Tag Archives: services

Critical Mass” on US business agenda

The US Nation­al For­eign Trade Coun­cil has released a short paper (PDF file) endors­ing a “crit­i­cal mass” (CM) approach to new WTO-asso­­ci­at­ed trade agree­ments, with­out, how­ev­er, pro­duc­ing any new ideas on how to accom­plish this in the cur­rent mul­ti­lat­er­al trade frame­work. A top U.S. busi­ness group, frus­trat­ed with years of stale­mate in world trade talks, […]

Manufacturing dissent

Unit­ed States man­u­fac­tur­ers, like their Aus­tralian coun­ter­parts, are indulging some hyper­bol­ic alarm about their future, but for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. U.S. eco­nom­ic growth seems too anaemic to sup­port demand in the sec­tor; Australia’s eco­nom­ic growth seem to be bypass­ing it. Still, this self-inter­est­ed plea in the NYT from a direc­tor of GE for pub­lic sub­si­dies (“inno­va­tion […]

Professional services reform in Italy

The Berlus­coni gov­ern­ment has announced a pack­age of emer­gency mea­sures to lib­er­al­ize the Ital­ian econ­o­my that includes a “con­sti­tu­tion­al” change to speed up the lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of pro­fes­sion­al ser­vices. The mea­sures includ­ed a plan to amend the con­sti­tu­tion to make a bal­anced bud­get manda­to­ry, a sec­ond con­sti­tu­tion­al change that would force “closed pro­fes­sions” to lib­er­alise ser­vices, […]

Australia’s trade outlook is strong

By 2030 Chi­na, espe­cial­ly, dra­mat­i­cal­ly increas­es its share of world imports of agri­cul­ture, fos­sil fuels and ser­vices, accord­ing to the World Bank’s mod­el­ling Note, too, the pro­ject­ed share of low and mid­­dle-income economies in world trade in 2030: up from a third to a half.

Why the Doha Round is failing

The usu­al­ly well-informed ITSCD Bridges Newslet­ter tries to explain it with a bit of tabloid allit­er­a­tion: ‘Polit­i­cal Paral­y­sis Poi­sons WTO Agri­cul­ture Talks’. Nah! It’s a polit­i­cal choice to put the talks on life-sup­­port and it will be a polit­i­cal choice to pull the tubes. It’s Doha that’s in rig­or, not the pol­lies. The Doha Round […]

Razzing the Congress party

[The Indi­an elec­tion] expos­es the do-noth­ing, zero-reform record of Man­mo­han Singh, prime min­is­ter, and his gov­ern­ment. More gen­er­al­ly, it lays bare India’s huge reform gaps and its brit­tle, decay­ing insti­tu­tions. Final­ly, it deflates the ‘India hype’ ped­dled by smooth-talk­ing upper-caste politi­cians, ambas­sadors, busi­ness­men, man­age­ment con­sul­tants and some aca­d­e­mics”

Extract from an Op Ed by Razeen Sal­ly in the Finan­cial Times

Asean-Australia-NZ Free Trade Agreement

ASEAN accounts for just under 20 per­cent of Australia’s trade ($81bn in 20087–8), so the ASEAN-Aus­tralia-New Zealand Free Trade Agree­ment (AANZFTA) that has now been sub­mit­ted to par­lia­ments for rat­i­fi­ca­tion is poten­tial­ly a big deal.

How big it is dif­fi­cult to say from a quick review. This is an exten­sive agree­ment with a lot of details that will take care­ful eval­u­a­tion. It is appar­ent­ly the most ambi­tious and lib­er­al FTA the ASEAN coun­tries have ever signed with non-Mem­bers. It seems to be much more ambi­tious than their deals with Chi­na or Japan.

But the Agree­ment has a num­ber of excep­tions in the goods chap­ters in Indone­sia, for exam­ple, and some very-long imple­men­ta­tion hori­zons for poten­tial­ly impor­tant trad­ing part­ners such such as Viet­nam that could reduce its com­mer­cial val­ue. The ser­vices chap­ter seems to offer some use­ful but not-exten­sive improve­ments in access to the strong­ly pro­tect­ed mar­kets of ASEAN (pro­fes­sion­al, legal, account­ing ser­vices chiefly) and there are some mod­est improve­ments in move­ments of essen­tial per­son­nel (most­ly by Australia/NZ).

The ‘fact sheets’ pro­duced by DFAT pro­vide sum­maries that are a good place start with the eval­u­a­tion. Below, an extract that seems to me to be among the high­lights: a sum­ma­ry table of show­ing the per­cent­age of Australia’s base peri­od (2005) goods exports that will be duty-free by the end of the imple­men­ta­tion peri­od (2025 in some cas­es) and in three inter­ven­ing years.