The implementation of bilateral free trade agreements, the FTAs, began 25 years ago, with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States. The European Union, which was initially reluctant to sign bilateral FTAs, also adopted them. In our region, Chile was the first South American country to sign an FTA with the US. Then came Peru and Colombia.
Why did countries prefer bilateral agreements - and then the larger FTAs, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership that has the participation of 12 countries - instead of negotiating at the World Trade Organization (WTO)? Let us recall that from 1948 to 1995 there were 8 negotiation rounds with the participation of all of its members, which reduced tariffs sharply, with the objective of facilitating and promoting free trade.
Africa is losing large amounts of money through trade misinvoicing and leakages in the balance of payment with the active connivance of its political class, making illicit financial flows (IFFs) one of the major sources of economic loss to the continent.
Through the manipulation of trade figures and leakages in the balance of payment, all African countries put together lost more than $862.6 billion from 2004 to 2013 according to ghanabusinessnews.com computations of data published by the Global Finance Integrity, (GFI) a not-for-profit research organization based in Washington DC that focuses on illicit financial flows.
“In January 1947, U. S. President Harry Truman appointed George Marshall, the architect of victory during WWII, to be Secretary of State. In just a few months, State Department leadership under Marshall with expertise provided by George Kennan, William Clayton and others crafted the Marshall Plan concept, officially known as the European Recovery Program (ERP), the Marshall Plan was intended to rebuild the economies and spirits of Western Europe.”
That is how one document online opens the Chapter of what has become the most painful invention in Africa and for poor countries-Aid.
Even before taking office, President-Elect Donald Trump and the policies he promised during his campaign are already having a worldwide impact in at least three areas — global finance, trade and climate change.
If his election is described as an earthquake, the aftershocks are now being felt.
Global funds are starting to move out of many developing countries, reducing the value of their currencies and causing great economic uncertainty.
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) looks like it will fade away, as Trump has said he would give notice of the US withdrawing from the pact on his first day of office.
Earlier, President Obama, seeing the signs on the wall, gave up on efforts to give it a final push through Congress.
And delegates meeting at the two-week annual UN climate conference that ended in Marrakesh on 19 November were all speculating whether a President Trump would carry out his campaign threat to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement and what then would happen to future international climate action.
Each year on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is commemorated. A commemoration in essence is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges, prove that progress can be made and celebrate victories. It is also a reminder of the obligations and the responsibility we all must own at both the private and the public level to ensure that every woman, every girl, in all corners of the world lives in a world free of violence and fear. They must be enabled to enjoy their most fundamental right to physical integrity and security.
GFI is pleased to announce the launch of GFTrade, a proprietary trade risk assessment application that enables customs officials to determine if goods are priced outside typical ranges for comparable products.
A cloud-based system developed over the past year, GFTrade provides officials with real-time price analyses for goods in the port using price ranges for the same product based on global trade information.
This information can help to determine if further investigation into potential misinvoicing is warranted, and it has the potential to substantially increase domestic revenue mobilization.
For the South Centre, South-South cooperation (SSC) has long been a reality for the South. It is reflected in the long history of political, economic, social, and development cooperation that many developing countries have been undertaking with each other.
South-South cooperation is shaped by the ideals of developing countries working together in a spirit of equality and mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and independence in order to promote their mutual development in the context of their different national circumstances. These were first articulated in the 1955 African-Asian Conference in Bandung that led to the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement and the 1964 Charter of Algiers creating the Group of 77. Since then, these key ideals of mutual cooperation and assistance and respect for national sovereignty have also been reflected in the various regional integration instruments created by developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean; and continually reiterated in the various multilateral summits and ministerial declarations issued by the NAM and the Group of 77. These are the ideals that the South Centre was established to promote, and assist developing countries in promoting, when our Centre was established in 1994 after the South Commission.
The age of globalization generated great prosperity. As the flow of goods, money and people across borders surged, millions benefited. But the elite gained the most. And as inequality rose, it stirred pockets of fierce resentment among those left behind. When the great shock came, the discontented turned to nationalist firebrands, who promised to impose controls on free trade, global banks and immigrants. Globalization stalled. A new age of deglobalization hit full stride.
That great shock came in 1914, with the outbreak of World War I, and it ended an extraordinary four-decade period of rising migration and trade. But that era provides clear parallels to the globalization boom that gained momentum in the 1980s and stalled during the financial crisis of 2008. Today globalization is once again in retreat. Populists are on the march, as evidenced by Donald J. Trump’s stunning victory last week. They have already won control of the government in Britain and gained momentum in Italy, France and Germany.
It is not clear how Mr. Trump, who has called for protectionist measures and tighter borders, will govern. But it is clear that the open world order is breaking apart. The new age of deglobalization is on, and it is likely to last.
Rising inequality is largely to blame for this electoral upset. Continuing with business as usual is not an option
Let it be said at once: Trump’s victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this.
Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote.
New research is showing that air pollution is a powerful if silent killer, causing 6.5 million worldwide deaths as well as being the major cause of climate change.
Air pollution has emerged as a leading cause of deaths and serious ailments in the world. Emissions that cause air pollution and are Greenhouse Gases are also the main factor causing climate change.
Therefore, drastically reducing air pollution should now be treated as a top priority.
The UN climate talks in Morocco open this week to discuss how to deliver the promises of the historic 2015 Paris Agreement to stay below a 2°C increase in average temperate, and ensure a just transition to a zero-carbon future for workers and their communities.
The entry into force of the Paris Agreement has given a sense of progress in the long running global climate negotiations, but there are growing concerns over the activities of coal, oil and gas companies that could be an impediment to a sustainable future with a secure basis for the just transition of workers and their communities.