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  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Globalisation has become a key force of change in all OECD countries. It is making our economies more open, bringing new opportunities, new markets and new wealth. But it also demands more rapid adjustment to change. The accomplishment of strategic restructuring is often required, so that workers are not displaced or excluded from the labour market and so that no localities are left to lag behind or decline. In the new economic environment, policy-makers must help build dynamic and flexible regions and cities. They must assist the transition from individual closed local economic systems to a new, open global system. To do this, it is important to “think globally and act locally”.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, Government
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The new government has set itself the ambitious tasks of lowering unemployment, modernising the economy and the social system, and securing the long term viability of the budget and the health and pension systems. Ecological goals have been given equal prominence in order to ensure the environmental sustainability of economic development. In some fields there has been progress. However, the fiscal package needs to be fully implemented to put public finances on a sustainable path and to create a tax regime that is more business friendly. These policies should be underpinned by structural reforms that strengthen future growth prospects. Such policies can benefit both macroeconomic performance and future fiscal outcomes. While short-term growth prospects are already improving, unemployment remains a major problem. With respect to its strategy for reducing unemployment, the government is seeking to obtain consensus, inter-alia on an employmentfriendly wage policy, via round-table talks with the social partners. It is important that a consistent set of policy instruments emerge that establish clear links between policies and ultimate policy goals. For Germany to attain the employment, growth and environmental aims commensurate with its key position in the European economy, requires not only favourable macroeconomic conditions, including aggregate wage developments, but a policy emphasis which more effectively enhances labour-market flexibility, as well as structural reforms that strengthen individual initiative, economic choice and the role of competition. Since structural and macroeconomic policies tend to have synergies which make them mutually reinforcing, achieving a more flexible and dynamic use of resources will help to assure progress towards the country's social, budgetary, environmental and economic goals.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The Icelandic economy has expanded rapidly over the past five years, bringing output to well above its potential. Clear signs of overheating have emerged, with unemployment below 2 per cent, inflation picking up and a large current external deficit. These developments are projected to continue, raising the risks of a wage-price spiral and financial instability. To guard against such risks, a significant tightening of monetary policy is required, with less priority attached to the exchange rate as a target for policy. This should be complemented by a medium-term fiscal discipline aiming at achieving a structural budget surplus. Such a course would help cope with long-term care spending that will rise with ageing. On the other hand, except for government employees, pensions should not constitute a burden for public finances, as, for the main, they will be provided by the private sector. To enhance future growth prospects, it will be important to maintain and extend the fishing quota regime in the face of legal threats and to increase competitive forces, especially in the telecommunications industry.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iceland
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union brought the region's serious environmental problems to the attention of the international community. Although the countries in this vast area of the world are remarkably diverse, central economic planning had created a common pattern of environmental problems. Notable among these problems were levels of industrial pollution that, in many places, threatened human health; widespread land and water degradation (particularly in the former Soviet Union); and the persistent neglect of nuclear safety and nuclear waste management.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Environment
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Never before have so many countries at such different levels of development been involved in so much activity aimed at progressively rolling back obstacles to freer trade and investment. Yet, paradoxically, at no time during the post-war period has the prospect of further liberalisation generated so much public anxiety, not least within those countries that built much of their prosperity on a liberal trade and investment order.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Government, International Trade and Finance, Sovereignty
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The goal of a large number of criminal acts is to generate a profit for the individual or group that carries out the act. Money laundering is the processing of these criminal proceeds to disguise their illegal origin. This process is of critical importance, as it enables the criminal to enjoy these profits without jeopardising their source.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Twice a year, in June and December, the OECD publishes its Economic Outlook (EO), which contains projections for a number of key economic variables over a two to two and a half-year horizon.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: David Weiner
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: The debate over trade and labor standards is one of the most divisive in relations between industrial and developing countries. Concern about the impact of trade on workers is undermining support for trade liberalization worldwide.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kevin M. Morrison
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Kevin M. Morrison September 1999 Overseas Development Council The debate over debt relief has reached a critical phase. The pressing need to reduce the crushing debt of the highly indebted poorest countries (HIPCs) is no longer in doubt, due to the efforts of advocates in developing and developed countries. At the Cologne G7 Summit in June, the leaders of the richest countries decided to speed up and enlarge their previous debt relief initiative. Now the issue is: How are donors going to pay the bill? The G7 is exploring various means to finance the expanded initiative, and they hope to announce the plan this month during the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).But there is concern that, when all is said and done, financing the initiative will cut down other resources for developing countries. Key development assistance programs might be reduced, as might developing countries' earnings from gold exports if the IMF sells some of its gold reserves to finance the relief and the price of gold drops. The point of debt relief is, as the leaders said in Cologne, "to provide a greater focus on poverty reduction by releasing resources for investment in health, education, and social needs." Thus, to provide debt relief and then reduce other resources for development makes little sense.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: J. Brian Atwood
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Let me begin by thanking John Sewell and ODC for sponsoring this forum. ODC has contributed so much to development thinking over the years. I could not think of a more appropriate venue for my last message to the development community as AID Administrator. One year ago, I decided it was time to bring my tenure to a close. About that time Sandy Berger asked me if I would agree to serve as Ambassador to Brazil. That decision was obviously a mistake. I lost control over my own timetable. I would probably still be waiting for a hearing if I had not withdrawn my nomination. Timetables are important when you are trying to bring closure to both a government career and a term of office. When I leave government on July 9, I will complete six years, two months and four days as AID Administrator. That is not a record, by the way, it just feels that way ! While it is natural to want to achieve a neat closure to this experience, I have concluded that there will always be unfinished business. That is what I want to talk to you about today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States