Armenia joins Eurasian Economic Union
“Leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union signed on Friday an agreement on Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed the treaty in May and have already ratified the document, which is expected to come in force in 2015.
The union is aimed at increasing economic cooperation among its member countries. Under the treaty, member countries agree to guarantee the free flow of goods, services, capital and labor, and to implement a coordinated policy in the energy, industrial, agricultural and transport sectors.”
“Former president Shimon Peres emerged from a Vatican City audience with Pope Francis Thursday after proposing a kind of United Nations for religions.
Peres, 91, who was the world’s oldest head of state until his term ended six weeks ago, met with Francis amid heightened tensions in the Middle East.
He used the talks to highlight human rights abuses from Hamas and to discuss the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.
But the main topic of conversation was Peres’s idea to create a UN-like organization he called “the United Religions…”
…“What we need is an organization of United Religions… as the best way to combat terrorists who kill in the name of faith,” Peres said. “What we need is an unquestionable moral authority who says out loud, ‘No, God does not want this and does not allow it.’” After meeting with Peres, Francis held a 30-minute closeddoor meeting with Jordanian Prince El-Hassan bin Talal, who sponsors the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies to promote religious dialogue. Lombardi said that meeting dovetailed into the day’s topic of interfaith cooperation and peace.”
Source: Jersusalem Post
“President Vladimir Putin has signed into law the ratification of the treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), RIA Novosti reports on Friday.
The treaty, which the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed in May, seals the three countries’ agreement on the transition to the next stage of integration following the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space. The EAEU is aimed at completing the creation of the largest common market in the CIS, with an aggregate population of 170 million. This common market should become “a new and powerful center of economic development.”
The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, ratified the treaty on Wednesday.
The treaty will become effective in 2015 to boost the development of trade, economic and cooperative ties, enhance the member-states’ economic competitiveness and strengthen their role in the global economy. Kazakhstan and Belarus are expected to ratify the treaty before the trilateral meeting in Minsk in October.
President Putin said at the Russia Calling! Investment Forum on Thursday that the number of this union’s members would grow, that Armenia is completing the process of accession to the Eurasian Economic Union, and that the member-states are actively negotiating with Kyrgyzstan.
He said that the EAEU would establish close ties with other integration structures both in Europe and Asia. “Such cooperation would add stability to the global economy,” the Russian president said.”
“The ASEAN Economic Community, planned to come into effect in 2015, is expected to liberalise goods, capital and skilled labour flows in the ASEAN region. While there has been considerable progress in the area of trade integration, financial integration still lags behind. The ASEAN Banking Integration Framework, which aims to liberalise the banking market by 2020, could help pave the way for further integration and the entry of ASEAN banks into regional banking markets…”
Source: Economy Watch
“…The contemporary quest for world order will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order within the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another. These goals are not necessarily self-reconciling: The triumph of a radical movement might bring order to one region while setting the stage for turmoil in and with all others. The domination of a region by one country militarily, even if it brings the appearance of order, could produce a crisis for the rest of the world.
A world order of states affirming individual dignity and participatory governance, and cooperating internationally in accordance with agreed-upon rules, can be our hope and should be our inspiration. But progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediary stages…”
Source: Wall Street Journal
“…Whether we really have to worry about a new cold war is one thing. But we may also have new political/trading blocs that could present different investing challenges. It is, for example, almost regarded as a matter of historical determinism that China will liberalise its currency, its financial services, and introduce much firmer, stronger corporate law and shift to a consumer culture…
…More widely, the Brics bank is yet another fascinating development that could free those countries and others from potential reliance on the long-standing Bretton Woods institutions.
Nothing here necessarily changes the fundamentals of portfolio planning and diversification. It does perhaps add an interesting dimension to strategic asset allocation, certainly for those investors who favour a bigger portion of emerging markets in their portfolios.
It also feels that much of the political and economic landscape is being drawn by individuals. Take Vladimir Putin’s political manoeuvres regarding Ukraine. We won’t be back with the USSR any time soon – the relationships are too complicated – but a huge trade deal with Russia and China eventually promises a fascinating reorientation across Eurasia no matter what bloc Ukraine is in…”
Source: Financial Times
“There will be a defining geopolitical event next month when India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia become full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). This will increase the population of SCO members to an estimated 3.05 billion. We should care about this because it is the intention of the SCO to do away with the US dollar for trade settlement.
The nations joining in September are currently designated as Observer States and the only one left will be Afghanistan, which will presumably join when it can untie itself from NATO. Dialog Partners, defined as states which share the goals and principals of the SCO and wish to develop mutually beneficial relations, include Belarus Sri Lanka and Turkey. Turkey is of special interest because it has been a long-standing NATO member. It had hoped to join the EU but it became clear that this was never going to happen. Instead under the leadership of Recep Erdoğan Turkey is moving towards the SCO.
Erdoğan was re-elected earlier this month by a comfortable majority and it will be interesting to see how quickly Turkey’s new alignment evolves. Erdoğan must be aware that Asia is on the up while the EU declines, in which case Turkey as a front-line state is better off joining the SCO.
The SCO’s influence extends beyond its boundaries, with China and India’s diasporas populating much of the rest of south-east Asia. SCO members, particularly China and India, are also the largest consumers of Middle Eastern energy. And because they write the biggest cheques they have primacy over the west; so the swing away from the petro-dollar towards Asia is in the making. China also has sub-Saharan Africa sewn up, securing vital minerals such as copper from Zambia…”