Issue No. 683, 16-28 February 2019
Big Tech’s foray into finance carries promise and risk – BIS

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Opportunities and risks from Big Tech’s entry into finance
The provision of financial services by large technology companies can increase the efficiency of and access to such services, but also generate risks relating to financial stability, market competition and use of data, says the Bank for International Settlements.
by Chakravarthi Raghavan

South faces defining moment on “development-friendly” WTO reforms
The WTO reform agenda is becoming a battleground for competing visions and proposals advanced by member states.
by D. Ravi Kanth

South countries establish “common platform” on WTO reform
Developing-country trade diplomats gathered at a retreat on 19 June to discuss how to achieve inclusive and development-centred reform at the WTO.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Concerns over US push to bring TPP rules into digital trade deal
Proposed new rules on digital trade being discussed in ongoing plurilateral talks could mainly mirror the norms under the stillborn Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.
by D. Ravi Kanth

E-commerce rules promoted in name of women’s economic empowerment
A recent workshop on women in digital trade heard pitches for international rules on electronic commerce but did not adequately address concerns about the impact of such rules on women in the developing world.
by Kinda Mohamadieh

India, South Africa stress on policy space over e-commerce duties moratorium
India and South Africa have urged a rethink of the current halt to customs duties on electronic transmissions, saying it impairs developing countries’ tariff revenues and impedes their digital industrialization prospects, but their call has met with opposition led by the developed countries.
by D. Ravi Kanth

UN’s development goals far from being met
The world is falling short of realizing the Sustainable Development Goals set in 2015, according to a new UN report described as “a wake-up call to governments”.
by Thalif Deen

Opinion: Transforming society, financialization destroys social solidarity
Under the pervasive phenomenon of financialization, key aspects of social security, housing and education have been reduced to financial products to be bought and sold.
by Michael Lim Mah Hui and Jomo Kwame Sundaram