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After trade talks in US, China ramps up Brazilian soy purchases

Chinese importers have been busy booking fresh purchases of soybeans from Brazil this week, despite the White House announcement that China had agreed to buy up to $50 billion of US farm products annually during trade talks last week. The purchases from Brazil, rather than the United States, show that China is in no hurry to buy U.S. products in ... Read More »

Scott Morrison travels to Indonesia as Labor embraces free trade agreement

Scott Morrison’s whirlwind trip to Indonesia is a “good thing”, his political opponent says, as Labor embraces bipartisan support for Australia’s latest free trade agreement. Morrison travelled to Indonesia for Joko Widodo’s second inauguration as president, with talks between the two leaders planned at the presidential palace. A top line discussion topic will be the Australia-Indonesia free trade agreement, which ... Read More »

Operail invests €50 million in freight transport in Finland

Estonian international transport and logistics company Operail has launched a subsidiary in Finland, Operail Finland Oy, and is investing €50 million to begin freight transportation on Finnish railroads. Chairman of the Operail Management Board, Raul Toomsalu, said it is vital for the company to find new services, products and markets. “With the decisions in previous years, we already foresaw the ... Read More »

Huge wage rises signal new phase in central Europe’s transformation

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the countries of central Europe are eager to move to a new phase in their remarkable transformation from communist basket cases to vibrant market economies fully integrated in to European business supply chains. Poland’s conservative prime minister last week said he wanted to “close the chapter” of cheap labour and low ... Read More »

POLL-Nordic economic growth to slow in 2020 as trade tensions bite

The Nordic economies of Sweden, Denmark and Norway are cooling off after years of expansion as global trade tensions mix with domestic factors to stifle investment, a Reuters poll found. The export-dependent region, home to companies like fashion retailer H&M, logistics giant Maersk and metals maker Norsk Hydro, has for decades benefited from the gradual globalisation of markets. But the ... Read More »

Textile industry hit by on-going trade war

Việt Nam’s textile industry faces many difficulties with both export and production on the decrease due to effects of an intensified China-US trade war, said industry experts. “Buyers are concerned with the on-going China-US trade war and it has resulted in fewer and smaller orders,” said a report by the Ministry of Investment and Planning. Vietnamese textile companies were being ... Read More »

EU Approves Greece’s Plan to Reduce Bad Loans

The European Commission approved on Thursday a Greek plan to reduce its bad loans at the country’s banks by up to 30 billion euros ($33.04 billion), saying that the proposal did not violate state aid rules. The plan, known as the “Hercules Asset Protection Scheme,” aims to bring down the amount of non-performing loans which are weighing down Greek banks, ... Read More »

Spanish government dismisses call for Catalan talks; police brace for more unrest

BARCELONA: Spain’s government dismissed calls on Saturday from Catalonia’s pro-independence regional chief for talks over a wave of violence sparked by the jailing of separatist leaders, as police braced for fresh protests. Barcelona saw its worst night of disturbances in decades on as masked youths blocked roads with blazing garbage bins and hurled rocks at security forces, who responded by ... Read More »

Hungary Must Invest to Demonstrate its Innovative Nature to the World

Palkovics made his now regular annual visit to the American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary on September 16, and spoke about the issues and plans Hungary has in the area of innovation. Having given an overview of the current macroeconomic situation, the minister moved on to the vision the ministry is focusing on right now: That Hungary will be one ... Read More »

No headway in optical fibre laying project

The government-initiated optical fibre laying project along the Mid-Hill Highway, which intended to develop an information superhighway in the country, has failed to make tangible progress even though the project was started more than three years ago. On different dates in 2016 and 2017, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) had awarded the contract to lay optical fibre along the Mid-Hill Highway ... Read More »

Kuwait sees neutral zone oil pact with Saudis within 45 days

Kuwait expects to sign an agreement with Saudi Arabia to restart oil production from the neutral zone along their border within 30 to 45 days, according to a person familiar with the matter. The pact, reached after months of intensive negotiations, won’t be final until it’s signed, the person said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. ... Read More »

Iran Electricity Export to Iraq Hits Record

Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian (pictured) has said the export of electricity to neighboring countries has reached a record high in the past year. Addressing a Sunday session of Tehran’s City Council, Ardakanian said management of the situation over the past two water years has helped the country break the record in three sectors of the power industry. The minister ... Read More »

House Speaker Pelosi holds talks in Jordan with King Abdullah

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior members of Congress held talks in Jordan on Saturday with King Abdullah II and other top Jordanian officials. Pelosi said in a statement the visit was at “a critical time for the security and stability of the region… With the deepening crisis in Syria after Turkey’s incursion, our delegation has engaged in ... Read More »

Gold price up, other items remain stable in Kabul

KABUL: The price of gold has increased while that of other items remains steady during the outgoing week in capital Kabul, market sources said. Haji Fawad Ahmad Salehzada, a jeweler in Timor Shahee area of Kabul, Read More »

CIER raises Taiwan’s economic growth forecast for 2020

TAIPEI: The Chung-Hua Institution of Economic Research (CIER) announced that it has revised Taiwan’s economic growth forecast for the next year. According to the CIER, Taiwan’s growth forecast has been increased by 0.27 percent over the previous forecast issued in July. Currently, the institute anticipates that Taiwan’s economy will grow by 2.34 percent in 2020. CIER Vice President Yeh Chun-hsien ... Read More »

Customs Today Issue 22 Oct to 28 Oct 2019

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Danish police arrest seven in raid on smuggling network

In a major police operation, Danish law enforcement arrested the people, who are thought to be connected to a wider-ranging smuggling network. They were arrested while trying to smuggle as many as 16 million copy cigarettes into Denmark, according to police special investigation unit SEV (Særlig Efterforskning Vest), which confirmed the arrests in a press statement. The 16 million counterfeit ... Read More »

True scale of German underemployment revealed

Although 2.2 million people in Germany are officially classed as underemployed, more than double that figure would like to have worked more in 2018 than they did. New data released by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) revealed nearly 4.6 million residents met wider criteria for not having enough work. The group was made up of 1.5 million unemployed people, 925,000 ... Read More »

Record of 2 million speeding tickets issued in first half of 2019 in Belgium

For the first time, over two million speeding tickets have been issued in Belgium in the first six months of the year. The total number of reports was 2,066,903 according to the federal police, meaning that about 11,419 reports were issued daily, reports Sudinfo. Over the same period in 2018, ‘only’ 1,927,763 speeding reports were made. The majority of the ... Read More »

NZ-born banker admits pocketing $70m in bribes

A former Credit Suisse Group banker told a federal jury in New York that he alone pocketed at least US$45 million (NZ$70 million) in a massive kickback scheme and named other ex-employees of the bank he says made millions of their own. Testifying on Wednesday, New Zealand-born Andrew Pearse recited the illicit payments he took for his role in arranging ... Read More »