IMF reform gives BRIC
countries more voice
Formal approval of long-discussed reforms of the
IMF increases the weight of Brazil, Russia, India
and China on the executive board.
The reform, the most fundamental overhaul in the
fund's 65-year history, was approved and means
that European members, including Belgium and
Germany, will lose clout in the organisation.
The changes also give more financial
responsibility to the four countries, which have
been agitating for more international recognition
of their developing economic prowess.
The breakthrough agreement on the reforms was
reached last month in Kyongju, South Korea,
where negotiators from the new world economic
block - the G20 - came to an agreement about
reapportioning IMF voting rights.
FDI rules complex, harmful: US
US commerce secretary Garry Locke has criticised
India’s ‘complicated’ foreign direct investment rules and
non-tariff trade restrictions, saying they are detrimental to
the country’s long-term economic interests.
The senior US official is, however, upbeat about growing
bilateral trade between the two countries, and is positive
that the agreements signed during US President Barak
Obama’s India visit will accelerate growth.
Even as tariffs come down on some items (in India), non-
tariff barriers have proliferated.
Import licences, standards & certifications and local
content requirement are just some barriers that foreign
businesses face in India.
These measures, while they may provide some economic
comfort in the short run, will limit the long-term potential
for Indian economy and hamper the very innovation that
will drive 21st century economic competitiveness,” Mr
Anand Sharma said several changes have been made ever
since the policy was implemented in 1996 and all changes
were incremental and progressive.
APEC to mould existing pacts
into giant FTA
ASIA-PACIFIC ministers agreed to build on existing pacts
in the dynamic region to establish a giant free trade zone in
the coming years and to avoid taking any new protectionist
measures for the next three years.
APEC members have signed 43 bilateral and mini-free trade
pacts with each other.
The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) — most of whom are APEC members — has its
own free trade area and is building an EU-style economic
community. ASEAN also has various pacts with APEC
members China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
India sees red as EU allows
duty-free access to Pak textiles
INDIA will oppose preferential access given to Pakistan’s
textile industry by the European Union as a relief measure
against the devastating floods, a move that could render
India’s exports to the region uncompetitive. The three-
year favourable access to the 27-country strong market
will begin from January next year, giving duty-free access
to a number of textile products from Pakistan.
This measure clearly violates the principle of General
Most Favoured Nation Treatment of the WTO.
The EU had, in October, introduced emergency
autonomous trade preferences for Pakistan to help it
recover from the devastating floods earlier this year. It
decided to allow duty-free import 75 products from the
country, 64 of them textiles, amounting to almost €900
million in import value.
The move would put India’s textile exports to the EU at a
serious disadvantage as its products would continue to
face 6- 12% import duty. India exported textiles and
clothing worth $5.9 billion to the EU in 2009 while
Pakistan’s exports totalled $2.2 billion.