Despite the expected challenges, Seoul will push for certain exemptions over sensitive agricultural products during the upcoming third round of free trade agreement talks with Washington, the Korean government said.
The recently-signed trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) between the US and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will sooner or later lead to a free trade agreement (FTA), and this will prove disastrous to the vulnerable sectors of the region, according to independent think-tank IBON Foundation.
"Regardless of fierce nation-wide protests, I will dedicate my remaining time in office to realizing the FTA." These words encapsulate the attitude that has seen South Korean President Roh Mu-Hyun and his government become increasingly defensive and isolated in power.
In the wake of the collapse of the Doha talks in the World Trade Organization (WTO), negotiations for the country to enter into an Asia-Pacific free trade agreement (FTA) have become more urgent for industrialized countries. But independent think-tank IBON Foundation warns that entering into an FTA could be even more dangerous than liberalization under the WTO.
The United States yesterday sharply opposed the idea of commencing text-based negotiations on disclosing the origin of biological resources and 'traditional knowledge' in patent applications (WTD, 5/26/06).
'Policy space', an issue that featured most prominently at the UNCTAD eleventh session in Sao Paulo in 2004, has re-emerged as a burning issue at the UNCTAD Mid-Term Review (MTR) meeting held here this week.
A week-long meeting of the 2006 Mid-Term Review (MTR) of UNCTAD XI started Monday with key delegations and groupings giving their initial positions on the mandate and future role of UNCTAD, including in light of the current United Nations reform process.
Many developing countries and their groupings have declared at a WTO services meeting on new disciplines on domestic regulation that there is no need to establish rules based on a 'necessity test', and that the rules should adequately recognize the developing countries' right to regulate their services.