Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Posts Tagged ‘Consequences’

Consequences of Covid-19 on global order: multilateralism and democracy at risk

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 29 ottobre 2020

Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee urges the EU to take responsibility in defending rules-based world order, stressing the need to change how decisions are made in EU foreign policy. On Monday, the Foreign Affairs Committee approved, by 49 votes in favour, 6 against and 12 abstentions a report on the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on EU foreign policy. According to Committee members, the COVID-19 pandemic is a “game changer” in international affairs. The EU has to strengthen its internal resilience, develop new partnerships, and foster its multilateralist vision on a global scale. The rapporteur Hilde Vautmans (Renew) said: “The European Union has yet to establish its place in the new world order, and this is a weakness for both the EU and for multilateralism. A unified and prominent European presence on the world stage could help restore the global rules-based order after the damage done in recent years. However, Europeans absolutely must defend their interests internationally.” A number of governments and political leaders across the globe are using the crisis as an opportunity to furnish themselves with excessive powers, pursue their own political agendas by limiting human rights, and undermine democratic standards, MEPs say.MEPs are particularly concerned about disinformation campaigns and external attempts to compromise the unity of the EU, notably from Russia, and the politicisation of humanitarian assistance. They also highlight that the current US administration seems to be withdrawing from the multilateral system.In order to protect the rules-based global order, the EU should move towards a stronger foreign policy, MEPs say. Effective measures include a stronger mandate for the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to speak on behalf of the EU, for example by establishing a European seat in multilateral bodies. Also, the unanimity rule should be replaced by a qualified majority vote in foreign policy decisions.Referring to China’s attempts to position itself as the dominant global player “with an alternative governance model”, MEPs call on the High Representative to review EU-China relations, making sure that the new strategy defends European values and interests. They also urge the Chinese government to fully cooperate with an independent international investigation into the origins of COVID-19.Finally, MEPs stress the urgent need for a global sanctions regime in order to combat human rights violations.

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China Flash: Consequences of political shifts in the United States for European-Chinese relations

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 25 novembre 2016

hamburg2Hamburg. On November economic leaders and senior politicians will gather in Hamburg to attend the leading Sino-European business conference, “Hamburg Summit. China meets Europe“. The panel discussions and keynote speeches will focus on China´s economic development and its impact on European companies engaged in business with China. Beijing‘s continental and maritime “Belt and Road” initiatives, the internationalisation of the Renminbi, bilateral investments between the EU and China, and the impact of a digital economy on manufacturing and services will be on the agenda. The consequences of the U.S. presidential elections with regard to global trade and investment will certainly be an important part of the discussions.MERICS President Sebastian Heilmann explains what is at stake.Before his election victory, Donald Trump heavily criticised China. What does his election mean for the relationship between these two trade and economic powers?We will likely see more open frictions and conflicts in the already tense relations between China and the U.S. One of Trump‘s main campaign topics was his view that U.S.-trade policy has failed to protect jobs in his own country from “unfair competition”. His target was mainly China. If Trump follows through on parts of his campaign statements, punitive tariffs and investment restrictions could seriously affect the economic exchange between China and the United States. Even if large-scale trade conflicts do not occur, China and Europe will have to brace themselves for much more uncertainty and unpredictability in U.S. trade and economic policy.
What does this mean for Germany and the European Union and their economic relations with China? After all, the German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, openly criticised China’s state-led acquisitions of European high-tech enterprises recently, which has put pressure on the Sino-German relationship.
We need reliable partners in global trade, and in this respect China is now gaining an even more important position. The cooperation with Beijing has become even more urgent since Trump won the presidential election. What will happen to U.S. business has now become quite unpredictable. In consequence, China and Germany will more than ever rely on their markets being open to each other. I assume that the shock of Trump‘s victory will make the Chinese side more willing to negotiate market access issues with the Europeans. Europe should be open for such opportunities, while standing its ground on the contentious issues. China now has the chance to demonstrate that it acts as a reliable and constructive trade partner. Clearly, decision-makers in Europe and China should move forward and act now. We cannot passively wait for the fallout of the U.S. election to unfold.
What kind of initiatives by Germany and the EU could constructively change economic relations with China?
Both sides should aim for implementing feasible measures that may produce swift positive effects, for instance when it comes to removing obstacles to bilateral trade and investment or technical customs procedures. The EU and China have been consulting on these issues, but it is high time for concrete improvements. Embracing new and joint European-Chinese investment platforms, and strengthening confidence in economic relations must be top priorities on the agendas of European and Chinese decision-makers. Europe needs to take a more active and constructive stance on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is set to open up new economic spaces and markets in Eurasia.
Germany and China should prioritise pursuing joint investment projects in third countries located along the emerging European-Chinese economic corridor in Eurasia, effectively combining Chinese capacity for realising large scale infrastructure projects with German technical expertise. Opening up new economic spaces in Eurasia and creating wealth and stability in the region is a shared priority of Beijing and Berlin as well as other European capitals and is also feasible without a visible U.S. contribution. Berlin should use its influence in Brussels to promote expanding the remits of the EU-China connectivity platform to also include projects in third countries.
What is it that China would have to change about its foreign trade policy in order to accommodate European expectations?
China would need to rethink its approach to foreign investment in many restricted sectors of the Chinese economy. Foreign companies and investors need to be treated in the same way as Chinese companies to deepen and expand economic exchanges in a forceful manner. To achieve this, Germany and China should expand existing economic consultation mechanisms to explicitly cover discussions on strengthening reciprocity in European-Chinese economic relations.
Moreover, Europe and China must swiftly pursue a range of measures to bolster trade relations, including technical issues such as standardising and digitalising trade documents and customs procedures. Europe and China also need to make further progress on creating mutual confidence on cyber and data security matters as a vital prerequisite for deepening economic cooperation. This would help advance the economic cooperation between Europe and China tremendously – a vital step in these difficult times for international trade and investment.
What can Germany do to help improve the framework for Chinese-European economic relations?
Germany has an active role to play in making sure that any future revisions of the EU’s neighbourhood policy instruments account for an active Chinese investment role. The EU and China should approach each other more openly and strive for a better coordination of their respective incentive measures.For example, European neighbourhood policy lists for priority infrastructure projects should become the basis for more actively seeking Chinese co-financing, thus taking China up on its announcements that it is eager to align Belt and Road Initiative activities with existing regional institutions and programmes. Given the shared interest in strengthening transport links across Eurasia, Germany and China should consider establishing a “steering group” on Eurasian supply chain management and logistics, composed of both government and industry representatives.
In recent years, Chinese investments in Europe have reached a record level, but the German public is increasingly worried about Chinese investments. Do you think these concerns are justified?
With respect to state-coordinated investments in European high-tech industries I suggest caution and vigilance. In contrast to investments in hotels or real estate, there is a clearly stated political master plan behind Chinese high-tech investments. China wants to leapfrog from a barely automated industrial landscape to smart manufacturing by identifying and buying technologies they currently lack. If such a strategy is pushed forward with government funding and coordination, it brings severe distortions to the open investment regimes and technological capacities of European market economies.
How should the German government deal with this matter?
The German government should aim to reduce China‘s state-led acquisitions of German high-tech enterprises. The speed of technology transfer to China has to slow down, to give the German economy more time to adjust.
What kind of problems are German businesses presently facing on the Chinese market?
The most important example is the recent announcement by China‘s government to require by 2018 an 8-percent share for electric cars of an automaker’s total. This is a very aggressive industrial policy move, since two years is clearly not enough time for foreign carmakers to adapt. But I see possibilities for extending this deadline and give a bit more adjustment time. That’s why the German government and the automobile industry must pull together and present unified positions in their negotiations with Chinese partners. In the past, this did not work well due to competition among the German automobile makers. Confronted with an aggressive industrial policy, they should now work on a unified response.
How would you assess the stance of German business in not wanting to scare their Chinese partners?
With a view to short-term business opportunities, many enterprises do not want to jeopardise their chances on the Chinese market. But in the medium term, the discussion about broadening market access in China and about Chinese state-led investments is inevitable. Individual companies are not in the position to respond to state-coordinated programs. This requires negotiations between governments.
If the German government intervenes and increases pressure in negotiations but still remains open to solutions that satisfy both Chinese and German interests, this will also help German companies. The Chinese side respects strong negotiating partners who say what they want. China itself is always very clear in its demands. Please note that all this is about conflicts of interests and competition. For this type of frictions, shared interests can regularly be identified in negotiations and can guide the way to compromises.
The chances to make progress in European-Chinese trade and investment negotiations have improved with the Trump shock that might actually affect China more intensely than the Europeans but will bring out the shared interests more clearly. (photo: merics china flash)

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Property QuoteDirect Looks at Recession Consequences

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 Maggio 2012

Firefox market share in Europe

Firefox market share in Europe (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

London, (PRNewswire) PropertyQuoteDirect has been looking at the effect that the recession has been having on us all, including those with multiple properties. For many of us the idea of not having to commute a long way to work every day seems like a fantasy rather than a reality. However, there are a small few who this is possible for as they own two properties; one for “home” and one for “work”. The “work” property usually being in a prime location enabling swift access to and from work. However, PropertyQuoteDirect has, in recent months, seen an increasing number of studio apartments and one bedroom flats come onto the market in central London compared to the usual amount expected.Joe de Vries, of PropertyQuoteDirect, a leading light in the property and landlord insurance industry, has offered reasons for the rise in smaller flats on the market: “An increasing number of people have, unfortunately, been losing their jobs as businesses are trying to keep afloat in the current economic climate. Many businesses have thus been cutting back in order to maintain their market share in favour of growth within the industry. This, inevitably, requires less staff. We’ve seen that people who have their second, Monday to Friday, home in the city no longer need it and are thus selling up in order to ease the financial blow that comes with losing a job.”
Many people are selling their “work” homes in order to free up some capital that could be used to renovate their “home” property. It is no longer affordable to make changes to a property and a substantial amount of money is needed, especially if family homes are to be sold at a good price. Many people who are looking to do this are finding their “work” asset proving to be quite lucrative and are selling without a second thought.As demand for these smaller properties greatly outweighs supply, prices have been forced up; this therefore means that now seems to be the best time to sell such properties. Another great way of making extra money is by renting out these “work” homes, of course this is only possible if commuting long distances is an option but if it is, then it may be worth it. PropertyQuoteDirect is part of Bedford Insurance Services. If you would like any more information, or to request a quote, please do not hesitate to visit the website.

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