Definitions & Terms Used in stories

Definitions & Terms Used in stories
Online English lessons


Accumulated debt: includes household and public debts.

AIFTA: The Asean–India Free Trade Area (AIFTA) is a free trade area among the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and India

Bandwagoning: where a weaker state aligns with a stronger, adversarial power and concedes that the stronger adversary-turned-partner disproportionately gains in the spoils they conquer together.

BIMSTEC: The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation involving seven countries – Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal – in South Asia and South East Asia. Its main objective is technological and economic co-operation among south Asian and south east Asian countries along the coast of the bay of Bengal

Blockchain: A distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.

Cabotage: Cabotage rights are the right of a company from one country to trade in another country. In aviation, it is the right to operate within the domestic borders of another country.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP): Also known as TPP11 or TPP-11, the CPTPP is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. At the time of its signing, the eleven countries’ combined economies represented 13.4 per cent of the global gross domestic product.

Coronaviruses: are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds.

Corporate debt: The amount of money borrowed by non-financial institutions from the private sector.

Cytokine storm: is a form of systemic inflammatory response syndrome that arises as a complication of some diseases or infections

Current account: The difference between a nation’s savings and its investment. It is defined as the sum of the balance of trade (goods and services exports less imports), net income from abroad and net current transfers. A positive current account balance indicates that the nation is a net lender to the rest of the world, while a negative current account balance indicates that it is a net borrower.

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): The compound annual growth rate isn’t a true return rate, but rather a representational figure. It is essentially an imaginary number that describes the rate at which an investment would have grown if it had grown at a steady rate, which virtually never happens in reality. You can think of CAGR as a way to smooth out an investment’s returns so that they may be more easily understood.


Empirical study: An empirical study is one that includes scientific methodology based on experimentation, systematic observation, or measurement, rather than theoretical formulation.

Freedom of navigation: a principle of customary international law that ships flying the flag of any sovereign state shall not suffer interference from other states, apart from the exceptions provided for in international law. This right is now also codified as article 87(1)a of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP): The FTAAP is a long-term goal to link Pacific Rim economies from China to Chile, including the United States.

Foreign direct investment: an investment made by a company or individual in one country in business interests in another country, in the form of either establishing business operations or acquiring business assets in the other country, such as ownership or controlling interest in a foreign company.


General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): was a multilateral agreement regulating international trade.

Genetically Modified (GM) Food: foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using genetic engineering.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.

GDP per capita: A measure of the total output of a country that takes the gross domestic product (GDP) and divides it by the number of people in the country.

Gini coefficient: a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents, and is the most commonly used measurement of inequality.

Gross national income (GNI) the total domestic and foreign output claimed by residents of a country, consisting of gross domestic product (GDP) plus factor incomes earned by foreign residents, minus income earned in the domestic economy by nonresidents.

Hudud: Is an Islamic concept; punishments which under Islamic law (Shariah) are mandated and fixed by God.

IMF Article IV mission statement: A concluding statement that describes the preliminary findings of IMF staff at the end of an official staff visit (or ‘mission’), in most cases to a member country. Missions are undertaken as part of regular (usually annual) consultations under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, in the context of a request to use IMF resources (borrow from the IMF), as part of discussions of staff monitored programs, or as part of other staff monitoring of economic developments.

Initial public offering (IPO): is a type of public offering in which shares of a company usually are sold to institutional investors that in turn, sell to the general public, on a securities exchange, for the first time.


Least developed country (LCD: low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development.

Lower middle-income: economies with a GNI per capita between $1,026 and $4,035


Memorandum of Understanding (MoU): a bilateral or multilateral agreement between two or more parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. It is often used in cases where parties either do not imply a legal commitment or in situations where the parties cannot create a legally enforceable agreement.

Non-refoulement: a fundamental principle of international law that forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from returning them to a country in which they would be in likely danger of persecution based on “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion

Nontariff measures (NTMs): are generally defined as policy measures other than ordinary customs tariffs that can potentially have an economic effect on international trade in goods, changing quantities traded, or prices or bot.


Phytosanitary certification: is used to attest that consignments meet phytosanitary (regarding plants) import requirements.

Polyethylene terephthalate: Commonly abbreviated as PET, PETE, or the obsolete PETP or PET-P, is the most common thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in fibers for clothing, containers for liquids and foods, thermoforming for manufacturing, and in combination with glass fiber for engineering resins.

Public–private partnership (PPP): A cooperative arrangement between two or more public and private sectors, typically of a long-term nature

Prakas (Cambodia): A proclamation of a ministerial or inter-ministerial decision signed by the relevant Minister(s). A proclamation must conform to the Constitution and to the law or sub-decree to which it refers.

Qanun jinayat: An Islamic Criminal Code Bylaw.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): The RCEP involves the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — plus their regional trading partners China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India.

Revenue losses: Are losses which are realized by carrying on the normal business activities of a company. They occur as a result of sale of stock-in-trade or provision of services to customers at a price that is less than the cost.


Sharia: Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna), prescribing both religious and secular duties and sometimes retributive penalties for lawbreaking.

Sukuk: (Islamic bonds) Islamic bonds, structured in such a way as to generate returns to investors without infringing Islamic law (that prohibits riba or interest).

Special economic zone (SEZ): An area in which business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country.

Supply shock: an event that suddenly increases or decreases the supply of a commodity or service, or of commodities and services in general

Tatmadaw: is the military organisation of Myanmar. The armed forces are administered by the Ministry of Defence and are composed of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): The TPP involves 12 countries: USA, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS): The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.


Vietnam public debt: comprises government debt, debts underwritten by the government and debts incurred by provincial and municipal authorities. Government debt is domestically and internationally incurred by the government and the finance ministry. It does not include debt held by Vietnam’s many loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

VX (nerve agent): an extremely toxic organophosphate, is a tasteless and odorless liquid with an amber-like color that severely disrupts the body’s nervous system and is used as a nerve agent in chemical warfare

World Trade Organization (WTO): is an intergovernmental organization which regulates international trade.

WTO International Technology Agreement (ITA): The aim of the treaty is to lower all taxes and tariffs on information technology products by signatories to zero

Zero-baht tours: Travel packages to Thailand sold in China at such low prices that travel agents make very little money. This is subsidised by tour guides taking tourists to a select number of venues where the guide and travel agency receive large commissions on purchases, often made by tourists who claim to have been bullied into spending their money.

Zoonotic: is an infectious disease caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that spread from non-human animals (usually vertebrates) to humans.



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