Archive for the ‘Downloadables’ Category

The Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement or JPEPA is by far the most comprehensive bilateral economic agreement that the country has entered into since the RP-US Parity Agreement of 1946. It combines a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and a bilateral free trade agreement (BFTA) on goods (manufacturing, agriculture and fisheries) and services. It also has provisions on intellectual property rights, movement of natural persons, mutual recognition and bilateral cooperation. Further, it covers the so-called Singapore issues: trade facilitation, government procurement and competition policy.

As the country’s first comprehensive bilateral in the new millennium, JPEPA is seen as a template for other BFTAs and BITs which are now placed on the Philippine trade negotiating table. But is it a good template? Is it a sound compass to national development? Will it redound to the nation’s best interests?

We, at the Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade), are not convinced that the JPEPA is a good template for a productive, balanced and win-win trade and economic partnership between two countries. A closer scrutiny of the 1,000-page partnership text shows that there are imbalances which need to be corrected.

Download FairTrade materials on JPEPA here:
FairTrade position on JPEPA: Para saan? Para kanino?
FairTrade research on the fisheries aspect on JPEPA

As this 14th Congress rolls on, FairTrade will be continuing its legislative assignments left hanging from the 13th Congress.

Particular Bills that FairTrade will be pushing are: the anti-smuggling Bill, the trade representative office Bill and the cheaper medicines Bill filed by Legislators Sen. Mar Roxas and Cong. Erin Tañada.

Senate Bill No.101: Law on Patents, Tradenames and Trademarks
Senate Bill No.106: Anti-Smuggling Act of 2007
Senate Bill No.252: Charter of the Philippine Trade Representative Office

House Bill No. 15: Anti-Smuggling Act of 2007
House Bill No. 318: Charter of the Philippine Trade Representative Office

After a long silence in the WTO headquarters, the draft text of the modalities for Non-agricultural Market Access (NAMA) and Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) are out. Here are the two in .pdf file format:

Draft Modalities for Agriculture
Draft NAMA Modalities

UPDATE: FairTrade Senior Researcher Errol Ramos has an initial observations and reactions to the draft NAMA modalities.

Based on his summary, the salient features of the new NAMA draft are:

For bound tariffs, the Swiss formula is adopted with 2 coefficients (1 for developed and one for developing). Specifically: (1) Between 8-9 for developed; and (2) Between 19-23 for developing.

For unbound tariffs, a 20 percent mark-up will be adopted.

The flexibilities under the para 8 of the NAMA Framework are:

(1) For bound tariffs, 10 percent of the NAMA lines will have lesser cuts. (2) For unbound tariffs, 5 percent of the NAMA lines will be kept unbound.

The new NAMA draft also speaks of having no consensus or little development at all on the:

1. Definition of what full reciprocity is,
2. Sectoral initiatives
3. Other issues like non-tariff barriers, conversion to ad valorem equivalents
4. NAMA environmental goods.
5. Balance of ambition between NAMA and AoA.

His reactions to the draft NAMA text, after the jump:

Continue Reading »

Two reflection papers from Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo on ASEAN and investments now available for download:

Closing the Development Gap: An ASEAN Puzzle

In 2006, the Economic Ministers of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) made a bold pronouncement: they are advancing to 2015 the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a seamless and tariff-free regional economy. Under the Bali Concord of 2003, the AEC is one of the three pillars underpinning the ASEAN Community (AC); the other two pillars are the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) and the ASEAN Security Community (ASC) . In January 2007, in their Summit in Cebu, the ASEAN Leaders reaffirmed the regional resolve towards a full AEC when they declared that the vision of one ASEAN Community is being advanced to 2015, from the original 2020.

But can the ASEAN really develop a seamless and integrated regional economy in a span of seven or eight years? To find out, click here.

Hedge Funds and Equities: Defining the Social and Labor Rules of Investment

Its bubble time in Asia once again. Stocks are at all-time high everywhere. Asian currencies are clobbering the once almighty US dollar everywhere. The real estate business is booming everywhere, with the glut of office spaces disappearing and new office buildings dotting Asia’s commercial skylines. This boom is further fueled by the global business process outsourcing (BPO), which is spreading from India and the Philippines to China, Thailand, Vietnam and other Asian countries. Investments, foreign and domestic, backed up by the big banks and financial houses, seem to be flowing and criss-crossing everywhere. As Goldman Sachs and other international credit rating agencies put it, Asia is one giant ‘emerging market’ for hungry investors. Click here, to continue.

The Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade)’s releases its Annual report for the year 2006 entitled “FairTrade in 2006: Deepening and Widening Advocacy for Trade Justice and Balanced Development.” To download an electronic copy, click here.

The annual report contains the following documents:

  1. Narrative for 2006 Annual Report
  2. Compilation of FairTrade Positions and Statements
  3. FairTrade Press Releases and Media Coverage
  4. FairTrade Activities in Pictures

2006 is another banner year for FairTrade. Despite limited resources and the support of a small Secretariat, the Alliance was able to build on the gains of the previous years and sustain the quality and intensity of the overall fair trade campaign.




  • FairTrade in pictures

    JPEPA

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    BANNER_JPEPA

    10.08.07_JPEPA_MOB (25)

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  • Founded in 2001, the Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade) of the Philippines is a broad multisectoral coalition of formal and informal labor, industry, agriculture, NGOs and youth pushing for trade and economic reforms.
  • FairTrade seeks to promote a job-full and progressive Philippine economy through: (1) the promotion of fair trade rules and active agro-industrial policies based on the existing development needs of the nation, (2) the development of a positive agro-industrial culture to foster innovation, hard work and solidarity between and among the productive sectors of Philippine society, and (3) the transformation of an economy debased and stunted by colonial mentality, unequal trade and neo-liberal dogma into a modern, sustainable and broad-based.
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