China & East Asia 22 Dec 2015 by Tojo Jose

China to expand government expenditure to stimulate the economy

China to expand government expenditure to stimulate the economy

China’s top policy making body indicated that the administration is going to introduce a group of measures to correct the existing abnormalities and guide the economy to achieve higher growth. The Central Economic Work Conference, where economic policy guidelines are taken, decided to increase government deficit and to make monetary policy more flexible. China is experiencing moderate growth, which according to the policy makers is the ‘new normal’, given the economy’s current phase of development. But a more fundamental and deep problem for China is that in the context of declining global demand for its exports, domestic demand is not picking up. Declinin

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US and Europe 21 Dec 2015 by Tojo Jose

Brent falls to eleven year low as US readies to export crude after 40 years

Brent falls to eleven year low as US readies to export crude after 40 years

The Brent grade crude prices dipped to the 2004 levels indicating that oversupply continues to drive oil prices down. On Monday, Brent recorded $36.1, the lowest figure since 2004. A similar pattern is visible on the other variety- the WTI (West Texas Intermediary). Renewed momentum in US sites is considered to be the immediate reason for the price fall. On another development, the US has revealed its intentions to enter the export market. Last week, Congress ratified a plan to remove its 40 year old ban on crude oil exports. Observers point out that it will take considerable time for the US decision to take effect. But still crude has got a new price fall factor. According to th

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IMF and WTO 20 Dec 2015 by Tojo Jose

US finally agrees to the IMF governance reforms

US finally agrees to the IMF governance reforms

Five years after the IMF Board of Governors approved the historic quota reforms of the IMF, the US Congress has given consent to it on December 18th. The Congress has passed the quota reform after rejecting the IMF Board of Governor’s decision several times during the last five years. IMF’s voting pattern is peculiar as it gives vote share (and the quota or share of money that a member country has to give to the IMF) in accordance with the economic weight of members. Every important decision including the quota reforms need 85% of votes in the IMF. The US has nearly 17% of the total votes and that gives it a veto power. In the US, international treaties need the c

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IMF and WTO 19 Dec 2015 by Tojo Jose

WTO talks extends as India rejects weak subsidy cutting plans by the developed bloc

WTO talks extends as India rejects weak subsidy cutting plans by the developed bloc

The Nairobi Ministerial Conference has been extended to few more hours and the closing ceremony extended to Saturday amidst unsettled rift between India led developing nations and the advanced countries. Closing ceremony of the conference was postponed twice on Friday and ultimately to the next day with developing countries demanding firm trade distorting domestic subsidy removal commitment from the developed countries. Negotiations are also going on is other two critical issues related to agriculture- public stockholding of food grains and special safeguard mechanisms. In another development the developing countries have developed more unity with the African group attacking the

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IMF and WTO 18 Dec 2015 by Arun S Vaidya

Nairobi MC making life difficult for WTO

Nairobi MC making life difficult for WTO

Progress at the tenth round of the WTO’s Ministerial Conference (MC) indicates that the inevitable clash between the so called ‘new issues’  and the Doha Development Agenda is driving the MC towards a crash finish. So far the draft distributed at the Conference doesn’t include the agenda of the G-33- the Special Safeguard Mechanism.   On the other hand, it contains the new issues though there is no specific mentioning of the measures that the developing world doesn’t entertain right now.   Members have the freedom to suggest the changes and submit it on the final day of the summit on Friday. The Chair of the MC declared that the Confe

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US and Europe 17 Dec 2015 by Tojo Jose

US Fed makes the historic rate hike

US Fed makes the historic rate hike

The US Federal Reserve has made its first rate hike after the financial crisis today, indicating the end of its sever year long easy money policy. The move is extra ordinary as it will end a period of seven year long easy liquidity situation in the world that flooded liquidity in financial markets across the world including the debt and equity markets of the EMEs. In its monetary policy statement on Wednesday, the Fed Chairman Janet Yellen announced increase in its policy rate which is known as the Fed rate by 0.25%. This is the interest rate that charged by the Fed while giving short term loans to the commercial banks. The Central bank has signaled more increases to come &

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IMF and WTO 15 Dec 2015 by Tojo Jose

Understanding India’s trade discussion strategy at Nairobi

Understanding India’s trade discussion strategy at Nairobi

India has strongly mobilized the opinion of the developing world in favor of the Special and Safeguard Measures all of a sudden. Couple of months back, the SSM was not an agenda at the pre – Ministerial Conference discussions. The late activation of the SSM constitutes an important strategy of India’s trade discussions at Nairobi. This is because WTO is such a forum where countries exchanges concessions in a reciprocal manner. If India has to get a concession say in the form of permission to its food procurement, it has to give a concession to the opposite group- the developed countries n another issue like the new issues. Now, at Nairobi, the advanced countries are b

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IMF and WTO 11 Dec 2015 by Tojo Jose

No to new issues, implement the DDA- India firms stand before Nairobi

No to new issues, implement the DDA- India firms stand before Nairobi

Objecting to the WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo’s stand that Nairobi is the last opportunity, India has disagreed for setting any artificial deadlines.  India’s commerce secretary, Rita Teaotia indicated that negotiations take long time and Doha Development Agenda has not been settled even after fourteen years. Ms Teaotaia’s firmed India’s stand against the potential agenda broadening by the developed countries at Nairobi by bringing ‘new issues’. Pre- Ministerial Conference (MC) talks indicate that the developed countries are in a mood to reintroduce the so called new issues – environment, competition policy government procur

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IMF and WTO 07 Dec 2015 by Tojo Jose

India expects space at Nairobi for a decision on public stock holding of food grains

India expects space at Nairobi for a decision on public stock holding of food grains

Next week’s Nairobi Ministerial Conference (MC) of the WTO is critical for India. First of all, the trade promoting body doesn’t have a serious issue as its pre-ministerial work programme indicates. So far not much preparatory discussions were conducted on any of the trade matters. Secondly, the WTO has to t settle India’s food subsidy issue by the eleventh MC. Hence India may get an opportunity and sufficient time at the MC to its pressing demand for giving food procurement a concessional treatment. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked the WTO to honour decisions taken at Bali on food procurement. "The grievance is that many things which are part of th

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Emerging Markets 03 Dec 2015 by Tojo Jose

India provides a breakthrough commitment at Paris on coal use reduction

India provides a breakthrough commitment at Paris on coal use reduction

India has made its climate support commitment that the country is ready to reduce the use of coal if the West provides finance and technology in renewable energies. The willingness to reduce coal use is a breakthrough at the Paris climatic talk. At present, India coal is the largest energy source for India and it is the leading user of coal. “We have made it very clear that solar and wind are out first commitment. Hydro, nuclear-all of these non-carbon sources are what we will develop to the largest extend that we can. What cannot be met by these will be met by coal,” Ajay Mathur, negotiator of the country stated at the Paris Conference. Coal provides nearly two third

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