Posted tagged ‘abscbn news’

ASEAN TRADE LIBERALIZATION, PREPS FOR 2015 UNION

November 5, 2010

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

 

Will the ASEAN ever achieve economic integration that its member states have long dreamed of? Being an advocate of ASEAN unification, let me once more share thoughts about my humble region.

Binding rules of tariff reforms are now in the offing for implementation this year across the region, a proof that the unification efforts are going on despite internal barriers. The original ASEAN 5 –Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand—are the most prepared for execution of the rules, while Brunei can test-case them as it has the resources to cushion off negative repercussions if ever.

Agreed, the continental countries that are catching up in their development—Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos—need some breather space of five (5) more years to be considered as executors of the same rules. They can catch up, rest assured, so collective trust should permit their self-confidence to propel themselves to high growth.

Economic integration can induce enormous growth and fast-track development in the region altogether. Pushing through with the integration would yield a result that no more member country would be poor by as early as 2020. In other worlds, every country would move on to middle income country status, fast-tracked in its growth momentum by the economic union.

Integration would go beyond tariff reforms, for a reminder. An economic union would need central institutions to note: (a) central bank, (b) regional currency, and (c) related regulatory institutions. Governance institutions, such as a regional parliament and executive council, can undergo deeper study and preparatory formation right after 2015 (political union will take a longer time to traverse).

As to a regional currency, do note that Asian countries have already agreed on a resolution to create an Asian Monetary Fund and an Asian currency. The former speaker of the Philippines’ House of Representatives, Speaker De Venecia, was a prime mover in getting the Asian states to agree on the matter. With him out of power now in the legislature, some other key personalities in Asia should take on the cudgels for implementing the resolutions.

There are surely kinks to be resolved in matters pertaining to economic sector priorities. ASEAN countries tend to compete with one another in certain manufactures and services, so the resolutions could yield an elimination of competition and/or concurring cooperation among the competitors concerned.

ASEAN integration is coming at a time of an evolving paradigm of mixed land use. This paradigm, on a macro-level, could justify well the existence of all key manufacturing and services in a member country, thus undercutting complaints about competition across borders.

Population-wise, the ASEAN will be 700 million head-strong before 2015, which renders the region as a gigantic one. Imagine if just half of the population will be middle income in status, the class that can sustain consumer spending across time. That would be a 350-million head count serving as the economic powerhouse at the household level!

In terms of aggregated Gross National Product or GNP, the figure is nearing $3 Trillions for the region. The prospect of the ASEAN overtaking Japan is no longer remote, a possibility that can happen before 2020. Such a possibility, however, can best happen should economic integration take place as scheduled, an eventuality that will render more focused managing of economic policies and governance reforms that will fast-track growth & development.

Meantime, we can only wish for now that the trade reforms will push through, thus resulting to a semi-integrated economy. The semi-integration will produce pronto a context of ‘import-substitution’ on a regional scale, which I think is a long-overdue goal in the region.

From hereon, ASEAN has only over four (4) years to resolve the last kinks, study the integration directions inclusive of institutional designs. It will be 2011 in just two months’ time, with we hope will be another auspicious year for the humble region and its noblesse diplomats, experts, and leaders.

[Philippines, 03 November 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

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MONTH-ENDER: OCTOBER FEST TO OCTOBER STORMS

October 31, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

October 2010

Good day to you all!

For this month, which was captured by the celebratory mood of the German Octoberfest, the world went through both tumultuous and celebratory moods.

I began this month with a publication of an article on “Fitness Program & Capacity-Building.” Being athletically and fitness-inclined, I began reflections with fitness & wellness as a way of reminding people about the supreme import of de-toxifying the body through a regular fitness program.

This analyst actually got sick by late September, an ailment that over-flowed till early October. I often get sick of severe allergic rhinitis, with the severity moving to acquiring inflammations with fevers.

So starting the month with physical wellness was also a way to remind myself to get back to the fitness game pronto, and go back to the gym as early as possible. By October the 5th I was back on the gym, back on a 4-day gym regimen, and back to long walks in the alleyways and nature sites of my work home south of Manila.

To reverb the times, storms hit the planet as usual, with Indonesia going through another flood episode. Indonesia seems to have solved its forest haze that was an issue sometime back, so we say our own kudos to the environmental precautions implementors in Jakarka and the ASEAN. Finally, there was the powerful 260 KPH typhoon that struck Luzon island of the Philippines.

The anti-terror campaign up North had found renewed vigor after the USA’s own celeb of the 9/11 event. This prompted me to write about concealed truths regarding the terrorist-makers of the USA and Europe, truth that trace such terror-makers right inside the Establishment of the two continents.

Meanwhile, we all watch as the North’s economies continue to flounder, with a 2nd recessionary dip threatening America altogether. Europe continues to wallow in the Jurassic flaks of the financiers (IMF-led) to institute austerity measures in the form of wage cut-backs, social services budgetary cuts, health benefits cuts, and so on.

Asia continued to kept the world in awe though, which is the positive side to the month. Asia’s stock markets continue to move up, defying patterns set in old fogey New York stock exchange (Dow Jones, Nasdaq). Asia’s growth patterns continue at sustained paces, with China on the lead, thus sustaining the global growth amid the downturns of the North.

In my own country, the patterns of growth have so far indicated the positive side. G.I.R. was at all time-high of $49.6 Billion (9-10 months imports), Balance of Payments or BOP stood at past $3B, exports & imports are back to high-growth times, unemployment remains checked at past 8%, and it was identified as the top investment area for Europeans to go to (per British financiers’ assessment).

The only black mark in RP’s growth pattern is the inability to meet the UN MDG target of cutting poverty by half by 2015 (poverty remains at 33% or more of the labor force). Aside from that, there’s the corruption low standing of the country in international yardsticks, something that chief exec Aquino should address very positively.

For the spirit of Octoberfest, Brazilian samba, and Asian world music, let’s celebrate our own growing sense of global brotherhood, peace and cooperation.

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

OBAMA’S AIDES DEPART, WHERE BLOWS PUBLIC POLICY?

October 19, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang gabi! Good evening!

Obama’s aides—who have been with him all the way since electoral campaign days—are departing. We do hope to get to the bottom of the real reason behind the departures, such as those of his ideologue chief-of-staff, but it seems the answer will be confined to the White House as classified information.

What we ought to reflect on is, after the departures, where does the wind of public policy—domestic and international—blow for Obama’s government? Will the oversight/regulatory powers be reinforced somehow, to checkmate the intrusive manipulations of financiers in America’s economy? Will the Wilsonian inclination for democracy cum civil rights be sustained in foreign policy?

The North’s economists have already pronounced their evaluation of America’s and Europe’s economies, with pessimistic-to-gloomy forecasts of both continental economies over the next two (2) years. The stimulus package has clearly backfired, unemployment has ballooned to past 9% (may hit 10% by 2011), and poverty incidence has gone up to 15% (from the pre-crisis 12% level).

Meantime, Clinton is entrenched as foreign policy executor, and her presence bodes well for the Wilsonians who have always held sway in the state department. How much can Wilsonian clout remain till the rest of Obama’s term will be up for observation, more so that the midterm election is bound to erode the Democrats’ congressional seats.

To get straight to the point, with Republicans forecast to re-dominate both houses of legislature, both domestic and foreign policy directions are bound to alter. On the foreign policy front, the isolationism of traditional Republicans may come back, thus undermining the ‘engagement policy’ of the Obama regime in the short run.

How many Obama aides are bound to depart soon we can only surmise for now. But it seems that as a forecast fallout of Democrats increases by the day, so shall the Obama aides get to have some quantitative reductions too.

The quantitative reductions in aides could tip the balance inside the White House in favor of a certain policy initiative. So we observers have no choice but to stay glued to the changes right within Obama’s headquarters. We can only hope that a resurgence of the neo-conservatives, who hold sway in Pentagon & Defense, won’t be in the offing.

With the USA’s possible spiral down a 2nd recessionary dip, a return of the hawkish neo-cons to power (they’d be dictating terms for Obama behind closed doors) would spell the doom to America’s prestige worldwide. A neo-cons return would coincide with Israel’s unilateral plan to strike down Iran in hot warfare, an act that could take Obama down the global esteem ratings if he will resonate with the hawks.

The electoral campaigns are now heating up as the polls near, so let us monitor the events very closely in the USA. Just exactly who those Republican additions are in both houses will galvanize very soon, bringing along with them the Jurassic solutions of Reaganomics cum Bush tax cuts, along with Federal Reserve antique tool of interest rate intervention.

[Philippines, 06 October 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFEDERATE POWER & NEO-CONSERVATISM: HATCHERY OF TERROR

October 17, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day to all ye fellow global citizens!

The Philippines just held a commemorated reflection on the powerful Ondoy typhoon that struck on the 26th of September of 2009, resulting to hundreds of deaths and billions worth of damages. It seems that, one year after, we are basking in a situation that Robert Dahl hypothesized as “after the storm, society in a better authority.”

Well, let us hope that authority (governance) will be better here in the Pearl of the Orient after so many political turmoils. I wish too that America will indeed be under a better authority after the economic and political-military turmoils of the giant Saxon nation.

Terror-builders are well embedded in America’s Establishment, and for as long as such rouge forces are allowed to go unchecked in their heinous crimes, terror cells will continue to rise in America (and its sibling Europe) and wreak havoc there, thus breeding new turmoil. Such terror-builders trace their roots to the Confederate ideologues of civil war ignominy, and they have morphed well across the decades so as to encroach and ensconce in the key institutions of American life.

The Confederate forces may have lost that continental war in the 1800s, but the lost was only temporary. Via underworld vehicles notably the Ku Klux Klan, the Confederates have morphed anew, remade their images so as to hide in thick masks of subterfuges, and have made significant inroads into the core power institutions.

There is no mistake that the neo-conservatives, a hawkish force within the Establishment, is among the new morphs of the Confederates. They are, however, among the front morphs, even as more clandestine groups are operating autonomously of the neo-cons. Ideological and financier operators are the ones consolidating the diverse morphs, ensuring that at any given time special events can be hatched, leaving the Confederate abominations untouched.

The resort to Islamic or jihadist cells is a recent tactic of the Confederates. Islam has been a replacement for communism as a core decoy force that can be used to wage terror events, with the plotters ending up as exquisitely sealed in their true identities. Communism, to recall, was badly decimated in the USA after the Cold War witch-hunting (with Sen. McCarthy serving as front man inquisitor for the fascist-Confederate spinners).

Those cross-burning Klansmen belong to the days of antiquity, even as they’d now look ridiculous in a new social landscape. A repetition of those rituals are only for theatrics, for psychological warfare purposes, and should not be regarded as the real core of the Confederates. The neo-Confederates are far more sophisticated than the small-town goons and should never be under-estimated.

Remember, the neo-Confederates were able to install the neo-cons into power, and with the neo-cons at the nadir the possibility of the Bush father and son on the presidency were made possible. Though the Bush dynasty is already out of power, a government without Bush doesn’t mean the neo-cons have withdrawn in the background, but have consolidated in fact within the Defense establishment.

But since the neo-cons were burnt out by the negative backlash of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which led to the installation of an alternative leader in the person of Obama, the neo-cons are on the defense. The core committees of the Confederates have other operators in mind to mobilize for sure, operators who can display the technocratic savvy and sophistication of the neo-cons.

Whatever will replace the neo-cons as tour de force, the new core operator group is just biding its time as Obama is still in the White House. They can at the minimum work to co-opt Obama more so as White House technocrats are bound to leave their sponsor after the perceived bungling of the economic recovery agenda (read: stimulus package failed). With fewer men to trust, Obama may indeed be cajoled to install more dangerously sociopathic personages in the White House, who will be the new operators of the Confederates.

From the top, they’d be monitoring the terror events taking down more lives, burning buildings, and fulfilling the impact expectations of the echelon abominations. At the maximum, they can assassinate Obama, the success of which will give greater space for the sociopaths-in-power to scale up the terror events.

[Philippines, 04 October 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]