What APEC means to poor people in Asia — Cherian Mathews

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY CHERIAN MATHEWS

An opinion piece - file pic

An opinion piece – file pic

NOVEMBER 18 — Manila is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting, which is going to be attended by prominent world leaders. For Oxfam, this is a good time for APEC leaders to re-examine the prevailing development and economic paradigm that has increased the wealth of a handful while millions remain in poverty, creating a landscape of staggering inequality.

Steady economic growth in most of the countries across Asia in the last quarter of this century has created jobs, new wealth and reduced poverty.

But a study from the Asian Development Bank(ADB) found that inequality in the region between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s has risen by as much as 18 per cent and that 1.6 billion people continue to live on less than US$2 (RM8.77) a day.

Gini coefficient — a common inequality measure — has worsened during 1990s and 2000s in the countries where more than 80 per ent of the population lived in Asia. That inequality increased in the midst of the region’s much vaunted economic growth means that something is amiss. Read more

TPPA benefits for plantation sector minor: MaybankIB

Source: TheSunDaily

PETALING JAYA: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is neutral-to-marginally positive on the Malaysia plantation sector on a trade perspective, with downstream players to benefit most, according to MaybankIB Research.

It said under the TPPA, the removal of import duties on oleochemicals and finished palm products will largely be gradual, over 10-15 years for the USA and Mexico.

“While the TPP will provide Malaysian plantation companies with greater market access to the US, Canada, Mexico and Peru over time, the benefits, over the immediate 10 years, will not be significant in our view,” the research house said in a report. Read more

TPPA may cause Malaysian farmers to lose rights, claim activist groups

Source: The Star Online

File pic of a rice farmer in Tanjung Karang.

PETALING JAYA: Activist groups are claiming that Malaysian small farmers could lose out, as seed companies stand to benefit from longer monopolies under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

One of the conditions under the TPPA is that member countries are required to join the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 1991 (UPOV91), which Malaysia is not a member of.

The claim, by US-based Public Citizen and the Penang-based Third World Network (TWN), comes in the wake of a leaked document on the TPPA on whistleblower site WikiLeaks.

According to the groups, changing the current plant variety protection (PVP) laws would result in farmers not being able to exchange seeds. The UPOV91 would also require protection to be provided for all species of plants.

Preventing farmers from exchanging their seeds is contrary to the practices of many developing nations and is needed for crop and variety rotation. Read more