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Trade and Investment Week, Bangkok , 2-6 November 2009
The Trade and Investment Division of ESCAP is pleased to announce the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Week from 2 to 6 November 2009. Held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok , Thailand , the week will feature various events as follows:
- Asia-Pacific Trade Economists' Conference: Trade-led Growth in Times of Crisis , 2-3 November
- Introduction to Asia-Pacific Global Compact Community of Practice,
- OECD/ESCAP Regional Conference on Corporate Responsibility: “Why Responsible Business Conduct Matters”, 2 (afternoon) and 3 November
- Workshop for Global Compact Local Networks in Asia and the Pacific, 4-6 November
- Committee on Trade and Investment, First Session, 4-6 November
- Demonstration of Online Tools for Analysis of Trade and Trade Facilitation, 4-5 November
- Evidence-based Policymaking: Training on Simple Modelling Tools, 6 November
For more information please visit < http://www.unescap.org/tid/tiweek.asp >
Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum: Setting the Regional Agenda, Bangkok, Thailand, 25-26 November 2009
This Forum aims to promote trade facilitation as an important component of a comprehensive strategy for national and regional development. The Forum will provide an open regional platform to exchange information, experiences and practices for trade facilitation in Asia-Pacific, identify priority areas for regional cooperation and integration, and learn about new tools and services which can increase the efficiency of cross-border transactions and ultimately improve the competitiveness of firms in the region. Participants will include government officials, traders and public and private service providers from Central Asia, South, Southeast and East Asia as well as the South Pacific. For more information please visit http://www.unescap.org/tid/projects/tfforum.asp
A. GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS AND IMPACT ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Asia-Pacific exports on upswing but region needs to rethink trade-led development, UN report says , UN/ESCAP Information Services, 29 October 2009
Bangkok-- Asia-Pacific exports are making a strong recovery from the global economic crisis but the region needs to rethink the role of trade in development, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The 2009 Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) says while exports are forecast to rise by 6.3 per cent in 2010, and that the export-led model will remain important for the region – which owes its development to a large extent to trade – the crisis offers opportunities to explore new approaches to economic growth.
Accessed on 29 October < http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2009/oct/g74.asp >
Asian summit to tackle economic crisis, AFP, 22 October 2009
HUA HIN, Thailand — Asian leaders meet here this weekend to discuss ways to deepen economic ties further in order to sustain the region's rebound from the recent global downturn, diplomats and analysts said. With parts of the region still reeling from natural disasters, the leaders are also expected to grapple with ways to improve rescue capabilities and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid, they said. The ASEAN summit involving Brunei , Cambodia , Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , Myanmar , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam will be followed by talks with Australia , China , India , Japan , New Zealand and South Korea.
Accessed on 22 October < http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5>
IMF's Prediction: IMF expects Asia to grow by 5.75 percent in 2010, Daily Times, 22 October 2009
ISLAMABAD : The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) most recent World Economic Outlook forecasts global economic contraction of about one percent this year and expansion of around three percent next year. At the same time, Asia is expected to grow by 2.75 percent this year and by 5.75 percent in 2010. Some Asian nations - particularly advanced and export-dependent economies that have experienced a relatively large cyclical weakening of their fiscal positions - plan to withdraw stimulus next year amid recovery signs, IMF said.
Accessed on 22 October < http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\10\22\>
China, ASEAN trade solid against financial crisis, Business Standard, 20 October 2009
Trade volume is said to grow between China and the 10 ASEAN countries with the "blooming" of financial services and a free trade agreement between the two parties, a Chinese official said. On the eve of the 6th annual China-ASEAN Expo to be held in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nong Rong, vice secretary general of the Expo, told reporters that China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will become each other's third-biggest trading partner soon. "In recent years, the number of goods traded tariff-free between China and ASEAN has been increasing and the trade volume growth has stayed at around 20 to 30 percent," Nong said. "Currently, we are each other's fourth trading partner and we expect an upward movement very soon. The free trade zone that comes into effect next year will also help boost the figure," he said.
Accessed on 20 October <http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/china-asean-trade>
Hong Kong exports down 16.2% in first three quarters, Xinhua , 27 October 2009
HONG KONG, The value of Hong Kong's total exports of goods dropped by 16.2 percent year-on-year, with the September exports falling 8.6 percent from a year earlier, said Hong Kong 's Census and Statistics Department (CSD) on Tuesday. The CSD external merchandise trade statistics for September 2009 show that the value of re-exports decreased by 15.3 percent, while the value of domestic exports decreased by 40.8 percent. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 15.7 percent. A visible trade deficit of 150.3 billion Hong Kong dollars, equivalent to 7.8 percent of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first nine months of 2009.
Accessed on 27 October < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/28/conten>
India : FDI inflow jumps over 40%,The Times of India, 14 October 2009
NEW DELHI : Foreign investors are rushing to India , which is coming out of the economic slowdown very fast, and giving a strong signal of recovery. Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow in August has gone up by 40.4% to $3.27 billion as against $2.3 billion in the same period last year. FDI inflow got a push since July 2009, when it rose 55% to $3.5 billion over $2.25 billion in July 2008, according to RBI data. Because of the global financial crisis and economic slowdown, FDI fell sharply in the first two months of the current financial year — by over 37% to $2.3 billion in April 2009, from $3.8 billion in the same month last year.
Accessed on 14 October < http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/FDI-inflow>
Japan's factory output rises for 7th month, Forbes, 29 October 2009
TOKYO - Japan 's factory output rose for the seventh straight month in September, as recovering global trade boosted demand for the country's cars and electronics. Industrial production - a key barometer of the country's economic health - rose 1.4 percent from August and "continues to show an upward movement," the government said Thursday. The figure outpaced a 1.0 percent rise forecast in a Kyodo News agency survey of economists. Strong gains among manufacturers of transport equipment, electronics parts and electrical machinery contributed to the performance, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's monthly report. The latest numbers offer encouraging signs of growth in the world's second biggest economy, which fell into its worst recession since World War II earlier this year.
Accessed on 29 October < http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/10/29/business-as>
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
South Korea Q3 FDI plans hit three-quarter high, Forbes, 1 October 2009
SEOUL , Foreign direct investment (FDI) plans received by South Korea for the third quarter rose to a three-quarter high, the economy ministry said on Thursday. Asia 's fourth-largest economy received FDI investment pledges totalling $3.38 billion during the July-September period, the biggest amount since the final quarter of 2008, the ministry said. The figure was up 17.4 percent from a year earlier, the second consecutive quarterly gain, following a 62 percent annual surge in the second quarter. The ministry expected FDI pledges to meet its goal of $12.5 billion this year, given the fast economic recovery.
Accessed on 1 October < http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2009/09/30/afx6952582.html >
Korea Posts Trade Surplus for 8th Straight Month, Chosun Ilbo, 2 October 2009
Korea recorded a US$5.4 billion trade surplus in September for the eighth month in a row, thanks to recovering exports which totaled $35 billion last month. September exports rose by nearly 21 percent compared to the previous month, backed by increased exports of LCD devices, semiconductors and automobiles especially to China and the U.S. "Last month's export volume is similar to that of September 2008, so it can be seen that exports have returned to levels seen before the economic slowdown," said Deputy Knowledge Economy Minister Lee Dong-geun. " Korea 's trade surplus is no longer due to a larger drop in imports than exports as seen during the financial crisis."
Accessed on 2 October < http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2009/10/02/2009>
Korea Lags Behind in Attracting Foreign Investment, Chosun Il-bo , 28 October 2009
Korea Lags Behind in Attracting Foreign Investment In the global competition for foreign direct investment, Korea lags substantially behind China and India . China jumped to third place among global destinations for FDI last year with US$108.3 billion, up from sixth in 2007. India rose by seven notches from 20th to 13th with $42 billion. Both countries absorb foreign investment based on their enormous markets and abundant labor. The U.S. still tops the list with $316.1 billion, but China is catching up fast. Korea lags behind advanced nations as well in the global competition for FDI. According to the World Investment Report 2009 released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in September, global flows of FDI are expected to reach $1.2 trillion this year, falling far short of $1.7 trillion of last year but expected to rebound in 2011 to $1.8 trillion.
Accessed on 28 October < http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2009/10/28/2009>
Russia : Manufacturing Sees First Rise This Year, The Moscow Times, 2 October 2009
Manufacturing grew for the first time in 14 months in September as new business and output expanded, the latest sign of an economic revival, VTB Capital said Thursday in its Purchasing Managers' Index. The index advanced to 52 from 49.6 the previous month, the bank said. A reading above 50 signals growth. The bank surveyed 300 purchasing executives. There was “an overall improvement in operating conditions in the Russian manufacturing sector for the first time in over a year,” according to the report. “Output and new orders built upon the growth seen one month earlier,” and the rate of job cutting “eased sharply.”
Accessed on 2 October < http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article>
Russia: Rusal hit by 6 billion dollar loss in 2008: report, AFP, 26 October 2009
MOSCOW — Russian aluminum giant UC Rusal suffered a six billion dollar loss in 2008 due the global economic crisis, according to a presentation ahead of its planned share listing in Hong Kong and Paris, a report said Monday. The Vedomosti daily said Rusal announced the 2008 net loss of 5.98 billion dollars in a presentation to analysts from investment banks who plan to take part in its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The IPO -- which has so far not been officially confirmed by the company -- would be the most significant such listing by a Russian firm since the onset last year of the financial crisis. According to Vedomosti, the company made a net loss of 720 million dollars in the first half of 2009.
Accessed on 26 October < http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article>
Thailand : Economy recovers at slower pace in August, says Bo , TNA, 1 October 2009
BANGKOK , Thailand 's economy continued to recover in August, but at a slower pace due to the closure of refineries for repairs and maintenance, according to the Bank of Thailand (BoT). Amara Sriphayak, senior director of the BoT Local Economy Division, disclosed that the industrial output index in August shrank 3.6 per cent from the previous month since some refineries were closed for repairs and maintenance. It resulted in exports of consumer products declining 10.1 per cent and a collection of the value-added tax dropping 9.4 per cent. She said the private consumption index contracted 3.2 per cent month on month while the private investment index grew 1.6 per cent.
Accessed on 29 October < http://enews.mcot.net/view.php?id=12076&t=1 >
B. TRADE - INVESTMENT FACILITATION AND PROMOTION
Financial Leaders to Discuss Roadmap for Global Recovery, The Korea Times, 1 October 2009
Finance ministers and central bankers from all over the world will gather in Istanbul , Turkey , on Oct. 6-7, to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty reduction and economic development. With the global economy beginning to emerge from the worst slump since the Great Depression in the 1930s, financial leaders are expected to extensively deal with a range of issues, including the facilitating of the ongoing recovery and overhauling the global financial market regime. Their agendas also include how to reduce poverty in poorer countries and reform the governance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Following the G20 summit meeting from Sept. 24 to 25 in Washington , the 2009 Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank will be crucial in setting up strategies for the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
Accessed on 1 October < http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2009/09>
IFC to boost food supply in developing countries, Xinhua , 20 October 2009
LAGOS , The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has increased its support for agribusiness in 2009 to boost food supply in developing countries, the News Agency of Nigeria reported on Tuesday. The statement added that the IFC invested a record 2 billion U.S. dollars in 2009 across the agribusiness supply chain from farm to retail. The investments are also to help boost production, increase liquidity, improve logistics and distribution, and expand access to credit for small farmers, it said. According to the statement, IFC invested 874 million dollars directly in agribusiness companies and 362 million dollars more to support fertilizer production, agricultural infrastructure and food retail.
Accessed on 20 October < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/20/content>
Cambodia hopes U.S. to shift 1970s debt as development aid, Xinhua, 1 October 2009
PHNOM PENH , Cambodian foreign Minister Hor Namhong said on Thursday that his country expressed the hope that the U.S. to shift Cambodia 's debt as development aid for the country. "While I was in the U.S., I held the bilateral talk with Madam Hillary Clinton and I told her that Cambodia hopes U.S. to cancel debts owned by then Lon Nol administration in 1970s, if not possible, Cambodia hopes the U.S. to shift that debt as development aid for our country," Hor told reporters upon arrival from U.S. where he joined the U.N. General Assembly.
Accessed on 1 October < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/01/content>
Indonesia facilitates investments from China, Xinhua, 6 October 2009
Jakarta , Indonesian foreign investment coordinating agency of BKPM (Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal) has set up a particular service desk aimed at facilitating investors from giant economies like China to do business and pump more investments in Indonesia , BKPM minister Muhammad Lutfi said on Tuesday. Lutfi said at a seminar on Indonesia 's strategy to survive the ongoing economic crisis that Chinese investors have showed tremendous interests in investing in Indonesia , which has demonstrated excellent stability in security and politic sectors.
Accessed on 6 October < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/06/content_12187564>
Indonesia : Government to make final cut on car import duties, The Jakarta Post, 7 October 2009
The government will lower duties on imported cars by 5 percent next year, calling it the final cut in a series of tax adjustments carried out since the early 1990s. Budi Darmadi, the Finance Ministry's director general for transportation, telecommunications and IT, said the import duty for completely built-up (CBU) cars would be adjusted to 40 percent instead of the current 45 percent, while the duty for completely knocked-down (CKD) cars would be lowered to 10 percent from 15 percent. “The next import duties of 40 percent on CBU cars and 10 percent on CKD cars will have no further reductions,” Budi said. “They will stay flat.” He added the tariff adjustments would apply to all cars imported from all countries, except those that already had a free trade agreement with Indonesia . He said car imports from Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia and Thailand , would remain unaffected, with import duties on CBU cars from there already at 5 percent. Besides Malaysia and Thailand , Indonesia also imports CBU cars from the European Union and the United States .
Accessed on 7 October < http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/10/07/govt-make-final-cut>
Malaysia : Incentives To Attract FDI Among Highlights Of 2010 Budget, Bernama , 20 October 2009
KUALA LUMPUR , Incentives to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into Malaysia is expected to be among the highlights of the upcoming Budget 2010. "It has always been our role to provide whatever necessary incentives to encourage the entry of FDI into the country," Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said here Tuesday. "We are after all competing with other countries particularly in the region, for investments. I cannot disclose though what the specific incentives are in the new budget. "But, be assured,we will ensure continuity in being competitive as an investment destination," he added. Mukhriz said the government is committed to encouraging more FDI providing tax exemptions and the latest is, the liberalisation of 27 sub-sectors of the services industry.
Accessed on 20 October < http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v5/news_lite.php?id>
Pakistan: Important Decisions: Federal cabinet ratifies decisions on transit cargo, Daily Times , 22 October 2009
ISLAMABAD : Federal Cabinet here on Wednesday approved draft Carriage of Goods by Road Bill 2009 for facilitating movement of commercial cargo containers from other countries to pass through Pakistan for third country destinations. This approval of draft Carriage of Goods by Road Bill 2009 was accorded in pursuance of legal provisions of the UN Conference on Trade and Development for promoting land route trade facilities.
Accessed on 22 October < http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\10\22\story>
Pakistan : Bonds Automated Trading System to operate from Nov 2, Daily Times, 27 October 2009
KARACHI : Bonds Automated Trading System (BATS) will be operative from November 02, 2009 at the Karachi Stock Exchange and initially 24 term finance certificates (TFCs) have been short listed for trading. The KSE announced on Monday that ‘mock trading sessions' would be running from 1700 to 1800 hours daily starting from October 28 till October 30, 2009. Moreover, members who still have not installed their BATS terminal are advised to get the same as soon as possible. The initiative will provide transparency and price discovery in the trading of TFCs, which currently is not possible because of buyer-to-buyer change of hands. The TFCs would provide a broader base to the capital market, enabling investors the choice of going into debt or equity.
Accessed on 27 October < http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\10\27\story>
Pakistan : ICCI lauds exemption of traders from visa requirements, Daily Times , 28 October 2009
ISLAMABAD : The business community on Tuesday lauded signing of MoU between Pakistan and Turkey regarding exemption of businessmen from visa requirement. This was discussed between Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Karim Aziz Malik and Zafer Caglayan, Minister of State for Foreign Trade of Turkey in a meeting held today. Under the MoU, the businessmen from the two countries with valid travel documents can visit and stay in each other's countries without visa for 90 days. He said this great facility extended by the two governments to their business communities would go a long way in further enhancing and developing the friendly relations between Pakistan and Turkey , and to promote trade ties through facilitation of mutual visits of entrepreneurs.
Accessed on 28 October < http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\10\28\story>
Philippines : Customs to boost port-to-port link, Mindanao Times, 27 October 2009
CUSTOMS agencies among Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) countries will beef up port-to-port linkages through the Philippine electronic-to-mobile (e2m) Customs project. “The full implementation and integration of the Philippine e2m Customs systems will help the port of Davao become ready to comply with whatever trade facilitation agreements between the four countries,” Arvin Yana, systems trainer and communication specialist of the Philippine e2m project, said yesterday during the media briefing at Kapehan sa SM. E2m is the project of the national government that seeks to streamline Bureau of Custom's core processes such as imports and exports through an internet-enabled and later SMS-enabled transactions to improve trade and hasten the movement of goods.
Accessed on 27 October < http://www.mindanaotimes.com.ph/?p=4582 >
Sri Lanka : USAID assistance to develop dairy industry, Daily Mirror , 26 October 2009
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partnered by CIC Mahaweli Livestock & Dairy, a subsidiary of the CIC Agribusiness Ltd., launched a new yoghurt and curd factory at the Siddapura farm in Punani, Batticaloa. The USAID-funded Connecting Regional Economies project is another innovative venture which together with CIC Agribusiness Ltd. aims to form a dairy farmer network of 350 farmers covering Welikanda in the Polonnaruwa district and Punani in the Batticaloa district. This network is set to supply milk to the new yoghurt and curd factory. CIC hopes to expand the factory in the future.
Accessed on 27 October < http://www.dailymirror.lk/DM_BLOG/Sections/frmNewsDetailView>
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
US study sees gains from removing import barriers, Reuters , 30 September 2009
WASHINGTON, U.S. consumers would be about $4.6 billion better off each year if the United States eliminated import barriers for sugar, dairy, ethanol, clothing and other goods, the U.S. International Trade Commission said in a report on Wednesday.
"The commission estimates that U.S. economic welfare, as defined by total public and private consumption, would increase by about $4.6 billion annually by 2013 if all significant restraints quantified in this report were unilaterally removed," the report said. The gains would come as exports expand by $5.5 billion and imports by $13.1 billion annually, the report said.
Accessed on 1 October < http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKN3022593520090930?sp=true >
C. TRADE FINANCE
Australia : Industry calls for trade finance policy reform, Queensland Business Review , 26 October 2009
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called for more facilitative policies towards trade finance for Australian exporters at the Trade 2020 Strategic Dialogue convened today by Austrade and CEDA in Sydney. ACCI Chief Executive Peter Anderson said that “critical role” trade finance can play in the global growth of Australian business needs greater responsiveness by banks and governments. “We cannot emerge strongly from the global financial crisis unless accessible and affordable finance is available, especially when doing business in our region”.
Accessed on 26 October < http://www.qbr.com.au/news/articleid/60642.aspx >
Indonesia Eximbank Signs $100 Million 5-Year Trade-Finance Loan With JBIC, Easy Bourse , 23 October 2009
JAKARTA -(Dow Jones)- Indonesia 's Eximbank said that it has signed an agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation for a $100-million trade finance loan. Eximbank will pay an interest of 130 basis points over the London Inter Bank Offered Rate on the five-year loan, its chairman Mahendra Siregar told reporters. Finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati had said recently that Indonesia will extend $2.52 billion in trade financing to exporters to support trade and economic growth.
Accessed on 23 October < http://www.easybourse.com/bourse/actualite/indonesia>
Russian Agricultural Bank, Citi sign trade finance framework agreement, The Paypers, 6 October 2009
Russian financial services provider Russian Agricultural Bank (RusAg) has signed an agreement with Citibank Europe, a division of global financial services company Citi. The framework agreement between RusAg and Citi Russia aims to facilitate financing of export and import contracts with RusAg's clients. The agreement provides additional opportunities in trade finance and will help strengthen business ties and boost cooperation between Russian Agricultural Bank and world financial institutions. Russian Agricultural Bank JSC is a state owned bank whose mandate is to act as a state agent for the implementation of the government's financial policy in the agribusiness sector of the Russian Federation . It is the only state-owned bank in the Russian Federation exclusively focused on providing services to the country's agricultural and rural population.
Accessed on 6 October < http://www.thepaypers/russian-agricultural-bank-citi-sign-trade>
D. WTO RELATED NEWS
Trade barriers could hamper recovery-WTO chief, Reuters, 13 October 2009
BERLIN , Minor barriers to trade could slow the speed of a global economic recovery even if protectionism has not reached the high levels seen in the past, the head of the World Trade Organisation said on Tuesday. Speaking at a conference in Berlin , WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said a decline in trade volumes appeared to be at an end and the global economy on track for a fragile recovery. "For the moment, we have not seen the kind of high intensity protectionism as in the past, even if an accumulation of lower intensity measures could stand in the way of a more rapid recovery," he told a meeting of the VDMA engineering industry association. "There are some green shoots but my sense is that we must consider them with caution ... On the trade side, the contraction appears to have begun to be bottoming out," he added.
Accessed on 14 October < http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/id>
Fulfill duty-free facility promise by 2010: LDCs, Republica , 23 October 2009
KATHMANDU, The 39-member LDC Group of World Trade Organization (WTO), including Nepal , is set to demand developed countries to live by their promise and open their markets under duty-free and quota-free facility for all LDCs as they promised at Hong Kong Ministerial meet by 2010. At the 7th WTO Ministerial Conference scheduled for November 30-December 2, 2009, the LDC members will also raise a strong voice for the elimination of all forms of non-tariff barriers on their exports and extend meaningful aid for trade and technical assistances to the LDCs. The group that met in Dar Es Salaam on October 14-16 as a part of the WTO Ministerial preparatory exercise has adopted a 84-point declaration, which represents LDCs unified voice on world trade issues. They also, for the first time, came up with a common position over issues of subsidies, market access and aid.“
Accessed on 23 October < http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news>
Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia delegation carrying on negotiations to join WTO, Gazeta , 27 October 2009
Belarus , Kazakhstan and Russia unified delegation is carrying out negotiations to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). EurAsEC Secretary General of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), Tair Mansurov, informed journalists, following the results of the meeting with the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, on Monday, "Kazakhstan Today" agency reports citing Belarus news agency BELTA. According to BELTA, T. Mansurov said that each country on the coordinated conditions will carry on negotiations to join WTO. These countries will join WTO simultaneously. He informed that the presidents of Belarus , Russia and Kazakhstan will sign the documents on formation of the Customs Union in Minsk on November 27. "The heads of three states at the summit in Minsk will confirm the Customs Code, unified custom duties and will sign the documents on customs administration.
Accessed on 27 October < http://eng.gazeta.kz/art.asp?aid=139135 >
WTO panel to probe EU anti-dumping measures on Chinese fasteners, People's Daily , 26 October 2009
The World Trade Organization (WTO) on October 23 decided to set up an expert panel to investigate the EU's anti-dumping measures against China-made fasteners. On October 12 the Chinese government requested the WTO to establish an expert panel to investigate whether the EU's anti-dumping measures on imported fasteners from China violate trade rules. China initiated the WTO case on July 31, saying anti-dumping measures taken by the EU against the import of Chinese iron or steel fasteners violate WTO trade regulations. An official at the Department of Treaty and Law of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said that the EU's measures had severely violated WTO rules and that China wished the EU to end its measures that were inconsistent with WTO rules, obstructing China-EU trade and hurting enterprises of both sides.
Accessed on 27 October < http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90778/90861/6794030.html >
E. REGIONAL AND BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATION
CAMBODIA - HONG KONG
Cambodia : Trade with Hong Kong down 24pc to end July, The Phnom Penh Post , 7 October 2009
BILATERAL trade between Cambodia and Hong Kong dropped 24.39 percent in the first seven months year on year, the most up-to-date figures available, according to data released Tuesday by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Trade between the two fell to US$288 million from $380.94 million last year, the figures showed, with Cambodia maintaining a significant trade imbalance with the Chinese territory, despite a 65.3 percent rise in exports over the period. Hong Kong's total exports to the Kingdom fell to $279 million from $375.5 million, while Cambodia 's shipments in return increased to $9 million from $5.44 million during the year up to the end of July. The figures were released Tuesday at a press conference to attract Cambodian companies to hold trade exhibitions in Hong Kong.
Accessed on 7 October < http://www.phnompenhpost.com//Business/trade-with-hong-kong>
CHINA - ASEAN
China , ASEAN trade ties to enter new stage as FTA established: Vice Premier, Xinhua , 20 October 2009
NANNING , The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) will be established as planned on Jan. 1, 2010, setting up a significant milestone in regional economic cooperation, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said here Tuesday. Zero-tariff treatment will be realized for 90 percent products traded between China and ASEAN countries when CAFTA is set up, while the service trade market between the two sides will be opened in a substantial way, according to Li. "CAFTA marks that trade ties between China and ASEAN are to enter a new stage. We should further promote mutual economic and trade cooperation to a deeper level, as well as make joint efforts to boost the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment," Li said.
Accessed on 20 October < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/20/content>
China, Russia sign 12 agreements during Putin's visit, Xinhua , 13 October 2009
BEIJING , China and Russia signed 12 agreements, including agreements on natural gas and oil, as the premiers of the two countries held their 14th regular meeting in Beijing on Tuesday. The signing ceremony was overseen by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after their talks in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing . The agreements include a framework agreement on Russia 's export of natural gas to China , a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on high-speed train and an agreement on mutual notification of ballistic missiles and launch of carrier rockets. They agreed to deepen trade on machinery and electronic products and oppose trade protectionism.
Accessed on 13 October < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/13/content>
HONG KONG – NEW ZEALAND
Hong Kong, New Zealand sign agreement to boost wine trade, Xinhua, 28 October 2009
HONG KONG, Hong Kong and New Zealand signed an agreement to cooperate on wine-related business here on Wednesday, in a bid to bolster Hong Kong 's development as regional wine trading and distribution hub. The agreement, namely an Arrangement for Co-operation on Wine-related business, was signed by Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau and New Zealand Trade Minister and Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Tim Groser who is visiting Hong Kong . Under the agreement, the two sides will strengthen cooperation in the promotion of wine-related trading, investment, tourism and education and in the fight against counterfeit wine.
Accessed on 28 October < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/29/>
INDIA - ASEAN
India , Asean to fast-track services pac , The Economic Times , 7 October 2009
NEW DELHI : The ten-member Asean, a regional grouping of Southeast Asian nations, and India are now trying to fast-track negotiations on services and investment, after sealing a free-trade agreement (FTA) on goods. Senior officials from the Asean countries will be in New Delhi next week to hold discussions on liberalising services and investment regimes, a commerce department official has said. “In the services sector, we see opportunity for our professionals in countries with a sizeable English-speaking population, such as Malaysia and Singapore to begin with,” a commerce department official, who did not wish to be named, told ET. India , which wants more access for its professionals in countries such as Malaysia and Singapore , is also keen on greater market access in the areas of banking and insurance in the Asean region.
Accessed on 7 October < http://economictimes/news/economy/foreign-trade/India-Asean>
INDIA – CHINA
India, China in talks for free trade pact, Live Mint , 26 October 2009
Hua Hin , Thailand : India said on Sunday that it is in discussions with China for a free trade agreement (FTA) to break down duty barriers to bilateral trade. The statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came a day after he and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met here and agreed not to let differences between the two countries to hurt bilateral cooperation. The two nations have had barbed exchanges recently over issues such as sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh. Singh noted that India has signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with Singapore , an FTA with South Korea and a trade in goods agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean. “We are in discussions with Japan , China , Thailand and Malaysia and other countries to conclude agreements of a similar nature,” Singh said at the Fourth East Asia Summit here.
Accessed on 26 October < http://www.livemint.com/2009/10/25202216/India-China-in-talk>
INDIA - INDONESIA
India, Indonesia joint panel pushes for FTA, Financial Express , 20 October 2009
Nearly two months after India inked the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Association of South East Asian nations (Asean), a joint panel comprising government officials and trade experts of India and Indonesia have recommended a similar trade deal between the two sides. This will be the fourth bilateral free trade deal that India will explore with an Asean member— India has an operational FTA with Singapore , a functional FTA like deal involving 82 goods with Thailand as well as ongoing negotiations with Malaysia on a duty free trade agreement.
Accessed on 20 October < http://www.financialexpress.com/news/india-indonesia-joint>
INDIA – USA
India, US agree to ink three pacts, Business Standard, 27 October 2009
India and the US have agreed to sign three comprehensive pacts to put a greater thrust on the areas of trade, investment and intellectual property rights. Both sides have also agreed to strengthen bilateral relations by opening markets for agricultural and industrial goods and relaxing the visa regime. These issues, discussed in the sixth ministerial meeting of the US-India Trade Policy Forum, would also be taken up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his forthcoming visit to Washington later this month. “We have raised issues where there is more room for improvement in our bilateral discussion and where the US wants India to pay more attention. These include an improved intellectual property rights regime for entrepreneurs and investors of both India and the US ,” visiting US Trade Representative Ron Kirk told reporters here today.
Accessed on 27 October < http://www.business/india-us-agree-to-ink-three-pacts>
JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND CHINA
Japan, S. Korea, China to mull FTA, The Japan Times , 26 October 2009
HUA HIN, Thailand (Kyodo) Japan , China and South Korea agreed Sunday to begin joint research by academic, government and private-sector representatives on the possibility of forging a trilateral free-trade agreement. The accord was struck by the economic and trade ministers of the three countries in a meeting on the sidelines of the series of summits involving the three countries and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. A tripartite working-level meeting will study ways on how to proceed with the joint research early next year. The agreement marks a step forward in Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's initiative to promote regional cooperation through an " East Asia community." In line with the concept, Hatoyama has said Japan should cooperate with China and South Korea as much as possible. So far, only private-sector experts have been considering the possibility of the three countries forging a three-way FTA.
Accessed on 27 October<http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20091026a5.html
MALAYSIA – NEW ZEALAND
Malaysia, Sign Free Trade Agreement to Bolster Ties, Bloomberg , 27 October 2009
Malaysia and New Zealand signed a free trade agreement today after four years of talks, seeking to bolster $1.8 billion in bilateral trade as the global economy recovers from its slump. Under the agreement, which takes effect next year, Malaysia will progressively eliminate import taxes on 10,293 products from New Zealand , including paper, plastics and automotive components, by 2016. New Zealand will scrap the import levy on all 7,238 products imported from Malaysia by 2016, including cocoa products, carpets and tires. Malaysia is trying to expand the breadth and depth of its exports to help it recover from its first recession in a decade. The trade pact with New Zealand is the Southeast Asia nation's third, following bilateral agreements with Japan in 2005 and Pakistan in 2007.
Accessed on 27 October < http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news>
NEPAL - INDIA
Nepal, India ink trade treaty, Nepal News, 28 October 2009
Nepal and India on Tuesday signed Treaty of Trade and Agreement of Cooperation to curb unauthorised trade in the capital. Minister for Commerce and Supplies Rajendra Mahato and Indian Minister for Commerce and Industries Anand Sharma inked the treaty that will come into effect immediately. New trade treaty, which is the revision of 1991 treaty, addresses changes that have taken place in bilateral, regional and international trade in the last 18 years, said Mahato. The revised treaty assures removal of all forms of non-tariff barriers on Nepali exports to India . The pact, which is an outcome of two years of exercise, is also focused on enhancement of Nepal 's trade related capacities and recognition of the quality certificates issued by Nepali laboratories after their upgradation.
Accessed on 28 October < http://www.nepalnews.com/main/index.php/3-business-a-economy>
NEW ZEALAND - JAPAN
PM eyes progress on Japan trade deal, The National Business Review, 29 October 2009
Prime Minister John Key is hopeful he can make progress on a free trade agreement (FTA) with his recently-elected Japanese counterpart Yukio Hatoyama when they hold their first official talks in Tokyo tonight. Mr Key said steps toward an FTA with Japan -- New Zealand's third largest export market and fourth largest trading partner overall -- were high on his priority list. "It's a relationship that needs re-energising. It's a big market for us, $7.5 billion worth of two-way trade," he told reporters early today (NZT). "Given this is the second-largest economy in the world, if we could secure some kind of free trade agreement with Japan , the implications for the New Zealand economy are very substantial."
Accessed on 29 October < http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/pm-eyes-progress-japan-trade>
F. DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Climate cooperation, The Nations, 14 October 2009
According to the Bali Action Plan, a new binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be finalised at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen in December to supersede the Kyoto Protocol, set to expire in 2012. Recently, the EU proposed that developed countries contribute to a fund by 2020 to help developing countries fight climate change. In fact, developed countries will have monopolised low-carbon technology by 2020, at which time the fund will become an "import credit" for developing countries to purchase methods in clean technology. Although most developed countries have their own plans, they claim that only when developing countries join the new framework and open their clean-energy markets that the emissions targets on developed countries will be able to work in practice.
Accessed on 14 October < http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/10/14/opinion>
Australia to trade renewables certificates from November, Reuters , 6 October 2009
SYDNEY - Australia outlined plans to trade renewable energy certificates from next month and carbon credits from early 2010, two major steps toward implementing the government's climate change agenda. Market operator ASX Ltd said on Wednesday futures and options contracts in renewable energy certificates (RECs) would start on November 24, with Certified Emission Reduction (CER) contracts to start trading in the first quarter of next year. In Australia , each REC represents one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated from renewable energy and can be earned by installing solar panels, wind turbines and micro-hydro plants. Trade in RECs aims to help ensure Australia meets its target for 20 percent of power to come from green sources by 2020.
Accessed on 7 October < http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-GreenBusiness>
Australia Exporters Face World's Toughest Carbon Plan-MCA, Nasdaq , 26 October 2009
CANBERRA - Australia's key export industries would still face the toughest emissions trading scheme in the world even if the center-left Labor government agrees to amend its current carbon trading plan to meet a series of concessions proposed by conservative opposition lawmakers, the Minerals Council of Australia said Monday. An analysis of the Australian scheme prepared for the mining lobby by BAEconomics found that up to 38 business sectors -- including food processing, manufacturing, auto exports, mining and minerals processing -- would be better off under a European Union-style scheme, Minerals Council Chief Executive Mitch Hooke said.
Accessed on 26 October < http://www.nasdaqaustralia-exporters-face-worlds-toughest>
China-ASEAN FTA to accelerate yuan regionalization, China Daily, 23 October 2009
The Chinese currency yuan is expected to play a bigger role in regional trade as the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) is to be realized on Jan 1 of 2010. "The upcoming CAFTA, which boasts the largest population among all the world's FTAs and allows zero-tariff on 90 percent of products traded between China and ASEAN, will quicken the process of RMB regionalization, "Xu Ningning, executive secretary general of China-ASEAN Business Council, told Xinhua at the 6th China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Free trade demands free flow of currency, making possible the regional use of RMB, he said. Alongkorn Ponlaboot, deputy minister of commerce of Thailand , believed RMB would play a more important role in bilateral trade between China and ASEAN in the future.
Accessed on 23 October < http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2009-10/23/content>
CHINA - SINGAPORE
China, Singapore may beat Sydney in carbon-hub race, Reuters, 28 October 2009
GOLD COAST, Asian cities are likely to beat Australia in the race to become a carbon-trading hub, despite Australian plans to set up the region's first cap-and-trade market, industry experts said on Wednesday. Sydney believes it is on pole position to become a hub, but the experts said Australia 's most populous city was likely to be brushed aside as Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore also staked claims to be Asia 's main centre for carbon trading. So far, Europe is home to the world's only major carbon exchange and it dominates the $118 billion annual trade in carbon. Australia aims to become the second market, provided its lawmakers approve plans to usher in carbon-trading by mid-2011. But China is likely to overtake Sydney as a base for trading carbon futures and other environmental products, as Beijing moves to greener policies, according to industry executives and experts attending a carbon-trading conference on Australia's Gold Coast.
Accessed on 28 October < http://in.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idINSYD54298420091028?sp=true >
Singapore to enter carbon credits trade, Top News , 28 October 2009
With an aim to become a leader in carbon industry, Singapore is on the verge of starting the trade of carbon credits by year-end. Confirming the development at the Carbon Forum Asia conference, a senior minister of state for trade and industry S. Iswaran said that the nation's forthcoming Singapore Mercantile Exchange (SMX) is "on track for year-end" and will provide "an electronic trading platform for futures and options trading on a diversified range of commodities, including energy, metals, agricultural commodities, currencies, commodity indices and carbon credits".
Accessed on 28 October < http://topnews.com.sg/singapore-enter-carbon-credits-trade >
Thailand : Korn: SEC finds trading irregularities, Bangkok Post, 22 October 2009
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) found irregularities in the purchasing and selling of Thai shares through two trading accounts prior to the spreading of fallacious rumours about the health of His Majesty that led to a stock sell-off last week, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said on Thursday. Mr Korn said the SEC will ask the Department of Special Investigations (DSI) to make an in-depth investigation and will seek cooperation from abroad to find the real owners of the two trading accounts. The SEC and DSI will look for any connection between the two trading Mr Korn reiterated that legal action will be taken against those who had caused damage to the share market and the country's credibility.
Accessed on 22 October < http://www.bangkokpost.com/economics/irregularities-in-2-ports>
G. RECENT PUBLICATIONS ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2009 Trade-led Recovery and Beyond, Available online (PDF, 248 Pages, 9158Kb), UNESCAP
The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report is an annual publication prepared by the Trade and Investment Division of ESCAP. The Report features an annual analysis of trends and developments in trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region in Part I and a comprehensive analysis and discussion of issues around a common theme in Part II. The Report is aimed at policy makers in the areas of trade and investment as well as practioners and experts, academia, business, international agencies and non-governmental organizations working or interested in issues related to trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
Accessed on 29 October
< http://www.unescap.org/tid/publication/aptir2549.pdf >
The World Trade Report 2009 , Available online (PDF, 196 Pages, 1865Kb), UNESCAP
The World Trade Report is an annual publication that aims to deepen understanding about trends in trade, trade policy issues and the multilateral trading system. The World Trade Report 2009 focuses primarily on certain contingency measures available to WTO members in the import and export of goods. The legal framework for such measures is much less developed in services trade, although this is also discussed.
The Report covers safeguard measures, antidumping, and countervailing duties. In order to appreciate better the trade-off among alternative policy instruments available to governments to address difficult economic situations, or situations in which a government decides to modify a policy stance, the Report also discusses a number of other mechanisms of flexibility available to WTO members.
Accessed on 29 October <http://www.wto.//worldtrade>
Investment: The Challenge, Available online (PDF, 4 Pages, 4350Kb), FAO
This discussion paper was prepared by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization for the High Level Expert's Forum on How to Feed the World in 2050, which convened at FAO headquarters from 12-13 October 2009. The paper notes that agricultural investment needs to increase by about 50 percent a year in order to feed over nine billion people in 2050. The paper estimates that one-third of the resources would be needed to feed China and India , and sub-Saharan Africa would require about US$11 billion. The paper also notes that primary areas for investments include crops and livestock production, storage facilities, market facilities and food processing.
Accessed on 29 October
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