China may have been upbraided by the International Monetary Fund earlier this month for the lack of progressivity in its personal income tax regime - how ironic that a country run by communists has, according to the IMF... Read Full Article »
One swallow doesn't make a summer, but two are a bit more promising, and that's what we are seeing in the EU/China tradasphere, with harmony breaking out on the oenophile and polysilicon fronts. In a parallel WTO case... Read Full Article »
Scene: A bar in Casablanca, sometime in the early 21st century.
Dramatis Personae: A senior data analyst from the NSA (we'll call him Edward); a journalist from the Grauniad (we'll call her Rebecca); a spymaster from Moscow (we'll call him Vladimir); and a top official from a four-letter multilateral (we'll call him Angel). Read Full Article »
How seriously should we take the free trade agreement negotiations between China, Japan and South Korea? Stick two pins in a map of the world, and you'll probably find that the two countries concerned are involved in one or more trade agreements, either in place or being negotiated. There are only a few hold-outs from the secular process of minimizing or abolishing cross-border obstacles to free trade; North Korea springs to mind. The WTO has 159 members and there are 24 countries in the waiting room (observer status), while the United Nations has 193 members, leaving only ten nations which aren't aspiring to belong to both. Then there is a bewildering number of regional trade groupings, amongst which the EU, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, ASEAN and CARICOM are obvious examples; but there are lots of others. Read Full Article »