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Global social and economic groupings
. and fire In this section you will/earn: We live in an increasingly globalised world where information, trade,
capital and people can move more and more easily across frontiers.
the importance of groupings However, at the same time that globalisation is taking place, other
of nations. groupings of nations are forming. Some of these aim to improve trade
between m ember states, or to negotiate trade advantages for members,
turse to while others have far larger aims - with some working to a vely high
level of social and economic integration betvveen m embers . Most global
!s that you groupings are designed to help their m embers to achieve economic and
.opment? social development by:
u have making trade between members flow more eas ily, increasing profits
allowing freer movement of people, bringing advantages of a more
flexibl e labour market
in the next
ase studies sharing knowledge to allow growth in all m embers, etc.
In this section three groupings will be considered. These are:
)rld the World Trade Organization (WTO )
uch as a
the Group of 77 and China
You can find out more about some other world groupings by going to the
BBC website, which describes:
the AsiaiPacifi c Economic Cooperation group (APEC)
the C ai rns Group of agricultural exporting nations
s- the EU
Aguide to world trade blocs can be the G20 group of rapidly industrialising nations, set up to challen ge
found at: news.bbc.co.uk the power of the EU and the US at the WTO talks
the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA).
The World Trade Organization
The WTO ca n be described as a liberalising organisation, set up by the
major capitalist, m arket-oriented econ omies to organise world trade .
It a ims to reduce barriers to trade, allowing trade between members to
increase. The organisation describes its aims below:
Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments go, to try to
sort out the trade problems they face with each other. The first step is
to talk. The WTO was born out of negotiations, and everything the WTO
does is the result of negotiations. The bulk of the WTO's current work
comes from the 1986-94 negotiations called the Uruguay Round and
earlier negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
(GATT). The WTO is currently the host to new negotiations, under the
'Doha Development Agenda' launched in 2001.
Where countries have faced trade barriers and wanted them lowered,
the negotiations have helped to liberalize trade. But the WTO is not just
about liberalizing trade, and in some circumstances its rules suppor t
maintaining trade barriers - for example to protect consumers or pre', ej
the spread of disease.
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At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the
bulk of the world's trading nations. These documents provide the legal
ground-rules for international commerce. They are essentially contracts,
binding governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits.
Although negotiated and signed by governments, the goal is to help
producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers cond uct thei r
business, while allowing governments to meet social and environmental
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A key feature of our work this year will be the need to build bridges. So "
many of the issues facing us - on development and poverty reduction,
com municable diseases, peace building, human rights, the environment,
organized crime, terrorism - are areas in which the whole world has
a common interest. All Member States, be they North or South, large,
medium or small, need effective international cooperation and good
m ultilateralism.…read more
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Infrastructure: The EU is working to improve cross-border
infrastructure, for example through the Trans-Europea n Networks (TEN) .
TEN projects include the Channel Tunnel, and it is estimated that by
2010 the network will cover 75,200 Ian of roads i 78,000 Ian of railways
and many airports and harbours . The east\,y'ards expansion of the EU ha s
increased the demand for new infrastructure.
Regional development: There are a number of funds to suppor t
development of underdeveloped regions of the EU.…read more