This Report presents a series of reviews of various aspects of development-related cooperation between developing countries, collectively known as “the South”, which is an increasingly important component of the global economy. Reviews focus on the changing landscape of the global South, the dynamics of trade, foreign direct investments (FDIs), industrial cooperation, environmental issues, creative industries, software technology, international negotiations, development cooperation and a general assessment of some of the major challenges that lie ahead.
Each review, prepared by a specialist or group of specialists, presents an enlightening and encouraging view of expanding South-South linkages and interactions within the global economy before the onset of the current financial and economic crisis in 2008. Nevertheless, despite the dire prognostications of financial and economic institutions about the depth and duration of the global recession, these very circumstances provide unique opportunities and strong incentives to further diversify and strengthen South-South linkages as a matter of urgency in the months, years and decades to come.
A recurring theme of the Report is not only that the Southern economy is an important engine of growth in the global economy but that South-South interactions are also at the forefront of Southern growth. Before the onset of the current recession, South-South trade grew more rapidly than North-South or North-North trade. South-South trade growth exceeded growth in Southern gross domestic product (GDP), and Southern FDI increased rapidly, led by South-South FDI.
Despite the gloomy global outlook, considerable potential exists for further expansion of Southern interactions to promote inter- and intra-regional economic growth in order to buffer the impacts of declining demand from Northern countries mired in recession.