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Focus Winter/Spring 2011

We present and discuss current research and economic policy related topics in International Economics. This quarter about:

Global imbalances

Forget about the stalled Doha round negotiations -- developing countries can do plenty to fix their trade restrictions without the World Trade Organization's help.

Robert Solow of MIT talks to Viv Davies about discretionary fiscal policy, growth prospects for the US, the importance of international coordination of fiscal policy in Europe, the need for a more sophisticated industrial policy and the issue of global imbalances.

Uncritical group thinking as an obstacle for rebalancing.

The ongoing economic imbalances and the new incautious attitude of financial markets are alarming developments of the world economy.

undefinedNeue Zürcher Zeitung (German)

The world anticipates many things from India over the coming years, but what does India expect from the rest of the world? This column explores India’s immediate and long-term concerns for the G20.

Criticism of China’s exchange-rate policy continues throughout the US. This column argues that the US is in fact the exchange rate manipulator, due to its ongoing quantitative easing. What the US needs to do for a sustainable turnaround is to learn from other successful economies like China and Germany – not de-rail them.

The Washington consensus served rich country interests, and is now history – so we must change the policies it advocated.


Historically hostility towards globalization was first found in developing countries. Today it has reached the West, whereas the East supports free trade.

undefinedFinancial Times Deutschland (German)

The rebalancing of the world economy has been addressed by financial markets for some time. So far achieved developments are limited.

undefinedNeue Zürcher Zeitung (German)

Global economic imbalances may worsen this year as a stronger expansion in the U.S. reignites Chinese exports. The Asian nation needs to press on with efforts to “switch away from an export-driven growth model to the domestic, consumption-driven model,” Zhu says.

undefinedBloomberg Businessweek

The state of free trade

The prospect of an imminent of India-European Union Free Trade Agreement has suffered a setback according to officials who said they now believe it may not be signed before the end of the year or early 2012.

Until the end of the year Russia shall enter the World Trade Organisation WTO. But there is resistance within the country – Russians fear competition. (German)

The Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Korea (EU-South Korea FTA) is the first of the new generation of FTAs launched in 2007 as part of the "Global Europe" initiative. (PDF)

Preliminary WTO Report Finds No Case For Some of Beijing's Export Restrictions.

undefinedWall Street Journal

According to Sinan Ülgen the relationship between North Africa and Europe has always been special and the EU has developed plans to enhance economic growth in the region.

The US is expected to renew its demand for further opening up of the Indian economy.

undefinedBusiness Standard

Russia’s long-running negotiations to join the WTO could see it enter the global trade body in 2011, according to WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.


Brazil wants to resume negotiations stopped for years between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur. This could lead to an opening of the South American market for some European products – and to large profits for German companies. (German)

Richard Baldwin, - Editor-in-chief argues that the Doha Round trade talks could come to an end this year after starting in November 2001.