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Italy to cut 2020 GDP growth target to around 0.6% – sources

ROME: Italy will cut its target for economic growth next year to around 0.6%, three sources close to the matter as the government prepares its 2020 budget to be presented to parliament later this month. The previous target, issued in April, envisaged growth of 0.8%. Growth this year is now seen at just 0.1%, compared with an April projection of ... Read More »

Customs Today Issue 24 Dec to 30 Dec 2019

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Individual consumption at 83% of EU average

Portugal in 2018 had levels of consumption and of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita below the European Union average, ranked around the midpoint in the table of 28 EU member states. With regard to Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) – the measure seen as best adapted to describe households’ material welfare – Portugal’s was in 2018 at 83 percent of ... Read More »

Hungarian competition watchdog slaps EUR 5.5m fine on Telenor Hungary

The Hungarian competition watchdog GVH imposed a 5.45-million-euro (6-million-U.S.-dollar) fine on mobile provider Telenor Hungary for misleading commercial practices, GVH said in a statement. “Telenor Hungary Ltd. had committed an infringement for over a year by failing to inform its customers in its advertisements promoting mobile devices for free or at a reduced price that if they chose to obtain ... Read More »

Oman’s share index closes marginally lower

MSM30 index closed at 3,950.89 down 0.05 per cent. The Sharia index closed down by 0.67 per cent at 543.86. Al Hassan Engineering, up 4.76 per cent, was the top gainer. OIFC, down 4.50 per cent, was the top loser. Bank Muscat was the most active in terms of the number of shares traded as well as in terms of ... Read More »

Qatar Airways celebrates anniversary of flights to Gothenburg

Doha: Qatar Airways celebrated its first anniversary of launching direct flights from Doha to Gothenburg, marking the airline’s second gateway into Sweden after the capital, Stockholm. Qatar Airways’ first flight to Gothenburg arrived on December 12 last year, and since that date, the national carrier has been operating a daily trip to the city on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which ... Read More »

Amir of Kuwait receives Oapec oil ministers, Al Kaabi

H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, received the Oapec oil ministers in the presence of H E Saad Sherida Al Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, and the head of Qatar’s delegation to the Organisation’s ministerial meeting. The meeting with His Highness came on the sidelines of Oapec’s 103rd ... Read More »

India, Afghanistan and Iran Hold Talks on Chabahar Port

Officials from India, Afghanistan and Iran held their second meeting of the Follow-up Committee between the three nations on the Iranian Chabahar Agreement, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. “The second meeting of the Follow-up Committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran at the level of Joint Secretary/ Director General was ... Read More »

161 US representatives call for Taiwan trade agreement

TAIPEI: A letter addressing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and signed by 161 U.S. House of Representatives has called for the country to start negotiating for a bilateral trade deal with Taiwan. “We believe an agreement with Taiwan would expand markets for American goods, including agricultural products, by addressing existing market access issues, and could serve as a high bar ... Read More »

Is Bitcoin still a good investment?

Booms and busts, this is what investing in Bitcoin is all about. The most popular cryptocurrency continues to shake out investors. However, Bitcoin is not dead. And it looks like it won’t be anytime soon. But many investors wonder whether the price has already reached its zenith? Is Bitcoin still a good investment? Let’s find out! A short history of ... Read More »

Russia, Ukraine, EU agree ‘in principle’ on new gas deal: EU official

Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission, after hours-long talks on Thursday, agreed in principle on a new gas deal starting after Jan 1, 2020, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic told a briefing. Ukraine is a key transit route for Russian piped gas exports to Europe. The current deal between the two post-Soviet countries expires at the end of the ... Read More »

Việt Nam to promote shrimp exports to EU next year

HÀ NỘI The EU is a potential market for Việt Nam’s shrimp industry next year because it is the largest shrimp market in the world, while the shrimp production of this bloc has not met its demand, according to domestic seafood experts. If the domestic shrimp industry takes advantage of preferential tariff and implements rules of origin under the EU-Vietnam ... Read More »

Germany says new rule requiring receipts fights tax fraud

BERLIN: Germany’s finance minister is defending a new rule taking effect Jan. 1 that will require shops to provide a receipt for every purchase, a change that critics fear will result in vast amounts of paper being wasted. The rule aims to combat the evasion of value-added taxes but some environmental activists worry they will produce piles of unwanted receipts, ... Read More »

Brussels business property market registers record year

2019 was a record year for the business property market in Brussels, business property consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) reveals. The business occupancy rate is at its highest level since 2007 and availability is at a historically low level in the “central business district (CBD),” among others. The vacancy rate is estimated to be 7.2% (compared to 7.8% last year), ... Read More »

Primary exports to reach $48bn in 2020 – MPI

The report, released yesterday, predicts primary industry exports will reach nearly $48 billion for the year to June 2020. That would be a rise of more than 3 percent on the previous financial year and was an improvement from MPI’s October forecast, which predicted the value of exports would drop by 0.1 percent. MPI’s economic data and analysis manager, Wido ... Read More »

Oct tax hike not sufficient to boost Japan finances

TOKYO Japan’s tax revenue is expected to end up lower than the record high figure estimated in the fiscal 2020 draft budget, with critics saying the initial tally was based on an economic growth forecast that was “too optimistic.” Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in late 2012, the actual pace of growth in the world’s third-largest economy ... Read More »

Korea’s exports down 2% in first 20 days of December

South Korea’s exports fell 2 percent in the first 20 days of December mainly due to decreased shipments of semiconductors and ships, customs data showed Monday. The country’s exports stood at $30.4 billion in the Dec. 1-20 period, compared with $31.06 billion in the same period last year, according to the Korea Customs Service. By product, exports of semiconductors and ... Read More »

Brazil delays two big rail projects until third quarter 2020

BRASILIA: Brazil pushed back the auction of two major railway projects for grain exports until the third quarter of 2020, Infrastructure Minister Tarcisio Freitas said as he announced plans for 101 billion reais (24 billion) in investment next year. Freitas said drawing up the concession model took longer than expected, but the auction rules have already been submitted to Brazil’s ... Read More »

Chennai: 3 get 10 years jail for drug smuggling

HENNAI: A special court under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) act has sentenced three people for ten years rigourous imprisonment after finding them guilty of attempting to smuggle drugs to Malaysia. Two of the accused — M Mohammed Ali, 53, N Imran Khan, 33— are from Chennai while M Noorul Ameen, 23, is from Sivaganga district. DRI officials ... Read More »

Nov exports drop 7.39% y-o-y, worse than forecast

Thailand’s customs-cleared exports in November fell 7.39% from a year earlier, after falling 4.54% the previous month, the commerce ministry said on Monday. November’s export numbers came in worse than a Reuters poll forecast for a decrease of 4.5% in shipments, a main driver of Thai growth. Shipments to China rose 2.3% in November from a year earlier, while those ... Read More »