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Bown C.P.,Peterson Institute for International Economics
Global Policy | Year: 2017

Major economies such as the United States, European Union, Japan, and even China have shifted trade negotiating emphasis toward ‘mega-regional’ agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This paper explores why countries have chosen to pursue mega-regionals, what is likely to be contained in the agreements, and some of their potential implications for the multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO). I call for revisiting the historical approach of introducing plurilateral and critical mass agreements – that would cover some of the mega-regionals’ new provisions – into the WTO so as to avoid a more substantial, long-run erosion of the relevance of the nondiscriminatory system. I also highlight potential reforms to the WTO's dispute settlement procedure that are required to strengthen its already prominent role. © 2017 University of Durham and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

On April 18 and 19, the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College will gather top policymakers, economists, and analysts at the 26th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference on the State of the U.S. and World Economies to discuss, among many issues, the implications of the new administration’s “America First” policies, focusing on the outlook for trade, taxation, fiscal, and financial regulation measures to generate domestic investments capable of moving the growth rate beyond the “new normal” established in the aftermath of the Great Recession, without jeopardizing financial stability. The conference, “‘America First’ and Financial Stability,” is being organized by the Levy Institute and will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, April 18–19, at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Participants include Esther L. George, president and chief executive officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Eric S. Rosengren, president and chief executive officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Thomas M. Hoenig, vice chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Peter Praet, chief economist and executive board member, European Central Bank; Michael E. Feroli, chief U.S. economist, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Arturo O’Connell, formerly, member of the board of governors, Central Bank of Argentina; Lakshman Achuthan, cofounder and chief operations officer, Economic Cycle Research Institute; Rana Foroohar, global business columnist, Financial Times, and global economic analyst, CNN; Michael S. Derby, special writer, The Wall Street Journal; Christian Plumb, Latin America business editor, Reuters; and Yalman Onaran, senior writer, Bloomberg News. The 2017 Minsky Conference will assess, among other issues, the impact of different financing schemes on both infrastructure investment and the return of central bank monetary policies to more neutral interest rates. Since these new policy proposals will have a global impact, the conference will focus on their implication for the performance of European and Latin American economies. The conference will include presentations by Jan Kregel, director of research, Levy Institute; Robert J. Barbera, codirector, Center for Financial Economics, The Johns Hopkins University; Fernando J. Cardim de Carvalho, senior scholar, Levy Institute, and emeritus professor of economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Scott Fullwiler, professor of economics, University of Missouri–Kansas City; Arturo Huerta González, professor of economics, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Stephanie A. Kelton, research associate, Levy Institute, and professor of economics, University of Missouri–Kansas City; Paolo Savona, formerly, Italian minister of industry and president, Banco di Roma and the Fondo Interbancario di Tutela dei Depositi; Edwin M. Truman, nonresident senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Michalis Nikiforos, research scholar, Levy Institute; and L. Randall Wray, senior scholar, Levy Institute, and professor of economics, Bard College. The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, founded in 1986 through the generous support of the late Bard College trustee Leon Levy, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. The Institute is independent of any political or other affiliation, and encourages diversity of opinion in the examination of economic policy issues while striving to transform ideological arguments into informed debate. Press registrations should be made by calling Mark Primoff at 845-758-7412 or by sending an e-mail to primoff(at)bard.edu.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.ictsd.org

7 May, Bonn, Germany. IMPLEMENTATION OF MARKETS AND NON-MARKET PROVISIONS IN THE PARIS AGREEMENT. This meeting is being organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and will be the fifth meeting of the project “Implementation of markets and non-market provisions in the Paris Agreement.” The informal discussions will focus on Article 6, looking at how its terms can be defined and what these alternatives can mean in practice. Expected participants include carbon market negotiators. Please note that attendance is by invitation only. For more information on this meeting, please visit the ICTSD website. 9-11 May, Geneva, Switzerland. GIS FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD CONFERENCE. This annual event is being jointly organised by the United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) and Esri. The conference will focus on how Esri’s ArcGIS platform empowers the international community to work toward the goals set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To learn more and to register, please visit the Esri website. 10 May, Geneva, Switzerland. 10TH ANNUAL UPDATE ON WTO DISPUTE SETTLEMENT. This event will be held at the Graduate Institute and will consist of an overview session followed by a roundtable discussion. The event will cover the WTO’s dispute-related activities and developments over the past year. Its speakers will include WTO Deputy Director-General Karl Brauner, South African WTO Ambassador and Dispute Settlement Body Chairperson Xavier Carim, and Appellate Body Chairperson Thomas Graham, among others. To learn more and to register, please visit the Graduate Institute website. 11 May, London, UK, and online. REFUGEES: ARE JOBS THE ANSWER? This event is organised by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and will feature an expert panel to discuss the creation of economic opportunities for refugees. Specifically, the panel will discuss the possibility of creating Special Economic Zones (SEZ) where business and trade laws could be revised to allow refugees to work within the zone. This event is open to the public and will be streamed online. To learn more and register, or watch online, visit the ODI website. An updated list of forthcoming WTO meetings is posted here. Please bear in mind that dates and times of WTO meetings are often changed, and that the WTO does not always announce the important informal meetings of the different bodies. Unless otherwise indicated, all WTO meetings are held at the WTO, Centre William Rappard, rue de Lausanne 154, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland, and are open to WTO Members and accredited observers only. 9 May: Working Group on Trade and Transfer of Technology 15 May, Washington, US, and online. FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN ECONOMY AFTER THE FRENCH ELECTION. This webcast event is being organised by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) and will have two discussion panels comprised of PIIE senior fellows and European experts. The panels will discuss what the 7 May French election results mean for the wider EU economy and outline recommendations for ensuring the EU’s future economic stability. This event is open to the public and will be steamed online. To learn more and watch online, visit the PIIE website. 19 May, Geneva, Switzerland, and online. TALKING DISPUTES |THE RUSSIA – PIGS (EU) DISPUTE. This event is being jointly organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and WTI Advisors (WTIA). This event will focus on the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body ruling in the Russia – Pigs (EU) dispute, presenting the key findings and engaging in a discussion of the legal and policy implications, particularly regarding trade and regulatory cooperation. This event is open to the public and will be streamed online. To learn more and to register, or to watch online, please visit the ICTSD website. 23 May, Stockholm, Sweden. TRADE AND CLIMATE ACTION POST-PARIS: LEVERAGING SYNERGIES. This event is being organised jointly by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and Sida, Sweden’s development policy agency. The event will examine the relationship between trade, sustainable development, and climate action in the context of the UN’s Paris Agreement on climate change. The objective is to have a discussion over ways trade policy can support climate action, along with ensuring that efforts to support the latter objective do not have overly trade-distorting effects. For more information, including an event programme, please visit the ICTSD website. 5-8 June, Manila, Philippines. ASIA CLEAN ENERGY FORUM 2017. This event is being jointly organised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Korea Energy Agency. The aim of this forum will be to share best practices in policy, technology, and finance regarding clean energy, energy efficiency, and energy access, with the event having as its theme “The Future is Here: Achieving Universal Access and Climate Targets.” To learn more and to register, please visit the event website. 26-28 September, Geneva, Switzerland. WTO PUBLIC FORUM 2017. This year’s edition of the WTO’s outreach event will have as its theme “Trade: Behind the Headlines.” The meeting will aim to look at the real-life implications of trade, as opposed to rhetoric, and will also look at how trade can support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related issues. A call for proposals is currently open for those who wish to organise sessions at this year’s forum, with a due date of 4 June 2017. To learn more, please visit the WTO website.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.ictsd.org

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT OUTLOOK 2017: TRANSCENDING THE MIDDLE-INCOME CHALLENGE. Published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) (April 2017). This book discusses growth statistics and future prospects for developing Asian economies, along with outlining which types of institutions and policies can help support the region’s economic transformation. The report looks at issues such as productivity growth and macroeconomic policy, among various others. To access this book, please visit the ABD website. RESOURCE TRADE EARTH. Developed by Chatham House (2017). This site aims to enable users to explore how trade in natural resources works, along with the sustainability impacts and related issues, using data from hundreds of countries and territories. The trade data is from the Chatham House Resource Trade Database and covers over 1300 types of natural resources and resource products. It also reviews the quality and limitations of this data. To access this site, please visit the Chatham House website. ATLAS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS 2017: FROM WORLD DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS. Published by the World Bank Group (April 2017). This atlas brings together World Bank statistics from over 200 economies, looking at various indicators related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to develop a better understanding of the state of international development and the implications for people’s lives and livelihoods. To view the atlas or download it as a PDF, please visit the World Bank website. GROWTH INCLUSIVENESS IN DJIBOUTI. By Alexei P. Kireyev for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (April 2017). This working paper examines Djibouti’s economic growth from 2002 to 2013, looking at whether its benefits have been shared equally and which parts of society have benefitted most. The author discusses policies that may help to make growth more inclusive and create opportunities in sectors with better earning potential for the country’s poorest. To download this paper, please visit the IMF website. TRUMP’S THREAT OF STEEL TARIFFS HERALDS BIG CHANGES IN TRADE POLICY. By Chap P. Bown for the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) (April 2017). This op-ed discusses the impacts of the Trump administration’s announcement to investigate whether imports of steel are a threat to US national security, examining it through the prisms of US trade law and history. To view this op-ed, please visit the PIIE website.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.ictsd.org

NEGOTIATING GLOBAL RULES ON AGRICULTURAL DOMESTIC SUPPORT: OPTIONS FOR THE WTO’S BUENOS AIRES MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE. Published by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) (April 2017). This new research paper outlines a series of approaches that governments could take in negotiating a new multilateral deal on domestic agricultural support. The authors have prepared this paper in the context of the WTO’s upcoming ministerial conference, scheduled for December 2017. The document is available for download here. UNCTAD E-COMMERCE WEEK 2017. Published by the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch and the Internet Society (April 2017). These event reports summarise the various sessions that have taken place over the 24-28 April “E-Commerce Week” hosted by the UN Conference on Trade and Development. The event reports are available here. AGRICULTURAL POLICIES, TRADE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN EGYPT. By Isin Tellioglu and Panos Konandreas for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) (April 2017). This study focuses on the performance of Egypt’s farm sector in areas ranging from production to trade. The authors also look at this subject in the context of agricultural sustainability and food security, among other concerns. To download this paper, please visit the ICTSD website. INVESTMENT POLICY MONITOR – SPECIAL ISSUE. Published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (April 2017). This special edition of UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Monitor is entitled “Promoting investment in the digital economy” and presents the findings of two studies, focusing on financing needs and investment promotion for digital development. The monitor is available for download here. IIA MAPPING PROJECT UPDATE. Published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (April 2017). This latest update of UNCTAD’s database includes updated information on various international investment agreements, with new information provided on hundreds of these treaties. The updated database is available here. EFFECTS OF CONSUMPTION TAXES ON REAL EXCHANGE RATES AND TRADE BALANCES. By Caroline Freund and Joseph Gagnon for the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) (April 2017). This working paper analyses border-adjusted consumption taxes in 34 advanced economies from 1970 through 2015, looking at what this means for real exchange rates and trade, particularly in light of recent proposals by US Congressional Republicans. To download the full document, please visit the PIIE website. OECD ECONOMIC SURVEYS: JAPAN 2017. Published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (April 2017). This annual economic survey discusses the effects of Japan’s population decline and demographic landscape on areas ranging from labour supply and productivity to income and gender inequality. The paper provides assessments of the country’s recent macroeconomic performance, while looking at future opportunities and challenges in the areas of productivity and inclusive growth. To access the full survey, visit the OECD iLibrary.


News Article | April 22, 2016
Site: motherboard.vice.com

When the entrepreneur Gené Teare started regularly attending tech conferences in Silicon Valley in 1997, the female business leaders she met mostly filled public relations and marketing roles. In 2008, when she began working at CrunchBase, which collects data on startups and investments, Teare noticed a new trend at conferences: more women filling more executive and technical roles. But among all the data it had, CrunchBase had nothing to say about gender. Diversity advocates frequently cite data to draw a dismal picture of exclusivity in the tech startup world. But in an analysis of gender on Crunchbase that began last year, Teare, who is now the company’s Director of Content, began to uncover a more positive portrait. “I didn’t know what the data was going to tell us when we first went to look at it,” said Teare, who co-founded Cyberia, the world’s first cyber cafe, in London in 1994. “But what was very interesting was that anecdotal experience was mirrored in the data.” Last May, as the discussion over gender diversity in tech swirled—prompted in part by a discrimination lawsuit filed by investor Ellen Pao—Crunchbase released its first report on gender in tech. It contained a promising finding: between 2009 and 2014 the percentage of funded startups with at least one female founder increased from 9 percent to 18 percent. CrunchBase found that female founders are on the rise, and they tend to have non-STEM degrees. The gradual improvement in funding for female-founded companies “opened a number of related questions,” Teare and Ned Desmond, TechCrunch’s chief operating officer, write in a report published this week. “For example, are some venture firms more likely to fund female entrepreneurs than others?” In the new report, “Women in Venture,” Crunchbase counted the number of female partners at the top 100 venture capital firms and also found a slight increase in the number of venture firms founded by women: in the last three years, 20 VC firms, or 16 percent of newly launched firms, were founded by women. More female founders might help nudge the culture of the tech industry into a fairer one, comprised of a workforce that more accurately reflects the industry's users. There is strong evidence that this is good for the bottom line too: the presence of female executives is correlated with increased profitability, according to a new study of nearly 22,000 publicly traded companies in 91 countries by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY, the audit firm formerly known as Ernst & Young. Still, they found, almost 60 percent of the companies they surveyed had no female board members, more than 50 percent had no female executives, and just under 5 percent had a female chief executive. The study’s authors could not determine if firms with a female partner were more likely to invest in female-founded companies than those without female investors. But female founded firms stand out in the study: they were both more likely to hire other women as partners as well as to fund companies that were also founded by women. “There is clear evidence,” the authors write, “that the small number of venture firms with female founders and/or an unusually high percentage of female partners, invest at elevated levels in female entrepreneurs.” Investment Firms Founded By Women On The Rise CrunchBase calls its analysis the most comprehensive study on women in venture capital ever conducted. At the outset, the company ranked global venture capital investing firms by fund size and the number of funding rounds led, and isolated the top 100. It scanned those firms’ people profiles for employees listed as “partner” and independently verified that they were active investors. It found that 7 percent of investing partners at the top venture capital firms are women. Two firms had four female investors each: Qiming Venture Partners in Shanghai and NEA in Silicon Valley. (One of NEA’s female investors is based in India.) Two of the top venture capital firms had four female investing partners, more than any other firm in CrunchBase. CrunchBase then surveyed newer venture capital firms and accelerators that have only been active since 2014 and found that 12 percent of the partner roles were women. “Data in CrunchBase suggests that more women are entering the venture industry and potentially moving into position to win partner roles,” Teare and Desmond wrote, noting that venture firms add new partners very infrequently. It also found that the ratio of female-founded venture capital firms jumped to 16 percent in the past three years, compared to 12 percent in the period between 2010 and 2015. Teare and Desmond believe this shows creating and participating in female-founded firms could be a “potentially more rapid path for women to become partners.” Startups with at least one female founder received $35.1 billion in venture funding between 2010 and 2015. These female founders received 10 percent of all venture capital globally, and won funding from 12 percent of all funding rounds that took place during that period. The authors did not go further to reveal a trend over how money much female founders received compared to previous years. Rather, they present them as benchmark figures for future studies. CrunchBase also determined that female-led venture capital firms or firms that had an exceptionally high number of female investors were more likely to invest in female founders. To do this, it isolated the firms that had the highest number of funding rounds for female-founded startups and looked at their investors’ gender ratios. Women won 12 percent of funding rounds between 2010 and 2015, globally. Graphic: Crunchbase The authors found a curious data point, however: Four of the five highest in terms of percentage of total rounds in startups with a female founder—SOSV, VTF Capital and Metamorphic Ventures—have no female partners, though the top firm, MassChallenge, at 42 percent of its portfolio, has a female managing director in Mexico. This suggests, says the report, “that female founders may not have to worry much about the arrival of more female investors in order to make more progress.” On the other hand, when counting by round, the five most active seed investors in female entrepreneurs—500 Startups, Wayra, Startup Chile, Y Combinator and TechStars—each have at least one female investing partner. More female and non-white investors, and more female-founded companies, could be effective at encouraging a broader change in culture in the industry in ways that typical recruitment efforts cannot, advocates argue. “Getting more women to work in tech isn’t going to happen by hard-sell recruitment,” Minnie Ingersoll, co-founder and chief operating officer of Shift, wrote in a piece this month on Quartz that examined Silicon Valley's "culture problem." “Rather, tech firms need to create and foster environments that women actually want to be a part of—ones that value different viewpoints and work styles.” In an op-ed in October, “Bros Funding Bros: What’s Wrong With Venture Capital,” Chamath Palihapitiya, the outspoken founder of investment firm Social + Capital, called for a “wake up call on Sand Hill Road.” “We need to recapture our potential and open the doors,” he wrote on The Information, a website focused on the tech industry. “Invite more people into the decision making: young people, Blacks, Latinos, females, LGBT and others who aren’t necessarily part of the obvious majority. Surround ourselves with a more diverse set of experiences and maybe we will prioritize a more diverse set of things. Maybe we will find more courage to do the hard things.” While the data indicates positive trends, there may be reason for concern. Amid a slowdown in investing—venture capital and otherwise—investors have lowered their valuations on companies that had previously been valued at billions of dollars. No tech company went public in the first three months of this year. Still, said Teare, “The numbers that I’m seeing don’t seem to reflect that female founders are impacted by the slowdown. The slowdown hasn’t been as dramatic in the first quarter in Series A and seed rounds, but there was a little bit more of a slowdown in B rounds.” But, she added, “there is the question for me of how much of a slowdown there is.” Advocates for gender equality insist more data about Silicon Valley is crucial. Tech publications repeatedly reuse the same 2014 Babson College study to play up how much men dominate the tech industry. The study surveyed 6,793 companies, of which 985 had female executives. It also found that the ratio of female venture capital investors had decreased, from 10 percent in 1999 to six percent in 2013. Google finally divulged its own data in May 2014 after it and several other major technology companies including Apple, Oracle and Yahoo resisted publicly reporting it under federal law for many years, on the grounds that doing so would amount to divulging trade secrets. Crunchbase may be specially positioned to understand how the gender imbalance in tech impacts innovation. Because anyone can view and contribute to this data on CrunchBase’s website—names of executives, funding amounts, and investor information—it has become a powerful tool for transparency in an investing community known for secrecy. Last year it added a gender option to its personal profiles, and to conduct an analysis of the industry’s gender balance, began tagging user data with genders where possible. Anyone can contribute data by creating a CrunchBase profile. In 2015, over 100,000 people contributed data this way, Teare said. Users can also modify most company or profile pages without a moderator’s approval. Through its Venture Program, CrunchBase partners with 2,300 venture capital firms, incubators, and accelerators around the world who volunteer up-to-date information about its investments. In September, CrunchBase spun out of AOL’s TechCrunch and became a venture-backed startup itself. (Among the company's 27-member team, 10 are women, according to Teare; the 11-person engineering team includes two women.) In practice, the data has remained free with some limitations. Teare promised that CrunchBase data would remain free, even if CrunchBase, the startup, now needs to worry about generating revenue. Now anyone can view the database online or download pre-2014 data for free. But people who want to download and analyze it in Excel or need up-to-date data can choose between a $999 and a $4,999 monthly subscription. The latter subscription enables app developers to build new consumer apps on top of CrunchBase data. In 2013, an app called People+ repackaged CrunchBase’s entire database into a mobile app, which prompted CrunchBase to restrict its Creative Commons license to non-commercial applications in December 2013. Since then, it has screened potential commercial app developers and upgraded its pricing model. We Need More Data Even with millions of data points on hand, CrunchBase isn’t able to tell the whole story around gender inequality in tech. For example, women who enter the tech industry tend to drop out after a few years. Teare wasn’t immediately sure how CrunchBase data could add a voice to this issue, but she was interested in using the data to explore it. CrunchBase’s global data could also provide clarity on foreign influences on Silicon Valley and its effect on female investors and entrepreneurs. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of female international students studying computer science in the US increased by 116 percent. Meanwhile, many of the most important tech companies in the US were founded and are led by immigrants, and foreign-born students earn more than half of advanced STEM degrees. Schools in the UK and the US produced the most founders of US-based startups. Crunchbase’s gender diversity report from August showed that many startup founders in the US are educated in the United Kingdom. But more data about foreign-born or foreign-educated founders could give clarity to issues in the academic pipeline that could affect women and minorities, while spurring a discussion over Silicon Valley’s geographical dominance. Teare is pushing her team to analyze CrunchBase data on global and regional levels outside of US-only data, as well as other types of data. “I think it would be very interesting to look at, outside of gender, racial diversity. The challenge for us, being a global database, is that race means different things for different parts of the world. For us, it’s been difficult to figure out how we would introduce that, but it’s also a very strong interest,” Teare said. In October 2015, Social + Capital and The Information examined data on 71 firms representing more than $160 billion in assets under management and broke out the racial and gender mix of the investment leadership. Their data on female investors appear to confirm CrunchBase’s findings: 8 percent of “senior investment teams” are female. Drilling down into lower-level investors or non-partners, the survey found that women occupy 20% of "junior investment teams." In terms of race, it found that 20 percent of venture firm's senior teams are Asian, while blacks and Hispanics make up only 1 percent each. In junior teams, black and Hispanic investors made up 2 percent each, and Asian investors made up 32 percent. Minority women wanting to offer a business idea might be deterred from pitching in the first place, simply because of their physical appearance. A 2010 CB Insights study found that investors simply routinely choose to invest in Caucasian males over other ethnicities or genders. Meanwhile, some wonder if the tech culture problem might need a less numbers-heavy solution. The effect of placing too much value on data risks trivializing women’s personal experiences. If Google one day released tech diversity data that showed gender parity in its recruitment, a woman who voices discontent with its culture might be seen as wanting too much. Meanwhile, setting quantified human resources targets might start to shift the gender ratio at tech companies, but that won’t address the underlying problems that make tech culture and executive boardrooms so unwelcoming to women. "I think the mistreatment that women and entrepreneurs of color experience at the hands of VCs will go away when the entrepreneurs have somebody who respects them, understands them, and looks like them to invest in their companies,” Freada Kapor Klein, a partner at venture capital firm Kapor Capital, told Fast Company last year. For Teare, fixing the problem begins with the principle of “know thyself.” “Venture capital firms view and use CrunchBase on a daily basis, so correctly showing what they have been up to and giving people the tools to understand the deals they have been making is extremely important,” she said. The danger of this data, some investors say, is that it could encourage women to limit their funding options, perpetuating a kind of funding segregation. Women might seek out venture capital firms that have historically been friendly to female founders or minority founders, while attempting less to get a meeting with another firm that would have invested anyway. “Does it become self-fulfilling? What if you have a VC yet to fund a woman, but because someone sees that stat, women won't pitch him, even though he's completely open-minded and willing?” wrote Charlie O’Donnell, investor at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, in an email. Data can also be deceiving. In February, Annalee Newitz at Ars Technica reported on a study that found that, even when controlling for programming language and length of code, Github users were more likely to accept contributions from female users than from male users.At first glance, this surprising finding appeared to be a positive sign that men are becoming more accepting of female coders. “78.6 percent of women's pull requests were actually accepted and merged into the code, while only 74.4 percent of men's pull requests were,” wrote Newitz. “Not only that, but 25 percent of women had almost 100 percent of their pull requests accepted, while only about 13.5 percent of men reached that exalted 100 percent acceptance rate.” When men know the women who are contributing to an open source project, they appear to favor those women’s contributions over those of men they know. This finding, she writes, suggests that “women's participation in projects is helping them overcome existing bias.” But the numbers also tell of that bias. When men did not know the contributors to a project—where they were “outsiders”—the women whose contributions were accepted most often were those whose profiles were gender-neutral. Generally speaking, men were less likely to accept contributions from women who did identify their gender. In other words, all things being equal, contributions from unknown women programmers were accepted less often than contributions from unknown male programmers. If anything, the study validated the assumption that men respect female coders’ work—at least those they don’t know personally—less than that of men. At first glance, the numbers show that women in open source projects are considered to be more competent than men. But in explaining why that may be, the researchers point to underlying challenges for women. One explanation is survivorship bias: as women continue their formal and informal education in computer science, the less competent ones may change fields or otherwise drop out. Then, only more competent women remain by the time they begin to contribute to open source. In contrast, less competent men may continue ... Another explanation is self-selection bias: the average woman in open source may be better prepared than the average man, which is supported by the finding that women in open source are more likely to hold Master’s and PhD degrees. Yet another explanation is that women are held to higher performance standards than men. Meanwhile, amid an ongoing discussion over unequal pay in the tech industry, the career site Dice released a study in March, titled “Gender Plays No Role in Tech Pay.” But the headline may mislead: The report states, “When it comes to bonuses, compensation satisfaction, primary motivators and career concerns, all of which greatly impact overall job satisfaction and career growth, there are clear differences by gender.” Data is useful for making any case. And as more organizations find new ways to quantify diversity trends, there will be more data, and more ways—right and wrong—to support tactics for improving diversity in tech. But data alone won’t be enough. Open commitments to change the tech world’s culture, using quantifiable targets, could be the path toward more diversity. Some organizations have created online pledges that companies and conference organizers can choose to sign to show their support for changing the tech gender ratio. Last May, Barnard College’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies launched the Athena Pledge campaign to encourage accelerators and incubators to support at least 33 percent women-led businesses by 2017. In July, Quibb founder Sandi MacPherson started the 50/50 Pledge to encourage tech conference organizers to invite female technologists to speak at their events. Tech conferences are notorious for hosting all-male panels, but no human resource department holds them accountable for creating a diverse lineup. The same holds true for accelerators. Meanwhile, tech companies and venture capital firms do have the resources to implement and monitor diversity programs to consciously upturn the gender divide. While Teare and Desmond point out in their report that more female founders are receiving venture capital, they do not examine a decade-long decline of women on the investing side. CrunchBase’s open data uncovers a few lessons from the greater story of tech’s gender divide. To uncover more, tech companies and organizations will need to be more open not just with data, but with their ideas on how to actually change it. Silicon Divide is a series about gender inequality in tech and science. Follow along here.


News Article | November 13, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

For 70 years, the US and Britain have underwritten the open global trading system, partly because of a stubborn and correct belief in the merits of free trade, partly out of self-interest as beneficiaries of globalisation and partly because, strategically, it spreads democracy, peace and capitalism. They have spearheaded successive rounds of tariff cuts and multilateral trade deals and stood by, first, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt) and its successor, the World Trade Organisation, to keep the system honest. They have cut regional trade bargains, promoted the European single market and, above all, kept their markets open despite other countries, notably China, gaming the system for their own narrow advantage. The consensus in both countries was that the wider gains transcended any localised pain. No longer. The Americans voting for the anti-trade, America first Trump have consigned all that to history and the unintended consequence of Brexit will mean the same for Britain. The system that underpinned our collective prosperity is about to be trashed. It brought national and international benefits, including an avalanche of inward direct investment into both countries, powerful international financial and business service sectors, rising global living standards and the economic and democratic transformation of Asia. But both countries’ manufacturing sectors have taken disproportionately heavy hits. Drive round the ailing industrial towns of south Yorkshire or Ohio and compare the economic and social landscape with that of Düsseldorf, Munich, Shanghai or Shenzhen. Decade of consistent manufacturing trade deficits have exacted a cruel toll. This year, working-class voters across America and Britain’s rotting industrial heartlands delivered their verdict. No more plants moving abroad. No more closures because of cheap imports. No more sales of great companies to foreigners. No more stagnating blue-collar wages. No more immigration. It may be that there are jobs and great prospects aplenty in the burgeoning tech and service sectors in the big cities driven by global trade, but they don’t care. They are hurting and nobody has taken decisive action to help them. The votes for Trump and Brexit mark the end of an era and a new dark age of closure, protectionism and nationalism. Leading Tory Brexiters will insist that this is a travesty of their position; they want Britain to access more global trade and not be imprisoned, they crazily claim, by the confines of the slow-growing European Union and its bureaucratic inability to cut aggressive trade deals with the rest of the world. They live in a dreamland if they feel that the rest of the world is more committed to free trade than Europe, while EU membership did not hold back Germany from being among the world’s major exporters. In any case, apart from the promised closure of borders to immigrants, that is not what their voters want, as Nigel Farage always better understood than any of his Tory allies he cordially despises. Working-class voters in south Yorkshire and the West Midlands want the same as their counterparts in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. After all, it was those three states, with their tiny 100,000 vote margin, which gave Trump the electoral college votes for victory. He might be a billionaire, but he is, or at least styles himself, a “blue-collar billionaire”. Blue-collar (post-)industrial workers don’t benefit from free trade and immigration, as he has consistently said for 18 months, in the teeth of opposition from the Republican mainstream who remain free traders. His movement, as he called it, wants to stop both. ‘Build that wall” – along the US-Mexican border – was one of the most insistent chants at his rallies, along with the forced deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants. But more importantly for the international trading system, Trump wants to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) between the US, Canada and Mexico, which he casually dismisses as the “worst trade deal in history”. He also wants an immediate halt in negotiations for both the Transatlantic and Trans-Pacific trade agreements and unilaterally he wants to impose swingeing 45% tariffs, against the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from which he is prepared to “walk away”, on Chinese imports, which account for half of the US’s trade deficit. Thirty-five per cent tariffs are promised on Mexican imports. The remaining 20 free-trade agreements the US has signed are to be reviewed or abrogated. Cumulatively, the impact would be devastating, killing multilateralism by exposing the already enfeebled WTO as helpless, inciting Chinese and Mexican trade retaliation and destabilising the entire global system of trade and finance. Optimists say that Trump the president will be much more cautious and realist than Trump the campaigner: his talk on trade should be seen as threats to produce more fairly balanced agreements, not a tearing up of the world system. Maybe. But there cannot be a complete divorce between campaign rhetoric and policy. He believes what he says and nobody in his close coterie is going to urge caution. Not Dan DiMicco, his senior trade adviser, who has promised a potential withdrawal, in the first six months of the Trump presidency, from every major US trade deal if it cannot be shown actively to benefit the US. “The era of trade deficits is over,” he says. “It will be: let’s talk, but otherwise we put tariffs on.” Another intimate, Walid Phares, has said Trump will go “back to ground zero” on every trade deal, such as the one with South Korea that the president-elect described as “job destroying” and wants to revoke. Trump has already given a commitment that on day one he will declare China a currency manipulator as a precursor to introducing up to 45% tariffs on Chinese imports. These positions are not posturing: they represent a deeply held view that the US does not need trade except on terms that put America first. The idea that successive American administrations have negotiated deals loaded in the US interest is impossible to concede. Because how else would he explain the rust belt? Equally, there can be no concession that blue-collar jobs are disappearing with or without trade because of robotisation and automation. The America of the 1940s and 50s has disappeared for ever and destroying the international trading system is not going to bring it back. None of that cuts any ice with a demagogic populist. Trump has promises to keep to a “movement” that expects no less. The last time a Republican president and his party controlled both the House of Representatives and Senate with the same convictions on America first trade was 1928. There were warnings that introducing the Smoot-Hawley tariffs on American imports in 1930 would trigger a slump, but America first Republicans could not help themselves and the Democrats were too weak to stop them. The Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington predicts that if Trump raises tariffs on China and Mexico, and they retaliate, then US growth will stop in its tracks for at least two years. The prospects could be even worse if Trump goes further. Already world trade growth over the last year has been the slowest for the last 15. Even introducing the mildest of Trump’s measures must presage a further deceleration and if he goes as far as he promises – walking away from the World Trade Organisation, withdrawing from multiple trade agreements and freely imposing tariffs – then the prospect of a 1930s-style implosion is all too real. In this context, the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, babbling alongside other Brexiters about the opportunities for trade deals with the US is surreal. To exit the EU, the one continent pledged to open trade, in order to plunge into a world trade system threatened by collapse is the height of folly. If British voters had known Trump was going to be president in June – and known of his attitude to trade – Remain would have won comfortably. Parliament may find it has a duty to veto the application to exercise article 50 before the end of March; the referendum was only ever advisory and Trump’s attitude to trade changes everything. One of the many tragedies of the rise of neoliberalism is that the promotion of international trade has been able to be portrayed by some on the left as part of the same portfolio of policies as austerity, privatisation and assaulting trade unions. Wrong. Trade is the essential ingredient of growth and prosperity. The rise of Egypt, Greece and Rome was because the Mediterranean promoted seaborne trade. The rise of maritime Europe after the middle ages was because of Atlantic trade. China has grown so explosively since 1978 because of its opening to trade. Autarchy, protection and closure to immigration have always meant economic stagnation and, lacking the stimulus of other cultures and ideas, a parallel freezing of innovation and cultural vitality. Trade, exchange and intermingling are the lifeblood of humanity. Of course trade brings losers, and the rise of contemporary Conservatism, with its ferocious enmity to state action to support the incomes, skills and life chances of working-class men and women, in a period of great economic change, laid the foundations of huge anger. It has been two rightwing demagogues – Trump and his British echo, Farage – who have been the first beneficiaries. But as this drama plays out in recession, nationalism and perhaps even forms of inter-state conflict, there will be a rediscovery of ancient verities. Trade and exchange are the foundations of our civilisation and, whatever Trump and his movement think, the more, the better.


Kotschwar B.,Peterson Institute for International Economics
Asian Economic Policy Review | Year: 2014

After decades of low-level commercial interaction, China and Latin America significantly ramped up their economic relationship in the 2000s. China has jumped to first place as an export destination for many countries, and it is a major source of imports for all countries in the Latin America/Caribbean region. While not a major source of foreign direct investment overall, China has built a strong investment presence in certain countries, particularly in the natural resource and infrastructure sectors. China's influence in Latin America has presented a great opportunity for many countries, but it has also brought new risks. Three main challenges face the region: how to mitigate the impacts of increased commodity concentration as a result of China's strong demand for natural resources; how to avoid other natural resource curse effects; and how to manage the tapering of this growth. Latin American countries' relationships with China vary widely, so there is no single, coordinated regional response. © 2014 The Author. Asian Economic Policy Review © 2014 Japan Center for Economic Research.


DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For decades, the oil and gas industry had been led almost entirely by a male workforce. The Dallas Petroleum Club approved its first female resident voting member in 1989, which wasn’t too long ago. Since that time, the face of the industry has begun to slowly evolve into a more diverse workforce. With the advent of the U.S. Shale Plays and a retiring workforce looming on the horizon, women’s roles in the industry have become increasingly critical for companies to keep up with the demands of projected industry growth. Research conducted by Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY shows that having more female leaders in business can increase company profits. However, according to a 2016 American Petroleum Institute report, women in the industry are projected to account for only 290,000 of the job opportunities,16% of the total through 2035. Thanks to diversity initiatives, STEM programs and individual mentorship programs, the female talent pool is growing. Women are becoming aware of the career prospects in the industry and their leadership numbers should continue to increase. These top women in their fields in the North Texas Oil & Gas Industry have set an example of leadership, blazing the way for other women to become a successful part of the industry. The following WEN co-founders and members are honorees in the Nancy and Jake L. Hamon Oil and Gas Resource Center Exhibit: Jamie Bryan, Alissa Eason, Diana S. Frazier, Christina Kitchens, Kimberly Lacher, Bradleigh LeBlanc, Jill McMillan, Peggy Tibbetts, Virginia Urban, Debra Villarreal, Giuliana M. Vural, Cathy Willenborg, Tracey K. Henderson and Grace K. Weisberg. The exhibit will run during March in conjunction with Women’s History Month at The Nancy and Jake L. Hamon Oil and Gas Resource Center located on the 5th floor of the Dallas Public Library. Garage parking is behind the Library on the corner of Wood & Akard. The exhibit is sponsored by Petro Harvester and co-sponsored by WEN North Texas. If you are interested in becoming a member of WEN-NT for $100 a year, or renewing your existing membership, please visit www.wennorthtexas.org. The first networking luncheon of 2017 in Fort Worth will be held March 9, 2017 at the Fort Worth Petroleum Club starting at Noon. Networking is a powerful tool for today’s professional women. Networking allows women to enrich their professional lives while learning to live a happier, more balanced life. WEN North Texas looks forward to assisting you in continuing the important conversations that support you in improving your life. Diana Frazier will be presenting "Guard Them or Lose Them - An Introduction to Mineral Management" on March 21, 2017 at the Dallas Petroleum Club starting at Noon. A question-and-answer session will follow this timely presentation. The cost for WEN North Texas members to attend is $35. For prospective members, the price is $50. Please register online at http://www.womensenergynetwork.org. Payment can be made by credit card through the online registration portal or the day of the event by cash or check payable to Women’s Energy Network North Texas. For more information about the above events, contact Jamie Lavergne Bryan, Winstead PC, at jbryan@winstead.com. For more information about the Women’s Energy Network – North Texas Chapter, visit www.wennorthtexas.org and click on WEN North Texas. Interested parties can join the North Texas Chapter by clicking on Join Today! on the North Texas Chapter’s home page. The Women’s Energy Network is a nonprofit association of women professionals in the energy industry that provides networking and community outreach opportunities and fosters career and leadership development. Founded in 1994, the organization has more than 2,000 members nationwide. For more information, please visit the WEN North Texas Chapter website at www.wennorthtexas.org. Thank you to our generous 2017 WEN North Texas Sponsors:


VANCOUVER, British Colombia, Nov. 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cuba Ventures Corp. (TSX-V:CUV) (OTCBB:MPSFF) (the “Company”) – Donald J. Trump, the newly elected Republican President of the United States of America confirmed victory over Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Veteran Cuba watchers say that he will in fact act as a pioneer toward widening trade relations between the two countries – the primary rationale being his business history (which will be run by his children during his years as the U.S. President).  Cuba Ventures’ CEO, Steve Marshall stated: “Since I arrived and began doing business in Cuba in the mid-1990’s, I’ve witnessed 3 previous US presidents in office, both Republican and Democratic, Trump will be the fourth. We believe that Trump will demand more in return from Cuba than the Obama administration, which will in turn create a much more profitable commercial relationship for both, the US and Cuba, the latter being in desperate need of partners and funding since the demise of Venezuela’s economy. We believe companies currently doing business in Cuba should benefit significantly from a “pro-commerce” US government, and we have no reason to believe that won’t be the case with the Trump administration.” On Novemeber 7th 2016, Mr.Trump posted to his verified personal Facebook account: “Today in Florida, I pledged to stand with the people of Cuba and Venezuela in their fight against oppression, and to help the people of Haiti to recover and rebuild, and to bring jobs and education to all the communities of Florida -- including Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Venezuelans and all Floridians.” Just 3 weeks prior Mr. Trump was in Florida and stated: "I would do whatever you have to do to get a strong agreement. And people want an agreement, I like the idea of an agreement, but it has to be a real agreement. So if you call that for negotiation purposes, whatever you have to do to make a great deal for the people of Cuba." Donald Trump, who has launched various real estate developments in Latin America (including hotels in Panama and Brazil, as well as the Cap Cana luxury complex in the Dominican Republic), sees potential in developing similar ventures in a future Cuba.  In fact, various press sources noted that Trump has long kept his eye on Cuba, and will likely build Trump hotels & resorts in that country (through his children) when it is legal to do so: ● Bloomberg Businessweek magazine (dated July 28, 2016), noted that executives from the Trump Organization visited Cuba as recently as 2015, in part to identify golf-related opportunities.  Before then, Trump executives visited Cuba in 2012 & 2013.  “Among the (Trump Organization)’s more important visitors to Cuba have been Larry Glick, Trump’s executive vice president of strategic development, who oversees golf, and Edward Russo, Trump’s environmental consultant for golf.  On later trips, they were joined by Jason Greenblatt, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, and Ron Lieberman, another Trump golf executive.” Bloomberg Businessweek also noted that Cuban-American lawyer Tony Zamora, a specialist in Cuban golf ventures and a publisher of the Miami-based publication CubaStandard, reportedly advised the Trump Organization on Cuba for nearly a decade.  Zamora confirmed to that publication his discussions with the Trump Organization the possibility of teaming up with a foreign company to give Trump a minority position in a Cuban golf venture (a deal that failed to materialize). ● Newsweek ran an October 2016 front page feature on a Trump company spending at least $68,000 in 1998 to explore business opportunities in Cuba (at a time when allocating funds on business development in that country was barred under the U.S. embargo against Cuba).  In 1998, Bill Clinton was still president, and speculation swirled about him lifting the Cuba trade embargo before leaving office. Since Trump has generated political capital with elements of the Republican Party, a U.S. government led by that party has shown that relations with Cuba do move forward.  According to USDA statistics, between 2001-2015, Cuba purchased $5.0 billion in agricultural products from U.S. – in cash (which is remarkable, since Cuba traditionally purchased food imports on credit from suppliers like Canada, Brazil, France and even Vietnam). Ironically, Cuba made an increasing amount of U.S. food purchases during the Republican administration of GW Bush (2001-2008) – with the majority of suppliers being from traditionally conservative farm-belt states like Georgia, Louisiana, Nebraska and Texas, among others.  In fact, Cuba’s food purchasing agency, ALIMPORT, under the leadership of then-CEO Pedro Alvarez, cultivated relationships with both agribusiness firms from these and other states, as well as politicians like (former) Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, who happily pitched their states’ farm products to Cuba.  Heineman, a Trump supporter who was chosen as his honorary campaign chairman in Nebraska earlier this year, visited the International Trade Fair of Havana (FIHAV) during the 2000s to personally help close deals to ship his state’s wheat and other farm products to Cuba. Cuban officials like Alvarez have shown that even during a Republican administration like GW Bush’s, legalized trade relations between the two countries still flourished – proving that business often trumps politics.  With Donald Trump’s business interests lying in areas that are a natural fit for Cuba – luxury tourism and real estate development, a Republican administration under him may not harm U.S.-Cuban relations after all. It`s the Company`s opinion that as opposed to President Obama’s policy toward Cuba – which was driven by an ideological affinity toward that government, a Trump presidency will likely advance relations with that country based mainly on mutually-beneficial business dealings. Since Trump ran his presidential campaign on the promise of job creation for ordinary Americans, an expansion of U.S. trade relations with Cuba would help him fulfill that agenda – with American jobs being created in areas as diverse as the travel sector, real estate development, construction (including architectural and engineering expertise), and legal services. Even the Trump-friendly corporate lobbying group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) has called for the normalization of U.S. trade relations with Cuba, which would be consistent with its free market agenda.  According to a report issued by the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), under normalized economic relations, U.S. exports of goods and services to Cuba could reach $6 billion per year, while Cuban exports to the United States could reach $7 billion – figures that are not likely to be ignored by Trump and his associates. Cuba Ventures Corp. is a publicly traded Canadian company capitalizing on the growth and unique opportunities in the USD $3.5 billion per year Cuban travel and tourism industry.  Travelucion Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cuba Ventures, is a digital media and marketing company which owns a vast portfolio of Cuba related websites and online portals providing travel in formation, featuring individual web assets for Cuba's popular cities and towns, online booking solutions and online reservations through proprietary software, catering to international visitors to Cuba. Travelucion's online travel division is a duly licensed retail travel supplier handling millions of dollars in sales annually. Travelucion's 432 Cuba focused multilingual websites generate over 30 million page-views per year, directing traffic to the company's online booking and e-commerce sites.  Recently this traffic has become a cornerstone of the company’s assets, positioning it to direct highly targeted web traffic towards specific partnerships including the MOU with SPORTTU and Collaboration Agreement with Mercosur. Cuba Ventures will continue to monetize and develop its Cuba centric web traffic going forward. Travelucion’s websites cover all facets of Cuba including over 80 travel destinations, hotels & resorts, bed & breakfast, tours, car rentals, restaurants, as well as Cuban culture, history, music, celebrities, sports, medical treatments and more. Travelucion's revenues have been rapidly growing in the wake of the notable shift in American policy towards Cuba. With diplomatic relations now normalized and restrictions on qualified American travel to Cuba relaxed, opening of the multi-billion dollar travel market to the Caribbean nation is becoming a reality. Further, with President Obama having now legalized the sale of Cuban cigars, rum and foods, we see yet another illustration of improved relations with Cuban goods now available across North America, opening up an all new advertising opportunity for Cuban producers desirous of promoting their brands and products on a worldwide stage. Travelucion's continued media dominance over the past two decades has provided Cuba Ventures with a competitive advantage in the burgeoning Cuba media space. With the relaxing of rules for American travelers to Cuba and the potential of further easing, along with recently announced sales of Cuban goods in the US, growth and investment opportunities are  on the rise in Cuba. For further information on Cuba Ventures Corp. (TSX-V:CUV) or Travelucion Media visit the Company's website at www.cubaventures.com or www.travelucion.com.  Cuba Ventures Corp. has approx.. 62.6 million shares issued and outstanding. For further information contact myself or: Nick Findler Cuba Ventures Corp. Telephone: 604-639-3850 Toll Free: 800-567-8181 Facsimile: 604-687-3119 Email: info@cubaventures.com NEITHER THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT OF THIS NEWS RELEASE. This release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address events or developments that management of the Company expects, are forward-looking statements. Although management believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements if management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements, include market prices, exploration and development successes, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Please see the public filings of the Company at www.sedar.com for further information.

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