Season's greetings

The ARTNeT secretariat extends warm Season’s Greetings to all ARTNeT partners, associate partners, members and participants to ARTNeT activities and would like to thank all contributors for their valued inputs over the past twelve months. We wish all of you a peaceful and joyous Holiday Season and we look forward to another year of  successful collaboration under ARTNeT. We hope you will achieve all your personal and professional goals set for 2014.

The secretariat would  wish to  remind all ARTNeT members and partners of the opportunity to advertise your upcoming publications and events through ARTNeT channels including this newsletter and the ARTNeT website.

ARTNeT Workshop on Trade and Investment for Tomorrow: Promoting Asia-Pacific Regional Integration held in Macao, China on 10-12 December, 2013

The recently concluded workshop held in Macao, China brought researchers together to share their views on  topics relevant for contemporary policy design such as determinants of protectionism, governance of global and regional trade,  role of services in development and strengthening of supply chains, alongside the discussions on the use of  trade finance surveys and a number of other issues the details on the workshops are available from here. ARTNeT secretariat wishes to thank all the presenters, speakers and participants who attended, as well as the government of Macao, China for their support; their invaluable contribution in making the workshop a success.

The main objective of the workshop was to contribute towards enhanced research capacity on trade and investment related topics, in particular among young researchers who can benefit largely from being involved in the ARTNeT knowledge community and from sharing recent policy relevant research. The keynote speeches were delivered by ARTNeT advisors and associates Patrick Low, Vice President of Research at Fung Global Institute, Bernard Hoekman, Director for Global Economics for the Global Governance Program of the European University Institute and Simon Evenett, Academic Director  of the MBA Programme at St. Gallen University. ARTNeT would also like to thank Professor Peter Dixon of Monash University for his session on Modern Trade Theory and CGE modeling.

According to the participants, the workshop delivered “stimulating and provocative presentations by very knowledgeable people”, and requests for continuing to hold similar workshops regularly were voiced by many.  ARTNeT will follow-up on these requests and actively seek opportunities to collaborate with its partners and stakeholders in hosting complementary workshops in the future.

ARTNeT Trade and Development Symposium held in Bali, Indonesia on 3-5 December 2013

ARTNeT Secretariat collaborated a session to the Trade and Development Symposium organized by  the ICTSD and CSIS, one of the founding ARTNeT institutional members, in parallel to the WTO 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali from 3 to 5 December. ARTNeT-organized session focused on identifying and addressing the trade and trade rules that are needed for inclusive and sustainable development. Invited speakers included Bernard Hoekman and Lei Zhang who were asked to address issues relating to the WTO and the multilateral process, and the role that emerging Asian trading powers have to play in the multilateral trading system. The symposium also presented an opportunity for UNESCAP to exhibit its work on inclusive trade and investment, alongside enabling ARTNeT associated researchers and institutions to network globally. The Trade and Development Symposium also hosted session organized by a num ber of ARTNeT institutional members and associate partners including the Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute, the Research and Information System for Developing Countries,  the Center for the Advancement of Trade Integration and Facilitation, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, and the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment.

ARTNeT secretariat would  like to acknowledge the excellent hospitality and logistic support provided by the co-organizers  the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in co-organizing the Symposium  together with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD).

Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee receives the report on ARTNeT Phase III project and sets the path for Phase IV

With the completion  of ARTNeT Phase III, a Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee Consultative Meeting was held to discuss the future direction  for ARTNeT in its Phase IV. Phase III (April 2011-September 2013) was operationalized under the topic of Drivers of Competitiveness and Strategies for Economic Diversification for Developing Countries , during which ARTNeT published 16 working papers, 4 policy briefs, 2 newsletters, 4 alerts and several book reviews. Printed volumes released during Phase III include studies on trade-led growth, Asian production networks, service sector reforms, the role of regional trade agreements, and the development and poverty impacts of information technology and other trade facilitation measures. In addition, 25 new research grants were awarded, 36% of which were granted to researchers in Least Developed Countries and 28% of which awarded to female researchers.

During Phase III, ARTNeT held 7 capacity building workshops on topics including gravity modeling, using micro-level data, CGE modeling and evidence-based policymaking in trade. Other activities also included the creation of two new knowledge platforms: ARTNeT CENSUS, a knowledge sharing initiative in the field of intellectual property rights (IPR)  has attracted 150 new members so far, and ARTNeT Aid for Trade, a knowledge sharing platform designed to provide better  understanding of what is Aid for Trade and to  contribute towards supporting greater regional cooperation in and coordination of Aid for Trade projects, as well as to advance  the discussion on effective monitoring  and evaluation of impacts of Aid for Trade programmes.

ARTNeT secretariat joined international workshop on Regional Integration, Inequalities and Social Cohesion in East Asia in Hanoi, Viet Nam, 16 December 2013

ARTNeT secretariat joined the Centre for Analysis and Forecasting (CAF) under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in collaboration, the Research Institute on Contemporary South-East Asia (IRASEC, France), Center for Economics of the University of Paris North (CEPN, France), and the Center for Economics and Development (DIAL, France) in Hanoi in an international workshop exploring regional integration, inequalities and social cohesion in East Asia from the viewpoint of trade. During the workshop experts and researchers presented on topics such as regional trade agreements, outsourcing and labour development, global value chains and the changes in social capital and connectivity. The workshop was successful in deepening the understanding of the evolution trade networks and how this evolution has affected economic, spatial and social inequalities in East Asia. ARTNeT secretariat would like to thank the organizing parties and looks forward to continued discussions on the important themes raised during the workshop.

New ARTNeT working papers

The WTO Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia has now concluded, where a deal was struck in what represents the first major agreement for the WTO and a revival for the multilateral system. This ARTNeT working paper by Biswajit Dhar and Roshan Kishore presents an opportunity to look backwards to compare what was achieved at Bali, and what was hoped to have been achieved and represents a reminder that though the agreement on the Bali package was a great success for the multilateral system, more still needs to be done to conclude the Doha Round.

Intellectual Property Rights are a pressing and multifaceted issue for many countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A major topic of discontent has been the give and take between major pharmaceutical companies and countries in the developing world. In a new ARTNeT working paper, Savita Gautam and Meghna Dasgupta explore the delicate balance between respecting intellectual property law and guaranteeing affordable medicine for its citizens through India’s first experience with compulsory licensing.