower project to build Africa’s biggest power plant is being funded domestically to demonstrate how Ethiopia’s economy is reviving, Simon said.