Now closed: e-discussion on Development-led Globalization
Welcome to the e-discussion on development-led globalization. This is the third in a series of four e-discussions organized on growth and employment in the post-2015 development agenda. The discussion will take place from 25 January to 8 March 2013.
Efforts now underway to renew the global partnership for development are taking place in a very different world from the one that gave rise to the Millennium Declaration. The global financial crisis served as a reminder not only that markets can fail, and with devastating consequences for economic and social welfare. It has also exposed the questionable assumptions and flawed values behind the idea of a self-regulating market economy. This is increasingly challenging the underlying trust, cohesion and sense of justice that are essential to a balanced economic and social system, at the international as much as the national level.
Regaining economic and social balance calls for new policies and new instruments to adapt and control the working of economic forces, in an equitable and sustainable manner. So far, the international policy community has failed to produce a “new global consensus on the key values and principles that will promote sustainable economic activity”, in particular with regard to patterns of international trade and investment. The challenge at the international level is to ensure that the gains from greater interdependence are widely shared, that adequate and timely resources are available to help countries adjust to the pressure of a more interdependent world economy and to mitigate potential threats and crises that could upset the prospects of more inclusive growth.
The financial system is the obvious place to break with "business as usual". Stable and inclusive development is incompatible with speculative market behaviour, boom-and-bust cycles and the austerity programmes to which they invariably lead. Finance needs to get back to the business of providing security for people’s savings and mobilizing resources for productive investment. Reforms are also needed to replace unruly and procyclical capital flows with predictable and long-term development finance, to regain stability in currency markets and to support expansionary macroeconomic adjustments. Surveillance and regulation will need to be strengthened at all levels, and new institutional arrangements may need to be considered, including regional financial cooperation.
Global trade rules must also be designed and administered in a fair and open manner and provide the policy space to adopt measures appropriate for a countries level of development. Industrial development remains a priority for many developing countries because of the opportunities it provides to raise productivity and incomes, and to get the most from international trade. But a wider sectoral approach, including a focus on the primary sector in many Least Developed Countries, is needed in order to ensure that measures to diversify economic activity are consistent with job creation, the security of food and energy supplies, and effective responses to the climate challenge.
We look forward to your participation and your insights. To guide the discussion, we propose the following questions:
1) What are the employment implications of current trade patterns? Which groups and sectors are the most affected in different countries, and how is this affecting political and social responses?
2) Given the current state of the Doha Round, is there an alternative trade agenda that can be pursued at the regional and international levels in support of inclusive and sustainable development?
3) What reforms to the international financial system are needed in support of an inclusive and sustainable development agenda? Are such reforms possible given the power and influence of financial markets?
4) Is there really a crisis in economic multilateralism? If so, where does responsibility lie? Can the UN play a more positive and dynamic role in revitalizing the multilateral economic architecture?
Jayati Ghosh (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)
Richard Kozul-Wright, Ralf Peters, Amelia U. Santos-Paulino (UNCTAD)