Trade is essential for eliminating poverty, and the welfare of billions of people depends on an open global trading system.Since 1990 and up to the 2008 crisis, the share of GDP made up by trade and the volume of world trade have increased significantly. Since 2000, the share of developing countries in world trade has grown, from one third to one half. The most successful cases of economic growth and poverty reduction rely heavily on trade. This is because trade increases productivity, spreads innovation, opens up new employment opportunities and increases wages in sectors where a country can export competitively. However, the world is facing a challenging climate on trade. Trade growth remains weak following a significant slump after the 2008 crisis. The pace of trade liberalization has slowed, and efforts through groups like the G20 to roll back protectionist measures have had mixed results.
In this context, Ms González will talk why globalization is central to ending global poverty, which is the mission of the World Bank Group. She will talk about what more needs to be done to integrate markets, especially to bring about the next wave of developing country integration into global trade. Her lecture will also address the key domestic policies needed to grow competitiveness so that countries can make the most of trade opportunities, as well as policies to offset any negative impacts of trade.
Ms González will draw on her deep expertize in these issues and experience heading the World Bank Group’s work on trade and competitiveness, as well as a distinguished government career as Minister for Trade of Costa Rica, as well as holding other international roles with organizations like the Inter-American Development Bank.