Yearbook of the United Nations, 2007. Part 3, Economic and social questions. Chapter 4, International trade, finance and transport
In 2007, world merchandise trade remained a driving force of the world economy, growing by 7 per cent, with developed countries contributing about 45 per cent, developing Asia 40 per cent and other developing countries 14-15 per cent. However, both in volume and in dollar value, trade growth lost some of its strength, particularly for developed economies. Strong export growth in the United States, stimulated by the significant depreciation of the dollar, surpassed growth in import demand, leading to a reduction in that economy's trade deficit. That was reflected in smaller surpluses elsewhere, especially in Europe, Japan and some developing regions. The adjustments were small and did not contribute materially to the required global macroeconomic rebalancing. Non-oil commodity prices continued increasing on the heels of robust global demand, but they also became more volatile. World market prices for many food crops rose significantly, in particular for wheat and maize, driven by increased biofuel demand. Oil prices surged to nearly $100 per barrel, as strong demand, especially from developing countries, eliminated much of the slack capacity in the oil market. The multilateral trade negotiations in the Doha Round resumed in February. Discussions continued to be focused on agriculture and non-agricultural market access, and the positions of the major negotiating parties remained largely unchanged, despite intense diplomatic activities. Developing countries continued to make significant outward transfers of financial resources to developed economies, albeit at a slower pace. Total net transfers from developing countries increased from $728 billion in 2006 to $760 billion in 2007. The increase came almost exclusively from East and South Asia, while other developing country sub-groups registered some decline. Those outward transfers took place in the context of continued substantial net private capital inflows to developing and transition economies. Robust private capital flows to those economies helped to sustain growth in emerging markets and to insulate them from the turmoil emanating from financial markets in developed countries. In December, the General Assembly reaffirmed the value of multilateralism to the global trading system and the commitment to a universal, rule-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system. It underlined the increasing interdependence of national economies in a globalizing world and the emergence of rule-based regimes for international economic relations. It then noted the importance for developing countries that all countries take into account the need for appropriate balance between national policy space and international disciplines and commitments. The General Assembly also recognized the need to enhance the coherence, governance and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems and to ensure their openness, fairness and inclusiveness. It further stressed the value of international financial stability and sustainable growth. Reiterating the importance of a timely, effective, comprehensive and durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries, the Assembly emphasized that country-specific circumstances and the impact of external shocks should be taken into account. It underlined that long-term sustainability of debt depended, among other things, on the economic growth, mobilization of domestic resources and export prospects of debtor countries. In April, the tenth high-level meeting between the Economic and Social Council and the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) discussed coherence, coordination and cooperation in the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, adopted at the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development. The Assembly decided to hold the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus in Doha from 29 November to 2 December 2008. In April, at its forty-first executive session, the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board (TDB), the governing body of UNCTAD, adopted an agreed outcome on the theme and sub-themes for the twelfth (2008) session of UNCTAD, and on recommendations of the report of the Panel of Eminent Persons on enhancing the development role and impact of UNCTAD. At its fifty-fourth session, in October, TDB adopted agreed conclusions on the review of progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 and on the contents of a report by the UNCTAD secretariat titled Economic Development in Africa: Reclaiming Policy Space—Domestic Resource Mobilization and Developmental States. The Board also adopted a decision on the review of UNCTAD technical cooperation activities. The International Trade Centre, operated jointly by UNCTAD and WTO, increased its delivery of technical assistance by 14 per cent to $28.9 million.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2007. v. 61; Vol. 61
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