New WTO Report


Michael touched on the topic of offshoring in his post, stating that the World Trade Report said,

"the impact of offshoring services on production, employment and trade is less severe than suggested by some press reports and public commentary."

I'll have to agree with Michael's thoughts here, this issue is vitally important to the well-being of all of us.  Outsourcing in terms of offshoring is a sensitive issue these days.  I have seen the ins and outs in my own place of work.  It can be scary...  but, we have to realize that today, with technology bringing the entire world within arms reach we are all involved in an intimate world economy (whether you'd like to think so or not.)  So what did we learn in econ 101?  Remember the Production Possibility Frontier/Curve?  1. An economy should do its best to operate at 100% efficiency (stay on the line) 2. Grow the economy! (Yes, I am in an economics class right now.)  8*)

This was also interesting: growth in trade in Central and South America, Aisa, and the Commonwealth of independent States was in double digits.

"Average trade growth in all of these regions was in double digits."

The last thing that stirred my interest was a summary of oil imports/exports of developing nations.

"Developing countries as a group are large net exporters of fuels, while the developed countries aggregate are net importers. As a result of higher oil prices, developing countries taken together have enjoyed higher export earnings, improved external balances and terms of trade gains. However, higher oil prices also mean production cost increases in many industries, such as petrochemicals, plastics, aluminium and transport services. The oil intensity of output tends to be higher in developing than developed countries, and has been increasing in recent decades while that of developed countries has been falling.

Increasingly, the destination of developing country fuel exports is other developing countries. In 2002-2003, 40 per cent of developing country oil exports went to other developing countries, up from less than 30 per cent in the 1990s. Higher energy prices affect individual developing countries and regions in quite different ways. Among the four developing country regions identified in this report, only the Middle East and Africa are large net exporters of fuel. Developing Asia, in particular, has become a large net-fuel importer."

If you have the time and if you're interested, check out the executive summary of the World Trade Report.

July 6, 2005 in politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Freedom Tower - symbolism, but of what?



Michael Parekh posts on an aritcle at the New York times by architectural critic Nicolai Ouroussoff.  (Login required at NY Times, but full article available at above link.)  The observations by Nicolai say the new design of the freedom tower shout our stance on living in a post 9/11 world, "We are afraid."

In response Michael quotes himself from an earlier post with this:  "It's time for us as a people, a country, and a government, to go from being scared and defensive, to being smart and proactive, about ALL our interests."  We need to live up to the name of the Freedom Tower, and start being freer of fear"

I see what Nicolai is saying and I can fully understand the trade-offs associated with an architectural metaphor of greatness/innovation or defensiveness and fear.  I guess my take would parallel Michael's above statement.  To me, "smart" and "proactive" deal with the issues needed in defense and circumvent our root instinct of fear.

The article is a great read albeit lengthy.  Check it out: *michael parekh on IT*: ON FINAL FREEDOM TOWER DESIGN IN NEW YORK

June 30, 2005 in politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack