This Week In Review

THE WORLD BANK AND ITS DECISIONS—UNDER QUESTION

In general, the World Bank (”WB”) provides different types of funding for selected projects, aiming to push extreme poverty to no more than three percent by 2030, and to promote shared prosperity and greater equity in the developing world. The WB has five organizations, one of which is the International Finance Corporation (”IFC”). The IFC has the task and commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity—in every developing country. Yet recently, the IFC has been considering a potential finance investment in the twenty-two billion dollar company Rio Tinto’s project of gold mining in Mongolia. Is there not a conflict of commitments here?

http://www.worldbank.org/

INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SURVEY DISCLOSES OBSTACLES IN PRACTICE FOR BUSINESSES TRADING ACROSS BORDERS

An International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) survey highlighted common impediments to cross border trade for governments and policymakers around the world to take into consideration. This will assist decisions related to enabling the flow of goods across borders, thereby contributing to global economic growth. Other instruments used in the survey include the ICC Customs Guidelines and the ICC Guidelines for Traders, launched in 2013.

http://www.iccwbo.org/

THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION’S AGENDA SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 7, 2014 IN RELATION TO ITS DISPUTE SETTLEMENT BODY

In few days, the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) will discuss its dispute settlement body (“DSB”) and the WTO’s surveillance of implementation of recommendations the DSB adopts. As a second priority, the WTO will also consider the U.S. Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000. After addressing production and security concerns in the E.U. and Ukraine, the meeting should conclude with China and its countervailing and anti-dumping duties on grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel from the U.S.

http://www.wto.org/

UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT HAILS INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES, URGES MORE EFFECTIVE STEPS IN THEIR FAVOR

On the 21st of February, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (“UNCTD”) discussed issues related to the Small Island Developing States (“SIDS”) and their need of international support toward building resilient economies. Such countries face difficulties with economic development due to their limited size, remoteness from large markets, and vulnerability to economic and natural shocks. In the last resolutions for SIDS, adopted in September 2010 and December 2011 respectively, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council called for an unprecedented effort to consider needed improvements and additional measures more effectively to address the particular vulnerabilities and development needs of SIDS.

http://unctad.org/en/pages/home.aspx

SIGNIFICANT PENSION REFORMS IS CRITICAL IN EMERGING EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

The International Development Association (“IDA”) discussed implications of an increasing elderly population emerging Europe and Central Asia, at the same time as the working population is decreasing. A solution within a long-term perspective may include a reset of the pension system, an increase of the retirement age, and support for a longer period of working. Moreover, proposals such as automatic enrollment in savings schemes could lead to a possible solution with regard to workers supplementing their retirement income with their own savings.

http://www.worldbank.org/ida/