Trade Assignment | Protection and Free Trade

Added on - 28 May 2020

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Running head: PROTECTION AND FREE TRADEProtection and Free TradeName of the StudentName of the UniversityAuthor Note
1PROTECTION AND FREE TRADE1.Brief overview of the trade history of the chosen countriesCongo-Kinshasa, which is the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was the secondindustrially developed country in Africa, after South Africa, during its independence in 1960(Thomas and Winkler).It was characterized with a thriving mining sector along with a relativelyproductive agricultural sector. It is a sparsely populated compared to its area and is a home for avast number of natural and mineral resources. It is characterized with deposits of raw minerals,having an estimated worth of US$24 Trillion (McKnight). Therefore, this country has a historyof trading in various raw minerals, by way of mining products, but it has significantly fallensince 1980s due to corruption, politics and war, making it a country today, having a the lowestper capita GDP in the world.In Sweden, traditionally, there was pursuance of a free trade policy. Sweden was activelydependent on international trade, which has played significant role in uplifting the developmentpattern in order to promote high standard of living. The accessibility to overseas markets hasenabled the industries to expand and specialize. The liberal trade policies in Sweden had led topromoted imports, competitions and structural change. In 1995, Sweden’s joining of theEuropean Union marked an important step in the Swedish post-war history (Samuelsson andJoakim).2.Social, political and economic overview of the selected nationsInsocial contextCongo Kinshasa has faced highest incidences of poverty in recent trendshowever the incidence of poverty is higher compared to other central African countries.According to recent reports the DRC has a large population of about 65.7 million in 2012however it has been observed that high population growth rate of 2.7% will intensify the
2PROTECTION AND FREE TRADEprevailing social conditions (Pritzkowet al.).According to the estimation of the World Bank,approximately 50 million live in Congo-Kinshasa on less than US$1.25 a day (Njuguna).Theissue of poverty has proved to be a major weakness in improving the social conditions of theCongo-Kinshasa and in recent trends with the growing population the issue of poverty is everincreasing.The DRC had faced variouspolitical conflictsin the 1990s, leading to a protracted socialand economic slump. Efforts have been made for defusing the political crisis by the Government.One of these efforts has been in the form of an agreement, signed on 31stDecember, 2016, whichprovides for a transition period in which powers will be held jointly by the President and theopposition, until the presidential elections in 2017 (Ali, et al.). The agreement also stipulates thatthe president cannot seek a third term and the change in the Constitution cannot be attempted.But, the agreement was not entered into and the 2017 elections got delayed as the revision of theelectoral register was not complete (Samuelsson and Wendell).The political conflicts in theCongo-Kinshasa created hurdles in economic development of the country. Due to politicalconflicts several projects are awaiting approval and due to this reason the organizational growthof the country is lacking behind. This has proved to be a major weakness to the regions ofCongo-Kinshasa.In theeconomical context, DRC has the lowest GDP rate since 2001 due to the decliningprices and the shrinking global demand in raw materials. The DRC also lacks access todemocratic and international financial markets and has faced a drastic reduction in public financein 2015 and 2016 (Nicolas et al.).Currently, the Government has launched many reforms andsigned various contracts which are accessible to the public, along with participation in theExtractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
3PROTECTION AND FREE TRADESweden as a developed country has been considered of having the best and the most equalstandards of living in the world. In the beginning the country had a very low unemployment rate,which gradually increased in recent trends, affecting large group of people having lowqualifications and immigrants. Moreover, Sweden has a comparatively better labor market andthe liberal legislations regarding immigrants give access to the foreigners into the Swedish labormarket (Munemo).The access to foreigners has been considered as a major strength as itincreased employment opportunities for employment opportunities.The current Swedish political scene is dominated by the two biggest political parties: SocialDemocratic Party and Modern Party. For two centuries, the foreign policy of Sweden has beenbased on the principle of non-alignment and neutrality. Moreover, Sweden has been activelyinvolved in various humanitarian actions along with memberships in many internationalorganizations like WTO and OECD. Sweden is one of the few countries which were able to meetUN’s aid target of 0.7% of GNI and the largest contributor to the UN (Potter, Dawson andFrierson).These factors can be considered as strength of the country as it involved in thedevelopment of various humanitarian activities worldwide.Economically, Sweden has one of the healthiest economies in EU at present and the 5thlargest GDP per capita. The Swedish Government’s reforms and responsible fiscal policy wasthe reason of Sweden’s recovery from the economic crisis in 2008-2009 (Pritzkowet al.). Therevenues are usually high and in the last few years it has been exceeding 50% of GDP. TheSwedish economy is export oriented and produces more than 50% of the GDP (Lawson).Sweden being a developed country is economically stable and from the very beginning its majorstrength was that it has an open economy.
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