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Thoughts on trade, investment and development from the ARTNeT community

To share your thoughts on particular issues on trade, investment and development, or to respond to any of the posts below, send an email to [email protected].


Improve railway logistics to ease trade in the Bay of Bengal region

While railway is considered an economical and efficient mode of transportation, cross-border railway connectivity in the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) region is constrained by varying track gauges, among other factors.

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Cambodia getting ready to enhance its presence in GVCs

Cambodia’s investment law that was put in place for the first time in 1994 consisting of 9 chapters was amended in 2003 to revise a number of articles (RGC, 1994 and 2003). The 2003 Amended Law on Investment was an important step, among others, with regard to the investment approval scheme by adopting the automatic approval system of the investment projects which must be completed within 31 working days after the investment project was filed to be considered for approval (RGC, 2003, Article 7 New).

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Fostering Global Cooperation*

Abstract: This piece will start with the crisis in the global trading system in 2022, as precipitated by the trade war between the US and China, and impasse on WTO reform, and the paralysis of the dispute settlement system.  It will then describe the best-case scenario for 2030, focusing mainly on global trade cooperation centred around the WTO, but also mentioning the cooperation in two related areas, i.e., climate change and data governance.

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Post-webinar chat with myself

I am a ‘boomer’ so I still make New Year’s resolutions (well, sort of). This year I decided that I will take better records of my engagements in various online events so that I am able to share some of my thoughts through the ARTNeT E-forum which was created for more informal sharing of ideas linked to sustainable development and trade.
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CAI and sustainable development: No sure-fire success

The European Union (EU) and China agreed on the draft of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) text in January 2021, after over seven years of negotiations. Both parties opine that a distinct feature of the CAI is the inclusion of a standalone Section on sustainable development (SD) and investment. While around a dozen EU trade agreements contain an SD Chapter, it is rather exceptional that an investment agreement includes comprehensive SD provisions.

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Why are women missing from policymaking in trade and what are the consequences?

The almost certainty that a woman is about to be the new Director General of  the World Trade Organization (WTO), does not change the fact that the world of international trade has been very slow in accommodating progress in women’s participation as policy-makers. Over the period of 20 years, female professional staff population at the WTO has increased from 31% in 1995 to 45% in 2016 – that is an increase of just above 0.5% per year. Clearly, much more has to be done for the WTO Secretariat to break the glass ceiling within the organization and its bodies.

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