Trade

Government procurement – key element in TPP; Missed opportunity in RCEP?

Government procurement – key element in TPP; Missed opportunity in RCEP?
Government procurement has been treated quite differently in trade agreements initiated by the US than in those that have been led by Asian governments. US-led trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), incorporate government procurement commitments as an important element. In contrast, Asian-led trade agreements omit or minimize government procurement provisions. The parties to Asian agreements, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), should consider the benefits of including government procurement in their trade pacts. Read more.
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Regional Cooperation

G20 and international economic policy coordination

G20 and international economic policy coordination
When G20 Leaders met in April 2009 they agreed on coordinated fiscal stimulus in response to the unfolding financial crisis. This explicit coordination addressed the concern that any one country’s stimulus would largely flow overseas through the external account, benefitting the global economy but not doing much to boost domestic demand. This concerted stimulus seems to have been successful. In the face of a dramatic collapse in financial systems in much of the advanced world the fiscal stimulus put a floor under contracting GDP. The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) huge stimulus produced a swift return to 10% growth in 2010. Read more.
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Governance

Why is the PRC showing signs of overheating despite slowing economic growth?

Why is the PRC showing signs of overheating despite slowing economic growth?
The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) economy has shown signs of overheating despite a sharp slowdown in economic growth, suggesting that, constrained by the supply of labor, its potential growth rate might have fallen significantly from its past level. With the priorities of the PRC’s authorities shifting from raising economic growth to curbing inflation, they are expected to change their stance on macroeconomic policy, including monetary policy, from easing to tightening. As a result, the PRC economy is likely to slow in 2014. Read more.
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Finance

What should Europe do to fix its financial system?

What should Europe do to fix its financial system?
Over five years after the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis, the EU financial system remains in a fragmented state. Banks do not lend to each other across borders without asking for a significant premium. In the larger eurozone countries, cross-border retail banking remains a negligible source of credit and thus could not compensate for the dysfunctional interbank market. As a result, in many European countries, credit for households and businesses—who mostly rely on banks rather than capital markets for financing—remains costly and limited, inhibiting opportunities for economic growth in the region. Read more.
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Trade

Back on track? The importance of the Bali Package for the WTO and global trade

Back on track? The importance of the Bali Package for the WTO and global trade
After several days of grueling negotiations the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013, adopted the Bali Package aimed at mainly streamlining global trade. However, this is only the first step toward a Doha deal and much work remains to re-formulate a post-Bali agenda, as well as reform of the WTO to restore its relevance as a key pillar of multilateral trade relations. Read more.
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