Vol.29, Issue No. 25 September 2009

News Americas G20 under pressure to reform IMF

G20 members are under pressure to back reform of the International Monetary Fund in order to give emerging economies more clout. Speaking at a two-day summit in Pittsburgh, USA, of the world’s major developed and developing countries, Xie Duo, director-general of the People’s Bank of China, said he expected a major political decision on Friday.More>>

EC approves key concession for regional trading blocs

The European Commission (EC) has agreed to harmonise programmes under its European Development Fund (EDF) with those of countries in regional trading blocs in order to make them more effective. According to a new declaration between the EC and its development partners under the auspices of the inter-regional coordination committee (IRCC), new ventures under the EDF will have to support existing cooperation programmes that have direct impact on the ongoing integration processes.More>>

China makes energy efficiency pledge

China pledged on Tuesday to substantially improve the energy efficiency of its factories, homes and power plants in a bid to make headway in the stalled United Nations climate change talks. But Hu Jintao, president of China, failed to set specific targets on emissions, disappointing other governments, which had been hoping for more.More>>

RB woos US investors

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has urged the American business community to consider investing in Zambia because the country is politically stable and endowed with abundant natural resources. President Banda said foreign investors had often succeeded in Zambia, especially that the country has no history of civil wars or any skirmishes since independence.More>>

WTO opens workshop on environmental goods and services

The WTO Secretariat, on 23 September 2009, opened a three-day Workshop on Environmental Goods and Services. The workshop features speakers from governments, the private sector and international organizations with relevant expertise in this area.More>>

East African countries agree on common market

A technical team from countries in the East African region, which has been meeting in Kampala, Uganda, has agreed on a pact paving the way for free movement of labour in the region. Once the Kampala Common Market Protocol is endorsed, professionals, services and capital owners will be able to move freely in the five countries of the East African Community (EAC).More>>

Protectionism a roadblock to world economic recovery

Leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations are expected to reaffirm their pledges to promote free trade at the Pittsburgh summit on Thursday and Friday as protectionism has proven to be an obstacle to global economic recovery. “The temperature is rising, creeping protectionism is reaching a dangerous zone”, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said last week.More>>

Zim-SA bilateral agreement doomed

THE Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) between Zimbabwe and South Africa, initially scheduled for signing in April and later deferred to June, is headed for total collapse as the two parties have failed to agree on the wording of Article 11 of the agreement. It appears highly improbable that the two neighbours will ever harmonise their mutually exclusive goals of protecting new and previous investments from expropriation or nationalisation, on one hand, and fortressing the fast-track land reform and its gains, on the other.More>>

IFC to develop regional trade logistics programme in EAC

The International Finance Cooperation (IFC) is in the process of developing the East African Community (EAC) Trade Logistics Programme that will reduce logistical costs through the elimination of customs delays. The move by the investment arm of the World Bank aims to ensure timely delivery of imports and exports, focusing on simplifying and harmonising procedures and documentation. More>>