Growth in global trade volumes has slowed in recent years, thanks to a slow economic recovery from the financial crisis, increased use of internet based services which is not tracked in statistics, and the changing structure of the Chinese economy. Maybe also new production techniques with cheaper local production in the advanced economies can be one reason. However there has been a number of new multilateral trade agreements since the Doha round of world trade talks fell apart in 2008.
I recently participated in a seminar where we discussed the growth of regional trade, and according to the Economist, much of the focus in trade liberalisation has shifted to regional trade agreements (RTAs). The number of RTAs has risen from around 70 in 1990 to more than 270 in 2015.
In alignment with this, PWC today published a set of interesting blog articles and reports, where they conclude that news of de-globalization are premature. As PCW argues, economic integration at the regional level, within Asia, Europe and Africa, continues to make progress.
Adam Smith wrote already in The Wealth of Nations on how the commerce of towns contributed to the improvement of the country. Today with the growth of urbanised areas and decline of countryside and small towns, this is more true than ever.
PCW also argue that skilled people are on the move across Asia Pacific in big numbers, from engineers to shipping channel pilots to nurses. In a report, prepared for business advisors to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), PwC takes a look at cross-border talented worker mobility. The report concludes with three principles for developing “supra talent” in Asia Pacific considering some ideas to improve conditions for international workers and businesses, as well as talent receiving and sending APEC economies. We recommend reviewing these blog articles and reports. It provides for a refreshing read.