Economy

Government adviser urges review of farmers’ tax-breaks

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Tax breaks for UK farmers should be reviewed, the head of a group advising the environment secretary has said. BBC Economist Dieter Helm said the current system of taxpayer-funded support was extremely wasteful and the industry suffered from “subsidy addiction”. Prof Helm said the exemption of farmland and buildings was used to avoid inheritance tax. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said his ideas were not under Government adviser urges… Read More »

Sri Lanka signs Hambantota port deal with China

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Billion-dollar agreement reached despite trade union opposition and protests over security fears, including from India. Al Jazeera and news agencies<imgheight=”1″width=”1″style=”display:none”src=”https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=968100353246427&ev=PageView&noscript=1″/> Sri Lanka has signed a $1.12bn agreement with a state-run Chinese firm to operate a port in the southeast of the country, despite security concerns and protests from trade unions. According to the long-delayed deal reached in the capital Colombo on Saturday, Sri Lanka Ports Authority agreed to sellΒ a 70 percent stake in the Hambantota port to China Merchants Ports ... Read More »

How Long Can China Ignore Its Growing Debt Pile?

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Beijing has been reluctant to tackle reforms to politically sensitive state-owned enterprises, fearing the potential for popular discontent. Anthony Fensom The National Interest Quarter after quarter, China’s gross domestic product numbers keep coming in nearly perfectly on Beijing’s forecasts. The trouble for the world’s second-biggest economy, however, is that its debt keeps on rising while necessary reforms take a back seat to the… According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, GDP expanded by 6.9 percent in the second quarter from ... Read More »

Central Asia’s Silk Road Rivalries

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China and Russia’s separate visions for Central Asia could transform the region’s political and economic landscape as well as relations between the two Eurasian giants. Crisis Group To the smaller, embryonic Central Asian nation states, the new geopolitical realities could offer both economic prosperity as well as worsening instability and conflict. Executive Summary Two new regional initiatives potentially could transform Central Asia’s political landscape. China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, offers multi-billion dollar ... Read More »

Central Asia’s Silk Road Rivalries

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Russia’s and China’s separate visions for Central Asia could transform the region’s political and economic landscape as well as relations between the two Eurasian giants. ICG To the smaller, embryonic Central Asian nation states, the new geopolitical realities could offer both economic prosperity as well as worsening instability and conflict. Executive Summary Two new regional initiatives potentially could transform Central Asia’s political landscape. China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, offers multi-billion dollar investments ... Read More »

UK watchdog to require banks to publish data on service

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[LONDON] Banks in Britain will have to publish data every quarter from next year to show the quality of service they provide to customers to try to boost competition, the… SPH Performance based on set criteria should be measured every three months from April 2018, and published on a bank’s website within six weeks of the end of the quarter, the… First publication is expected in mid-August 2018, with issues such as the… UK watchdog to… Read More »

IMF downgrades UK and US growth forecasts

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The UK and US economies will expand more slowly in 2017 than previously predicted, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). BBC It said “weaker-than-expected activity” in the first three months of the year meant the UK would grow by 1.7%, compared with an earlier 2% forecast. The IMF also revised down its US growth forecast from 2.3% to 2.1%. However, its overall global economic predictions – of 3.5% growth in 2017 and… IMF downgrades UK… Read More »

Australian dollar stung by RBA’s interest

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The Australian dollar slid back below US79¢ on Friday after Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle said there was no automatic reason for rates to rise after a recent outbreak of hawkishness by global… Eryk Bagshaw with Reuters and Bloomberg The Canberra Times The Australian dollar dropped about half a cent to US78.77¢ following the comments, having touched a high of US79.92¢ earlier in the week. “Just as the policy rate in Australia did not need to decline to the very ... Read More »

US calls for smaller deficits in new NAFTA talks

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The US government says trade deficits and market access will top the agenda as it renegotiated trade terms with Mexico and Canada. BBC US President Donald Trump has described the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a “disaster” and ordered fresh talks earlier this year. The objectives have been released in advance of the start of meetings with Canada and Mexico next month. Economists have warned that reaching the goals might be… US calls for… Read More »

Circular economy isn’t a magical fix for our environmental woes

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Solving our ecological crises means diluting the power of global corporations – not propping them up Micha Narberhaus and Joséphine von Mitschke-Collande The Guardian The circular economy’s June jamboree in Finland, attended by around 1,500 experts and policymakers, showed just how much momentum the concept has gained in… Little wonder. The circular economy model – which aims to use closed-loop production to keep resources in play for as long as possible – is presented as a pragmatic, win-win solution; an ... Read More »

The brain drain and youth depression taking over Greece

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As Greece’s financial struggle from the crash continues to worsen, Theresa May warns that failure to tackle the UK’s deficit could see it spiral into a ‘Greek-style… Chloe Farand Independent Chloe Farand meets the young and old Greeks who are worse affected by the lack of jobs and cut to… “Many people in this village live off a plot of land in the winter because there just aren’t any jobs here,” says a mother of… The situation in Greece is worse now than it has ever… The ... Read More »

Refugees are helping others in their situation as social entrepreneurs

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While on the run from war, persecution and natural disasters, refugees are actually helping others in their situation. Jarrod Ormiston The Conversation They are creating organisations and enterprises that train and offer jobs to fellow refugees, giving them a fresh start. And its these enterprises that are also helping countries to overcome some of the challenges of economic and social integration. Our study mapped the… Refugees are helping… Read More »

Rich Pakistanis pay little under country’s unjust tax system

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The poor pay 80% of total taxes collected in Pakistan while the rich contribute a miserable 5% because of special rights, privileges or concessions F.M. Shakil Asia Times The poorest of the poor pay 80% of taxes collected in Pakistan while the rich, whose total contribution to overall tax revenue does not exceed 5%, enjoy special rights or… The poor pay huge indirect taxes on utilities, petrol, and mobile communication which come to 80% of the country’s total… The 36 ... Read More »

How Can Greece Pay Back China?

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: China and Greece have an almost entirely one-sided economic relationship. Roie Yellinek       BESA China’s deep involvement in Greece is part of a long-term strategy to achieve control of the marine paths from China to the EU. This strategy means China is willing to invest and take part in the rehabilitation of Greece – but there will be a price to be paid for… How Can Greece… Read More »

UK business group: Government has no ‘clear plan’ for Brexit

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The President of the Confederation of British Industry Paul Dreschler said that business was “no wiser” about Brexit than a year… Joshua Posaner  Politico The U.K. government has no “clear plan” for Brexit and needs a “serious fact-based discussion about what the future looks like” outside the EU, Paul Drechsler, president of the Confederation of British Industry lobby group, said… Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday show, Drechsler said that… UK business group… Read More »

The European Union Has a Currency Problem

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Germany is largely to blame for it. Milton Ezrati The National Interest Donald Trump, for all his rhetorical clumsiness and intellectual limitations, still sometimes makes a valid point. He does when he says that Germany is “very bad on trade.” However much Berlin claims innocence and good intentions, the fact remains that the euro heavily stacks the deck in favor of German exporters and against others, in Europe and further… It is surely no coincidence that the country’s… The European ... Read More »