The South Centre is pleased to announce that it is scaling up its services to developing country governments in the area of intellectual property rights and public health, thanks to the support of Unitaid. The project “Expanding the use of TRIPS flexibilities to promote affordable access to medicines” will allow the South Centre to roll out a number of training activities at regional and national level and a global advisory service on the use of TRIPS flexibilities for public health.
South Centre Statement for the Informal Consultation on the Roadmap on Access to Medicines
The draft roadmap is an important work in progress that needs to be further detailed with clear deliverables and timelines. The roadmap will need to ensure complementarity of its work and the implementation of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPOA).
The Causes of Currency Turmoil in the Emerging Economies
Many emerging economies and developing countries are facing strong economic headwinds. Currency depreciation pressure is mounting for some countries. Argentina and Turkey are coping with currency crises, massive capital outflows and hyperinflation. To say their crises are completely self-inflicted is not correct. The exogenous shocks have played an important role. Other emerging economies and developing countries as a whole should be vigilant and try to defend their currencies and maintain financial stability. It is also high time to try to fix the flaws in the international financial system.
Exchange of Information: Indian Experience, Developing Country Implications
Exchange of tax-related information between countries is a critical tool for addressing information asymmetries between governments and taxpayers that facilitate tax evasion/avoidance. However, the existing system of information exchange has been essentially designed and implemented by the OECD, without the participation of developing countries. This policy brief thus discusses India’s experience with implementing information exchange for tax and other purposes, with lessons being drawn for other developing countries grappling with base erosion and profit shifting.
US Claims under Special Section 301 against China Undermine the Credibility of the WTO
The US action to place China in the Special 301 ‘Priority Watch List’ is unjustified and in contravention to the WTO rules. The claims made against China are based on standards self-determined by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), not on international standards. This is an example of a systemic problem that requires a concerted response. WTO members should unite to firmly oppose the imposition of unilateral measures that undermine the multilateral trading system and the credibility of WTO as a ruled-based institution.
US’ Section 301 Actions: Why They are Illegitimate and Misguided
This research paper examines the US’ Section 301 unilateral actions against China, stemming from the US’ concerns over China’s ambitious industrial policies and its rapid technological advancements. It outlines the accusations of the US regarding China’s conditions for technology transfer and what the US sees as overly intrusive Chinese government involvement in investments. It looks in detail at why the US’ actions are in fact illegitimate and misguided. (more…)
Vacancy Announcement – Finance and Administration Officer (FAO)
The South Centre was established in 1995 as a permanent inter-governmental organization of developing countries. It has full intellectual independence in working towards the establishment of a fair, equitable, and rule-based global order. In responding to the needs of the South, it is open to new ideas and approaches (including multilateralism and regionalism) that can promote better South-South and North-South dialogue and cooperation.
The South Centre is a small institution in which all staff members work in a team and help in whatever tasks they are requested and may be required to undertake. With new project funding and the increasing complexity of work the need for capacity reinforcement within the finance and administrative function has been identified as a priority.
In that context, the South Centre is seeking to recruit a Finance and Administration Officer, “FAO” in its Finance and Administration department. Besides the general roles and responsibilities of the finance function, the incumbent shall also be engaged on specific project related financial management aspects as well as in the continuous improvement and capacity upgradation of the finance and administration systems within the Centre. The FAO, together with other staff in the Finance and Administration Unit shall work together as a team to support the implementation of the South Centre’s mandate.
The FAO reports to the Controller – Finance and Administration and assists in dealing with administrative and finance issues affecting a program fund management in particular and other substantive programmes in general.
The South Centre is seeking to fill a position of Communications Expert to assist in the effective development and implementation of a communication and media strategy. The Communications Expert will work with substantive programs of the South Centre in particular with the Programme on Development, Innovation and Intellectual Property (DIIP) team in the context of a project to boost the capacity of governments from developing countries to use the flexibilities contained in the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to promote access to essential medicines.
US’ Section 301 Actions are Illegitimate and Misguided
On 23rd August, the US Administration imposed yet another set of discriminatory tariffs on China under its Section 301 Trade Act covering US$16 billion of its imports from China. This is in addition to the additional tariffs imposed on 6 July 2018 on US$34 billion of its imports from China. According to the US, these actions are supposedly because of China’s unreasonable or discriminatory practices relating to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation.
The International Debate on Generic Medicines of Biological Origin
The debate on generic medicines is not new. What makes it different today is that attacks levelled against biological generic products are couched in even more “technical” and abstruse language. The high price of biological drugs stems mainly from the introduction of barriers to the entry of generics into the market. In any debate on the feasibility of producing biological generic products identical to the ‘original’ ones, it should be made clear that what are at stake are not identical products but therapeutic equivalents.
A giant walks with us no more. Tribute to Dr. Samir Amin, 1931-2018
Professor Samir Amin passed away on Sunday, August 12, leaving a large gap among those luminaries of the South who offered critical thinking on the challenges facing developing countries and the alternative pathways to development.