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IN FOCUS: UNESCAP
Trade and Investment Week, Bangkok , 2-6 November 2009
The Trade and Investment Division of ESCAP organized the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Week from 2 to 6 November 2009. It was held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok , Thailand . The week featured various events such as:
- Asia-Pacific Trade Economists' Conference: Trade-led Growth in Times of Crisis , 2-3 November
- Introduction to Asia-Pacific Global Compact Community of Practice , 2 November
- 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 >
IN FOCUS: UNESCAP AND ADB
Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum: Setting the Regional Agenda, Bangkok , 25-26 November 2009
The Objective of this Forum was to promote trade facilitation as an important component of a comprehensive strategy for national and regional development. The Forum provided 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 included government officials, traders and public and private service providers from Central Asia, South, Southeast and East Asia as well as the South Pacific.
A. GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS AND IMPACT ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Asia-Pacific wants `inclusive' growth, The Jakarta Post , 13 November 2009
Ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries agreed in Singapore on Thursday to dispense with protectionism as they sought to achieve a sustainable economic recovery while allowing for balanced growth. Business people and civil society groups expressed their full support for achieving the goals. Acknowledging the current fragile recovery from the financial crisis, the top foreign, trade and finance officials expressed commitment in their joint statement to pursue economic growth that was "inclusive and broad based", to enable everyone to enjoy benefits of regional economic integration. To achieve the goals, the ministers agreed to resist protectionism, commit to open markets, improve trade facilitation and support trade finance. "We will seek to ensure that economic growth is consistent with sustainable development," the statement read, as leaders of the 21 members of the regional economic hub started to arrive Thursday to reach a solution to world's most pressing problems.
Accessed on 13 November < http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/11/13/>
Chinal to increase imports from Europeto address trade imbalance, says Premier Wen, Xinhua, 30 November 2009
NANJING, - China will continue to take active measures to increase imports from Europe to address the trade imbalance between China and the European Union (EU), said Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday. " China does not seek a trade surplus that is beyond a reasonable level, " Wen said when delivering a speech at the closing ceremony of the fifth China-EU Business Summit. "To address the trade imbalance, China has sent several missions to European countries to promote trade and investment and will continue to take active measures to increase imports from Europe ," Wen said. Stressing the size of China-EU trade in goods cannot reflect the depth and scope of the economic ties, Wen proposed that China and the EU should look at the current trade and its prospects from a strategic and overall perspective.
Accessed on 30 November < http://news.xinhuanet2009-11/30/ >
Dubai debt woes won't hit India economy: minister, AFP , 27 November 2009
NEW DELHI — The strength of India 's trillion-dollar economy means it will likely not be hit by the debt woes of Dubai World, a government minister said Friday. The shock announcement by Dubai that it is seeking to delay loan payments by the state-run investment vehicle, which owns a range of businesses including property giant Nakheel, spread alarm across the globe. But Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said in New Delhi : " India is a very large economy. It is a resilient economy. I don't think some development in real estate in Dubai will have an impact. "The housing, real estate sector and construction industry are all doing well (in India )," Sharma added.
Accessed on 27 November < http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j664EUpoMnxNOR3zMaDLjb-SIbjQ >
India 's Economy Grows at Fastest Pace Since Global Financial Crisis, VOA News , 30 November 2009
India 's economy grew by 7.9 percent in the three months through September - its fastest pace since last year's global financial crisis. "The initiatives taken by the government by providing stimulus and helping the generation of demand domestically has paid dividend," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said. India 's economy grew by 7.9 percent in the three months through September - its fastest pace since last year's global financial crisis. India , along with several other Asian economies, is recovering from the global slowdown. Officials say the latest numbers show that the Indian economy is beating forecasts to grow at a faster-than-expected rate. The growth in the July to September quarter is the highest since April, last year.
Accessed on 30 November
Japan Risks Economic Slowdown as DPJ Debates Stimulus, Bloomberg, 13 November 2009
Japan 's economy probably expanded at the fastest pace in more than a year in the third quarter, helped by emergency spending by the former government that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama wants to phase out. Gross domestic product grew an annualized 2.9 percent, following a 2.3 percent expansion in the three months ended June 30, according to the median forecast of 20 economists surveyed ahead of the GDP release due Nov. 16. Domestic demand will make up more than half of the expansion for the period, the first time that's happened since the first quarter of 2007, according to the median projection. Hatoyama's plan to redirect what he termed the wasteful spending implemented by the ousted Liberal Democratic Party clouds the outlook for growth in 2010, analysts say.
Accessed on 29 November
< http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=adMP9yFUrCIc&pos=4 >
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Seoul sees limited impact from Dubai crisis, Korea Herald , 30 November 2009
Dubai World's request to delay debt payments is unlikely to have a significant effect on the local financial markets, Financial Services Commission Vice Chairman Kwon Hyouk-se said yesterday.The Dubai World, a state-run holding company based in Dubai issued a call for a six-month repayment moratorium on debts of around $60 billion on Wednesday, crashing investor confidence in the region and at other major markets. Speaking at an emergency meeting called to gauge the impact of developments at Dubai World on the local economy, he said that the scale of the situation is unlike previous events that triggered the global economic crisis.
Accessed on 30 November < http://www.koreaherald.co.kr//2009/11/30/.asp >
Medvedev Offers APEC Few Specifics, The Moscow Times , 16 November 2009
President Dmitry Medvedev addressed the world community Saturday with a call for cooperation and coordination in handling the pullout from economic stimulus measures, but he took a wait-and-see approach on specifics. Speaking in Singapore at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Medvedev largely echoed comments from his Thursday state-of-the-nation address and an article that he published the following day in The Economist. But the speech was noteworthy for its lack of criticism of the United States , which has been a constant subtext of his economic addresses since last year. The address also came a day before bilateral talks with President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the APEC summit. “It's early to talk about the recovery of the world economy. Most likely, it's still adapting to the new conditions,” Medvedev said in his address to APEC delegates, according to a transcript on the Kremlin web site. “So what comes next? If we're going to be entirely open about it — despite the enormous number of forecasts, research papers and expert predictions — no one knows for sure.”
Accessed on 16 November
< http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/medvedev-offers-apec-few-specifics/389523.html >
Sri Lanka gears for value-added economic growth, Daily News, 22 November 2009
Sri Lanka's goal is to develop another 10 sectors to diversify and manifest its potential towards value added economic growth which will open up new vistas for the local business community to interact with their Asian business counterparts, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) Chairman, Kosala Wickramanayake said. He was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Third SAARC Business Leaders Conclave in Colombo yesterday. He said Sri Lanka is ideal for investment ranging from manufacturing to services and the private sector is the engine of growth.
Accessed on 22 November < http://www.dailynews.lk/2009/11/23/bus02.asp >
Korn: No impact from Dubai World crisis, Bangkok Post , 27 November 2009
The shock economic crash of Dubai 's giant state-owned holding firm Dubai World is unlikely to have any impact on the Thai economy, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said on Friday. “The broken bubble economy in Dubai is an old story and it has been a long time happening. The economic crisis in Dubai is different from what happened in Asia a decade ago,” Mr Korn said. Thailand 's economy was recovering and would not be affected. All key economic indicators were positive, there was no sign of bubble economy in the property sector as land prices and real estate sales volume were at normal levels. The prices of shares in the Stock Exchange of Thailand were up by 60 per cent from the beginning of this year He was confident the Dubai crisis would not affect other countries in the Middle East which were Thailand 's new export markets.
Accessed on 27 November < http://www.bangkokpost.com/korn-no-impact-of-dubai-crisis>
Thai manufacturing output up, but economy fragile, Forbes, 30 November 2009
BANGKOK , Thai manufacturing output rose for a second straight month in October from a year earlier and private investment gained from September, but economists said domestic demand was weak and the economy remained fragile. Generally, they saw nothing in the data to alter the view that interest rates would be on hold until the middle of next year or even later, with inflation not really a problem. Exports were down 2.6 percent in October from a year earlier and imports fell 19 percent, as expected. Since many imports are raw and semi-finished goods that go into export items, that suggested no big recovery in export values in coming months.
Accessed on 30 November < http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2009/11/30/afx7166569.html >
Viet Nam : APEC urged to join efforts for economic recovery, VOV News , 16 November 2009
Vietnamese State President Nguyen Minh Triet called on APEC economies to join hands to bring the regional and world economies back to healthy and durable growth. President Triet made the request at the second retreat, themed “Sustaining Growth,” of the 17th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, which was held in Singapore on November 15. The Vietnamese leader urged APEC members to put forth a strong message towards the upcoming Copenhagen conference on climate change, and increase transfer of technology and assistance to developing economies to help them develop clean technology, mitigate the impacts of climate change and reinforce their capacity natural disaster prevention and control. He also made a number of proposals regarding the coordination in terms of both policy and action among APEC economies in a bid to ensure economic recovery and promote trade and investment. At the session, leaders of APEC economies have pledged to maintain economic stimulus measures and put in place a comprehensive, balanced and sustainable growth policy to ensure durable economic recovery.
Accessed on 16 November < http://vovnews/APEC-urged-to-join-efforts-for-economic >
FDI totals $19.7b in 11 months, Viet Nam News, 27 November 2009
HA NOI — Viet Nam attracted US$19.7 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) during the first 11 months of this year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency. The agency said the new investment was encouraging in the context of the economic crisis. It compares with a total of $64 billion received for the whole of last year. Disbursements of committed capital declined 11 per cent to just $9 billion. With newly-licensed projects, the country is now home to 10,854 FDI projects with a combined registered capital of $175 billion. US firms were the leading source of foreign investment in Viet Nam , investing $8.1 billion or 41 per cent of the registered capital, followed by the Cayman Islands with $2.02 billion.
Accessed on 27 November < http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/showarticle.php?num=04ECO271109 >
B. TRADE - INVESTMENT FACILITATION AND PROMOTION
ASIA - PACIFIC
Cutting red tape key to improved trade among Asia-Pacific nations, says UN, UN News, 25 November 2009
Cutting red tape to reduce complex transaction costs is the key to unlocking significant benefits from international trade for economies in Asia and the Pacific, according to a new report from the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). “The hidden costs of trade are high – in some cases up to 15 per cent of the value of goods traded,” said Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which published the report along with ADB.
Accessed on25 November < http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp>
China nod for ‘foreign' partnerships, Economic Ttimes , 3 December 2009
BEIJING : Foreign firms and individuals will be allowed to set up limited partnership firms in China from March 2010, a move that could make it easier for some overseas investors to tap the domestic market. But it remains unclear how far-reaching the rule change, announced on Tuesday, will be. The State Council said it would not apply fully to “investment-oriented” partnerships in China .
Accessed on 3 December 2009
< http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/China-nod-for-foreign-partnerships/articleshow/5293816.cms >
India received 238 FDI proposals so far this year, Business Standard , 30 November 2009
The government today said that the country has received as many as 238 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals so far this year. "During the year 2009, (up to November), 238 proposals were received," Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya M Scindia said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Out of the 238 proposals, the government has approved 190, while 13 were rejected and 6 were withdrawn or closed. Around 29 proposals are either listed for consideration or to be listed in the fourth session, the minister added. During the last three years, Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has received a total of 1,102 FDI proposals, out of which 286 were received in 2006, 393 in 2007 and 424 in 2008, he added.
Accessed on 30 November
Indonesia plans to boost steel imports from China in 2010 , Xinhua, 30 November 2009
JAKARTA, Indonesia plans to increase steel imports from China to 1.5 million tons next year, as the tariff barriers would be deleted during the implementation of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (AC-FTA), which is scheduled on Jan. 1,2010, local media reported here Monday. "We have found an indication that the local importers have lobbied steel producers from China to conduct massive steel imports because of the implementation of the AC-FTA. This cooperation will delete tariffs on steel imports agreed previously," Gusti Putu Suryawirawan, director of Metal Industry of Directorate General of Metal and Engine Industries at the Industry Ministry I, was quoted by Bisnis Indonesia as saying.
Accessed on 30 November < http://news.xinhuanet.com/2009-11/30>
C. TRADE FINANCE
J.P. Morgan and ADB Expand Risk Mitigation Pact To Further Facilitate Trade In Developing Asia, PR Canada, 28 November 2009
Hong Kong - J.P. Morgan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced today that they have signed the Credit Guarantee Agreement under ADB's Trade Finance Facilitation Program (TFFP) to further enhance support for international trade in developing countries in Asia . The expanded partnership is designed to stimulate trade growth by extending trade financing to J.P. Morgan's financial institution clients in emerging markets. Combined with the Risk Participation Agreement signed last year with ADB, this collaboration will enable J.P. Morgan to expand risk coverage in additional markets such Indonesia , Nepal and the Philippines .
Accessed on 28 November < http://pr-canada.net/index.php?option=com>
HSBC facilitates trade settlement using Chinese's Renminbi currency , Xinhua , 11 November 2009
JAKARTA , The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) launched trade transaction service with Chinese currency Renminbi here, makes Indonesia the sixth country in ASEAN countries enjoying the service, a senior HSBC official said here on Wednesday. China will continuously play an important role as the main trade partner for Indonesian businessmen.
Accessed on 11 November < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-11/11/content_12432512.htm >
D. WTO RELATED NEWS
Developing countries get backing for easier trade, Business Day, 16 November 2009
MEMBERS of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have tentatively approved new proposals to give special treatment to developing countries to help them meet trade standards on food safety and animal health, the WTO said on Friday. Food safety and animal health regulations, also called sanitary and phytosanitary measures, are a form of non-tariff trade barrier. Although important in preventing the global spread of diseases such as bird flu, swine flu and mad-cow disease, they are usually wide-ranging. Developing countries have complained that such barriers, which fall outside WTO enforcement, limit their ability to sell their goods in developed markets and protect developed countries' agricultural lobbies.
Accessed on 16 November < http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=87097 >
Doha hopes ride on recovery, Business Standard, 23 November 2009
The seventh ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is scheduled next week (November 30-December 2) in Geneva . The meet comes four years after the Hong Kong conference, which failed to arrive at a consensus on key issues. The conference this year will be different, as it will not be a negotiating session. The ministers will meet for a review of the WTO functioning and state of play in the negotiations under the Doha Development Round. The expectations are so low that WTO Director General Pascal Lamy merely asked the ministers to send a number of strong signals to the world with respect to the entire WTO waterfront of issues — from monitoring and surveillance to disputes, accessions, aid for trade, technical assistance and international governance. He has also called for setting a positive and constructive tone for international co-operation ahead of the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen .
Accessed on 23 November < http://www.business-standard.com/doha-hopes-riderecovery>
India, China join hands on more representation in WTO, Business Standard , 22 November 2009
The political differences between India and China notwithstanding, the two countries are working in unison at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). India recently supported a proposal by China seeking more representation in the WTO secretariat in Geneva . “ India has co-sponsored a proposal initiated by China and several countries, including South Africa , in the Budget Finance and Administration Committee of the WTO that has called for staff composition of the secretariat that is more representative of the WTO membership as a whole,” South Africa 's Head of Delegation to WTO Faizel Ismail said here yesterday.
Accessed on 23 November < http://www.business-standard.com/india-china-join-handsmore>
Bangladesh demands granting DFQF by 2010 in WTO Ministerial Conference, The New Nation, 30 November 2009
Bangladesh put strong arguments for granting DFQF by 2010 also demanded a decision in the Seventh WTO Ministerial Conference began yesterday in Geneva . The delegations of 153 WTO Members have been joining the Ministerial Conference being held at the main conference centre, namely the Centre International de Conferences Geneve' (CICG) of WTO building in Geneva. Prior to the conference LDC Trade Ministers met together on Sunday afternoon to review their progress since the Sixth LDC Trade Minister held in Dar-es-Salam from October14 to16, 2009, deciding the future course of actions. A 17 member Bangladesh delegation have been attending the conference and trying to protect Bangladesh 's interests in the WTO.
Accessed on 30 November < http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2009/12/01/news0681.htm >
Republic of Philippines, developing countries push for concluding Doha Development Round in 2010, Business Mirror, 30 November 2009
THE Philippines and other developing countries made use of the 7th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Geneva to call on all member-states to take efforts in concluding the Doha Development Round by 2010, as they believe that this is the best way to counteract the protectionist measures that rich economies are putting up in the midst of the crisis. In a statement, the G-20 ministers said international trade has been seriously impacted by the world economic crisis, especially with different forms of protectionist practices, including the substantial trade-distorting subsidies, now being employed by developed countries.
Accessed on 30 November < http://businessmirror.com.ph/home/economy/19137-rp-developing-countries-push-for-concluding-doha-development-round-in-2010.html >
Trade liberalisation good for growth-US trade chief, Reuters , 30 November 2009
GENEVA, This week's World Trade Organisation conference is an opportunity to stress the role of opening up trade in economic growth, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said on Monday.
"It's an important opportunity for us to reaffirm the valuable role that liberalising trade around the globe has in sustaining and promoting growth," he told Reuters. But Kirk emphasised in an interview that enforcement of existing trade agreements was also part of the U.S. administration's strategy for creating jobs.
Accessed on 30 November < http://www.reuters.com/article/>
US vows Doha 'end game,' seek more from developing nations , AFP , 30 November 2009
GENEVA — The United States said Monday it was prepared to move into the final stage of talks to seal a global trade deal but called on developing economies to speed up the opening of their expanding markets. But Brazil and India , key voices of emerging nations, said it was unreasonable for developed economies to extract further concessions from developing countries that needed to protect their small farmers. The differences between the industrialized and developing nations were apparent as ministers from the World Trade Organization's (WTO) 153 member states met for the first time in four years to discuss global commerce prospects and concerns in Geneva . WTO chief Pascal Lamy warned in his opening remarks that "time is running out" for the conclusion of the long delayed Doha round of global trade negotiations that began in the Qatari capital in 2001.
Accessed on 30 November < http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/>
WTO opens first ministerial conference in four years, Xinhua, 30 November 2009
GENEVA , The World Trade Organization (WTO) opened its first ministerial conference in four years on Monday, where trade chiefs of its 153 members were due to review the activities of the multilateral trade body. It would be "a platform for ministers to review the functioning of this house" and an occasion "to send a number of strong signals to the world with respect to the entire WTO waterfront of issues, from monitoring and surveillance to disputes, accessions, aid for trade, technical assistance and international governance," WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said.
Accessed on 30 November < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-11/30/>
Emerging nations agree trade pact, Financial Times, 2 December 2009
More than 20 emerging economies – including Brazil , Egypt , India and South Korea – on Wednesday signed a tariff-cutting deal that served to underscore mounting frustration among poorer nations with the lack of progress in broader global trade talks. The accord, signed on the final day of a three-day ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, is far less ambitious and comprehensive than the reductions in industrial tariffs envisaged in the stalled Doha round launched in 2001.
Accessed on 3 December 2009 < http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ad71a07c-df77-11de>
E. REGIONAL AND BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATION
E. REGIONAL AND BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATION
CHINA - EU
China , EU to promote trade, investment, Xinhua
NANJING , China and the European Union, in a joint statement issued Monday, vowed to step up efforts to promote trade and investment and increase effective market access. The statement was issued on the sidelines of the 12th China-EU Summit held in Nanjing , capital of Jiangsu Province in east China . Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended the meeting with President of the European Council and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.The two sides shared the view that economic and trade ties between China and the EU were an important and integral part of the comprehensive strategic partnership, said the joint statement. They agreed to step up efforts to promote trade and investment and increase effective market access in order to deal with the economic crisis.
Accessed on 30 November
< http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-11/30/content_12565062.htm >
INDIA – NEW ZEALAND
India : PM, New Zealand counterpart agree on free trade talks, Thaindian, 30 November 2009
Hamilton ( New Zealand ), Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his New Zealand counterpart John Key have agreed to start formal negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) next year, a newspaper report here said. Key and Manmohan Singh met during the meeting of the heads of Commonwealth governments in Trinidad and Tobago Sunday. According to the report The Dominion Post, Key described the meeting as one of the most positive he has had with a foreign leader. He added that the Indian prime minister wanted scoping on the details of the FTA to be completed on time for formal talks to start next year.
Accessed on 30 November
< http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/business/pm-new-zealand-counterpart-agree-on-free-trade-talks_100282148.html#ixzz0YRTKEs5w >
INDIA – USA
India, US to enhance eco relations for global recovery, ND TV, 25 November 2009
India and the United States on Tuesday said they would intensify economic cooperation, bilateral trade and investment to create more jobs and perk up the global economy hit by the financial meltdown.
"We have agreed to further intensify our trade, investment and economic cooperation in a way that creates jobs and prosperity and puts our two countries as stimulants of global economic recovery," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said while addressing a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama in the White House.Singh said the global economic crisis has brought home the fact that prosperity the two nations is inter-linked. "We agreed that Indo-US relationship is important for addressing the challenges of inter dependent world that we live in," the Prime Minister said.
Accessed on 25 November
< http://profit.ndtv.com/2009/11/25003938/India-US-to-enhance-eco-relat.html >
Governments of Kazakhstan and Russia concluded a number of bilateral cooperation agreements, Gazeta, 23 November 2009
Bilateral Kazakhstan-Russian negotiations took place yesterday in Yalta , during the session of the Council of CIS Prime Ministers, following the results of which a number of bilateral cooperation agreements were signed in the presence of prime ministers of two countries, Kazakhstan Today gency reports citing the prime minister's press service. The agreement between Kazakhstan government and the government of the Russian Federation on creation of favorable tariff conditions for transportation of Kazakhstan cargoes through the territory of the Russian Federation and the Russian cargoes through the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan was signed in the presence of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Karim Masimov, and the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.
Accessed on 23 November < http://eng.gazeta.kz/art.asp?aid=140261 >
NEW ZEALAND – HONG KONG
New Zealand - FTA with Hong Kong signed, Meat Trade News, 23 November 2009
New Zealand (NZ) and Hong Kong have signed a free trade agreement (FTA) on the back of recently concluded trade talks. Although Hong Kong 's status as an open port meant that zero tariffs applied to any imported goods – agricultural or otherwise, the benefit of the agreement is said to lie in the fact that it guarantees the security of access to the market for NZ. It also complements the NZ-China FTA concluded a year ago, and may help to speed up the process of tariff's being phased out in that market.
Accessed on 23 November
F. DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Food majors triple investment in ending hunger, Reuters , 12 November 2009
MILAN, World majors in agriculture and food sectors have tripled their investments in boosting global food security but need to spend more to help eradicate hunger, participants at an international forum said on Thursday. With the number of hungry people rising to a record 1.02 billion this year, up 100 million from 2008, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) urged private and public investors to pour more funds in developing countries' farming. FAO said foreign direct investment (FDI) in agriculture tripled to more than $3 billion in 2007 from $1 billion in 2000 but that still represented less than one percent of total world FDI inflows. The figure also pales when compared with $44 billion a year of official development assistance that FAO urges world leaders to agree to spend to help poor nations feed themselves.
Accessed on12 November
< http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSLC32743220091112?sp=true >
Australian climate row highlights Copenhagen rifts, Reuters, 30 November 2009
CANBERRA - Australia 's major rivers are shrinking and farms are gripped by drought as scientists warn of climate change, but that has not convinced some skeptical politicians to back carbon-trade laws. In a pointer to the difficulty of striking a pact to curb global greenhouse gas emissions at climate talks in Copenhagen , Australia 's parliament is at an impasse over a scheme to slash carbon emissions blamed for global warming. The main conservative opposition is split over whether to support the laws in an obstructive upper house of parliament, with its third-most senior member and high-profile Senate leader Nick Minchin convinced climate change is all a conspiracy. "For the extreme left it has provided the opportunity to do what they've always wanted to do, to sort of de-industrialize the Western world," Minchin recently told Australian television.
Accessed on 30 November
< http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-GreenBusiness/idUSTRE5AT11N20091130?sp=true >
EU, China sign agreements on environment, trade, hindustantimes , 30 November 2009
Chinese and European Union leaders signed five agreements on trade and environmental technology on Monday as they held a summit focussing on global economic issues and climate change. The one-day summit was co-chaired by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, European Commission President Barroso and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the 27-member bloc. Wen, Barroso and Reinfeldt attended the signing of the five bilateral agreements covering technological cooperation, near-zero emission coal utilisation, energy efficiency and building quality, the sustainable development of China's trade and investment, and environmental management. Following bilateral talks with Barroso on Sunday, Wen said he hoped for "substantial results" from Monday's summit to reflect the "China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership".
Accessed on 30 November
< http://www.hindustantimes.com/EU-China-sign-agreements-on-environment-trade/H1-Article1-481499.aspx >
India Can Curb Carbon-Emissions Growth Through 2031, Saran Says, Bloomberg, 3 December 2009
India , the world´s fourth-biggest polluter from burning fossil fuels, can keep its greenhouse-gas emissions growing more slowly than the economy through 2031, the top climate official said. Shyam Saran, prime minister Manmohan Singh's special envoy on climate change, said in an interview that India can reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by as much as 35 percent through that year and make a “similar” cut in carbon dioxide, a gas scientists blame for global warming.
Accessed on 3 December
< http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=akCL4t7iXCpo >
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Korea joins international sustainable fishing pact, Korea Herald , 16 November 2009
Korea has joined an international pact that aims to enforce sustainable fishing practices in the South Pacific, government officials said Monday, according to the Yonhap News. Last week, 23 countries including Korea adopted the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the South Pacific. It calls to establish a body that will work to preserve non-tuna fishery resources, Seoul 's agriculture ministry said. "The convention, if ratified by all the member countries, will oversee the single largest fishing ground ever created," a ministry official said. He added that the pact will cover waters from Australia to South America , with the exception of exclusive economic zones administered by sovereign states.
Accessed on 16 November
< http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/data/html_dir/2009/11/16/200911160097.asp >
G. RECENT PUBLICATIONS ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Designing and Implementing Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific, Available online (PDF, 193 Pages, 17,342 Kb), UNESCAP/ADB
This publication on trade facilitation is the outcome of a collaborative effort between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). This reference book aims to support the implementation of trade facilitation measures in Asia and the Pacific. It attempts to bridge the gap between theory and practice in trade facilitation. It provides operational guidance on how to assess the status of trade facilitation, what measures and reforms are necessary, how to design trade facilitation initiatives, how to implement them at national and regional levels, and which organizations can help. The book intends to provide material for training on regional trade policy and help shape future trade facilitation measures in Asia and the Pacific.
Accessed on 29 November
< www.unescap.org/tid/projects/tfforum_adbescapbook.pdf >
Towards A Single Window Trading Environment : Gaining Support from Senior-Level Policy Makers , UNNExT Brief No. 01 , November 2009
This Brief is a guide to government agencies which are working towards gaining political commitment and support from senior-level policy makers for Single Window (SW). It provides crucial information, facts, and figures that convey the importance of SW. It outlines the pre-conditions that need to be in place for the success of SW, and shares lessons from countries. This Brief will also benefit a general audience who would like to learn the important role that the Single Window plays in trade facilitation and competitiveness.
Accessed on 30 November
< http://www.unescap.org/unnext/pub/brief.asp >
Traders' Manual for Landlocked Countries, TAJIKISTAN , Available online (PDF, 37 Pages, 406.94 Kb), UNESCAP
The ESCAP series of traders' manuals for Asian and Pacific countries has been acknowledged as a very useful source of information. The secretariat has therefore continued its efforts to publish and update traders' manuals for least developed, landlocked and transit countries in the ESCAP region. This online edition provides updated information on the business and investment climate in Tajikistan , and is available in electronic form only.
Accessed on 29 November
< http://www.unescap.org/tid/publication/tipub2545.pdf >
Meeting APEC's post-crisis infrastructure challenge: Towards commonality in PPP infrastructure markets , Available online (PDF, 57 Pages, 4751.87 Kb), APEC
The purpose of this report is to recommend tools to enhance effective delivery of infrastructure projects in APEC member economies by identifying areas of commonality, where further and more detailed harmonisation of approaches may be appropriate. Current practices of procurement in a range of member economies have been reviewed to determine key areas of commonality and ‘best practice' that already exist within individual economies, as well as areas where further consistency of approach would be beneficial. Whilst, in economies with more developed PPP markets, the approach to procurement is broadly similar, other economies with newly developing markets can clearly benefit from the experiences of those with more developed markets. APEC could play a role in framing a set of ‘best practice' principles around the key elements of the procurement process. These principles would undoubtedly provide both governments and the private sector with greater confidence in the process, and deliver benefits through increased competition.
Accessed on 30 November
< http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=947 >
APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook 4th Edition, 2009, Available online (PDF, 350 Pages, 8587.01 Kb), APEC
This outlook is designed to provide a basic point of reference for anyone wishing to become more informed about the energy choices facing the APEC region. It presents an understanding of the energy trends and issues facing the APEC region to the year 2030. This report is the work of the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre. It is an independent study, and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the APEC Energy Working Group or individual member economies.
Accessed on 30 November
< http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=946 >
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©2009 United Nations