Shared Global Prosperity Calls for Revamping Governance of International Trade

June 6, 2023

By  Zaidi Sattar

Emerging out of the 1930s Great Depression and the Second World War, global economic prosperity was driven by a rapidly expanding regime of trade openness. That regime was launched following the Bretton Woods Summit in 1945 of leading global economies. In essence, what was launched was a cooperative scheme of geopolitics and geoeconomics, with endorsement of the leading powers that be. That Summit saw the making of several international institutions that last to this day. The World Bank was entrusted with financing postwar reconstruction and economic development, the international trading system was to conform to a rules-based order, initially through the auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and its successor, the World Trade Organisation. The International Monetary Fund was charged with ensuring global financial stability, and organisations such as the United Nations offered frameworks for addressing geopolitical tensions.

The largely cooperative spirit of leading economic powers was able to maintain peace for several decades, a scenario that created the grounds for global economic prosperity. That cooperative spirit led to the evolution of intensifying cross-border integration of production, consumption and international trade in goods and services. The presumptive trend of international cooperation for globally distributed progress was what produced the inexorable forces of globalisation to a degree unimaginable in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

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Zaidi Sattar

Zaidi Sattar is Chairman, Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI). He did his PhD in Economics from Boston University, and taught economics at Boston University, University of Massachusetts, and Catholic University of America, before returning to Bangladesh. He is recognized as a leading expert on trade, tariffs and industrial policy issues in Bangladesh. As Team Leader or Co-Team Leader for several PRI studies for the Bangladesh Government he made substantial contribution in the preparation of the 6th (2011-2015), and 7th (2016-2020) Five Year Plans, Perspective Plan (2010-2021), Perspective Plan (2021-2041), and Delta Plan 2100. His latest 2019 publication is the book, Bangladesh Trade Policy for Growth and Employment.