print logo

Brexit draws UK companies to Iran despite shadow of sanctions

Iranian power plant at ShazandWith the prospect of Brexit limiting their ability to operated within the EU, UK firms are cautiously turning to the attention the opportunities potentially on offer from Iran’s $600bn anticipated boom in trade and infrastructure investment over the next ten years.
With the Islamic Republic about to embarking on an ambitious investment drive after years of international isolation, the authorities in Tehran are expected to be looking overseas for the finance it requires for a number of key projects, including the expansion of its 10,223km long state-owned rail network; the construction of 7 new international airports; the upgrade of 54 existing ones; and the acquisition of a new fleet of aircraft. The state carrier Iran Air has already placed orders with Airbus for 114 new aircraft and it is estimated that another 600 new airplanes will be needed over the next decade.
Iran also hopes to secure large investments into its unexplored and under-developed natural gas sector.
“Is there an opportunity here for UK business? Of course there is,” said Amanda Clack, head of Infrastructure and consultancy EY told The Telegraph this week. “Deliverability is key and contracts could be won by British companies on the basis of professionalism. These skills are underpinned by high standards and regulation which means the companies are more likely to offer a robust approach to the work.”
However, according to the The British Iranian Chamber of Commerce (BICC), the main obstacle towards a significant increase in British Iranian trade lies in the absence of banking facilities caused by the fear among European banks of American primary sanctions against Iran which were retained even after the Iran nuclear deal in late 2015.
“Until the American election there were indications that some UK banks were willing to handle direct transactions with Iran under certain conditions. Since then attitudes of the banks seem to have become more cautious and restrictive,” a spokesman said.

 

(more…)

telegraph Read More»

First train leaves UK on New Silk Road

London to Yiwu trainThe first ‘Silk Road’ rail freight service from Britain to China pulled out of the DP World London Gateway rail terminal in Essex yesterday laden with pharmaceuticals, whisky, soft drinks, vitamins and baby products at the start of its maiden 18-day 7,500-mile journey to Yiwu in the central province of Zhejiang. After passing through the Channel Tunnel into France and on to Belgium, the train will call in Duisburg, Germany from (more…)

Times of Central Asia Read More»

Johnson to push G7 to impose new sanctions on Russia over Syria

Chemical gas attack SyriaUK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is expected to use today’s G7 meeting in Lucca to call on fellow member states to ramp up sanctions against Russia following the latest developments in Syria, according to The Times, unless Moscow (more…)

tass Read More»

Brexit could help EU-India FTA but report scotches hopes of UK side deal

theguardian Read More»

Barking welcomes first direct Silk Road freight train from China to London

Chinese dragon greets china-london freight train 180117A crowd of politicians, journalists and local residents – some dressed up as Chinese dragons – turned up at the Barking Intermodal Terminal in east London yesterday to welcome and watch as the the first ever freight train to come direct from China to the UK arrived, carrying approximately £4m worth of socks, cloth, bags, and household goods.
Yiwu Factory making SantasPulled (more…)

standard Read More»

London joins New Silk Road

Silk Road TrainNew Silk Road: London is set to become the latest and 15th European city to feel the impact of Chinese plans to create a 21st-century equivalent of the ancient Silk Road trade route later this month after the China Railway Corporation announced that it had launched the first direct rail freight service to the UK’s capital from Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province. Carrying (more…)

Read More»

Concerns over Trump hard-line policy prompt BP to step back from Iran

Trump on IranLess than two months after deciding to exclude its US national CEO Bob Dudley from its attempts to capitalise on the potential of the Iranian oil industry, doubts over the policies that incoming President Donald Trump’s administration will adopt towards the Islamic Republic has prompted energy giant BP to stand back altogether, leaving the field open to its two biggest European rivals Royal Dutch Shell and Total. (more…)

FT Read More»

BP US CEO Bob Dudley stands back from special Iranian task force

 BP CEO Bob DudleyBP has formed a special task force to study the investment potential of the Iranian oil industry in the post-sanctions era – but, in an attempt to mitigate the risk of the US sticking to its ban on any American involvement in the Islamic Republic, the team is to be headed by its UK-born CFO Brian Gilvary rather than US national CEO Bob Dudley. (more…)

presstv Read More»

Vodafone ready to pump $3bn into India before spectrum auction

Vodafone IndiaVodafone: Faced with increasing competition from Mumbai’s Reliance Jio Infocomm and with a national spectrum auction due to take place at the beginning of October, Europe’s largest mobile phone operator is said to be planning to invest $3bn in its Indian operation in (more…)

indiatimes Read More»

China threatens to withdraw £100bn UK FDI over Hinkley Point delay

UK PM Theresa MayHinkley Point delay: The authorities in Beijing have used a strongly-worded article in the state-run Xinhua news agency to indicate that it might pull as much as £100bn worth of investment out of the UK if Prime Minister Theresa May decides to cancel the Hinkley Point nuclear project.
The British Government was (more…)

dailymail Read More»

Hinkley Point delay sends mixed messages to Chinese investors

Hinkley Point CYesterday’s decision by UK Prime Minister Theresa May to delay the final go-ahead for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant has set alarm bells ringing in Beijing, just days after Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that he was opening talks with China about the creation of a new free trade deal with the Asian superpower.
EDF CEO Vincent de RivazThe contracts (more…)

FT Read More»

Chancellor Hammond opens UK-China free trade deal talks

UK Chancellor Philip HammondUK-China free trade deal: The UK’s new Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has begun discussions with China about the possibility of forging an ambitious free trade deal which could see major Chinese banks and businesses being granted greater access to the UK economy. In an interview (more…)

bbc Read More»

PM Turnbull calls for free trade deal between Australia and Britain

Australian PM Malcolm TurnbullA free trade deal between Australia and Britain should be set up as soon as possible, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the UK’s incoming Premier Theresa May yesterday. In a phone call that May described as “very encouraging”, (more…)

dailymail Read More»

Dalian Wanda buys another cinema chain as Wang Jianlin presses on

OdeonChinese multinational conglomerate Dalian Wanda has bought the Odeon & UCI cinema chain from the Terra Firma private equity firm for $1.21bn through its US-based AMC Entertainment subsidiary, AMC’s chief executive Adam Aron announced yesterday. The chain owns 242 theatres and 2,236 screens and the deal reinforces (more…)

bbc Read More»

UK ministers begin post-Brexit trade talks with visits to India and China

UK Business Secretary Sajid Javidpost-Brexit trade talks: UK Business Minister Said Javid was due to hold preliminary talks with government ministers in Delhi today, at the start of of world tour and probably years of negotiations as London seeks to establish new trade deals with individual countries to replace the 50-odd such agreements it enjoyed as part of the EU. 
“Following the referendum result, my absolute priority is making sure the UK has the tools it needs to continue to compete on the global stage,” he said. “That is why I am in India today to launch these initial trade discussions. There is a strong bilateral trade relationship between our two countries and I am determined that we build on this.”
UK Chancellor George Osborne in ParliamentThe discussions kick off a schedule of trips to the US, China, Japan and South Korea over the next few months, and come after George Osborne met a Chinese government delegation in London on Thursday and promised to foster “stronger trade ties” with the world’s second largest economy.The chancellor is undertaking a four-day trip to China later this month for the G20 finance ministers’ meeting and will visit several cities to promote UK-Chinese relations.
Javid will also meet Tata board members on Saturday to discuss the company’s efforts to find a buyer for its British steel business, which includes the blast furnaces at Port Talbot in South Wales. The sale process is understood to have been put on hold amid the economic uncertainty created by the vote to leave the EU.

theguardian Read More»

Freight forwarders fear Brexit may impact on Heathrow airport expansion

Heathrow Airport cargo signHeathrow airport expansion: The UK freight forwarding industry yesterday voiced concerns that last week’s vote for the UK to leave the EU could lead to further delays to the proposed $25bn project to expand capacity at Heathrow Airport, the country’s largest air cargo hub.
The UK government (more…)

joc Read More»

Brexit expected put brakes on India-EU FTA negotiations

Indian Commerce Secretary Rita TeaotiaBrexit: UK’s vote to leave the EU is expected to delay Indian attempts to establish a free trade agreement (FTA) with Brussels which have been under negotiation for the best part of a decade. It is also likely to have an impact on its talks over a similar deal with (more…)

indiatimes Read More»

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner pumps $100bn into Breakthrough Starshot

Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking at Break Starshot press conference 12-04-16Breakthrough Starshot: Russian billionaire internet investor Yury Milner has joined forces with the world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking and Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg to launch a revolutionary $100m project to construct a robot research spacecraft capable of covering a distance of 4.37 light years – the distance between Earth and our closest star system (more…)

rbth Read More»

IMF ups forecast for Turkish economy to 3.8% amid global gloom

Turkish thumbs upTurkish economy: The IMF yesterday revised its growth forecast for Turkey in the current year upwards from 3.2% to 3.8%, while downgrading its forecast for the overall world economy on the back of unexpected weaknesses in the US and Japan and amid fears of the “severe” impact of (more…)

hurriyetdailynews Read More»

East-West ocean freight rates down 20% with more cuts on horizon

shipping genericYear-on-year Ocean freight rates for cargo moving under contracts on major East-West trade routes dropped by 20% in the 12 months up to February and are on course to fall even further next month, according to the Drewry’s Benchmarking Club. With many transpacific exporters and importers (more…)

hellenicshippingnews Read More»