Online magazine highlighting research, news and analysis covering the European Neighbourhood

Indo-Pacific

UK officially recognises Malaysia’s environmental standards as equivalent

The United Kingdom’s Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) has officially confirmed that Malaysia’s standards to prevent deforestation – called the MSPO – are equivalent to the UK’s. The MSPO scheme, shorthand for “Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO)” Certification Scheme is the national scheme in Malaysia for palm oil plantations, independent and organised smallholdings, and palm …

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UN official slams EU for using green policies to hold back developing countries

”Rebeca Grynspan, secretary-general of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, has issued fundamental criticism at the EU’s trade policies, stating they hurt developing countries. She told the Financial Times: “Many trade rules forbid policies that can be used by developing countries. And the developed countries have more fiscal space to subsidise in the areas …

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Dombrovkis thinks quick progress in EU trade talks with Asia unlikely

Looking at the EU’s ongoing trade negotiations with Asian trade powerhouse, EU Trade Commissioner Dombrovkis has stated that “With elections due in Indonesia in February, it might be difficult to make seizable progress in coming months”, adding also that “negotiations with India are progressing at a slower pace than anticipated”.  In Summer, both Indonesia and …

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“China’s policy to increase export controls on rare earth metals further politicises global energy trade”

Francesco Sassi, a researcher in energy geopolitics and markets at Ricerche Industriali ed Energetiche (RIE) in Bologna, takes a closer look at China’s policy to increase export controls on rare earth metals, oxide products, and crude oil imports. He writes: “The move will further politicise global energy trade and make harder for the collective West, …

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South East Asian NGOs warn about the development implications of EU policy

Kaoem Telapak, an Indonesian NGO has warned that the EU’s recently adopted restrictions on the import of commodities linked to deforestation, such as palm oil from Indonesia, have a noble intention but could have unintended impacts. Writing in newspaper Mongobay, a spokesperson for the NGO notes that “one of the biggest importers of Indonesian palm …

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Chief of UN-WTO trade body warns EU deforestation rules risk ‘catastrophic’ impact on global trade

In an interview with the Financial Times, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of the ITC, a joint agency of the UN and World Trade Organization, has lashed out against new EU deforestation rules. She told the newspaper that the ban on goods linked to deforestation from entering the EU in effect favour major corporations able to …

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“The security of Europe and that of the Indo-Pacific region can no longer be discussed separately”

Writing in Politico, Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi comments: “The security of Europe and that of the Indo-Pacific region can no longer be discussed separately — that was my main message when I attended the NATO ministerial meeting last year for the first time as Japanese foreign minister.” He notes that in “the Indo-Pacific, unilateral …

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“To regain its moral compass, the Nobel Peace Prize is in urgent need of reform”

Guest commentary by Saman Rizwan Last weekend, when British Asian TV star, Meera Syal accepted her lifetime achievement award at the Bafta’s she used the platform to urge the TV industry to embrace diversity. In 2023, Western industries still lack the representation to promote a truly inclusive society. And this is no more pertinent than …

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European Parliament votes to approve the Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) as UK joins CPTPP

The European Parliament has voted to approve the Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), as part of a whole range of proposals, including the new CBAM carbon border tariff. The new rules create new trade barriers and bureaucracy for wood imports, and have angered trading partners in South East Asia. 🌳Deforestation Parliament adopts new regulation to fight climate …

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