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Harvest Time for Cross-Border Trade

This article first appeared in the online newsletter Adam Smith Project. Trade negotiators persist in calling efforts to ease the flow of goods across borders the “low-hanging fruit” of global trade liberalization.  Bear in mind that they started talking about it in 1996 and that an agreement to improve border efficiency and transparency did not…

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Productivity is destiny

Is demography really destiny? Let’s hope not. The last half century has been one of unprecedented economic growth and improving living standards. Average per capita income nearly tripled as the global economy expanded six-fold. Behind those gains were technological innovation, trade liberalization, and the spread of practices that made businesses and governments more efficient. That golden…

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WTO Delivers the Goods

The deadening rituals of global trade negotiations – protocols, ministerials, general councils and the like – might finally yield something good for a world economy that is stuck in neutral. It’s only taken 20 years. The World Trade Organization recently agreed to a long-stalled $1 trillion package of reforms to global customs and border rules. The…

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Four ways to create more jobs in the Gulf

Gulf economies are taking bets on the future, spending billions on new airports, bigger ports and more extensive transport networks in order to continue to fuel economic growth. Yet these investments are meaningless in the long-term unless we can develop local manpower – and womanpower – to manage this growth. There are three serious structural…

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Why We Need a WTO Deal

Can the World Trade Organization create growth and jobs? Or are WTO talks just a process that leads to more process? We will know soon. This summer, the WTO was within easy reach of a landmark agreement to simplify cross-border trade. Negotiators called it a win-win for developed and developing nations alike. The idea was…

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Taking a Long-term View on Emerging Markets

The recent articles that have flooded publications like The Economist and The New York Times about deepening investor concerns in emerging markets simply do not capture the depth or breadth of opportunities to be found in many emerging markets. I was recently in a room full of leading business leaders and economists discussing growth prospects…

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Technology and the Future of Work

Almost half of today’s jobs could be automated over the next two decades according to two Oxford academics, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne. Theirs is one of many expert views on how automation will transform the work environment in the years ahead. At the World Economic Forum today, the panel discussion in which I…