On October 1, 2012 in Washington D.C., WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy gave a speech at Brookings Institutes about the future of trade. In his speech, he mentioned about new trading powers – China, Brazil, India, Mexico and Malaysia as the drives of global export growth. Nature of trade has changed because of the increasing integration of production of products.
“For centuries, the mercantilist approach of single country product was a driving force in trade policy”, Lamy said, and has still been a heated argument about whether exports were good and imports bad. It is now very hard to disintegrate the goods and services since nearly 60% of the merchandise trade happened in components. Such changes in the nature of trade from single manufacturing sites to global value-chain productions has urged for re-thinking of our trade calculation. According to Lamy, “if the measure of trade was in value-added rather than gross statistical terms, bilateral trade balances would look very different” – WTO economists believe that China’s $295 billion trade surplus with the U.S. would be reduced by nearly half.
On the other hand, Lamy also suggested that tariffs and other trade regulations can have profound impact in trade. He points out that an “open” conversation on international trade should be facilitated given the changing environment.
APEC Ministerial Conference took place in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 5.
The conference discussed issues on global value chains, food security, Doha Development Agenda, multilateral co-operation, and trade and development innovation. It also reached tariffs deal on an extended list of environmental goods.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), established in 1989, is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity by promoting free trade and economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC focuses on three key areas:
Trade and Investment Liberalization
Economic and Technical Cooperation
The APEC Ministerial Conference sets the stage for the 2012 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Vladivostok on September 8-9.