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IN FOCUS: ESCAP
High Level Consultation on Facilitating Agricultural Trade in Asia and the Pacific, 25-26 January 2011, UNCC, Bangkok , Thailand
Trade Facilitation for agricultural products can contribute to export growth. And the potential impact for poverty reduction through promoting agricultural exports is significant. However, agricultural trade is constrained by numerous factors. The High Level Consultation will bring together experts from the region to i. analyze constraints for Trade Facilitation for agricultural products in the Asia-Pacific region; ii. exchange and introduce best practices on Trade Facilitation for Agricultural products in the Asia-Pacific and iii. identify recommended actions to implement Trade Facilitation for Agricultural products in the Asia-Pacific.
For more information please visit < http://www.unescap.org/tid/projects/agtradeap.asp >
IN FOCUS: ESCAP
WTO/ESCAP/IIFT High-Level Constructions on the Doha Development Agenda Negotiating Issues for Senior Officials, -10 December 2010, New Delhi , India
The consultations aim to assist Senior Government Officials of WTO members and Observers from developing economies and economies in transition with analytical tools needed to formulate appropriate negotiating positions on issues central to the Doha Development Agenda. It will also provide negotiators with the opportunity to benefit from the insights of officials from other economies in the region.
For more information please visit < http://www.unescap.org/tid/projects/dda10.asp >
A. GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS AND IMPACT ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Global economic rebalancing needs coordinated monetary policies: OECD, Xinhua, 4 November 2010
PARIS , The post-crisis effort to consolidate economic recovery and rebalance global economy needs coordinated monetary policies of advanced and emerging countries, senior official of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Wednesday. When presenting a report on the latest economic outlook, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said risks were shown in both advanced and emerging countries when capital flowed from the former into the latter like Mexico , Brazil , China and India . According to the OECD report, continued loose monetary policy in many advanced economies prompts capital to flow to emerging ones where it risks creating asset bubbles while putting upward pressure on their exchange rates.
4 November < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/business/2010-11/04/c_13590718.htm >
G-20 leaders head into high-stakes summit amid row over currency, trade imbalances , Yonhap,
12 November 2010
SEOUL, World leaders headed into a high-stakes economic meeting Friday to make a final push for compromise on an intensifying dispute over currency and trade, and discuss other steps to underpin the fragile global economic recovery as Asia's first G-20 summit took off in Seoul. The meeting came just hours after envoys from the world's 20 major economies wrapped up last-minute, overnight negotiations to narrow wide differences over how to manage currencies and trade imbalances in an effort to draft a joint declaration to be issued after the summit.
Accessed on 25 November < http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/business/2010/11/12/25>
G20 Summit to discuss fresh development action plan, Chosun-Ilbo, 4 November 2010
President Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday said leaders of the world's top 20 economies will produce an action plan to help poor nations develop. Its aim is "to help developing nations nurture growth potential and stand on their own feet, going beyond the simple financial aid they have had until now," Lee said in a press conference on the upcoming G20 Seoul Summit. He added Korea is proposing a draft consisting of 100 points to achieve balanced global development.
Accessed on 4 November < http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/11/04/2010110400635>
Rising Asian economies need long-term plans: ADB, Japan Times , 23 November 2010
Developing Asian economies will continue to grow faster than developed countries in the coming years and should introduce measures to sustain long-term growth, such as expanding productive capacity, a senior Asian Development Bank official said. "The region has managed to grow quite rapidly over the last decade and even through this crisis" from 2008, said Joseph Zveglich, assistant chief economist at the Manila-based international body. "This is part of reasons why . . . we have been calling for authorities in the region to refocus on long-term issues.
Accessed on 23 November < http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20101123a4.html >
Boom but no tom-tom, The Telegraph, 30 November 2010
India 's $1.3 trillion economy grew by 8.9 per cent through the first six months of fiscal 2011 — faster than the economic pundits or the mandarins of North Block had anticipated.
The scorching pace of growth pace — amid persistent question marks on the recovery of the global economy — came on the back of strong farm sector growth, robust demand for consumer products from a burgeoning middle class, and quicksilver growth in the services sector.
But there was no mood of triumphalism that accompanied the unanticipated announcement — just a wan smile of relief that briefly smoothened the furrowed foreheads of top ministers in the Manmohan Singh government who have been battling taunts over corruption in high places, rising food prices and a dismal showing in the Bihar elections .
Accessed on 15 November <h ttp://www.telegraphindia.com/1101201/jsp/frontpage/story_132 42776.jsp >
Japan's economy grows annualized 3.9% in Q3, Xinhua , 15 November 2010
TOKYO , Japan 's economy grew an annualized real 3.9 percent in the July-September quarter, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of expansion and beating economists' forecasts, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report on Monday. As measured by GDP (gross domestic product) this corresponds to a 0.9 percent growth from the April-June period. Private consumption rose 1.1 percent on quarter in the July-September period, the Cabinet Office said, following a revised 0.1 percent increase in the previous quarter. On a nominal basis, GDP climbed an annualized 2.9 percent in the reporting period, which corresponds to a 0.7 percent growth from the April-June period.
Accessed on 15 November < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/11/15/>
Thailand: Economic rebalancing proposed, Bangkok Post, 3 November 2010
Global cooperation 'would ease problems'
Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij will propose the idea of "rebalancing the global economy" at the upcoming meeting of APEC finance ministers in Japan in a bid to pool regional efforts to cope with foreign exchange volatility. The Kyoto meeting on Friday will discuss the currency crisis, the result of US dollar depreciation on the back of its ailing economy, according to Naris Chaiyasoot, director-general of the ministry's Fiscal Policy Office. The shift of dollar assets to emerging markets including Thailand has caused the currencies of these countries to appreciate. Like most regional units, the baht has strengthened rapidly this year with no sign of abating.
Accessed on 3 November < http://www.bangkokpost.com/economic-rebalancing-proposed >
Thailand in technical recession, Straits Times , 23 November 2010
BANGKOK -- THAILAND 'S economy slipped into a technical recession in the third quarter, reinforcing signs of an Asia- wide slowdown as export growth cools, manufacturing ebbs and the impact of massive government stimulus spending fades. South-east Asia 's second-biggest economy shrank 0.2 per cent in the third quarter after a revised 0.6 per cent contraction in the second, data showed yesterday, reducing chances of another interest rate rise next month. The data reinforces signs of a slowdown across much of the region, from North Asian export powerhouses China , South Korea and Taiwan to South-east Asian 'tigers' Thailand , Singapore and Indonesia . Strong growth in Asia has been one of the few bright spots in the struggling global economy.
Accessed on 3 November <http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia>
Thailand : Economists: Reform the tax system, Bangkok Post, 25 November 2010
The government must reform the tax system to ease fiscal constraints and narrow the wealth gap in order to survive amid heavier pressure in the sluggish world economy, economists told a forum yesterday. The forum, hosted by the Thammasat Economics Association, with the Bangkok Post as a media partner, discussed the challenges facing the Thai economy. Sakon Varanyuwatana, an economics lecturer at Thammasat University , said the government should make an effort to collect more tax revenue based on the capacity of taxpayers.
Accessed on 25 November < http://www.bangkokpost.com/economists-reform-the-tax-system >
THAILAND – MALAYSIA
Thai, Malaysian GDPs trail forecasts, The Wall Street Journal, 23 November 2010
The economies of Thailand and Malaysia fell short of expectations during the third quarter as exports cooled, but full-year outlooks for both nations remain strong, with Thai authorities even upgrading their forecast. Thailand , Southeast Asia 's second-largest economy, reported gross domestic product shrank a seasonally adjusted 0.2% during the July-September period from the prior quarter, on slower exports as well as lower manufacturing and agricultural output. The decline—following a downward revision Monday of second-quarter GDP to a slide of 0.6% from the prior quarter—meant the economy slipped into a technical recession, defined as two straight quarters of contraction.
Accessed on 23 November < http://online.wsj.com/article/SB300014240527487>
B. TRADE FACILITATION AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION
Free trade zone pledge, Straits Times , 14 November 2010
YOKOHAMA - PACIFIC Rim leaders including the US and China pledged Sunday to turn their dreams of a vast free-trade zone into reality, setting aside conflicts that marred the G-20 summit in Seoul . The 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) group vowed to resist the forces of protectionism as the world recovers from a painful downturn, and maintain the region's role as a key growth engine. 'We remain committed to maintaining open markets and fighting protectionism. We reaffirm our common resolve to support the recovery in a collaborative and coordinated way,' they said in a statement. Echoing the language of the Group of 20 summit on Friday, they pledged to refrain from competitive currency devaluations and emphasised the need to establish more balanced and sustainable growth.
Accessed on 14 November <ttp://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_603151.html >
Japan : Steps vowed on region trade goals, The Japan Times , 12 November 2010
Finance chiefs also agree to ban new barriers through 2013, resist pressure for protectionism
YOKOHAMA — Foreign and trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region affirmed Thursday the importance of taking concrete steps toward achieving a regionwide free-trade zone. Ministers of the 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum concluded a two-day meeting in Yokohama with a joint statement stressing the increasing importance of the region as a growth center in the global economy as well as agreeing on the need to reinforce regional economic integration. "I believe we were able to build a good foundation for the future of APEC," Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said during a news conference after the meeting. "Through our discussions, I became convinced that APEC has and will continue to play an important role globally and that it will pave the way for the future of the Asia-Pacific region as well as the world."
Accessed on 18 November < http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20101112a1.html >
Japan's exports expand 7.8% in Oct, Xinhua , 25 November 2010
TOKYO , Japan 's exports expanded for the 11th straight month in October, up by 7.8 percent year-on-year to 5,723.6 billion yen (68.95 billion U.S. dollars), the finance ministry said Thursday. The rate of exports growth, however, continued to slow in the reporting month, hitting a new low in 11 months against the backdrop of global economic slowdown, it said. Trade surplus rose 2.7 percent to 821.9 billion yen (9.89 billion dollars) with imports expanding 8.7 percent to 4,901.7 billion yen (59.05 billion dollars). Exports to countries in the European Union dropped 1.9 percent to 655.3 billion yen (7.89 billion dollars), marking the first fall in 11 months.
Accessed on 25 November < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010>
Pakistan offering incentives for foreign investors: BoI, Daily Times , 23 November 2010
ISLAMABAD : The Board of Investment (BoI) Monday informed to eight-member delegation from Japan Agriculture (JA) that Pakistan was offering special incentives to foreign investors. The Japanese delegation led by Yasuhiro Nakagawa, vice chairman JA, Japan, president Kyoto Prefecture union of Agriculture Cooperatives visited BoI to explore agriculture sector of Pakistan and extreme business opportunities especially mangoes processing and exports, dairy and livestock and citrus fruit. Secretary BoI Anisul Hussnain and Director General BoI, Muhammad Muslim gave a detailed presentation on investment policy, incentive package and potential available in the field of agriculture sector and highlighted the policy parameters that allows 100 percent foreign equity in the major sectors and full repatriation of profits and dividends in all the sectors.
Accessed on 23 November < http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/>
C. WTO-RELATED NEWS
Australia loses WTO apple appeal, NZ Herald, 30 November 2010
An Australian appeal to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against a ruling it must accept our apple exports has failed. WTO judges have rejected the appeal, saying the 89-year-old ban on New Zealand apple imports is illegal. The decision may force Australia to open its market or face possible retaliation. A WTO panel concluded in August that Australia should lift the ban on apple imports, which has been in place since 1921 to prevent the bacterial disease fire blight from spreading. Judges in Geneva have backed that decision today, saying Australia should bring its measures into conformity with its obligations. Should Australia refuse to bring its measures into line with WTO rules, New Zealand could strike back by imposing punitive import duties on Australian goods.
< http://www.nzherald.co.nz/agriculture/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=10690983 >
Russia to join WTO in 2011-Russian president's aide, Itar-Tass , 14 November 2010
YOKOHAMA , Russia will join the WTO in 2011, said on Sunday the Russian president's aide Arkady Dvorkovich to Russian reporters, replying to an Itar-Tass question. Commenting on the talks on this topic between the Russian and the US presidents – Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama – Dvorkovich said: “We have switched over from the state of bilateral negotiations to the stage of multilateral ones. Therefore, the time framework depends on all process participants.” Asked whether Russia 's accession to the WTO is possible, Dvorkovich replied: “Yes, of course this is precisely our target.” “This is likely a technical question. According to forecasts of our experts and experts in Geneva , a report of the working group can be prepared by the spring.
Accessed on 14 November < http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html >
Russia's WTO accession requires a caring attitude to the national economy, The Moscow Times, 30 November 2010 United Russia , chairman of State Duma subcommittee for regulating excise commodity markets. The world community must realize that accession to the World Trade Organization today requires a caring attitude to the national economy. WTO membership is definitely beneficial for highly industrialized nations seeking additional markets, or for countries like Georgia that are linking hopes for at least some development with the appearance of transnational companies. Russia is somewhere in the middle. We are not just a source of raw materials; therefore in WTO accession we must balance the interests of industry, farming and the financial sector with consumer interests.
Accessed on 30 November < http://www.themoscowtimes.com/russias-wto-accession >
WTO chief warns against currency wars, Channel News Asia, 19 November 2010
NEW DELHI : The head of the World Trade Organisation on Friday warned countries against keeping their currencies undervalued to create jobs, saying such policies could spark a return to 1930s-style protectionism. Pascal Lamy, WTO director general, said the fight over currency values - in a reference to the United States and China - could upset global financial stability. Generating employment "is at the heart of the strategy of some countries to keep their currencies undervalued," Lamy said in New Delhi . "Just as it is also at the heart of other countries' loose monetary policies." Competitive devaluations, which have raised fears of a global currency war, could trigger "tit-for-tat protectionism", he told a business audience.
Accessed on 19 November< http://www.channelnewsasia.com/>
WTO chief arriving tomorrow; to give push to Doha Talks, Business Standard, 18 November 2010
In a bid to expedite the much delayed multilateral trade-opening agreement, WTO chief Pascal Lamy is arriving here tomorrow to hold consultations with the Indian government and industry to remove irritants. Differences between rich and developing nations have been a stumbling block in this regard and efforts are on to reach an agreement under the Doha Round of WTO (World Trade organisation) by 2011. Lamy who will spend three days in India will hold bilateral meeting with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma. "The two leaders are likely to discuss the progress of Doha Round of Talks," a senior commerce ministry official said today.
D. REGIONAL AND BILATERAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATIONS
Asean chiefs eye finance synthesis, Bangkok Post , 23 November 2010
The Asean financial sector is gearing up to take advantage of the benefits of market liberalisation and new opportunities that will arise from the removal of trade and service barriers within the region over the next several years. Bandid Nijathaworn, a former deputy governor of the Bank of Thailand, said trade integration among the 10 economies would move faster than financial integration, as the former was led by political will but the latter market forces. For Thailand , regulatory plans are in line with the overall timeframe for Asean economic integration. Thai regulators in the near future will begin to allow international banks to open more branches and could issue new licenses for foreign operators.
Accessed on 23 November < http://www.bangkokpost.com/asean-chiefs-eye-finance-synthesis >
CAMBODIA – INDIA
Cambodia : Trading places, Phnom Penh Post , 14 November 2010 Sunday
A free trade agreement with India has been passed by Cambodia 's Council of Ministers and now awaits final approval from the National Assembly. Ratification talks for the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement are set to take place later this month, according to Cheam Yeap, chairman of the National Assembly's Banking and Finance Committee, after ministerial approval was granted on Friday. “ Cambodia will gain several advantages under the agreement. We will be able to export more agricultural products into India – one of the world's largest markets – and receive investment flows in return,” he said. The ASEAN-India FTA will see tariffs on more than 4,000 product lines be eliminated by 2016 at the earliest, according to the ASEAN Secretariat.
Accessed on 19 November < http://www.phnompenhpost.com/trading-places>
CHINA – RUSSIA
China, Russia sign energy agreements, China Knowledge , 24 November 2010
Chinese and Russian companies yesterday inked six energy cooperation agreements in St. Petersburg , Russia , during China 's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's visit to Russia , sources reported. China and Russia agreed to work together to promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of natural gas, nuclear power, coal, electricity and new energy, etc. Reportedly, State Grid Corp of China and a Russian firm, called Eastern Energy Co, signed an electricity supply contract for 2011, and the Chinese company also agreed on power grid cooperation with other three Russian electricity companies. China National Petroleum Corp, a state-owned petroleum company in China , signed a memorandum of understanding with a Russian oil company. Another Chinese energy firm, Shenhua Group, signed a protocol of intent with Russia 's Inter Rao Ues to conduct a study of the production of synthetic fuel from coal.
Accessed on 24 November < http://www.chinaknowledge.com/Newswires/News_Detail>
INDIA – NEPAL
India pushes for bilateral investment protection pact with Nepal, Mangalorean, 29 November 2010
Kathmandu, The Indian government and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are pushing for a quick inking of a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) with Nepal , whose trade with India accounts for 60 percent of external trade and where 45 percent of the foreign investment comes from India . A visiting CII delegation that wound up its three-day visit to Nepal Monday has met the commerce and industry ministers to press for a quick signing of the agreement that, it said, will encourage further Indian investment in Nepal and help correct the ballooning trade deficit. The BIPA text has already been drafted and been approved by India . It was tabled in Nepal 's cabinet recently and forwarded to the parliamentary sub-committee on finance and infrastructure.
Accessed on 29 November < http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=local&newsid=209806 >
JAPAN - AUSTRALIA
Japan : Aussie FTA talks restart in '11; farm offer eyed, The Japan Times, 24 November 2010
CANBERRA (Kyodo) Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson agreed Tuesday to resume bilateral talks on a free-trade agreement early next year during their talks Tuesday in the Australian capital, a Japanese official said. Maehara, seeking to show strong commitment to the FTA negotiation, told Emerson that Japan is ready to work with its domestic agricultural industry on measures to open up the sector, the officials said, with Emerson welcoming the move. Japan has held 11 rounds of FTA talks with Australia , a major farm exporter, since April 2007. But Japan 's heavy protection of sensitive agricultural products including rice, dairy items, beef, wheat and sugar — has stalled the negotiations since April.
Accessed on 24 November < http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20101124a2.html >
JAPAN- TRANS PACIFIC
Japan : Cabinet to declare stance on trans-Pacific FTA on Nov. 9, Japan Times, 3 November 2010
Prime Minister Naoto Kan 's Cabinet will adopt on Nov. 9 a basic policy on free trade, including its stance on a U.S.-backed trans-Pacific free-trade agreement, national policy minister Koichiro Genba said Tuesday. Ministers will meet Friday to fine-tune their positions, Genba said. The main focus of the planned policy is whether Japan will join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, known as TPP.
Accessed on 3 November < http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20101103a4.html >
PAKISTAN – IRAN
Pakistan : President calls for deepening Pak-Iran bilateral coop, Pakobserver, 26 November 2010
Islamabad—President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday called for further deepening of Pak-Iran bilateral cooperation in all areas particularly trade, energy, security, communication and infrastructure. Pakistan attaches great importance to its cordial ties with Iran and regards Iran as an important friend and player in the region. He was speaking to Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr. The matters discussed included promotion of trade and investment ties and rail and road links between the two countries, enhancing cooperation in narcotics control, Iranian assistance for rehabilitation of flood affectees and regional situation.
Accessed on 26 November <
SRI LANKA – PAKISTAN
Pak-Lanka push for more trade, Daily Mirror , 29 November 2010
Sri Lanka and Pakistan yesterday agreed to further strengthen and activate the Joint Trade Commission between the two countries fully and offer a wider scope for Pakistan investments in Sri Lanka . Pakistan offered a credit line of US$ 200 million to Sri Lanka and four bilateral agreements were signed following the talks held at the Temple Trees. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said he himself was a victim of terrorism and he could feel the pain Sri Lanka had during the 30 year ethnic conflict. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed his personal and the country's gratitude to the Pakistan leader for his material and moral support during the humanitarian operation that vanquished LTTE terrorism. During the bilateral talks the Pakistan side showed interest to invest in cement production, marble trade and use Sri Lanka's know how in gem mining and polishing.
Accessed on 29 November < http://print.dailymirror.lk/news/front-image/28520.html >
VIET NAM – CAMBODIA
Vietnam-Cambodia trade on the upswing, Phnompenh Post, 22 November 2010
BILATERAL trade between Cambodia and Vietnam surged by 36 percent in the first nine months of this year, as both governments attempt to reach a US$2 billion trade target by year end. The value of trade between the two neighbours hit $1.287 billion from January to September, up on the $946 million in last year's first nine months, according to data from the Vietnam Trade Office at the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh . This compares to an 18.7 percent slide in trade value in 2009, compared to 2008, when total trade hit $1.332 billion. In the first nine months, Cambodia 's exports to Vietnam rose around 47 percent to $191 million, from $130 million. Imports from Vietnam reached $1.096 billion, an increase 34 percent on the first nine months of last year.
Accessed on 22 November < http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/vietnam-cambodia-trade>
E. DID YOU KNOW THAT?
China seeks to calm fears about food price inflation, BBC News , 23 November 2010
China 's main economic planning agency has moved to reassure people who fear inflation is getting out of control. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement that the country had "the capacity" to keep prices in check. There is particular concern about food price inflation, amid suggestions that some people are hoarding commodities. But the NDRC said the government had adequate reserves of foodstuffs like poultry, eggs and grain to meet needs. Food prices jumped 10.1% in October from a year earlier, increasing the overall inflation rate to 4.4%, well above the government's 3% target. The government has taken measures to rein in banking lending, to help cool the booming property market, but many experts are predicting that interest rates will have to rise.
Accessed on 23 November < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11809013 >
Pakistan : Food import bill shoots up 58% in July-October FY11, Daily Times , 24 November 2010 KARACHI : Country's food import bill shot up phenomenally 58 percent in the first four months of the current financial year on the back of high import of sugar, pulses and palm oil. Despite being an agricultural country with mostly agro-based industry, Pakistan spent $1.653 billion in July-October 2010-11 as compared to $1.043 billion in the corresponding month of previous year. The substantial increase in the import of food times was caused by high import of sugar, palm oil and pulses, whose consumption surged in the devastating floods and the month of Ramzan, both of them fell during the four months under review.
Accessed on 24 November < http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp >
Baht likely to surge to 28 to US dollar next year, says SCB economis, MCOT online news, 24 November 2010
BANGKOK , Thailand 's baht is likely to strengthen further and break through the level of 28 to the US dollar next year, according to a leading private sector economist. Dr Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, head of the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) Economic Intelligence Center , said the Chinese central bank is expected to let its currency, the yuan, appreciate by 4-6 per cent or 5 per cent on average. So, it is very likely the baht will strengthen in the same direction as the yuan by 5 per cent to around 28 late next year from its level of 29 to the US dollar now. So far, he said, the yuan had appreciated sharply by 21 per cent while the baht had surged by 27 per cent.
Accessed on 24 November < http://www.mcot.net/cfcustom/cache_page/134002.html >
- Aid for Trade and the Least Developed Countries: Opportunities & Challenges in a Post-Crisis World, The World Bank, December 13, 2010, Geneva
There are several high level dialogues in 2010 and 2011 related to global financial, trade, and development issues. These include the High Level Summit on the MDG in September 2010, G20 Summit in Seoul in November 2010, and UN LDC-IV Conference in Istanbul in June 2011. Together, these events provide an important opportunity -- in the post-crisis environment – to inform priorities and coordination going forward on trade and development. The UN Conference, in particular, presents a unique opportunity to review priorities in the global aid for trade agenda as they relate to trade facilitation and competitiveness in the LDC’s, specifically.
< http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/TRADE/0,,contentMDK:22684157 >
- Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport and Trade Facilitation, UNCTAD, 8-10 December 2010, Geneva
The third session of the multi-year expert meeting on transport and trade facilitation will focus on a range of diverse topics including, for example: a. Emerging challenges affecting transport costs and connectivity. b. Regulatory and legal framework for transport and trade facilitation. c. UNCTAD´s contribution to the effective implementation of trade facilitation measures ensuing from the World Trade Organization negotiations, and the use of information and communication technologies in logistics. The findings and recommendations of this expert meeting will be reported to the third session of the Trade and Development Commission, to be held 9-13 May 2011.
< http://www.unctad.org/Templates/meeting.asp?intItemID=2068&lang=1&m=20190 >
G. RECENT PUBLICATIONS ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
World Trade Report 2010: Trade in natural resources, WTO (available online, pdf version, 12969KB, 256 pages)
The World Trade Report 2010 focuses on trade in natural resources, such as fuels, forestry, mining and fisheries. The Report examines the characteristics of trade in natural resources, the policy choices available to governments and the role of international cooperation, particularly of the WTO, in the proper management of trade in this sector. The Report examines a range of key measures employed in natural resource sectors, such as export taxes, tariffs and subsidies, and provides information on their current use. It analyzes in detail the effects of these policy tools on an economy and on its trading partners.
Finally, the Report provides an overview of how natural resources fit within the legal framework of the WTO and discusses other international agreements that regulate trade in natural resources.
Accessed on 23 November < http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/>
Global rebalancing: Effects on trade flows and employment, UNCTAD (available online, pdf version, 3.42MB, 48 pages)
Medium-terms shifts in the structure of world demand affect the sectoral composition of domestic output, trade and employment. A sustained reduction of global current-account imbalances implies a decline in the share of household consumption in aggregate demand in the United States and the opposite development in China . The net effect of these adjustments for the world economy would be deflationary and yet insufficient for the unwinding of global imbalances. It would also cause sizeable adverse employment impacts in the world economy as a whole. A multilaterally coordinated rebalancing that would also include an increase in the share of household consumption in aggregate demand of developed country surplus economies would reduce these adverse effects. Apart from the countries undertaking rebalancing, developing countries in East and South-East Asia are likely to face the greatest adjustment pressure from global rebalancing.
Accessed on 14 November< http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/osgdp20104_en.pdf >
International Trade After the Economic Crisis: Challenges and New Opportunities, UNCTAD (available online, pdf version, 3.42MB, 158 pages)
The financial and economic crisis has changed the landscape of economic policy and presents one of those rare occasions when a new direction could be taken. Opportunities exist in the area of trade policy to adapt the international trade agenda to the changing requirements and expectations of the private sector. There are also substantial business opportunities arising in new areas, such as environmental goods and ‘green' technologies. This publication aims to provide decision makers in government and the private sector with a post-crisis analysis of some of the major trade challenges and opportunities, particularly for developing countries. It represents the continuation of a collaborative project between UNCTAD and JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization).
Accessed on 23 November <http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/ditctab20102_en.pdf>
The Least Developed Countries Report, 2010: Towards a New International Development Architecture for LDCs, UNCTAD, (available online, PDF version 5524Kb, 298 Pages )
The Least Development Countries Report 2010 proposes an international support approach that would reach beyond aid and trade, to include technology, commodities and climate change as key pillars. The "business as usual" approach to providing international development support to the least developed countries (LDCs) does not work - so far it has resulted in measures of largely symbolic effect. UNCTAD´s Least Developed Countries Report 2010, calls for a new international development architecture for assisting LDCs. The report emphasizes the need to accelerate LDCs´ development by building their productive capacities - their ability to efficiently and competitively produce an increasing range of higher value-added goods and services through expanding investment and innovation.
Accessed on 25 November < http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/>
Doing Business 2011: Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs, (available online, PDF version 3,489 Kb, 267 Pages )
The IFC–World Bank report, which ranks 183 economies on key aspects of business regulation for domestic firms, discloses that 117 economies carried out 216 regulatory reforms aimed at making it easier to start and operate a business, strengthening transparency and property rights, and improving the efficiency of commercial dispute resolution and bankruptcy procedures.
The report also pioneers a new measure showing how much business regulation has changed in 174 economies since 2005.
< http://www.doingbusiness.org/~/media/fpdkm/doing%20business/documents/annual-reports/english/db11-fullreport.pdf >
Scaling up SME Access to Financial Services in the Developing World, International Finance Corporation (available online, PDF version 7.31 Mb, 144 Pages )
A new IFC report looks at more than 150 models worldwide for financing small and medium enterprises and makes policy recommendations to increase access to financial services for these economically important businesses.
Micro, small, and medium enterprises in emerging markets have a credit gap of over $2 trillion and about 85 percent of these businesses suffer from credit constraints. The report, Scaling-Up SME Access to Financial Services in the Developing World, presents ways to help these businesses.
It was prepared in support of the G20 finance agenda, and was presented at the summit in Seoul on November 12.
< http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/media.nsf/Content/SMEFinancialAccessReport_Nov2010 >
Rising Non-Tariff Protectionism And Crisis Recovery: A study by the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade, UNESCAP , available online, PDF version 2.34 Mb, 212 pages)
This collection of papers is the result of the Research Workshop on Rising Non-tariff Protectionismand Crisis Recovery, which was held on 14-15 December 2009 in Macao , China , under the MARKHUB project. The project was coordinated at the Trade and Investment Division of ESCAP between 2006 and 2010. It delivered, among other activities, five research workshops on various topics relevant for developing countries‘ trade decision-makers and four volumes (including this one) of studies that were prepared for and discussed at the research workshops. The project was funded by the Government of Macao, China, and benefited from financial and substantive contributions from the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT) and its core partners International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Centre in Colombo, and in particular the World Trade Organization (WTO).
< http://www.unescap.org/tid/publication/tipub2587.pdf >
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