Economy

China’s consumer demand trumps political friction, says Alibaba boss

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The chief executive of Alibaba Group, the Chinese retail goliath often described as Asia’s Amazon, says rising political tension between China and Australia has not damaged business or trade relations. Patrick Hatch The Age Daniel Zhang instead insists that demand from middle-class Chinese consumers is too great to be disrupted by geopolitical friction, and sees “tremendous” growth ahead for Australia exporters to the region. Some business leaders, including Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, have criticised domestic debate about Chinese Communist Party influence on Australian politics and China’s ... Read More »

Mexico’s EU trade deal lands a punch on Trump

European Union Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom (L) and Mexico's Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal talk to the media in Mexico City, on May 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PEDRO PARDO        (Photo credit should read PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)

Accord with Brussels comes as Washington squeezes Latin American country in NAFTA talks. By HANS VON DER BURCHARD AND CHRISTIAN OLIVER Politico Mexico delivered a defiant political riposte to U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday by agreeing a trade deal with the EU. Trump’s push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement helped catalyze Mexico’s talks with Brussels over the past year, as the Latin American country sought to diversify away from dependence on an increasingly hostile… Diplomats said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and… ... Read More »

Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out

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The Communist Manifesto foresaw the predatory and polarised global capitalism of the 21st century. But Marx and Engels also showed us that we have the power to create a better world. Yianis Varoufakis The Guardian For a manifesto to succeed, it must speak to our hearts like a poem while infecting the mind with images and ideas that are dazzlingly new. It needs to open our eyes to the true causes of the bewildering, disturbing, exciting changes occurring around us, ... Read More »

What’s behind the big commodities rally, and why it could be just getting started

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After years of languishing under low market volatility and weak global growth, commodities are on the move higher. One index is at a multi-year peak as prices rise in energy, gold and base metals. Traders in the space see the rally continuing in the face of a trade war threat and as the market gets more comfortable with the global economic growth theme. Threats of a trade war and continued signs of global growth are combining to create myriad opportunities ... Read More »

Bill Jamieson: Here’s how the world is leaving Scotland behind

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Economic optimism about the global economy doesn’t extend to Scotland, writes Bill Jamieson. The Scotsman Few forecasts should have more cheered Scottish Government ministers in their efforts to boost Scotland’s trade and profile overseas than the upbeat International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast for the world economy this week. It predicts that 2018 will be the strongest year for global growth since 2011, hitting 3.8 per cent. That’s an encouraging backdrop for Scotland’s exporters. And the IMF has even made a… ... Read More »

Will a Robot Take My Job?

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A restructuring of the global economy fueled by changes in technological capabilities is underway. These changes will result in a complementary restructuring of entire sectors of the global economy. Daniel M. Gerstein The National Interest A REVOLUTION is occurring at the intersection of technology and labor. Change will be uneven across sectors and across the globe. But it will come. Technological advances in artificial intelligence (AI), autonomy and robotics will fuel these changes, aided by the synergistic effects of the ... Read More »

Iran to replace US dollar with euro in financial reports

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Amid currency crisis, switch is aimed at circumvent restrictions on accessing US dollar and prevent market instability. Saeed Jalili AlJazeera Tehran, Iran – The government of Iran has announced plans to replace the US dollar with the euro in official financial reporting, according to state-run media. The move on Wednesday is seen as part of efforts to circumvent restrictions on accessing the US currency amid tensions with Washington, as well as prevent market instability generated due to fluctuations in the value of Iranian rial against the dollar. ... Read More »

Divisions in EU becoming like a ’civil war,’ France’s Macron warns

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French President Emmanuel Macron warned on April 17 that divisions between democracy and authoritarianism in Europe were becoming like a “civil war”. STRASBOURG – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet In a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg that set out his vision of a reformed EU, Macron called on the bloc to resist the siren song of populism. The young French leader’s call to arms comes after eurosceptic populists won elections in Hungary and Italy, and as Brussels confronts Poland’s right-wing ... Read More »

Why the EU must support the African Continental Free Trade Area

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The signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) by 44 African countries at a summit of the African Union (AU) in Kigali, Rwanda last month marked an historic moment. Emmanuel Dupuy EUtoday The AfCFTA has the potential to bring over 1.2bn people together into the same market, worth trillions of dollars in GDP. The bloc would be the largest in the world by member states, eclipsing the European Single Market, writes Emmanuel Dupuy, President of the Institute for Prospective ... Read More »

Some German medicine for Trump

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As global stock markets have taken a tumble with recent pronouncements of a potential trade war between the U.S. and China, it is clear that investors bank on trade between the world’s two largest economies as vital to global… Alexis Crow The Washington Post As statements from the campaign trail snowball into larger declarations and potentially more tariffs, it is important to take a step back and examine a basic fact that seems to be overlooked. While much of the ... Read More »

Brussels NO DEAL fears

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REVEALED: EU panic as UK set for TOTAL control of waters EUROPEAN Union fears of a no-deal Brexit intensified tonight after officials admitted it would mean Britain would regain TOTAL control of its fishing waters. Joey Millar Express Brussels has spent much of the months-long negotiations demanding the UK jump through hoop after hoop, reminding Theresa May and her Brexit ministers on several occasions: “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” The prospect of a no-deal situation has been repeatedly ... Read More »

‘Cartel deal’ legal challenge against internet ad ban grows

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The Russian, Chinese and Korean battle against the Google, Twitter, Facebook and Yandex crypto-related advertisement ban has now been joined by groups in Switzerland, Armenia and Kazakhstan. Asia Times The legal challenge against Google, Twitter, Facebook and Yandex for not allowing crypto-related ads is growing. Initially, three organizations – the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACIB), the Korea Venture Business Associations, and LCBT, a Chinese association of crypto investors – created the Eurasian Association of Blockchain in March to ... Read More »

Europe Caught in the Middle as Trump Threatens China

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FRANKFURT — One is a good customer, a military ally and an old friend, although lately its behavior has been erratic. The other is also a good customer, and despite a few spats and some lingering mistrust, it’s getting to be a more lucrative and dependable business partner all the time. Jack Ewing The New York Times Which side would you choose? That more or less sums up the dilemma confronting Europe as it watches the escalating conflict between its ... Read More »

Soros prepares to trade cryptocurrencies as prices plunge

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George Soros called cryptocurrencies a bubble in January. Now his $26 billion ($33 billion) family office is planning to trade digital assets. Alastair Marsh, Saijel Kishan and Katherine Burton The Age – Bloomberg Adam Fisher, who oversees macro investing at New York-based Soros Fund Management, got internal approval to trade virtual coins in the last few months, though he has yet to make a wager, according to people familiar with the matter. A spokesman declined to comment. Soros, speaking at ... Read More »

Putting Trump’s Trade Bombast to the Test

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President Trump’s recent threat to escalate his trade skirmish with China into a full-scale trade war is a foolish gambit with little historical precedent. Editorial Board The New York Times It is also hard to take seriously, given how quickly Mr. Trump changes his mind and how rarely and clumsily he tends to follow through on tough talk. Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he wants to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports in response to Beijing’s plan ... Read More »

Finland Gives Consent for Nord Stream 2 Construction in Finnish Economic Zone

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Finnish government said on Wednesday it had given its consent for construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through its exclusive economic zone. Sputnik “On 5 April 2018, the Finnish Government gave its consent to the Nord Stream 2 AG’s gas pipeline construction project in respect of the section that passes through Finland’s exclusive economic zone,” the statement read. According to the statement, the consent is conditional, “which means the applicant has to meet the terms presented in the Government’s… “The party responsible ... Read More »