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News Brief.

Women thought leaders share views on economic challenges in new book

A new book from the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), the European University Institute and the International Trade Centre (ITC) unites leading women thinkers across the political, academic and financial spectrum in focusing on global economic governance.

Contributors to 'Women Shaping Global Economic Governance' include incoming European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, outgoing European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom and CEPR President Beatrice Weder di Mauro among many others. They discuss how to respond to three major shifts in the global economy, the digital, environmental and social revolutions and the accompanying return of geopolitics. A central theme is how to restore trust in global economic governance at a time when millions of voters are losing faith in the system.

Download 'Women Shaping Global Economic Governance':

New version of Market Access Map provides boost to transparency in trade

The International Trade Centre (ITC) unveiled a new version of Market Access Map, its popular online trade analysis tool. The revamped portal will further enhance market transparency and facilitate the analysis of trade-related policy issues.

Market Access Map responds to users' specific needs depending on their profile and will continue to provide free and user-friendly access to market information. The tool is particularly vital for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries, which have limited access to reliable information about foreign markets.

The revamped portal allows exporters, importers, policymakers, trade and investment support institutions, researchers and trade negotiators to better understand and analyse market-access conditions, explore new markets, develop better trade policies, or negotiate better outcomes in trade agreements.

Visit and register to Market Access Map:

UEFA Foundation and the International Trade Centre team up to support social inclusion of youth

The UEFA Foundation for Children and ITC have announced a new initiative--Kick for Trade--that will embrace football to ensure greater inclusive development and boost youth employment. The first projects of the new initiative will kick off in Guinea and the Gambia.

'Through Kick for Trade, ITC and the UEFA Foundation aim ensure that youth are part of the game and are resources to be taken seriously,' said ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez in announcing the programme. 'In Guinea and the Gambia we will demonstrate that it is possible to have fun while learning new skills and that vocational training, entrepreneurship and football can be a winning formula.'

UEFA Foundation Secretary-General Urs Klauser said: 'Football for development has proven to be a catalyst in order to convey messages, methodologies that reinforce youth social and economic inclusiveness in many countries. This partnership will allow both the UEFA foundation and ITC to keep the ball rolling for the benefit of the youth.'

Trade-restrictive measures remain at historic highs, WTO says

Trade flows hit by new restrictions implemented by World Trade Organization (WTO) Members continued at a historically high level between mid-October 2018 and mid-May 2019, according to the latest WTO Director-General's mid-year report on trade-related developments.

The trade impact of import-restrictive measures implemented during the review period is estimated at $339.5 billion, the second-highest figure on record after the $588.3 billion reported in the previous period, the report said. Those results represent a dramatic spike in the trade coverage of import restrictive measures.

The report, released 22 July, showed trade tensions continued to add to uncertainty surrounding international trade and the world economy, with G20 economies accounting for the overwhelming share of the trade coverage of import-restrictive measures during the review period.

It also provided evidence that turbulence is continuing after the previous period (between mid-October 2017 and mid-October 2018) showed a record level of new restrictive measures introduced ($588.3 billion). Most of these measures remain in place and have been augmented by a series of new measures in the current period, which are also at a historically high level.

Global growth to slow to 2.6% in 2019, World Bank says

Global economic expansion is forecast to ease to a weaker-than-expected 2.6% this year before inching up to 2.7% in 2020, a report by the World Bank said. Growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to stabilize next year as some countries move past periods of financial strain but economic momentum remains sluggish, it said.

Emerging and developing-economy growth is constrained by investment, and risks are tilted to the downside, according to the bank's June 2019 global prospects report. These risks include rising trade barriers, renewed financial stress, and sharper-than-expected slowdowns in several major economies. Structural problems that misallocate or discourage investment also weigh on the outlook, the report said.

Growth among advanced economies as a group is expected to slow in 2019, especially in the euro area, due to weaker exports and investment. Growth in the United States, the world's largest economy, will slide to 2.5% this year and decelerate to 1.7% in 2020, the report said.

The rate of gain among emerging market and developing economies is projected to fall to a four-year low of 4% in 2019 before recovering to 4.6% in 2020, the report said. Some economies are coping with the impact of financial stress and political uncertainty. Those drags are anticipated to wane and global trade growth--projected to be the weakest in 2019 since the financial crisis a decade ago--is expected to recover somewhat, it said.

Ethiopian Airlines becomes the official carrier of the World Export Development Forum

Ethiopian Airlines has become the official carrier of the World Export Development Forum, the International Trade Centre's flagship event to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 18-22 November 2019. The forum attracts business leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs, international organisations, trade and investment promotion agencies, business associations and media from all over the world.

Under the partnership, Ethiopian Airlines will feature an in-flight promotional video about the forum on 43 planes. Forum participants can also enjoy a 20% discount on business and 15% discount on economy class fares from Ethiopian Airlines.

The International Trade Centre and Ethiopian Airlines are committed to connecting African countries to each other and Africa to the world, part of the "Trade and Invest in One Africa" vision behind the World Export Development Forum.

The forum supports micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and trade and investment support institutions as implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which is essential to achieve Africa's inclusive and sustainable development, gets underway. Likewise, Ethiopian Airlines is committed to strengthening intra-African transport links.

Ethiopian Airlines has become the largest and fastest growing airline in Africa, combining both cargo and passenger operations, since it was founded 70 years ago.

ITC and Visa join hands to empower women-led businesses

ITC and financial-services firm Visa Inc. have launched a partnership to increase the participation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and women-led businesses in international trade. The announcement was made at the 28th World Economic Forum Africa in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Memorandum of Understanding outlined a framework of cooperation to build capacity and opportunities for small enterprises to engage in cross-border commerce. It was signed by ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez and Visa Global Head of Government Engagement, Ambassador Demetrios Marantis. The collaboration links an extensive ITC network and technical expertise in global trade with Visa's 60 years of experience in delivering digital payments, strengthening cybersecunty and fostering financial inclusion.

'As a brand and global citizen, Visa is committed to ensuring that these small and micro enterprises are able to benefit from global trade,' Marantis said. 'We couldn't be prouder to partner with ITC. For us, this is just the beginning of a sustained commitment to ITC and its work with small businesses and women-led companies in developing markets around the world.'

'Small businesses are the backbone of our economies,' said Gonzalez. 'When we invest in MSMEs, especially women-owned businesses, we see multiple development, growth and job creation dividends at the local, regional and international level. The private sector plays a pivotal role in advancing progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ITC is extremely pleased to partner with Visa to achieve this.'

Identifying and activating opportunities for women-led business is at the heart of the partnership. Visa and ITC will seek solutions for overcoming the distinct cultural, regulatory and financial impediments to the success of women-led enterprises and enable their integration in global trade. As part of its ongoing commitment to support female entrepreneurs, Visa will work with ITC to provide access to its global platform and strong network of women business owners, advancing ITC's objective of connecting 3 million women to international markets by 2021 as part of its SheTrades initiative.

EU to invest over 100 million euros in African economic integration

The European Commission will support African economic integration by spending 101.5 million euros ($111.7 million) on initiatives focused on infrastructure, intellectual property rights and improving the investment climate.

The new projects are the first batch of 2019 actions financed by the Pan-African Programme, the European Union's executive body said. The bulk of the funding for this year, 90 million euros, will go towards blended projects, which are part of the European Union (EU) External Investment Plan. They will support continental and cross-regional connectivity through dedicated projects aimed at improving sustainable trans-regional transport and energy infrastructure.

The Intellectual Property Rights for Africa initiative will promote the value and benefits of intellectual property protection in Africa, strengthen African national and regional intellectual property organizations, and support the negotiations of the African Continental Free Trade Area protocol on intellectual property, the commission said.

The third programme will reinforce the investment climate between African and EU stakeholders from the public, private, academic and research sectors through a series of high-level strategic dialogues.
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Publication:International Trade Forum
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Apr 1, 2019
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