Welcome to E-TISNET Monthly News to keep you abreast
of the latest developments on trade and investment relevant to the Asia-Pacific
region. E-TISNET Monthly News is the electronic and user-friendly
version of the former TISNET Trade and Investment Information
For enquiries and/or subscriptions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Expert Group Meeting on Facilitating Global and Regional Trade , Bangkok , 14-15 July 2009
UNESCAP Trade and Investment Division organized a meeting in Bangkok to address the state of play at the Doha negotiations, including green trade and climate policy and trade facilitation issues with focus on crisis management.
Accessed on 21 July < http://www.unescap.org/tid/projects/grtrade.asp >
A. GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS AND IMPACT ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
APEC, WTO warn against protectionism during crisis, AFP, 23 July 2009
SINGAPORE — The World Trade Organization (WTO) and Asia-Pacific trade ministers warned here Wednesday against rising protectionism amid signs that the global economic slump may be nearing its end. "The global economy appears to be bottoming out, but the outlook remains uncertain and significant risks remain," the ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum said in a statement after two days of talks. "We will therefore persist with efforts to support growth and facilitate trade and investment flows, keep our markets open, and give a new push to concluding the Doha Round." WTO chief Pascal Lamy, who was in Singapore to meet the APEC ministers, urged governments to show "political resolve" against protectionism. Accessed on 23 July
< http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5imy3N5yKb_BItt3Oh6qpl_Sln12Q >
China FDI Faces Unprecedented Difficulties on Crisis, Bloomberg, 2 July 2009
Foreign direct investment in China faces “unprecedented difficulties” after falling for eight months, the longest stretch of declines this decade, Vice Commerce Minister Chen Jian said. The government will announce policies to stabilize investment “soon,” Chen pledged at a briefing in Beijing today. Multinationals have reduced spending as they grapple with the global crisis, adding to drags on growth in the world's third-biggest economy after exports collapsed. Rising consumer wealth and China 's continued expansion as economies around the world contract may encourage larger inflows of money.
Accessed on 3 July
< http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aQDK11mJgEHU >
China 's GDP Growth Quickens to 7.9% on Credit Boom, Bloomberg, 16 July 2009
China 's gross domestic product grew 7.9 percent in the second quarter as the nation became the first of the major economies to rebound from the global recession. The figure, announced by the statistics bureau in Beijing today, exceeded the 7.8 percent median forecast of 20 economists in a Bloomberg survey and a 6.1 percent gain in the first quarter that was the slowest in almost a decade. China , the biggest contributor to global growth, overtook Japan as the world's second-largest stock market by value yesterday after a 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package spurred record lending and boosted share prices. The first-half expansion laid the foundation for meeting the year's 8 percent growth target for creating jobs and maintaining social stability, the statistics bureau said today.
Accessed on 16 July
< http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aAluIiBRFGj8 >
India 's Exports Decline for 8th Month on Weak Demand, Bloomberg, 1 July 2009
India's exports declined for an eighth straight month in May as recessions in the U.S. and Europe damped demand for the nation's products. Merchandise shipments dropped 29.2 percent from a year earlier to $11 billion, after sliding 33.2 percent in April. Last month's decline was the biggest fall on record, according to Bloomberg data going back to April 1995. Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao on June 20 said a pickup in exports is critical for the economy, which is forecast by the central bank to grow this year at the slowest pace since 2003. The government may unveil relief measures in its July 6 budget to help exporters fight shrinking profits and reduce job losses, according to Trade Minister Anand Sharma.
Accessed on 2 July
< http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=aNfs81_KA7nU >
Indonesia 's non-oil/non-gas exports down 21.19 pct, Antara News, 2 July 2009
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) said the country's non-oil/non-gas exports in the January - May period dropped by 21.9 percent if compared with the same period a year earlier. Indonesia 's exports to main destination countries such as ASEAN in May increased 23 percent, Europe 31.5 percent, Japan 37.33 percent and other destinations with an average increase of 4.48 percent. Indonesia 's exports to China in May dropped 10.4 percent, however. In the meantime, Indonesia 's exports in May 2009, according to the BPS, increased 9.5 percent to 9.26 billion dollars compared with those in the previous month.
Accessed on 3 July < http://www.antara.co.id/en/view/?i=1246488560&c=BIZ&s =>
May exports at RM42.95b, down 29.7% on-year, The Edge, 3 July 2009
KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia 's exports in May 2009 totaled RM42.95 billion, down 29.7% from a year ago, as exports to the US shrank following lower shipments of electrical and electronic (E&E) products. The Statistics Department said on July 3 exports rose 4.5% on-month from April due to higher exports of E&E, iron and steel products, non-metallic mineral products, transport equipment, chemicals and chemical products, wood products as well as processed food. Imports fell 27.8% on-year to RM32.93 billion and also declined by 2.3% on-month. May's total trade was RM75.88 billion, which a decline of 28.9% from a year ago but up 1.4% from a month ago.
Accessed on 4 July
< http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/business-news/17903-may-exports-at-rm4295b-down-297-on-year.html >
Government debt seen climbing to P4.698 trillion in 2010, Philstar, 6 July 2009
MANILA , Philippines - The National Government's debt is projected to climb to P4.698 trillion in 2010 from the programmed P4.489 trillion this year, documents from the Department of Finance (DOF) showed. Of the amount, the government's domestic debt is projected to increase to P2.752 trillion next year from the programmed P2.593 trillion this year. On the other hand, the government is expected to borrow P1.946 trillion from foreign creditors next year or higher than the projected P1.896 trillion for 2009, data from the DOF also showed.
Accessed on 7 July
< http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=484078&publicationSubCategoryId=66 >
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Korea Secures Over 60% Growth in FDI in Q2, Chosun Ilbo, 10 July 2009
Korea is seeing some positive signs in terms of foreign direct investment. According to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), Korea posted an over 70 percent year-on-year FDI growth in April. During the same month the figure for Japan dropped 70 percent while Taiwan and Vietnam posted negative growth of close to 60 and 85 percent respectively. Korea carried on the positive streak in the following two months to cap the second quarter with a 62 percent jump in FDI compared to the same quarter last year. KOTRA attributes the trend to foreign investors' confidence in the Korean economy as well as the appreciation of the Japanese yen.
Accessed on 10 July
< http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2009/07/10/2009071001176.html >
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Thai rice exports fall sharply in first five months of 2009, MCOT, 8 July 2009
BANGKOK , Rice exports by Thailand , the world's number one rice exporter, is facing fierce competition from Vietnam as exports in the first five months of 2009 have slumped sharply, according to a report issued by Kasikorn Research Centre. The report said Vietnam--which offers export rice at prices lower than Thailand by US$100-200 per tonne--had directly impacted the kingdom's rice exports to tumble to 3.47 million tonnes valued at US$1.93 billion between January and May, down 30.7 per cent in volume and 21.4 per cent in value compared to the same period of last year. Thailand 's rice exports now face competition considered to be the toughest in the past five years, Kasikorn said. The centre predicts that competition in the second half of 2009 will become more fierce than the first half as India re-enters the rice export market, while Thai rice prices are still more expensive than its competitors. Thailand 's total 2009 rice exports will drop to 8.5 million tonnes and the country will earn US$4.65 billion, down 16.8 per cent and 25 per cent in volume and value respectively from 2008.
Accessed on 8 July < http://enews.mcot.net/view.php?id=10686&t=1 >
Foreign Direct Investment Expected to Rebound in 2011, VOA news, 21 July 2009
A new U.N. report says foreign direct investment by transnational corporations will start to recover in 2010 and rebound substantially in 2011. The U.N. Conference on Trade and Development has published the results of this year's World Investment Prospects Survey. More than 240 transnational corporations were surveyed for this report. The results show a drastic 54 percent decline in foreign direct investment inflows for the first quarter of 2009. The UNCTAD survey finds cross border mergers and acquisitions dropped by an even more dramatic 77 percent, compared to the same period last year. Although this gloomy situation is expected to persist throughout the year, the transnational corporations surveyed indicate they expect foreign direct investment will progressively recover in 2010 and gain momentum in 2011.
Accessed on 22 July http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-07-21-voa41.cfm
Vietnam 's foreign direct investment falls 81% amid global slump, Thanhnien News, 28 July 2009 The new Metro Cash & Carry wholesale outlet, which opened early July in Dong Nai Province Pledges of foreign investment into Vietnam and planned capital increases for existing projects fell 81 percent in the seven months to July from a year earlier, the Foreign Investment Agency said. Total investment pledged dropped to US$10.1 billion, the agency said in a statement posted on its website yesterday. The Southeast Asian nation granted licenses for 385 new projects with total registered capital of more than $5.4 billion, and investors of 125 existing projects were allowed to increase their capital by a total of $4.7 billion.
Accessed on 28 July < http://www.thanhniennews.com/business/?catid=2&newsid=51204 >
World trade 'continues to fall', BBC News, 15 July 2009
Trade in developed countries continued to fall in the first three months of this year but the rate of decline moderated, the OECD has said. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said that the value of exports of goods and services in its 30 member countries fell 13.4%. But this was less than the 18.5% fall in the final quarter of 2008 when the financial crisis hit trade flows. Imports fell 15.2%, less than the 18.4% decline in the fourth quarter of 2008. The volume of trade also fell, the OECD said.Exports from G7 member countries fell 13.6% in the first quarter of the year compared with 9.9% in the final three months of 2008. Imports fell by 10.5%, it added. The economic crisis has raised fears that countries could become more protectionist - seeking to protect domestic industries from overseas competition.
Accessed on 15 July < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8151771.stm >
WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO)
WTO's Lamy says not changing 2009 forecast – paper, Reuters, 10 July 2009
The World Trade Organisation is not thinking of changing its forecast for a 10 percent fall in 2009 world trade, WTO head Pascal Lamy said in comments in Italy 's Corriere della Sera newspaper on Friday. In a Reuters interview on June 24, Lamy said he saw a 10 percent fall in trade volumes rather than the previous WTO estimate for a 9 percent fall in 2009.
Accessed on 10 July < http://in.reuters.com/article/economicNews/idINIndia-40943220090710 >
Foreign Direct Investment Expected to Rebound in 2011, VOA News, 21 July 2009
A new U.N. report says foreign direct investment by transnational corporations will start to recover in 2010 and rebound substantially in 2011. The U.N. Conference on Trade and Development has published the results of this year's World Investment Prospects Survey. More than 240 transnational corporations were surveyed for this report. The results show a drastic 54 percent decline in foreign direct investment inflows for the first quarter of 2009. The UNCTAD survey finds cross border mergers and acquisitions dropped by an even more dramatic 77 percent, compared to the same period last year. Although this gloomy situation is expected to persist throughout the year, the transnational corporations surveyed indicate they expect foreign direct investment will progressively recover in 2010 and gain momentum in 2011. The survey shows developing countries in East and Southeast Asia are particularly attractive destinations for foreign investment. And, it notes the top five spots favored by TNC's are China , the United States , India , Brazil , and Russia .
Accessed on 22 July < http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-07-21-voa41.cfm >
B. TRADE FACILITATION AND TRADE FINANCE
India to push for non-tariff barrier database at WTO's Geneva round,The Economic Times , 22 July 2009
NEW DELHI: India will drum up consensus at the Geneva round of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for setting up an integrated database that will compile all non-tariff barriers existing worldwide as it feels that changing quality standards for imports to developed nations and abrupt policy changes make things tough for its importers. The seventh session of the WTO ministerial conference is slated later this year, and India has already made a formal submission to the organisation in this regard. “Once the WTO makes it mandatory to post all such data, there would be a pressure of some sort on the developed countries not to change their standards so frequently. Exporters too would know at the click of their mouse the existing standards in the destination countries,” the official said. India has started stressing the need to put a check on non-tariff measures as there has been a sharp rise in both sanitary and phytosanitary measures (restrictions to ensure food safety and control diseases) and technical barriers to trade (measures such as labelling requirements with a gradual decline in import tariffs in all countries) coinciding with a fall in import tariff levels.
Accessed on 22 July
India : EDI system for collective import, export data, The Economic Times , 27 July 2009
KOLKATA: With taxes on all fronts coming down progressively, the scope of benefiting Indian exporters and importers through refunds on and exemptions from indirect taxes is increasingly narrowing down. Rather, time has come to improve and further streamline trade facilitation measures to cut down on cost and time overrun at different stages in pre and post-shipment processes. Given this, it would be of more help to exporters and importers if the commerce ministry gets its act together to evolve a single framework for electronic data interchange (EDI) system, under which all government departments, which are in someway or other related to export and import of the country, could be brought together, suggested Mr Chacko.
Accessed on 28 July
The British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce Proposes One-stop Centre For Policies On FDI Issues, Bernama , 23 July 2009
KUALA LUMPUR , The British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (BMCC) has proposed a single government department or agency to act as an agent for all policies and regulations on foreign direct investment (FDI) issues. "Such a one-stop centre will function as a coordinating body to avoid policy inconsistencies and will also act to inform all parties concerned of any changes are required to be made," it said.
Accessed on 23 July < http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_lite.php?id=427415
C. TRADE BARRIERS
China says “carbon tariffs” proposals breach WTO rules, Reuters , 3 July 2009
BEIJING Proposals to impose "carbon tariffs" on imported products will violate the rules of the World Trade Organization as well as the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol, China 's Ministry of Commerce said. In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said collecting carbon duties from foreign products would enable developed countries to "protect trade in the name of protecting the environment." The statement comes amid a series of complex debates and negotiations about the impact a new global pact to reduce CO2 emissions will have on the international balance of trade. Concerned their efforts to curb greenhouse gases would put their industries at a competitive disadvantage, the United States, Canada and the European Commission have all put forward proposals to "level the playing field" by raising duties on imports from countries that are not making the same effort.
Accessed on 4 July < http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/7/3/business>
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Changed market makes WTO cotton deal harder, Reuters, 21 July 2009
WASHINGTON - A sharp fall in U.S. cotton exports is making chances of a world trade deal to cut U.S. cotton subsidies more difficult without new market access opportunities to replace lost revenue. "An effective response to what is going on in China and India must be found," Mark Lange, president of the National Cotton Council, said on Monday during a discussion of demands made by West African countries for deep cuts in U.S. farm subsidies, which run about $3 billion per year. Government subsidies and import barriers in India and China have caused their production to rise, while market forces have pushed U.S. cotton output and exports to their lowest level in years, Lange said.
Accessed on 22 July < http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSTRE56K6XZ>
U.S. gains ground in trade ruling on China, Los Angeles Times , 23 July 2009
World Trade Organization finds Beijing is breaking commerce rules by forcing U.S.-made goods including magazines and video games to be sold through Chinese state-owned companies. Geneva -- The U.S. has largely prevailed in a trade dispute with China over restrictions on the sale there of U.S. CDs, DVDs, books and computer software, two officials familiar with the ruling said. The confidential verdict from the World Trade Organization comes as President Obama's administration is being pressed to be tough over trade rules with China , which many Democrats in Congress blame in part for soaring trade deficits and lost manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
Accessed on 23 July < http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-trade23-2009jul23>
Vietnam : Take the Americans to the WTO court? Businesses vote ‘yes', Vietnam Net Bridge , 28 July 2009
A lot of Vietnamese shrimp exporters believe it is high time to complain to the World Trade Organization against the US barriers to Vietnam's shrimp. The Government hasn't yet decided whether to do so. Le Van Quang, General Director of Minh Phu Seafood Company in Ca Mau province, said that he's all for complaining against the US to the World Trade Organization (WTO). At issue is the ‘zeroing method' of calculating dumping duties that is applied by the US when calculating dumping margins. The WTO, in previous cases initiated by India and Thailand , has ruled that the method is unreasonable. Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, is Secretary of the Trade Remedies Council, a government body. She says the US insistence on using this method forces Vietnamese companies to bear antidumping duties of 4.13 to 25.75 percent. The tax rates imposed on different companies are different: Cafatex pays 4.26 percent, Minh Phu 1.6 percent, while others must pay 20 percent
Accessed on 28 July < http://english.vietnamnet.vn/biz/2009/07/860546/ >
WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO)
WTO sees increase in barriers to trade, Financial Times , 2 July 2009
Governments around the world have continued to push up trade barriers in spite of high-profile pledges at the G20 summit and other forums to resist protectionism, according to a World Trade Organisation report to be published today. Over the past three months, the WTO recorded 83 trade-restricting measures undertaken by 24 countries and the European Union - more than double the number of trade-liberalising measures enacted during the same period. However, the report noted that the worst abuses had largely been contained.
Accessed on 3 July < http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8d1e5d16-669f-11de-a034-00144feabd>
Lamy: Aid for Trade will help developing countries to exit the economic crisis, WTO , 6 July 2009
D. WTO RELATED NEWS
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in opening the Second Global Review of Aid for Trade on 6 July 2009, said “if Aid for Trade was urgent in 2007, it is essential today — it is the investment that will allow many developing countries prepare to exit the crisis by enhancing their trade capacity.”
Accessed on 7 July < http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news09_e/aid_06jul09_e.htm >
World exports totaled $15.78 trillion in 2008: WTO, Reuters , 22 July 2009
GENEVA - World exports of merchandise goods grew 15 percent in nominal terms in 2008 to $15.78 trillion, while exports of services rose 11 percent to $3.73 trillion, the World Trade Organization said on Wednesday. In its latest World Trade Report, the WTO gave no forecast for trade this year, but in June, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy told Reuters the WTO had revised its forecast for the contraction in world trade volume this year from 9 percent to 10 percent. That figure was confirmed in a press release issued on Wednesday, which said however the contraction appeared to be slowing. "The response of governments around the world will play a big part in determining the magnitude of this decline and its duration," the WTO said in the release.
Accessed on 22 July < http://www.reuters.com/article/ousivMolt/idUSTRE56L1B220090722 >
WTO warns on excessive legal trade safety valves, Reuters, 22 July 2009
GENEVA - Legal "safety valves," allowing countries to suspend or waive trade commitments, can damage the global economy if abused for protectionist purposes, the World Trade Organization said on Wednesday. In its annual World Trade Report, the WTO examined the use of "contingency measures," a topic it said was particularly timely given fears of protectionism in the global crisis. In the latest assessment, issued this month, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said governments were unfairly blocking trade in response to the downturn.
Accessed on 22 July < http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSLK12524020090722?sp=true>
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
U.S. trade chief says "Buy American" in line with WTO, Reuters , 22 July 2009
SINGAPORE - The United States wants a robust trade policy that is in the interest of its people and the "Buy American" campaign will not violate World Trade Organization commitments, Trade Representative Ron Kirk said on Wednesday. Kirk was speaking after Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries agreed in a two-day trade discussion in Singapore to shun protectionist measures, saying it would be a setback for the global economy.
Accessed on 22 July < http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE56L1D020090722>
U.S. says Russia may continue with unilateral WTO bid, The Washington Post, 8 July 2009
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has indicated to the United States that it plans to pursue a unilateral bid to join the WTO in parallel with membership talks as part of a customs union, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday. "(Russian Economy) Minister (Elvira) Nabiullina seems to have indicated... they want to pursue a parallel track," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said after talks in Moscow as part of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Russia on July 6-8. "We are still seeking clarification on this point but we are still very hopeful, very eager and very supportive of Russia acceding to the WTO," he added. Russia 's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin surprised the World Trade Organization last month by saying Russia would pull out of unilateral membership talks and seek to join the trade body with Kazakhstan and Belarus as part of a customs union. The United States have said Russia was very close to joining the WTO after 16 years of talks and Locke said that accession as part of the customs union would very problematic.
Accessed on 8 July < http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009>
E. REGIONAL AND BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENTS
HRH: Set Up Of ASEAN-China FTA Key To Attract Investors, The Brunei Times , 23 July 2009
Bandar Seri Begawan - Once a Free Trade Area (FTA) between ASEAN and China is fully under way, it will lure more investors into the region and do a lot for our economic integration, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah yesterday. His Royal Highness speaking at the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with the People's Republic of China in Phuket , Thailand , highlighted the development in three specific areas, economics and trade, security and social affairs. "The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area will be all set up and working by next year and next month, our Economic Ministers should be signing the Investment Agreement," Prince Mohamed said.
Accessed on 23 July <http://www.brudirect.com/index.php/200907222838/Third-Stories/hrh-set-up-of-asean-china-fta-key-to-attract-investors.html>
India, South Korea to ink trade pact on 7 Aug, Live Mint , 16 July 2009
New Delhi : India is going to sign a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement with South Korea on 7 August. Minister of commerce and industry Anand Sharma is scheduled to visit Seoul in early August to sign the agreement. The Cabinet had approved the signing of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with South Korea on 2 July. South Korea will be the second country after Singapore with which India will be signing such a treaty. The trade agreement is expected to come into effect starting 1 January 2010 after the South Korea Parliament ratifies the deal, a commerce and industry ministry official said under condition of anonymity. Out of the 5300 tariff lines, in 70% of the items tariffs will be completely eliminated within a period of 8 years. While India maintains a negative list of 15% of items, South Korea has included 8% of the items in the negative list. India 's negative list includes agricultural, textiles and auto sectors items. In 10% of items, tariff will be reduced up to 5% while in 10% items tariff will be halved from their current rate. The treaty includes trade in goods and services as well as investments. It also contains chapters on competition and intellectual property rights. India is also the only country to obtain a commitment for temporary migration of professional workers under Mode 4 of WTO rules. South Korea has not offered such a commitment in any other bilateral agreement.
Accessed on 16 July < http://www.livemint.com/2009/07/15233041/India-South-Korea-to-ink>
India , ASEAN FTA finalized, The Economic Times , 17 July 2009
India and the ASEAN countries have finalized the free trade agreement, which now awaits only the formal task of being signed upon. The signing of the India-ASEAN FTA, which has been delayed due to a variety of reasons, was discussed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Abdul Razak on the sidelines of the NAM summit here. Sources said that it is now only a question of formally signing the agreement, which is scheduled to be implemented from January 1, 2010. The text of the trade-in-goods agreement has already been finalized while discussions on agreements in investment and services will start soon. The FTA seeks to eliminate tariffs on over 4,000 products, which include a host of items from chemicals to electronics. The negotiations had been held up by objections from countries like Indonesia which had wanted India to reduce tariff on items like crude palm oil, pepper, refined palm oil, tea and coffee.
Accessed on 17 July < http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Economy/India-ASEAN-FTA>
Krala government unhappy with India signing FTA with ASEAN, Food and Beverage News , 28 July 2009
Kerala agriculture minister Mullakara Ratnakaran said that the government of Kerala would request the Centre not to go ahead with the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Southeast Asian countries as it would adversely affect the state. On 24th July, the Central cabinet gave the green signal to sign the trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). According to media report, the FTA will eliminate import tariffs on around 4,000 items including various food & beverage products. The final agreement is all set to be inked at the forthcoming meeting of ASEAN in November and will be implemented from 1st January, 2010.
Accessed on 28 July <http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid>
Seoul-EU FTA progress has Tokyo worried, Keidanren in 'shock', The Japan Times , 28 July 2009
SEOUL , Japan is concerned about the impact of a free-trade agreement between South Korea and the European Union, the Korea International Trade Association said Monday. The association said the results of monitoring the responses of South Korea 's trading partners also showed Taiwanese industries are expected to suffer serious damage. The trading partners monitored include the United States , the EU, China , Japan and Singapore . "The Japanese government is trying to play down the significance of the conclusion of negotiations on the (South) Korea-EU free-trade deal," the association said in a press statement. However, the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) took the conclusion of the South Korea-EU free-trade agreement talks as "a big shock" and called for Japan to quickly reach a similar pact with the EU.
Accessed on 28 July < http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20090728a4.html >
Malaysia : Asean Will Be a Complete Free Trade Area By 2010, Bernama, 8 July 2009
KUALA LUMPUR , ASEAN will be a complete free trade area next year and regionally integrated for its six major economies when duties of most of the products are eliminated. The move would reduce significantly the cost of doing business and boost its attractiveness as an investment destination, said P. Ravindran, Senior Director of Asean Economic Cooperation Division at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Wednesday. Hopefully, this would raise regional trade beyond the current US$451 billion as well as investment inflows above US$16 billion and "enable it to compete with large regional markets such as China and India ," he told a media briefing here.
Accessed on 8 July < http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsbusiness.php?id=423786 >
Pakistan , China agree on services for exports under FTA, The News , 3 July 2009
ISLAMABAD : Pakistan and China has agreed to include eleven sectors from services under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to evolve a transparent and predictable service regime for attracting FDI from China , reveals an official who concludes recently PakistanóChina talks on services on Thursday. Both the countries agreed to include business, communication, construction & related engineering, distribution, education, environment, finance, health & related social, tourism & travel, recreational & cultural sporting and transport services.
Accessed on 4 July < http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=186128 >
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
South Korea : FTA a Chance to Bolster Korea 's Lagging Service Industry, Chosun Ilbo , 14 July 2009
President Lee Myung-bak and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt announced the conclusion of the Korea-EU FTA after their summit on Monday. Sweden holds the rotating chair of the European Union. Beginning negotiations in 2007, Korea and the EU had been unable to reach agreements on duty drawbacks and rules involving country of origin. Last month they were finally able to reach a tentative agreement and wrap up two years and two months of talks. The FTA is said to take effect during the first half of next year following legal examination of the agreement, official signing, and ratification by the legislatures of both sides. The EU is Korea 's second largest export destination after China . Once the FTA takes effect, Korea and the EU will become one. The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy projects the Korea-EU FTA will lift Korea 's exports by 2.6 percent to 4.5 percent. Exports of Korean-made automobiles, textiles, IT goods, home appliances and ships are expected to get a boost. The deal should also be effective in the improvement of Korea 's lagging service industry. The EU is a powerhouse when it comes to the global service industry, accounting for 46.5 percent of global trade in that sector.
Accessed on 14 July < http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2009/07/14/>
Chinese-Thai investors agree to co-invest to boost business synergy, TNA , 28 July 2009
PATTAYA, Chinese investors from business associations worldwide and leading Thai businesspersons have co-invested in trade valued at US$6.2 billion or some Bt210.8 billion as part of their effort to boost business synergy, according to Industry Minister Chanchai Chairungruang. Some 400 Chinese investors and Thai counterparts participated in the four-day meeting in this seaside resort city southeast of Bangkok to discuss business opportunities in Thailand .
Describing the first day of the meeting as an impressive success, Mr Chanchai said the 35 Chinese and Thai partners achieved business deals and agreed to sign memorandum of understanding (MOU) on their joint investment.
Accessed on 28 July <http://enews.mcot.net/view.php?id=11010&t=1>
F. RECENT PUBLICATIONS ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Aid For Trade At A Glance 2009, Available online (PDF-Format, 318 pages, 4,643 KB), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and World Trade Organization (WTO).
This monitoring report on aid-for-trade documents the success of the Initiative to date.
It presents a comprehensive analysis of partner country and donor engagement, trends in aid-fortrade flows and developments related to the current economic crisis. In addition, it highlights the regional dimension of aid for trade and showcases three regional cross border infrastructure projects. Finally, the report provides fact sheets to assess the outcomes and impacts of aid for trade in the developing countries that participated in the monitoring exercise.
Accessed on 29 July http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/aid4trade09_e.pdf>
The Global Enabling Report 2009 . July 2009. Available online (PDF-Format, 394 pages, 20 MB). World Economic Forum.
The Global Enabling Trade Report 2009 measures and analyzes institutions, policies, and services enabling trade in national economies around the world, highlighting for policymakers a country's strengths and the challenges to be addressed. The Report includes the most current data and recent analysis of the factors enabling trade in industrialized and emerging economies, as well as the latest thinking and research from trade experts and industry practitioners. The Report presents the rankings of the updated Enabling Trade Index (ETI), developed by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with international trade experts and leaders from the logistics and transport industry. It is a comprehensive index intended to capture the full range of issues that contribute to impeding trade, ranking nations according to factors that facilitate the free flow of goods across national borders and to destination. The last section of the Report contains detailed profiles for the 121 economies covered by the ETI. In addition, the Report includes insightful contributions from a number of trade experts. Among these essays are explorations of different aspects of trade facilitation, such as the availability of trade finance in the current financial climate, analysis of non-tariff barriers, and global efforts in the area of trade facilitation. A particular focus this year is on customs, a key area of the Doha negotiations.
Accessed on 20 July < http://www.weforum.org/pdf/getr09_dev/GETR09_Fullreport.pdf >
World Economic Outlook Update: Contractionary Forces Receding But Weak Recovery Ahead, July 2009. Available online (PDF-Format, 8 pages, 604 KB). International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The World Economic Outlook Update provides the most recent projections of economic growth. Economic growth during 2009-2010 is now projected to be about ½ percentage points higher than projected in the April 2009 World Economic Outlook (WEO) , reaching 2.5 percent in 2010 . Global activity is forecast to contract by 1.4 percent in 2009 and to expand by 2.5 percent in 2010, which is 0.6 percentage point higher than envisaged in the April 2009 WEO . On a fourth-quarter-over-fourth-quarter basis, real GDP growth is projected at 2.9 percent in 2010, compared with 2.6 percent in the April WEO forecast. Financial conditions have improved more than expected, owing mainly to public intervention, and recent data suggest that the rate of decline in economic activity is moderating, although to varying degrees among regions. Despite these positive signs, the global recession is not over, and the recovery is still expected to be slow, as financial systems remain impaired, support from public policies will gradually diminish, and households in countries that suffered asset price busts will rebuild savings. The main policy priority remains restoring financial sector health.
Accessed on 20 July < http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/update/02/pdf/0709.pdf >
Global Financial Stability Report GFSR Market Update : Policies Have Reduced Systemic Risks But Vulnerabilities Remain, July 2009. Available online (PDF-Format, 6 pages, 334 KB). International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The risks to the global financial system have moderated from the extreme levels identified in the April 2009 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) . Unprecedented policy actions undertaken by central banks and governments worldwide have succeeded in stabilizing the financial condition of banks, reducing funding pressures and counterparty risk concerns, and supporting aggregate demand. These interventions have reduced the tail risk of another systemic failure similar to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Bank debt and interbank markets have resumed functioning, albeit with massive public sector support. Concerns regarding liquidity and counterparty risks in the banking sector have declined, as evidenced by the narrowing of LIBOR-overnight index and credit default swap spreads. This report seeks to provide up-to-date information on the global financial situation and the necessary steps to be taken further.
Accessed on 20 July < http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fmu/eng/2009/02/pdf/0709.pdf >
Trade Facilitation and Expanding the Benefits of Trade: Evidence from Firm Level Data, July 2009. Available online (PDF-Format, 29 pages, 1348 KB). UN Economic and Social Commission for the Asia-Pacific (UNESCAP).
Existing empirical studies on trade costs and trade facilitation largely focus on aggregate impacts of reform due to data availability. We take a step toward filling in this gap using the World Bank Enterprises Surveys. In this paper, our study extends the scope of existing empirical literature to include a focus on SMEs. For Asian countries, we find that improvement in trade facilitation indicators tend to increase the probability that SMEs will become exporters -- as well as their export propensity. In particular, increasing policy predictability and enhancing information technology services are the most effective measures for SMEs in expanding trade. We also find that SMEs are less responsive to improvement in transportation infrastructure than large enterprises while increasing policy predictability matters more to SMEs. In summary, in order to expand the benefits of trade to SMEs, countries need to make moresubstantial investments in reform – in particular in the “soft” part of trade facilitation.
Accessed on 28 July < http://www.artnetontrade.org/ >
Information is taken mainly from secondary
sources and UNESCAP accepts no responsibility
for its accuracy. Mention of any companies
and their products does not imply endorsement
by the United Nations.
employed and the presentation of the material
in this publication do not imply the expression
of any opinion whatsoever on the part of
the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning
the legal status of any country, territory,
city or area, or of its authorities, or
concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
©2009 United Nations