Publications

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), a mega-regional free trade agreement being negotiated by the 10-member ASEAN regional bloc and its FTA partners China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand held its 18th round of talks May 2-12 in Manila, Philippines.  The RCEP talks gained more prominence recently in the wake of the US’ withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement or TPPA and the strong push from countries like Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to bring TPP standards to the RCEP negotiating table. 

  • 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the second largest source of development finance in the Asia-Pacific region, next to the World Bank Group. In the last five decades, the ADB has moved more than USD 250 billion in a bid to promote economic growth, facilitate regional trade integration, and expand opportunities. However, for many civil society groups, social movements, and communities affected by ADB financing, the institution has been an agent of inequitable development, fostering inequalities and mis-governance.

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    Across the Mekong region, ‘development’ has become synonymous with rapid economic growth, to be achieved through predominantly large-scale, private investments. The development model promoted by the region’s governments prioritizes trade and investment liberalization, and privatization. Private investment is sought in virtually every sector of the economy from energy, oil, minerals, agriculture and food processing to education, health, tourism, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, transportation and urban infrastructure. 

  • Ever since the integration of India's peasants into global agri-food markets, their livelihoods have become at risk. In this globalized food system where large corporations rule, small-scale farming is not economically viable because global economic rules are against it. For example, the World Bank's Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) brand of trade liberalization had forced India to open its agricultural markets to foreign agribusiness. Unlike Indian farmers, agribusiness companies receive massive subsidies in Industrial countries like the US.

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is currently being negotiated between 16 countries in the Asian region. It includes China, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other key trading nations such as Australia, South Korea, Japan and India.

  • The Philippine experience

    Super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan has been a wake up call to Filipinos and the bigger global community to the reality that the impacts of extreme weather events related to climate change are already being felt now, and thus the urgency for concerted response. 

  • October 2016

    Small-scale food producers rely on access to and control over natural resources such as land, including farmland, forests, grazing land and fishing grounds, for the realization of their human right to food and nutrition, their survival and livelihoods.

    However, a huge number of them face obstacles and threats to this access and control over natural resources.

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