The rapid growth in the Asian economies has been accompanied by a large increase in the trade and investment flows within the region. The volume, direction and sources of aid funds for the poorer developing countries are changing. The Uruguay Round of GATT trade negotiations was finally completed in 1993, and a variety of other trading groups have emerged, or been strengthened, at regional level.
Until 1992, this was accompanied by a faster than expected growth in world trade. In 1993, in contrast, the forecasts for trade were high, but early estimates are for a considerable slowing. This suggests that the structural changes which are already occurring are not fully understood by forecasters.