China and the EU Come to Agreement

The EU has recently decided to drop its threat to levy punitive tariffs on Chinese telecoms exports. Beijing agreed to talk about limiting its exports credits to Chinese firms in the telcoms sector. showing the EU that it will heed the international binding rules on corporate subsidies.

As Karel De Gucht, the EU Trade Commissioner, said “The EU and China have resolved the telecoms case. The investigation into mobile telecommunications networks from China will not be pursued.”

Both sides have agreed that they will have an independent authority who will monitor market shares of Chinese companies in Europe and European firms that are in China. As the article on DW explained,

“Imports of Chinese telecoms equipment to the EU are worth some 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion), bringing the Asian nation into fierce competition with Europe’s sector heavyweights such as Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent.”

England’s Manufucturers Want to Stay with the EU

England’s manufacturers are saying they want to remain as part of the EU, according to a recent survey. The manufacturers’ organization EEF has found that 85% of people polled would select to stay with the EU, while only 7% want to leave. The EEF presents over 6000 companies and the survey included 160 of them.

Growth in the UK manufacturing sector has definitely slowed, according to two surveys that were carried out in August. The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was down in August from 54.8 in July to 52.5. This is the lowest reading they have had in the last 14 months.l

Commenting on the EEF poll, the chief executive Terry Scuoler said, “Despite the continued problems in the eurozone, manufacturers remain overwhelmingly of the view that our economic wellbeing is inextricably linked to the EU and, we must stay in membership.

It makes no sense to disengage from our major market and it remains fanciful to think we can just pull up the drawbridge and walk away with no consequences.”

EU Taking Hit from Russian Food Ban

The Russian food ban for US, Canadian and EU consumers is certainly going to have an impact – but it will create an even bigger impact for Russia itself. As David Cohen, the Treasury Department undersecretary in charge of economic sanctions explained, “What the Russians have done here is limit the Russian people’s access to food. We don’t do that. Our law doesn’t allow us to do that.”

The EU exported about 11.8 billion euros ($15.8 billion) to Russia last year, which is about 10% of its total agriculture exports. They will feel much of the loss, with Poland, France, the Netherlands and Germany taking the largest hit. As The Daily World article explains,

“The Netherlands send 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) worth of agricultural products to Russia annually, Germany 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion), France 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) and Poland 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion). Poland is Europe’s largest producer of apples; more than half of its production goes to Russia.

President Xavier Beulin of a French farm union said the Russian import ban could affect the country’s fruit and vegetable industry.”

Learn more with the complete article here.



Eastern European News

Banning High Powered Hair Dryers & Other Appliances in the EU

If you live in the EU, you might want to grab that high powered hair dryer and hide it now. That’s because the hair dryer is on the list of 30 appliances that the EU is considering banning in order to curb energy consumption. A study that was commissioned by the EU has identified these 30 appliances which would be restricted.

The ban on powerful vacuum cleaners already began this week. From September 1, companies in the EU will be banned from making or importing vacuum cleaners that are above 1600 watts.

Sales have certainly risen ahead of the deadline with sales jumping for Tesco 44% in the last few nights.

As Guenther Oettinger told Germany’s Bild newspaper “We haven’t got round to these devices yet, we want to curb power consumption.” The EU Commission spokeswoman said, “It’s a study we have asked consultants to do. In the final report they will reduce 30 products to 20. In January 2015 we will look at these recommendations then select from this list what to regulate and how.”

Of course, the National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF) has urged the EU to reconsider, saying its plans are “ill thought-out”. NHF president Mark Corary pointed at the potential irony of the ban, saying that banning these items won’t reduce energy consumption since blow-drying a client’s hair will now just take longer.

200th Anniversary Commemorative Coin in Malta

The Central Bank of Malta will issue €2 commemorative coin marking the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Malta Police Force on Wednesday July 16th. The Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, Professor Josef Bonnici, presented the coin to the Acting Commissioner of Police, Raymond Zammit.

At the Central Bank of Malta there is an exhibition of memorabilia from the Malta Police Museum which will be open until the end of July. The Malta Police Force is actually one of the oldest in Europe and was established at the beginning of the British colonial period in 1814 by Sir Thomas Maitland, who was the first Governor of Malta.

As explained by the Malta Independent, “On its reverse side the commemorative coin features the common €2 symbol while on the obverse side it depicts the emblem of the Malta Police Force. The obverse side of the coin was designed and engraved by Noel Galea Bason and was minted at the Royal Dutch Mint. The coin will be issued in circulation quality in rolls of 25 coins each.

The Bank will be contacting all those who have placed their orders to inform them of their allocation, the means of payment and the dates on which they can collect their coins. The coins will be available for collection from the Malta Coins Distribution Centre at the main building of the Central Bank of Malta.”