South Asia Uncovered






CUTS CITEE has decided that the time has come to revamp its flagship publication – the Economiquity newsletter. Previously, for almost a decade, this quarterly newsletter presented a compilation of news from around the world relating to trade, economics and the environment, since there was a vacuum of such material. Now taking into consideration that there is an abundance of sources displaying such information on a continuous basis, Economiquity has been reformed. This new bi-monthly e-newsletter presents publications from across South Asia, which are researched and written by renowned experts, civil society organisations, research institutes, and academics. What was once not easy to find is now before your eyes!


Please click on the following links to find out the key issues concerning South Asia in terms of trade, economics and the environment:


                        WTO Issues

                        Regional Economic Cooperation

Developmental Issues


CUTS CITEE in Action

       New Projects




Call for Publications





WTO Issues


Future of Doha Round: From Suspension of negotiations to possible scenarios

In today’s globalised world, a fair, rule-based multilateral trading system is more crucial than ever before. The negotiations of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) are facing their most difficult phase after having been suspended sine die across the board on July 27, 2006. The major challenge of a “Development” Round is to contribute to the goal that trade works better for development. It remains rather unclear when the negotiations of DDA will be resumed and what implications of the final outcome are in store for developing countries.


WTO’s 149 members wrap up disappointing year for free trade talk

The Doha blueprint centered on easing trade restrictions for a wide range of goods and services, while focusing specifically on needs of poorer countries. At the general council meeting, countries spoke one after another of their wish to re-energise the talks, with the most urgent calls coming from developing nations, fearful of being cut out as richer nations make bilateral trade deals with one another.


Fast-tracking WTO talks on services in India's interest

India’s interest in the liberalisation of trade in services is not a secret. In fact, India was one among a handful of countries at the last WTO Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong to push for a Ministerial Declaration on services. Things are moving much slower than desired. While a number of trade ministers will meet to discuss modalities for negotiations on industrial and agricultural goods during January 2007, in Davos, no date has yet been fixed for submission of revised offers for liberalising services.


If Doha dies, what then?
The three key questions are: Why has the Doha Round missed its deadlines? What are the chances of a successful conclusion by the end of 2006? What will be the consequences of failure? If the Doha Round does indeed fail, then it will have disproportionately negative implications for all countries, both rich and poor.


WTO’s 2006 report highlights developing countries’ growing role in world trade
Developing countries are playing a growing role in the WTO, not only in the Doha negotiations but also in the Dispute Settlement process and in all facets of WTO activity, says Director General Pascal Lamy in his foreword to the report.


Regional Economic Cooperation


Economic cooperation between India and Pakistan
Pakistani government’s initiative to increase the positive list of tradable products from 773 to 1075 under the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) could result in the doubling of formal trade from US$1bn to US$2bn. However, this exchange can quadruple if only there is closer economic cooperation, and that could lead to better peace


Asian currency unit still a dream
Asian Development Bank (ADB) would formulate a conceptual currency unit the "Asian Yuan”, based on a package of Asian currencies in order to promote regional economic cooperation and development. However, there are big differences in the level of economic development between Asian countries and these differences are creating major hindrance to an Asian Yuan.


Europe and East Asia: a trade relationship examined
East Asia′s emergence in the world economy is an issue recurring with increasing regularity in the European business literature and it constitutes one of the most important challenges to Europe into the 21st century. East Asia now accounts for over a quarter of world gross national product (GNP). If the region continues to clock up the record growth rates achieved in the past, its GNP will overtake North America′s by 2011 and Europe′s by 2016.!A196FAB6643CB67F!126.entry


South American Integration - or Disintegration?

In April, Venezuela announced that it was pulling out of the 37-year-old Andean Community bloc, which led to a reduction in personnel in the bloc's institutions and in its activities. The decision by Venezuela, previously the bloc's biggest contributor, was followed by declarations and political gestures by representatives of several of the countries that remain in the Andean Community: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.




Developmental Issues


GDP in South Asia to expand by 8.2 percent in 2006: World Bank

Globalisation is likely to bring benefits to many. By 2030, 1.2 billion people in developing countries, "15 percent of the world population" will belong to the "global middle class," up from 400 million today


Denmark extends US$800,000 grant to ECA

Denmark and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a grant of US$800,000 in support of the Commission`s efforts towards addressing Africa`s development challenges in the area of trade.


China to Double Aid to Africa

Chinese President Hu Jintao has pledged to double his country's assistance to the African continent by 2009, and proposed a raft of new loans, development projects in health and agriculture, and debt cancellations. In his speech during the two-day China-Africa summit in Beijing, Hu said China wants to be Africa's "partner".


Cellular Growth and Poverty Alleviation

Industry analysts forecast that 80 percent of the next billion mobile phone customers will come from emerging markets. Africa, for example, has the fastest growing mobile market in the world. The continent's subscriber base grew by 66 percent in 2005 to 135 million users, compared with growth of just 11 percent in Western Europe during the same period”.



Champions of free market blocking globalisation

Globalisation continues to be a game of the rich. The rich nations make rules of the game and change them any time they feel their ‘national interests’ are threatened. In fact, the rising protectionism in many of the rich countries seems to be blocking the globalisation process.





Call for Publications


For experts publishing articles in South Asian newspapers/publications, civil society organisations, research institutes and academics, if you would like your publication’s abstract and weblink to distributed to CUTS International network (above 5,000 recipients all over the world) and added to the Economiquity e-newsletter, please forward  such details via email to following address:



This e-newsletter is compiled by the CUTS CITEE team , CUTS International.


Disclaimer: This e-newsletter contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorised by the copyright owners. Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) is making the abstracts of these articles available in our efforts to advance understanding of trade, economic and development issues. We believe that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of the copyrighted material as provided for in Article 10 of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Text 1971) and in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If anybody wishes to use materials from this e-newsletter for purposes that go beyond ‘fair use’, s/he must obtain permission from the copyright owner. CUTS will not draw any profit from this e-newsletter, since it is solely for informative and educational purposes.



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