Trade Wars

Africa Begins to Rise Above Aid

An increasing number of African countries are beginning to step away from aid dependency, as the domestic private sector becomes the engine of growth across much of Africa.

SIERRA LEONE: Local Communities Divided Over Mining in Rainforest

Sierra Leone’s Gola Rainforest remains a centre of contention as the local community here plan to take their chief to court next week over a controversial 50-year land lease to a mining company.

Presidents José Mujica and Fernando Lugo already expressed their concern over protectionist measures at the last summit, in June.  Credit: Paraguayan president's office

SOUTH AMERICA: Mercosur Trade Bloc – Integration or Protectionism?

As Mercosur foreign ministers gather this Monday ahead of Tuesday's summit of heads of state, political harmony is growing between the governments of member countries, although free trade not only remains a pending challenge but is increasingly facing pitfalls.

EU-India Deal Could Spell Disaster

As the Eighth Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) kicked off in Geneva this week, a group of NGOs exposed the devastating potential of a free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the European Union and India. If passed, they say the deal would make a mockery of all WTO rules and regulations.

EUROPE: Developing Nations Lose Billions to Multinational Tax Dodging

Not corruption but multinational tax dodging is the main reason why developing nations stay aid-dependent, says a new report. And while new proposals by the European Commission try to tackle the problem, they turn a blind eye towards tax havens.

Aid Not Effectively Reaching Africa’s Poor

Kenyan tea and coffee farmers remain disgruntled about the minimal profits they make selling their cash crops, the country’s leading foreign currency earners, as the government receives millions in funding for training and subsidies that most of these farmers are yet to see materialise.

The Rush for Oil in West Africa – The New Wild West?

There is a new oil rush off the coast of West Africa. But there are fears that the sector is not sufficiently regulated, and watchdog groups are raising concerns about transparency and governance in the region.

Global South Needs New Path of Development

The convergence of leading countries from the global South - China, India, Brazil and South Africa, among others - to assist the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere constitutes a new "dynamic" in the emerging global economic partnerships, says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Heads of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies meet at this year's summit in Cannes, France. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

G20: Final Push for Financial Transactions Tax

While the Greek bailout and stimulus package dominated discussion among the Group of 20 (G20) major industrialised and emerging market economies at the high-level summit in Cannes, France, this week, the proposed financial transactions tax (FTT) received meagre attention.

A cornerstone of Africa

Africa’s Free Trade Zone: A Pie in the Sky?

African heads of state have ambitious plans to create a free trade zone, encompassing 26 countries and more than 600 million people on the continent. But economic experts warn the project is a bold step that comes with a plethora of legal, administrative and political hurdles. Others suggest the plan might be a pie in the sky.

A police car burns at last year's G20 summit in Toronto, Canada. Credit:  Marty Olauson/IPS

IBSA: In Conflict with the EU

When the G20 leaders meet for their fifth summit in Cannes, France, on Thursday, they will be confronted with several worsening global economic and trade issues. Among them is how to strengthen the international trading system and how to overcome the developmental deficit that continues to create an uneven playing field for poor countries.

Workers at Shinning Century Ltd in Maseru fear for their jobs. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

LESOTHO: Government to Turn its Back on Textile Industry

Lesotho’s textile sector – the country’s largest employer - is regarded by many as the only way out of the poverty trap in a tiny kingdom where more than half of the population lives on less than 1.25 dollars a day. But what many do not know is that the government and the World Bank have unofficially turned their backs on the sector and will soon cut important subsidies.

Will the World Trade Organization remain multilateral? Credit:

TRADE: Developing Countries Out in the Cold at WTO

Developing countries, particularly from Africa, are concerned about attempts by industrialised nations to change the negotiating dynamic of the World Trade Organization.

SOUTH KOREA: Opposition Resists U.S. Trade Pact

South Korea's opposition party has said it will resist any bid to force a sweeping free-trade agreement with the U.S. through parliament, following ratification of the deal by the U.S. congress.

Africa Ravaged by Continued Denial of Market Access

The poorest countries in Africa are not merely the victims of natural calamities. They are also ravaged by the continued denial of market access as promised in the Doha trade negotiations, say African trade diplomats.

Seventy percent of Namibians depend on agriculture.  Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

TRADE: Climate Change Will Impede North-South Trade

Climate change is increasingly playing a role in North-South trade, as carbon emissions are being used as an excuse to protect markets, with poorer countries likely to lose out.

Garment factories, like this one in Karachi, are among Pakistan's major employers. Credit: Zofeen Ebrahim/IPS

Bangladesh Draws Pakistan’s Garment Makers

Faced with serious political instability and a deteriorating industrial climate, Pakistan’s garment exporters are turning to Bangladesh, a territory which splintered away after a bloody war of independence in 1971.

Farmers fear that their produce will not be able to compete with those by EU subsidised farmers.  Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS

East Africa Wants to Trade Beyond the EU

The East African Community (EAC) and European Union head back to negotiations on Monday to resolve the controversy over the delay in signing an economic partnership agreement between the two trading blocs.

There are no laws to regulate the activities of microfinance companies in Ghana. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

GHANA: Guidelines for Unregulated Microfinance Sector

When Andrew Poku's mother passed away he needed help to pay for her funeral. So the 35-year-old teacher from Accra turned to one of the country's several loan companies for a 670-dollar loan.

E-Waste Hits China

Despite new government regulations, China, for decades the dumping ground for the world’s electronic waste, still struggles to treat and process millions of tonnes of e-waste, prompting health and environmental concerns.

Furniture on display at the trade show in Gaza. Credit: Eva Bartlett/IPS.

MIDEAST: Borders in Way of Orders

Waddah Bsaiso is ready to export, if the Israeli-imposed siege would allow him. He has the experience, the contacts, and the products, but is prevented by Israel's strict ban on virtually all Gazan exports, save a token amount of flowers periodically allowed out of the Strip.

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