Archive for November, 2012

EFTA’s Free Trade Agreements

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) currently has a network of 24 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 33 countries worldwide (excluding the European Union) and signed six Joint Declarations of Cooperation as complement for this extensive network.
The next step is to revise existing EFTA-FTAs to include areas such as services and investment, intellectual property and sustainable development.
Actually, the EFTA have ongoing free trade negotiations with Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the Customs Union Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan, with India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama).
EFTA states are also looking to deepen trade relations with certain African states in the sub-Saharan region.

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WTO Launched New “International Trade and Market Access”

19 November 2012
The WTO’s interactive tool offers data on merchandise and commercial services trade as well as selected market access indicators from World Tariff Profiles (a WTO, ITC and UNCTAD co-publication).
The tool is accessed through the WTO’s website ( and consists of four parts:
The Trade Dashboard
– The Trends Dashboard
– The Tariffs Dashboard
Made in the World
The data is presented in the form of interactive maps, charts and data tables and the information can be export underlying the graphics.

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IT and Entrepreneurial Skills to be Developed in Schools

19 November 2012, Brussels
The EU’s Commission of the Eurydice Network advice in a report that schools need to include in their curriculum the teaching of IT, entrepreneurial and citizenship skills and the main goal of the education must be the developing of critical thinking and active participation in school and society.
Check here for more details.

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US FATCA – Agreement Model 2

14 November 2012
The United States Treasury Department released a second model agreement on FATCA.
The second model agreement supplements direct reporting under FATCA by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) by adding the exchange of information between the respective governments, but only on request.
The Model Intergovernmental Agreement (Model 2) is available here:
Model 2 Agreement to Implement FATCA
Please find more details following the link.

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More Trade News in Brief – Week 46 (12 – 18 November 2012)

* New ISO/IEC Standard for Credible Digital Evidence
15 November 2012
The new ISO/IEC International Standard will ensure, in court cases and legal disputes, the reliability and credibility of digital evidence.
The new standard, ISO/IEC 27037:2012, Information technology – Security techniques – Guidelines for identification, collection, acquisition, and preservation of digital evidence is available here.

* ILO names Five Countries with Serious Violations of Freedom of Association

 15 November 2012, Geneva
Argentina, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji and Peru were singled out by the Committee on Freedom of Association of the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) after in the named countries appears cases concerning employers’ and trade unions’ rights to organize.
Please read more here.

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EFTA & Pakistan Signed Joint Declaration on Cooperation

12 November 2012 Geneva
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Pakistan signed a trade pact, Joint Declaration on Cooperation, which will be followed by Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), as first steps to the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two sides.
Please read more here.

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EU Suspended the Green Flying Tax for a Year

12 November 2012, Brussels
Since there are signs of a move towards a global deal or “market based mechanism” within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), European Union (EU) decided to frozen the EU ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) until after the next ICAO general assembly in autumn 2013.
Please check here for more.

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More Trade News in Brief – Week 45 (5 – 11 November 2012)

* US to Starts FATCA Talks with Australia & New Zealand
US started negotiation on Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) with Australia and soon will also begin talks with New Zealand.
For more click here.
* Singapore & Poland Signed DTA
Singapore and Poland signed an enhanced double taxation agreement (DTA).
Check here.
* New Zealand Signed the Multilateral Tax Convention
New Zealand signed the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters developed jointly by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Council of Europe.
Kindly follow the link.
* India & Spain Amend their DTAA
India and Spain have signed a Protocol amending their existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
Please find more here.

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EU-EIB Project Bond Initiative

7 November 2012
The European Commission and European Investment Bank launched the pilot phase of Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative.
The project aims to improve and stimulate the EU’s capital market financing of infrastructure.
More information on:
– the pilot phase:
– Innovative infrastructure financing: the Project Bond Initiative: [EN] – [FR] – [DE]
– EPC’s “Can Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) lever investment to get Europe out of the economic crisis” Issue Paper

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EU & Thailand to Start Trade Negotiations

The European Union (EU) and Thailand will start negotiation on a partnership cooperation agreement (PCA) and free trade agreement (FTA).
European Commission decided to pursue free trade talks with ASEAN countries in a bilateral format after dropped the strategic objective of a region-to-region FTA which will be postponed for a later date.
Please check for more here.

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