FT Supplement: Future of Islamic Finance

Tuesday’s Financial Times includes a seven page special report on Islamic finance involving various parts o f the globe, not  just the Middle East.

The Future of Islamic Finance

Financial Times

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010


Table of Contents

Growth Survives the Storms: safe investments and sizeable potential markets continue to buoy the sector.

North Africa: A Region Abounding with Potential. Egypt leads among nations seen as ripe for expansion.

Malaysia Seeks End to Slide in Issuance: tax breaks and other initiatives are aimed at bolstering the sector’s leading market.

UAE: Shadow  of $26bn Upset Strats to Fade: borrowers are back after Dubai World’s successful restructuring.

Investment Banks: Nascent Sector looks for New Model: crisis-savaged organizatiosn need to diversify.

Europe: London and Paris Battle for Business: The City looks unlikely to be ousted from its position of strength.

US: Presence and Role of Market Remain marginal. Activity has been subdued since the Nakheel crisis.





International Trade and Health A Reference Guide

International Trade and Health A Reference Guide

World Health Organization, 2009


Includes a nice glossary of international trade terms.

From the introduction:

SPS, TRIPS, trade-distorting subsidies, Doha Paragraph Six …  The language of trade and health is specialized and may seem obscure. But though the language may be daunting, international trade agreements now being negotiated affect all of us, and health professionals in particular need to master the terminology if they are to participate in the national debate on trade and health. This reference guide consists of a basic dictionary of selected terms and several briefing notes that elaborate some of the issues.

As well as the dictionary and briefing notes developed by WHO headquarters or regional offices, this reference guide also includes selected resolutions bearing on public health, intellectual property and/or international trade. These materials, many already published in other forms, are brought together for the first time in one place.

The guide is intended as a starting point for those interested in but not familiar with the trade and health area. Further reading sections are included at the end of most briefing notes.

Business Anti-Corruption Portal

The Global Advice Network and various European ministries of foreign affairs and development have created the Business Anti-Corruption Portal.


From the portal’s description:

Welcome to the Business Anti-Corruption Portal, a comprehensive and practical tool tailored to meet the corruption risk management needs of small and medium sized companies (SMEs) operating in or considering doing business in emerging markets and developing countries.

The Portal is hosted, maintained and regularly updated by Global Advice Network on behalf of the government ministries and agencies. The Portal’s content is based on publicly available information. Global Advice Network strives to ensure that all content available on this website is accurate.

The purpose of the Business Anti-Corruption Portal (Portal) is to provide a comprehensive and practical business tool, and to offer targeted support to SMEs in order to help them avoid and fight corruption, thereby creating a better business environment. Working actively against corruption will furthermore enable companies to adhere to the UN Global Compact Principle 10 on corruption.

Comprehensive, Practical Business Tools

The Portal contains a variety of instruments and information, which can be used alone or in combination. Some tools are new, while others are well-known procedures and methods adapted to SMEs.

  • About Corruption: Definitions, interpretations and references to international and national legislation and initiatives relevant to companies. Includes business and corruption vocabulary and definitions.
  • 60 Country Profiles: Key business and corruption related information. Overview of level of enforcement of anti-corruption law, public and private anti-corruption initiatives is provided. Detailed information and corruption risk assessment in eight business sectors: 1) Judicial System, 2) Police, 3) Licences, Infrastructure and Public Utilities, 4) Land Administration, 5) Customs Administration, 6) Tax Administration, 7) Public Procurement and Contracting, and 8) Environment, Natural Resources and Extractive Industry.
  • Integrity System: A model Code of Conduct, examples of key procedures, a guidance question list and a model risk assessment tool.
  • Due Diligence Tools: Related to public procurement, seeking and vetting an agent or a consultant, setting up a joint venture, dealing with contractors or subcontractors and implementing a project.
  • Anti-Corruption Initiatives: A presentation of partner countries and other anti-corruption initiatives.
  • Information Networks: Contact information to turn to for local help.
  • Anti-Corruption Tools Inventory: A full list of anti-corruption conventions and treaties, a list of public and private initiatives and initiatives in partner countries, resources on grey area questions, corruption cases, reporting, sector-specific anti-corruption resources, useful links and more.
  • Training: Various business anti-corruption training modules, including e-learning programmes.

Glossary of Islamic Financial Terms

Yasaar, a consulting company of Shari’a compliance scholars, maintains an online glossary of Islamic financial terms. Brief definitions in English are provided, although the Arabic spellings of the terms are missing. The Yasaar site also has publications and PowerPoint presentations related to Islamic Finance on their Web site.

Glossary of Islamic Financial Terms


WTO-UNEP report on Trade and Climate Change

The World Trade Organization and the UN Environment Programme released their 194 page report on international trade and climate change.

WTO-UNEP Report: Trade and Climate Change


Additional information at: http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres09_e/pr559_e.htm

From the report’s’ executive summary:

This Report provides an overview of the key linkages

between trade and climate change based on a review

of available literature and a survey of relevant national

policies. It begins with a summary of the current state

of scientific knowledge on existing and projected

climate change; on the impacts associated with climate

change; and on the available options for responding,

through mitigation and adaptation, to the challenges

posed by climate change (Part I).


The scientific review is followed by an analysis on the

economic aspects of the link between trade and climate

change (Part II), and these two parts set the context for

the subsequent discussion in the Report, which reviews

in greater detail trade and climate change policies at

both the international and national level.


Part III on international policy responses to climate

change describes multilateral efforts at reducing

greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapting to the

risks posed by climate change, and also discusses the

role of the current trade and environment negotiations

in promoting trade in climate mitigation technologies.


The final part of the Report gives an overview of a

range of national policies and measures that have been

used in a number of countries to reduce greenhouse gas

emissions and to increase energy efficiency (Part IV). It

presents key features in the design and implementation

of these policies, in order to draw a clearer picture of their

overall effect and potential impact on environmental

protection, sustainable development and trade. It also

gives, where appropriate, an overview of the WTO

rules that may be relevant to such measures.

South Centre Downloads Library

South Centre is a Swiss based IGO think tank that focuses on trade, development, and sustainability from the point of view of developing countries. Thay make their books and reports available online for free. Click on Publications and then “Downloads Libray.” Over 300 reports in English and 150 in Spanish and French are available.  

South Centre


WTO’s new Regional Trade Agreements Information System

The World Trade Organization has released a new database of bilateral and regional trade agreements. The site provides full-text for most of the agreements , as well as the legal authority for the agreements under the GATT articles.  The database is researchable by country, date or topic. Many thanks to the WTO for offering this useful treaty research tool. 

WTO Regional Trade Agreements Information System (RTA-IS)


International Trade Cheat Sheet

Hat tip to the great folks at FreeGovInfo for this posting:

Get to the bottom of SIC codes and other international trade information and statistics with this handy-dandy guide on International Trade (by Ed Herman, University of Buffalo, 2007) CC

The guide covers many topics, including background information on foreign trade, classification schemes, statistics, and what we love best of all, a section on trade laws, treaties and regulations.