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solved assignments semester 4 Q. Describe the positives of trade liberalization.

Answer: Policies that make an economy open to trade and investment with the rest of the world are needed for sustained economic growth. The evidence on this is clear. No country in recent decades has achieved economic success, in terms of substantial increases in living standards for its people, without being open to the rest of the world. In contrast, trade opening (along with opening to foreign
direct investment) has been an important element in the economic success of East Asia, where the average import tariff has fallen from 30 percent to 10 percent over the past 20 years.

Opening up their economies to the global economy has been essential in enabling many developing countries to develop competitive advantages in the manufacture of certain products. In these countries, defined by the World Bank as the "new globalizers," the number of people in absolute poverty declined by over 120 million (14 percent) between 1993 and 1998.

There is considerable evidence that more outward-oriented countries tend consistently to grow faster than ones that are inward-looking. Indeed, one finding is that the benefits of trade liberalization can exceed the costs by more than a factor of 10.3 Countries that have opened their economies in recent years, including India, Vietnam, and Uganda, have experienced faster growth and more poverty reduction.4 On average, those developing countries that lowered tariffs sharply in the 1980s grew more quickly in the 1990s than those that did not.

Freeing trade frequently benefits the poor especially. Developing countries can ill-afford the large implicit subsidies, often channeled to narrow privileged interests, that trade protection provides. Moreover, the increased growth that results from freer trade itself tends to increase the incomes of the poor in roughly the same proportion as those of the population as a whole. New jobs are created for unskilled workers, raising them into the middle class. Overall, inequality among countries has been on the decline since 1990, reflecting more rapid economic growth in developing countries, in part the result of trade liberalization.

The potential gains from eliminating remaining trade barriers are considerable. Estimates of the gains from eliminating all barriers to merchandise trade range from US$250 billion to US$680 billion per year. About two-thirds of these gains would accrue to industrial countries. But the amount accruing to developing countries would still be more than twice the level of aid they currently receive. Moreover, developing countries would gain more from global trade liberalization as a percentage of their GDP than industrial countries, because their economies are more highly protected and because they face higher barriers.
Although there are benefits from improved access to other countries' markets, countries benefit most from liberalizing their own markets. The main benefits for industrial countries would come from the liberalization of their agricultural markets. Developing countries would gain about equally from liberalization of manufacturing and agriculture. The group of low-income countries, however, would gain most from agricultural liberalization in industrial countries because of the greater relative importance of agriculture in their economies.


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