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

Indo-Pacific

EP election results likely to cause delay in implementation of new EU deforestation rules

The recent European Parliament election results have renewed speculation that the implementation of new EU deforestation regulations will be delayed, amid significant opposition to the European Green Deal.  A postponement of the EUDR implementation would be favorable for those involved in the palm oil supply chain, from small-scale farmers in Suuth East Asia to manufacturers …

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New Report: US national security at risk from Chinese interference due to courts becoming political battlegrounds

A new special report concludes that Western countries could see their influence in Asia rapidly decline without a new approach to the region based on partnership and free trade. Although targeted at European policymakers, the report highlights major risks to national security from third party litigation funding that American policymakers have so far neglected. The …

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Revealed: Trading partners ask EU: “Who has appointed you world regulator?”

In a speech for the the Institute of International and European Affairs, Sabine Weyand (picture), the European Commission’s Director General for Trade, has remarked that trading partners  are increasingly questioning EU’s use of trade policy to act as a “global regulator”. She thereby also questioned the EU’s handling of its deforestation directive, stating: “We should …

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Emerging economies to challenge EU climate levy at WTO

India, South Africa, Taiwan and several other emerging economies are looking at challenging the EU’s “Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism” (CBAM) at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal had previously warned that India will take “retaliatory measures” against what he considers to be unfair customs tariffs. According to estimates, these would hit …

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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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