Now a Trade Partnership with Africa?

A few days ago, the United States reached agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with eleven other nations (see list in tables below). Here is how the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) describes the TPP on its web page:

President Obama’s trade agenda is dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses. That’s why we are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 21st century trade agreement that will boost U.S. economic growth, support American jobs, and grow Made-in-America exports to some of the most dynamic and fastest growing countries in the world.

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CNBC: Governments Organize Matchmaking as Asia’s Birth Rates Fall

Several Asian countries have come up with special programs and innovative ways of encouraging people to get married and have more kids.


For Singapore citizen Kelly Ang, 25, who married a year ago, having a baby is not a top priority. The public relations professional, who works 11 hours a day, said she has no time to raise a family.

“At the moment I think it is difficult if I were to hold my current job and have a child too,” Ang said. “The work-life balance is something that would be a deterrent.”

Ang is one of many young people across Asia whose decision to put off having children is worrying their governments. From Taiwan to Singapore, authorities are stepping in to organize speed dating and other matchmaking events in a desperate attempt to stem falling birth rates. READ MORE.

Singapore: 2012 is a Demographic Turning Point

The National Population and Talent Division of the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore released an ‘Occasional Paper’ outlining five different scenarios for the city-state’s population.  It calls 2012 ‘a demographic turning point’ and forecasts that, with the current fertility rate of 1.2 children per woman, the population of citizens now numbering 3.3 million would start shrinking by 2025 and could decline by nearly 20% by 2060. The various scenarios discuss the impact of accepting different numbers of immigrants ranging from 15,000 to 25,000 annually. It deems that “an immigration inflow of between 20K and 25K new citizens each year will keep the citizen population size stable” but recognizes that the median population age would still rise owing to the country’s high life expectancy. “There will be fewer citizens at the working-ages to support the growing pool of elderly citizens”, warns the report. read the full report.