"Finance needs to get back to the business of providing security for people's savings and mobilizing resources for productive investment," Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi writes. "Reforms are also needed to replace unruly and procyclical capital flows with predictable and long-term development finance, to regain stability in currency markets and to support expansionary macroeconomic adjustments. Surveillance and regulation will need to be strengthened at all levels."
The Secretary-General and UNCTAD economists have contended for several years that the current global economic and financial system, even during boom periods, has not yielded benefits for all, and that income inequality has been rising and financial imbalances have been accumulating. These have led to a global economy that is prone to booms and busts.
“The term finance-driven globalization characterizes the dominant pattern of international economic relations during the past three decades," the report says. "This is intended to convey the idea that financial deregulation, concerted moves to open up the capital account and rapidly rising international capital flows have been the main forces shaping global economic integration. . . . Financial markets and institutions have become the masters rather than the servants of the real economy, distorting trade and investment, heightening levels of inequality, and posing a systemic threat to economic stability.”
The Secretary-General contends that instead, "Financial and other resources should be channelled towards the right kinds of productive activities. Industrial development remains a priority for many developing countries…but a wider sectoral approach, including a focus on the primary sector in many least developed countries, is needed to ensure that measures to diversify economic activity are consistent with job creation, the security of food and energy supplies, and effective responses to the climate challenge".
An era of more active involvement is needed, he adds, that will "allow governments - particularly, but not only in developing countries - to correct market failures, promote collaboration among enterprises in areas of long-term investment, manage integration with the global economy and ensure that the rewards from doing so are evenly shared".
"This time around," Mr. Supachai writes in the preface to the report, "rebalancing will need a global new deal that can 'lift all boats' in developed and developing countries alike. It is a basic truth that people everywhere want the same thing: a decent job, a secure home, a safe environment, a better future for their children and a government that listens to and responds to their concerns. UNCTAD has consistently suggested a battery of policy measures and institutional reforms at the national and international level to support rising living standards in developing countries, build their resilience to external shocks and help them pursue a balanced integration with the global economy."
"...in our interdependent world, a more secure and inclusive global economy requires strong international leadership and carries collective responsibilities.
UNCTAD XIII in Doha provides an opportunity for the international community to discuss these challenges in a frank, open and constructive manner."