Becoming a member of the WTO is not always easy. Accession is a complicated and cumbersome process, taking an average of 10 years to complete. Yet, despite this, some 27 non-member countries are still in line to join. Read more.
What are the key steps in countering a global economic slowdown? Businesses typically cut costs through layoffs and price adjustments. Policy makers, meanwhile, reach for their suite of stimulative fiscal and monetary policies with the renewed aim of rebalancing by relying on domestic demand to kick-start growth.Read more.
Following the success of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in the recent by-elections in Myanmar and the easing of sanctions by a number of developed countries, foreign investors are increasingly expressing interest in the country. U Thaung Lwin, co-secretary of Myanmar's investment commission, designated three large special economic zones (SEZs) and 18 smaller industrial zones and announced that the relevant implementing legislation is under revision, with the help of Japanese consultants. The formation of SEZs is expected to attract foreign investment, and would-be investors are eagerly waiting for the applicable rules to be enacted. Read more.
Three dimensional printers can make everything from solid-fuel rockets to nano-particles. This technology is part of a set of processes known more generally as digital manufacturing. Although some controversy exists as to what these terms mean exactly, the definition used by 3D Systems describes it as a process which "takes digital input from three-dimensional data and creates solid, three-dimensional parts through an additive, layer-by-layer process". Read more.
The 2012 Olympics will cost the host country, Britain, an estimated 14.4 billion dollars. In 2008, the People’s Republic of China is reported to have spent more than 42 billion dollars on the Beijing Olympics. These are vast sums to be spent by a country in recession and a developing country respectively. Read more.
For two decades, the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) processing trade has made it the “world’s factory”. The PRC has conquered the art of assembling goods using imported inputs and abundant Chinese labor, and then exporting them—phenomenally lowering costs and prices worldwide. Read more.
On May 18, 2012, a former microenterprise, founded by 5 university roommates, was listed on the stock market, accompanied by a lot of media attention. This former microenterprise- Facebook Inc.- was initially valued at more than 100 billion USD by the stock market – more than the combined value of Nike and Goldman Sachs and has more than 2000 employees. Read more.
Arguably the greatest trade policy challenge facing ASEAN’s newer members — Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) — are the non-tariff barriers restricting trade. Nevertheless, traditional trade instruments such as the tariff and policy relating to its management remain important and should not be ignored. Read more.
In the 17 years that the WTO has existed, only one least developed country (LDC) – Bangladesh – has ever brought a complaint before the WTO dispute settlement system. Likewise, LDCs have been almost entirely absent from the two bodies that render decisions on disputes. Of 244 total panellists in the history of the WTO, there has been only one LDC – again from Bangladesh – and no LDC has ever been invited to sit on the Appellate Body. Read more.
A region-wide free-trade agreement (FTA) is considered to be one way of solving the Asian “noodle bowl” syndrome, but there are various views on how to achieve it. Read full story.
A faster appreciation of the renminbi has often been touted as the panacea for resolving global imbalances. While such calls have softened after the recent decline in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) current account surplus and the world’s preoccupation over the eurozone debt crisis, it is instructive to revisit the arguments that refute this claim. Read full story.
Due to unusually severe flooding during the 2011 monsoon season in Thailand, Toyota lost output of 150,000 vehicles and reduced output in the US, Canada, South Africa, Malaysia and other Asian countries. The fact that car production in the US was affected by a natural disaster over 10,000 kilometers away shows just how dependent companies and countries have become on global production networks. Production network trade has tripled over the past 10 years, reaching 3 trillion US dollars in 2011. How can governments in Asia - which account for around 50% of global production network trade - seize the opportunities of production networks, while mitigating some of the downside risks? Read full story.
On May 17, the government of the Republic of Korea decided not to pursue renegotiation of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Clause (ISDS) that is included in the Republic of Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. By contrast, the Australian government has opposed the inclusion of an ISDS clause in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) currently under negotiation.
The concept of Aid for Trade (AfT) puts together two key concepts: foreign development assistance, which targets the public sector, and trade, which is largely a private sector activity. On paper, there is no tension between public and private trade interests. But in practice, private sector involvement in the design or implementation of AfT activities remains limited. Read full story.
To recover from recession, the global economy must rely on the strong performance of developing Asian economies, and it has become clear not only in Asia that regional cooperation and integration is key
to regional economic development. Heavily reliant on external demand as an impetus to growth and closely linked to global financial markets, Asian economies are becoming closely integrated through trade,
investment, and financial transactions. But how closely integrated are they, and what are the real benefits of integration?
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