News Archive February 1-15, 2013

EU or EAU?
Which way will Armenia tilt?
CNN World, Feb 15, 2013 – The Kremlin also hopes to bring Armenia into a Russia-led Customs Union – a precursor to the so-called Eurasian Union, which Russian president Vladimir Putin hopes will be a counterweight to the European Union. With aid, however, the West has leverage.

EURASIAN UNION:
Post-Soviet Integration is Unstoppable – Putin
RIA Novosti (Russia), Feb 14, 2013 – Nothing can stop or slow down the reintegration of the post-Soviet space, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

NORTH AMERICA:
Former Gov. Jeb Bush talks immigration, bipartisanship at Saint Leo
Tampa Bay Times, Feb 14, 2013 – His prescription amounts to a three-legged stool: a focus on ramping up North American energy production; comprehensive immigration reform that would make America more welcoming to nonnative innovators and entrepreneurs; and education reforms to ensure America is equipped to sustain the growth generated by the first two legs.

AFRICAN UNION:
President of the African Union to Visit China
Prensa Latina (Cuba), Feb 13, 2013 – The South African Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will arrive in China this week on an official visit on the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and will participate in the Strategic Dialogue China-African Union, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY: EAC officials, regional business CEOs discuss partnership – IPP Media (Tanzania), Feb 13, 2013 – Members of the private sector will input and identify key issues to take forward including implementation of the EAC Customs Union, focusing on single customs territory, harmonisation of domestic taxes and double taxation, the statement said. Others are harmonisation of procedures and fees on free movement of workers in the region.

Petrogold: Are Russia And China Hoarding Gold Because They Plan To Kill The Petrodollar?
When Vladimir Putin says the U.S. is endangering the global economy by abusing its dollar monopoly, he’s not just talking. He’s betting on it….His central bank has added 570 metric tons of the metal in the past decade, a quarter more than runner-up China, according to IMF data compiled by Bloomberg.

PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM:
Pacific Plan review calls for pooling of sovereignty
Radio New Zealand International, Feb 12, 2013 – The man leading a review of the Pacific Plan says Pacific Islands countries will have to forgo some sovereignty if the document is to have value.

ARAB LEAGUE:
PM for UN Council, League revamp
The Peninsula (Qatar), Feb 12, 2013 – The Arab League must set up “joint mechanisms” with the European Union (EU), the African Union and the South East Asian and South American blocks, suggested the PM, Qatar News Agency reported yesterday.

AFRICAN UNION – SADC
SADC brigade to ‘impose force’
Legalbrief Today (South Africa), Feb 12, 2013 – SADC [Southern African Development Community] leaders this weekend said Southern African peacekeepers will have the power to enforce peace in the eastern DRC [Congo], rather than just keep it.

UNASUR:
Austerity Perpetuates the Crisis, Ecuadorian Economist Affirms
Prensa Latina (Cuba), Feb 11, 2013 – “Since 2007 and thanks to the promotion of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a new horizon arouse to develop a new regional financial architecture based on three main pillars: a new development bank, a new currency and an alternative for the IMF”, highlighted Paez.

EUROPEAN UNION:
David Cameron cheered by MPs as he hails European Union budget cut deal
Evening Standard (London), Feb 11, 2013 – “Working with allies we took real steps towards reform in the European Union….”

Global Currency War Could Get Nastier: Brazil
CNBC | Reuters, Feb 11, 2013 – More than two years ago Mantega used the term “currency wars” to describe the series of competitive devaluations adopted by rich nations to bolster their exports amid the global slowdown to the detriment of emerging market nations.

 

SOUTH PACIFIC:
Australia and New Zealand’s slow and steady move towards economic integration
The Conversation (Australia), Feb 11, 2013 – If one lesson can be drawn from European experience it is that economic integration has a habit of turning political. The agenda might not look riveting, but it might be time we started paying attention.

AFRICAN UNION – SADC:
Towards African Integration
Southern Times, Feb 11, 2013 – The formation of various institutions such as Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union are all examples of this….Pertaining to Africa, there are four typologies of regional economic co-operation/integration that can be used as maps to attain regional integration.
SADC Awaiting UN Go-Ahead for Troop Deployment in Congo – AllAfrica, Feb 10, 2013 – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is awaiting a mandate from the United Nations Security Council in order to deploy its forces in the troubled eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

UNASUR:
Proposal to Choose Lula for Next UNASUR President
Tiempo (Argentina), Feb 10, 2013 (Google Translate) – The friend and adviser [to] Nestor Kirchner said that former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva should take the front of the body, as the mandate of the current president of UNASUR, Venezuela’s Ali Rodriguez, expires in June.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: South America to Have Single Currency in the Future, Lula Says - Bloomberg, May 26, 2008

AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
Region seeks to harmonise commercial laws
The New Times (Rwanda), Feb 10, 2013 – As the East African Community’s (EAC) partner states move towards a political federation, a five-day High Level Task Force meeting has been convened in Tanzania to pave way for an appropriate approximation of laws in a regional context.
Affordable Energy Key to EAC Integration – New Times (Rwanda), Feb 10, 2013 – “In this regard, the East African Community Partner States, have agreed to cooperate in joint exploration and development of the energy resources found within the Community,”

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL:
Gulf force begins war games in Kuwait
Ahram (Egypt) | AFP, Feb 10, 2013 – It aims at “activating the concept of joint defence… and implementing the unified defence strategy of the Gulf Cooperation Council states,” he said.

EUROPEAN UNION:
European Union approves first-ever budget cut
Times of India, Feb 10, 2013 – In what will be the first ever budget cut in the European Union’s 56-year history, austerity prevailed over growth with hectic negotiations over 24-hours finally seeing the EU agree to a 960 billion budget for the 2014-20 period.

SOUTH PACIFIC:
New Zealand, Australia to expand economic integration, share refugee burden
Global Times, Feb 9, 2013 – The leaders of New Zealand and Australia Saturday announced a series of new measures to more closely align their two economies, and to tackle regional health and refugee issues.

ASEAN:
ASEAN in the next five years: Moving into 2015 and beyond
By Le Luong Minh, Jakarta Post, Feb 9, 2013 – To build the ASEAN Community, we need to implement various ASEAN agreements and decisions by translating regional commitments into national actions.
[Le Luong Minh Secretary-General of ASEAN for the period 2013-2017.]

NORTH AMERICA:
Kerry promises ‘fair, transparent’ review of planned Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada
Washington Post, Feb 8, 2013 – In his first comments about the controversial Keystone XL pipeline since becoming secretary of state, Kerry said he is waiting for a review begun by his predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and hopes to make a decision in the “near term.”

UNASUR:
Unasur Secretary proposes to industrialize the region
teleSUR TV, Feb 8, 2013 – “In this short period we aim to design management policy of industrialization of natural resources in Latin America, the assembly of a regional financial architecture and the creation of an information system, archiving and communication that guarantees the connection with the twelve countries member body.”….

EURASIAN UNION:
80-90% chance for Eurasian Economic Union by 2015, Kizima says
Belarusian Telegraph Agency, Feb 8, 2013 – Probability of making the Eurasian Economic Union operational by 2015 is between 80-90%, Head of the Department for International Policy of the Academy of Public Administration under the Auspices of the President of the Republic of Belarus, Doctor of Political Science Sergei Kizima said….

SAARC:
MFN Status: Pak-India talks on Feb 21
International News Network, Feb 8, 2013 – Pakistan India talks on improving bilateral trade and giving Most Favorite Nation status to India would be held on Feb 21 in New Delhi.

EU or EAU?
Which way will Armenia tilt?
CNN World, Feb 15, 2013 – The Kremlin also hopes to bring Armenia into a Russia-led Customs Union – a precursor to the so-called Eurasian Union, which Russian president Vladimir Putin hopes will be a counterweight to the European Union. With aid, however, the West has leverage.

EURASIAN UNION:
Post-Soviet Integration is Unstoppable – Putin
RIA Novosti (Russia), Feb 14, 2013 – Nothing can stop or slow down the reintegration of the post-Soviet space, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

NORTH AMERICA:
Former Gov. Jeb Bush talks immigration, bipartisanship at Saint Leo
Tampa Bay Times, Feb 14, 2013 – His prescription amounts to a three-legged stool: a focus on ramping up North American energy production; comprehensive immigration reform that would make America more welcoming to nonnative innovators and entrepreneurs; and education reforms to ensure America is equipped to sustain the growth generated by the first two legs.

AFRICAN UNION:
President of the African Union to Visit China
Prensa Latina (Cuba), Feb 13, 2013 – The South African Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will arrive in China this week on an official visit on the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and will participate in the Strategic Dialogue China-African Union, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY: EAC officials, regional business CEOs discuss partnership – IPP Media (Tanzania), Feb 13, 2013 – Members of the private sector will input and identify key issues to take forward including implementation of the EAC Customs Union, focusing on single customs territory, harmonisation of domestic taxes and double taxation, the statement said. Others are harmonisation of procedures and fees on free movement of workers in the region.

Petrogold: Are Russia And China Hoarding Gold Because They Plan To Kill The Petrodollar?
When Vladimir Putin says the U.S. is endangering the global economy by abusing its dollar monopoly, he’s not just talking. He’s betting on it….His central bank has added 570 metric tons of the metal in the past decade, a quarter more than runner-up China, according to IMF data compiled by Bloomberg.

PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM:
Pacific Plan review calls for pooling of sovereignty
Radio New Zealand International, Feb 12, 2013 – The man leading a review of the Pacific Plan says Pacific Islands countries will have to forgo some sovereignty if the document is to have value.

ARAB LEAGUE:
PM for UN Council, League revamp
The Peninsula (Qatar), Feb 12, 2013 – The Arab League must set up “joint mechanisms” with the European Union (EU), the African Union and the South East Asian and South American blocks, suggested the PM, Qatar News Agency reported yesterday.

AFRICAN UNION – SADC
SADC brigade to ‘impose force’
Legalbrief Today (South Africa), Feb 12, 2013 – SADC [Southern African Development Community] leaders this weekend said Southern African peacekeepers will have the power to enforce peace in the eastern DRC [Congo], rather than just keep it.

UNASUR:
Austerity Perpetuates the Crisis, Ecuadorian Economist Affirms
Prensa Latina (Cuba), Feb 11, 2013 – “Since 2007 and thanks to the promotion of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a new horizon arouse to develop a new regional financial architecture based on three main pillars: a new development bank, a new currency and an alternative for the IMF”, highlighted Paez.

EUROPEAN UNION:
David Cameron cheered by MPs as he hails European Union budget cut deal
Evening Standard (London), Feb 11, 2013 – “Working with allies we took real steps towards reform in the European Union….”

Global Currency War Could Get Nastier: Brazil
CNBC | Reuters, Feb 11, 2013 – More than two years ago Mantega used the term “currency wars” to describe the series of competitive devaluations adopted by rich nations to bolster their exports amid the global slowdown to the detriment of emerging market nations.

 

SOUTH PACIFIC:
Australia and New Zealand’s slow and steady move towards economic integration
The Conversation (Australia), Feb 11, 2013 – If one lesson can be drawn from European experience it is that economic integration has a habit of turning political. The agenda might not look riveting, but it might be time we started paying attention.

AFRICAN UNION – SADC:
Towards African Integration
The formation of various institutions such as Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union are all examples of this….Pertaining to Africa, there are four typologies of regional economic co-operation/integration that can be used as maps to attain regional integration.
SADC Awaiting UN Go-Ahead for Troop Deployment in Congo – AllAfrica, Feb 10, 2013 – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is awaiting a mandate from the United Nations Security Council in order to deploy its forces in the troubled eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

UNASUR:
Proposal to Choose Lula for Next UNASUR President
Tiempo (Argentina), Feb 10, 2013 (Google Translate) – The friend and adviser [to] Nestor Kirchner said that former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva should take the front of the body, as the mandate of the current president of UNASUR, Venezuela’s Ali Rodriguez, expires in June.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: South America to Have Single Currency in the Future, Lula Says - Bloomberg, May 26, 2008

AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
Region seeks to harmonise commercial laws
The New Times (Rwanda), Feb 10, 2013 – As the East African Community’s (EAC) partner states move towards a political federation, a five-day High Level Task Force meeting has been convened in Tanzania to pave way for an appropriate approximation of laws in a regional context.
Affordable Energy Key to EAC Integration – New Times (Rwanda), Feb 10, 2013 – “In this regard, the East African Community Partner States, have agreed to cooperate in joint exploration and development of the energy resources found within the Community,”

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL:
Gulf force begins war games in Kuwait
Ahram (Egypt) | AFP, Feb 10, 2013 – It aims at “activating the concept of joint defence… and implementing the unified defence strategy of the Gulf Cooperation Council states,” he said.

EUROPEAN UNION:
European Union approves first-ever budget cut
Times of India, Feb 10, 2013 – In what will be the first ever budget cut in the European Union’s 56-year history, austerity prevailed over growth with hectic negotiations over 24-hours finally seeing the EU agree to a 960 billion budget for the 2014-20 period.

SOUTH PACIFIC:
New Zealand, Australia to expand economic integration, share refugee burden
Global Times, Feb 9, 2013 – The leaders of New Zealand and Australia Saturday announced a series of new measures to more closely align their two economies, and to tackle regional health and refugee issues.

ASEAN:
ASEAN in the next five years: Moving into 2015 and beyond
By Le Luong Minh, Jakarta Post, Feb 9, 2013 – To build the ASEAN Community, we need to implement various ASEAN agreements and decisions by translating regional commitments into national actions.
[Le Luong Minh Secretary-General of ASEAN for the period 2013-2017.]

NORTH AMERICA:
Kerry promises ‘fair, transparent’ review of planned Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada
Washington Post, Feb 8, 2013 – In his first comments about the controversial Keystone XL pipeline since becoming secretary of state, Kerry said he is waiting for a review begun by his predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and hopes to make a decision in the “near term.”

UNASUR:
Unasur Secretary proposes to industrialize the region
teleSUR TV, Feb 8, 2013 – “In this short period we aim to design management policy of industrialization of natural resources in Latin America, the assembly of a regional financial architecture and the creation of an information system, archiving and communication that guarantees the connection with the twelve countries member body.”….

EURASIAN UNION:
80-90% chance for Eurasian Economic Union by 2015, Kizima says
Belarusian Telegraph Agency, Feb 8, 2013 – Probability of making the Eurasian Economic Union operational by 2015 is between 80-90%, Head of the Department for International Policy of the Academy of Public Administration under the Auspices of the President of the Republic of Belarus, Doctor of Political Science Sergei Kizima said….

SAARC:
MFN Status: Pak-India talks on Feb 21
International News Network, Feb 8, 2013 – Pakistan India talks on improving bilateral trade and giving Most Favorite Nation status to India would be held on Feb 21 in New Delhi.

EURASIAN UNION:
Moscow seeks to become forex hub, to boost yuan trading
Reuters, Feb 7, 2013 – The Moscow Exchange said on Thursday it would allow banks from Russia’s economic allies to trade forex on its platform as part of a wider Kremlin-backed drive to establish the rouble as a regional reserve currency.

NORTH AMERICA:
Baird, Kerry, to meet on Keystone and other bilateral issues Friday
Nanaimo Daily News (Canada), Feb 7, 2013 – In the coming months, Kerry and Baird will likely work together on ongoing Canada-U.S. partnerships, including the Beyond the Border Action Plan, announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Obama in December 2011.

NORTH AMERICA:
Senate calls for tariffs review to address Canada-U.S. price gap
National Post (Canada), Feb 6, 2013 – The Senate committee is recommending that the federal government, through the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council, continue to integrate safety standards as a way to reduce prices in Canada “without compromising the safety needs in the two countries.”
Think Tank Urges “More Ambitious” U.S.-Mexican Agenda – Inter Press Service News Agency, Feb 6, 2013 – On the economic side, the two countries should work to make their shared labour markets more efficient and equitable; create a more-coherent North American energy market; and co-ordinating with Canada in negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership with selected South American and East Asian nations.

AFRICAN UNION:
State of development: Africans must manage new scramble for Africa
The New Age (South Africa), Feb 7, 2013 -It now chairs the African Union Commission. It is an member of the Brics group. And South African parastatals and private sector are investing heavily in regional economic infrastructure.
African Union Declares It Will Proceed With Pan-African IP Office - IP Watch, Feb 6, 2013 – The heads of state of the African Union (AU), the regional body working on African integration, have decided to proceed with the establishment of a Pan-African Intellectual Property Office (PAIPO), despite misgivings about the potential impact on their local economies.

EUROPEAN UNION:
Hollande calls for eurozone ‘government’

French President François Hollande has called for more budgetary, social and tax integration, leading to a “eurozone government” during a debate with MEPs.
Report on CIA rendition reveals massive scale of European assistance

The Guardian (London), Feb 5, 2013 – Of pre-2004 European Union states, only three – France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – apparently sat out the CIA‘s global kidnap-and-torture program, known as extraordinary rendition, in which suspects were picked off streets and secretly flown from country to country to face harsh questioning and worse.

AFRICAN UNION:
Southern Africa: SADC States Aided Illegal CIA Renditions – AllAfrica.com-Feb 5, 2013 -The shocking extent of the CIA’s highly classified programme of secret detention and extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects has finally been made laid bare by a remarkable report from the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI).

The newly-appointed U.S. Secretary of State and the push for Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge, Feb 5, 2013 – Former Ambassador Ngo Quang Xuan said that under the time of the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Vietnam in particular and ASEAN in general will have favorable conditions to build the strategic partnership with the US.
Building the ASEAN Political-Security Community – Jakarta Post, Feb 5, 2013 – The APSC [ASEAN Political-Security Community] constitutes one of the three pillars supporting the ASEAN Community ─ alongside ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). Under the APSC blueprint, which provides a roadmap and timetable, the APSC will be established by 2015.

AFRICAN UNION:
SADC begins training of Stand by Force in Zim – News24 (South Africa), Feb 5, 2013 – SADC military inspectors have converged in the Zimbabwe capital for a training course aimed at improving the operation and proficiency of the military component of the SADC Standby Force (SSF) in war times, according to a report.
World to mull ‘long-term’ Mali role at Brussels talks
– Global Post, Feb 4, 2013 – Some 45 delegations are due at day-long ministerial-level talks of the “follow-up group” on Mali, including the African Union, United Nations, European Union, west African regional body ECOWAS, banks, aid groups and indivudual nations.

SOUTH PACIFIC:
New Zealand, Australia PMs to discuss economic integration
Xinhua (China), Feb 4, 2013 – Stronger economic relations will be on the agenda when Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard holds talks with New Zealand counterpart John Key …

GCC:
Gulf banks replace European banks as major acquirers in MENA
The Hindu, Feb 4, 2013 – Banks in the oil-rich countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are becoming active buyers of stakes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) banks replacing European banks, Standard & Poor’s said in a report.
Kuwaiti MP calls for adoption of unified GCC visa – Zawya (Dubai, U.A.E.), Feb 3, 2013 – Business communities have been pushing for the adoption of a single Schengen-like visas to boost intra-GCC travel and local economies.
[Reference to the Schengen Zone is the "outer security perimeter" around the Eurozone countries, within which there is a free movement of cargo and people. It is also the model for the Obama-Harper "Beyond the Border Action Plan" for the U.S. and Canada, with Mexico to be brought into the zone at a later date.]

AFRICAN UNION:
BRICS eyes bigger role in Africa
Russia & India Report, Feb 4, 2013 – The participation of the African Union in the next BRICS summit in Durban will foster the economic integration of Africa with the rising powers….The AU has already mandated the South African President to initiate infrastructure development projects in Africa.
[BRICS is a coalition of emerging industrial nations Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. With the exception of China,which itself has an area, population and economy larger than most regions, all of these nations are considered the leading "anchor" nations of their respective geopolitical regions: UNASUR (Brazil), Eurasian Union (Russia), SAARC (India), and the African Union (South Africa).]
Economic integration could shape ‘different Africa’ in next 50 years – The Guardian (London), Feb 4, 2013 – Solidarity is key to common prosperity, says Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank….Citing Europe as an example, he advocates redistribution of wealth between African states.
EAC Needs the Protocols, but It Needs Its Festivals Too – The New Times (Rwanda), Feb 4, 2013 – True, we have done well negotiating and signing protocols for the Customs Union and the Common Market….Similarly, our negotiations for the Monetary Union Protocol….I firmly believe that socio-cultural integration is the critical enabler for our unique aim of political federation….
AU decides meeting on Mali to take place in Belgium – People’s Daily (China), Feb 4, 2013 – Hosted by the European Union (EU), the meeting will bring together the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations (UN), the neighboring countries of Mali and other countries of the region.
CFTA dream faces commitment challenge – Southern Times (Australia) Feb 4, 2013 – There have been efforts over the years to create a continental free trade area (CFTA)….One such initiative meant to give impetus to CFTA is the Grand FTA that will merge SADC, COMESA and the East African Community into a single trading bloc….

EUROPEAN UNION:
Is The Euro Crisis Over?
Social Europe Journal, Feb 4, 2013 – The European Union’s financial warriors are exhausted. Hedge funds first made money betting that the crisis would worsen, but then lost money betting on a eurozone breakup.
‘Thank God Turkey isn’t part of European Union’ – Gulf News (Dubai), Feb 4, 2013 – Yildiz says Turkish companies are benefitting from opportunities in neighbouring Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. “Iraq is investing more than a trillion dollars in infrastructure, ports, highways, oil pipelines and oil and gas industries….that’s the kind of economic opportunity we are talking about.

AFRICAN UNION – ECOWAS:
West Africa Single Currency: How Close To Take-off?
Leadership Newspapers (Nigeria), Feb 3, 2013 – As the sub-region moves towards the launch of the second regional currency agreed for 2015, the ECOWAS commission expects WAMZ member states to satisfy the primary macroeconomic convergence criteria by sustaining their performance.

EURASIAN UNION – Belarus:
Belarus gets more regional bailout fund
NZWeek, Feb 1, 2013 – Belarus has received the fourth tranche of a bailout loan from the Anti-Crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), the Finance Ministry said Thursday.
Rinse and Repeat – EUobserver, Jan 31, 2013 – The game is: promise more and give less. Complain about the iron fist of Russia but reap the benefits of its Eurasian Union project. Release dissidents and arrest new ones. Rinse and repeat.

EUROPEAN UNION:
Chinese investors bullish on Europe: survey
People’s Daily (China), Feb 1, 2013 – Chinese companies are optimistic about investing in Europe even though the continent is still struggling with the sovereign-debt crisis, a survey showed Thursday.

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