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Asia


The rush to bilateral pacts: Throttling trade while trying to promote it
A plethora of Asian beggar-thy-neighbor agreements threatens to throttle global trade in the name of trying to save it.
WTO collapse set to fuel Asia’s "noodle bowl" effect
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.
Free trade agreements: complicated but unavoidable
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.
ADB set to promote trade liberalization
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.
ADB attacks bilateral trade deals
“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.”
EU eyeing free trade deals in Asia: Mandelson
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.
US seeks trade insurance with bilateral pacts
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.
Time is right for trade deals with Asia-Pacific
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.
Ways and Means chair says US should drop lagging FTA partners
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.
Asia risks spaghetti bowl trade deal mess: ADB
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.
FTA vital for East Asia says ADB
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.
The great maze: Regional and bilateral free trade agreements in Asia
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.
Bilateral trade deals not good for developing Asia: UNESCAP
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).
EU group sees regional deals’ potential
European Union (EU) trade organisations have called for regional free trade agreements to complement World Trade Organisation negotiations for a global open market.
East Asia Summit to discuss FTA between Asian nations: SM Goh
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.
Trade deals mushroom, with or without WTO
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.
Specter of failure haunts WTO trade talks
"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.
TWN seminar warns about WTO-plus issues and rules in bilateral and regional FTAs
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.
Asian regional workshop on bilateral free trade agreements
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.
Bilateral/regional free trade agreements: An outline of elements, nature and development implications
Several Asian countries and Asean as a bloc are now pursuing trade and economic frameworks and agreements with non-Asean countries.