The Asian Development Bank has released the first comprehensive survey of the impact on business of East Asia’s numerous FTAs.
There is a general rush to get a “bilateral deal” done at the international as well as regional level in Asia, but many of the free trade agreements that have been negotiated or are being negotiated by Asian countries and the EU are “trade light” deals because they reflect foreign policy and political imperatives rather than economic goals, economic analysts said in Brussels last week.
With a free trade deal under the World Trade Organization now appearing unlikely to be struck in the foreseeable future, a number of countries are expected to gear up for further enhancing free trade agreements on a bilateral or regional basis to expand their overseas markets, analysts said Wednesday.
There is increasing and irrefutable evidence that free trade deals devalue and homogenise cultures, stunt economic development, displace communities and are major drivers of increasing rural and urban poverty. Women are disproportionately affected.
APRN have uploaded some of the papers and PPT presented at the “To Oppose FTAs: Making People Matter” held last September 4-6, 2007 in Sydney, Australia.
If the Canadian federal government proceeds with a free trade agreement with Korea as promised, the impact on Canadian communities would be disastrous, according to a new study released by the CAW on October 23.
Filmed in Thailand and The Philippines in July 2007, Squeezed tells the story of how free trade agreements and globalisation are changing the lives of millions of people living in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) and AID/WATCH are pleased to invite you to a strategy workshop on the FTAs entitled: “To Oppose FTAs: Making People Matter”, that will take place on September 4-6, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. The Strategy Workshop on the FTAs is an open and public gathering of trade campaigners within the region specifically timed to coincide with the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Sydney.
Trade Minister Warren Truss has accused China and its neighbours of "unrealistic" fears that 140,000 farmers in Australia could wipe out a billion farmers in Asia if there were free trade in agriculture.
While most Asian countries are negotiating free trade agreements, very few of those deals have resulted in any real benefits, a World Bank study shows.
Asian economic regionalism, driven by active FTAs, reached a decisive point recently as China, South Korea, Japan and ASEAN countries compromised on the plan for financial reserves to put the possible financial crisis under control.
Trade policy in Asia is dangerously unbalanced. It rests on a shaky leg of discriminatory bilateral and regional FTAs. Its other WTO leg has gone to sleep: most Asian countries have neglected the WTO in favour of FTAs. Its regional-cooperation arm is limp: grand visions for regional
economic integration are mostly empty conference chatter.
As the latest World Trade Organization round of talks loses momentum, bilateral and regional free trade agreements are mushrooming in Asia.
East Asian countries must promptly form a region-wide free-trade zone to maintain its competitiveness as well as ensure stability and prosperity, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Monday.
In an effort to create more informed actions among groups working on food sovereignty and fairer trade rules in the region, the Asia Pacific Network for Food Sovereignty launched a research on US FTAs that looked at the common features of existing US FTAs and those that are being negotiated in the region like the US-Thailand FTA and analyzed their implications on developing countries’ agriculture particularly on small-scale farmers’ livelihoods; food security; farmers’ access to and control of their land, seed and productive resources; and rural development.
A general overview of free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties that have been signed or are being negotiated all over the world. Organised by region, it provides a snapshot of the many processes currently under way, some of the controversies they raise and opposition movements against these agreements.
Perhaps the best explanation of why bilateral trade agreements are so popular comes from Pascal Lamy, who was the predecessor to Peter Mandelson as Europe’s trade commissioner. Mr Lamy, now director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is fond of saying: "Politicians tell you that when they sign a bilateral agreement with a pal, they get on TV. When they are the 149th minister around the table at the WTO, they don’t get on TV."
The European Commission said it will seek bilateral trade deals, particularly with Asian partners, as part of a policy revamp.
Major obstacles block Asia’s prospects of becoming a common market, but a region-wide free-trade area is a realistic goal, an Asian Development Bank official said.
In the last few months, Chile has made it clear that it intends to become a trade platform between the vast Asia Pacific region and the Andean countries, by means of trade treaties and political integration. Prompt re-entry into the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) would be a step in that direction.