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RECORD INWARD INVESTMENT FOR YORKSHIRE AND HUMBERSIDE

Yorkshire and Humberside has recorded the highest level of inward investment in two decades, according to new research.

The region attracted 98 foreign direct investment projects in 2016, more than in any year since 1997, the latest EY UK Attractiveness Survey has found.

A total of 25 different countries invested in projects in the region, the most of which originated in the US, which launched 30 projects. Germany invested in ten projects, France started nine and Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands each invested in five projects.

The 98 projects represented an increase of 24 per cent compared to 2015 and manufacturing projects led the surge in investment in the region in 2016, making up 57 per cent of all projects, followed by financial and business services which accounted for 15 per cent.

Suzanne Robinson, Yorkshire and Humber senior partner at EY, said: “The work that has taken place to position the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside as a strong investment location in the global marketplace is starting to pay off.

“These figures show that the international investment community has seen the potential in the region, with its access to the right skills, infrastructure and strong supply chain networks.

“Manufacturing in particular has seen strong growth in this region.”

She added: “This is not just from factories, the Yorkshire and Humber region attracted four headquarters, four logistics facilities, three testing centres and two training centres in 2016, demonstrating the strength and diversity of skills available in this region to foreign investors.

“However looking beyond manufacturing, the number of software projects in this region fell from six to two, and research and development  projects fell from five to just one, which clearly defines a need to focus more resources in these areas in the future.”

According to EY’s chief economist Mark Gregory, the impact of the Brexit vote and the Northern Powerhouse initiative were beginning to have an impact on investment.

“The research suggests that the EU referendum vote and its aftermath may be having an influence on global perceptions of the UK’s medium to long-term attractiveness,” Gregory said.

“Western European investors are twice as negative as Asian and North American investors.

“Decisions on the majority of investments made in 2016 would have been made up to three years ago, which helps to explain Yorkshire’s – and the wider UK’s – solid performance last year, but signs of a slowdown are on the horizon.”

Robinson added: “The concept of a Northern Powerhouse has undoubtedly helped to improve the overall attractiveness of the region.

“However, it will need to remain a key priority consistently for the medium term if we are to realise the full economic benefit from re-balancing the economy.”

“What is clear, is that the UK has a short window to act.

“On a positive note, across the North in particular we have a solid base to build from, with globally renowned strengths.

“A rapid response and clear strategy can help strengthen our position for inward investment from all parts of the globe.”

Source: Joshua Hammond, Business Insider, 23rd May 2017

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Production in construction up by 6.9% in euro area

February 2017 compared with January 2017 Production in construction up by 6.9% in euro area Up by 4.4% in EU28

In February 2017 compared with January 2017, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 6.9% in the euro area (EA19) and by 4.4% in the EU28, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In January 2017, production in construction fell by 2.4% in the euro area and by 1.5% in the EU28.

In February 2017 compared with February 2016, production in construction increased by 7.1% in the euro area and by 5.2% in the EU28.

Monthly comparison by construction sector and by Member State

The increase of 6.9% in production in construction in the euro area in February 2017, compared with January 2017, is due to civil engineering rising by 10.1% and building construction by 6.2%.

In the EU28, the increase of 4.4% is due to civil engineering rising by 5.5% and building construction by 4.0%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in production in construction were recorded in Slovenia (+25.7%), Belgium (+18.7%) and Germany (+13.6%), while the largest decreases were observed in Poland (-2.8%), Sweden (-1.8%), and the United Kingdom (-1.6%).

Annual comparison by construction sector and by Member State

The increase of 7.1% in production in construction in the euro area in February 2017, compared with February 2016, is due to civil engineering rising by 10.3% and building construction by 6.2%.

In the EU28, the increase of 5.2% is due to civil engineering rising by 5.6% and building construction by 4.8%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in production in construction were recorded in Slovenia (+21.4%), Hungary (+15.1%), Sweden (+13.2%) and Germany (+11.6%), while the largest decreases were observed in Slovakia (-10.6%), the Czech Republic (-5.5%) and Poland (-5.1%).

For further information and tables see the full Eurostat News Release here

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Euro area and EU28 government deficit

Euro area and EU28 government deficit at 1.5% and 1.7% of GDP respectively.
Government debt at 89.2% and 83.5%

In 2016, the government deficit and debt of both the euro area (EA19) and the EU28 decreased in relative terms compared with 2015. In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio fell from 2.1% in 2015 to 1.5% in 2016, and in the EU28 from 2.4% to 1.7%. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio declined from 90.3% at the end of 2015 to 89.2% at the end of 2016, and in the EU28 from 84.9% to 83.5%.

In the release, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, is providing government deficit and debt data based on figures reported in the first 2017 notification by EU Member States for the years 2013-2016, for the application of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP). This notification is based on the ESA 2010 system of national accounts. This release also includes data on government expenditure and revenue.

In 2016, Luxembourg (+1.6%), Malta (+1.0%), Sweden (+0.9%), Germany (+0.8%), Greece (+0.7%), the Czech Republic (+0.6%), Cyprus and the Netherlands (both +0.4%), Estonia and Lithuania (both +0.3%) registered a government surplus, while Bulgaria and Latvia reported a government balance. The lowest government deficits as a percentage of GDP were recorded in Ireland (-0.6%), Croatia (-0.8%) and Denmark (-0.9%). Four Member States had deficits equal to or higher than 3% of GDP: Spain (-4.5%), France (-3.4%), Romania and the United Kingdom (both -3.0%).

At the end of 2016, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Estonia (9.5%), Luxembourg (20.0%), Bulgaria (29.5%), the Czech Republic (37.2%), Romania (37.6%) and Denmark (37.8%). Sixteen Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP, with the highest registered in Greece (179.0%), Italy (132.6%), Portugal (130.4%), Cyprus (107.8%) and Belgium (105.9%).

In 2016, government expenditure in the euro area was equivalent to 47.7% of GDP and government revenue to 46.2%. The figures for the EU28 were 46.6% and 44.9% respectively. In both zones, the government expenditure ratio decreased between 2015 and 2016, while the government revenue ratio decreased in the euro area and remained stable in the EU28.

For full tables and reservations on data reported see Eurostat’s News Release here

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Euro area annual inflation up to 1.9%

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.9% in April 2017, up from 1.5% in March 2017, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in April (7.5%, compared with 7.4% in March), followed by services (1.8%, compared with 1.0% in March), food, alcohol & tobacco (1.5%, compared with 1.8% in March) and non-energy industrial goods (0.3%, stable compared with March).

For full information and tables please visit the Eurostat update here

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Industrial Commodity Prices to Rise in 2017: World Bank

 

Oil prices to average $55 per barrel in 2017, rise next year

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2017— The World Bank is forecasting higher prices for industrial commodities, principally energy and metals, in 2017 and next year.

The World Bank in its April Commodity Markets Outlook is holding steady its crude oil price forecast for this year at $55 per barrel, increasing to an average of $60 per barrel in 2018. Rising oil prices, supported by production cutbacks by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC states, will allow markets to gradually rebalance. These oil price forecasts are subject to downside risks should the rebound in the U.S. shale oil industry be greater than expected.

Prices for energy commodities, which also include natural gas and coal, are projected to jump 26 percent this year and 8 percent in 2018. In line with oil price forecasts, natural gas is anticipated to gain 15 percent this year, led by a jump in U.S. prices. Coal is seen climbing 6 percent in 2017, due to earlier supply restrictions in China, which consumes half the world’s coal output.

Prices for non-energy commodities, which include agriculture, fertilizers, and metals and minerals, are forecast to increase in 2017, the first rise in five years. Metals prices are projected to jump 16 percent this year due to strong demand, especially from China, and supply constraints, including mine disruptions in Chile, Indonesia and Peru.

Download the April Commodity Markets Outlook

Labor strikes and contractual disputes at large mines have contributed to higher copper prices. However, precious metals are expected to decline by 1 percent this year and 1 percent next year as benchmark interest rates rise and safe-haven buying ebbs.

Among the components of non-energy commodities, the agriculture price index as a whole is expected to remain stable this year, as declines in grains are expected to be offset by price rises for oils and meals and raw materials.

“Favorable conditions have pushed stocks-to-use ratios to 15-year highs for wheat, maize and rice,’” said John Baffes, Senior Economist and lead author of the Commodity Markets Outlook. “Assessments point to a surplus this year and next for global supplies of key grains.”

Beverages, which include coffee, cocoa, and tea prices, are forecast to drop more than 6 percent in 2017 due to greater-than-expected supply. Agricultural raw materials are projected to rise 4 percent. The end of the El Niño/La Niña cycle limits upside price risk for the 2017-2018 agricultural commodity forecasts.

The World Bank’s Commodity Markets Outlook provides detailed market analysis for major commodity groups, including energy, metals, agriculture, precious metals, and fertilizers. The report includes price forecasts to 2030 for 46 commodities and provides historical price data.

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Source: World Bank
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DIT Webinar: Mining Industry in Uzbekistan, 3rd April, 2-3pm BST

The World Bank reports that Uzbekistan has made significant progress in the last two years in facilitating trade, protecting investors and reducing regulatory complexity.  On 17 March 2017, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed an agreement with the government of Uzbekistan to explore ways of increasing its investment activity in the country.

With skilled local manpower and developed infrastructure the country offers good investment potential particularly in the mining sector. Uzbekistan possesses significant mineral deposits including gold, uranium, copper, potash and phosphates.

This 60-minute webinar is designed to assist the UK companies considering business opportunities in Uzbekistan’s Gold mining, Coal energy, Rare earth metals and Potash mining and fertilizers production sectors by:

• Raising awareness about the economic & political situation and the opportunities in the Uzbekistan market.

• Providing updated information on the structure of the development of the mining sector in Uzbekistan

• Providing a platform for UK companies to put questions directly to the speakers.

Speakers

  • Mr. Christopher Allan, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Mr. Jan Lewis, Director at the Wardell Armstrong

To join the Webinar, please complete the registration form HERE

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Exporting Barnsley firm notches up 500th Sushi Machine Sale

 

A Barnsley business has sold its 500th sushi machine to a restaurant 8,000 miles away in South America.

SushiSushi, which started selling sushi machines in 2011, has sold the equipment to U Sushi in Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina.

Stuart Turner, the owner of SushiSushi, developed the Roller-35 Sushi machine to allow untrained restaurant staff to produce consistent quality sushi.

In February, SushiSushi received orders from Italy, Chile, France and the USA and has even sold products to Japan.

Total sales of the manual Roller-35 Sushi Machine have reached nearly £250,000.

“Our sushi machines have gained interest in many countries, with 100 per cent of customers finding us online,” said Turner.

“It’s amazing to think that customers as far as Tierra del Fuego Province and Reunion Island near Madagascar are choosing a piece of catering equipment made in Barnsley for their hotel restaurants.”

SushiSushi, based in Mapplewell, stocks a range of products sold to restaurants, chefs, retailers and cooking enthusiasts across Europe and the rest of the world, with clients including Great British Menu judge Michael O’Hare and MasterChef runner up Andrew Kojima.

Source: Laurence Kilgannon, Insider Media, 2nd March 2017

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New research suggests more support needed to help women-led businesses expand internationally

 

New businesses run by women are less likely to expand internationally than male-run companies, according to new research carried out by academics at Sheffield Hallam University.

The study, carried out by a team of researchers from the University’s Business School, examines companies under five years old in order to assess the most significant factors supporting or hindering internationalisation.

The research found that women-led businesses and those based in the North West, North East and the West Midlands were less likely to export to international markets than others.

The team analysed data from the Longitudinal Business Survey on 1,881 companies that have been trading for less than five years.

They found start-ups that focused on innovation, placed significant importance on sales growth and had high levels of productivity were the most likely to internationalise in the first five years of trading.

They also found that the bias towards businesses from London and South East to internationalise early was less pronounced than expected, with a number of regions including Yorkshire and Humberside and Wales overrepresented given the proportion of new ventures in those areas.

Other key findings include a propensity for businesses in the manufacturing, business services or consumption-based sectors to internationalise ahead of those focused on education and personal services, construction, and primary sector activities such as agriculture.

The research also discovered that although internationalised businesses makes a larger contribution to the economy through turnover and output per worker they do not create a higher number of employment opportunities.

The team who carried out the research has made recommendations for support for women-led businesses to internationalise and also suggest support needs to be available across the country and in all sectors rather than focusing on areas and industries with a high number of international businesses.

They also recommend co-ordinated promotion of innovation and internationalisation as capabilities in these areas are interlinked.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew Johnston, leader of the International Business and Economics Research Group (IBERG) at Sheffield Hallam, said: “There are some surprising findings in the research and some significant differences between businesses that export internationally at an early stage and those that don’t.

“We hope our findings will influence policy and ensure government support programmes are targeted in the right areas to help develop key industries.”

For press information: Jo Beattie in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email j.beattie@shu.ac.uk

Notes to Editor

 The full report is available to download here

Photo of lead researcher Dr Andrew Johnston attached.

About the Longitudinal Small Business Survey

 The Longitudinal Small Business Survey (LSBS), is a survey of business owners and managers, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The survey is designed to provide data on small-and-medium-sized enterprise performance and the factors that affect this. Sheffield Hallam University is part of the LSBS User Group, a group of 35 academic and policy researchers. Supported by BEIS and the Enterprise Research Centre, the User Group aims to share good practice and promote widespread awareness and use of the LSBS database.

About Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 31,500 students.

It is one of the country’s largest providers of health and social care courses, teacher training, and sport and physical activity courses. It is also home to the UK’s largest modern business school.

Its courses are designed and delivered in close partnership with employers, professional associations and practice specialists to ensure that the skills our students develop are relevant. As a result, 93 per cent of its students are in employment or further training within six months of graduation.

As one of the UK’s most progressive universities, providing opportunity through widening participation is at the heart of the University. 96 per cent of its young full-time undergraduate UK students are from state schools/colleges and 41 per cent are from low income backgrounds.

Sheffield Hallam’s research is characterised by a focus on real world impact – addressing the cultural, economic and social challenges facing society today. 65 per cent of its research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework.

PR/ends

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International award for business courses at Sheffield Hallam

Tourism, hospitality and international business management courses at Sheffield Hallam University have once again received an international award in recognition of their quality.

Several courses run by Sheffield Business School have retained the EPAS Accreditation Award from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

The EMFD Programme Accreditation Scheme (EPAS) evaluates the quality of business or management degree programmes that have an international perspective.

The recognition means the courses will benefit from international partnerships, and students will have more opportunities to work or study abroad.

The courses were originally accredited in 2013 and following a 3-day inspection visit from the EFMD they have been re-accredited with a number of undergraduate courses receiving a full five-year accreditation.

The accreditation team recognised the Business School for the work that has taken place to strengthen the quality of international partners, the strong regional corporate connections and its commitment to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Sheffield Business School, said: “I am delighted with this achievement, as are staff and students from across the business school.

“EPAS re-accreditation provides a global benchmark for the excellence of our student experience, knowledge creation and scholarly community. In particular, it underlines the innovative steps we have taken to internationalise our flagship programmes.

“Our students will continue to benefit from this accreditation through increased opportunities to broaden their learning experiences by studying abroad with partner institutions.”

The University is one of only a handful of institutions worldwide to obtain this accreditation award for its undergraduate hospitality and tourism courses and for a postgraduate international business course.

Courses that have been accredited are: MSc International Business Management; BSc (Hons) Hospitality Business Management; BSc (Hons) International Hotel Management; and BSc (Hons) Tourism Management.

For press information: Joanne Beattie in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email j.beattie@shu.ac.uk

PR/ends

Notes to editor

Sheffield Business School is the largest modern business school in the UK, with more than 7,000 students.

Our education and research is informed, influenced and enriched by our relationships with industry addressing modern sectors such as banking, tourism, hospitality and events management.

We pride ourselves on the relevance of our work and we place employability and social responsibility at the heart of what we do.

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Doncaster Bakery serves up New Zealand Order

A Doncaster-based bakery has won a contract to export its handcrafted pork pies to New Zealand.

The Topping Pie Company has struck a deal with Smylie, which specialises in sourcing and distributing British food and drink overseas.

A range of pies made with British Red Tractor pork meat, Dinky Topped Cranberry, Cheese and Pickle and Stilton, have been shipped to Union Jack’s – which operates a chain of UK food stores in Auckland, New Zealand targeting the ex-pat community and domestic consumers alike.

Roger Topping, managing director of The Topping Pie Company, said: “New Zealand is a popular destination for British ex-pats and we know they crave a little taste of home, so we are delighted to be able to deliver a slice of Britain with the support of Smylie’s dedicated team of experts.”

Henry Elsby, international sales manager at Smylie, added: “We are pleased to be working with The Topping Pie Company to export its premium quality pork pies into New Zealand.

“The premium quality pies are going down well with ex-pats and Kiwis alike and now they have a taste for Toppings, we are planning to target other retailers and additional channels, including food service.”

Source: Matthew Ord, Insider Media, 22nd February 2017

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