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Trading Out of the Crisis

by Helen Sanders, Editor

“Colleagues, these are tough times for the world economy and there is no early end in sight. Debt levels and the volatility of financial markets are rising and low growth levels persist. There is a slowdown in trade and a drop in foreign direct investment flows, volatility in food and fuel prices and high unemployment levels also persist. The economic crisis is further aggravated by perceptions that the political responses of governments have so far been insufficient to convince markets about credible exit strategies.”

With these opening words at the recent World Trade Organisation (WTO) Conference (21 December 2011) Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga, Trade & Investment Minister, Nigeria articulated the challenges that face every corporation, bank and government globally. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the WTO followed by saying,

“We need to look at the real drivers of today’s and tomorrow’s world trade, at today’s and tomorrow’s obstacles to trade, at today’s and tomorrow’s trade patterns, at how to keep transforming trade into development, growth, jobs and poverty alleviation.”