News & Commentary:

January 2002 Archives


Argentina Takes Action
Foreign Affairs Jan 2002
The state of Argentine democracy, the IMF defends itself, was Paul OíNeill right?

Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food
HMS Beagle Jan 2002
"Biotech, Big Money and the Future of Food," the subtitle of Dan Charles' book on genetically engineered crops, is the story of the battles of titans. Monsanto, the huge agrichemical company, is the protagonist, and its foes include Greenpeace, Jeremy Rifkin, and a host of environmentalists, regulators, and competitors. But the issues, Charles discovers as he meets the players, are never as black, white, or green as they appear to be. In this section, Charles narrates the struggle between Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred, America's premier seed company, over the introduction of herbicide-tolerance genes into seed corn. Although "traditions and values" figure in this particular skirmish, the real issue is money.

New year brings free-trade era
SCMP Jan 1, 2002
As Europe inaugurates a new common currency, Southeast Asia is marking an economic milestone of its own in the new year by the creation of a 10-nation free trade area.

The Euro Makes History, With Hardly a Hitch
IHT Jan 2, 2002
First on a tropical French island in the Indian Ocean and then in the cold dark of a European winter, the Continent's single currency became a physical reality for 306 million citizens on Tuesday in an audacious move toward economic integration and perhaps eventual political unity.

China sees euro as a counterweight to the dollar
FT Jan 2, 2002
China extended an enthusiastic welcome to the euro, a currency it hopes will dilute the dominance of the US dollar and promote trade and investment between the eurozone and the world's most populous nation.

Editorial comment: Small change, giant leap
FT Jan 2, 2002
At last. After decades as a dream, 10 years as a plan and three as a virtual currency, the euro has arrived.

IMF seeks to draw lessons from turmoil in Argentina
FT Jan 2, 2002
The International Monetary Fund is wearily familiar with the charge that it dogmatically imposes harsh economic policies on borrower countries.

Europe Gets Bold   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge (WSJ) Jan 2, 2002
No more marks, francs or lira.

Argentina: Accepting default, avoiding disaster
Economist Jan 2, 2002
It is no wonder ordinary Argentines are fed up with those who rule them. In recent days the country has not only declared the largest ever default of sovereign debt in history; it has also somehow managed to get through three presidents (plus two acting ones) in less than a fortnight. The way forward is now littered with obstacles, but the route which Argentina needs to take has become clearer.

The euro: Circulating at last
Economist Jan 2, 2002
On new yearís day euro notes and coins became legal tender, replacing national money in 12 European countries. The single currency, however, is already three years old - and an established fact of economic life. However, governments have much to do to ensure that its full benefits are felt.

The world economy: Fighting the wrong battle?
Economist Jan 2, 2002
For economic policymakers across the globe, the coming year will present unusually difficult challenges. The world economy is in the middle of the worst slowdown for nearly 30 years. Finding the right policy prescription involves learning the lessons of history - but not the wrong ones.

Foreign creditors join the pyre
Economist Jan 3, 2002
Foreign claimants are not surprised about the biggest default in history.

On First Day of Business, Euro Passes Crucial Test
IHT Jan 3, 2002
The introduction of euro bills and coins continued successfully for a second day Wednesday as European authorities said the historic replacement of 12 countries' monies was going easier than expected and the European currency scored its biggest one-day gain against the dollar in nine months.

Argentina Set to Drop Dollar Peg
IHT Jan 3, 2002
Argentina's new president, Eduardo Duhalde, has said that his appointment signals the end of the country's one-to-one exchange rate with the U.S. dollar, implying that a devaluation of the peso is imminent.

Asia Looks To Zones of Free Trade   Recommended!
IHT Jan 3, 2002
Region Unlikely to Push for a Monetary Union.

The 21st Century Needs Corporate-Driven Globalization
Michael Garrett & Jean-Pierre Lehmann (IHT) Jan 3, 2002
In contrast with the remarkable economic and political emancipation ushered in by the end of the Cold War, the 20th century ended with a chaotic bang. The Seattle ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in December 1999 was a fiasco. Consequently, the 21st century got off to a very inauspicious start.

A Smooth Debut Lifts Euro's Value in Money Markets
NYT Jan 3, 2002
Europeans in 12 nations have begun using a common currency with no significant problems, a surprising amount of enthusiasm and even a slight rise in its value.

One Currency, but Not One Economy
Robert M. Dunn, Jr (NYT) Jan 3, 2002
The problem with the European Monetary Union is that it creates a single monetary policy for a group of quite different national economies that often experience divergent business-cycle patterns.

IMF Under Fire Over Argentina
IHT Jan 4, 2002
The news that Argentina is likely to sharply devalue its currency, along with an announcement last week that it would suspend payment on its debt, raises fresh questions about the performance of the International Monetary Fund and benefits of the free-market, free-trade, open-investment policies it promotes around the world.

Editorial comment: Argentina and the markets
FT Jan 4, 2002
The economic, financial and political crisis in Argentina, once a poster child for economic reform and the so-called Washington consensus, raises once more the question of whether emerging economies and international financial markets mix. .

Currencies: Exchange Rate Elasticities in Asia   Recommended!
Stephen L. Jen (MSDW) Jan 4, 2002
By how much will the Asia ex-Japan currencies fall with the JPY? To preserve export competitiveness, the average elasticity of USD/Asia ex-Japan currencies with respect to USD/JPY (i.e., the percent change in USD relative to the Asia ex-Japan currencies with respect to the percent change in USD/JPY) is around 0.5, with the elasticity of USD/KRW the highest, at 0.87, and that of USD/IDR the lowest, at 0.28.

Global: The Lessons of 2001
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Jan 4, 2002
Thereís nothing like the heavy lifting of self-improvement. In that spirit, I always believe it is helpful to begin the New Year with a retrospective look at the year that has just ended. Events rarely play out according to script, and it pays to understand what went right and wrong in our economic and financial market prognostications. Itís the least any seer can do before dusting off the crystal ball for yet another glimpse into the ever-murky future. With that noble purpose in mind, I present the five lessons of 2001.

The Cost of WTO   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Dorothy J. Solinger (AWSJ) Jan 4, 2002
New research suggests that more jobs will be lost than created as a result of China's entry into the World Trade Organization.

Argentina set for 30-40% devaluation
FT Jan 5, 2002
The Argentine peso looks set for a 30-40 per cent devaluation as the new president tries to restore order to the crisis-ridden economy. A new, lower official exchange rate, to be used for what the government designates as "essential" transactions, is likely to be applied for 90 days.

Currencies: Is a Weak JPY Really Bad for Asia ex Japan?
Stephen L. Jen (MSDW) Jan 7, 2002
Not As Bad As in 1997-98, but Bad Nevertheless.

Mercosur bloc sees silver lining for region's trade
FT Jan 7, 2002
Mercosur, the troubled South American trade bloc , may receive a boost from the Argentine collapse. Presidents and foreign ministers of the group are scheduled to meet during the next week or two in Buenos Aires for a specially convened summit.

Editorial comment: The UK's five euro tests
FT Jan 7, 2002
Members of the eurozone have successfully launched their new notes and coins and the UK isin a tizzy about when, orwhether, to join. Welcome to another year of British euro-angst.

Argentina Unlinks Peso From Dollar, Bracing for Devaluation
NYT Jan 7, 2002
Argentina on Sunday formally abandoned a decade-long policy of linking its peso to the American dollar at a value of one to one.

Fixing the rate, not the problem
Economist Jan 7, 2002
Nobody could accuse Eduardo Duhalde, Argentinaís newly-appointed president, of inaction. Within days of taking office, he has carried out the largest default of sovereign debt in history, dumped the currency board that tied the Argentine peso to the dollar and devalued the local currency by nearly 29%. But has he done enough to stave off unrest and further economic collapse?

Stockmarkets: Too optimistic?
Economist Jan 7, 2002
In the end, 2001 did not prove as poor a year for stockmarket investors as many had feared. After the bursting of the dotcom bubble in the middle of 2000, it seemed prices were heading in one direction only, and the terrorist attacks on America on September 11th dragged the markets even lower. An aggressive policy response has since cheered markets. But the momentum might not continue far into 2002

Who Benefits from Biotechnology?
CheckBiotech Jan 7, 2002
Biotechnology is an extremely powerful tool. It has the potential to create many useful products as well as many unforeseen problems. As with any new technology, it must be evaluated carefully. It is not prudent to expect private companies to develop products for the public good. Companies are in the business of making money and the products they pursue are designed for that end. To expect any other result from private research is not appropriate or realistic.

Editorial comment: Argentina's woes are not solved
FT Jan 8, 2002
The new Argentine government of President Eduardo Duhalde has started decisively. It took little time to devalue the peso and sketch out a new economic strategy. But the policy remains full of holes. Rather than follow the successful recent devaluations in Mexico, Russia and Brazil, Argentina risks exacerbating its economic crisis.

Ireland heads world index of globalisation
FT Jan 9, 2002
Ireland is by far the world's most globalised country, according to a study of 62 countries. The Globalisation Index puts Ireland well ahead of countries seen as having open economies, such as Singapore, in third place, and New Zealand, in 19th. .

Technology firms: Glimmer or chimera?
Economist Jan 9, 2002
Can technology companies see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel? After the bust of 2000 and the false dawns of 2001, many could be forgiven for thinking that recovery lies a long way off. That may still be true, but signs of a pick-up in demand for semiconductors as well as a stirring of interest among the customers of telecommunications companies are grounds for cautious optimism

Seeds of discord -- The battle over golden rice
CheckBiotech Jan 9, 2002
If there is a speakers' corner for the argument over golden rice, it is America's capital city. Washington is where the forces of agricultural commerce are confronted daily by environmentalists and opponents of big, multinational companies. It's a bumper crop of rhetoric continually harvested by the legions of lobbyists, activists and nongovernmental organizations based here. (ref.2335)

Clash of Civilizations? No, of National Interests and Principles
Amitav Acharya (IHT) Jan 10, 2002
The swift collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan under the weight of American military power marks the defeat of one of the more prominent ideas to emerge from the ashes of the Cold War: Samuel Huntington's thesis about a "clash of civilizations."

Weak 'Loonie' Drives Canada Mad
IHT Jan 10, 2002
It is hard to say what they are, but Americans generally love them and Canadians hate them: the mysterious forces that have pushed the value of Canada's dollar relentlessly downward to new lows in recent weeks.

China: Japan's economic heir apparent
AT Jan 10, 2002
Japan has long been the major economic power in Asia. But while its leaders squabble over political rules and the economy remains troubled, China is rapidly making gains on Tokyo's once-dominant position as Asia-Pacific's economic leader. (Jan 10)

Everyman, farewell   Recommended!
Economist Jan 10, 2002
Once, nobody was considered too small to invest on Wall Street. Times have changed.

Shiokawa's surprise comments halt yen's decline
FT Jan 11, 2002
The Japanese government, apparently alarmed at the speed of the yen's depreciation, said the currency had been falling "too fast", prompting a sharp rally after nearly two months of decline.

The sinking of Argentina
AT Jan 11, 2002
The causes of Argentina's financial crisis are not as obvious as some maintain. But the fiasco does hold obvious lessons for Asia - and not just for the Philippines, whose family-oligarchy controlled economy and society most closely resembles Argentina's.

Argentina: How, why, what next?   Recommended!
AT Jan 11, 2002
It was predicted, and the inevitable has now happened: the biggest debt default in history; presidents falling like ninepins, social upheaval and looting; the peso devalued by 29 percent. These essays examine the causes and likely effects of Argentina's financial crisis. See: After the fall: Repercussions of the Argentine crisis, Economic debacle: The IMF strikes again, and Argentina, the neo-liberal washout

Global: Shiny Euro, Tired Dollar
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Jan 11, 2002
The first thing I did when I arrived in Frankfurt this week was to get some euros. Thereís nothing like the look and feel of newly minted coins -- especially of a currency that heretofore existed only on our screens. When I emptied my pocket at the end of the day, it was not too difficult to separate the euros from my American currency. Shiny and sleek, they stood in sharp contrast to the worn and wrinkled greenbacks. My mind started racing.

Currencies at risk over yen slide: Mahathir
SCMP Jan 12, 2002
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has raised the spectre of a regionwide slide in currency values if a further weakening of the Japanese yen forces China to devalue the yuan.

Ignoring Financial Crises Could Become a Dangerous Habit
David Ignatius (IHT) Jan 14, 2002
The Bush administration got mauled last week for its ties to Enron Corp., the imploding death star of corporate America. But while it makes for juicy headlines, the Bush-Enron "scandal" strikes me, so far, as a bum rap.

Global: In Search of a New Global Growth Engine
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Jan 14, 2002
Itís never easy to break the vicious circle of a world in synchronous recession. Economies tend to feed upon one another as they lurch to the downside, with weakness reverberating from one region to another. Thatís especially the case in the current global recession, perhaps the most synchronous one of all. What will it take to spark the transition to sustainable recovery in the broader world economy?

Currencies: The Ringgit Is Likely to Be the First USD-Peg in Asia to Go <>Currencies: The Ringgit Is Likely to Be the First USD-Peg in Asia to Go
Stephen L. Jen (MSDW) Jan 14, 2002
Following a meeting with Japanese PM Koizumi yesterday, Malaysiaís PM Mahathir commented today on the Malaysian ringgit (MYR) peg: ĎIf it (the JPY) goes down, Iím worried because it may cause China to devalue. If China devalues then of course it will force us to rethink about our ringgit peg.í The Singapore dollar sold off in response. We had previously argued (ĎRising Risk of USD/JPY Breaking through 130,í December 14, 2001) that Japanís weak JPY policy will eventually shift investor attention to the three remaining USD pegs in Asia. Will Malaysia dismantle its peg to the USD? I believe that the Malaysian peg would be the first of the three remaining USD pegs in Asia to go. In my view, the best way to capture this risk is through USD/SGD.

Japan: To devalue or not to devalue?
Economist Jan 14, 2002
Japan is mired in a deflationary spiral. Having spent billions on an apparently fruitless fiscal stimulus, a devaluation of the yen seems to be one of the few tools left to stimulate the economy. However, China and South Korea are both warning against devaluation, and it could bring as many problems as it solves.

The euro: The outs watch the ins
Economist Jan 14, 2002
The successful launch of euro notes and coins on January 1st has turned the spotlight on the three European Union members which remain outside the euro area: Britain, Sweden and Denmark. Retailers in all three countries accept the new currency. Sweden and Denmark have said they will hold referendums next year. But the British are keeping everyone.

Asia Grains-China GMO rules seen as trade weapon
CheckBiotech Jan 14, 2002
China's rules on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may be a new way for the country to defend its hundreds of millions of farmers after entry to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), traders said on Friday.

Assessment of the euro cash changeover and the ECB view on recent monetary and economic developments
Willem F Duisenberg (BIS Review) Jan 14, 2002
Keynote address by Dr Willem F Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank, at the New Year's reception of the International Club of Economic Journalists, Frankfurt.

WTO Clears Way For EU to Seek Billions in Tariffs Against the U.S.
IHT Jan 15, 2002
Setting the scene for a major trans-Atlantic trade battle, the World Trade Organization on Monday ruled against a U.S. tax break for exporters and cleared the way for the European Union to seek up to $4 billion in retaliatory duties.

U.S. and EU Seek to Cool Trade Fires After Ruling
IHT Jan 16, 2002
The World Trade Organization on Monday ruled illegal a U.S. law granting multibillion dollar tax breaks to companies like Microsoft, Boeing, Eastman Kodak, Cisco, Motorola and about 7,000 other firms doing business overseas. Instead of sharply aggravating relations, the EU is likely to use its advantage to negotiate concessions on other trade issues, such as a U.S. threat to penalize imports of steel from Europe.

Japan's currency trap
FT Jan 16, 2002
A falling yen offers some hope of a lift to the country's economy. But the political and economic risks of further depreciation may outweigh the benefits, say David Piling and John Thornhill.

Tinkering With Turkey   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Jan 16, 2002
Don't let the IMF create another Argentina.

Countries Struggle Over How To Negotiate WTO Doha Mandate
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 1 Jan 16, 2002
WTO Members have been meeting frequently over the past week in informal bilateral and plurilateral sessions in an attempt to find common ground on how trade negotiations launched in Doha, Qatar in November 2001 should be structured. The specifics of how negotiating sessions will take place are to be addressed formally on 28 January at the first meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC), which was set up in the Doha Ministerial Declaration to "establish appropriate negotiating mechanisms as required and supervise the progress of the negotiations. However, countries remain far from decided over the modalities of how negotiations will progress, in which subsidiary bodies, or even who should chair the TNC itself.

News From The Regions: Africa
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 1 Jan 16, 2002
S preferential tariffs renewed, COMESA makes trade advances, Egypt & India discuss future trade agreement.

News From The Regions: Japan, SE Asia & S. Asia
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 1 Jan 16, 2002
Japan signs its first FTA ever; others in the pipeline, Free trade area in South Asia planned.

Europe Has Its New Money and Its Old Problems
Jim Hoagland (IHT) Jan 17, 2002
The introduction of the euro currency in 12 nations on Jan. 1 was supposed to provide Europeans with new confidence about their weight in the world and their ability to forge common institutions. Floating farther out on the horizon are an all-European military force and the outline of a European political federation of some sort.

Argentina pressed to end dual exchange rate
FT Jan 17, 2002
Argentina's government has been buoyed by signs that it may win support from the IMF for its economic plans. But it faces growing pressure to abandon the controversial dual exchange rate regime..

Pandora's Trade War   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Jan 17, 2002
The WTO shouldn't get involved in tax squabbles.

South Africa's weak currency   Economist Subscription Required
Economist Jan 17, 2002
Interest rates up, an inquiry launched.

Energy study sees break-up of global trends
FT Jan 18, 2002
A reversal of globalisation trends following the terrorist attacks on September 11 could prevent multinational energy companies from accessing local markets, and force countries into greater reliance on oil rather than gas as a result.

Koizumi vows to prevent crisis in financial system
Jan 18, 2002
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has vowed to prevent a financial crisis in Japan, brushing off fears the world's second-largest economy may crash before firms close their books at the end of March.

Cry for Argentina - and Hope Its Disease Isn't Contagious   Recommended!
Robert J. Samuelson (IHT) Jan 18, 2002
We should all cry for Argentina, and not simply because it defaulted on its government debt or because it faces a host of problems. Unemployment exceeds 18 percent, the banking system is on the brink of collapse, and things will get worse before they get better.

Global: Cracking Denial
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Jan 18, 2002
Itís often been said that recessions and bear markets are ultimately about forcing fundamental changes in behavior -- breaking the habits that defined the previous boom. If thatís the case, then the real shakeout has yet to occur. Hope remains that the US and global economy have been only temporarily derailed by this downturn -- that a return to the Roaring 1990s is still quite possible. Against that backdrop, I fear that sustained recovery will be hard to come by until the denial finally cracks.

Currencies: Playing the Zero-Sum Game
Stephen L. Jen & Fatih Yilmaz (MSDW) Jan 18, 2002
A weak yen is likely to have the biggest beneficial impact for Japan through nominal net export receipts, while its influence on deflation and real growth of output should be muted. In this note, we examine the question of how much Japan has to gain, and how much the non-Japan Asian (NJA) countries, the US, and the rest of the world (RoW) have to lose, in terms of net export receipts, from a weak JPY. We also examine how NJA countries can deflect these pricing pressures through devaluation of their own. The aim of this zero-sum game is to estimate the rough magnitude of the size of the losses and gains that will be shifted around the globe.

Currency regimes: Lessons from Argentina
Economist Jan 21, 2002
The turmoil in Argentina and the collapse of the ten-year link between the peso and the dollar has revived the debate about currency regimes for emerging-market economies. Was Argentina wrong to adopt the link in the first place, or wrong to try so hard and so fruitlessly to maintain it?

Asia cautious over euro as reserve currency
FT Jan 22, 2002
Supporters of the euro are hopeful that Asia's central banks, which account for 55 per cent of the world's E2,400bn of foreign exchange reserves, will shift more of their holdings into the European currency, giving it a substantial boost.

Fears mount over slide in Canadian dollar
FT Jan 22, 2002
The Canadian dollar had a rocky start to the week, testing fresh lows against its US counterpart before edging above Friday's record closing low of 62.02 US cents in lunchtime trading.

Inflation Could Crash the Euro's Party
IHT Jan 23, 2002
A surge in consumer prices since the introduction of euro notes and coins is raising fears of a jump in inflation that could further debilitate the already fragile economies of the 12-country currency zone, according to economists.

WTO Members Still Far Apart Over Chair Selection Before TNC
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 2 Jan 22, 2002
With less than a week to go before WTO Members formally convene for the first meeting of the committee that will oversee the multilateral trade negotiations launched in Doha in November 2001 (formally the Trade Negotiations Committee, or TNC), countries remain divided over the key procedural matter of who will chair the TNC and its subsidiary negotiating groups.

Developing Countries Move To Make Use Of Subsidy Extension Mechanism
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 2 Jan 22, 2002
Under revised extension procedures adopted at the 9-14 November Doha Ministerial Conference, 25 developing country WTO Members have recently submitted requests to the Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures to extend various forms of subsidy programs related to investment incentives, tax breaks, export processing zones, and other tax or duty relief concessions.

News From The Regions: Central & North America
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 2 Jan 22, 2002
On 16 January, US President George Bush announced during a conference of the World Affairs Council at the Organisation of American States that the US Administration would work closely with Congress towards a free trade agreement (FTA) with the countries of Central America in order to "reinforce their progress toward economic, political, and social reform - and to take another step toward completing the Free Trade Area of the Americas [FTAA]," Bush said.

Duisenberg predicts eurozone harmonisation call
FT Jan 24, 2002
Wim Duisenberg, the European Central Bank president, forecast the successful introduction of euro notes and coins would lead to public demand for more harmonisation in the European Union with particular focus on taxes.

Argentina's crisis   Economist Subscription Required
Economist Jan 24, 2002
Argentina's government said that dollar bank deposits would be returned to savers in pesos, backing away from an earlier promise to honour them in full. It also announced its setting up of a panel of international economists and officials to help formulate a new economic policy.

The Trouble With Bubbles
Edward Chancellor (NYT) Jan 27, 2002
Enron's collapse can be seen as representative of the greatest speculative mania in the history of the world.

Pakistan economy lauded by IMF
FT Jan 28, 2002
Pakistan's economic outlook has improved in spite of the fallout from the Afghan war and the stand-off with India, a senior International Monetary Fund official .

Collective Action in International Finance
Thomas C. Dawson (IMF) Jan 28, 2002
Sir, John Dizard's ("A bankrupt solution to sovereign debt", January 18) devil-take-the-hindmost approach to the collective action problem in international finance is beset by contradictions. He applauds speculators such as Elliott Associates for taking sovereigns to court and winning.

The Great Divide
Paul Krugman (NYT) Jan 29, 2002
I predict that in the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will come to be seen as the greater turning point in American society.

Doha Talks Slowed Over Procedural Differences
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 3 Jan 29, 2002
Efforts to establish the body that will oversee WTO negotiations mandated in Doha, Qatar in November 2001 hit a serious snag on 28 January as Members failed to agree formally on who would chair the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) and its sub-groups. General Council Chair Stuart Harbinson has been leading consultations for a number of weeks on how to structure the TNC but told Monday's formal meeting of the TNC that further consultations with some Members were necessary. The meeting was suspended, and will be re-convened on 30 January. In Doha, the WTO agreed to conclude negotiations by 1 January 2005.

WTO Development Committees Convene; Technical Assistance On The Table
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 3 Jan 29, 2002
At its 22 January meeting, the Committee on Trade and Development's (CTD) discussions centred mainly on a draft Coordinated Secretariat Annual Technical Assistance Plan (ATAP) for 2002 (WT/COMTD/W/95, dated 3 January). The ATAP is an annual note from the Secretariat outlining its intended Technical Assistance aims for the year. In light of the pervasive presence of technical assistance commitments in the various Doha texts, many Members are keen to see its final structure.

Trade Commitments Thin For Developing Countries In Financing For Development Text
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 3 Jan 29, 2002
Following lengthy informal consultations over the weekend, government delegates on 27 January agreed on a draft text of the "Monterrey Consensus" for the Financing for Development (FfD) conference scheduled for 21-22 March, in Monterrey, Mexico. The document recognises the need for greater financial assistance to raise the living standards of the poorest countries, but does not set any firm goals for increasing aid, relieving most debt burdens or removing trade barriers. The FfD event is a summit-level meeting to address key financial issues related to global development.

China may pay for shielding biotech sector
CheckBiotech Jan 29, 2002
China is building a fortress around its biotechnology industry, which is emerging as the largest outside North America, analysts say. But China's policy on gene-modified organisms (GMOs) shows government opinion is divided, and Beijing risks harming its standing in the international community after joining the World Trade Organisation on December 11.

WTO Talks Stumble Out of the Gate
IHT Jan 30, 2002
Squabbles threaten to undermine a new round of global trade talks that were to begin Wednesday at the World Trade Organization headquarters.

Going global
Economist Jan 30, 2002
The 32nd meeting of the World Economic Forum is being held in New York this week. But the annual schmoozing session favoured by politicians and businessmen has a new rival: the second meeting of the anti-globalisation movement in Porto Alegre in Brazil. Are the anti-globalisation protesters regrouping?

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM World Bank Presses U.S. to Increase Foreign Aid
IHT Jan 31, 2002
A battle that pits the United States against leading voices in the international community over increased foreign aid to poor countries is shaping up as a central issue at the World Economic Forum, beginning Thursday in New York.

Weak outlook for private capital flows
FT Jan 31, 2002
Private capital flows to emerging market economies will stage a feeble recovery this year and remain at risk from a weak upturn in the US economy or contagion from Argentina, according to the global association of financial institutions.

EU states divided over enlargement funding plan
FT Jan 31, 2002
Sharp divisions among European Union member states emerged immediately after the European Commission unveiled its proposals to finance an enlargement expected to take in 10 new countries by 2004.

Why Are Globalizers So Provincial?
Alice H. Amsden (NYT) Jan 31, 2002
A smattering of rich countries exercises leadership in international organizations and world markets, despite the principle of a level playing field.

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