Thinking Aloud: Volume IV, Issue 8: January 1, 2018


This January 2018 issue of Thinking Aloud focuses on “Trade and Trade Policy”. The first article titled “The future of Bangladesh’s trade policy” argues that emerging challenges and complexities in the global trading regime call for an overhauling of the conventional thinking in the trade policy regime in Bangladesh. The article suggests four critical issues to be considered in this overhauling process which includes continuation of the effort for further tariff liberalization in Bangladesh, persuasion of a pro-active trade policy to effectively engage with multilateral, regional and bilateral trading arrangements, and to take initiative for participation in the prospective mega-trading blocs, facilitating Bangladesh’s effective integration with the global and regional value chains by addressing the policy-induced and supply-side constraints, and finally, presenting an action plan to deal with the Non-tariff measures (NTMs) or non-tariff barriers (NTBs) which are increasingly getting more prominence in international trade. The second article titled “The slowing down of global trade: Implications for developing countries” emphasizes that the slowdown of economic growth and import demand in the developed world, an after-effect of the global financial crisis, has had implications for the export growth of developing countries. Cross-country panel-data econometric regression results for the period 1970-2015 indicate that the slowdown of economic growth in the developed countries is likely to have profound implications for the exports from developing countries in general and least developed countries in particular. The article suggests for a two-pronged strategy for the developing countries. First, the developing countries should exploit the potential of South-South trade. Second, the developing countries have to expedite efforts to improve their export competitiveness by addressing domestic supply-side bottlenecks especially weak infrastructure and the high cost of doing business. In this issue, SANEM interviews Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD). Professor Rahman discusses the outcomes of 11th Ministerial Conference of WTO. The final page draws attention to the events that took place in the month of December 2017.

Link: Thinking Aloud: Volume IV, Issue 8: January 1, 2018