Economies world-wide are becoming more and more integrated. Border taxes have been brought down through trade policy reforms, which in conjunction with lower transport and communications costs has contributed to an increasing degree of globalization. On the other hand, non-tariff barriers, including services trade regulations and logistics deficiencies, remain pervasive and have increasingly moved to the center stage of international policy discussions. This site brings together a number of resources on international trade and finance that will hopefully prove useful to analysts and observers of international affairs.
Monitoring Regional Integration in Africa
Regional agreements can make it possible to reap benefits from international integration. Yet, how effective have the existing RTAs been in achieving their stated objectives? What have been the impacts of the regional preferences on ordinary citizens? Answering these questions requires an effective monitoring system, and new data sources and new survey techniques have the potential to substantially improve the currently poor practices in Africa (and elsewhere).
The Mano River Union
The Mano River Union is a regional community in West Africa that comprises Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Organization had largely ceased activities during the civil wars that engulfed its founding members Liberia and Sierra Leone from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. It was formally reactivated at a Summit of Heads of State in 2004, restarted operations since 2008, and is now trying to redefine its role in the sub-region.
Diversification through Tourism
Over the past two decades, tourism exports have been a major driver of economic growth in many emerging and developing countries. Yet, increased tourism revenues do not automatically translate into structural transformation and broad-based economic development. This article discusses the relative importance of different structural factors in explaining cross-country differences in linkages between tourism and the overall economy.