Monday, August 21, 2006

Kick-Starting an Asian Free Trade Area - Aug 21

I'm foregoing my usual Carson-esque opening and going straight to the news. A really good eye-opening article from euobserver.com follows as well.

Wow, the Harper gov't is really going all out on this Northwest Passage thingy. There's a major military exercise going on there right now, the Conservatives are really gunning for the Arctic.

Is August the 22nd a day of reckoning of sorts wrt Iran? Hard to say but there seems to be a lot of chatter on the internet as it pertains to tomorrow's date.

This next article from CBC almost caused me to grind my teeth into dust. A Liberal, NDP and Bloc MP has gone on some hackneyed 'fact-finding' mission in Lebanon. According to these useful idiots, Canada should differentiate between 'nice' terrorists and 'bad' terrorists. What utter dupes. A sucker is truly born every minute.

Michelle Malkin gives us the heads-up on all those bogus photos we keep seeing on the news.

Here's a cool map from stratfor showing all the positions of the troops in and around the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Lastly, here is a picture gallery from the Jerusalem Post on the recent war (25 photos in all).

Huh, and I thought it was a slow news day!

Mr. Johnny Cash

Japan set to kick-start pan-Asian free trade area

21.08.2006 - 09:57 CET By Lisbeth Kirk


Japanese minister of economy Toshihiro Nikai is set to unveil plans for a pan-Asian free trade area of 3.1 billion people, half the world's population, Malaysian news agency Bernama has reported ahead of the 38th ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting starting today in Kuala Lumpur.

The free trade area would include ASEAN-countries Australia, China, South Korea, India, Japan and New Zealand and would be promoted by a Japanese fund of 100 million US dollars.

The Japanese minister will travel to Malaysia on Tuesday (22 August) seeking acceptance for his plan from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministers.

The 39-year-old ASEAN bloc agreed already in October 2003 to set up a single market by 2020, modelled on the EU. But ministers meeting this week hope to speed up the plans and get it ready by 2015.

"We need to muster political will to create the AEC [Asean Economic Community] by 2015, instead of 2020," ASEAN secretary-general Ong Keng Yong said, according to AP.

China and ASEAN have already agreed to create no-tariff zone by 2010 in their combined market of 2 billion people.

At this week's meeting a deal with the US to facilitate trade and investment is expected to get signed. ASEAN is the America's fourth largest trading partner.

ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Burma and Cambodia have joined later.

The grouping was originally set up to insure that south east Asian countries would provide a buffer against Communist China.

© EUobserver.com 2006. Printed from EUobserver.com 22.08.2006
Link to above story can also be found here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been following what is going on in the Middle East lately, as seems to be the case with most of the world. One channel I have spent the most time viewing is the FOX New Channel. I must say that I was amazed to see Pat Robertson of the 700 Club make an appearence as well as many segments on the End Times. There seems to be a general awareness among Americans that the End Times signs center around the Middle East and the need for peace there. With all the coverage and awarness in the media, I often wonder, when the Rapture occures, won't people realize that the Christians were right? I'd certainly be re-thinking my beliefs if I were them!