A plethora of Asian beggar-thy-neighbor agreements threatens to throttle global trade in the name of trying to save it.
The breakdown of the WTO talks has dealt a blow to the trade prospects of Asia’s open economies and is likely to encourage a growing "noodle bowl" of bilateral pacts, analysts said.
The 16th Inter-Pacific Bar Association Conference, held in Sydney last week, provided a forum to illustrate the enormous impact FTAs have on the economic and social aspects of their respective countries and the legal issues underlying them.
Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda said the bank would help promote regional trade liberalization as part of the institution’s mid- and long-term strategies.
“A lot of these bilateral deals have nothing to do with economics. Instead, they [Asian Development Bank’s members] are mostly doing it for diplomatic reasons, including efforts to gain access to natural resources.”
The European Union is exploring the prospect of free trade deals with Asian nations once the current round of world trade talks is over, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said on Tuesday.
It’s always wise to have a Plan B. As the US urges progress in the “Doha round” of trade talks, it is also chasing bilateral trade deals across east Asia.
With the world’s two big multi-country trade liberalization talks stumbling or moribund, Canada’s new government should fire up action on bilateral and smaller regional free-trade deals.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) this week said the U.S. should drop partners in free trade agreement negotiations if talks on those agreements are not progressing.
A proliferation of bilateral free trade deals in Asia risks creating a "spaghetti bowl" of overlapping measures that could actually harm companies, the head of the Asia Development Bank (ADB) said today.
East Asia should set up a unified region-wide free trade pact to help boost trade and investment and further promote regional economic integration, the president of the Asian Development Bank said yesterday.
This UNDP paper is divided into four main parts. Parts I, II and III examine the
phenomenon of FTA proliferation and the underlying forces and
motivations of key players at work. Part IV builds on the analysis to
address the impact of the FTA explosion on human development policy
choices in key areas such as agriculture, textiles, rules of origin,
intellectual property, trade in services, and investment.
The proliferation of bilateral trade deals among Asian countries is an undesirable fallout of the slow progress in global trade talks and against the interests of the poorest countries in the region, according to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
European Union (EU) trade organisations have called for regional free trade agreements to complement World Trade Organisation negotiations for a global open market.
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said the East Asia Summit next month would discuss the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement between East Asian countries.
A World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December is looming as key to the shape of free trade in Asia in the 21st century as countries within the region intensify their interest in integrating their markets.
"The consequences of failure would be an even further switch to [bi-lateral] Free Trade Agreements [FTAs] and long-term weakness for multilateral trade. Trade would become more discriminatory," said Razeen Sally, visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.
The Third World Network held a regional Asian workshop on bilateral and regional FTAs on 26-29 August in Kuala Lumpur. Many speakers and participants voiced concerns about how the developed countries are making use of such FTAs to get developing countries to accept issues.
The Asian Regional Workshop on Bilateral Free Trade Agreements was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 26-28 August 2005. It was organized by the Third World Network and attended by about 120 participants from many Asian countries.
Several Asian countries and Asean as a bloc are now pursuing trade and economic frameworks and agreements with non-Asean countries.