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MOMENTUM AND CONFIDENCE IS CRITICAL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 19, 2009

4:00AM Monday Jan 19, 2009

by Mike Moore

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD’

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BERRI WARNS BOTH SIDES TO RESPECT TERMS OF DOHA PACT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Daily Star staff

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, RECESSION | Leave a Comment »

NOW IS THE TIME FOR POLITICS – MORE GOVERNMENT IS THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM, AND KEY TO SOLVING WORLD POVERTY (Brasil)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 9, 2008

DECEMBER 2008 – FEBRUARY 2009

by Luis Inácio Lula da Silva

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSWEEK’ (USA) – SPECIAL EDITION – ISSUES 2009

The world today is experiencing turbulence unlike anything we’ve seen in decades. The U.S. credit crisis has contaminated the international economy, and financial systems have been shaken to the core, undermining economic doctrines once treated as absolute truths.

As I told the UN. General Assembly in September, now is the time for politics, for governments to use public control and oversight to halt the economic anarchy. I welcome the actions that other countries have taken. But it will be some time before their initiatives kick in. That means more steps are needed in the meantime to safeguard the world’s most vulnerable: workers whose jobs and purchasing power are on the line, simple folk trying to save for the future, the poor who depend on the state.

The abuses and errors coming to light daily are all evidence that our existing system of international economic governance has broken down. To develop a better one, the world’s major developing countries should be called on to join the debate. We have plenty to contribute. Take Brazil. We are ready to do our part, and our economy is better prepared than most to confront the crisis. We have said no to macroeconomic adventurism. Inflation is under control and we are growing steadily. We have plenty of foreign reserves and owe nothing to the International Monetary Fund. This gives us the tools and the peace of mind to withstand the turbulence the crisis will bring.

Brazil is also better prepared to deal with the social and economic dislocation that may ensue. Consider: since I took office in 2003, more than 10 million Brazilians have joined the workforce. Some 20 million have risen out of absolute poverty. Our internal market is expanding, giving us an important economic cushion. Above all, we are redistributing income and reducing social inequality. These advances have nothing to do with luck or a favorable environment. They are the result of hard work by the Brazilian people and their government.

Weaving a broad social safety net is a central part of this endeavor. Our income-transfer program now distributes benefits to 11 million poor families nationwide, on the condition that mothers get prenatal care and parents keep their children in school and vaccinated. Our success shows that individual governments can and must play a vital role in reducing poverty and inequality. And our example in health care and education is already being made available to other countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia facing similar challenges.

That said, no state will escape this crisis on its own. Coordinated actions are needed. Yet they will succeed only if international decision making is redesigned in accordance with new realities; the institutions set up after World War II reflect a balance of power that’s long been superseded. This challenge actually goes far beyond the immediate financial storm. Other threats loom, such as hunger and poverty, the rising price and scarcity of food, the energy crisis and climate change. World commerce remains distorted, and the best means of addressing that—die Doha round of trade talks — could collapse.

Still, none of these obstacles is insurmountable. We all know the solutions, and we have the tools and the resources to succeed. Too often what we lack is political will. Many people today are comparing our current situation with the Great Depression. But we should take those parallels further and should summon the spirit of solidarity that helped create the New Deal, harnessing it to forge a new global pact to roll back poverty and extreme inequality. Contrary to what so many believe, globalization has only increased the economic and social responsibilities of governments. We must renew our commitment to strong multilateralism and we must make that multilateralism more democratic, in order to build agreements that reflect the legitimate interests of all nations. This means, among other things, enlarging the U.N. Security Council and revamping the IMF to provide effective financial support to countries in need.

The United States-by virtue of its size and its economic prowess—is and will continue to be a key player in the global search for common solutions. Washington has played such a decisive role since the end of World War II. Given the challenges and opportunities facing us today, we in the developing world hope that we can once again count on the American people to come to the defense of multilateralism, equality and justice. This is not the time for protectionism, but for progressive action born of generosity and solidarity that will forge collective answers to 21st-century challenges.

Luis Inácio Lula Da Silva is the President of Brazil.

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSWEEK’ (USA)

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LEBANESE ECONOMY EVADES EFFECTS OF GLOBAL CRISIS – REPORT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Lebanon This Week, with The Daily Star

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

BEIRUT: In its first report on Lebanon’s economy since the global financial crisis, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) indicated that there were no noticeable direct effects of the global financial turmoil on Lebanon and sovereign spreads have increased less than in other emerging markets in October and November 2008, according to Byblos Bank’s Lebanon This Week.

The report said that Lebanese banks have few direct links to foreign counterparts affected by the current financial market turmoil, and that the sector’s regulatory framework has limited banks’ exposure to structured products that have been at the core of the global crisis.

It added that the banking system remains well-capitalized and highly liquid.

The IIF added that macroeconomic developments have improved significantly since the Doha accord last May, but warned that the main risk to the outlook comes from a potential deterioration in the political and security situation in the run up to the May 2009 parliamentary elections.

It projected economic growth at 5.5 percent in 2008 and at 3.5 percent in 2009, adding that the spillover from the global economic slowdown could adversely affect tourism and construction activity.

It also noted that consumer price inflation peaked in July 2008 at 14 percent year-on-year, reflecting the sharp rise in commodity prices, and then declined to 10 percent in September. It expected inflation to average 12 percent in 2008.

The IIF considered that fiscal performance improved in 2008 and estimated the primary surplus to slightly exceed 2 percent of GDP this year.

But it cautioned that the overall fiscal deficit, while narrowing, remains very large due to the continued large interest payments on the public debt, and projected a deficit of 9.8 percent of GDP in 2008. The report forecast a fiscal deficit of 9 percent of GDP for 2009.

The IIF said Lebanon’s large public debt remains the country’s core macroeconomic challenge. It added that the government faces sizeable gross financing needs of $5.5 billion in 2009.

The report also predicted public debt to decline to 165 percent of GDP by the end of 2008.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INFLATION, INTERNATIONAL, ISLAMIC BANKS, LEBANON, MACROECONOMY, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LEBANESE CIVIL STRUGGLE | Leave a Comment »

SHARING THE RESPONSABILITY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 7, 2008

DECEMBER 3-8, 2008

by Michael Levitin

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSWEEK’ – Print Edition – (USA)

He was Chief of Staff to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the leading voice behind 'A BIGGER BREAK' - Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the crisis forced the U.S. to leave behind its traditions - Photo by Hans-Christian Plambeck (Laif-Redux)Germany’s refusal to fight in Iraq. Now German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is the Social Democratic Party candidate for chancellor in next year’s elections, running against the popular Christian Democrat incumbent, Angela Merkel. In his first major interview with the U.S. press, Steinmeier sat down with NEWSWEEK’s Michael Levitin to discuss German troop engagements in Afghanistan, Russia’s recent aggression, the global financial crisis and how Germany might work alongside the United States. Excerpts:

LEVITIN: The day after Barack Obama won the U.S. presidency, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened to install missiles in Kaliningrad if Washington did not “rethink” its deployment of a NATO missile shield in Eastern Europe. Did Moscow’s latest show of aggression shift the dynamic between Russia and Europe? How should you respond- and what should Europe’s response be?

STEINMEIER: Medvedevs announcement the day after the elections was clearly the wrong signal at the wrong time. We have no illusions about Russia. In the last few years it has often proved itself a difficult partner. The question remains how to deal with this huge country in Europe’s immediate neighborhood; having to choose between containment versus engagement, I advocate the latter. We must try to develop relations with Russia that go beyond economic interests and contribute to increased stability and security. After all, it is in our own interest to make sure that a Russia that is looking for its own identity is politically and culturally anchored in die West.

LEVITIN: Do you see Germany as a middleman, acting as a buffer between Russia and the rest of Europe-perhaps at the moment even Russia’s closest EU ally?

STEINMEIER: Russia is aware of our uniquely close relationship with the United States. We are firmly embedded in NATO and the EU and thus we don’t aspire to play the role of a middleman. Together with our European partners we showed a strong and outspoken response to Russia’s role in the conflict in Georgia. I think Europe’s united voice no doubt contributed to the military conflict ending. Now the stabilization of the region as a whole has to continue, and for genuine stability we need Russian cooperation. As for energy links between the EU and Russia, the answer depends on which European country you talk to. But in general, Russia depends as much on Europe and America buying its goods as we rely on Russia supplying us with natural gas and oil. As far as Germany is concerned, it is little known in the United States that we have worked successfully for decades to diversify our suppliers of various forms of energy and fuels, with Russia but also Norway and Africa being important suppliers.

LEVITIN: You mentioned the conflict In Georgia. Should that country and Ukraine be Invited to Join NATO?

STEINMEIER: This is not a simple yes-or-no decision. With national elections looming, the domestic situation in Ukraine has changed, as has the situation in the Caucasus since the conflict broke out this summer. Yes, we remain committed to supporting and assisting these countries on the road ahead. But concerning the Membership Action Plan, Germany and other European governments continue to stand by their position.

LEVITIN: The most urgent U.S. foreign-policy question involving Germany, which Obama raised many times during his campaign, is Afghanistan and whether Germany will contribute more troops there to stabilize the south. How much is your country willing to sacrifice for this partnership, putting its soldiers into harm’s way?

STEINMEIER: I have spoken to Barack Obama twice, and from these exchanges I know that he sees Afghanistan in a very nuanced way. I feel we see eye to eye in our assessment that we’re facing a very difficult security situation, but that military means alone cannot bring about the necessary changes. Our approach has to be a comprehensive one, and contrary to what some people may say, Germany has played its part.

LEVITIN: In the north, certainly. But It’s in the south where the greatest violence has taken place, and where Obama’s asking for greater German participation.

STEINMEIER: We have shouldered our share of the military responsibility and we have also enlarged our engagement. We are about to increase our troops by 30 percent, to 4,500. We are participating in aerial surveillance across the whole of Afghanistan, including the south, and German radio engineers are also stationed in Kandahar. The German Air Force runs flights for all NATO countries throughout Afghanistan, again including the south. We took over the lead of the Quick Reaction Force in the north. And let us not forget that circumstances there have also changed; the north, too, has seen its share of armed opposition activities increasing in the last month. But our engagement in Afghanistan is about much more than military action. We have always said that we will only be successful if we succeed in helping rebuild the country and its economy. Civil reconstruction is the second important pillar of our engagement on the ground, and we’ll continue to increase our contribution in this area next year.

LEVITIN: Given the turmoil in Pakistan, what do you think the next steps forward ought to be?

STEINMEIER: The security of the whole region strongly depends on Pakistan. If we want to combat terrorism in Afghanistan, we have to succeed in stabilizing Pakistan politically and economically. This calls for a strengthened Pakistani commitment to combat terrorism, but it also calls for international assistance for this country. It needs a substantial loan from the IMF. We also need to be ready to help stabilize the country in a lasting way.

LEVITIN: On Iran, what realistic hopes do you see of bringing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the table and persuading him to give up Tehran’s nuclear ambitions? And how far will you be willing to push?

STEINMEIER: No doubt there is hope in the international community that after 29 years of standstill, a new approach may be possible. We all remember the reasons for the break-off of relations between the U.S. and Iran. Since then, U.S.-Iranian relations have also been a story of missed opportunities: when Washington signaled openness, Tehran wasn’t willing or able to respond in kind, and vice versa. I think it would be worthwhile trying to have direct talks, but the Iranians have to know it is up to them to prove they do not aspire to nuclear weapons-and that they’re willing to play a constructive role in the region. I have to admit I am skeptical, and can only express my hope that the leaders in Iran seize this opportunity.

LEVITIN: Turning to the financial crisis, the banks got a bailout. Now the automobile manufacturers are seeking the same thing. How do you see EU countries regaining their competition policy-and their legitimacy-after this?

STEINMEIER: I believe the politicians would have lost their legitimacy if they hadn’t acted. What we’re facing here is the very visible failure of the market. We had to make sure that the crisis in the financial markets does not lead to a total breakdown of the financial system as a whole. On both sides of the Atlantic, unconventional means were applied to manage the crisis. Honestly speaking, many of the measures taken in the U.S. seemed a bigger break with American tradition than can be said about European measures.

LEVITIN: How important is it that developing countries play a greater decision-making role In the future? For example, we saw hints of the G8 expanding into a G20 several weeks ago in Washington.

STEINMEIER: What is the most fundamental challenge the world is facing today? To my mind, it consists of integrating the emerging powers of the 21st century into a system of shared global responsibility. I am talk ing about countries like China and India, but also Muslim states such as Saudi Arabia. Can any of the global challenges we face be tackled without them? I don’t think so. That is why we have to make them stakeholders, and in that respect the recent financial summit in Washington was historic. To me it is obvious we cannot stop there.

PUBLISHED BY ‘NEWSWEEK’ (USA)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AFGHANISTAN, AFRICA, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DEFENCE TREATIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, ENERGY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, EUROPE, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, G20, G8, GEORGIA, GERMANY, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, ISLAM, MILITARY CONTRACTS, NATO, NATURAL GAS, NORWAY, PAKISTAN, PETROL, RECESSION, RUSSIA, SAUDI ARABIA, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS | 1 Comment »

PROTECTIONISM REARS ITS HEAD AS WTO TRIES TO WRAP UP DOHA – CONGRESSMEN TELL BUSH TO REJECT TABLED TRADE DEAL – SUMMIT TO END SEVEN YEARS OF TALKS PUT IN DOUBT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 5, 2008

Thursday December 4 2008

by Larry Elliott, Economics Editor – The Guardian

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

A sign that the current crisis is fanning a desire for protectionism emerged yesterday when members of Congress warned George Bush against trying to fast-track a trade deal for the end of the year.

Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation, is considering calling trade ministers to Geneva to conclude the Doha liberalisation talks.

“Unfortunately, the negotiating texts currently on the table would provide little if any new market access for US goods, and important advanced developing countries are demanding even further concessions from the US,” said a bipartisan letter from Charles Rangel, Max Baucus, Jim McCrery and Charles Grassley. Democrats Rangel and Baucus chair the Ways and Means and the Finance committees respectively, while McCrery and Grassley are the ranking Republican members.

“We see no tangible progress, and in fact believe that some of our trading partners have become even further entrenched in their unacceptable positions.”

Lamy wants to bring more than seven years of acrimonious talks to an end with a meeting next weekend, after last month’s summit of G20 leaders in Washington instructed trade ministers to settle differences over agriculture and manufactured goods. Some officials believe it would become more difficult to conclude any deal once Barack Obama is sworn in next month.

WTO sources last night talked of a meeting on December 13, although Lamy was more cautious. In a fax to the WTO’s 153 members, he said he had yet to decide whether there had been enough progress since talks broke down in July: “As we all know, we still have a number of outstanding issues. But the reality is the relevance of what we are doing to the financial crisis,” he said. “If we fail we have a problem; but although there remains the risk of failure, the risks involved in not trying are higher.”

He is concerned that economic distress in the US, Europe and Asia is already prompting countries to use protectionist weapons yet to be outlawed by the WTO – raising tariffs to the maximum permitted, and introducing anti-dumping regulations.

US agriculture secretary Ed Schafer said he was confident a deal could be done, and confirmed that Washington was ready to make a big cut in its agreed ceiling for agriculture subsidies if other countries opened their markets further to US farm produce. “We in the US remain confident we can see a successful completion to the Doha round this year,” he told reporters in Beijing.

However, the Congressmen warned Bush against being rushed into a deal that would be rejected on Capitol Hill. “We strongly urge you not to allow the calendar to drive the negotiations through efforts to hastily schedule a ministerial meeting, without adequate groundwork having been laid.

“Developed and advanced developing countries must commit to provide meaningful new market access opportunities if Congress is to support a deal.’

“Achieving the necessary flexibility from our trading partners could require new thinking … and our negotiators should be given time to explore such options. Otherwise, the likely result will be a deal that Congress cannot support – an outcome that would be detrimental to US farmers, workers and firms, the global economy, and the WTO itself.”

Amy Barry, trade spokeswoman for Oxfam, said: “This round of talks was meant to be primarily about development, not about market access for US farmers and companies. Yet Oxfam is hearing that the US, with tacit support from the European Union, Australia and others, has now put extra demands on the table, mostly about further prising open the markets of major emerging economies.

“These come as China has seen a major fall in its exports, leading to many enterprises closing and huge numbers laid off to go back onto the land … India has lost 20% of its exports in a year, with 1.2m job losses in textiles and clothing alone … It is difficult to understand why anyone would seriously expect China and India to agree to yet more trade concessions.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AGRICULTURE, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMERCIAL PROTECTIONISM, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EUROPE, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, G20, G8, INDIA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | 1 Comment »

QATAR LOOKS TO GROW FOOD IN KENYA -THE GULF STATE HAS JOINED A GROWING LIST OF RICH COUNTRIES THAT WANT TO GROW FOOD IN POOR COUNTRIES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 5, 2008

Tuesday December 2 2008 16.58 GMT

Xan Rice in Nairobi – guardian.co.uk

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Qatar has asked Kenya to lease it 40,000 hectares of land to grow crops as part of a proposed package that would also see the Gulf state fund a new £2.4bn port on the popular tourist island of Lamu off the east African country.

The deal is the latest example of wealthy countries and companies trying to secure food supplies from the developing world.

Other Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have also been negotiating leases of large tracts of farmland in countries such as Sudan and Senegal since the global food shortages and price rises earlier this year.

The Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki, returned from a visit to Qatar on Monday. His spokesman said the request for land in the Tana river delta, south of Lamu, in north-east Kenya was being seriously considered.

“Nothing comes for free,” said Isaiah Kabira. “If you want people to invest in your country then you have to make concessions.”

But the deal is likely to cause concern in Kenya where fertile land is unequally distributed. Several prominent political families own huge tracts of farmland, while millions of people live in densely packed slums.

The country is also experiencing a food crisis, with the government forced to introduce subsidies and price controls on maize this week after poor production and planning caused the price of the staple “ugali” flour to double in less than a year.

Kibaki said that Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was keen to invest in a second port to complement Mombasa, which serves as a gateway for goods bound for Uganda and Rwanda and is struggling to cope with the large volumes of cargo.

By building docks in Lamu, Kenya hopes to open a new trade corridor that will give landlocked Ethiopia and the autonomous region of Southern Sudan access to the Indian Ocean. Kabira said that if the financing was agreed, construction of the port would begin in 2010.

Qatar, which has large oil and gas revenues, imports most of its food, as most of its land is barren desert and just 1% is suitable for arable farming. It has already reportedly struck deals this year to grow rice in Cambodia, maize and wheat in Sudan and vegetables in Vietnam.

Much of the produce will be exported to the Gulf. Qatar’s foreign ministry in Doha did not return calls today, but Kabira said that its intention was to grow “vegetables and fruit” in Kenya.

The area proposed for the farming project is near the Tana river delta where the Kenyan government owns nearly 500,000 hectares (1.3m acres) of uncultivated land.

But a separate agreement to allow a local company to grow sugarcane and build a factory in the area has attracted fierce opposition from environmentalists who say a pristine ecosystem of mangrove swamps, savannah and forests will be destroyed.

Pastoralists, who regard the land as communal and rear up to 60,000 cattle to graze in the delta each dry season, are also opposed to the plan.

“We will have to ensure that this new project is properly explained to the people before it can go ahead,” said Kabira.

The sudden rush by foreign governments and companies to secure food supplies in Africa has some experts worried. Jacques Diouf, director general of the UN’s food and agricultural organisation (FAO), recently spoke of the risk of a “neo-colonial” agricultural system emerging.

The FAO said some of the first overseas projects by Gulf companies in Sudan, where more than 5 million people receive international food aid, showed limited local benefits, with much of the specialist labour and farming inputs imported.

A deal struck last month by Daewoo Logistics and Madagascar to grow crops on 1.3m hectares of land also attracted strong criticism. While the South Korean firm has promised to provide local jobs and will have to invest in building roads and farming infrastructure, it is paying no upfront fee and has a 99-year lease.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FOREIGN POLICIES, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, KENYA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, QATAR, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, ROAD TRANSPORT, SOUTH KOREA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE UNITED NATIONS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, WATER | Leave a Comment »

PUXEU CREE QUE SOBRE LOS PREACUERDOS DE JULIO DE LA OMC PODRÍAN CERRARSE ESTE MES – El secretario de Estado de Medio Rural y Agua, Josep Puxeu, ha señalado hoy que tras el mandato del G-20 de reabrir las negociaciones de la Ronda de Doha de la Organización Mundial del Comercio, si se parte de los preacuerdos de julio podría cerrarse un acuerdo antes de que acabe el mes (Spain)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008


03/12/2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘AGROINFORMACION’ (Spain)

EFE- Durante la inauguración de las Jornadas Internacionales sobre gestión de riesgos en la agricultura europea, que celebra hoy y mañana la organización agraria UPA en Madrid, Puxeu ha destacado que la Unión Europea está en condiciones de afrontar nuevamente la Ronda de Doha, que se reúne a partir del 15 de diciembre en Ginebra.

Ha añadido que ahora que está cerrado el chequeo médico de la Política Agraria Común que define y legitima los apoyos al sector agroalimentario comunitario y se ha obtenido la apuesta clara de la Comisión Europea, respaldada por 24 Estados miembros, de mantener una PAC fuerte más allá del horizonte presupuestario de 2013, la UE afronta con fortaleza las negociaciones de la OMC.

Ha indicado que ya en julio la UE estuvo cerca de cerrar el acuerdo adaptando los apoyos a la agricultura con la liberalización comercial que permitiera el desarrollo de los países emergentes y que siempre que se parta de los preacuerdos alcanzados en julio la predisposición de la UE se mantendrá, en caso contrario se reafirmará en sus premisas.

Puxeu considera que toda vez que la OMC respete los apoyos a la calidad diferenciada, a la seguridad alimentaria, la condicionalidad y el desarrollo rural queda legitimada la PAC y con ello un marco estable de apoyos al sector.

Además ha destacado el importante papel del sistema español de seguros agrarios como apoyo y garantía de las rentas de los agricultores y ganaderos y ha anunciado que se estudiará la petición del sector de incluir líneas que garanticen unos ingresos que cubran los costes de producción o unas rentas mínimas.

En este sentido el secretario general de UPA, Lorenzo Ramos, ha valorado el reconocimiento que de los seguros agrarios subvencionados ha hecho la UE en la reforma de la PAC.

Ha destacado la necesidad de que los agricultores y ganaderos se conciencien de que este mecanismo es una forma de garantizar sus rentas, de momento sólo ante eventualidades climáticas o sanitarias.

Ha demandado a la Administración que estudie la posibilidad de introducir además líneas que cubran a los productores de riesgos derivados de los vaivenes del mercado, como los vividos el pasado año en sectores como el lácteo o el de las materias primas, para poder garantizar unas rentas.

Ha insistido en que ya en su momento se estudió la posibilidad de adoptar un seguro que garantizase unos ingresos que cubrieran los costes de producción y no fue posible, por lo que ha reiterado esfuerzos a la Administración para posibilitar su implantación.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘AGROINFORMACION’ (Spain)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMY, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, G20, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SPAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

BANANA FIGHT THREATENS DOHA DEAL – Deals in the Doha global trade talks next month are at risk if the European Union fails to settle a long-running banana dispute

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 27, 2008

November 27, 2008

by Alonso Soto in Quito, Ecuador

Article from: Reuters

Ecuador, the world’s top banana exporter, said it would not agree to agricultural accords in the Doha talks after the World Trade Organisation upheld a ruling against the EU in the lung-running “banana wars” pitting Brussels against the United States and Latin American producers.

“Unfortunately, our country will not agree to the consensus to settle the agriculture terms of the (Doha) round … if this problem is not properly resolved by then,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

A top government official told Reuters later that Latin American banana producers were demanding that the EU lower import tariffs on the fruit, beginning with a series of cuts starting next year.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said the EU should eventually cut its current duty of €176 ($349) per tonne of bananas to €114 ($226) in eight years.

Latin American states came close to securing a deal with the EU during a WTO ministerial meeting in July, but Brussels walked away from the deal when the broad Doha negotiations fell apart.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE AUSTRALIAN’ (USA)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AGRICULTURE, BELGIUM, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMY, ECUADOR, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LATIN AMERICA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, USA, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

WTO TO DECIDE SOON ON NEW DOHA TALKS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 20, 2008

First Posted 14:58:00 11/20/2008

by Alan Raybould – Reuters

SIEM REAP, Cambodia – WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said on Thursday he would decide rapidly whether to call a ministerial meeting to pursue a Doha trade agreement but played down a Dec. 8 deadline suggested by a Brazilian minister. PASCAL LAMY - 'HOCUS-POCUS AND ABRACADABRA JUST AS WELL ... THAT OUGHT TO WORK

He said ministers from some of the world’s poorest countries meeting in Cambodia this week on trade and aid matters were pushing for a quick deal because they feared protectionist groups would use the global economic slump to push their agenda.

Leaders of the G20 group of rich and emerging economies pledged on Saturday to try to agree on the outlines of a new accord in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha round by the end of the year to help deal with the financial crisis.

In an interview with Reuters, Lamy acknowledged the political impetus but said he needed to be sure there would be broad agreement on technical matters before calling ministers to the WTO headquarters in Geneva.

“I haven’t yet taken a decision but I know I have to take it rather rapidly,” he said, adding he would be back in Geneva on Friday morning working on plans.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said this week that a meeting would need to be called by Dec. 8 if a deal was to be had by the end of the year.

Lamy played down such deadlines.

“They all have their own notion of timing because they all have their own constraints. We know we don’t have much time left,” he said. “The technical options should be on the table 10 days before the ministers negotiate them.”

He said the economic crisis made it all the more crucial to get a deal quickly, especially for poor developing countries wanting market access for their goods.

“Given the economic crisis, the percolation of the financial crisis into the economy, they believe what’s on the table will be in danger if it only happens six months, a year, a year-and-a-half from now,” Lamy said.

He gave the example of tariff ceilings set in existing trade agreements, which are typically higher than the actual tariffs imposed by countries.

“Their fear is that with the economic crisis biting, protectionist lobbies will look for more protection and the applied tariffs will be raised.”

The Doha round was launched in the Qatari capital seven years ago to free up world trade by cutting farm subsidies, and reducing tariffs on agricultural and industrial goods, with a clear mandate to help developing countries.

A meeting of ministers in July came close to a breakthrough but faltered because of differences between the United States and India over measures to protect subsistence farmers in poor countries from a surge in imports.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘BUSINESS INQUIRER’ (Philippines)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, G20, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »