Making Sense of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

By Biswajit Dhar | Commentary | June 12, 2022

On May 23, the Joe Biden administration took a significant step to turn the clock back to the Obama Presidency by launching its own version of a “pivot to Asia” through the establishment of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) with other partner countries — Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Within days of its launch, IPEF expanded its membership to the Pacific Island states, with Fiji joining the initiative.

An American initiative to bring together its allies in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance economic cooperation is bound to lead to comparisons…

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What Comes Next for Agriculture Negotiations at the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference?

By Biswajit Dhar | Commentary | June 11, 2022

As has happened throughout the history of the multilateral trading system, agriculture remained mired in controversy in the run-up to the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12). The twice-postponed MC12 was expected to take several important decisions and to put the negotiations for reforming the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) back on track, but over the past few weeks, the discussions among members have been excessively focused on two issues that are of critical importance for India.

The first of these issues pertains to the public stockholding (PSH) of food grains for food security purposes, which is the backbone of India’s public distribution system (PDS). Since the…

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On the Brink of Collapse: Decoding a UN-Backed Climate ETF

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | February 24, 2022

The news that a newly launched UN-backed climate exchange-traded fund is on the verge of closing due to insufficient capital has disappointed many who expected such financial market instruments to mobilize new sources of private capital in alignment with sustainable development and bridge the financing gap for the UN’s 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Launched with much fanfare at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) on November 3, 2021, the Impact Shares MSCI Global Climate Select ETF (NYSE Arca: NTZO) could close next month if it fails to attract additional investment. Despite significant pledges from banks and financial institutions at the launch,…

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Whither India’s Sovereign Green Bonds

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | February 3, 2022

In her Union Budget 2022 speech on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the issuance of sovereign green bonds during the upcoming fiscal year. “As a part of the government’s overall market borrowings in 2022-23, sovereign green bonds will be issued for mobilizing resources for green infrastructure. The proceeds will be deployed in public sector projects which help in reducing the carbon intensity of the economy,” Ms. Sitharaman stated. Several Indian non-financial corporations have issued a variety of green bonds in recent years, but this will be the country’s first sovereign green bond issuance.

At the time of writing, additional information about proposed…

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CSOs Demand an Overhaul of the World Bank Following the DBR Scandal

By CSOs | Statement | October 12, 2021

More than 100 civil society organisations, including Madhyam, have sought a major overhaul of the World Bank’s governing structures and policies following the scandal that led to the scrapping of its flagship publication, the ‘Doing Business’ report. This report ranks 190 countries on the Ease of Doing Business index. Following is the full text of the statement issued by CSOs on October 12, 2021:

In September, the World Bank announced that it would discontinue the publication of the Doing Business Report and Ranking (DBR). This overdue decision came after a series of internal audits and an investigation that revealed serious ethical improprieties, conflicts…

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