Trade Policy Regimes and Development Strategies: A Comparative Study
Over the past two decades, nearly all developing countries and transition economies have undertaken important changes in their trade regimes, often as part of World Bank-International Monetary Fund programs. Recently, further changes in trade regimes have been driven by participation in regional trade agreements and in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization. However, while greater openness appears to have produced useful gains, not all countries have benefited equally from the reforms. This study attempts to distinguish between important elements of the reform programs, taking account of the linkages with other economic policies, and to derive some indicators of trade policy performance that might be used in developing more precise guidelines for future reforms. The paper looks at the relative importance of reforms in different regions and corresponding trade performance. It starts by describing the overall economic performance of a number of countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Then, it reviews Latin American trade policies over the past 20 years, and provides an international comparison, developing indicators that could serve as guidelines for monitoring progress. It concludes with a discussion of the links between trade and other economic policies.
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