Trade News: Global Trade Trends: Cities, Doha, MENA, Shifting Wealth

From European Commission on Trade: New EU study shows significant economic benefits from a Doha deal. A recent study shows that the economic benefits arising from the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations in the World Trade Organisation amount to an increase of world exports of $359 billion on an annual basis from a deal on the liberalisation of industrial goods, agriculture, services and on the removal of red tape.  If an agreement on sectoral liberalisation of industrial goods (chemicals, machinery, electronics) could be reached, world exports would increase by a further $146 billion, totalling $505 billion annually.  Read more.

From Euromonitor: The Power of Proximity – the Complex Story of 21st Century Cities: For the first time ever, over half of the global population lives in cities, a number expected to reach 60-80% by 2050. While much of the urbanisation of the previous two decades has been in the Asia Pacific region, the next wave of urbanisation is expected to be in Africa and the Middle East.  Euromonitor International’s latest report, The Power of Proximity – the Complex Story of 21st Century Cities, examines the rise of megacities (with over 10 million inhabitants), and characterises mature, rising and emerging cities. Also considered are the relationships between cities and digital technology and culture, as well those between cities and inequality and political instability.

From ITCSD: Two steps forward, one step back: LDCs and the challenges of South-South trade in times of ‘Shifting Wealth’. Despite the pessimism that reigns in many high-income economies since the financial meltdown of 2008-2009, for most of the developing world the outlook is much rosier. In a dramatic turnaround in their fortunes after the debt-crisis of the 1980s and the financial turmoil of the 1990s, for the first time in many decades emerging and developing countries are now converging to per capita income prevailing in advanced economies. In the 2000s, as many as 88 emerging and developing economies were growing at least twice as fast as advanced economies.

From U.S. DOC: Pushing for Progress in the Middle East and North Africa.  Recent events have reaffirmed just how extraordinary this period is for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  The Arab Spring has generated a lot of hope for people across the region. However, it’s also presented a number of questions that need to be answered, many of which center around economic issues like unemployment and slow growth.  As the World Economic Forum (WEF) put it, “Recent shifts in the Arab world, coupled with an economic contraction at the global level, have created renewed urgency for decision-makers across the region to address the unfolding economic situation.”

From Global Edge: Social Media Potential in the Middle East. While social media sites are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, there is one region in particular where social media has nearly unlimited growth potential. That region is the Middle East and although there has been much concern surrounding the use of social networks for protest demonstrations, social media sites provide great opportunities for businesses of the region. In the Middle East the number of social media users has already doubled in the past year. Now, the question is whether businesses of the region will take advantage of social networks and use them as a brand building tool.

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