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12 Trends in Maritime Transport

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Trends in Maritime Transport and Port Development in the Context of World Trade

Carlos M. Gallegos

1. Structural changes in international trade and the evolution of maritime transport have a direct impact on port growth and expansion. Therefore, these elements and their recent characteristics must be examined, since they provide the frame of reference in which port reform in Latin America and the Caribbean has been carried out. These factors also determine future port development.

A. Globalization, production, trade, and ports 2. Globalization, or the expansion of markets and hence of the economic prospects of societies, is taking place not only because of the supra-national nature of markets, but also because of the flow of foreign investment and the strategies of multinational enterprises. These multinationals today account for two-thirds of global exports of goods and services and nearly 10% of domestic sales worldwide. 3. In this environment of increasing interdependence in the world, the international division of labor is changing as a result of structural changes in trade and unprecedented mobility of international capital. However, while the integration of goods and services and capital is progressing at a rapid pace, integration of the labor market is much slower. In addition, ever more sophisticated technologies are being disseminated, in a framework of spectacular streamlining in communications and telecommunications. The development of information technology has, in turn, boosted productivity and, in many cases, worker income. In general, electronic transactions and communications technology have been the necessary complement to full internalization and globalization and their major impact on production and world trade. 4. In mid-1999, developing countries began to recover from the 1997-1998...

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