Western Hemisphere > Uruguay

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Mr. Augusto A Perez Azcarraga, Mr. Tadatsugu Matsudaira, Mr. Gilles Montagnat-Rentier, Mr. Janos Nagy, and Mr. R. James Clark

Abstract

Customs administrations around the world face new challenges: an increasing volume of international trade, a revolution in new technologies, and fundamental changes in business models. The benefits of a well-performing customs administration are clear, as is the need to develop efficient, effective, fair, and modern customs administrations. Customs Matters analyzes the many changes and challenges customs administrations face and pro-poses ways to address them. By offering a cross-sectional view of the main aspects of customs ad-ministration, the book guides policymakers and customs officials as they evaluate the current state of their customs system with a view to developing, reinforcing, or relaunching their own roadmaps for customs modernization.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper studies economic growth in Uruguay. Following the 2002 crisis, Uruguay had a remarkable economic recovery. The major growth acceleration in 2004–14 was explained by a combination of positive external factors, recovery from crisis, and emergence of new export sectors. With external factors no longer a support for growth, Uruguay needs to leverage its strengths to raise growth sustainably. Uruguay’s high level of institutional quality and social cohesion provides a stable container for growth. A comparison relative to its trading partners and high growth peers helps identify areas that Uruguay can further enhance to unleash its growth potential. These include, a strong, flexible, and equitable labor market, better education outcomes, higher private sector dynamism, and continued macro stability. Structural policy reforms on key constraints to the private sector will help realize the potential of the new export industries and set the stage for inclusive growth. A strong and credible macro policy framework is also essential for growth sustainability. Efforts to reduce debt, inflation, and dollarization and keep them at low levels will lay the foundations for structural reforms to flourish.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the sectoral trends and the impact of the real effective exchange rate (REER) changes on sectoral exports using the detailed product data from the United Nations’ Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade). This paper focuses on Uruguay’s product- and sector-specific global export market shares. It also estimates the sensitivity of these market shares to real effective exchange rate by using the product data from the Comtrade database and building on the work presented in IMF (2017). The paper estimates the elasticities of product market shares with respect to real exchange rates for Uruguay only. Rather than using time dummies to isolate the potential impact of the time trend, the lagged value of the change in shares as an additional independent variable has been added. The paper concludes that Uruguay’s manufacturing exports are sensitive to the changes in REER, and, accordingly, that productivity-enhancing measures to promote competitiveness would be beneficial.
International Monetary Fund
Trade integration can play a much larger role in boosting shared prosperity. The current focus on trade tensions threatens to obscure the great untapped benefits possible from further trade reform. The opportunities provided by information technology and other fundamental changes in the global economy are yet to be reflected in modern areas of trade policy, such as services and electronic commerce. Greater openness in these areas would promote competition, lift productivity, and raise living standards. In many other areas, such as the rural economy, smaller enterprises, and women’s economic empowerment, trade-related reforms are important particularly to foster more inclusive growth. Harnessing flexible approaches to WTO negotiations may be the key to reinvigorating global trade reform. Despite the benefits at stake—and with important exceptions such as the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement—trade reform has lagged since the early 2000s. For much of this period, governments focused their efforts in the WTO on a single negotiating approach. Now, as groups of WTO members pursue joint initiatives in several areas, attention is turning to how other negotiating approaches—including some used effectively in the past—can be leveraged so that trade once again plays its full role in driving increased global economic prosperity. Building greater, more durable openness—this paper’s focus—should be part of a broader effort to strengthen and reinvest in the global trading system. The system of global trade rules that has nurtured unprecedented economic growth across multiple generations faces tensions. Though only recently brought to the fore, those tensions are rooted in issues that have been left unresolved for too long. Governments need to promptly address outstanding questions involving, for example, the WTO dispute system and the reach of subsidy disciplines. Cooperative action to secure greater openness—an imperative in its own right—could also help to resolve these
Rachel J. Nam
We present and discuss a set of indicators to help assess countries’ trade policies. The indicators relate to three policy areas – trade in goods, trade in services, and FDI. Given concerns about the direction of global trade policy, we also consider a set of more granular measures that reflect the evolution of countries’ policies since the 2008 financial crisis. We propose a simple approach to present the multidimensional aspects of trade policy that, by shedding light on relative openness across areas, can facilitate policy discussions. In the cross-section of countries, we find a diversity in the type of measures adopted, both between and (since the 2008 financial crisis) within policy areas, lending support to the approach based on multiple indicators. The indicators’ time series suggest that advanced and, especially, emerging economies are moving toward more open regimes over time, although recently progress has, with some exceptions, slowed across the board. Lastly, our findings also call for stronger efforts to objectively quantify the different aspects of countries’ trade regimes. More data, both across countries and in terms of policy areas that significantly affect trade, are needed for better-informed policy discussions.