Regional Strategy Seminar on Finance-Trade Linkages - Asia (June 2006)

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Sun, Jun 18, 2006

By Aldo Caliari

The Regional Strategy Seminar on Trade – Finance Linkages (Asia) is the second in a series of regional seminars being convened by members of the International Working Group on Trade - Finance Linkages. Such International Working Group brings together civil society organizations from both trade and financial backgrounds, North and South, with the goals of:


  1. increasing the effectiveness of trade and financial NGOs in achieving their respective advocacy agendas,


  2. find points of synergy and


  3. build a common, proactive advocacy platform that link trade and financial policies in ways supportive of enlarged local policy space for implementation of alternatives that promote development, gender, human rights and the environment.


Like the previous regional seminar, this one is oriented to strengthen the organic and sustained input of members from the region in the agenda and priority-setting of the working group and the North-South flow of information. The seminar will address ways to effectively expand and protect, across the institutions that are the target of trade and finance watchdog organizations, the policy space needed for the adoption of alternative policies. For this reflection it will use as a platform the sectors that are the backbone of the productive economy: agriculture, industry, services and power of the state to regulate foreign capital flows. The seminar will also address the potential of using trade-finance linkages in order to strategically shift the balance of ongoing negotiations in financial and trade venues.







The seminar's full agenda is listed below.


Date: June 3-6,2006

Venue: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Co-Sponsored by: Asia Pacific Research Network, International Gender and Trade Network, Center of Concern

Local hosts: ERACONS, PAN AP


Day 1 (June 3)

9: 00 AM  


Opening Remarks:  Antonio Tujan Jr., IBON / APRN

Introduction/Background:  Aldo Caliari, Center of Concern


9:15 - 10:45 a.m.


Segment 1: Overview of regional integration process in Asia:  Antonio Tujan Jr.
 Ideas on alternative models for integration

* Update on global trade negotiations, Goh Chien Yen, Third World Network
* Short background on integration situation in the sub-regions
South Asia Avanti Mukherjeen, JNU
South East Asia, Ivan Hadar, IGJ
Pacific Fr. Kevin Barr, ECREA
Central Asia Urantsooj, CHRD

10:45 - 12:15 p.m.
* Social issues, gender, human rights & the environment:  Gigi Francisco, IGTN
  Assessing governments & the productive economy: Azra Talat Sayeed, ROOTS

12:15- 1:30 p.m.
Lunch Break

1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Segment 2: Building on current advocacy efforts with trade & financial institutions, expand policy space for alternative development models, identify targets of relevance

A. Agriculture
Chair: Gilbert Sape, PANAP
Khadim Hussain, Action Aid Pakistan
Fatima Burnad, SRED (India)

3:30- 4:00 p.m.

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

B. Industrial goods
Chair: Aldo Caliari
Goh Chien Yen, TWN
Pepe Tanchuling, SEAFISH
Paul Quintos, EILER


June 4,2006

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Track:  Services
Chair: Marina Durano
Bhola Dhungana, NPI (Nepal)
Meena Raman, CAP (Malaysia)

11:00- 12:30 p.m.

Track: State regulation of FDIs and capital flows
Chair: Jane Kelsey (New Zealand)
Kavaljit Singh, PIRG (India)
Marina Durano, IGTN

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch Break

1:30 - 3:00  p.m.
Continuation: State regulation of FDIs and capital flows

3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Segment 3: Use finance-trade linkages to spot hidden asymmetries & shift negotiating agenda in both trade & financial institutions. Take stock of existing supportive research and explore potential for bringing these into national and international political debates

Simultaneous tracks for topics A and C

Topic A: The asymmetrical impact of IFIs role in trade negotiations. Mechanisms for redress.
Chair: Tony Tujan, IBON / APRN
Overview:  Jane Kelsey, ARENA (New Zealand)

Topic C: Compensatory financial mechanisms for trade-related losses. Understanding the role & limitations of existing and proposed mechanisms
Chair: Rosario Bella Guzman, IBON
Overview : Aldo Caliari, Center of Concern
Case study:  Mars Mendoza, Fair Trade Alliance, Philippines


June 5,2006

9:00-11:00 a.m.

Topic B: A capital accumulation perspective in negotiating trade & investment agreements. Searching for a trade/investment policy framework geared towards accumulating capital for development
Chair: Gigi Francisco, IGTN
Overview: Rosario Bella Guzman, IBON

11:00- 12:30 p.m.

Topic D: The asymmetric impact of financial & exchange rate volatility on trade performance. Who creates &who suffers financial instability and the impacts on trade by developing countries
Chair:  Marina Durano, IGTN
Overview: Kavaljit Singh, PIRG (India)

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch Break

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Topic D continuation

3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Simultaneous tracks for Topics E and F

Track E: Foreign investment and the balance of payments:  Are FDIs the solution or part of the problem?
Chair:Meena Raman, CAP (Malaysia)
Overview: Suranjan, Green Movt. (Sri Lanka)
Case study: Paul Quintos, EILER (Philippines)

Track F: The treatment of debt and BOP issues through FTA dispute settlement mechanisms. Issues involved.
Chair:  Azra Talat Sayeed (Pakistan)
Overview: Aldo Caliari, COC
Case study

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Intermission - Dinner

8:00 - 9:00 p.m.

First approach to Segment 4:  APRN, IGTN, COC
Listing of advocacy opportunities
Explore organizing models to follow up


June 6, 2006

9:00 - 12:00 p.m.

Segment 4
Come up with strategies and a division of responsibilities for moving forward

a. priority issues, institutions and areas of work for research & advocacy
b. strategies for coordinated advocacy
c. division of tasks & responsibilities, organization focal points, coordination, etc.

Closing of the meeting

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Lunch Break

2:00 p.m.
Roundtable Public Forum on Finance Trade Linkages