Archive for category Geopolitical Issues

TPP Free Trade Deal to Be Signed On Feb 4

New Zealand will host the signing ceremony for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement on February 4, 2016. The deal was reached on 5 October 2015 after 7 years of negotiations.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”) is a free trade agreement between nine countries: The United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Check for more here & here.

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Iran – The Economic Sanctions Have Been Lifted

January 16th, 2016

Crippling economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted now that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has certified that it has restricted its sensitive nuclear activities.

The Iran nuclear deal framework was a preliminary framework agreement reached in 2015 between the Islamic Republic of Iran and a group of world powers: the P5+1 (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council–the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China plus Germany), plus the European Union.

Read more here.

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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 

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* 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.

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* 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.

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* 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)

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* 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: www.wto.org/tradefacilitation.

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* 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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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.

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* 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.

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* 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.

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* 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.

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* 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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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 3 (12 – 18 January 2015)

* World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2015

The new ILO report includes a forecast of global unemployment levels and explains the factors behind this trend, including continuing inequality and falling wage shares.

ILO -  World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2015Download the report from here.

Read more here.

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* IMF Downgrades Global Growth Forecast

According to its World Economic Outlook (WEO) update , the IMF lowered growth expectations for this year and the next for most countries due to slowdown in investment, and urged governments and central banks to pursue economic stimulation policies and structural reforms to boost growth.

Download Full-Text PDF: English

IMF - World Economic Outlook (WEO)

 

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* UNCTAD – Latest developments in national and international investment policies

UNCTAD’s latest Investment Policy Monitor shown that the vast majority of new investment policy measures were aimed at creating more favourable investment conditions.

Download: Investment Policy Monitor No. 13

Quick link: Investment Policy Monitor (Series)

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More Trade News in Brief Week 51 (15 – 21 Dicember 2014)

* US and Cuba to Normalize Relations

The leaders of the United States and Cuba agreed to restore full diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Check here for more.

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* Russia to Launch Alternative to SWIFT Bank Transaction System

Russia plans to launch its own international inter-bank system by May 2015. The national payment system department of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) will be in charge of the new project.

Find more here.

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 * The 2014 edition of the World Intellectual Property Indicators

WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Indicators 2014 provides a wide range of indicators covering the following areas of intellectual property: patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, microorganisms and plant variety protection.

It draws on data from national and regional IP offices, WIPO and the World Bank.

Download the full report.

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* World Economic Situation and Prospects 2015 (WESP) Report

The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2015 (WESP) report, which was launched today, estimates growth in 2015 of 3.1 per cent and in 2016 of 3.3 per cent.

Read more about it here.

 

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News from ASEAN

* Timor-Leste Remains Committed to Join ASEAN
 
Timor-Leste remains committed to joining ASEAN and is currently rolling out measures at the national level to consolidate its bid for membership of ASEAN.
 
Check here for more.

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* ASEAN to Pilot Customs Transit System
 
An ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) will be piloted in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The system, aimed at facilitating the movement of transit goods by road within ASEAN.
 
Read more following the link.

 

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