Technology, lower transport costs and trade in intermediate inputs and tasks have given countries access to additional labour and capital than what is just available within their borders. Policy makers should focus on these changing dynamics in resource bases.
Transparent design and implementation of domestic regulation reduces business costs for the public and private sector, according to these case studies from Australia, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Access to international trade in intermediate inputs boosts innovation and productivity for domestic firms, according to this study. However, these dynamic gains from trade depend on complementary policies such as access to finance, access to skilled labour and macroeconomic stability.
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Members have updated their responses to the 2006 Survey on measures taken to combat bribery in officially supported export credits.
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Barriers to trade in services block benefits for firms and consumers, and impede the international exchange of ideas, know-how and technology. The OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) gives policy makers the means to open up the international services trade.
Trade promotes economic growth, alleviates poverty and helps countries reach their development goals. However, developing countries – in particular the least developed – face difficulties in making trade happen and turning trade into economic growth. The Aid for Trade Initiative – launched at the 2005 World Trade Organisation conference in Hong Kong – aims at helping these countries to take advantage of trade opportunities and to reap the benefits of their integration into the world economy. The Initiative has been a success: it has not only raised awareness among both donors and developing countries about the role of trade in development, but also helped secure increased resources.
Trade for Growth and Poverty Reduction: How Aid for Trade Can Help explains how Aid for Trade can foster economic growth and reduce poverty, and why it is an important instrument for a development strategy that actively supports poverty alleviation. Unlocking this potential requires carefully designed and sequenced trade reforms. While developing countries have many trade-related needs, but financial resources and political capital for reforms are limited, it is an important priority to tackle the most binding constraints to trade expansion. This report describes the diagnostic tools available, evaluates their strengths and weaknesses, and suggests a dynamic framework to guide the sequencing of reform and donor support.
Trade can be impeded by inefficient transport infrastructure, border procedures or information flows. Better logistics services reduce trade costs for businesses and improve the competitiveness of a country's exports, according to this study. (OECD Trade Policy Working Paper No. 108)
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Businesses and policymakers are concerned by recent trends in export restrictions on strategic raw materials like rare earths, metals and food commodities. OECD is working to bring more transparency and discipline to the use of these restrictions.
Fisheries reform is driven by economic forces, not environmental crisis. Policy makers must involve all stakeholders in supporting and sustaining reforms, as seen in these case studies of Iceland, Korea, Mexico, Norway and New Zealand.
U.S. agricultural policy reform should continue its recent shift towards less distortion of production and trade, notably with market-based approaches for support programmes and agricultural risk management, according to this study of reforms since 1985.