INTERNATIONAL TRADE NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2021

2021-12-02

31/10/2021

China applies to join Digital Economy Partnership Agreement

BEIJING – China has applied to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) on Monday, the Ministry of Commerce said.

China said the agreement will help China’s cooperation with member countries in the digital economy.

 

01/11/2021

American distilleries look to rebuild their business in Europe

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – American whiskey producers raised a glass to celebrate a transatlantic agreement to end retaliatory tariffs that sank their sales in Europe. Now comes the challenge of rebuilding brands that were hampered in those ultra-competitive markets during the long-running trade dispute.

 

02/11/2021

Taliban bans use of foreign currency in Afghanistan – Spokesman

Kabul – The Taliban announced a total ban on the use of foreign currency in Afghanistan on Tuesday, a move that is certain to cause further disruption to an economy pushed to the brink of collapse by the abrupt withdrawal of international support.

The surprise move came hours after at least 25 people were killed and more than 50 wounded when gunmen attacked Afghanistan’s largest military hospital after two powerful explosions at the site in central Kabul.

 

02/11/2021

Taiwan hosts first official delegation from European Parliament

TAIPEI – Taiwan is high on the European Union’s agenda, the grouping’s first official parliamentary delegation to the democratic island said Wednesday, amid growing tension between Taipei and Beijing.

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory and does not rule out taking it by force, has no formal diplomatic ties with any European nation except tiny Vatican City. However, it wants to deepen its relations with EU members.

“Our visit shows that Taiwan is now high on the agenda of Brussels and all member states,” Raphael Glucksmann, a French MEP, told Taiwan’s Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang at a meeting.

“In Europe we also face interference from authoritarian regimes, and we have come to learn from you,” added Glucksmann, who heads the delegation.

 

04/11/2021

US Republicans want billions for military aid to Taiwan to counter China

WASHINGTON – US Republican lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday that seeks to provide $2 billion a year and other aid to bolster Taiwan’s defences as it faces growing pressure from China.

The legislation would authorise $2 billion a year in Foreign Military Financing – US grants and loans that allow countries to buy US-produced weapons and defence equipment – through 2032 for the self-ruled island.

Although the bill is sponsored solely by Republicans, the minority party in the Senate joins congressional pressure on Democratic President Joe Biden to take bolder steps to strengthen ties with diplomatically isolated Taiwan.

The US is the democratic island’s main military supplier.

The main sponsor of the bill is Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Co-sponsors include Republican Senators Mike Crapo, John Cornyn, Bill Hagerty, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio.

 

04/11/2021

UK prepares to produce rare earth magnets to reduce dependence on China

LONDON – Britain could revive domestic production of super-strong magnets used in electric vehicles and wind turbines with government backing to reduce its dependence on China and achieve vital cuts in carbon emissions, two sources with direct knowledge said.

A magnet factory would help Britain, which has hosted UN climate talks at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, meet its target of banning petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

British magnet production disappeared in the 1990s when the industry realised it could not compete with China, but with huge growth in demand the government wants to ensure sufficient supply.

Last month, the government set out its plans to achieve its net zero emissions strategy, which includes spending £850 million ($1.15 billion) to support the rollout of electric vehicles (EVs) and their supply chains.

The study outlines how a plant could be built by 2024 and eventually produce enough powerful magnets to power one million EVs a year, according to sources who have read the report.

 

09/11/2021

Mashreq bank fined $100m in New York over Sudan violations

Mashreqbank PSC, Dubai’s third-largest bank, will pay $100 million to settle allegations that it violated US sanctions by illegally processing more than $4 billion in Sudan-linked payments, a New York financial regulator said on Tuesday.

The oldest privately owned lender in the United Arab Emirates processed the transactions between 2005 and 2014 and instructed employees to leave out key

 

10/11/2021

China’s Iranian oil purchases rebound on lower prices and new quotas

SINGAPORE/LONDON – Chinese imports of Iranian oil have remained above half a million barrels a day on average for the past three months, traders and ship-tracking firms said, as buyers judge that getting crude at cheap prices offsets any risk of breaking US sanctions.

Chinese purchases of Iranian crude have continued this year despite sanctions that, if implemented, would allow Washington to remove violators from the US economy.

President Joe Biden’s administration has so far opted not to enforce sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies amid negotiations that could revive a 2015 nuclear deal that would allow Iran to sell its oil openly again.

After a drop in June and July from a record in May as buyers ran out of import permits, Chinese independent refiners again embraced cheaper crude from Iran as the government released new quotas, traders and ship-tracking sources said.

 

10/11/2021

China Import Fair records $70.72 billion in “intentional” deals

SHANGHAI – “Intentional” deals worth $70.62 billion were signed at the fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE), down 2.6 per cent from last year, state broadcaster CCTV said, citing an organiser of the event that closed on Wednesday.

It quoted Sun Chenghai, deputy director-general of the bureau responsible for organising the week-long import fair in Shanghai’s commercial centre as highlighting the country’s openness to foreign imports.

Last year, state media said that intentional deals worth 72.62 billion dollars were agreed at the fair.

 

11/11/2021

Rivian valued at more than $100 billion on debut after world’s biggest IPO in 2021

Rivian Automotive Inc (RIVN.O) shares jumped as much as 53 per cent on its Nasdaq debut, giving the Amazon-backed electric vehicle maker a market valuation of more than $100 billion after the world’s largest initial public offering this year.

Rivian shares closed at $100.73, a jump of nearly 30 per cent from their offering price.

This made Rivian the second most valuable US automaker after Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), which is worth $1.06 trillion. Although it has just started selling vehicles and has little revenue to report, Rivian ranked ahead of General Motors Co (GM.N) at $86.05 billion, Ford Motor Co (F.N) at $77.37 billion and Lucid Group (LCID.O) at $65.96 billion.

Rivian is also struggling to ramp up production in Illinois, as supply chain constraints have affected automakers around the world. Last July, the electric vehicle maker said COVID-19 and its impact on suppliers had delayed the launch of vehicles outside Illinois.

Since last year, electric vehicle companies have become some of the most attractive investments. Including securities such as options and restricted stock units, Rivian’s fully diluted valuation exceeded $106 billion at its debut price.

The IPO enabled Rivian to raise about $12 billion to fund its growth, a figure that could rise to $13.7 billion if the full over-allotment of shares is exercised. This makes it the largest US IPO since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK) went public in September 2014.

 

11/11/2021

Asian stocks fall, dollar shines on inflation fears

TOKYO – Inflation fears pressured Asian stock markets and boosted the dollar on Thursday after data last night showed US consumer prices rose at the fastest pace since 1990 last month, boosting arguments for a faster tightening of Federal Reserve policy.

Nominal US Treasury yields soared, with that on the benchmark 10-year note seeing the biggest jump since February, while real yields, which take inflation into account, fell to record lows.

Gold rose to a five-month high, and bitcoin hit a record high as investors sought hedges against inflation.

Oil retreated sharply from seven-year highs after US President Joe Biden said his administration was looking for ways to reduce energy costs.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (. MIAPJ0000PUS) was down 0.85%, led by a 1.19% drop in Australia’s benchmark index (.AXJO).

Chinese equities (. CSI300) fell 0.09%.

Japan’s Nikkei (. N225) bucked the trend and rose 0.24%, supported by a weaker yen against a resurgent dollar and as US stock futures rose slightly.

Overnight, however, the S&P 500 (.SPX) fell 0.82%, its worst day in more than a month. It was the first consecutive declines in a month, after the index closed the week at an all-time high.

The dollar index, which measures the currency against six major peers including the yen and the euro, remained just below Wednesday’s high of 94.905, a level not seen since July last year.

 

15/11/2021

Shell to drop “Dutch” name and move headquarters to London

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has announced a major overhaul of its legal and tax structure that will see the company move away from the Netherlands amid deteriorating relations with what has been its home country for a century.

The changes come at a time when Shell is battling activist investor Dan Loeb, who is demanding that the company split in two to attract shareholders leaving the energy sector over concerns about climate change.

 

16/11/2021 

Ukraine lodges formal protest against Putin’s decree on trade in eastern Ukraine

KYIV – Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that a Russian presidential decree on trade with separatist-held areas in eastern Ukraine was “gross interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the government to lift restrictions on exports and imports of goods between Russia and parts of Ukraine’s separatist-held Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

 

15/11/2021

Scepticism in Saudi Arabia’s race to attract investment

DUBAI – Saudi Arabia could have a credibility problem if it keeps shifting the goalposts for the amount of foreign investment it wants to turn its vision of a future beyond oil into a reality, financial sources and analysts said.

Five years after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched Vision 2030 to end the kingdom’s dependence on fossil fuels, foreign direct investment (FDI) still falls far short of targets.

When Riyadh unveiled the plan in 2016, it aimed to boost annual FDI to almost $19bn by 2020, up from $8bn in 2015, but last year it was only $5.5bn. The longer-term goal was for FDI to reach 5.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, although Riyadh did not give a dollar target.

Now the kingdom has upped the ante again, saying it wants $100 billion of FDI annually by 2030, a new target that many analysts consider too ambitious.

 

16/11/2021

Japanese export growth hits 8-month low as auto trade slumps

TOKYO – Japanese exports halted seven months of double-digit growth in October as auto shipments slowed, as global supply constraints hit the country’s major manufacturers.

The slowdown in growth shows Japan’s vulnerability to supply chain bottlenecks, which have been particularly damaging to the auto industry and have cast a shadow over the outlook for trade.

Exports rose 9.4 per cent year-on-year in October, Finance Ministry data showed on Wednesday, slightly below the average market forecast of a 9.9 per cent rise in a Reuters poll. The increase followed 13.0 per cent in the previous month and was the weakest expansion since February’s decline. Automotive shipments fell 36.7 per cent.

 

17/11/2021 

US, EU, Japan trade ministers agree to renew trilateral partnership – Statement

TOKYO – The trade ministers of the United States, the European Union and Japan said on Wednesday they have agreed to renew a trilateral partnership to address global challenges posed by the non-trade policies and practices of third countries.

In a joint statement, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and Japanese Trade Minister Koichi Hagiuda said they intended to meet in person on the sidelines of the upcoming World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The conference will be held from 30 November to 3 December.

 

18/11/2021

United States says new Indo-Pacific economic framework is not a typical trade deal

KUALA LUMPUR – The Indo-Pacific economic framework planned by the United States will be inclusive and flexible and will not be structured as a typical free trade agreement, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Thursday.

In a conference call during a visit to Malaysia, Raimondo said discussions on the framework are in preliminary stages, but could include several key areas, including the digital economy, supply chain resilience, infrastructure, export controls and clean energy.

 

18/11/2021

India’s Modi urges democracies to cooperate to make cryptocurrencies secure

MUMBAI, Nov 18 – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged cooperation among the world’s democracies to ensure that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin do not “end up in the wrong hands”, making the comments as his government drafted new rules for digital currencies.

Modi did not elaborate on those fears in his speech delivered virtually at the Sydney Dialogue, a forum focused on emerging, critical and cyber technologies.

But officials in India and elsewhere have pointed to the dangers of cryptocurrencies being used by terrorist groups and organised crime, as well as the destabilising risk they pose to national economies.

After extolling the opportunities offered by cyber-age technology, Modi sounded a note of caution regarding digital currencies.

“For example, cryptocurrency or Bitcoin. It is important that all the democratic nations work together on this

and make sure that it does not end up in the wrong hands, which can ruin our youth,” Modi said.

 

19/11/2021

Lithuania to get US trade support amid China’s fury over Taiwan

VILNIUS – Lithuania will sign a $600 million export credit agreement with the US Export-Import Bank next week, Economy Minister Ausrine Armonaite told Reuters, days after China warned it would “take all necessary measures” after Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy.

 

19/11/2021

Fashion giant PVH to close factory; Ethiopia blames U.S. sanctions

ADDIS ABABA – Global fashion giant PVH Corp is to close a manufacturing plant in Ethiopia, the company told Reuters on Friday, two weeks after the African country lost duty-free access to the United States over the ongoing conflict in Tigray.

Government spokesman Legesse Tulu said the closure showed the impact of “unfair sanctions” by the United States, which would disproportionately affect the country’s poor and women.

The move by PVH, which owns Calvin Klein, Speedo and Tommy Hilfiger, is the first withdrawal by a major manufacturer following the suspension of duty-free access. It is a blow to the Ethiopian economy, which is already grappling with high inflation, drought and a year-long war that has killed thousands of civilians and displaced millions.

This year, PVH sold several brands, and the company said this led it to begin planning a transition of facilities to a trusted supply partner active in Ethiopia.

 

22/11/2021

African countries make do as China narrows the Belt and Road

NAIROBI – Deep in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, members of the National Youth Service tirelessly wield machetes to clear the dense bush that hides more than a century-old railway tracks.

  

24/11/2021

Turkey and UAE sign investment deals worth billions of dollars

ANKARA – Turkey and the United Arab Emirates signed agreements on Wednesday for billions of dollars’ worth of investments, including in technology and energy, following talks between President Tayyip Erdogan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to Ankara, the first in years, comes as the two countries work to repair deteriorating ties and amid a currency crisis in Turkey.

The MoUs were signed between the Abu Dhabi Development Holding (ADQ), the Turkish Wealth Fund (TVF) and the Turkish Presidency Investment Office, as well as with some Turkish companies.

The deals underline the countries’ shift towards partnership after a battle for regional influence since the Arab uprisings erupted a decade ago. The disputes spread to the eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf, before Ankara launched a regional charm offensive last year.

 

25/11/2021

Taiwan studying chip cooperation with Eastern European countries

TAIPEI – Taiwan is considering cooperation with three Eastern European countries on semiconductors, a minister said on Thursday, a move that is likely to find favour with Brussels, which has been courting Taiwanese semiconductor companies to manufacture in the bloc.

Taiwan, a technology powerhouse and home to companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), has become the focus of efforts to address a chip shortage that has shut down some auto production lines around the world and whose impact is now also being felt in consumer electronics.

September exports grew 47.64 per cent to $20.6 billion from a year earlier, against the survey’s forecast of 51.57 per cent growth.

Shipments of coal and copper continued to be strong, up more than 160 per cent each, while overseas sales of palm oil, steel and oil and gas products also recorded high growth.

September imports rose by 40.31 per cent to $16.23 billion, against the survey’s 50 per cent forecast, with imports of consumer goods rising by almost 60 per cent.

 

28/11/2021

UK and Israel will work together to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons

Britain and Israel will “work day and night” to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, the two countries’ foreign ministers wrote in a joint article.

“The clock is ticking, increasing the need for close cooperation with our partners and friends to thwart Tehran’s ambitions,” Britain’s Liz Truss and her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid wrote in the Telegraph newspaper on Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said earlier in the day that his country was “very concerned” about the possibility of world powers removing sanctions on Iran in exchange for insufficient limits on its nuclear programme, as negotiators meet in Vienna on Monday in a last-ditch effort to salvage a nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, Israel and Britain will sign a 10-year agreement on Monday to work closely together in areas such as cybersecurity, technology, trade and defence, according to the Telegraph.

The foreign ministers added in the article that Israel will officially become Britain’s “first tier” cyber partner, in a bid to improve its cyber defences as countries around the world face greater threats.

 

29/11/2021

Nuclear talks resume as West wonders whether Iran is serious or stalled

VIENNA – World powers and Iran will meet in Vienna on Monday to try to salvage their 2015 nuclear deal, but with Tehran sticking to its tough stance and Western powers growing increasingly frustrated, hopes of a breakthrough appear slim.

Diplomats say time is running out to resurrect the pact, which then US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, angering Iran and dismaying the other powers involved – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

Six rounds of indirect talks were held between April and June. The new round begins after a hiatus caused by the election of a new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line cleric.

Tehran’s new negotiating team has made demands that US and European diplomats consider unrealistic, according to Western diplomats.

 

 

 

29/11/2021

Germany says it is working with US on Nord Stream 2 deal

BERLIN – Germany said on Sunday it was continuing to work closely with the United States on the implementation of an agreement on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea and transports gas from Russia to Germany.

The German foreign ministry said it was continuing to coordinate closely with the US administration on the implementation of a joint statement on the $11 billion pipeline.

The Biden administration has waived sanctions against the pipeline operator and reached a deal with Germany in July, although last week it imposed new sanctions against Russia-linked Transadria Ltd and its vessel.

“We fundamentally reject sanctions between allies,” he said in response to a Reuters query about an Axios report, which said Berlin had urged members of the US Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as doing so would “undermine” US credibility and “ultimately damage transatlantic unity”.

The US and some European countries oppose the pipeline, which bypasses Ukraine.

 

3/11/2021

Ethiopia’s capital is under threat 

Few could have imagined it would come to this. When the civil war began almost a year ago, Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, promised a swift military operation to wipe out the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (tplf), the ruling party in the rebellious Tigray region. The aim, he said, was to bring its leaders to justice for attacking a base housing federal troops. Within a month, Ethiopian federal forces, backed by paramilitaries from the Amhara region as well as troops from Eritrea to the north, had captured almost all of Tigray, including Mekelle, its capital. Abiy declared victory.

 

7/11/2021

Netanyahu’s shadow begins to recede in Israel

The parallel universe politics that unfolded in Jerusalem this month was unusual, even for a holy city full of surprises. In the real Jerusalem on 10 October, Naftali Bennett, Israel’s prime minister (pictured), welcomed outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel to a special cabinet session. In otherworldly Jerusalem, Bennett’s predecessor, Binyamin Netanyahu, held court with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, the son-in-law and daughter of former US president Donald Trump, and Mike Pompeo, his last secretary of state. It was as if the video had been rolled up to 2020, before the voters evicted them all from power.

 

10/11/2021

Ethiopia detains high-level tigers and UN personnel

NAIROBI, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Ethiopian authorities have detained senior Tigrayans – from a bank CEO to priests – as well as United Nations staff in a massive crackdown on suspected supporters of rebel forces in the north, according to people linked to the detainees.

 

12/11/2021

Poland v. EU: Polish court declares several articles of the treaties unconstitutional

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal concluded Thursday that some articles of the European Union treaties are unconstitutional in the country, challenging a key principle of European integration.

The majority of the Polish Constitutional Court, 12 of the 14 judges in the chamber, held that despite being part of the EU, this does not give European courts supremacy over Polish judicial decisions and therefore means that Poland has not transferred its sovereignty to the Union.

With this decision, the Polish judiciary is challenging the principle of the primacy of European law over that of member states – enshrined by the EU Court of Justice in the 1964 Costa v. Enel ruling – in the midst of negotiations between Brussels and Warsaw to approve the pandemic recovery plan.

 

09/11/2021

French ministers to raise concerns with Russia over West African activities

PARIS, Nov 9 (Reuters) – France’s foreign and armed forces ministers will underline their governments’ concern over the Kremlin’s activities in West Africa when they meet their Russian counterparts in Paris on Friday.

 

11/11/2021

Iran conducts large-scale military drill after clash with US navy

Tehran, Iran – Iran’s military is conducting a large-scale military drill at sea, on land and in the air, coming shortly after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the US Navy had a clash in the Sea of Oman over a seized oil tanker.

The drill began on Sunday morning and is expected to incorporate soldiers, ships, armoured vehicles, manned and unmanned aircraft, and missile and radar systems in both offensive and defensive capabilities.

 

5/11/2021

Dutch court overturns oil giant’s record $50bn bankruptcy pay out

The Dutch Supreme Court has cancelled a $50bn arbitration award Russia was ordered to pay former shareholders of bankrupted Russian oil giant Yukos, throwing the case back for appeal and likely years more litigation.

Yukos collapsed in 2006 after oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky fell out with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the government began demanding billions of dollars in alleged back taxes that ultimately resulted in it being seized by the state. Critics said the move was an attempt to silence Khodorkovsky, a vocal opponent of Putin.

 

08/11/2021

Iran wants U.S. assurances it will not abandon nuclear deal if it is revived

DUBAI, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Iran said on Monday the United States must give assurances it would not abandon Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers again if talks to revive the accord succeed.

 

08/11/2021

Kuwaiti government resigns, which could help end political stalemate

KUWAIT, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Kuwait’s government handed in its resignation to the ruling emir on Monday, a move that, along with an amnesty pardoning political dissidents, could help end a standoff with opposition lawmakers that has stymied fiscal reform.

 

29/11/2021

West wonders if Iran is serious or stalling on resumption of talks

VIENNA, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Iran and world powers will meet in Vienna on Monday to try to salvage their 2015 nuclear deal, but with Tehran sticking to its tough stance and Western powers increasingly frustrated, hopes of a breakthrough appear slim.

 

07/11/2021 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces zero-emission targets for business at COP26

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer tells the summit of a series of new targets for the financial sector, including that all UK-listed institutions and companies will be required to publish plans on how they will transition to net zero from 2023.

 

04/11/2021

China says Europe should not send wrong signals on Taiwan

BEIJING, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Europe should not send the wrong signals to Taiwan’s separatist forces, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, after a European Union parliamentary delegation met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen or risk damaging China-EU ties.

The European side should correct its mistake, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular media briefing.

 

04/12/2021

Taiwan files WTO complaint against China in fruit dispute

GENEVA, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Taiwan raised a trade complaint against China at a World Trade Organisation meeting over Beijing’s moves to block imports of two types of fruit from the island, its agriculture council and two other sources said.

Taiwan, whose relations with China are at their lowest point in decades, had previously threatened to raise the issue at the world trade watchdog.

 

06/11/2021

U.S. federal appeals court freezes Biden’s vaccine rule for companies

WASHINGTON, Nov 6 (Reuters) – A U.S. federal appeals court on Saturday stayed the Biden administration’s efforts to require workers at U.S. companies with at least 100 employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations or undergo weekly testing, citing “serious statutory and constitutional problems” with the rule.

 

10/11/2021

Evergrande teeters on the brink of default as $148m payment falls due

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Some bondholders of cash-strapped China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) have missed coupon payments at the end of 30-day grace periods at the close of business in Asia on Wednesday, sources said, pushing the developer back to the brink of default.

 

23/11/2021

Taiwan discusses chips and China’s “coercion” at U.S. meeting

TAIPEI, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Taiwan and the United States discussed chip shortages and how to respond to China’s economic “coercion” during the second session of an economic dialogue launched last year, Taiwan’s Finance Minister Wang Mei-hua said on Tuesday.

 

29/11/2021

Japan, Israel bans foreigners as WHO signals global risk from Omicron

TOKYO/GENEVA, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Japan said on Monday it would close its borders to foreigners, as the world’s third-largest economy joined Israel in adopting the toughest measures against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which the WHO says carries a “very high” global risk of waves.

  

29/11/2021

Taiwan and Europe must defend democracy together, president says

TAIPEI, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Taiwan and Europe must work together to defend against authoritarianism and misinformation, President Tsai Ing-wen told visiting lawmakers from the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on Monday.

  

16/11/2021 

UK firms forced to show how they will get to net zero

Most large UK companies and financial institutions will be forced to show how they intend to meet climate change targets, under rules proposed by the Treasury.

By 2023, they will have to submit detailed public plans on how they will move to a low-carbon future, in line with the UK’s 2050 net zero emissions target.

A panel of experts will set out the standards that the plans must meet to ensure they are not mere spin.

The commitments will not be binding. Environmental groups say this is not enough.

 

3/11/2021

US blacklists Israel’s NSO Group for spyware use

The US Commerce Department on Wednesday blacklisted Israeli companies NSO Group and Candiru, accusing them of supplying spyware to foreign governments that “used these tools to maliciously target” journalists, embassy workers and activists.

Trade officials placed the Israeli companies on the so-called “entity list”, which prohibits companies from buying software components from unlicensed US suppliers.

Also added to the list were Russian company Positive Technologies and Singapore-based Computer Security Initiative Consultancy. The Commerce Department accused these two companies of trafficking “in cyber tools used to gain unauthorised access to information systems”.

 

22/11/2021

Nicaragua detains former OAS ambassador, a critic of Ortega

MEXICO CITY, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Nicaragua’s former ambassador to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Edgard Parrales, was detained in Managua on Monday after the diplomat said President Daniel Ortega’s moves to withdraw from the OAS would not take effect immediately.

  

23/11/2021

Indigenous group seeks stake in $12 billion Woodside LNG project in Scarborough and Pluto

MELBOURNE, Nov 23 (Reuters) – A Western Australian indigenous group is in talks with Woodside Petroleum (WPL.AX) for a stake in its $12 billion Scarborough and Pluto LNG expansion to help secure the future of local traditional owners, a senior indigenous official told Reuters.

 

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