economic cooperation

The Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP) will meet on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. in Room 1105 of the Harry S. Truman Building. Hosted by Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez and Committee Chairman Theodore Kassinger, the meeting will last until approximately 4:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

The political, business and academic elites at the World Economic Forum expressed renewed optimism at the global economy, with more liquidity, more unity in Europe and the fiscal cliff scaled by U.S. politicians. But other risks – especially that of not doing enough to combat persistent corruption – are emerging as new threats to a fragile global economy beset by challenges.

India Adda has been buzzing with interesting conversations over the past three days with government officials and prominent business leaders engaging in constructive dialogues. What is delightful is that the conversations are unceasing. As WEF 2013 gets into the discussion mode, delegates having been to the Congress Centre can be seen sitting in groups at the India Adda comparing notes and views on the emerging global trends, India in the context of the world economic order, the issues colouring Brand India and the upcoming competition.

And silky smooth, Rolls Royce bureaucrats, honed in the dark arts of diplomacy, but who have never been near a business in their lives, mutter menacingly about the threat to the economy if we were excluded from the Single Market. Of course, it may be possible to be outside the EU but still in the Single Market, like Norway, or outside both but enjoying most of the benefits, like Switzerland.

The presidents of Sudan and South Sudan signed a long-awaited cooperation agreement on Thursday, paving the way for the resumption of oil exports and casting their ailing economies a desperately needed lifeline. But several analysts said the deal came up far short.

From that point on, Asean may begin to consider the prospects for developing its own collective “soft power.” Since Asean countries individually and together do not amount to much in hard power terms, that which is taken to be soft power, for what it is worth, may also be Asean’s best bridge to the future.

Continuing their blistering critique, diplomats vented that Brasilia was merely interested in currying favour amongst African nations so as to shore up its own bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. Brazil...was "more concerned with counting heads for UNSC reform... than in being a champion of Africa's interests, supporting African peacekeeping or augmenting trade."

As a matter of fact, the region’s leaders have also expressed a common fear that China’s financial aid might be a poisonous gift, that with this soft power, Chinese investments might lead to economic dependency and political vassalage.