TFG Weekly Trade Briefing, 23rd November 2020

Your Monday morning coffee briefing from TFG. The UK and Canada agreed to roll over their existing trade arrangements after the end of the Brexit transition period. The Institute of International Finance estimates that total global debt across governments, households and businesses will reach 365% of global GDP this year, up from 320% at the end of 2019. A Covid-19 vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical company Moderna was found to be almost 95% effective. New data showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective, more than first thought and highly effective in older adults.

Goods Barometer signals trade resilience amid ongoing COVID concerns

World merchandise trade appears to have rebounded strongly after plummeting in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but whether growth can be sustained going forward is unclear, according to the WTO’s latest Goods Trade Barometer released on 20 November. Read more →

2.7 million microbusinesses saved by technology in 2020

48% (2.7 million) of the UK’s microbusinesses have admitted they would have ceased trading as a result of the pandemic without adopting digital technology, according to the Lloyds Bank 2020 Transformation with Tech report. Read more →

Britain and Canada agree post-Brexit rollover trade deal

The UK and Canada have signed a trade agreement designed to provide continuity for businesses and workers in both countries post-Brexit in a move expected to pave the way for negotiations on a tailor-made deal between the two countries next year. The UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement, which is subject to final legal checks, will protect the flow of £20bn worth of goods and services between the countries after Brexit. Read more →

WTO maps out trade issues related to COVID-19 vaccine rollout

The WTO Secretariat published two graphics identifying some of the key trade issues arising at the various stages of the development and delivery of a vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective is to help foster dialogue on the role that trade policy can play in distributing safe, efficient and high-quality vaccines promptly across the world. Read more →

Boris Johnson announces 10-point green plan with 250,000 jobs

the UK prime minister Boris Johnson last week set out a ten-point plan for the UK’s transition to a greener economy, as part of the government’s pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050. By far the most significant announcement was the decision to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 to 2030. Sales of electric cars are rising, but they account for just 7% of all new vehicles bought in the UK last month. Read more →

10 days to 24 hours – TradeSun joins Contour to simplify African paper-based LC transactions

Contour announces a partnership with TradeSun, to simplify the handling and authentication of paper-based documents into R3 Corda. Contour’s initial offering – a digital Letter of Credit (LC) solution – reduces the processing time of LC presentations by up to 90%: from 10 days to 24 hours. Read more →

Is the freeports bidding process too ambitious for ‘all nations’ in the UK?

The bidding process in England is opening, to establish at least seven new Freeports. The first are expected in 2021, as part of at least 10 across the whole of the UK. But are these ambitions realistic for the UK? TFG’s Flora Tan heard from David Mundy, Partner at BDB Pitmans, stating his views on the freeport bidding. Read more →