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  • Author: Andreas Lindner, Bill Cave, Lydia Deloumeaux, Joscelyn Magdeleine
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: International trade statistics play a vital part in OECD's monitoring, analysis and projections of macroeconomic developments in individual economies and the world economy. In response to these needs, OECD's Secretariat manages three trade in goods and services databases of which a very large merchandise trade database.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the impact of Advances in accessibility and security of the internet. A range of new technologies that should greatly increase the commercial utility of the internet will be ready for the marketplace in the next 18-24 months. However, their advocates will need to justify the investment required to deploy them. New internet-related technologies, by enhancing the ability of commercial concerns to interact in a more personal and acceptable style with a wider range of customers, have the potential to usher in a new phase of electronic commerce. This prospect should be enough to secure the investment needed to ensure their effective deployment.
  • Topic: Education, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the impact of Argentina's economic difficulties on Chilean firms. As well as its macroeconomic impact in Chile, reflected principally in currency volatility and a reduction of capital inflows, the Argentine crisis is affecting Chilean firms with investments in or exports to Argentina. It will also have an impact on Chile's tourist industry. Following the exit of many Chilean firms from Argentina over the last two years, those that remain are either in export sectors or have a long-term strategy under which they appear willing to ride out the present crisis. However, many will sustain short-term losses and some smaller investors, particularly in consumer sectors, may be forced out of the market.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Chile
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece focuses on the economic prospects for the euro-area in 2002. The euro-area economy has shown increasing signs of cyclical weakness since the beginning of 2001. These signs, compounded by the effects of accelerated decline in the United States since the September 11 terrorist attacks, indicate continuing stagnation into 2002 and growing difficulties for states to maintain their fiscal positions. SGP requirements are reducing the fiscal room for manoeuvre of euro-area states to respond to the current economic downturn. The absence of concerted intervention represents a considerable risk, particularly if global demand fails to pick up in 2002.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the prospects for the al-Qaida group and Osama bin Laden's wider terrorist network following the fall of the Taliban and the loss of many of its facilities in Afghanistan. Key elements of bin Laden's network have been seriously damaged. Some operational cells are likely to survive but most are likely to remain inactive for the foreseeable future in order to avoid detection. Al-Qaida is likely to remain active but less effective than hitherto. As long as the reasons for bin Laden's appeal to certain Islamist constituencies remains, new cells and entirely new groups will be formed within migrant communities and among those engaged in regional conflicts around the world.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar on November 15 threatened widespread destruction in the United States. Mullah Omar's ambiguous threat of large-scale destruction and Osama bin Laden's explicit claim to possess nuclear weapons raise questions about the likelihood of nuclear terrorism and highlight the importance of protecting sources of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Technical barriers need not be considered sufficient to prevent the use of nuclear devices by terrorist groups. Nuclear weapon standards are much lower for terrorist groups than for states, potentially making their production less challenging. Acquisition of sufficient qualities and quantities of fissile material is the most formidable obstacle to nuclear terrorist capabilities. Therefore, stringent guarding of access to such material is the best defence against nuclear terrorism.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Taliban
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The IMF's major shareholders have shown little willingness to provide new funds to Argentina. In deferring further assistance, the United States and other G7 shareholders have set limits on the international financial community's role in resolving a major emerging market financial crisis. The slowing global economy could provide an early test of these limits as it exposes weaknesses in other emerging markets — particularly those with larger geopolitical profiles than Argentina. Argentina's predicament highlights the Fund's paradox in wanting, on the one hand, to facilitate orderly resolution of crises (and prevent calamitous social impacts) and, on the other hand, to encourage markets to appropriately price risk by proving that non-optimal outcomes are possible. The risk of such outcomes is the basis upon which investors demand higher premiums from emerging market borrowers.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This piece examines the prospects for the WTO Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha beginning November 9. The central issue for the Qatar meeting is whether WTO members can agree to launch new negotiations, and in so doing restore confidence in the WTO itself. In the background are the September 11 terrorist attacks and the worsening global economic outlook, all of which simultaneously raise the stakes at the meeting and improve prospects for success. The outlook for the Qatar summit has improved, and agreement by WTO members in favour of wide-ranging trade negotiations is now on balance the most likely outcome. However, failure remains a real possibility, unless members can resolve remaining differences on agriculture, implementation of WTO agreements, environmental goals, US anti-dumping practices and pharmaceutical patents.
  • Topic: Environment, Industrial Policy, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Qatar
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: OPEC President Chakib Kelil yesterday expressed confidence that the cartel can bring prices back to 25 dollars per barrel through production cuts implemented from January 1. Kelil's remarks follow a recent meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to secure non-OPEC support for a production cut at OPEC's November 14 meeting. The moves take place against a backdrop of falling oil prices and an outlook for even lower prices as global economic growth deteriorates and oil producers fail to implement earlier output cut decisions. Significant uncertainties cloud the oil market and make micro-management extremely difficult. OPEC's apparent failure to secure non-OPEC cooperation for production cuts undermines market credibility for OPEC cuts at its November meeting. Unless the cartel can develop a plausible response, there is a real possibility that it will face an oil price collapse reminiscent of 1997-99.
  • Topic: Environment, Industrial Policy, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Pacific Rim leaders on October 21 signed an accord to re-invigorate progress towards free trade and investment in the region. The Shanghai Accord marks the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum's effort to stimulate a flagging liberalisation agenda and to show leadership in promoting regional recovery. However, the accord may exacerbate the risk of further fracturing the diverse grouping. It will be difficult for APEC to move forward on trade liberalisation given that the organisation's own formulation of consensual, unbound liberalisation has proved unsuccessful in periods of economic crisis. The pathfinder initiative may re-energise the process but at the risk of APEC's fragmentation and without addressing the problems of some members' hesitation and lack of political will for domestic structural reform.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Shanghai, Asia