Asia Pacific wine trade loses $1 billion a year to red tape: APEC

A complex web of non-tariff barriers such as multiple export certificates and unnecessary testing is hampering the growth of wine industry in the Asia-Pacific, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping said in a recent statement. It estimates that red tape is costing the industry some $1 billion per year. The organization has vowed to simplify procedures to take advantage of growing wine demand in markets across the Asia-Pacific. Read more

Nigeria, WTO and Evolving Trends in Global Trade

The recently concluded WTO deal should mean an increased access to Nigerian products on the international market, but this could be hampered by the country?s declining manufacturing sector. In fact, some argue that Nigeria does not even have a manufacturing sector, owing to issues of security, power and outdated infrastructure. This mirrors the situation in most of Africa, which as a whole accounts for only 1 percent of global manufacturing. Even so, continuing trade liberalization on the continent is good news. Intra-African trade is on the rise, reaching $131.1 billion in 2011. Now Nigeria and Africa must take the next step and encourage the expansion of production capacity. These efforts should include improving the skill of domestic workforce and encouraging entrepreneurship. Click here

NAFTA 20 years later: Success or failure?

he North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) celebrated its 20th birthday on January 1. The agreement had a positive impact on economic growth and volume of trade in all three signatory states (Canada, Mexico and the US). In Mexico it has led to the growth of several economic sectors ? such as automobile, electronics and agriculture ? expanded the middle class, and created new jobs. Nonetheless, some believe NAFTA has proven to be a mixed blessing, as most of the newly-created jobs are low paying, and levels of poverty in Mexico actually increased between 2006 and 2012. Click here

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