Monthly Archives: January 2005

Howard confuses trade/aid issues

After offer­ing us the hard­ly nov­el idea that trade plays a more sig­nif­i­cant role than assis­tance fund­ing in devel­op­ment and growth, Howard stum­bles into a cau­tion about the impact of cor­rup­tion on the will­ing­ness of elec­torates in rich coun­tries to sus­tain aid flows. Despite assur­ing us of the dif­fer­ence between trade and aid in his […]

Distribution of trademark ownership

This chart from a recent “World Bank staff paper”: shows the (nat­ur­al log of) the num­ber of for­eign trade mark reg­is­tra­tions by coun­try plot­ted against GDP. *Sur­prise*!, there’s a clear lin­ear rela­tion­ship: TradeMarkRegistrations.gif

The next Director General of WTO

These are unhap­py times for the World Trade Orga­ni­za­tion. Just ten-years after its cre­ation it is strug­gling to main­tain the con­fi­dence of it’s mem­bers while besieged by vio­lent “anti-glob­al­iza­­­tion” protests and con­sti­pat­ed by its own deci­­sion-process­es. The oppor­tu­ni­ty to select a new Direc­tor Gen­er­al in the next few months looks like a chance to attack […]

China gives preferences to Africa

This is a smart move. Chi­nese imports from Africa are main­ly raw mate­ri­als on which the duties are not very sig­nif­i­cant, although it has a small trade deficit with the con­ti­nent as a whole. The Min­istry of Com­merce said Chi­na has offered tar­iff exemp­tions for cer­tain com­modi­ties from 25 devel­op­ing African coun­tries. (Chi­na Dai­ly)

Japan seeks soft trade deals

Offi­cials in Tokyo admit, accord­ing to the Finan­cial Times, that the pro­posed deals with Malaysia, Thai­land and Philip­pines will *fall short of WTO’s ‘free trade’ stan­dards* for the autho­riza­tion of dis­crim­i­na­to­ry agree­ments. Japan is seek­ing to redress *the impres­sion of China’s dom­i­nance* of trade rela­tions in the region with­out, it seems, offer­ing to actu­al­ly reduce […]

Garment industries struggling in South Asia

Gar­ment indus­tries in South and parts of East Asia are fac­ing sim­i­lar prob­lems to those of “Lesotho”: Although, for many, the expiry of cur­rent orders is still six weeks or so away (mid March), pro­duc­tion is already being shut down. For exam­ple, there are news ser­vice reports that more than 20 tex­tile fac­to­ries have already […]

Sutherland report on the Future of WTO

WTO has pub­lished a report com­mis­sioned for its tenth anniver­sary from a group of ‘wise men’—chaired by for­mer Direc­­tor-Gen­er­al Peter Suther­land and includ­ing some of the usu­al suspects—on how to make the Orga­ni­za­tion more cred­i­ble and more func­tion­al. The 37 rec­om­men­da­tions include some flog­gings for hob­by hors­es (‘free trade agree­ments’); dubi­ous faith in the abil­i­ty […]