TFG Trade Briefing, 27th January 2020

Your Monday morning coffee briefing from TFG. Here are some of the last week’s updates from the trade sector. The chancellor, Sajid Javid, has insisted that the UK will go ahead with plans for a tax on giant tech companies this spring. S&P warns virus threatens to dent China’s new growth driver. ICC joins Singapore Government and major industry partners to launch TradeTrust. EIB finances eco-friendly buses in Hungary with €47m loan.

UK to press ahead with digital tax despite US trade pressure

The chancellor, Sajid Javid, has insisted that the UK will go ahead with plans for a tax on giant tech companies this spring despite intensifying pressure from the US to drop the idea.US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin responded by threatening tariffs on exports of UK cars.
France is preparing to drop its own plan for a 3% levy on the total annual revenues of the largest technology firms providing services to French consumers. France’s plan – called the GAFA tax because it was seen to target the US companies Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – prompted the threat of retaliation from Washington, which vowed to put taxes on French imports including wine. Read more →

US president and European Commission president announced they intend to reach a new trade deal this year

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today said she wanted to strike a trade agreement with the United States “in a few weeks,” according to German press agency DPA.

“We want to have an agreement together in a few weeks’ time that concludes these issues,” she said.

She gave no indication of the scope of such a deal, but said on Tuesday that she had “exchanged” views with Trump “on trade, technology and energy.” Read more →

S&P warns virus threatens to dent China’s new growth driver

It is too early to quantify the potential impact of the coronavirus on China. Much will depend on the attack and case fatality rates of the virus.

Any economic hit will be felt most by industries exposed to household spending, especially activities that take place outside the home. Risk aversion and tighter financial conditions could amplify the impact, including on investment. While reported cases are concentrated in Wuhan, the city’s status as a key transport, logistics, and auto production hub complicates matters. Read more →

ICC joins Singapore Government and major industry partners to launch TradeTrust

ICC, the Singapore Government, and major firms from key industries have signed a historic cooperation agreement to facilitate and accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in trade and commerce. The global industry leaders participating in the agreement are APRIL, DBS Bank, Marubeni Corporation, Mastercard, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd., MUFG Bank, Noble, NTT DATA, PSA International, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Tokio Marine, and Trafigura.

This public-private partnership between global organisations will be a significant leap forward to shift international trade from a paper-based system to digitally-enabled trade. It will create enormous potential value based on time and operational cost savings combined with the greatly reduced incidence of fraud and human error. Read more →

IFC and Santander Sign a $300 million Facility to Boost Climate Loans and Support Small and Medium Enterprises in Chile

Santander and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, have signed a $300 million unfunded risk-sharing facility to support the increase of access to climate finance and the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Chile. The facility will contribute to the sustainable economic growth of the Chilean economy by helping develop a climate financing market and create employment.

EIB finances eco-friendly buses in Hungary with €47m loan

Commuters in Hungary will enjoy new, faster, safer and more eco-friendly buses on regional and city lines across Hungary as a result of a €47m loan the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed today with Volán Buszpark Kft, the country’s biggest bus fleet management company. This is the first tranche of a €140m loan approved by the EIB to modernize nearly half of Volán’s bus fleet, together with commercial banks finance. The loan is provided under the Investment Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) as it addresses the EFSI objective of smart and sustainable urban mobility in the European Union. Read more →

Afreximbank Announces $500-Million Creative Industry Support Fund

The Creative Africa Exchange Weekend (CAX WKND), Africa’s first continental event dedicated to promoting exchange within the creative and cultural industry, kicked off in Kigali today with Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announcing a $500-million envelope to support the production and trade of African cultural and creative products over the next two years. Read more →