Posts Tagged ‘G20’

Global: Und der Haifisch…

Mittwoch, November 23rd, 2011

“CDS: Hochpotente Gefahr für das Finanzsystem

Von Wirtschaftsredaktorin Barbara Widmer

Dienstag, 22.11.2011

In der realen Welt käme es niemandem in den Sinn, eine Autoversicherung auf seinen Nachbarn oder eine Wette auf einen baldigen Unfall abzuschliessen. In der Finanzwelt dagegen ist das gang und gäbe.

Versicherungspolicen auf Dritte, auf schwächelnde Länder etwa, sind in der Finanzbranche unter Investoren beliebte Produkte. Mit den sogenannten Credit Default Swaps (CDS) sichern sich die Käufer gegen mögliche Konkurs-Risiken ab, respektive sie wetten auf einen möglichen Konkurs. Zahl und Umfang dieser CDS ist unbekannt; klar aber ist: Sie sind brandgefährlich.

Eigentlich wären die CDS eine gute Sache, denn sie versichern Anleger gegen Ausfall-Risiken. Mit solchen Versicherungspolicen können sich beispielsweise Pensionskassen gegen das Risiko absichern, dass Griechenland Pleite geht und seine Staatsanleihen nicht mehr zurückbezahlt.

Versicherungen werden zu Wetten
Es sind aber längst nicht nur Besitzer griechischer Staatsanleihen, die solche Versicherungspolicen kaufen: Auch Heerscharen von Spekulanten rund um den Globus, die selber gar keine griechischen Anleihen besitzen, machen bei diesen Versicherungen mit, denn auch das ist möglich.

Damit wandeln sich die CDS quasi um in Wetten auf einen Konkurs eines Schuldners. Genau hier sieht auch Marc Chesney, Professor am Institut für Banking und Finance der Universität Zürich, das Problem der CDS, wie er gegenüber Schweizer Radio DRS ausführte.

Keine Kontrollbehörde hat die Übersicht
Niemand weiss, welche Banken, Versicherungen oder anderen Finanzmarkt-Akteure wie viele solcher CDS verkauft haben. Denn der CDS-Handel passiert im regulatorischen Niemandsland, die Geschäfte müssen nirgends gemeldet werden.

Die Lage am CDS-Markt sei deshalb «sehr intransparent», sagt Professor Chesney. «Niemand weiss, wo das Risiko geblieben ist.» Deswegen gebe es Probleme.

Keine zentrale Börse gibt Auskunft über Preise und Umsätze von CDS, niemand weiss, welche milliardenschweren Verpflichtungen Banken und andere eingegangen sind, als sie – in scheinbar guten Zeiten – solche Finanzprodukte verkauften.

Sicher ist: es geht um Beträge in Milliarden- wenn nicht Billionen-Höhe. Finanzwissenschaftler Chesney schätzt das weltweite Volumen der ausserbörslich gehandelten Derivate auf das Zehnfache des globalen Bruttosozialprodukts. Ein wichtiger Teil davon sind CDS.

Staatspleite könnte alles in den Abgrund reissen
Deshalb müssen Staatspleiten wie jene Griechenlands um fast jeden Preis verhindert werden. Ansonsten droht der CDS-Markt zu explodieren. Denn nach einem Bankrott müssten die Kreditausfallversicherungen bezahlen.

Wie viel Geld im Falle Griechenlands von wem an wen geflossen wäre, ist unbekannt. Aber alle fürchteten eine unkontrollierbare Kettenreaktion. Denn nicht alle, die mitgewettet haben, hätten ihre Verpflichtungen erfüllen können.

Deshalb resultierte schliesslich eine Einigung auf einen freiwilligen Schuldenschnitt, damit die Kreditversicherer nicht zahlen mussten. In der Folge beruhigte sich der CDS-Markt – allerdings nur für kurze Zeit.

«Die Situation ist schwierig»
Schon kurz nach dem abgwendeten Bankrott Griechenlands stiegen die Prämien für Kreditausfälle aber wieder stark an. Im Gegenzug stiegen die Renditen für Staatsanleihen – etwa für italienische Schuldpapiere – auf ein neues Rekordniveau, sagt Markus Allenspach, Leiter der Obligationen-Analyse bei der Bank Julis Bär. «Die Situation ist schwierig», so der Finanzspezialist.

Auch er klagt, der CDS-Markt sei zu wenig transparent und die Rechtsunsicherheit gross. «Es gibt sicher einen Bedarf für eine einheitliche Regulierung», sagt der Banker und stösst damit ins gleiche Horn wie Finanzprofessor Chesney, der die Lage zur Zeit als «schlimmer als vor einem Jahr» einschätzt. Er befürchte, dass «wir nicht in die gute Richtung gehen.»

Denn dass der riesige, unregulierte CDS-Markt brandgefährlich ist, weiss die Weltöffentlichkeit spätestens seit 2008. Damals brach die US-Investment-Bank Lehman Brothers zusammen und die Finanzwelt stand am Rande des Abgrunds.

Hoffen auf Regulierung durch die G-20
Allenspach von Julius Bär bedauert, dass die Staaten der G-20 es verpasst hätten, in diesem Bereich eine weltweite Regulierung voranzutreiben. Vielleicht hätten die Ereignisse der vergangenen Monate und Wochen nun eine positive Wirkung, hofft er.

«Hochproblematisch für die Gesellschaft»
Weniger optimistisch ist Professor Chesney. Wie sich in den letzten Jahren gezeigt habe, wüssten Hedge Funds und andere «Finanzmarkt-Profiteure» eine Regulierung erfolgreich zu verhindern. Nicht zuletzt deshalb müsse jetzt mit öffentlichen Geldern Rettungspaket um Rettungspaket geschnürt werden.

Chesney sagt: «Diejenigen, welche die Risiken eingegangen sind, sind nicht jene, welche nun die Risiken tragen.» Diese trügen nun die Steuerzahler, Rentner oder Aktionäre. Das sei «hochproblematisch für unsere Gesellschaft», so Chesney. (pet)”

 

(Quelle: Schweizer Radio DRS.)

Afrika: Mehr Waffen, weniger zivile Hilfe

Dienstag, Juli 13th, 2010

“Africa: No Butter, But Lots of Guns

By Conn Hallinan

The developed world has a message for Africa: ‘Sorry, but we are reneging on our aid pledges made at the G8 summit at Gleneagles, Scotland back in 2005, but we do have something for you—lots and lots of expensive things that go ‘bang’ and kill people.’

And that was indeed the message that came out of the G8-G20 meetings in Canada last month. The promise to add an extra $25 billion to a $50 billion aid package for the continent went a glimmering. Instead, the G8 will cut the $25 billion to $11 billion and the $50 billion to $38 billion. And don’t hold your breath that Africa will get even that much.

The G8 consists of Britain, the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, Japan, France, and Russia, although Moscow is not part of the aid pledge.

Canada’s Muskoka summit hailed ‘significant progress toward the millennium development goals’—the United Nations’ target of reducing poverty by 2015—but when it came time to ante up, everyone but the United Kingdom bailed. The Gleneagles pledge was to direct 0.51 percent of the G8’s gross national income to aid programs by 2010. The UK came up to 0.56 percent, but the U.S. is at 0.2, Italy at 0.16, Canada at 0.3, Germany at 0.35, and France at 0.47. Rumor has it that France and Italy led the charge to water down the 2005 goals.

The shortfall, says Oxfam spokesman Mark Fried, is not just a matter of ‘numbers.’ The aid figures ‘represent vital medicines, kids in school, help for women living in poverty and food for the hungry.’

AIDS activists are particularly incensed. ‘I see no point in beating around the bush,’ said AIDS-Free World spokesman Stephen Lewis at a Toronto press conference. He charged that Obama Administration’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ‘is being flat-lined for at least the next two years.’ Lewis said AIDS groups were treating five million patients, but that another nine million needed to be in programs. ‘There are AIDS projects, run by other NGOs [non-governmental organizations], where new patients cannot be enrolled unless someone dies.’ 

But if the  poor, sick, and hungry are going begging, not so Africa’s militaries.

According to Daniel Volman, director of the African Security Research Project, the White House is following the same policies as the Bush Administration vis-à-vis Africa. ‘Indeed, the Obama Administration is seeking to expand U.S. military activities on the continent even further,’ says Volman.

In its 2011 budget, the White House asked for over $80 million in military programs for Africa, while freezing or reducing aid packages aimed at civilians.

The major vehicle for this is the U.S.’s African Command (AFRICOM) founded in 2008. Through the Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Initiative, AFRICOM is training troops from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Chad. The supposed target of all this is the group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Meghreb (AQIM), but while AQIM is certainly troublesome—it sets off bombs and kidnaps people— it is small, scattered, and doesn’t pose a serious threat to any of the countries involved.

The worry is that the various militaries being trained by AFRICOM could end up being used against internal dissidents. Tuaregs, for instance, are engaged in a long-running, low-level insurgency against the Mali government, which is backing a French plan to mine uranium in the Sahara. Might Morocco use the training to attack the Polisario Front in the disputed Western Sahara? Mauritanians complain that the ‘terrorist’ label has been used to jail political opponents of the government.

In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson said the U.S. was seeking to bolster Nigeria’s ‘ability to combat violent extremism within its borders.’ That might put AFRICOM in the middle of a civil war between ruling elites in Lagos and their transnational oil company allies, and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Delta, which is demanding an end to massive pollution and a fair cut of oil revenues. 

The National Energy Policy Development Groups estimates that by 2015 as much as 25 percent of U.S. oil imports will come from Africa.

So far, AFRICOM’s track record has been one disaster after another. It supported Ethiopia’s intervention in the Somalia civil war, and helped to overthrow the moderate Islamic Courts Union. It is now fighting a desperate rear-guard action against a far more extremist grouping, the al-Shabaab. AFRICOM also helped coordinate a Ugandan Army attack on the Lord’s Resistance Army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo—Operation Lightning Thunder— that ended up killing thousands of civilians. 

The U.S. has been careful to keep a low profile in all this. ‘We don’t want to see our guys going in and getting whacked,’ Volman quotes one U.S. AFRICOM officer. ‘We want Africans to go in.’

And presumably get ‘whacked.’

AFRICOM’s Operation Flintlock 2010, which ran from May 3-22, was based in Burkina Faso. Besides the militaries of 10 African nations, it included 600 U.S. Special Forces and elite units from France, the Netherlands, and Spain. Yes, there are other arms pushers out there, and the list reads like an economic who’s who: France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, Sweden, and Israel. Some 70 percent of the world’s arms trade is aimed at developing countries.

So, is AFRICOM about fighting terrorism, or oil, gas and uranium? Nicole Lee, the executive director of Trans Africa, the leading African American organization focusing on Africa has no doubts: ‘This [AFRICOM] is nothing short of a sovereignty and resource grab.’

And who actually benefits from this militarization of the continent? As Nigerian journalist Dulue Mbachu warns, ‘Increased U.S. military presence in Africa may simply serve to protect unpopular regimes that are friendly to its interests, as was the case during the Cold War, while Africa slips further into poverty.’”

 

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China und Indien auf “Schmusekurs”

Donnerstag, Juni 10th, 2010

“A ‘zhengyou’ relationship with China

During Pratibha Patil’s recent visit to China, both sides celebrated the Copenhagen spirit and affirmed to take the relationship beyond bilateral to global cooperation

By VIDYA SUBRAHMANIAM

At the Asia Hotel in Beijing, Ma Jisheng, an official with the information department of the Foreign Ministry, was declaiming on millennia-old India-China relations. Suddenly he flung aside the prepared text and announced that he would speak straight from the heart: ‘Would the media on both sides please give India and China a chance to develop normal relations?’

The official’s point was simple. Attitudes hardened when the media sensationalised issues, and the events of 2009, when bilateral relations reached a precipitous low following media frenzy and scare-mongering, proved as much. ‘This constant harping on border, visa and other things, is it not like eating the same food everyday?’ Mr. Ma asked plaintively, adding, ‘I cannot help but think sometimes that China and India would solve their problems if only the media kept quiet a bit.’

The Indian media delegation accompanying President Pratibha Patil had looked upon the Asia Hotel lunch as little more than an interlude in an itinerary packed with ceremonial welcomes, meetings, inaugurations, receptions and so forth. Ornamental phraseology and practised rhetoric are the stuff of such visits, and we were naturally taken aback by Mr. Ma’s plain speaking. Perhaps he was being free and frank because we were not officials but the media?

Yet as the tour — organised to coincide with the landmark 60th anniversary of the establishment of India-China diplomatic relations — progressed, it was evident that even at the highest level of the Chinese leadership there was a degree of candour and responsiveness that took the Indian side by surprise. As the presidential outing drew to a close, both sides seemed to concur that Ms Patil’s visit had gone beyond the perimeter of goodwill ambassadorship to generate tangible positives for the future. A highly placed Indian official told The Hindu: ‘I read the visit as a clear Chinese signal to have better relations with us.’

It certainly helped that Ms Patil arrived in Beijing at a time when India-China relations were seen to be on the mend after a difficult year characterised by intense mistrust on both sides. The irritants seemed daunting enough on their own: China’s angst over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, and the Indian unhappiness at stapled visas, not to mention apprehensions over Chinese-assisted construction in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). But aided by irresponsible speculation on an upcoming war, they began to look insurmountable. In July 2009, the editor of an Indian defence magazine prophesied that China would attack India by 2012. A month later, a so-called Chinese strategist posted a web article that argued that China with some effort could indeed balkanise India.

Neither of the articles was officially authorised. Yet, together, they assumed a life of their own with commentators in India hyperventilating about China’s hidden agenda, and the Chinese media and think tanks contributing their bit to the rising hysteria.

While it may be difficult to locate the precise point when tensions began to ease up, analysts on both sides agree that India and China were well served by the ‘Copenhagen spirit.’ This is a euphemism for the exemplary cooperation witnessed in the Danish capital during the December 2009 Climate Change summit. India and China so finely coordinated their negotiating positions at the talks that the online edition of the German magazine, Der Spiegel, was provoked to put out an article, ‘How India and China sabotaged the UN Climate Summit.’

The summit revealed the humongous potential of India-China cooperation on international platforms. Given the size of either country’s population and economy, India and China are intimidating enough individually. Together their might could be staggering. Not surprisingly, Copenhagen became a metaphor for forward movement at the 2010 India-China Beijing talks. Ms Patil and President Hu Jintao agreed that the Asian neighbours were now ready to move beyond bilateral engagement to consider cooperation at international groupings and venues, among them G-20, Doha and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China).

The enlarged scope of cooperation was brought up again on the last day of talks by Vice-President Xi Jinping, who made several significant points. First, he declared that India and China were ripe for a ‘new start.’ Second, he reiterated the prospects for global cooperation between the Asian neighbours. Third, he pointed out that between them China and India boasted a combined population of 2.6 billion. The imagery would overawe anyone: Two fastest growing economies with close to 40 per cent of the global population acting in tandem. That Mr. Xi followed this up by attending the 60th anniversary celebrations of India-China relations held at a local hotel was not missed by the Indian side. Mr. Xi is not just any Vice-President. Though currently fifth in the Chinese leadership hierarchy, he is widely tipped to succeed Mr. Hu, which invests his words with weight and value. Mr. Xi’s presence at the reception was noteworthy because the usual practice is to send Ministers to such functions.

Indian Foreign Ministry officials counted other factors which lent that special touch to the presidential visit. Ms Patil had an audience with each member of the leadership hierarchy — besides Mr. Hu and Mr. Xi, she met Chairman of the National People’s Congress Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin. This is considered a rare honour for a visiting head of state.

Through the visit, the two sides seemed to have firmed up a formula, slowly evolving over meetings between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Chinese leadership, and now held up as the way forward: Manage the areas of conflict so that the relationship, rather than being held hostage to ‘one or two persisting issues,’ could move forward to explore areas of global and bilateral cooperation.

Inevitably India’s growing trade with China — China is India’s largest trading partner with volumes targeted to reach $ 60 billion this year — figured prominently in the talks as did the fact that it was adversely balanced against India. President Patil missed no opportunity to speak for wider Indian access to Chinese markets. India’s exports are currently restricted to primary and resource-based products such as iron ore and copper, with little opening available to core competence sectors like IT, pharma and engineering. In her speeches, Ms Patil stressed these as thrust areas for market development, and according to Indian officials, the Chinese team agreed that the trade imbalance was not sustainable. Said an Indian official: ‘The Chinese are minimal with their promises because they see them as commitment. The fact that at almost every forum they agreed to import more from us shows that they are very serious about trade.’

Yet with all the positives, the tour also showed how delicately poised the relationship is and how easily views can be shaped for or against China. So far, the Indian public opinion has alternated between exultation over Chindia and paranoia over imagined war threats. Chindia is an inappropriate coupling notwithstanding the growing prospects for India-China global joint action. China is far ahead of us on all indicators. On infrastructure and organising capacity, we must abandon all hopes of catching up — a truth that hit home when we saw the woefully inadequate Indian pavilion at the Shanghai expo.

As the presidential entourage flew into Beijing, the media mood was set by a report in the Guardian indicating huge Chinese diversion projects on the Brahmaputra. But thanks to excellent background briefing by the Indian side, which pointed to lack of evidence for the report, the accompanying media were prevented from blowing it up into ‘yet another Chinese threat.’

As against this, the media mood swing was overly positive on India’s aspirations for a United Nations Security Council seat. Ms Patil did seek China’s backing for it during her summit meeting with President Hu, and China did broadly indicate its support but the phraseology was far more nuanced than understood by the Indian media which drummed it up as ‘China backs India on UNSC seat.’ Indeed, the omission of the ‘promised’ UNSC seat from the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement issued the same day underscored the pitfalls of overinterpreting what Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao described as ‘a gradually developing relationship.’ What official sources did convey later was that on the UNSC seat, ‘the Chinese were far more positive than they have been so far.’

Tibet provided some more media excitement on the last day of talks. Ms Rao and Ambassador S. Jaishankar were bombarded with questions: Did China raise Tibet? Just when we thought things were going fine, they brought up this irritant. Is this not unfair to us? MP Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, who was on the tour, added to the panic: ‘Heard they are singing the Tibet tune.’ Tempers cooled down only after the Indian side explained that Tibet was on a checklist of queries China always raised in talks with India. The Indian side had a checklist too, and it was routine for both countries to go through the motions and allay each other’s fears.

A top member of the Indian official delegation summed up India-China relations in terms of ‘pengyou’ and ‘zhengyou.’ ‘Pengyou’ is a superficial friend. ‘Zhengyou’ is a serious, real friend who will frankly admit to problems and work at overcoming them: ‘We have a zhengyou relationship with China.’”

(Quelle: The Hindu.)

Wer entscheidet, was wir essen?

Mittwoch, Juni 9th, 2010

Who is deciding what we eat?

By Esther Vivas

The increasing conversion of agriculture into a commodity industry is an undeniable reality today. The privatisation of natural resources, the policies of structural adjustment, the gradual disappearance of the peasantry and the industrialisation of food systems have driven us to the current food crisis situation.

In this context, who is deciding what we eat? The answer is clear: a handful of multinationals of the agro-food industry, with the blessing of governments and international institutions, end up imposing their private interest above collective needs. Due to this situation, our food security is seriously threatened.

The supposed concern of governments and institutions such as the G8, the G20, the World Trade Organization, etc., regarding the rise of the price of basic food and its impact on the more disadvantaged peoples, as they showed in the course of 2008 in international summits, has only shown their deep hypocrisy. They take significant economic profits from the current food and agricultural model, using it as an imperialist instrument for political, economic and social control, towards the countries of the global South.

As pointed out by the international movement of La Vía Campesina, at the end of the FAO meeting in Rome in November 2009: “The absence of the heads of state of the G8 countries has been one of the key causes of the dismal failure of this summit. Concrete measures were not taken to eradicate hunger, to stop the speculation on food or to hold back the expansion of agrofuels”. Likewise, commitments such as those of the Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security and the Food Security Trust Fund of the World Bank, which have the explicit support of the G8 and the G20, also point this out, leaving our food supply, once again, in the hands of the market.

Yet the reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) of the FAO is, according to La Vía Campesina, a step forward towards democratizing the decision-making processes over agriculture and environment: “At least this workspace respects the basic rule of democracy, which is the principle of “one country, one vote”, and it gives a new opportunity to civil society”. However, we will still have to check the real impact of the CFS.

Monopolies
The agro-food chain is subjected, in its whole route, to a high business concentration. Starting with the first stretch, seeds, we can observe that ten of the biggest companies (such as Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta, Bayer…), according to data from the ETC Group, control one half of sales. Copyright laws, which give exclusive rights on seeds to these companies, have further stimulated the business concentration of the sector and have eroded the peasant right to the maintenance of indigenous seeds and biodiversity.

The seed industry is intimately linked to that of pesticides. The biggest seed companies also dominate this other sector and very frequently the development and marketing of both products are done together. Moreover, in the pesticide industry, the monopoly is even greater and the ten biggest multinationals control 84% of the global market. This same dynamic is observed in the sector of food distribution and in that of the processing of drinks and foods. It is all about strategy, and it is bound to increase.

Big-scale retailing, just like other sectors, registers a high business concentration. In Europe, between 1987 and 2005, the market share of the ten biggest multinationals of big-scale retailing was 45% of the total and the chances are that they will reach 75% in the next 10-15 years. In countries such as a Sweden, three supermarket chains control around 95.1% of the market share; and in countries such as Denmark, Belgium, the Spanish State, France, Netherlands, Great Britain and Argentina, a handful of companies control between 60% and 45% of the market. Mega fusions are the usual dynamic. This monopoly and concentration enables them to wield huge power to determine what we buy, the price of products, their origin, and how they have been elaborated.

Making a profit from hunger
In the middle of the food crisis, the main multinational companies of the agro-food industry announced record profit figures. Monsanto and Dupont, the main seed companies, declared a rise of their profits of 44% and 19% respectively in 2007 in relation to the previous year. The data of fertilizer companies pointed out the same: Potash Corp, Yara and Sinochem, saw their profits rise by 72%, 44% and 95% respectively between 2007 and 2006. Food processors such as Nestlé also experienced a rise of their economic gains, as well as supermarkets such as Tesco, Carrefour and Wal-Mart, while millions of people in the world did not have access to food.

 

– Esther Vivas is a member of the Centre for Studies on Social Movements (CEMS) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. She is co-coordinator of the books in Spanish “Supermarkets, No Thanks” and “Where is Fair Trade headed?”. She is also a member of the editorial board of Viento Sur (www.vientosur.info).
(Article published in Diagonal, nº115.)
 

(Quelle: Radio Chango.)

Afrika: Aus der Traum vom freien Welthandel mit dem Westen

Montag, Juni 7th, 2010

“Africa: Developed World Inhibits African Trade – Report

Cape Town — Developed countries have responded to the global financial crisis by adopting protectionist measures which have damaged Africa’s chances of boosting its exports, according to a major new report.

The report, African Economic Outlook 2010, was released recently at the annual meetings of the African Development Bank group and is being
launched in South Africa on Tuesday.

It says packages introduced by rich countries in 2009 to stimulate economic growth have often been geared to favour domestic interests, by supporting their capacity to export goods, or to favour buying, hiring or investing in local goods and services.

‘Such measures clearly discriminate against developing countries, including those in Africa, on two levels.

‘First, African governments lack the resources to curb the domestic impact of the crisis with the same type of measures.

‘Second, African firms face unfavourable treatment precisely in those markets where additional spending is being promoted.

‘Hence, with these new measures African products could easily face discriminatory treatment in relation to similar domestic products and
services in developed countries, despite the general agreements about preferential treatment they may enjoy
.’

The report adds that protectionism is on the rise ‘despite repeated assurances in the context of the G20 meetings in London and later in
Pittsburgh, as well as in the context of World Trade Organization talks
.’

It calls for a rapid conclusion to the Doha Round of international trade talks, and to negotiations on regional Economic Partnership Agreements, saying this is ‘crucial’ to Africa’s medium-term trade prospects.

It also notes that African countries benefitted from the exponential growth in world trade which preceded the global crisis but that their
exports still amount to only three percent of the world total.

While protectionism by developed countries accounts partly for this, there were also constraints within Africa which inhibited trade, the report says.

‘Most African economies depend on very few primary agricultural and mining commodities for their exports and mainly import manufactured
goods from advanced countries. As the traditional markets in advanced countries are expected to grow less than markets in emerging Asian and
Middle East countries as well as markets within Africa, enhancing trade relations with these more dynamic markets is key
.’

The report also identifies poor transport infrastructure, political instability and lack of security, and intra-African trade barriers as imposing constraints on trade.

It says trade between African countries is still low, representing on average about 10 percent of their total exports.

‘Only 29.7 percent of the African road network is paved,’ according to the report. ‘The continent’s railway network is also very poor …
Shipping a car from Japan to Abidjan costs U.S.$1,500, while shipping that same vehicle from Addis Ababa to Abidjan would cost $5,000.’

African Economic Outlook 2010 is published jointly by the African Development Bank, the Development Centre of the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation anda Development and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.”

(Quelle: allAfrica.com.)

G8/G20-Gipfel: Das könnten wir uns sparen

Freitag, Mai 28th, 2010

“G8/G20 security bill to hit $833 million

By CTV.ca News Staff

Ottawa expects to spend at least $833 million on security for next month’s G8 and G20 summits, according to government documents released Tuesday.

In March, the federal government had allocated $179 million for its security budget. But under new estimates, these costs should increase by $654 million to a total of $833 million.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told CTV’s Power Play Tuesday evening that costs could rise by another $100 million, and so the government has budgeted up to $930 million on a “medium-threat basis.”

“When I first looked at it I think the reaction would have been the same as any ordinary Canadian looking at those costs,” Toews said. “You say, ‘How much money is this costing us?’ But I’m satisfied that the experts have been very careful in their assessment.”

“We don’t want to have a security incident,” Toews added. “Security is the biggest concern that we have in putting these summits on.”

Toews said the government won’t know the total security costs until after the completion of the summits.

The new costs are included in the Supplementary Estimates (A), 2010-11 — the first of several documents used to inform Parliament about spending requirements that are not included in the Main Estimates of the annual budget.

According to a copy of the Supplementary Estimates (A), 2010-11, that has been posted to the Treasury Board of Canada website, the additional $654 million will be split among the following departments:

● Royal Canadian Mounted Police — $321.5 million
● Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness — $262.6 million
● National Defence — $63.1 million
● Others – $6.7 million

The document says the additional funding will be used to:

● design, plan, coordinate and implement security operations for the summits
● provide the RCMP and its security partners with accommodation facilities for the G8 and G20 Summits
● procure information technology and portable communication assets
● work with federal, provincial and municipal security partners responsible for providing Summit security
● ensure the safekeeping of all International Protected Persons attending the summits

The G8 will be held in Huntsville, Ont., from June 25-26.

The G20 will take place in Toronto, from June 26-27.

CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife said the cost of holding G8 and G20 events has increased over time, and as such meetings have become more and more security conscious.

“That’s the way these summits are now,” he told CTV News Channel on Tuesday afternoon. “They never ever actually see anybody in the public any more, they are behind very secure barriers and there is very, very tight security.”

Toews said the two summits had to be held in Toronto and Huntsville, rather than in a more remote location that may have saved security costs, because hotel space is needed for the attendees.

Toews also pointed out that while holding the two summits back-to-back is “unprecedented,” piggybacking them together “in fact saved the taxpayers some money.”

With files from The Canadian Press

(Quelle: CTV News.)

Siehe auch:

Toronto police get ‘sound cannons’ for G20