Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘FTA’

1st October 2012

It would appear that the Chinese Special Autonomous Region of Hong Kong may be poised to play a larger role with respect to trade between Greater China and the countries which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To quote directly from an article by Mary Swire posted on the website Tax-News.com:

During a recent speech, the Director-General of Trade and Industry, Kenneth Mak, has explained why, last November, Hong Kong made a formal request to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA). He noted that ASEAN is Hong Kong’s close neighbour and a very important trading partner. “The ACFTA is an evolving platform for progressive liberalization of trade and investment between ASEAN countries and China, with the ultimate objective of fostering closer economic integration and sustainable economic growth in the East Asian region,” he said…As an important platform for trade and investment between ASEAN and China, Hong Kong’s entry into the ACFTA should also strengthen its intermediary role, with more than 3,700 multinational companies having set up their regional headquarters or regional offices in Hong Kong, and, being a global financial hub and the pre-eminent offshore renminbi centre, Mak believes that Hong Kong can provide high-quality financial and management services between ASEAN, China and the rest of the world.

Readers are strongly encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

Clearly, Hong Kong’s participation in a China-ASEAN free trade area could result in financial, industrial, and business benefits for all of the jurisdictions concerned as the streamlining of trade between these locales could lead to an increase in economic activity not only in ASEAN and China, but in Hong Kong as well.

Meanwhile, the issue of energy security would appear to be at the forefront of the agenda for the members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote from the official website of the Manila Bulletin, MB.com.ph:

MANILA, Philippines — With the Philippines taking the center stage in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit by 2015, Energy Secretary Rene D. Almendras has indicated that his department will be actively involved in the fortification of policies for the APEC-wide energy security plan… In the proposed strengthening of the APEC energy security plan, the energy leaders in the region will have to re-assess the impact of the global financial uncertainties which have been primarily plaguing the Eurozone countries. They will similarly address concerns relating to political developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, as well as those issues relating to carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption…

Readers are again asked to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in full.

Energy is a concern in virtually every nation around the globe. Some nations in the Asia-Pacific region have extensive energy resources to draw on while others have virtually no energy resources. Therefore, analysis of the issue of energy security differs depending upon the country. Clearly, as the ASEAN and Asia-Pacific regions evolve there will be new challenges to overcome. Hopefully through careful planning and effective policy making both ASEAN and APEC can create and maintain economic opportunities for those living and working within their members’ jurisdictions.

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30th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has implemented a new policy regarding the I-130 petition for visas such as the CR-1 visa and the IR-1 visa. To provide further insight it may be prudent to quote directly from the official website of the USCIS, USCIS.gov:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that effective Aug. 15, 2011, petitioners residing in countries without USCIS offices will be able to file a Petition for an Alien Relative (Form I-130), with the USCIS Chicago Lockbox facility. This will increase the efficiency of the relative petition filing process and give USCIS more flexibility in managing its workload. Previous regulations permitted these petitioners, who comprise about 5 percent of all I-130 petitioners, to file with USCIS or the U.S. Department of State at their local U.S. embassy or consulate. Under the new regulation, published today in the Federal Register, petitioners residing in countries without USCIS offices may file a Petition for an Alien Relative based on the addresses provided in the revised form instructions…

Clearly, this new policy could have significant ramifications for those seeking a United States visa on behalf of a foreign loved one. Concurrently, those familiar with the American visa process may note that this new policy effectively ends the Direct Consular Filing option for petitioners in certain Consular jurisdictions. In the past, it may have been possible for petitioners to file their visa petition directly with a US Embassy or US Consulate if the petitioner resided in the Consular District. These recent regulatory changes would appear to bring this era of Consular Processing to an end.

Meanwhile, in news related to Southeast Asia and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) community, it appears that Malaysia is poised to engage in a Free Trade Agreement with India. To provide further insight into these developments it may be best to quote directly from the website MoneyControl.com:

The free trade agreement (FTA) between India and Malaysia will come into force from July 1, giving Indian professionals like accountants, engineers and doctors access to the key South-East Asian nation. In addition, exports of items of considerable interest to India, like basmati rice, mangoes, eggs, trucks, motorcycles and cotton garments, will attract lower or no duty in Malaysia with the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), according to a statement of the Commerce Ministry issued today…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more on this developing story.

As nations in ASEAN, such as Malaysia, continue to become more integrated into broader markets it stands to reason that new trade arrangements will be forged. The ASEAN community (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) has been the topic of a great deal of recent discussion regarding future free trade agreements as many nations around the world try to make headway into this important and increasingly lucrative regional market.

For information related to legal services in ASEAN, please see: Legal.

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28th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that a United States Senator introduced legislation designed to engage the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). In order to provide further information regarding these developments it may be best to quote directly from the official website of The Nation, NationMultimedia.com:

United States Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Republican Leader of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced legislation encouraging United States officials to initiate Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between the U.S. and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which presently accounts for the fourth largest export market of the United States. ”I am continuing my efforts to encourage the Obama Administration to announce a comprehensive and long-term strategy toward engaging ASEAN in FTA discussions,” Lugar said…

This blogger strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more on this story.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the ASEAN community is likely to become more economically important in an international context as time passes. Clearly, Senator Richard Lugar’s proposed legislation will have a significant impact upon the trade relations between the United States of America and the countries which make up ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam). Assuming appropriate circumstances, it could be surmised that the United States and the ASEAN community could share a strong trade relationship notwithstanding the growing trade between the United States and countries of the so-called BRICS grouping which includes nations such as India and China. Hopefully the business relationship between the US and ASEAN continues to thrive as these issues are discussed among relevant legislators.

In other matters pertaining to the United States Senate, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that this legislative body was also the forum in which a new UAFA-inclusive piece of immigration legislation was introduced. To provide further insight into these events it may be prudent to quote directly from the website Care2.com:

U.S. Senators introduced Wednesday the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011 which includes the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), legislation allowing U.S. nationals to sponsor their foreign-born same-sex partners for citizenship. The bill, introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) alongside Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), John Kerry (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), has a UAFA-inclusive counterpart measure in the House as introduced by Representative Mike Honda (D-CA). LGBT groups including the Immigration Equality Action Fund praised the reintroduction of the legislation…

The administration of this web log encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks note above to read more.

As the struggle for LGBT equality continues, legislation such as that noted above could have a significant positive impact upon the LGBT community. Importantly, the inclusion of language similar to the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), a stand alone piece of legislation originally introduced by Representative Jerrold Nadler in the House of Representatives, would permit same sex bi-national couples to petition for American family immigration benefits similar to those routinely granted to different sex bi-national couples. Currently, the provisions of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) preclude such benefits from same sex couples even if a couple has entered into a same sex marriage in one of the sovereign American States that legalize and/or solemnize such unions. Hopefully this proposed legislation can gain traction and thereby end the current discrimination imposed upon same sex couples.

For related information please see: US Company Registration or Legal.

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7th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the value of trade between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to increase significantly in the coming months and years. In order to provide further insight into this issue it may be best to quote directly from a recent article posted on the website English.cri.cn:

Trade value between China and ASEAN nations is expected to top 300 billion U.S. dollars this year as the Free Trade Area (FTA) continues to offer boosts, said Xu Ningning, the executive secretary general of China-ASEAN Business Council. The FTA, which started operation since the beginning of last year, has boosted economic exchanges between China and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, Xu said Sunday at a forum in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province. The estimated amount will be higher than the 292.8 billion U.S. dollars registered between the two sides in 2010, up 37.5 percent from a year earlier. Customs data showed that in the first four months of this year, trade value between China and ASEAN nations rose 26.5 percent year-on-year to 110.2 billion U.S. dollars…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more.

The ASEAN community includes the following jurisdictions: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and the Kingdom of Cambodia. Many feel that these jurisdictions have a great deal of potential for economic growth in the future. Meanwhile, as can be gathered from the quotation above, China remains a vibrant economic actor which has been engaging the ASEAN economies. In previous postings on this blog it was noted that the United States of America and China are committed to cooperation in ASEAN engagement. Concurrently, China appears poised to create a rail link between Thailand and Greater China while a billion dollar Chinese trade complex is to be erected in Bangkok. In that vein, the Prime Minister of Malaysia was recently noted for discussing ASEAN relations with both China and India. To quote directly from the official website of Business Standard, Business-Standard.com:

After a speech calling for the establishment of a new multilateralism where nations, especially Asia, would not have to take sides between the United States and China, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) would not need to choose between India and China. “Asean is located between two great civilisations, China and India. Both these countries, as part of the Asean architecture, the Asean +3 and the East Asia Summit, are quite happy to accept Asean as the centrality in the whole process,” Najib said in reply to a question at the opening of the International Institute for Strategic Studies Asian Security Summit: The Shangri La Dialogue. “Both these two countries want to engage constructively with Asean and (are) looking at ways and means of increasing their trade, investment and other forms of exchanges with the Asean countries. In short, I am quite optimistic we can develop a meaningful and constructive relationship with India and China,” he added…

In a geopolitical sense, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is positioned so as to enjoy trade benefits with both India and China, two of the world’s economies which are expected to show tremendous economic growth in the coming days, months, and years. This observation is made at a time when an inauguration of the Cambodian Securities Exchange is expected. To quote directly from the official website of Xinhua, Xinhuanet.com:

PHNOM PENH, May 30 (Xinhua) — Cambodia is scheduled to inaugurate the long-awaited Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on July 11, according to the statement of the finance ministry released to the media on Monday. And the first securities trading will begin towards the end of 2011, added the statement dated on May 26…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks above to read this article in detail. This blogger must point out that, although noted in the aforementioned article, it would seem that actual trading on the Cambodian Stock Exchange is apparently not expected to commence upon the exchange’s inauguration. To further elucidate this point it may be best  to quote directly from the official website of the Reuters News Service, Reuters.com:

May 30 (Reuters) – Trading on Cambodia’s long-awaited stock exchange, which was scheduled to start in July, has been delayed yet again until the end of the year because companies planning listings need more time to comply with regulations, operators said on Monday. Ek Sonn Chan, director general of state-owned Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA), said there were many details still to be ironed out but his company was going ahead with plans for a $20 million flotation…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks above to read this story in further detail as it may provide further perspective upon these developments.

Clearly, there appear to be some bumps in the road toward getting this exchange operational. As with many things in Southeast Asia, it often takes a significant amount of time to undertake a substantial project such as the opening of a stock exchange. Interested parties are encouraged to conduct research into this issue until such time as the exchange’s trading operation is confirmed.

For related information please see: Legal.

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2nd May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Premier of China has expressed interest in expanded trade relations with the economies comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To quote directly from the official website of the China Post, ChinaPost.com.tw:

JAKARTA — Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Saturday Beijing wants to boost cooperation in trade and security with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In a policy speech on the last day of a three-day visit to Indonesia, the current chair of ASEAN and its biggest member, Wen extolled the virtues of an ASEAN-China free trade agreement (FTA) that came into effect in January.

It should be noted that the trade between the jurisdictions comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China is not negligible. As the economy of China has shown tremendous growth in recent years, so too have many of the ASEAN nations. It is interesting that as both regions grow, they seem to create a mutually beneficial feedback loop in terms of trade and business. To quote further from the aforementioned article in the China Post:

“Last year, China became ASEAN’s biggest trading partner. We launched the largest FTA among developing countries and we have set the target of US$500 billion in two-way trade by 2015,” he said.

The administration of this web log highly recommends that readers click upon the above hyperlinks to learn more on this story and the issues associated therewith. It would appear as though the current trading relationship between ASEAN and China is highly beneficial to many of the economies concerned.

Meanwhile, of possibly more pressing interest to some, it would appear as though the United States Embassy in India is taking some precautionary measures in the aftermath of the recent announcement that notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden is deceased. To quote directly from the official website of the Times of India:

NEW DELHI: Immediately after the United States informed India on Monday about the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden by American forces in Pakistan, security was tightened around the US Embassy in New Delhi and consulates in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

“Besides asking Delhi Police to enhance its deployment around the US embassy here, the home ministry issued advisories asking states having US consulates to strengthen the security of these places”, said a senior home ministry official.

The administration of this blog again strongly recommends that readers click upon the hyperlinks above to read the above story in detail. Frequent readers of this web log may take note of the fact that the United States maintains the American Corner Bangalore.

Clearly authorities are taking precautions in reaction to recently announced events. It is likely that further information will come to light regarding all of these subjects in the coming weeks, months, and years. Hopefully, all of these precautions will prove unnecessary, but this remains, as of yet, to be seen.

For related information please see: business in China or US Visa India.

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