Trade

Viet Nam – EU Trade Forum 2023

The European Institute for Asian Studies contributed to the 2023 Viet Nam – EU Trade Forum with an online presentation by EIAS Director Ms Lin Goethals on “Accompanying the manufacturing industry under pressure of green & sustainable development”. The Forum took place in Ho Chi Minh City on 27 November 2023.

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Resumption of the EU-Thailand Free Trade Agreement: A Catalyst for Growth and Collaboration

In an era marked by profound and unprecedented geopolitical tensions, trade disputes, supply chain disruptions, and global economic downturn, the revival of negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and Thailand signifies an opportunity to revitalise the economic relations between the two long-time trading partners. Leveraging the foundation laid by the EU-Thai Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) signed on 14 December 2022, both parties have affirmed their commitment towards upholding the rules-based international order. The PCA is the reflection of the EU’s strategic intent to address the increasing geopolitical risks, economic uncertainties, and the climate crisis by actively cultivating like-minded alliances in the Indo-Pacific region.

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Navigating the EU-China Controversy: Unravelling the Hamburg Harbour Investment Saga

On 19 June 2023 all attention turned to the Hamburg harbour in Germany, where the terminal operator “Hamburg Haven and Logistics AG” finalised a significant deal with the Chinese ports operator “Cosco Shipping Ports Limited.” This deal, involving the acquisition of a stake in one of the container terminals, had encountered controversy and public- and political opposition, resulting in a subsequent reduction from the initial 35% stake to a 24.9% for Cosco. The Hamburg harbour case study provides valuable insights into the intricate landscape of international investments and geopolitical considerations. This op-ed will provide a nuanced account of the case study, delving into the key actors, the rationale behind the investment as well as the German federal government’s decision to limit the stake, and tracing the origins of the backlash it faced.

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Eyes on the Taiwan Strait: Affirming EU-Taiwan Trade Relations Through a Security Lens

In an ever-changing geopolitical climate, trade relations between the EU and Taiwan are being viewed through a microscope. Rising tensions between China and the United States have increasingly made security across the Taiwan Strait a top priority for EU lawmakers, which has become evident in the EU’s 2021 Indo-Pacific Strategy and its implementation. Taiwan is a vital economic trade partner for the EU and by assessing the history, trends, and current status of the trade relationship between the two partners, the EU can do better to economically engage with Taiwan in the future. Remaining a partner in East Asia in promoting shared values such as “democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law”, Taiwan and the EU are looking for channels to affirm their trade relationship in an increasingly delicate geopolitical climate.

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Towards the Middle Income Status in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is on track to graduate from the United Nations’ least developed country (LDC) status. The country’s remarkable growth is worthy of a closer analysis regarding the drivers and rationale behind national policies and attracting foreign investments.

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The Significance of EU-Indonesia Trade Relations in the Indo-Pacific

While the European Union (EU)’s trade relations with Indonesia have strengthened over the years, they have also seemingly come to a standstill. 11 rounds of negotiations for the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IEU-CEPA) have so far taken place without significant progress due to sticking issues, including trade disputes in palm oil and nickel exports.

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Reforming the EU’s GSP+ Scheme – An Analysis into Uzbekistan’s Admission

The EU’s GSP+ Scheme aims to alleviate poverty in beneficiary countries by providing them the opportunity to strengthen and diversify their exports. Despite the benefits, the nature of the scheme’s conditions have raised questions on its ability to deliver its key intentions. Using Uzbekistan as a case study, this Op-ed will assess and analyse the EU’s GSP+ scheme and question who indeed benefits from the scheme, and the manner in which the EU identifies and addresses the issues of poor corporate practices resulting.

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