Q & A

What is the WTO?

WTO is the acronym that stands for "World Trade Organization," a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements and settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules.


What is the IMF?

IMF is the acronym for the International Monetary Fund, an international organization of 185 member countries. It was established to promote international monetary cooperation, monetary exchange stability and orderly monetary exchange arrangements; to foster economic growth and high levels of employment; and to provide temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance-of-payments adjustments.


What is the balance of payments?

The balance of payments is a record of payments that one country pays to and receives from all other foreign countries.


What is the World Bank?

The World Bank is a source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. It is not an actual bank by the common definition. It provides low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications and other purposes.

The World Bank is made up of two development institutions-the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Both institutions support the World Bank's mission to reduce global poverty and improve living standards. The IBRD focuses on middle income and creditworthy poor countries, while the IDA focuses on the poorest countries in the world.


What is the OECD?

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) is a group of 30 member countries that share a commitment to democratic government and a market economy. Best known for its publications and statistics, the OECD's work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics to trade, education, development and science, and innovation.


What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing is subcontracting a process such as customer service, product design or product manufacturing to a third party. The third party might be another organization within or outside of the state, region or country.


What are NGOs?

NGO is an acronym that stands for "non-governmental organization." An NGO is an organization that is not affiliated with the government, yet has a significant impact on the political, social or economic status of a region. Since the mid-1970s the number of NGOs worldwide has increased significantly. The World Bank describes NGOs as "private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services or undertake community development."


What is comparative advantage?

The principal of comparative advantage demonstrates that countries benefit from trade when they specialize in producing goods and services that they are able to produce at a lower opportunity cost than other countries.


What is the balance of trade?

The "balance of trade" (or net exports) is calculated by subtracting the monetary value of imports from exports in an economy over a certain period of time. A positive balance of trade is known as a "trade surplus," which means that the value of a country's exports exceeds the value of its imports. A "trade deficit" is a negative balance of trade, which means that the value of a country's imports exceeds the value of its exports.


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