As countries become richer, on average the incidence of income poverty falls and other well-being indicators improve as well. For these reasons, economic growth can be a powerful tool for human development. Nonetheless countries with similar rates of economic growth can have very different rates of poverty reduction and growth often comes with increasing inequality.

In the last decades, the processes related to production of goods and services have become increasingly specialized and fragmented in different countries. Organizational fragmentation went along with geographical fragmentation, as firms tend to focus on core business in their home markets and outsource the rest of the process. Comparative advantage in final products does no longer describe the patterns of international trade, as the production of components and assembling of goods (not to mention services) are scattered over the globe in complex international production networks (IPNs).

The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the United Nations through the Agenda 2030 have become the core commitments for both international cooperation and domestic strategies of individual countries. While the previous Millennium Development Goals were mostly focused on developing countries, the Agenda 2030 represents the first comprehensive attempt to deal with sustainable development at a global scale, jointly addressing sustainability challenges in advanced, emerging and developing countries and recognizing complex interactions between such groups of economies.


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