Getting regional trade right in Central Asia

The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was founded in 1985 to provide members with a platform to discuss ways to improve development as well as promote trade and investment opportunities. Around 462 million people — 6.2 per cent of the world’s population — live within the 10 member states of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. But at a time when the world trading system is moving towards regional economic integration, ECO remains one of the least integrated trade organisations in the world, making up only 2.1 per cent of world trade.

  • United States and Việt Nam renew trade dialogue

    The United States and Việt Nam met on March 27 and 28 under their Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to discuss deepening trade ties and address outstanding bilateral trade issues.

  • RCEP talks hit a snag over India’s demand for liberalization of services

    The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations seem to have hit a roadblock with member countries unwilling to accept India’s demand for greater liberalization in services.

  • Russia willing to start New Zealand free-trade talks

    Russia is willing to restart free trade talks with New Zealand that were halted after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, but Trade Minister Todd McClay says it is too soon to resume negotiations with the world’s 12th-biggest economy

  • Economic Partnership Agreements and the African Continental Free Trade Area

    As of June 2016, the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) have been concluded – but not signed and ratified – in three African regions, namely the East African Community, the Southern African Development Community and Western Africa. In addition, two interim EPAs – the Central Africa and Eastern and Southern Africa EPAs – are being provisionally applied by Cameroon since 2014 and Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe since 2012.

  • Brexit's cliff edge: 'business as usual' not an option

    Failure to strike a trade deal with the European Union by a two-year deadline would force Britain to adopt World Trade Organization arrangements, bringing with it a host of new negotiations and complications.

  • Malaysia: We are ready to resume FTA talks with European Union

    Malaysia is ready to resume negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) following the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

  • Food retailers seek UK-EU free trade agreement

    The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and other food industry representative bodies have called on the UK Government to secure two-way tariff-free trade with the EU in Brexit discussions.

  • Asia pushes forward to take lead in free trade and globalization

    Since the end of WWII, the world economies have seen a solid 70 years of economic growth and prosperity under a world system that encourages free trade and globalization. Although growth was disproportionate and not every country could maximize the benefits from the free global trading system, every country was progressing in a peaceful environment other than those being bogged down by wars.