bilateralism & multilateralism
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the enlarged East Asian free trade agreement (FTA) was not intended to replace the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as most of the negotiations done by Asean were WTO-compatible.
The anticipated collapse of the sixth WTO ministerial meeting will divert member countries away from striking bilateral or regional free-trade pacts, which would gradually drive Taiwan’s trade and business into a corner, lawmakers and researchers said yesterday.
Regional and bilateral agreements will proliferate further and protectionist tendencies are likely to increase if the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Hong Kong fail, business leaders and analysts say.
Trade pacts - new pillars in India’s economic diplomacy With signs of failure looming over global trade talks in Hong Kong in December, India has drawn an ambitious agenda to forge bilateral, regional and multilateral trade pacts with a host of countries and trading blocs as a new pillar of its economic diplomacy and globalisation drive.
Thailand and Australia - two countries at the forefront of a regional proliferation of bilateral free trade agreements - will be worth watching at the World Trade Organization talks starting in Hong Kong on December 13.
During the last decade, Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) containing competition policy provisions have proliferated. These are part of a trend for ’deeper’ RTAs which often include articles for liberalizing trade in services, investment, labour and other trade-related provisions.
As world leaders gathered Friday for their annual talks on building a free trade zone that circles the Pacific, they were also spending time in sideline huddles forging one-on-one agreements.
Criticised by business leaders and alarmed by the possible failure of next month’s world trade talks in Hong Kong, Asia-Pacific governments are acknowledging for the first time the dangers of the tangled "spaghetti bowl" of bilateral trade deals they have spawned in the past few years.
European Union (EU) trade organisations have called for regional free trade agreements to complement World Trade Organisation negotiations for a global open market.
Noting that a "spaghetti bowl of rules" would result from multiple bilateral free trade agreements among APEC members, Minister of Trade Phil Goff has called for coherence between FTAs in the region.
Despite being a late starter in pursuing bilateral free trade agreements, Korea has been actively seeking Free Trade Agreement talks with its trading partners around the world.
Leaders debating whether to revitalize talks on a free trade zone spanning the Americas ended their two-day meeting Saturday without an agreement.
In the event of failure in Hong Kong next month, foreign minister Alexander Downer said Australia would speed ahead with "Plan B" to sign further bilateral and regional trade agreements.
"The FTAA has stalled, I agree," Bush said on Tuesday. "On the other hand, at this point in time, the Doha round really trumps the FTAA as a priority, because the Doha round not only involves our neighborhood, it involves the whole world."
A Heritage Foundation summary of the role of FTAs in the US trade agenda.
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.
Move over World Trade Organization (WTO), regional trade arrangements are here to rule.
One of the main consequences of globalization has been the expansion of international trade. Bringing down trade barriers and witnessing the alleged ongoing deregulation of the global market seems to be a picture that many find quite alluring.
The United Nations cultural body adopted an international treaty Thursday to protect cultural diversity. This a moral victory, but the real test is whether developing countries will resist US pressure to commit their audiovisual and information services to bilateral trade agreements.
There has been a spate of trade agreements signed between countries in recent years - from the same region and even beyond. And this may not necessarily have to do with the fact that it has been a tough going for the multilateral trading system. Regionalism may have its own dynamics.