News

Call: British Consulate-General survey on non-tariff barriers to trade in Hong Kong

 

The British Consulate-General is capturing business views on non-tariff barriers to trade.

If you are a UK business trading in Hong Kong please take a few minutes to help us gather views on barriers to trade in Hong Kong. Your views are very important to us. The survey questions can be accessed through this link and can be filled in anonymously if you wish.

The survey will close on 30 September.

The British Consulate-General Hong Kong is conducting a joint trade review with the Trade and Industry Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to identify options to overcome non-tariff barriers to the trade in goods and services between the UK and Hong Kong. The Trade Review seeks to capture the business community’s views on what the barriers are and in which sectors they have the greatest impact.

Source: 7th September 2017 www.gov.uk

 

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Euro area annual inflation up to 1.5%

 

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.5% in August 2017, up from 1.3% in July 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 August (4.0%, compared with 2.2% in July), followed by services (1.6%, stable compared with July), food, alcohol & tobacco (1.4%, stable compared with July) and non-energy industrial goods (0.5%, stable compared with July).

Source: Eurostat, for full article click HERE

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Taming The Dragon to explore business links with China

Businesses looking to build on Sheffield’s expanding links with China are being encouraged to sign up to a number of events designed to help them explore new opportunities in the country. Sheffield City Council has launched its Sheffield China Business Programme, a series of six seminars for businesses to unlock potential opportunities and understand the different ways of working in the country. It comes as the council prepares for a trade delegation to China in November this year.

The seminars begin with Taming the Dragon: An Overview of the Chinese Market, on Wednesday 6 September, starting at 8am at Sheffield Town Hall (Reception Room A). Here, organisers will reveal more about the so-called golden era of UK-Chinese relations and the continuing investment between the two countries.

At the first seminar, Ben Hui, China project manager at Creative Sheffield, will give an overview of China’s market.

Hailing Yu, China business advisor from the China Britain Business Council (CBBC) will give an update on the latest sector specific opportunities for Sheffield companies and Jerry Cheung, managing director of the New Era Square development at St Mary’s Gate, will discuss why China is a great destination for inward investment and share his secrets on how to successfully attract investors.

Duncan Hoyland, export co-ordinator of The Department of International Trade will also tell delegates how the government can support businesses in successfully exporting to China.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield already has an enviable relationship with China, educating thousands of China nationals at its two universities and working closely on the New Era Square development as well as many other projects.

“These seminars will bring in the very best local and international expertise to help businesses explore their own connectivity with China, giving them a tremendous tool-kit to tackle trade overseas.”

Scheduled events: For more information and to book please click the links below

6 September 2017: Taming the dragon: An overview of the Chinese Market

4 October 2017:  Doing Business in China: An Introduction to Chinese Business Culture and Etiquette

8 November 2017: Developing Your Market in China: Sales, Marketing & Business Development

6 December 2017: How to get your Intellectual Property Protected Rights in China?

10 January 2018: Getting paid from China: Advice on Finance and Money Repatriation

7 February 2018: What is the Belt & Road Initiative? What are The Opportunities for Businesses in The Northern Powerhouse? 

The China Business Seminar series is being delivered in association with programme partners:

  • The Confucius Institute
  • China Britain Business Council
  • China Brampton
  • CISDI
  • Department of International Trade
  • EasyMoshi
  • International Trade Forum
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • Lloyds Bank
  • New Era Development
  • Santander UK
  • Sheffield Chamber of Commerce
  • Sheffield City Region
  • South Yorkshire International Trade Centre
  • Withers & Rogers
  • Yee Kwan Ice Cream.
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Inside the international suitcase: The UK’s top holiday exports revealed

Published by .gov.uk, 12th August 2017

Dr Liam Fox encourages businesses to export as figures reveal the UK exported more than £300 million worth of holiday goods in 2016.

As millions of people fly away for the summer break, so do British goods as latest figures show sunglasses, swimwear and ice-cream are big exports, accounting for more than three quarters of UK holiday goods.**

Latest HMRC statistics show the UK exported more than £302 million worth of holiday goods (2016), including £160 million worth of sunglasses, £93 million worth of swimwear and £16 million worth of ice-cream. UK flip flops are also a big summer hit, with £8 million worth exported around the world.

DIT helped to secure billions of pounds in export opportunities over the past year, setting up 11 trade working groups across 16 countries to strike trade deals and strengthen commercial ties with key trading partners.

Now the International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox is encouraging other UK businesses to seize the exciting opportunities posed by trade with the rest of the world after Brexit.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

From ice-cream to swimwear, you can find UK holiday exports in travel destinations around the world. Last year alone, more than £300 million worth of these goods have been sold to shoppers across the globe showing increasing demand for home-grown summer essentials.

As an international economic department, we are supporting British business to take advantage of the growing global markets after we leave the EU and design a trade relationship in Britain’s national interest. There has never been a better time for our dynamic and innovative businesses to export their goods and services abroad.

Overall latest trade statistics show that UK exports of goods and services have increased – exports stand at £547.6 billion, up 5.8% on 2015.

The UK also attracted more foreign direct investment projects than ever before (year 2016 to 2017). With more than 2,200 projects recorded, the post-referendum figures show an increase of 2% the previous year.

Global markets

In regards to trade, the European Commission states that 90% of global growth in the next 20 years will be outside the EU. In promising news for trade deals, outside the EU some of the biggest markets for holiday exports include South Korea, Australia, UAE, Hong Kong and the USA.

Sunglasses remain one of the top holiday exports, with £3.8 million worth sold to Hong Kong, £4.6 million worth of UK swimwear to the USA and more than £1.4 million worth of flip-flops sold to non-EU countries.

Card games are another must-have holiday item and £3.7 million of UK playing cards exported to non-EU countries last year, with £2.1 million heading to Australia.

Holidaymakers across the world are also keeping cool with British ice-cream with £1.3 million heading to non-EU countries.

Through great.gov.uk, the government gives UK businesses access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business, helping them start or increase exporting with a ‘matching service’ for global buyers and lists thousands of export opportunities at a click of a mouse.

DIT has also doubled UK Export Finance’s risk appetite to £5 billion, to ensure no viable export deal fails due to lack of finance and insurance.

Notes to editors

**The worldwide exports of sunglasses, swimwear and ice-cream in 2016 equates to £269.6 million.

The UK exported £302.2 million of the following holiday goods:

  • sunglasses
  • swimwear
  • playing cards
  • inflatable balls
  • ice cream
  • travel sets
  • flip flops

This is not an exhaustive list of all holiday goods.

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Latest HMRC Export and Import Statistics – Released 10th August 2017

Date: 10 August 2017

The latest trade data was published by UK Trade Date today and the picture looks as follows.

In June 2017 the value of exports (EU and Non-EU) decreased to £28.3 billion, and imports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £41.7 billion, compared with last month. Consequently the UK is a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £13.4 billion.

Key Points Highlighted by HMRC

  • Total trade exports for June 2017 were £28.3 billion. This was a decrease of £1.0 billion (3.5 per cent) compared with last month, but an increase of £3.6 billion (15 per cent) compared with June 2016.
  • Total trade imports for June 2017 were £41.7 billion. This was an increase of £1.3 billion (3.3 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £1.6 billion (4.0 per cent) compared with June 2016.
  • The UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £13.4 billion


Our Comments

The Top 25 Trading Partners for UK Exporters shows little change in the table (see below), but it is interesting to look behind the scene.

Whilst the US is still at No 1 and exports in comparison to Year to Date 2016 figure, export to the US has increased by 6.4%, however, the comparison to the previous month, ie May 2017 to June 2017  showed a decrease by a – 19.1%.

Equally UK Exports to China decreased by 18.8% in comparison to May 2017, dropping from 6th to 7th place in the table.

All other figures noted in comparison to YTD2016 to YTD2017 remain positive, bar Hong Kong (-2.1%) and Saudi Arabia (-6.4%).

At the top of the table of increased exports in comparison to last year is Turkey (+74.2%) followed by Switzerland (+60) and South Korea (49.7%).

Qatar dropped off the Top25 UK Export list, replaced by Russia.

Top 25 UK Import Trading Partners’ list sees little change.

Top 25 UK Export Trading Partners: US, Germany, France, Netherlands,  Irish Republic, China, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, UAE, Hong Kong, Turkey, South Korea, Sweden, Japan, , Canada, Poland, Singapore, , Low Value Trade (ZY), Saudi Arabia, Australia, India Norway, Russia

Top 25 UK Import Trading Partners: Germany, US, China, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Norway, Italy,Spain, Irish Republic, Canada, Japan, Poland, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Turkey,  India, Sweden, Low Value Trade (ZY), South Africa, Czech Republic, Russia, Denmark, South Korea, UAE

Source and full information on Top Trading Partners by Country, SITC or Chapters please visit  published 10th August 2017, HMRC

 

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New Export Partnership with Turkey to boost UK Trade

UK and Turkey will co-finance projects and contracts as part of an agreement to strengthen trade co-operation and boost investment between the two countries.

The government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF) and its Turkish counterpart, Export Credit Bank of Turkey (ECBT) have signed the agreement as the government increased its support for UK businesses trading with Turkey.

UKEF and ECBT will partner to identify and promote opportunities for UK-Turkey trade. They will also now be able to co-finance projects in other countries, combining their financial support to help UK and Turkish exporters secure major global contracts.

This comes as UKEF support for exports to Turkey doubles to up to £3.5 billion, making an additional £1.75 billion available for UK companies selling to Turkey and for Turkish investors buying British products and services. UKEF financing is also now available in Turkish Lira, along with 40 other global currencies, making it easier for Turkish companies to buy UK products using their local currency.

International Trade Minister, Greg Hands, said:

This partnership is a boost to our trading relationship and businesses in both countries. Working with Turkey to secure contracts for UK and Turkish exporters, and increasing our support for UK businesses trading with Turkey, will open new opportunities, not only in Turkey, but across the world.

Adnan Yildrim, General Manager, Export Credit Bank of Turkey, said:

I am very excited about this partnership, as the opportunity for stronger ties between UK and Turkish businesses will have huge benefits for both countries’ continued growth and prosperity. This agreement lays the groundwork for significant engagement and will act as a strategic tool to enhance the already robust economic relations between the two countries who are longstanding close allies. I expect that both sides will start to reap the fruits of the agreement in the shortest time.

The UK and Turkey already shared £11.9 billion worth of trade in 2016, up 70% on 2009. The UK and Turkey are committed to further strengthening this relationship in coming years.

Source: Gov.uk, 2nd August 2017

Notes for Editors

  1. UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations.
  2. It exists to ensure that no viable UK export should fail for want of finance or insurance from the private market. It provides finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfil and ensure they get paid for export contracts.
  3. UKEF can support companies of any size and in any sector, from goods to services and intellectual property.
  4. UKEF has a regional network of export finance managers supporting export businesses.
  5. UKEF supports exporters with a range of products that include:
    • Bond insurance policy
    • Bond support scheme
    • Buyer & supplier credit financing facility
    • Direct lending facility
    • Export insurance policy
    • Export refinancing facility
    • Export working capital scheme
    • Letter of credit guarantee scheme
  6. Find the latest information on UKEF’s country cover positions.
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DIT is attracting top talent to trade team

Source: Gov.uk, 7th August 2017

Interesting statement following an article in the Guardian deemed incorrect reporting….

—————————————————————————————————

The Department for International Trade is building a world-class team to develop our  future global trading arrangements after Brexit.

A ‘Comment is Free’ article on the Guardian website on Friday 4 August incorrectly reported that a Canadian trade negotiator was the “first candidate” for the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser, claiming that he turned down the job after a pay dispute.

It also incorrectly asserts that we have no trade lawyers.

DIT was established by the Prime Minister in July 2016 to support UK businesses to break into overseas markets, promote the UK as a place to do business and trade with, and negotiate and implement our new global trading arrangements as we leave the European Union.

To do this we need to build a new major capability which was not previously required in the UK government. We have made huge progress in doing so over the past year, and shall continue to do so over coming years.

Here are the facts:

  • we appointed globally respected trade negotiator Crawford Falconer, to the DIT Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser role
  • Crawford was the top candidate and our first choice: to suggest otherwise is completely false
  • with 25 years of public service in international trade and foreign affairs as New Zealand (NZ) Deputy Secretary and Vice Minister for International Trade and Foreign Affairs, and former NZ Ambassador to the WTO, he will lead the new profession within the UK Civil Service
  • since its formation in July 2016, DIT’s headcount has increased to a global workforce of over 3,200 people
  • DIT continues to build on our trade capability – the trade policy team has grown significantly from 45 in June 2016 to over 300 today
  • the trade policy team now includes policy and country specialists, as well as expert economic analysts and lawyers
  • as with many other government departments, DIT has its own team of dedicated lawyers
  • currently there are over 20 lawyers working specifically on trade issues and are based at DIT – this will grow as we enter further talks and negotiations
  • there is significant demand for roles at all levels within DIT – in one round of recruitment for 96 roles, the department received 1,608 applications
  • our Permanent Secretary and Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser roles received 111 and 58 applications respectively
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EU Stats: Euro area international trade in goods surplus €21.4 bn

 

Euro area international trade in goods surplus €21.4 bn
€4.0 bn surplus for EU28

Euro Area

The first estimate for euro area (EA19) exports of goods to the rest of the world in May 2017 was €189.6 billion, an increase of 12.9% compared with May 2016 (€167.8 bn). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €168.1 bn, a rise of 16.4% compared with May 2016 (€144.4 bn). As a result, the euro area recorded a €21.4 bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in May 2017, compared with +€23.4 bn in May 2016. Intra-euro area trade rose to €162.4 bn in May 2017, up by 15.3% compared with May 2016.

International trade in goods of the euro area, € bn

In January to May 2017, euro area exports of goods to the rest of the world stood at €898.5 bn (an increase of 8.5% compared with January-May 2016) and imports at €815.6 bn (an increase of 12.3% compared with January- May 2016).
As a result the euro area recorded a surplus of €82.9 bn, compared with +€101.5 bn in January-May Intra-euro area trade rose to €771.2 bn in January-May 2017, +8.7% compared with January-May 2016.

European Union

The first estimate for extra-EU28 exports of goods in May 2017 was €165.4 billion, up by 15.9% compared with May 2016 (€142.7 bn). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €161.4 bn, up by 17.2% compared with May 2016 (€137.7 bn). As a result, the EU28 recorded a €4.0 bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in May 2017, compared with +€5.0 bn in May 2016. Intra-EU28 trade rose to €288.1 bn in May 2017, up by 12.7% compared with May 2016.

In January to May 2017, extra-EU28 exports of goods stood at €772.9 bn (an increase of 10.6% compared with January-May 2016) and imports at €776.6 bn (an increase of 12.0% compared with January-May 2016). As a result, the EU28 recorded a deficit of €3.7 bn, compared with a surplus of €5.7 bn in January-May 2016. Intra-EU28 trade rose to €1 387.9 bn in January-May 2017, +7.6% compared with January-May 2016.

Main trading partners  – EU28 – bn €/% growth by country, comparing Jan-May 16 to Jan-May 17 figures

United States: 158.7bn, 6.6%
China: 80.2bn, 20.3%
Switzerland: 64.7bn,  14%
Russia: 34.1bn, 24.6%
Turkey:33.6bn,  3.3%
Japan: 24.9bn, 11.9%
Norway: 21bn, 8.2%
South Korea: 20bn, 14.3%
India: 17bn, 10.3%
Canada: 15.8bn, 11.2%

United Kingdom’s total export trade is noted at €166.6 9bn in fifth place in terms of Member States’ total trade, representing 9% increase from the previous year’s period Jan-May 2016

€78.2bn of which is in Intra-EU trade, an increase of 6% from the previous year, and €88.4bn in extra-EU trade, representing 12% growth from the previous year’s period Jan-May 2016.

Overall in the EU28 list, Germany is ranked first with €532bn total trade with Member States’ total trade, Netherlands second with €235.1bn, followed by France €195.3bn and Italy €183.8bn in fourth place.

Source: Eurostat, published 14th July 2017

 

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EU Stats: Industrial production up by 1.3% in euro area

May 2017 compared with April 2017

In May 2017 compared with April 2017, seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 1.3% in the euro area (EA19) and by 1.2% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In April 2017 industrial production rose by 0.3% in euro area and by 0.1% in the EU28.

In May 2017 compared with May 2016, industrial production increased by 4.0% in both zones.

The increase of 1.3% in industrial production in the euro area in May 2017, compared with April 2017, is due to production of capital goods rising by 2.3%, durable consumer goods by 1.8%, non-durable consumer goods by 1.2%, energy by 0.9% and intermediate goods by 0.3%.

In the EU28, the increase of 1.2% is due to production of capital goods rising by 2.0%, durable consumer goods by 1.8%, non-durable consumer goods by 1.0%, energy by 0.7% and intermediate goods by 0.6%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in industrial production were registered in Lithuania (+3.8%), Romania (+3.5%) and the Czech Republic (+3.3%), and the largest decreases in Portugal (-1.0%) and Malta (-0.9%).

Annual comparison by main industrial grouping and by Member State

The increase of 4.0% in industrial production in the euro area in May 2017, compared with May 2016, is due to production of durable consumer goods rising by 7.5%, capital goods by 5.5%, intermediate goods by 3.8%, nondurable consumer goods by 2.6% and energy by 2.2%.

In the EU28, the increase of 4.0% is due to production of durable consumer goods rising by 6.8%, capital goods by 6.1%, intermediate goods by 4.9%, non-durable consumer goods by 2.4% and energy by 1.1%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in industrial production were registered in Romania (+14.6%), Estonia (+12.6%) and the Czech Republic (+10.7%). Decreases were observed in Malta and the United Kingdom (both -0.7%).

Geographical information

The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The European Union (EU28) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Sorce: Eurostat, 12th July 2017

 

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Latest Export and Import Statistics – HMRC

 

In May 2017 the value of exports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £29.4 billion, and imports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £40.2 billion, compared with last month. Consequently the UK is a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £10.8billion.

Key Points

  • Total trade exports for May 2017 were £29.4 billion. This was an increase of £2.9 billion (11 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £5.9 billion (25 per cent) compared with May 2016.
  • Total trade imports for May 2017 were £40.2 billion. This was an increase of £1.9 billion (5.0 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £4.1 billion (11 per cent) compared with May 2016.
  • The UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £10.8 billion.

Top 25 UK Export Trading Partners: US, Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Irish Republic, China, Belgium, Spain, Italy, UAE, Hong Kong, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Canada, Singapore, Poland, Low Value Trade (ZY), Saudi Arabia, Australia, India Norway, Qatar.

Top 25 UK Import Trading Partners: Germany, US, China, Netherlands, Fance, Belgium, Norway, Italy,Spain, Irish Republic, Canada, Japan, Poland, Hong Kong, Turkey, Switzerland, India, Sweden, Low Value Trade (ZY), Czech Republic, South Africa, Russia, Denmark, South Korea, UAE

Source and full information on Top Trading Partners by Country, SITC or Chapters please visit  HMRC, published 7th July 2017

 

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