Vol.44, Issue No. 15 January 2010

Lessons from Copenhagen for Doha

Consensus should be developed brick by brick rather than though a sudden act of imposition of will. This is the most important lesson that Doha should draw from Copenhagen. Fortunately, this lesson is there in the Doha process but yet to be clearly understood. From the vicissitudes of Doha, a New Quad of Brazil, European Union, India and the US has emerged. In late 80s, it was Arthur Dunkel who saved the Uruguay Round from its demise by preparing a draft negotiating text (famously, or infamously, known as the Dunkel Draft) and then weaving various (largely trans-atlantic) interests around it.More>>

Zambia leather exports triple

ZAMBIA’S leather exports have grown three-fold to US$10 million over the last few years, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) director of export promotion and market development, Glyne Michelo has said. He added that the country’s leather exports had grown to $10 million in 2008 from a total of $3.5 million in 2003. He said the major products exported from leather included crocodile skins, wet blue leather, crust and finished products such as footwear. Key export markets for leather products included South Africa, Singapore, Democratic Republic of Congo, Japan, Hong Kong, Malawi and the United Kingdom.More>>

Free trade agreements may aid toxic-waste trade

As the negotiations for signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with trade partners such as Japan and the European Union (EU) gather momentum, so do concerns over environment and waste dumping. Experts fear the FTAs would facilitate trade of wastes from the developed economies into India. Apprehensions are that by including wastes such used electronic devices, oil contaminated products, medical waste, incinerator ash and waste from chemical industries in the list of goods enjoying preferential tariffs, waste traders would get free play.More>>

Core issues in Doha round unresolved – India

Key issues in the ongoing Doha round of world trade talks have still not been settled and it is too early to say whether the pact will be signed by the stated target of 2010, India’s chief negotiator in the round said. Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will have to agree on a formula for the deal by June 2010 at the latest in order to be in a position to sign an agreement by the end of the year, D. K. Mittal told Reuters. The Doha talks have been stalled numerous times since their inception in 2001, although India and other nations have touted a successful conclusion as a significant boost to the global economy after the downturn, and a way to stave off protectionism.More>>

SADC’s Free Trade Area slow to pick up

Members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are avoiding the implementation of some frameworks of the Free Trade Area (FTA), a grand intra-regional trade liberalisation programme which, despite its broad ambitions, is progressing at a snail’s pace. Trade experts agree that the FTA, officially launched in 2009, is slowly and painfully edging forward. The 14-member SADC plans to liberalise trade and make the flow of goods and services, which is being hindered by non-tariff barriers (NTBs), easier and more rewarding.More>>

2010 marks turning point for EAC

The implementation of the Common Market Protocol, which is set to take place in the next six months, will be a key focus area for the East African Community (EAC) in 2010, Secretary General Juma Mwapachu has said. While briefing his staff in Arusha, Tanzania, Mwapachu indicated that as part of their 2010 agenda, the EAC will also be targeting greater cooperation in defence matters and making progress on the Monetary Union and the Political Federation. More>>

Zambia to export power to S.Africa for World Cup

Zambia has agreed to supply power to South Africa to help avoid power disruptions during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the head of the state power utility Zesco has said. South Africa’s power grid has been under pressure for more than two years and experienced country-wide power cuts early in 2008. State-owned Eskom has said there would be adequate supply for the soccer tournament. Zesco acting managing director, Cyprian Chitundu said on state ZNBC television that Zambia would supply power to South Africa and the quantity would depend on Zambia’s surplus capacity as well as demand from South Africa.More>>

Profiting from East Africa’s common market

IF you have spent 2009 trying to consolidate your stock portfolio without much success, you can only hope that 2010 will bring better prospects. You cannot help get carried away by the optimism that characterises a fresh year. That’s why the November signing of the East African Community’s (EAC) common market protocol which will become operational in July 2010 should be viewed in the same light. In theory, the sealing of the trade deal by the EAC presidents means that capital, services and the community’s 126 million people will be able to move freely across borders.More>>

IMF follows up on G20 Pittsburgh resolution

Last September, leaders of the Group of Twenty (G-20) industrial and emerging market countries, meeting in Pittsburgh, asked the IMF to prepare a “range of options” for “how the financial sector could make a fair and substantial contribution toward paying for any burdens associated with government interventions” to counteract financial sector crises.More>>

Lamy calls for mindset change to align trade and human rights

The trade and human rights communities distrust each other, but “human rights and trade rules, including WTO rules, are based on the same values: individual freedom and responsibility, non-discrimination, rule of law, and welfare through peaceful cooperation among individuals,” WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy told a colloquium on human rights in the global economy, in Geneva, on 13 January 2010.More>>