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HA NOI — Viet Nam shipped 15,000 tonnes of pepper abroad in August, earning a turnover of US$91 million and boosting the total volume of exports to 98,000 tonnes in the first eight months of the year, announced the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.The first eight months of exports marked a modest increase of 6.5 per cent in volume but a significant growth of 78.7 per cent in value, reaching $545 million, due to surging prices in the world market. Pepper export prices rose by 71 per cent year-on-year during that time, hitting an average of $5,599 per tonne.

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Despite demands from parliamentary opposition parties, South Korea’s Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon has stressed that the South Korea-United States free trade agreement (KORUS FTA) will not be renegotiated.The Democratic Party (DP), the main opposition, has already confirmed that, before it could contemplate support to the KORUS FTA, the agreement would need to be re-balanced. They believe that, following its renegotiation last December, the treaty is now too favourable to the US, and that it should be further renegotiated.

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BEIJING, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- China will eliminate tariffs and value-added taxes on equipment and components used to develop coalbed methane (CBM) refining in mines starting this year, according to a joint statement issued by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and other central government departments.The tariffs will be dropped in order to accelerate the exploration of CBM in China's coal mines, according to the statement.CBM is a type of natural gas that can be extracted from coal beds.

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While the United States considers a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Colombia, the human rights situation in the Magdalena Medio region of Colombia has deteriorated dramatically, culminating on the 17th of August with a massacre in the township of El Dorado.

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Sri Lanka has agreed to import the entire basmati rice quota of 6,000 tonnes from Pakistan under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) through the private sector from 2012.The understanding was reached at the end of the 4th technical level meeting on FTA held in Colombo, an official press release said. Pakistan would restore the same level of competitiveness as agreed before for Sri Lankan betel leaves by adjusting the current margin of preference, it said. The two sides noted the friendly ties and the growing commercial relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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PARIS, August 29 (Itar-Tass) — Georgia “is absolutely not against Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organisation,” Georgian Economics Minister Vera Kobalia told the French La Tribune financial newspaper.“It is fully possible to reach an agreement at bilateral Georgian-Russian negotiations in Switzerland,” she stressed. “Russia’s WTO membership will be even advantageous for Georgia,” the minister added, meaning the settlement of other problems existing in relations between the two countries.

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The narrative on the economic growth of ‘maritime East Asia’ in the period after the Korean War is well-established, and runs roughly as follows.

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VNEconomyNews.com - The South East Asian Livestock Services (SEALS) reported that 1,000 head of cattle were exported to Vietnam from the port of Darwin in northern Australia on August 26. This is the first time Vietnam has imported livestock from Australia since 2002 because of the tight Australian regulations on exporting livestock. According to SEALS, Australian exporters must meet strict conditions in order to be granted a license by the Australian Government to export livestock to Southeast Asian nations, including Vietnam.  

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WASHINGTON, Aug 26, 2011 (IPS) — Critics of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) gathered here Thursday to voice concerns over the U.S.’s stronghold on intellectual property rights. The seventh meeting to determine policy for the TPP — an Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam — is slated for Sep. 6 in Chicago, but advocates for access to health and information have disapproved strongly of some proposed measures.

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In the opinion of South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, the recent agreement to launch talks to establish a tripartite free trade agreement (FTA) between the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community has made it more urgent to promote intra-African trade.

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