More than half the world's sovereign states are small economies. The majority are developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean Basin. The globalization process poses special challenges for small economies because of their vulnerability and lack of diversification. How should they overcome the limitations of smallness and become better integrated into the world economy? How should they take advantage of the opportunities resulting from globalization while avoiding the pitfalls? Opening the economy is widely recommended, but there are important risks for which policy-makers need to define a balanced response.
This book discusses the main strategies or options for small developing economies towards better integration into the world economy. They include membership of the World Trade Organization and unilateral economic liberalization. Another important strategy is regional integration among developing countries. Many small states also continue to rely heavily on special trade arrange-ments with industrial countries. Recently a lot of attention has been paid to quite a different strategy: North-South integration with reciprocal obligations. In practice, the strategies are not mutually exclusive, but must be combined into a coherent policy package for maximum advantage.