More Trade News in Brief Week 38 (14 – 20 September 2015)

* WTO – Rise in Global Tourism Continues

International arrivals rose by 5 per cent in Europe, Asia and the Pacific, and the Middle East, and by 4 per cent in the Americas, according to figures released by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The most popular regions proved to be the Caribbean and Oceania, which saw a rise of seven per cent, while Central and Eastern Europe and Central America saw a rise of six per cent.

Check for more here and here.

Useful links:

UNWTO World Tourism Barometer

UNWTO Tourism Highlights, 2015 Edition 


* G20 Labour Markets in 2015

The report G20 Labour Markets 2015: Strengthening the Link between Growth and Employment, compiled by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank Group, reveals that growth among G20 economies averaged 3.2 per cent over the last three years compared to 4.1 per cent from 2000 to 2007.

Read more here.


* FAO Food Price Index

According to the FAO Food Price Index, which tracks international market prices for five major food commodity groups – cereals, meat, dairy products, vegetable oils and sugar – virtually all food groups registered marked dips in price in August.

Find more here.


* G7 and BRIICS Merchandise Trade Continues to Slow in Second Quarter of 2015

Total G7 and BRIICS international merchandise trade, in current US dollars, continued to contract in the second quarter of 2015, with exports and imports declining by 0.9% and 1.2% respectively, compared with the previous quarter. 

Download the entire news release (PDF 160KB)


* Belize, Switzerland ratify Trade Facilitation Agreement

Belize and Switzerland have become the 13th and 14th WTO members to ratify the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.

More information on trade facilitation and the TFA can be found at:


* New ICC Dispute Board Rules

New Rules governing ICC Dispute Boards will come into effect on 1 October 2015.

For more information click here.


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More Trade News in Brief Week 37 (7 – 13 September 2015)

New DTA Protocols

Switzerland has signed protocols to its double taxation agreements (DTAs) with Norway and Albania.

See more following the link.


EFTA and Georgia Start FTA Talks

The member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Georgia held a first round of negotiations towards a free trade agreement (FTA).

Check for more here.


New Zealand Seeks Signature of Gulf FTA

New Zealand is looking for a free trade agreement with the Gulf States.

Check for more here.

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More Trade News in Brief Week 34 (17 – 23 August 2015)

FAO – World Food Prices Hit Lowest Level in Almost Six Years

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the prices for global agricultural products in July hit their lowest level since September 2009.

Check here for more: UN agency reports world food prices declining to six-year low .


EPA – The Clean Power Plan

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled The Clean Power Plan, it aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations and it shows the determination of the US to address global warming.

Read more here.


WMO – First Half of 2015 ‘Hottest Six Months on Record”

The United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces was the hottest for such period on record, from January to June 2015.

Find more here.


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Iran & 6 Major Powers Reach Nuclear Deal

Iran and six major powers agreed early Sunday on a historic deal that freezes key parts of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for temporary relief on some economic sanctions.

Check here for more.

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More Trade News in Brief Week 26 (22 – 28 June 2015)

* UNCTAD – World Investment Report 2015

The World Investment Report focuses on trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide.

Check World Investment Report 2015 – Reforming International Investment Governance.


* New WCO Guide to Customs Valuation and Transfer Pricing

The WCO launched a major new guide on the topic of Customs valuation and transfer pricing.

The guide is available to download via this link.


* ICC Launches New Tool to Promote Business Sustainability

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) launched the 3rd and radical update of its respected Business Charter for Sustainable Development.


* OECD – Government at a Glance 2015

Monday, 6 July, the OECD will publish Government at a Glance 2015.

The biannual report presents more than 50 indicators to compare governments’ performance in everything from public finances (including government spending per person), cuts to staffing and pay in central government and the level of private asset disclosure by government officials to access to and satisfaction with the healthcare, education and the justice systems.


* The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2015-2024

The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2015-2024 will be published on Wednesday 1 July.

The report analyses agriculture production, discusses how global markets are reacting to price volatility in both food and commodity markets and looks at farm sector trends for the coming decade.

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Africa Creates TFTA – Cape to Cairo Free Trade Zone

African leaders have agreed to create the continent’s largest free-trade zone, covering 26 countries in an area from Cape Town to Cairo. The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) will cap five years of negotiations.

Three existing trade blocs – the Southern African Development Community (Sadc); the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) – are to be united into a single new zone.

Read more here and here.


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More Trade News in Brief Week 21 (18 – 24 May 2015)

World Employment and Social Outlook 2015

The International Labour Organization (ILO) today warned of widespread insecurity in the global employment market, saying that some 75 per cent of all workers are employed on temporary or short-term contracts in informal jobs often without any contract.


Trade News in Brief





Check here for more.


UNCTAD – Global Investment Trends Monitor

Hong Kong (China) and China were the second and the third largest investors in the world, after the United States which remains the largest single source of outward foreign direct investment (FDI).

Countries in developing Asia have, for the first time, collectively invested more money abroad than countries in the North American and European regions.


Global Investment Trends Monitor

Read more folowing the link.


FAO Predicts World Food Import Bill to Fall to Five-Year Low

FAO’s first forecast for global cereal production in 2015 amounts to 2.509 billion tonnes, a bit down from last year’s record but nearly 5 percent above the average of the past five years.

Several years of solid harvests and stockpiling mean most basic food commodities are in surplus.

Check here for more.

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More Trade News in Brief Week 19 (4 – 10 May 2015)

South Korea, Vietnam Sign FTA

The bilateral FTA upgrades the South Korea – ASEAN agreement by further cutting import duties, more than 90 percent of all their traded goods.

Check here for more.


Digital Single Market for Europe

The Digital Single Market strategy is made up of three policy areas or ‘pillars’:

Better online access to digital goods and services

An environment where digital networks and services can prosper

Digital as a driver for growth

Please read more here.


ECB publishes its Euro Money Market Study 2014

The European Central Bank (ECB) is publishing its biennial report entitled “Euro Money Market Study 2014”.

Check it here.


ICC Revises DOCDEX Rules

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has revised its DOCDEX rules, a dispute resolution mechanism specifically designed to address trade finance concerns.

Check here for more.


New ICC Cyber Security Guide

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has published a new straight-speaking guide to help companies of all sizes manage their approach to cyber security and mitigate threats posed by cybercrime.

Click here for more.


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Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution proposed by the government of China.

At least 47 countries and territories from five continents have applied to join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as founding members.

Sweden and Kyrgyzstan were among the last to apply before the deadline, 31 March 2015, adding further weight to the regional financing body, which has seen its influence grow even before it officially starts operation.

Check here for more.

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More Trade News in Brief Week 12 (16 – 22 March 2015)

* Switzerland, EU Ink New Savings Tax Pact

Switzerland and the European Union (EU) have initialled an agreement on the automatic exchange of tax information (AEOI). Account data will be collected from 2017, with the first exchange scheduled for 2018.

See more clicking here.


* EU: Combatting Corporate Tax Avoidance

The European Commission presented a package of tax transparency measures as part of its ambitious agenda to tackle corporate tax avoidance and harmful tax competition in the EU. A key element of this Tax Transparency Package is a proposal to introduce the automatic exchange of information between Member States on their tax rulings

Read more here.


* China and US Telecoms Giants Lead Global Patent Activity in 2014

According to the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) annual review of international patent filings, a leading Chinese telecoms giant overtook a Japanese firm as the largest applicant last year, and China and the US together accounted for 87 per cent of the total growth in filings under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

Under that system, some 215,000 applications were filed in 2014, a 4.5 per cent increase over the previous year, WIPO said in a news release.


* WTO: Assistance in Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health

Five agencies and their partners operating a programme to help developing countries meet international standards on food safety and animal and plant health have approved plans for 2015–2019 designed to further strengthen safe trade.

The decision will allow the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) to continue to provide assistance to developing countries,

The STDF was set up in 2004 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO), and is run by the five partners together with donor countries and representatives of developing countries.

Check here and here for more.


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