TFG Trade Briefing, 18th November 2019
Your Monday morning coffee briefing from TFG. Here are some of the last week’s updates from the trade sector. Last week China removed curbs on poultry imports from the U.S. while the Trump administration is poised to again extend a license that will allow U.S. companies to continue doing business with Huawei Technologies Co. European Investment Bank drops fossil fuel funding. TDB, Agrocorp completed blockchain trade finance deal on dltledgers and The European Commission (EC) has provided €40m in guarantees to FMO Ventures Program, which will aim to invest a total of €200m in both fund and direct investments in Africa, the European Neighbourhood and Asia (excluding China).
What happened last week?
China, U.S. Trade Talks Continue With Some Signs of Progress
Last week China removed curbs on poultry imports from the U.S. while the Trump administration is poised to again extend a license that will allow U.S. companies to continue doing business with Huawei Technologies Co., New York Times reported Saturday.
While President Donald Trump’s administration signaled talks with China over the first phase of a broad trade agreement are entering the final stages, that is no guarantee that there won’t be another breakdown in talks.
European Investment Bank drops fossil fuel funding
The European Union is to stop funding oil, gas and coal projects at the end of 2021, cutting €2bn (£1.7bn) of yearly investments.
Under the new policy, energy projects applying for EIB funding will need to show they can produce one kilowatt-hour of energy while emitting less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide, a move which excludes traditional gas-burning power plants.
Gas projects are still possible, but would have to be based on what the bank called “new technologies” such as carbon capture and storage, combining heat and power generation, or mixing in renewable gases with the fossil natural gas.
Oil prices edge up on trade-talk optimism, OPEC meeting
Oil futures gained nearly 2% on Friday as comments from a top U.S. official raised optimism for a U.S.-China trade deal, but worries about increasing crude supplies capped prices.
Titans such as Rolls-Royce and BAE rush to fix Britain’s productivity crisis
A project run by government-funded productivity programme Be the Business hopes to sign up 100 large corporates to a scheme designed to boost the output of Britain’s workforce. Large companies including Amazon, Google, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will promise to boost the UK’s productivity by encouraging greater adoption of tech skills among their suppliers and offering mentoring programmes for managers. Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the retailer John Lewis and Be the Business, said: “Years of political uncertainty cannot be allowed to stall the economic growth we’re seeing across the country. While the government has an important role to play in improving productivity, it can’t be done by the government for business. We can’t outsource it. Businesses really need to step up.”
TDB, Agrocorp complete blockchain trade finance deal on dltledgers
It’s a first for an African development finance institution, a first in the trade of sugar, and the largest single-trade transaction to date to have been completed by dltledgers, the world’s largest production blockchain platform for global trade finance, via which TDB has been able to close a $22M white cane sugar trade transaction.
CIMB bank launches automated digital invoice financing to speed payments to Singapore SMEs
CIMB Bank Berhad’s Singapore branch (CIMB) has partnered with SESAMi Holding and Capital Match to finance the SESAMi trading community’s digital invoicing workflow, according to an announcement
Suppliers on SESAMi will be paid immediately on their outstanding invoices on the platform within two business days as soon as they are on-boarded to the supply-chain financing program. Previously, the process takes as much as two months, said CIMB.
FMO and EC sign guarantee agreement for FMO Ventures Program
The European Commission (EC) has provided €40m in guarantees to FMO Ventures Program, which will aim to invest a total of €200m in both fund and direct investments in Africa, the European Neighbourhood and Asia (excluding China).
The direct investments will focus on start and scale-ups in AgriTech, Energy Access, and FinTech.
The fund investments will have a more generalist approach, thereby also targeting tech-enabled solutions in, amongst others, education, healthcare, transportation and logistics.