PRIME Minister Julia Gillard is aiming for an ambitious trade agreement that not only covers ASEAN and its neighbours but leaves the door open for other entrants.
Ms Gillard arrived in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on Monday for the East Asia Summit, which is set to launch the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on Tuesday afternoon (Cambodian time).
The RCEP agreement – which would bring down trade barriers and cut customs duties across the region – is set to involve the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. …
INTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation, the private-sector arm of the Washington-based World Bank, has invested $US805 million ($770m) in Australian projects around the world…
These projects are in 24 countries and in sectors ranging from financial services to infrastructure. IFC is an investor in three Macquarie Group-sponsored infrastructure funds in India, Russia and Africa, committing a total of $US350m in these projects.
“We are really happy to be partnering with Australian companies,” IFC vice-president, Asia Pacific, Karin Finkelston said in Sydney yesterday.
“We have invested with ANZ in Laos, but have since exited our investment. We still have investment in ANZ in Cambodia.”..
A TAXPAYER-FUNDED development project is mired in controversy after the Cambodian government launched a crackdown against land rights organisations critical of the compulsory resettlement of families.
The Cambodian government has cautioned a small group of foreign organisations against stirring up unrest among those being forced off their land and has banned land rights organisation Sahmakum Teang Tnaut from operating for five months.
AusAID first assistant director general Richard Moore told The Australian the agency was concerned and had co-written a strongly-worded letter with the Asian Development Bank to the Cambodian government on August 17.
AusAID has contributed $US21.5 million ($20.3m) towards the $US141m project to renovate Cambodia’s decrepit rail system, with the Asian Development Bank providing $US84m in concessional loans.
The Cambodian government is responsible for resettling and compensating people who are forced off their land
(Rebecca Puddy with additional reporting by Sebastian Strangio).