Saturday, February 07, 2004

Trade Matters

Amidst all the talk of growing rivalry between Japan, China, Korea the FT gives a piece about the growing inter-regional trade as a sign of the closer relations between the countries. It also mentions talk of a free-trade area to consolidate economic relations. Though I suspect that an actuall free-trade area between these three is a long way off.

On the subject of trade the European Union has conducted a study on the viability of banning imports from countries that did not share their national values and standards. Note the EU's slogan: "united in diversity"!? Hmmm I think I see a contradiction. Maybe "united in conformity" might be more appropriate. Although, Lamy stresses that it is just a debate topic at present and not a policy option.

And finally, the Economist critiques Roh's next chance at getting it right with regard to labour strife. Spring will soon be upon us and the annual labour strikes are probably already in the planning. Economist seemed a little bit more optomistic than I would be regarding Roh's ability to devise a cunning strategy to balance the militant nutters in the labour unions and the businesses that fail to negotiate meaninful knowing that government will alwasy step in to intervene when the public outcry gets too much for them to bear, especially in an election season.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui