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Promoting the sustainable development goals with “win–win” regulations in food and agricultural trade
By Norbert Wilson. Posted December 9, 2016
While the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) do not explicitly mention trade, freer trade does support at least two of them: SDG 8 (Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all) and SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) are possible through the benefits of the movement of goods and services globally. Dating back to the work of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, evidence suggests that trade is beneficial and that different types of countries can gain from trade. The gains come from efficient production and expansion of consumption opportunities.
The green revolution has done wonders for Asia. Yields for most crops, particularly the region's main staple of rice, have doubled over recent decades. In the Lower Mekong Delta, considered to be Asia's rice bowl, the new technologies and crop strains that the green revolution brought were a big success.
The story of East Asia’s rapid growth includes ample reference to the export of technologically complex manufactured goods, such as cars and computers. This is the model that has characterized Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taipei,China. It also provides an example for Asia’s current middle-income countries, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC). They need to develop high-value manufacturing, the argument goes, churning out domestically designed goods or linking into global production networks. Failure to move up the value chain may result in a country getting stuck in the middle-income trap (Zhuang et al. 2012).
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