China Silk Road Summit – constructive suggestions welcome

The China Silk Road will be one of the topics next week, when the country is arranging a Summit around the theme.The Belt and Road Initiative is a key initiative of the President Xi Jinping to rebuild the old Silk Road from China to Europe and beyond.
The Initiative has got questions about the Chinese influence abroad and the possible unsustainable long-term financial arrangements and also human rights. According to Reuters, the US Goverment will send only low level representatives to the event, while the countries are also working with the trade talks.

Chinese top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi told media representatives that the Initiative have brought real benefits to participating countries.

– The partnership relationship is not geopolitical tool, but a platform for co-operation, he said on Friday.

According to the China Goverment, the State is welcoming all to come up with constructive suggestions while the Initiative will be developing over time.

The Summit will be at the end of April and countries like Pakistan, Russia, Switzerland and Austria will be sending their foreign leaders to the Summit. More than 150 countries are sending their delegations to the Summit. Italy was the first G7 country to sign the partnership last month.

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EU to start new trade talks with the US

The European Union countries have agreed to start new trade talks with the US. The EU Commission have now the formal authorisation to proceed with the matter.

But this situation is still facing resistance from France and Belgium. The France President Emmannuel Macron has said that he objects the talks because of the US withdrawl from the Paris Agreement in 2017.

And the issue is also about agricultural goods. The US wants them be part of the trade deal and the EU is not interested including them. It is also believed that the EU elections in May will increase the rethorik of protectionism in the agricultural products in France and in Belgium.

According to New York Times, the US Congress has made clear that it will not ratify any trade agreement with the EU that does not include agriculture. The Trump’s administration have been insisted to include them in the trade deal.

Last week the US Goverment announced that they are planning to propose new tariffs regarding civilian aircraft and agrigoods like French cheese and Italian olive oils. The reason for this was the WTO research, which found that the EU subsidies to Airbus (AIR) have had negative impact on the US trade. On the other hand, the WTO has shown that this is vice versa with the US subsidies in Boeing.

On the agenda there is also the tariffs proposed to the EU car import to the US.

Germany, the biggest automanufacturing country in the EU, increased its car production to 451 400 units in March 2019. The GDP from manufacturing in general was 171 billion euros during the fourth quarter of 2018.

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US-China trade talks to continue this week

ChinaEmbassyHelsinkiApril2019

The US – China trade talks are to continue this week. Although there have been different opinions of the timetable and the level of the negotiations, there are positive comments about the situation.

Accordign to the South China Morning Post, both countries said last week that progress was made in the talks, although the White House commented that there is a lot of  work to be done still. President Donald Trump called the deal to be an epic and historic if it happens.

There has been an estimate of the 4 week extenstion to the negotiations, but China has not commented the timetable.

Today on Tuesday the US President Donald Trump commented the trade negotiations with the EU and said that the US will propose 11 billion  dollars worth of tariffs on production from the EU.

The reason for this is that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has found that the subsidies to Airbus have impacted the US trade. According to the administration the tariffs would affect for example civilian aircraft and agricultural goods (including the French cheese and Italian olive oil).

The China International Expo is also having its roadshow in Europe at the same time. Today the roadshow was in Helsinki. The 2nd China International Import Expo Business Exhibition will be in Shanghai in November this year.

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US-China trade talks to continue next week

The US- China trade talks are to continue next week. The agenda topics include for example technology patents and IPrights. These talks, which have been in the headlines during this year, are closely followed by major industries due to the proposed tariffs.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He has met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday in Washington. There has been speculation of the trade deal in the next 4-6 weeks and the new Trade Summit around it.

 

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Brexit: UK Goverment accepted citizen rights – Merkel and Macron in Paris

The UK Goverment has accepted the citizen rights in the Brexit depate in the Parliament today evening. According to Reuters, UK will turn to European Union to try to secure citizen´s rights if there will be no-deal Brexit.

“I’m happy to confirm … that we will write to the EU institutions and that this will be done in the coming days,” Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said according to Reuters.

The question of delaying the Brexit has got support from Germany and France. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President Emmanuel Macron commented the Brexit-situation in Paris today.

Both countries would give more time if needed, but the message from President Macron was that there need to be choices taken in order to extend the timeframe.

The German and France leaders were having trade talks in Paris and the countries agreed to present  Bryssels a new industrialstrategy with China. They also talked about the EU army, which the countries have different approaches at the moment.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed out, that the EU countries must have a clear and unite exports strategy regarding the army products, while at the moment they have different views for example regarding Saudi Arabia.

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China´s Xi Jinping: Focus on stable development

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the country need to focus on stable economic and financial development according to news agency Xinhua on Saturday.

– It is necessary to focus on preventing risks on the basis of steady growth, while strengthening the countercyclical adjustment of fiscal policy and monetary policy and ensuring that the ecnomomy operates in a reasonable range, Xi said.

According to President Xi, preventing and resolving financial risks, especially systemic financial risks, is a fundamental task, the Xinhua reported.

One of the biggest issues lately has also been the US China trade talks. According to Reuters, the country negotiators met also on Saturday to reach the agreement and trying to prevent the escalation of the trade tariffs.

According to US President Donald Trump and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin the countries have reached an understanding of the currency issues. The US have argued long time that China´s yuan is undervalued and thus giving trade advantage and partly offsetting the US tariffs. No more information was given about the currency agreement.

It is expected that the President Xi Jinping and Donald Trump would meet next time in March in Florida.

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Stocks ended up – positive trade talks

Financial markets ended up for the week in Wall Street. Dow Jones index was up 1,74 % to 25883 points, S&P 500 -index 1,09 % to 2775 points and Nasdaq-index 0,61 % to 7472 points.

For the Friday trading, the positive outlook for the US-China trade talks help lifted the markets as well as the good US consumer outlook. On the other hand, the national emergency regarding the financing of the border wall between US-Mexico did not have any bigger impact.

In Europe the Brexit-discussion continued and according to Bloomberg News, the Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney had said that the EU will offer a package to help the UK PM Theresa May to get the deal but would not accept “unreasonable British demands”. In the industry, the car manufacturer Porsche (PAH3) said that it is possible that a hard Brexit might lift the UK car prices by 10 %. The Brexit talks will continue next week.

In London, the FTSE index was up 0,55 % to 7236 points and in Germany the DAX-index was up 1,99% to 11299 points and in France ended up 1,79 % to 5153 points. During one month, the Dax has gained 3,75 % , CAC 5,69 % and FTSE 3,85%.

In Asia, the Nikkei-index was down 1,13 % to 20900 points and in HongKong the HangSeng index was also down 1,87% to 27900 points.

In the forex markets, the euro was trading quite flat at 1,129 dollars, but the UK sterling was up 0,67% to 1,288 dollars.

The Stock Exchanges will be closed on Monday in the US due to the President´s Day.

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