The European Union and Canada have signed a landmark free-trade agreement, that’ll boost growth and create jobs. The deal also paves the way for Europe to create an even bigger no-tariff zone with the US, that’ll represent half of the global economy.
The IEA says the US will overtake Russia as the biggest oil producer next year, citing the ‘shale revolution’ that has reshaped the global energy market. Some experts believe this will sober Russia and put a lid on talk of a ‘commodity curse’.
Russia wants to use its growing cooperation with China to boost trade by 15%. President Putin told the APEC Summit in Bali that Russia is poised to increase trade from the current record $87.5bn to at least $100bn.
Big US companies like Wal-Mart and FedEx say Washington shouldn’t compromise on the 12-nation Asia–Pacific free trade agreement and rush it through by the end of 2013. Policymakers insist each extra $1 billion in exports would create 5,000 jobs.
The cancellation of US President Barack Obama’s APEC summit visit was commented on by Singapore’s Prime Minister on Sunday, who said that global leaders wanted to see “a US president who is able to travel and fulfill his international duties.”
China launched its first experimental economic free trade zone in Shanghai, seeking to transform the city into an international financial hub and drive yuan convertibility. It is intended to boost growth which is now heading for a 23-year low.
Some of Russia’s biggest retailers will try their hand in foreign markets. Russia’s biggest diamond producer ALROSA, sporting goods retailer Sportmaster, and a popular sushi restaurant will test out their products in Beijing, London, and New York.
Energy and trade have long dominated great power politics. The new “hot” region for development is in fact one of the coldest: In the Arctic, power means all manner of energy as well as influence in key developing trade routes.
Russia opened a cross-border freight railway with North Korea as part of the Trans-Asian Railway project aimed at accelerating trade by connecting Asia and Europe, in the event the two conflicting Koreas unite to form a train network on the peninsula.