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WTO Issues

TRADE: A Democratized WTO in Pause Mode
The breakdown of the July talks on a trade agreement, for the third time in a row, is testimony that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has changed. September 2003, in the Mexican tourist city Cancun. A few days after the South Korean farmers’ leader, Lee Kyung-hae, committed suicide during a protest meeting, the ministerial conference of the WTO breaks down: there is absolutely no agreement on the so-called Doha Development Agenda, and the 150 members head home.
Throwing One Arm Around the World: Why the Failure of the World Trade Organization to Include Anti-Bribery and Corruption Targets within its Aid for Trade Program Undermines this Program and How to Bridge These
In the years before he gained prominence as an activist, the singer Bono and the group U2 released a song in which it admonished: “just like all the rest, been trying’ to throw your arms around the world.” Fourteen years after the release of this song, the World Trade Organization began its “Aid for Trade” initiative, which aims to coordinate and monitor the many forms of aid given by donor states and organizations to partner states in order to bolster a variety of trade and trade-related sectors of the partner states’ economic structure.
Controversial Points in the Discussion on Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) in the Doha Round
The Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) is often quoted as one of the main controversial points that lead to the failure to the WTO mini-ministerial process in July 2008. Technical divergences relate to key aspects of the design and operation of the mechanism but also strong political divergences among exporters and importers. The purpose of this note is to explain the rationale and origins of the SSM and the main contentious issues in the current debate.
Trade and Culture: Making the WTO Legal Framework Conducive to Cultural Considerations
The area of trade and culture reveals extreme fragmentation. Instead of mitigating this state, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which entered into force in March 2007, makes the disconnect between regulatory issues of trade and culture even more profound. The present article critiques this politically driven structural disconnection and exposes the Convention’s failing potential to provide feasible solutions accommodating cultural policy objectives in a least trade- and competition-distortive manner. In a second analytical strand ………
Trips and the Indian Patent Regime
Trade liberalisation, burgeoning technological development and growing significance of intellectual property rights, have catalysed the change in global economic paradigm. In tandem with this flux in the contours of international trade, amendments have constantly been introduced in the sphere of national laws. A veritable example of the ripples created by international developments across national frontiers is that of General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT), later subsumed by World Trade Organisation (WTO), which inaugurated the free trade regime. The advent of GATT/ WTO necessitated …………

Regional Economic Cooperation

Deepening Regional Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal: Agenda of the BIMSTEC Summit
The Second Summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is taking place in New Delhi in November 2008 under the shadow of a deep financial meltdown affecting economies all across the globe even though it started as a crisis of the US financial system. The Asian economies are facing a compounded effect of the ongoing crisis resulting from the demand squeeze as well as falling stock markets and currencies due to outflow of foreign institutional investments. The latest projections suggest that the ………
Multitrack Integration in East Asian Trade: Noodle Bowl or Matrix?
East Asian trade agreements are often described as a complicated “noodle bowl,” which shows links in the region as a snarled, overlapping, intertwined mass. But this is a misleading representation-Asia’s regional agreements may in fact be creating an order of a different sort, building the foundations for a stronger regional trading system. Asian trade arrangements can be more constructively seen in terms of a trade agreements matrix, in which multiple negotiations produce an orderly progression of agreements to liberalize all potential bilateral relationships and move the region toward a coherent system of freer trade.
Does a Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN Make Sense?
India is in the process of signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Association of South-East Asian Nation. On 28 August 2008, India and ASEAN concluded a Trade in Goods (TIG) agreement which will operationalise the FTA in merchandise trade. They will be formally signing this TIG agreement in the ASEAN-India Summit to be held in Thailand in December 2008. Implementation of the agreement, which begins from 1 January 2009, will be completed by 2018. Negotiations between India and ASEAN on services and investment have just started. India has considerable interest in the ASEAN market ………
The European Union’s Trade Negotiations with the ACP: Entrapped by its Own Rhetorical Strategy?
This paper deals with the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union (EU) and the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It addresses the question why the EU firmly insisted on upholding the negotiating deadline for these new trade agreements, despite the very damaging consequences; these hastily initialed trade deals entailed. Regional integration in the South was hampered; the development of the friendly image of the EU got a serious blow; the EU did not manage to include the WTO plus issues, and the prospect of full EPAs at later stage is not guaranteed.
Free Trade Agreement Between The European Union and Georgia: How Feasible Is It?
At least up to mid-2008, Georgia had been enjoying rapid GDP growth, notwithstanding the very serious economic sanctions imposed on it by Russia since 2006. This growth is expected to continue, but will depend on increased inflows of FDI and adherence to liberal trade policies. Internationally, Georgia has been a member of the WTO since 2000 and has also signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with the CIS countries and most recently with Turkey. Regarding trade with the European Union, Georgia has fully liberalized trade for non-agricultural products and significantly liberalized trade for agricultural goods due to its 2006 tariff reductions.

Developmental Issues

How do ethical and fair trade schemes affect poor producers? Do we need a new ‘Good for Development’ label?
Agricultural exports are crucial for growth and employment in many developing countries, contributing to poverty reduction and rural development. Agriculture is the main area of comparative advantage for many countries wishing to expand the market for their exports. At the same time, consumers in the developed world want to use their purchasing power to help people in poor countries lift themselves out of poverty, resulting in the huge growth in ethical trade initiatives seen in recent years.
Bridging the Divide: a human rights vision for global food trade
The paper found that current international trade rules set at the World Trade Organization (WTO) conflict with a human rights framework in several ways, including: discouraging state intervention; using exclusively a trade yardstick to measure progress; ignoring the most vulnerable groups; dictating only one economic model; and failing to meet minimum levels of participation and transparency. A shift toward a human rights framework, based on international law already adopted by nearly all countries of the world, would require some important changes. A human rights approach makes explicit the requirement that available food must be affordable or otherwise accessible to every individual.
Commodities Market Speculation: The Risk to Food Security and Agriculture
high prices, the total developing country food import bill rose from about $191 billion in 2006 to $254 billion in 2007. Today, developing countries are consuming less food. About 43 percent of more than 27,000 people polled in a recent 26-nation survey said that they had cut back food consumption as a result of higher prices. The number of those undernourished and food insecure in the world has increased along with prices. Over the last year, riots broke out over food prices, lack of available and affordable food, and insufficient food aid.
Strategies for the People’s Republic of China’s Small and Medium Enterprise Development within the National Innovation System
With deregulation and globalization, it has become necessary for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to consider an approach that would further attune its economic engine toward sustained growth. This paper argues that certain sectors of the economy—in particular, the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector—may play a significant role in terms of any further reforms of the PRC’s national innovation system, which in turn could spur continued growth. It highlights how issues such as innovation, research and development, and strategic clustering ………
Challenges in agribusiness
The development of agribusiness generates employment among rural masses and reduces poverty. The growth of agribusiness—- manufacturing industries like textile, leather, furniture, food, paper, beverage, etc. — depend upon the progress of agriculture sector. At present about 7,20,343 agribusiness firms are working in different sectors in the country. The trends in global agribusiness are changing at a rapid pace and the traditional practices in agriculture seem obsolete today. Now this sector is more concerned with delivering customer value …………

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