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A. GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS AND IMPACT ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
lGlobal economy to grow at 3.9%: IMF, Financial Express , 26 January 2010
Washington : The International Monetary Fund said today the global economy was poised to grow more strongly than previously anticipated this year, by 3.9 per cent. The IMF said the growth forecast was 0.8 per cent higher than the 3.1 per cent estimated four months ago, with sluggish recovery in advanced economies offset by “relatively vigorous” growth in emerging and developing economies. “The global recovery is off to a stronger start than anticipated earlier but is proceeding at different speeds in the various regions,” the IMF said in an update of its October World Economic Outlook report.
Accessed on 27 January < http://www.financialexpressglobal-economy-grow-at-3.9-imf>
World Bank tells Asia to shift tack, Bangkok Post , 22 January 2010
Developing countries should begin shifting policies away from short-term economic stimulus to more medium-term priorities as global demand is likely to be lower than pre-crisis levels, according to the World Bank. The global economic recovery will be subdued over the next two years, as countries begin winding down their stimulus programmes and the inventory cycle wanes. Consumption and bank lending will also be subdued as households and financial institutions rebuild their balance sheets, the bank said in its "Global Economic Prospects 2010" report. Hans Timmer, the director for the World Bank's Development Prospects Group, said global economic growth over the next few years is unlikely to be sufficient to absorb the loss in jobs and productivity from the 2009 recession.
Accessed on 22 January <http://www.bangkokpost.com/world-bank-tells-asia-to-shift-tack >
Dhaka slightly improves economic freedom score, The Financial Express , 26 January 2010
Bangladesh 's economic freedom score is 51.1, making its economy the 137th freest in the 2010 Index, according to the Heritage Foundation. Its overall score is 3.6 points higher than last year, mainly reflecting improvements in trade freedom and investment freedom. Bangladesh is ranked 29th out of 41 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, it said. Hong Kong topped the economic freedom ranging with scoring 89.7, followed by Singapore with 86.1 per cent and Australia with 82.6 per cent. Among other South Asian countries, India ranked 124 position with scoring 53.8, followed by Pakistan 117 position with scoring 55.24 and Sri Lanka 's position is 120 with a score of 54.6. Bangladesh has enjoyed impressive economic growth of around 6 percent per year over the past five years, driven mainly by its limited but growing services and industrial sectors, the Heritage Found said.
Accessed on 26 January < http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=90620 >
Bangladesh : LDCs deserve better representation in int'l financial organisations: PM, Financial Express , 28 January 2010
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has demanded better representation of the least developed countries in the international financial institutions (IFIs).The IFIs include International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The LDCs need to receive overseas development assistance (ODA) speedily for mitigating the impact of world financial crisis and the rich nations should fulfill their commitments, she said at the inaugural ceremony of the high-level Asia Pacific policy dialogue on the Brussels Programme of Action for the LDCs at a city hotel Monday. Brussels Programme was announced to achieve LDC progress in attaining the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development.
Accessed on 28 January < http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/>
Chinese economy heats up global crisis debate, AFP , 25 January 2010
Global leaders and bankers will be looking for firm signs at the Davos forum this week of China 's determination to control the hot money pouring into its economy. A year after China 's Premier Wen Jiabao sternly lectured the United States and other western nations at the World Economic Forum for causing the international financial crisis, markets are now jittery over "asset bubble" warnings around his country. With China and India two of the hottest economies around, comments by Chinese First Vice Premier Li Keqiang and top Indian cabinet member Kamal Nath will be seized upon at this year's forum which starts in the Swiss resort on Wednesday.
Accessed on 25 January < http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/>
China's GDP soars as it shrugs off global crisis, Times Online , 22 January 2010
China stepped up its roaring pace of economic recovery in the final quarter of last year, beating official growth targets and putting it on course to become the world's second-biggest economy behind the US later this year. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 10.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared with the final three months of 2008. China's economy grew by 8.7 per cent overall last year, boosted by government stimulus and an unprecedented flood of new bank lending, which some believe is creating strong inflationary pressures. The fourth-quarter increase was viewed by some economists as a vindication of China 's response to the financial crisis: a stimulus drive that included a $586 billion fiscal spending package.
Accessed on 22 January < http://business.timesonline/markets/china>
India to grow at 9.2% in FY-11: CMIE , The Economic Times, 25 January 2010
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) expects the Asia 's third largest economy's GDP growth to accelerate to 9.2 percent in 2010/11 from 6.9 percent in 2009/10. "In fiscal 2010/11, real GDP growth will be propelled by a strong performance by the industrial sector and a robust recovery in agricultural and elite sector. Services sector too is expected to do well," CMIE said in the report. "A revival in consumer confidence and investment activities will supplement growth in the commodities segment," it added. India 's GDP growth slowed to 6.7 percent in 2008/09 from 9 percent or more in the previous three years as the effect of global financial turmoil hurt demand, prompting the authorities to unveil a spate of measures designed to boost the economy.
Accessed on 25 January
< http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/India-to-grow-at-92-in-FY-11-CMIE/articleshow/5498463.cms >
Philippines sees accelerating economic growth , AFP , 28 January 2010
MANILA — The Philippines will see economic growth accelerate to as high as 3.6 percent this year following an encouraging pick-up in the final quarter of 2009, the government said Thursday. The global financial crisis and a series of deadly storms dragged gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2009 to an 11-year low of 0.9 percent, the Economic Planning Department said. However the economy turned around in the final quarter, expanding by 1.8 percent year-on-year for the Southeast Asian nation's highest growth since the world plummeted into turmoil in late 2008. "The global rebound is underway, our economy has proven itself resilient, and elections will bring fresh mandates and new energy to our society. We are thus optimistic," Economic Planning Secretary Augusto Santos told reporters.
Accessed on 31 January < http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h8aHrIo-3njV1Sxsv-Uny378aJTQ >
Korea Posts 0.2% Growth for 2009 Despite Global Crisis , Chosun Ilbo , 27 January 2010
Korea managed to achieve 0.2 percent economic growth last year despite the impact of the global financial crisis, the Bank of Korea said on Tuesday. It also expanded 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months. The figure was the lowest since 1998, when during the Asian financial crisis meant a contraction of 5.7 percent. But experts say Korea 's latest growth rate is worthy of praise considering the global crisis. Apart from Korea , resource-rich Australia was the only other OECD member country whose economy grew last year, at 0.7 percent. Most advanced countries, including Germany , Japan and the U.S. saw their economies contract between 2 and 5 percent.
Vietnam's economy seeing strong recovery, VOV News, 26 January 2010
Vietnam 's economy will rebound strongly when other countries begin to boost imports, according to an article posted January 25th on a US website called Seeking Alpha. The Seeking Alpha article said that Vietnam has gradually overcome the most negative impact of the global financial crisis, but it will continue to be affected by the crisis to the degree that demand for imported Vietnamese products has declined. It predicted that the country's exchange-traded fund (ETF) will grow significantly when other countries accelerate imports. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast that the Vietnam economy would grow 6 percent this year.
Accessed on 26 January < http://english.vovnews.vn/Home/Vietnams-economy-seeing-strong-recovery/20101/112141.vov >
B. TRADE - INVESTMENT FACILITATION AND PROMOTION
OECD confirms rising trade flows of G7 in Q3 2009, Xinhua, 28 January 2010
PARIS , The merchandise trade volumes of the Group of seven (G7) countries grew in third quarter of 2009, according to a report released Wednesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The newly released report summed up customs-based data of exports and imports of the United States , Canada , France , Britain , Germany , Italy and Japan . With 5.0-percent increase in exports and 4.1-percent growth in imports quarter-on-quarter, G7 trade volumes were after a stable level in the second quarter but still significantly below the levels of 2008, the Paris-based agency said.
Accessed on 28 January < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/business.htm >
KOREA – INDIA
Korea , India to Double Trade Volume by 2014, Dong-A Ilbo , 26 January 2010
Korea and India yesterday agreed to double bilateral trade volume to 30 billion U.S. dollars by 2014 based on their comprehensive economic partnership agreement that took effect Jan. 1. Both countries will also upgrade their relations from a long-term cooperative partnership to a strategic partnership. Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a joint statement at Singh's office in New Delhi yesterday after holding summit talks. The agreement to raise ties to the level of a strategic partnership reflects the two leaders' intent to strengthen cooperation in sectors including the economy, politics, diplomacy and national security. Establishing diplomatic relations in 1973, the two nations forged a long-term cooperative partnership in October 2004 when Korean President Roh Moo-hyun visited India.
Accessed on 31 January < http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php>
Vietnam economic revival puts FDI projects back on track, Thanhnien News , 22 January 2010
Foreign investors are enthusiastic about implementing their projects in Vietnam as the economy begins to roll forward again. Nguyen Hoai Nam , general director of Berjaya Vietnam , said construction would start this quarter on its US$930-million Financial Center Project in Ho Chi Minh City 's District 10. Malaysia 's Berjaya last November also received approval to develop a $6.3 billion property in the southern province of Dong Nai . Work on this project will start in 2012, the company said. US-based Winvest said it would also start building the Saigon Atlantis Hotel in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province this quarter after being allocated 80 hectares of the 295 hectares totally needed. The company raised its investment from $300 million to more than $4.1 billion last year.
Accessed on 22 January < http://www.thanhniennews.com/business/?catid=2&newsid=54802 >
C. TRADE FINANCE
IMF's building reserves plan supporting Pakistan's economy, Daily Times , 21 January 2010
The building reserves programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Pakistan is supporting its economy, as there are little improvements in the interest rates and political stability, the World Bank (WB) said forecasting disrupt economy in the future. According to a report released by the WB on Thursday, 'Global Economic Prospects 2010, Crisis, Finance, and Growth', the WB said, "Ongoing or new IMF stabilisation programmes for Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and most recently the Maldives, steep reductions in interest rates, and improved political stability."
Accessed on 21 January < http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page>
Thailand : Bonds an option for securities brokers, Bangkok Post , 25 January 2010
Securities brokers hurt by the liberalisation of commission fees should consider expanding their businesses to the bond market, according to Nattapol Chavalitcheevin, president of the Thai Bond Market Association. "Local brokers are already under pressure to develop alternative revenue sources, whether it be proprietary trading or derivatives trading on the Thailand Futures Exchange," Mr Nattapol said. Relatively few securities brokers are active in the bond market, which is mostly limited to institutional investors. Some brokers, including Kiatnakin Securities, Tisco Securities and Thanachart, acquired bond dealing licences in the past, but have since transferred their licences to their parent bank shareholders.
Accessed on 25 January < http://www.bangkokpost.com/bonds-an-option-securities-brokers>
D. WTO RELATED NEWS
WTO to establish chairs at 14 developing country universities, The Financial, 27 January 2010
The WTO Secretariat launched on January 26 a new programme of support for teaching, research and outreach activities at 14 universities in the developing world. The WTO Chairs Programme (WCP) will assist national academic institutions in providing students with a deeper understanding of trade policy issues. Through analytical input into the formulation and implementation of trade policy, the WCP will help strengthen the participation of the beneficiary countries in international trade. “Through this programme the WTO and its university partners are reaching out to the leaders of tomorrow, helping them to better understand the complex mechanism that is the global trading system. By enhancing the trade policy skills of these young people, the WCP will help foster the capacity of developing countries to participate fully in the trading environment of the 21st century,” said WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.
Accessed on 27 January < http://finchannel.com/WTO_establish_chairs_at_14_develcountry/ >
Putin deputy accuses US of hindering Russia's WTO bid, AFP , 28 January 2009
MOSCOW — A top Russian official on Wednesday accused the United States of hindering his country's long-running bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), calling on Washington to step up cooperation. "Our American partners have not been forthcoming with steps which would allow us to find solutions," Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said in a meeting with the country's powerful premier Vladimir Putin.
Accessed on 23 January < http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/>
E. REGIONAL AND BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATION
AUSTRALIA – ASEAN
Australia : Envoy touts F.T.A. with Asean, Business Mirror , 27 January 2010
AUSTRALIA 'S Ambassador to Manila Rod Smith said on Wednesday the free-trade agreement (FTA) between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Australia-New Zealand should encourage developing countries in the region to link up and enhance their competitive advantage to penetrate the rich economies Down Under. The Asean free-trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand went into force on January 1, 2010. The treaty eliminates tariffs on 96 percent of all Asean exports into the Australian market and removes tariffs on 85 percent of products being traded by Asean with New Zealand . With Australia 's existing free-trade deal with Thailand and Singapore , Smith said, “The Asean FTA with Australia and New Zealand takes away the competitive advantage of Thailand and Singapore over other Asean members.”
Accessed on 27 January < http://businessmirror.com.ph/envoy-touts-fta-with-asean.html>
China-Asean free trade pact comes into force, Business Times , 2 January 2010
A free-trade agreement (FTA) between China and Southeast Asia came into force yesterday, consolidating a sixfold surge in economic activity over the past decade between countries representing a quarter of the world's population. The agreement expands a limited 2005 trade area between China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), scrapping tariffs on about 90 per cent of goods. By 2015, duties must be cut to no more than 50 per cent on "highly sensitive" items, including ambulances in Brunei , popcorn in Indonesia , snowboard boots in Thailand and toilet paper in China . China 's economic clout in Southeast Asian countries has risen over the past decade as policymakers slashed tariffs on electronics, automobile parts and computer chips. Japan , India , Europe and the US have followed China in courting Asean, home to investments from Intel Corp, the world's largest maker of computer chips, and Toyota Motor Corp, the biggest carmaker.
Accessed on 2 January 2010 < http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/>
CHINA - TAIWAN
China , Taiwan to speed up broad trade pact, Reuters , 27 January 2010
China and Taiwan agreed to speed up the process of negotiating a broad free trade-style agreement at preliminary talks this week, a Beijing official said on Wednesday. Taiwan officials aim to sign the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) to slash tariffs in early 2010, but China has hinted previously it could take longer. Taiwan hopes the agreement will open the mainland market to its goods and services and lead to closer ties with other Asian countries. Some businessmen, though, worry about a flood of Chinese goods in the relatively small Taiwan market.
Under the pact, tariffs would fall to varying degrees, remaining highest for Taiwan sectors that might lose ground to a greater flow of goods from China.
Accessed on 27 January < http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-4571922010012>
INDIA – ASEAN
India aims to enhance ties with ASEAN through FTA, The Jakarta Post , 22 January 2010
Armed with a new India-ASEAN FTA in hand, India is confidently planning to increase its ties with the Southeast Asian bloc and host India-ASEAN Summit in 2012, Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said. “The India-ASEAN Trade-in-Goods Agreement under a Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on Jan. 1, 2010, has opened new possibilities for the expansion of our trade with the region. “We hope that agreements on Trade-in Services and Investment will also be concluded as soon as possible,” Krishna said while inaugurating the Delhi Dialogue II forum in New Delhi on Thursday.
Accessed on 22 January < http://www.thejakartapost/enhance-ties-with-asean-through-fta>
INDIA – SOUTH KOREA
South Korea, India sign series of comprehensive agreements, Channel News Asia's, 27 January 2010
NEW DELHI : South Korea and India have signed a series of comprehensive agreements, covering banking, space sciences, information technology and defence. President Lee Myung-bak was also invited to join India 's Republic Day celebrations, signalling a high-point in bilateral relations between the two countries. In a rare honour which is reserved for close friends of the country, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak was the chief guest at India 's Republic Day celebrations.
A major amount of South Korea 's trade is conducted through the sea route and it has great interest in the protection of sea lines of communication in the Indian Ocean.
Accessed on 27 January < http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southasia/>
INDONESIA - CHINA - ASEAN
Indonesia considers delaying implementation of China-ASEAN FTA, Channel News Asia , 22 January 2010
JAKARTA : Indonesia has said it will soon discuss with China its plan to delay the implementation of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which came into effect on January 1 this year. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said his government has to protect the interests of its people, but at the same time does not want to be seen as to renegade on the agreement which was first mooted in Indonesia . The Indonesian leader stressed that Jakarta will continue to cooperate with ASEAN and its other partners. The Indonesian parliament has called on the Yudhoyono administration to delay and renegotiate the China-ASEAN FTA after fears that the agreement may hurt local industries. Indonesian lawmakers have listed 15 local industries that needed to be protected, including footwear, textile, and food and beverages.
Accessed on 22 January < http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia>
F. RECENT PUBLICATIONS ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Business Process Analysis Guide to Simplify Trade Procedures, (Available online, PDF format, 43 pages,1.26MB)
Business Process Analysis Guide to Simplify Trade Procedures (BPA Guide) aims to provide a simple methodology to document the “as-is” business processes in international trade transactions. The BPA Guide also shares valuable country experiences and lessons learned in this area. Insights about existing processes and procedures in trade would provide senior government officials with crucial information on where improvements are necessary.
Accessed on 21 January <http://www.unescap.org/tidpub2558.pdf>
Global Economic Prospects 2010-Crisis,Finance, and Growth (Available online, PDFformat,182 pages,7.24MB)
Global Economic Prospects 2010: Crisis, Finance, and Growth explores both the short- and medium-term impacts of the financial crisis on developing countries. Although global growth has resumed, the recovery is fragile, and unless business and consumer demand strengthen, the world economy could slow down again.
Accessed on 21 January < http://web.worldbank.orgEXTERNAL/ >
International Trade Statistics 2009, WTO, (available online, PDF, 262 pages ,10.26MB)
International Trade Statistics 2009 offers a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in world trade, covering the details of merchandise trade by product and trade in commercial services by category.
Accessed on 29 January < http://www.wto.org//statis_e/>
World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010, DESA, (Available online, PDF format,202 pages, 1.59 MB)
World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) is a joint product of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the five United Nations regional commissions. It provides an overview of recent global economic performance and short-term prospects for the world economy and of some key global economic policy and development issues. One of its purposes is to serve as a point of reference for discussions on economic, social and related issues taking place in various United Nations entities during the year.
Accessed on 29 January 2010
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