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Eurasian Business Briefinginternational trade

EEU doomed, predicts Bzhezinsky

Zbignev BzhezinskyThe Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will be dead and buried within in ten years or as soon as Russia accepts that it is a a European state, Zbignev Bzhezinsky predicted this week. In an interview with the daily Gazeta, (more…)

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Trade with Iran surges – but tensions in Gulf threaten to spoil Tehran’s party

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shakes and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier Tehran 02-16Trade with Iran: Germany became the latest country to report a jump in exports to Iran yesterday when it released official data showing that exports to the Islamic Republic, mainly of industrial plant and equipment, grew by 15% in the first half of the year following the removal of international sanctions.  (more…)

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Pakistan export drive targets UAE

Pakistan fashionPakistan export drive: Pakistan has set aside $170m to trigger a 10% – or $35bn – annual increase in exports, according to a new report from its Ministry of Finance. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are to be particularly targeted as potential markets for its (more…)

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Juncker plays WTO card over steel row as Li calls for more EU-China trade

Xinhua/Rex/ShutterstockEU-China trade:The president of the European commission has warned China that it must stop dumping cheap steel in Europe or it could fail to gain market economy status with the World Trade Organisation, which Beijing is desperate to secure.
Jean-Claude Juncker said that Beijing and the EU had agreed to establish a working group to discuss the crisis in the steel industry and monitor steel shipments from China.
“The EU will defend its steel industry. We are not defenceless, and we will use all the means at our disposal,” Juncker said in Beijing after talks with the Chinese government.
steel exportsAn increase in cheap Chinese steel being imported into Europe has been blamed for the crisis facing the industry, which has put thousands of jobs at risk in the UK and across the continent. China makes more than half of the world’s steel but is suffering from slowing domestic demand. In the first quarter of the year Chinese steel exports to the EU rose 28%, driving prices down by more than 30%. 
Speaking at the same forum Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that the two sides should “properly deal with” trade disputes, oppose trade barriers and speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment treaty. 
EU China tradeIn addition to accusations of dumping, trade relations between the two sides have also been put under pressure by long-standing complaints from European enterprises working in China about unfair restrictions that make it difficult for them to compete with local rivals. Foreign companies would soon enjoy the same treatment as their Chinese counterparts, Li promised, with the government continuing to reform its foreign investment management system, ease market access, enhance intellectual property protection and guarantee the legitimate rights of all types of enterprises, and remaining committed to creating a fair, transparent and expectable investment environment.
He called for European companies to invest more in China’s advanced manufacturing, service industry and the central and western parts of the country, “We want trade between China and Europe to grow on a stable platform,” he said.
China is now the EU’s second biggest trading partner behind the United States while China sells more goods and services to the EU than anywhere else in the world. 

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Turkic Council draws up proposals for common customs procedures

Turkic Council MapThe member states of the Turkic Council — Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey – are in the process of drawing up proposals for a common customs procedures and standards for the movement of goods, its Secretary General Ramil Hasanov said this week as they look (more…)

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Merkel proposes economic zone stretching from ‘Lisbon to Vladivostok’

German Chancellor Angela MerckelGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel this weekend put forward the idea of creating a common economic zone between the EU and Russia “from Lisbon to Vladivostok” and a gradual rapprochement between Moscow and Brussels. Speaking at the Christian Democratic Union’s Congress in Mecklenburg, she also repeated her readiness (more…)

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Moscow and Beijing pledge to treble Sino-Russian trade in next five years

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey LavrovMoscow and Beijing have agreed to increase bilateral Sino-Russian trade from $65bn last year to $200bn by 2020, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this week. Speaking at the Russian Council for International Affairs second ‘Russia & China ‘ conference in Moscow, he said (more…)

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US-Russian trade drops 28% in first full year of sanctions

Russia's Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexei LikhachevUS-Russian trade: Russia’s  trade turnover with the US dropped by nearly 28% last year compared to 2014, the first full calendar year since the imposition of sanctions, the TASS news agency reported over the weekend. “Last year (more…)

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Russian-EU trade down as Switzerland pushes its way into top three

EU and RussiaRussian-EU trade: The volume of trade flowing from Russia to the EU dropped down to 6% of the incoming total last year, according to figures released by Eurostat this week, pushing Russia out of the bloc’s top three trading partners. It now (more…)

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Trans-Pacific Partnership ratified as protestors rage on outside

Protestors in Auckland at TPP signingThe US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), one of the biggest trade deals in history, was signed in New Zealand on yesterday by all 12 member nations amid loud protests. While New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and US Trade Representative Mike Froman led the ceremony at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre, protesters blocked roads outside. The ambitious pact (more…)

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2015 Sino-Russian trade down 28% with more of the same expected

Putin and Jinping Shanghai May 2014Sino-Russian trade: Trade turnover between China and Russia dropped by 27.8% to $64.2bn last year according to China’s customs department, with Chinese exports to Russia down $34,4% ($32.9bn) and Russian exports to China down 19.1% ($31.4bn). 
“Last year (more…)

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Russia aiming to double Pacific Rim agricultural exports by 2020

Grain harvesting in Krasnoyarsk

Grain harvesting in Krasnoyarsk

Alexandr Kryazhev/RIA Novosti

Pacific Rim agricultural exports: Despite experiencing growing food shortages and price inflation at home due to the embargoes it has imposed on EU and now Ukrainian imports, the Russian government is aiming to double grain supplies to the Pacific Rim, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the APEC-2015 Summit in Manila last month, as Moscow (more…)

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Renova signs $2bn herbicide plant deal at Volga-Yangtze meet

RenovaRussia’s Renova has signed an agreement with two Chinese companies for the construction of a $2bn herbicide plant in the Volga Federal District’s Republic of Chuvashia. The agreement was cemented at the (more…)

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Russian gas exports to Europe jump as prices fall

Gazprom pipelineRussian gas exports to Europe jumped to an all-time high in July, its monopoly exporter Gazprom said on Monday, as European customers capitalized on a steep fall in prices. Gazprom’s gas prices are pegged to oil with a six-month lag, which means (more…)

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Russia considers banning European flower imports

Dutch flower exportsEuropean flower imports:  Russia’s agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor is considering slapping a ban on the import of flowers and other plants from Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, on the grounds that they may be sourcing some of their goods from the Netherlands and which do not meet its health and safety standards, a source within the watchdog told Interfax yesterday.

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Ukraine and Belarus switch from dollar to hryvnia for bilateral trade

Poroshenko and LukashenkoUkraine and Belarus have agreed to use the hryvnia instead of the dollar for bilateral trade transactions, with Kiev also asking for permission to use Belarus to act as transit country for gas supplies from Lithuania. “We approached the National Bank of Ukraine with a number of suggestions that would help streamline and revitalize trade between our two countries,” said  Deputy Prime Minister Gennady Zubko. 


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Dutch exports to Russia down 40% after MH17 tragedy

MH17 Ukraine Plane CrashDutch exports to Russia were down nearly 40% in the first four months of 2015 as relations between the two countries continue to suffer following last July’s downing of the MF17 Malaysian flight over Ukraine which was carrying a large number of Dutch nationals.
The value of exports (more…)

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Iran sets eyes on $185bn energy programme after Vienna accord

Deputy Oil Minister for Commerce & International Affairs Hossein ZamaniniaVienna accord: Tehran has identified nearly 50 oil and gas projects worth $185 billion that it hoped to sign by 2020 now that sanctions look likely to be lifted after the agreement in Vienna earlier this month, the country’s Deputy Oil Minister for Commerce and International Affairs, Hossein Zamaninia, said this week.
It also plans (more…)

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German exports to Russia on verge of collapse

containersGerman exports to Russia dropped by over 30% year on year in the first five months of 2015, according to a report published by the Eastern Committee of German Economy yesterday. If the trend continues, the report predicts, export volumes will have halved by the end of December, from €20bn to €10bn. German exports to Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan are also down, by 29%, 31% and 26% respectively.

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Iran’s IRISL and Tidewater removed from US sanctions list

IRISLThe Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and the country’s leading ports operator, the Tidewater Middle East Maritime Company, have been removed from the US list of companies designated for sanctions and assets freeze after officials from Iran and P5+1 sealed a historic nuclear accord on Tuesday.
The names of 16 shipping executives – including IRISL Managing Director Mohammad Hossein Dajmar – and their companies have been delisted along with the related firms, the IRNA news agency reported. Iran’s shipping sector had the biggest number of nationals on a Western blacklist of sanctioned entities for years. IRNA said 132 shipping companies and 16 executives were on the US list in total.
Tidewater was added to the list of Specially Designated Nationals by the US Department of the Treasury in 2011. A statement by the company said all sanctions against it had been formally abolished, adding it would soon begin “serious” talks with foreign sides for new trade. “From now on, Tidewater is ready to participate with all power and capacity in financing various ports projects along with other Iranian maritime companies,” the statement said.

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