Worth Reading

Worth Reading

Do you want to do business in Vietnam – EU offers a new guide in view to FTA

The guide will provide first-hand information to businesses about all the different areas covered by the EU-Vietnam FTA Free Trade Agreements.It has been drafted to help businesses better understand what the main results and achievements of the negotiations are

The brochure (44 pages) can be downloaded here  

The EU brochure offers specific information on EU and Vietnam. The brochure is well designed and illustrated and contains excellent information.

In addition go to TextileFutures three Newsletters on Vietnam Part IPart II and Part III 

The OECD Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2016 report shows also subsidies

The OECD Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2016 report provides up-to-date estimates of government support to agriculture in OECD countries and a range of emerging economies. These 50 countries account for the majority of global agricultural value added and, to varying degrees, they all face the same challenges and opportunities: responding to growing demand for food and non-food uses of agricultural commodities; using available land, water and biodiversity resources more sustainably; adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change; and coping with often unpredictable changes in supply, demand and the policy environment

Together, these countries provided an annual average of USD 585 billion (EUR 469 billion) of support directly to agricultural producers in the years 2013-15, and spent an additional USD 87 billion (EUR 69 billion) on general services supporting the sector. For the 50 countries covered, on average 68% of support to farmers was provided in the form of market price support, and unconstrained output or input subsidies. These measures distort production decisions and can significantly distort markets and trade. Relatively little of the support provided directly addresses the recognised challenges and opportunities for the sector.

For OECD countries as a whole, support has roughly halved over the past 30 years and now amounts to 17% of gross farm receipts. At the same time, average support levels in the emerging economies have increased from very low or even negative levels to approach the OECD average. But these averages mask widely divergent levels of support: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Ukraine, the United States, and Viet Nam have support levels below – and in some cases well below – the OECD average; support levels in the European Union (as a whole), the Russian Federation and Turkey are roughly at that average while China is just slightly higher; support levels in Indonesia are somewhat higher but still well below the highest levels of support provided by Iceland, Japan, Korea, Norway and Switzerland.

Agri 1


In this policy context, gradual, though uneven, progress has been made in reducing overall support levels and shifting more of it towards less distortive policies. Nonetheless, the Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation 2016 report concludes that a further reorientation of current food and agriculture policies is needed in many countries.

•             Countries should focus their agricultural policies on addressing the emerging opportunities and challenges for the sector: to improve productivity growth, sustainable use of natural resources and resilience of farm households. In particular, investments in people (education, skills, and in some cases health services), strategic physical infrastructure, and agricultural innovation systems that are responsive to the needs of producers and consumers are required.

•             Countries should clarify and streamline their risk management policies. The boundaries between normal business risks, risks that can be handled through market-based tools, and catastrophic risks need to be defined in a transparent and operational manner.

•             To improve the efficiency of direct payments, countries should define their specific policy objectives, such as improving environmental performance, supporting farm incomes, or improving rural community well-being, identify intended beneficiaries of such support, and target policy measures accordingly.

•             Market price support should be progressively eliminated. It is not well targeted and does not reach the intended beneficiaries; it imposes significant costs on the food industry and on consumers, with particularly damaging implications in low-income countries.

•             Payments based on output should also be gradually eliminated or targeted to specific objectives and intended beneficiaries. Input subsidies without constraints should be gradually eliminated; a significant share of these outlays leaks away outside the farm sector and there can be negative environmental impacts if the support leads to an over-use of inputs.

Big trading countries

Brazil,China, theEuropean Union, Indonesia and the United States are themost important agro-food traders, either in terms of exports or imports, or both. In the EU and US the support to farmers is on a downwards trend: near OECD average in the EU and well below it in the US.In Brazil, China and Indonesia the support has been increasing. While in Brazil the support moved from negative rates in the 1990s (taxing farmers) to a very low level of support (less than 5% of gross farm receipts resulting from agricultural policies), the support in China and Indonesia has increased and now accounts for respectively 20% and 25% of gross farm receipts generated through farm policies.

Agri 2

Traditional agro-food exporters

Australia, Canada, Chile, New  Zealand and SouthAfrica are traditional agro-food exporters and  also  key  players  on world  markets for some commodities. Support to farmers is very low inAustralia, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa (below 5% of gross farm receipts from agricultural policies), and the domestic prices for agricultural commodities are mostly aligned to world market prices. In Canada prices for most commodities are also aligned to world prices, however, due to policy interventions on markets for milk, poultry and eggs and a range of direct payments to farms, around 10 % of gross farm receipts are generated by agricultural policies.

Agri 3

Countries with highest support

Support to farmers continues to be high in Japan, Korea, Iceland,  Norway andSwitzerland, where around half of gross farm  receipts  come from agricultural policies. Farm support in Japan, Korea, and to some extent Iceland, remain dominated by the most production, and trade  distorting  forms of support (mainly  through  supporting market prices).  In Norway  and  Switzerland the share of those measures  has been reduced and replaced by direct income payments to farmers.

Agri highest support 4

Focus on Vietnam

Viet Nam is a mid-size country in terms of area, but its population of 93 million makes it the 13th most populous country in the world. Around two-thirds of the population live inrural areas. Since the mid-1980s, a long series of reforms has continued to move the economy, including the agricultural sector, in the direction of open markets for trade and investment. The economy boomed and agricultural production more than tripled in volume between 1990 and 2014. Poverty was alleviated as much as in any other country in the world with the exception of China. Undernourishment fell from 46% in 1990- 92 to 12 % in 2012-14. Agriculture remains a key sector in the Vietnamese economy, contributing 18 % to GDP and employing 47 % of the working age population. The agro-food sector is well integrated with international markets as shown by the ratio of total agro-food exports to agricultural GDP at 70-80 % in the early 2010s. Farm structures are dominated by smallholders, each using 0.8 ha on average.

Market price support is the dominant form of support provided to Vietnamese producers with border protection the main tool used to support prices. In particular, producers of import-competing commodities such as beef and veal and sugar cane are protected by tariffs. Farm gate rice prices are supported by a subsidy to rice purchasing enterprises for the temporary storage of rice during harvest and establishment of target prices. Budgetary transfers to producers are relatively small. Expenditure associated with subsidising the irrigation fee exception is the dominant payment. A hectare payment with the objective of keeping about 4 million ha in paddy rice production has been provided since 2012. Since 2009, a number of policy packages have been introduced to provide farmers with cheaper credit to purchase machinery, facilities and materials. Since 2003, most farming households and organisations have been exempt from paying agricultural land use tax or have had the amount they pay reduced. General services for the agricultural sector are dominated by expenditure on irrigation systems. Expenditure on some general services such as extension services, research and development, inspection and control and marketing and promotion receive relatively limited support.

Support to agriculture

The level of support to agriculture fluctuates, largely driven by changes in market price support (MPS). The average for 2013-15 was just 0.6%, but it hides varied results across commodities. While producers of import-competing commodities, such as sugar and beef, benefit from tariff protection, producers of several exported commodities are implicitly taxed. Rice producers benefit from a price support system based on target prices designed to provide farmers with a profit of 30 % and from direct payments per hectare, tied to maintaining land in rice production. The Total Support Estimate (TSE) is low at 0.5 % of GDP. Within the General Services Estimate, the development and maintenance of infrastructure, in particular irrigation, is by far the most important component

Agri Vietnam Graph 5



Dictionary of Cotton by ICAC

The commercially available dictionary (174 pages, ISBN: 9780970491817) includes definitions of over 2000 terms used in cotton production, Cover Dictionary of  Cotton by ICACprocessing and use.

Thirty-three researchers from around the world have contributed to its compilation to make it a valuable tool for the whole cotton sector.

The dictionary is published by ICAC, the International Cotton Advisory Committee and ICRA, the Cotton Researchers Association.


OECD Regions at a Glance 2016

OECD Regions at a Glance is commercially available and shows how regions and cities contribute to national economic growth and well-being. This edition updates more than 40 region-by-region indicators to assess disparities within countries and their evolution over the past 15 years. The report covers all the OECD member countries and, where data are available, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru, the Russian Federation and South Africa.

Cover RegionsNew to this edition:

– A comprehensive picture of well-being in the 391 OECD regions based on 11 aspects that shape people’s lives: income, jobs, housing, education, health, environment, safety, civic engagement and governance, access to services, social connections, and life satisfaction. 

– Recent trends in subnational government finances and indicators on how competencies are allocated and co-ordinated across levels of governments.

For policy makers and citizens alike, thinking globally increasingly requires looking hard at the many different local realities within and across countries. A thorough assessment of whether life is getting better requires a wide range of measures that are able to show not only what conditions people experience, but where they experience them. OECD data show remarkably high disparities in people’s living conditions across regions and cities: for example, there is a 20 percentage point difference among unemployment rates between regions within Italy, Spain and Turkey, comparable to the difference between the national unemployment rate of Greece and that of Norway. And life expectancy varies by 8 years among all OECD countries, but by 11 years across Canada’s provinces and by 6 years among states in Australia and in the United States.

This report provides a comprehensive picture of the level of progress in OECD regions and metropolitan areas towards more inclusive and sustainable development. It does so through eleven well‑being dimensions, those that shape people’s material conditions (income, jobs and housing) and their quality of life (health, education, access to services, environment, safety, civic engagement and governance, community, and life satisfaction). These dimensions are gauged through outcomes indicators, which capture improvements in people’s lives. The report also looks at what local resources are being mobilised to increase national prosperity and well‑being, to better assess the contribution of regions to national performance.

Since the economic crisis of 2008, many regions are still struggling to increase the productivity of firms and people and to restore employment.Regions 2 Traditionally, relatively few regions have led national job creation: on average, regions that concentrated 20% of OECD employment in 2000 have created one‑third of theoverall employment growth in the period 2000‑14 and 50 % or more in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Korea and Poland. However, since 2008 employment growth has also slowed down in the   most dynamic regions in all OECD countries, with the exception of Israel, Luxembourg, Mexico and Turkey.

Regional and local governments (collectively known as “subnational governments” or SNGs) control many policy levers for promoting prosperity and well‑being. SNGs were responsible for around 40 % of total public expenditure and 60 % of public investment in 2014 in the OECD area. Education, health, general public services, economic affairs and social expenditure represent the bulk of SNG expenditure (85 %). At the same time, responsibilities for these sectors are often shared, requiring co‑ordination across national and subnational levels of governments to ensure effective and coherent policy making. Indeed, lack of such co‑ordination was indicated as a top challenge by three‑quarters of European SNGs participating in an OECD‑Committee of the Regions survey in 2015.

Key findings

Geography matters for well‑being

•             While gaps between regions have narrowed in education levels and access to services over the last decade, they have increased in income, air pollution and safety.

•             Income is also unequally distributed within regions. Inequality in household disposable income in some regions in Israel, Spain, Turkey and the United States is much higher than inequality in each country as a whole. While households in OECD metropolitan areas are, on average, 17% richer in income than elsewhere, income inequalities are the highest in metropolitan areas, and the share of household income devoted to housing expenditure can be 15 percentage points higher in some metropolitan areas than in the rest of the country.

•             Improvement in the educational attainment of the workforce in less‑educated regions has narrowed the gaps with more‑educated regions in the past 15 years. In France and Mexico, for example, thanks to improvements in the regions that had a relatively lowereducated workforce in 2000, regional disparities in the workforce with at least upper-secondary education have decreased by 12 and 7 percentage points, respectively.

•             A new feature of this publication, estimates of subjective well‑being at the subnational level reveal that life satisfaction and perceived social support also depend on where one lives. Forty percent of the explained variation of OECD residents’ self‑reported life satisfaction is accounted for by regional characteristics, with individual characteristics accounting for the other 60%.

Regions contribute to national growth and prosperity

•             In the period 2000‑14, on average, GDP growth rates were lower in predominantly rural regions than predominantly urban regions in 18 out of 24 OECD countries, while job creation was higher in rural regions than in urban ones in 12 out of 24 OECD countries.

•             Productivity gains explain more than 75% of growth in GDP per capita of the fastestgrowing regions in the period 2000‑13. A majority of these regions include large metropolitan areas where the concentration of different industries facilitates access to skilled labour, infrastructure, innovation, entrepreneurship and trade. The regions whose GDP per capita declined in the past 15 years – mainly in Greece, Italy and Spain – performed poorly both in productivity and in workforce utilisation.

•             In 22 out of 27 OECD countries, lagging regions have increased the share of tertiary educated labour force faster than advanced regions, in the period 2000‑13. In contrast, the share of research and development (R&D) personnel has increased faster in the advanced regions widening regional gaps in 12 out of 19 countries in the same period.

•             The elderly population in OECD countries has increased more than 5 times as much as the rest of the population in the past 15 years. In 26 out of 33 OECD countries, the elderly dependency rate was higher in rural than in urban regions in 2014. Rural regions in OECD countries lost on average 11 people per 10 000 population through migration in 2011‑13. At the same time, in Belgium, Korea, Portugal, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, rural regions were net recipients of domestic migration.

Subnational governments finance and invest in regional development

•             SNGs carry out 40 % of total public expenditure. They have an important economic role as employers, in public procurement, and as providers of essential services in areas such as education (25 % of SNG expenditure), health (17 %), social protection and economic affairs (14 %, for both).

•             Economic affairs (mainly transport) and education are the priority investment sectors, accounting for 39 % and 22 % of SNG investment. SNG investment decreased by almost 4 % in real terms between 2007 and 2014 in the OECD area.

•             The economic crisis has led to a major deterioration of both SNG budget balance and debt in most OECD countries. In 2014, SNGs’ outstanding gross debt accounted for 24% of GDP and 20% of total public debt on average in the OECD.

To order the report or for more details click here


Guide to Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in China

Shortly after its accession to the WTO, China has been undertaking amendments to its laws on patents, copyright, trademarks, etc., in order to comply with relevant requirement of the WTO to protect intellectual property rights.

Guide to Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in ChinaFor example, the new Trademark Law has come into effect since May 2014. This guidebook is to give an introduction to the related laws in China, and provide some practical information as regards how to protect one’s intellectual property rights in the country.

Highlights are: Overview of intellectual property rights protection in China, Trademark Rights, other Intellectual Property Rights, such as Copyright, Patent Rights, Domain Name Rights, Enterprise Name Rights,, other Civil Rights related to Brand Names, Protection Afforded by the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, How to Resolve Intellectual Property Disputes? How to Resolve Infringement Disputes through Administrative Complaints? How to Resolve Intellectual Property Infringement Disputes through Civil Proceedings, How to Pursue the Infringing Parties for Criminal Liability? How to Resolve Domain Name Disputes through the Domain Name Dispute Resolution System? Protection of Intellectual Property Rights by the Chinese Customs, Resolutions of Infringement Disputes other than Legal Actions.

Additionally, there is a section of the book dedicated to Brand Protection Strategy for Hong Kong Companies on the Mainland covering Obtaining Intellectual Property Rights relating to Brand Names in Time, Brand Strategy, The Management and Safekeeping of Brand Data.

The book can be commercially ordered here 


Intellectual Property in China – What are the key developments in 2016?

There is also an e-book available from another source issued in connection by the Global Patent Congress (find more in TextileFuture’s Event Calendar) with a component of what happens in that respect during 2016. The e-book is entitled Intellectual Property in China – What are the key developments in 2016?

What are the key developments within Intellectual Properties laws in China?IP China

In this eBook the authors a look at what intellectual property means to China in 2016 and how this impacts the EU and the rest of the globe.  This eBook features interviews with IP lawyers from European Chamber of Commerce, Mindray and Lung Tin International to provide insight into the current state of IP in China and what this means for the rest of the world.

Discover what the industry experts have to say on EU/ China relationships, China’s new IP courts, the increasing number of patent filings, combating corruption and more in this complimentary eBook! This eBook features interviews with IP lawyers from European Chamber of Commerce, Mindray and Lung Tin International to provide insight into the current state of IP in China and what this means for the rest of the world.

A quick glance into the eBook:

o             EU & China: An international perspective on current practises

o             The excessive flow of IPers

o             Challenges, laws and tackling corruption

o             Xioami & Microsoft: Using IP to build a global company

o             Developments in 2016

The industry experts providing insight:

o             Paul Ranjard, Lawyer, European Chamber of Commerce /


o             Jianguang Du, Group IP Director, Mindray

o             Qinghong Xu, Partner, Lung Tin International Property Agent


Download your complimentary copy here


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