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Monday, March 27, 2006

Commonwealth releases 10th annual data for small states

The Commonwealth Secretariat (CS) has released the 10th annual collection of key economic and statistical data on the world’s small states.

The publication, which formerly comes as, ‘Basic Statistical Data on Selected Countries’ with populations less five million, is to assist economists, planners and policy makers.

Published in two parts previously, the collection has its current first part focusing on the recent economic performance of Commonwealth small states, examining its growth, employment, inflation and economic policy issues, and offering a deeper understanding of developments behind the statistics.

This part also contains two feature articles authored by eminent scholars, like Prof. Andrew S. Downess of the University of West Indies, and Ms Virginia Horscroft.

While Prof. Downess dwelt on ‘Progress Towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Small States of the Commonwealth’, Ms Horscroft took on ‘Small Economies and
Special and Differential Treatment: Strengthening the Evidence, Countering the Fallacies’.

Prof. Downess’ piece examined the basic features of the Commonwealth small states and discusses progress made towards achieving the eight MDGs in the 32 small states of the Commonwealth.

The second feature, Ms Horscroft took on squabbles surrounding peculiar characteristics of small economies such as in their sizes, vulnerability and governance capacity.

This, CS said she combined the constrained their ability to benefit from the globalisation of markets under current trade rules.

The article challenged the assertion that it is necessarily the case that currently agreed and emerging international trade rules are beneficial for all states.

The second part of the book further provides social and economic data on small states. There were 51 tables and 11 charts covering selected economic and social indicators culled from international and national sources, and presenting information unavailable elsewhere.

Although priced at £25.00, about N5,566.21, the 178 pages, Commonwealth Secretariat said a full catalogue of CS publications could be viewed on the website, which provides a secure online buying facility.

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