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A. TRADE AND INVESTMENT PUBLICATIONS
Evaluating the Effectiveness of GMS Economic Corridors: Why is There More Focus on the Bangkok-Hanoi Road than the East-West Corridor? October 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 23 pages, 469 KB). IDE Discussion Paper No. 123, Institute of Developing Economies (IED).
Since the inauguration of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Programme in 1992, road infrastructure projects have played a very important role. Their economic significance has become a focal point after the introduction of the concept of the three economic corridors in 1998: the East-West Economic Corridor; the North-South Economic Corridor and the Southern Economic Corridor. The completion of the Second International Mekong Bridge between Mukdahan , Thailand and Savannakhet, Lao People's Democratic Republic was an epoch-making event in the development of the East-West Economic Corridor. The business community, however, has paid more attention to the Bangkok-Hanoi Road than the East-West Economic Corridor. This study examines the reasons why the former has received more focus than the latter, by using criteria such as population density and the economic scale at provincial or state level. Further, the paper also examines the effectiveness of
other economic corridors by applying the same criteria.
Accessed on 29 October < http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Dp/pdf/123_ishida.pdf >
Gender Dimensions of Intellectual Property and Traditional Medicinal Knowledge. April 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 48 pages, 3.95 MB). Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Initiative, UNDP Regional Centre in Colombo.
Determinants of Intra-FDI Inflows in East Asia : Does Regional Economic Integration Affect Intra-FDI? June 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 46 pages, 4.06 MB). KIEP Working Paper 07-01, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP).
This paper had its origins in a bus conversation in Dhaka with a woman whose organization was working with rural women on a pilot project to cultivate an indigenous medicinal plant for local and, potentially, regional markets. She was unfamiliar with intellectual property (IP) rights issues and concerned that her association, which had a mandate to advise the Government on trade policy, was also unfamiliar with trade regimes. It was not apparent that the funder was aware of national, regional or international IP regimes which might have a bearing on the long-term viability of their project. No one seemed to be connecting the dots between a pilot project targeting women micro-entrepreneurs, traditional knowledge (TK) and intellectual property regimes on the one hand, and trade-related capacity building initiatives available for government officials and larger producers on the other. This paper seeks to address this issue and draws on the limited literature on gender dimensions of IP and TK, which highlights the roles played by women, particularly indigenous women, as custodians of TK and as consumers and producers of traditional medicines. The paper addresses the question of what is being protected by IPRs, and summarizes current discussions on intellectual property and traditional medicinal knowledge (TMK) in TRIPS and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Accessed on 29 October
< http://www.undprcc.lk/Publications/TRADE/Gender_IP_and_TKM_Final_27_Apr.pdf >
This paper analyzes the validity of macroeconomic variables, such as exchange rate uncertainty, macroeconomic instability and openness, in determining intra-FDI inflows in the ASEAN countries, China , Japan and the Republic of Korea . The empirical results show that openness, exchange rates, exchange rate volatility, per capita GDP and foreign reserve accumulation are statistically significant factors that determine regional intra-FDI inflows; other variables such as macroeconomic instability are not significant. Variables like openness and exchange rate volatility have direct implications for regional FTAs and regional common currency arrangements, and thus to East Asian economic integration. The findings suggest that a regional FTA that would increase regional openness by 10 per cent would increase intra-FDI inflows by almost 2 per cent. A regional exchange rate arrangement that would reduce regional exchange volatility by half would increase intra-FDI inflows by around 10 per cent.
Accessed on 29 October
< http://www.kiep.go.kr/eng/std_data_view.asp?num=178834 >
Monitoring Economic Partnership Agreements. A methodological overview . April 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 6 pages, 335 KB). InBrief No. 18 - April 2007, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM).
The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and the European Union (EU) countries have agreed to negotiate new WTO compatible Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).These agreements should not be an end in themselves, but be first and foremost instruments for development. While these new free trade arrangements offer new development opportunities, they also pose considerable challenges for the ACP. To ensure that the development dimension of the EPAs is fulfilled, close monitoring will be of prime importance, of both the negotiation and the implementation of these new partnership agreements. This InBrief presents a preliminary overview of some methodological issues linked to the design of a monitoring mechanism for the EPAs.
Accessed on 29 October
< http://www.sarpn.org.za/documents/d0002673/EPAs_ECDPM_Apr2007.pdf >
Prospects of India–Bangladesh Economic Cooperation: Implications for South Asian Regional Cooperation. September 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 44 pages, 223 KB). ADB Institute Discussion Paper No. 78, Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI).
In recent years, South Asia has received growing attention as a region that is integrating successfully into the global economy. To maximize the benefits in terms of faster growth and poverty reduction, the region will need to strengthen regional and bilateral cooperation in several areas. In this context, closer bilateral cooperation and integration between major South Asian countries, such as between India and Bangladesh , will strengthen the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and help ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of their activities. Cultural, trade and economic exchanges between the two countries are long standing. India and Bangladesh boast of a total population of more than 1 billion and their rapid domestic economic development and good cooperation have demonstrated broad prospects for further cooperation. A remarkable growth in two-way trade between India and Bangladesh has resulted in robust growth of the economies in the region. India has become Bangladesh 's largest trading partner in South Asia . Compared with their strength, much potential exists for developing trade and economic relations between the two countries. This paper discusses various opportunities and associated prospects and problems in strengthening the India–Bangladesh economic cooperation and integration agenda in the context of SAARC.
Accessed on 29 October
< http://www.adbi.org/files/dp78.india.bangladesh.economic.cooperation.pdf >
The International Monetary Fund's Influence on Trade Policies of Low-income Countries: A Valid Undertaking? August 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 52 pages, 295 KB). Journal of World Trade 41(5): 931-981, Kluwer Law International, The Hague/Diplomacy Dialogue.
This article explores the involvement of the IMF in influencing the setting of trade policy and tariff regimes of low-income countries, in the specific context of the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) initiative and the related PRGF (Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility) lending mechanism. The authors begin by discussing, in brief terms, the prominence of Washington Consensus considerations on the guidance provided by the Fund, followed by a legal critique of the Fund's mandate on trade, notably in what pertains to surveillance activities and conditionality; in this section, the authors analyze whether the broadening of the Fund's traditional focus from monetary and fiscal policy to trade policy is truly within the boundaries of its mission. The authors tackle the issue of direct and indirect influencing by the IMF of poor countries' trade policies and tariff regimes, and how such influencing may occur as part of traditional interactions between the Fund and these countries, with special emphasis on the HIPC initiative, PRSPs (Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers) and the related provision of financial resources through the PRGF lending facility. Given the lack of consensus on the assumed benefits of trade liberalization for poorest countries as far as poverty reduction and economic growth are concerned, the authors discuss whether such an IMF ingérence in trade policy matters is appropriate for HIPC/PRGF countries. The article concludes with a short discussion on whether a redirecting of IMF towards its core business and away from influencing trade policy and tariff regimes would also help improve coherence among the international institutions involved with poverty reduction efforts, economic development and trade policy reforms in heavily indebted poor countries.
Accessed on 29 October < http://www.csend.org/diplomacy/JWT%20IMF.pdf , and http://www.diplomacydialogue.org >
The Shifting Structure of China 's Trade and Production. September 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 31 pages, 343 KB). Working Paper No. 07/214, International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This paper uses disaggregated trade data to assess how the expansion of China 's production capacity and its changing production structure may be affecting its trade linkages with other countries. It finds that China is moving away from traditional assembly operations in its processing activities and its exports have started to rely more on domestically sourced components. In turn, China 's imports and exports have begun to de-link, with increased domestic sourcing contributing to the recent increase in its trade balance. In addition, as China moves up the value chain, both its imports and exports have become more sophisticated than in the past. As a result of these shifts, China may be becoming more exposed to fluctuations in the strength of the global economy, and changes in its exchange rate could have a bigger impact on the trade balance and the domestic economy than commonly believed.
Accessed on 29 October < http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2007/wp07214.pdf >
Traders' Manual for Landlocked Countries: Kyrgyzstan . September 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 45 pages, 407 KB). United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
This online manual offers up-to-date information on the trade and investment environment in Kyrgyzstan , with a short description of the country's economic development and structure. The information covered includes details on Kyrgyzstan's trade policy, import and export rules, regulations and procedures, foreign investment policy, regulations, procedures and incentives, its foreign exchange regime, and marketing and distribution information. It also provides relevant trade and investment contacts and tips for visitors to Kyrgyzstan.
Accessed on 29 October < http://www.unescap.org/tid/publication/tipub2458.pdf >
Trade costs, barriers to entry, and export diversification in developing countries. September 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 42 pages, 542 KB). Research Working Paper, World Bank.
This paper finds that a 1 per cent reduction in the cost of exporting or the cost of international transport is associated with an export diversification gain of 0.3 per cent or 0.4 per cent respectively. Lower domestic market entry costs can also promote diversification, but the elasticity is weaker (-0.1). To obtain these results, the authors construct new measures of export diversification for 118 developing countries using highly detailed 8-digit mirror data from the European Union. The analysis also incorporates new export cost data from the World Bank's Doing Business database, covering document preparation, inland transport, administrative fees, and port/customs charges. Findings are highly robust, including to the use of geography and colonial history as instruments for trade and entry costs. Both the signs and relative magnitudes of these effects are consistent with predictions from a heterogeneous firms model of trade with asymmetric costs.
Accessed on 29 October
< http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/IW3P/ >
Transparency and Trade Facilitation in the Asia-Pacific: Estimating the Gains from Reform. September 2007. Available online (PDF-Format, 84 pages, 319 KB). Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the World Bank Development Research Group.
Improving transparency of trade policy is a critical aspect of any structural reform agenda. This is particularly true with regard to trade expansion and integration, as the principle of transparency can be applied to a wide range of policies affecting border and “behind-the-border” procedures. Yet despite the central role of transparency in support of economic development and trade, the relative impact of transparency and related trade facilitation measures have not been evaluated in a comprehensive way. Based on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's Bogor Goals and principles on trade facilitation, the authors identify two main touchstones of policy transparency: predictability and simplification. After conducting a quantitative benchmarking of performance in the region against these measures, they develop new composite indices of both importer and exporter transparency. The analysis shows that the gains from improving transparency in APEC are substantial relative to other reform options: at least US$ 148 billion or 7.5 per cent of baseline 2004 trade in APEC. Export gains are generally widely spread across the region. These estimates are only for intra-APEC trade; when considering trade with members outside of the region, the gains from increased transparency would be significantly larger. This is particularly true if reforms are undertaken on a non-discriminatory basis, anchored in open regionalism. Quantitative benchmarking suggests that future transparency priorities for APEC could include a specific focus on action to address unofficial payments and “hidden” trade barriers.
Accessed on 29 October
< http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTTRADECOSTANDFACILITATION/ >
B. SELECTED WORLDWIDE WEBSITES
American Samoa Small Business Development Center (AS-SBDC)
The American Samoa Small Business Development Center is committed to enhance economic growth and assist individuals in American Samoa by developing entrepreneurial skills among small businesses and the broader community through counseling, training, research, advocacy and other resources and activities. It provides broad-based management and technical assistance; business counseling; training workshops, seminars, conferences, and mini courses; and it gathers and disseminates information relating to business, industry and economic data pertaining to small business.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry takes a lead role in representing the views of business to the Government. ACCI's activities include: representation and advocacy to Government; business representation on a range of statutory and business boards, committees and other consultative fora; representation in national and international fora including the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and the International Labour Organisation; research and policy development on national business issues; business surveys and information products. The website offers access to policies, issues papers, surveys, publications, contact addresses and relevant links.
Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA)
The Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations represents employers on all the main national committees working on labour issues and ensures that employers contribute to the formation of legislation and national policy on employment related matters. It provides an extensive range of service to its members providing advice, legal updates and training to keep members up to date with changes to the regulatory environment. The website includes legal updates, links, contact addresses as well as a Doing Business in Cambodia section that provides information on investment incentives, sectors promoted for investment, investment application procedure and a taxation overview.
Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development (CSEND)
The Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development is an independent, project-financed, non-profit foundation that works to strengthen public administrations and public-sector enterprises through the use of an inter-disciplinary and socio-economic approach. Mandated primarily by Governments and international organizations, CSEND designs and implements comprehensive institution development and capacity-building projects leading to the adoption of best managerial practices in the public sector. The Knowledge Area of the website offers access to a list of publications in the area of public administration, organization studies, negotiations and diplomacy, management and quality assurance. It also features CSEND's contributions to conferences and a selection of relevant links.
East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER)
The East Asian Bureau of Economic Research is a forum for high-quality economic research focusing on issues facing the economies of East Asia . It comprises representatives from Australia , Cambodia , China , Indonesia , Japan , Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia , Philippines , Republic of Korea , Thailand and Viet Nam . EABER provides research support for policymakers, improves links between researchers throughout the region, and creates venues where researchers and policymakers can come together to discuss issues vital to economic development in East Asia . The website gives access to a large number of papers in the area of macroeconomics, microeconomics, trade, labour, development, finance and governance.
End poverty 2015 – Website of the Millennium Campaign
End poverty by 2015 – this is the historic promise 189 world leaders made at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 when they agreed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The United Nations Millennium Campaign supports and inspires people from around the world to take action in support of the Millennium Development Goals. The website provides background information on the eight MDGs, a selection of MDG-related news, end poverty blogs, as well as campaign resources including speeches, policy documents, articles, partner information, and information on current and past actions.
Enterprise Centre (EC), Azerbaijan
The Enterprise Centre acts as a guide to new opportunities for Azeri companies and helps facilitate cooperation between local suppliers and foreign investors. Among its activities are assisting local SMEs in developing their business opportunities and capabilities by directing them to publicly available sources of credit, training, certification, etc.; encouraging international contractors to invest in training and infrastructure and to source materials and services locally; and providing a forum/collaboration facility for various NGOs, international financial institutions and development agencies that contribute to business development in Azerbaijan. The website informs about services, partners, business opportunities, news, events, etc. and also features a suppliers' database, online courses and publications.
Global E-Commerce Council (GECC)
The Global E-Commerce Council is a central platform for global coordination and networking in play when doing business in the new online economy. With expert task forces, online educational training, legal consulting services and annual global summits, GECC offers an open forum to identify and develop e-commerce best practices and strategies on an international level. In this next generation of global online trade, legal issues are emerging as a specialized field in need of experts. Consequently, the Global E-Commerce Council represents a knowledge community of corporate and government specialists who are actively shaping the future of Internet and e-commerce laws and regulation, from both a regional and international perspective.
Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan
The Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan was set up at the invitation of the Afghan Government - to get donor coordination right from the start and avoid the counter-productive efforts that have emerged from conflicting donor objectives in other post-conflict situations. It was the first facility of its kind, pooling diverse donor funding mechanisms and converting them into streamlined, flexible support to microfinance institutions in Afghanistan, tailored to local priorities and accompanied by technical assistance and strong performance monitoring. The website's features include sector updates, case studies, newsletters, information on upcoming trainings, job announcements, related links, etc.
Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Tonga
The Ministry of Finance and National Planning works to serve as the key economic and financial policy adviser to the Government; to formulate and implement fiscal and economic policies and programmes that foster growth, create jobs and strengthen the economy and social well being of Tonga; and to ensure high standards of financial and economic management in Government. The website features various publications and information material, including budget statements, annual reports, estimates, public accounts, economic reviews, etc. The website also provides online access to relevant legislation and a news ticker.
Information is taken mainly from secondary
sources and UNESCAP accepts no responsibility
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and their products does not imply endorsement
by the United Nations.
employed and the presentation of the material
in this publication do not imply the expression
of any opinion whatsoever on the part of
the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning
the legal status of any country, territory,
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©2007 United Nations