Regional Economic Cooperation
Call for Publications
Too near, yet too far!
The collapse of multilateral trade negotiations, held in Geneva in the last week of July, has hardly come as a surprise. What is surprisingly, however, is the cause of the breakdown: disagreement over special safeguard mechanisms that allow WTO member countries to impose additional duties on agricultural imports for preventing their farmers against the effects of falling prices in the international market. The negotiations were held with a view to sorting out modalities for further liberalisation of trade in agriculture and non-agricultural products under the Doha round launched in November 2001.
Access to justice in the World Trade Organization: a case for a small claims procedure?
The current dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO) creates a particular challenge for WTO Members with limited exports since litigation costs are more or less independent of the commercial stakes involved in a dispute. Small Members with small trade stakes may therefore find it too costly to pursue legitimate claims. Reviewing the aims and practices of small claims procedures at the national and supranational level, we analyse whether a similar institution could be introduced at the WTO.
The Development Promise: Can the Doha Development Agenda Deliver for Least-Developed Countries?
The benefits least-developed countries (LDCs) can draw from a multilateral trade reform as designed by the modalities made public in May 2008 are negligible, and some countries will even face adverse effects. World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiators should make a supplementary effort in favor of the poorest countries. The Duty-Free Quota-Free (DFQF) Initiative moves in the right direction, but it should be extended not only from a product point of view—with a 100, not 97, percent application—but also in terms of geographic coverage.
Multilateralism beyond Doha
There is a fundamental shift taking place in the world economy to which the multilateral trading system has failed to adapt. The Doha process focused on issues of limited significance while the burning issues of the day were not even on the negotiating agenda. The paper advances five propositions: (i) the traditional negotiating dynamic, driven by private sector interests largely in the rich countries, is running out of steam; (ii) the world economy is moving broadly from conditions of relative abundance to relative scarcity, and so economic security ………
The WIPO Development Agenda: Factoring in the ‘Technologically Proficient’ Developing Countries
The WIPO Development Agenda is in many ways, a reaction to the “one size fits all” mantra that has plagued international intellectual property (IP) law making for many years now. In an effort to counter this disturbing trend that does not pay heed to either the relative economic status of the member countries (particularly the developing ones) or of technological specificity, the Development Agenda clearly spells out that future “norm setting activities shall take into account different levels of development”.
Regional Economic Cooperation
People-Centric Partnership: The Way Forward for SAARC?
The theme of the Colombo Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation held in August 2008 was “partnership of our people”. Until now, however, the body has remained an intergovernmental mechanism with the people hovering at the margins and its economic and political initiatives proving to be mere procedural exercises. Only a people-centric agenda and action plan will help address this fundamental lacuna.
Effects of Hub-and-Spoke Free Trade Agreements on Trade: Panel Data Analysis
Overlapping free trade agreements (FTAs) have given rise to hub-and-spoke FTAs that may promote trade by giving an export advantage to the FTA hub country. We empirically investigate the effect of hub-and-spoke FTAs on trade using panel data consisting of 99 countries and covering the period 1960–1999. Our empirical analysis of the panel data yields three notable findings. First, FTAs have a significant and positive impact on trade. Second, hub-and-spoke FTAs increase trade above and beyond FTAs, and thus reinforce the trade-boosting effects of FTAs. Third, our results imply an annual growth rate of 4.9% in bilateral trade ………
Stepping Stones and Stumbling Blocks: Vietnam’s Regional Trade Arrangements and WTO Accession
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s accession on 11 January 2007 to the World Trade Organization was not an isolated foray into the global trading system, but rather the culmination of nearly twenty years of incremental integration and adjustment to WTO standards through preferential trade agreements. Vietnam is a fascinating looking glass through which to examine the dynamics, benefits, and drawbacks of preferential trade agreements. As this chapter will illustrate, PTAs, and in particular the bilateral agreement between Vietnam and the United States, provided a critical stepping stone towards Vietnam’s WTO accession.
South-South Regionalism and Trade Cooperation In The Asia-Pacific Region
This study of regional South-South (S-S) trade and cooperation in East, South and South-East Asian countries (ESSEA) aims to provide an economic rationale for S-S trade; shed some light on the extent and pattern of S-S trade in the ESSEA region; examine the dynamic forces behind the expansion of such trade, and its shortcomings and vulnerabilities; propose policies for enhancing and strengthening regional cooperation; and identify areas for further research. The main conclusion of the study is that ………
The Sensitivity of Agricultural Trade in the Proposed FTA between Australia and Japan: A Quantitative Assessment
The Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement (AUJA-FTA) is already in the process of negotiation by the two governments. The success of this FTA will depend on the manner in which it deals with the problem of agricultural trade between the two countries. This paper analyzes the economic effects of the proposed FTA between Australia and Japan on both economies and on their trading partners. The Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model and its version 6 database is used to simulate the effects of AUJA-FTA. The paper offers ………
Food and Energy Crisis: Time to Rethink Development Policy
Global food prices have been rising steadily since 2002 and during 2007 and 2008 only, food prices rose by 52 per cent. Spiralling food prices have led, in the past few months, to global hot spots of unrest in many developing countries. With every crisis, there is an opportunity. This is why the causes of the current crisis must be properly analysed and understood. The South must seize this opportunity to rethink concepts such as self-reliance, self-sufficiency and food sovereignty and to reflect on aspects of the global environment which have led countries ………
Are the MGDs Priority in Development Strategies and Aid Programmes? Only Few Are!
The gap between strong political commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and slow progress towards meeting them is often attributed to weak “ownership” by developing country governments. This Working Paper addresses the issue of ownership by analysing the substance of 22 developing countries’ Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and the policy frameworks of 21 bilateral programmes. Two major findings of the analysis are as follows. First, economic growth for income poverty reduction and social sector investments (education, health and water) are important priorities in most of the PRSPs; decent work, hunger ………
Causes of High Food Prices
Since mid-2007 basic food prices have rocketed with disastrous consequences for poor consumers. The spike in international market prices through the first half of 2008 has now subsided. Still prices of rice, wheat, corn (maize), and edible oils remain well above the levels of just a year ago and are likely to remain elevated and volatile for years to come. Two separate dynamics need to be understood in order for countries to make necessary adjustments. A gradual rise in food prices has been under way since at least 2004 with three general and fundamental factors at work ………
Annual Review of Development Effectiveness 2008 – Shared Global Challenges
This report focuses on assessing the World Bank’s development effectiveness, with attention to the provision of global public goods – including the global trading system, biodiversity conservation – and the issue of combating global public ‘bads’ – such as climate change and transborder contagion. The report notes that project performance has improved over the medium term and that country programmes that house a majority of the world’s poor have achieved some results, but there is a need to do more on areas where national interest is not clear.
Refugees, Recent Migrants and Employment – Challenging Barriers and Exploring Pathways
Upheavals in vast areas of the world have led to a growing number of international refugees, a significant proportion of which have made their way to the West. At the same time, economic and social pressures, together with skills and labour shortages, have encouraged the migration for work of millions of workers worldwide. Although there has been a constant media focus on these two groups, little is known about their labour market experiences. This collection examines the problems faced by refugees and recent migrants in accessing employment …………
Call for Publications
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