Trade Wars

“BRICS Can Ensure Affordable Drugs”

While ‘data exclusivity’ clauses will not feature in the India-European Union free trade agreement (FTA), the threat posed by the impending deal to the world’s supply of cheap generic drugs is far from over.

IBSA: Pro-Western Mindset Hinders India-Brazil Pharma Deals

Cooperation between India and Brazil in pharmaceuticals and medical biotechnology has begun to falter, because Indian authorities would rather collaborate with western counterparts than those in developing countries, new research shows.

Topographic work on the interoceanic corridor. Credit: Courtesy of Asociación Poder Para Todos

GUATEMALA: Future Interoceanic Corridor Will Rival Panama Canal

Guatemala will become a hub of connection and logistics for world trade when a highway-rail cargo transport corridor linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is completed.

UKRAINE: Trade Going West

In spite of the nominally pro-Russian government in Ukraine, the country will most likely sign a free trade agreement with the EU by the end of the year, in what will be a blow to Russia’s interests.

Libya Dominates EU-Africa Talks

Facing unrest in the north and a struggle against poverty elsewhere, leaders of the African Union and their European counterparts are working as "equal partners" to spread democracy and economic opportunity across the African continent.

Tata scholars at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg  Credit: Tata Holdings Africa

IBSA: India Stakes Its Bets on Training Africa

Of the various cooperation programmes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, plans for an India-Africa Virtual University (IAVU) take pride of place.

EUROPE: Investment Treaties Undemocratic

A proposal to put an end to the highly anti-democratic nature of the European Union’s Bilateral Investment Treaties was heavily watered down by a plenary voting in the European Parliament. However, in their current form the treaties may pose a serious risk for European democracy.

Jany Chen, CEO of Shanghai Environmental Group, speaks with IPS. Credit: Sanjay Suri/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: Chinese Step In, Efficiently

For Jany Chen from Shanghai, concern often-raised in Europe and North America about the Chinese invasion of Africa is a lot of wasteful talk that deserves to be flushed down the toilet. Efficiently.

DEVELOPMENT: New Action Programme, and New Name for the Poorest

A new 10-year blueprint for assisting the poorest countries on the planet to join the league of the more fortunate ones was approved Friday at the closing of the Fourth U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) held May 9- 13 here.

Demba Moussa Dembele, chairperson of LDC Watch, speaks to IPS. Credit: Sanjay Suri/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: South-South Axis Strengthens

The glass isn’t exactly half-full, but it certainly is not entirely empty either. Within the broad failure of the weeklong Fourth U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) in Istanbul that concluded Friday, many delegates are taking heart in a strengthening South-South front that has emerged.

Bakeries struggle to produce bread in the face of wheat shortage. Credit: Emad Mekay/IPS.

Egypt Seeks End to Foreign Wheat Dependence

Egypt is stepping up its wheat production in a bid to stem the country’s rising dependence on foreign imports that escalated during the 30-year rule of former President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in February.

Turkish section of the private sector bazaar packed with goods targeted at LDC buyers. Credit: Sanjay Suri/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: Market Forces Rise Above Declarations

Upstairs in halls where the conference of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is being held, all the right things were being said about the misery of poverty and the virtue of opportunity and development. Several floors below, what are called ‘market forces’ were at work.

Valentine Rugwabiza, deputy director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) speaks with IPS. Credit: Sanjay Suri/IPS

LDCs Seek Mini Trade Deal

Leaders from the Least Developed Countries are making a strong push in Istanbul for a mini trade deal for their 48 impoverished nations - ahead of any worldwide agreement under the Doha Round.

RUSSIA: Eighteen Years of WTO Negotiations Continue

After almost 18 years of unsuccessful but persistent struggle to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), experts say that efforts by Russian authorities have not been enough and have often lacked political will.

TRADE-CENTRAL AMERICA: Global Wave Drowns Small Businesses

"If we could export our products, it would open up a lot of possibilities for us, but we don't have any direct support from the government, or training or credit facilities," said Efraín Patzán, a small-scale furniture maker in the central Guatemalan town of San Juan Sacatepéquez.

Shyam Saran Credit:

Q&A: ‘Common Concern, Not Common Action’

The summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries showed up both the strengths and the limitations of the caucus of emerging economies, says former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran in an interview to IPS.

BRICS to Show Its Weight at WTO

Despite political differences among member countries, BRICS has set its sights on global trade talks to assert its weight. Its declared aim: to secure economic benefits for developing nations.

A textile enterprise in the old city of Nablus. Credit: Ray Smith

MIDEAST: Palestinians Find Trade, Not an Economy

The Palestinian Authority is preapring to establish a state in near future. But the Palestinian economy remains strongly tied to Israel, and manufacturers are struggling to recover from the second Intifadah.

El Hadji Diouf: South Africa will try to trump its IBSA partners when it comes to market access in Africa. Credit: Isolda Agazzi/IPS

IBSA States Do Not Always Have Common Positions on Trade Issues

"IBSA what?" is the question you most often get in Geneva when enquiring about the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) dialogue forum, established in 2003 between these three multicultural democracies and emerging markets "to contribute to the construction of a new international architecture".

Rally against the India-EU FTA by HIV positive people in New Delhi. Credit: Mudit Mathur/IPS

INDIA: EU Trade Deal May Curb Affordable Drug Supply

As India prepares to seal a sweeping trade and investment deal with the European Union (EU) in April, civil society groups are campaigning to limit the agreement's repercussions within the local generic drug industry here upon which millions of people around the globe depend.

Rally against an asbestos plant in Muzzaffarpur, Bihar.   Credit: Ban Asbestos Network of India

INDIA: Agitation Challenges Asbestos Import

Activists hope that a popular agitation against the setting up of a factory to manufacture asbestos products in the eastern Bihar state will result in a nationwide ban on the large-scale import into this country of the deadly mineral fibre.

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