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Aprile 2018 - page 4

Japan to pitch new trade dialogue to draw Trump back to TPP

in ECONOMY/FAR EAST by

The Japanese government on Friday greeted with cautious optimism the news that U.S. President Donald Trump is willing to explore re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, while stressing that Washington should accept the original terms. “If this means that President Trump is correctly evaluating the significance and effects of the TPP, it’s something we want to welcome,” Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s minister in charge of the TPP, said after a Cabinet meeting. But he added: “The 11 participating countries share the thinking that it would be extremely difficult to take out part of the TPP and renegotiate or change it.

“The U.S. withdrawal from the TPP shortly after Trump’s inauguration last year made Japan the largest of the 11 Pacific Rim economies left in the deal. Those countries signed a new version last month that had been revised to account for the U.S. absence. Finance Minister Taro Aso suggested that Trump’s shift on the pact should be approached with caution. The shift comes amid a developing trade dispute between the United States and China, which did not take part in the TPP.

Albania: the justice reform as a signal of progress

in EUROPE by

Germany’s ambassador to Tirana, Susanne Schütz says that the successful implementation of the justice reform is an important signal, first of all for the people in Albania who want to see progress in the irreversible transformation of Albania over democracy and the rule of law in its road to EU membership. 

During a joint reception with the EU Delegation and the EU countries participating in the EURALIUS consortium – it is a European Union project for technical support to justice bodies aiming to approximate their operational capability to EU standards -, the German diplomat thanked the EURALIUS IV mission (European Assistance Mission to the Albanian Justice System). 

Finally the Ambassador voiced the conviction that the Vetting process is the key to overcoming the widespread corruption and a more effective fight against criminality in Albania. 

Iraqi Oil minister says Ira completes southern crude pipeline

in ECONOMY/MIDLE EAST by

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said the country has completed the construction of a pipeline that will boost its oil exports from southern ports, Reuters reported. Oil-rich Iraq, which declared victory against Islamic State (ISIS) nationwide in December, is seeking to boost production and exports to fund its reconstruction after years of war.

In 2013, an Iraqi official said his country would pump 850,000 barrels per day down the pipeline to Jordan, which would be enough to cover Jordan’s needs and export the rest via Aqaba. Iraq sits on one of the world’s largest oil reserves — 153 billion barrels by Baghdad’s own estimates. Iraq delivered oil to Jordan for preferential prices under the UN oil-for-food programme during the rule of late dictator Saddam Hussein.

Meeting of APPRM Angjushev and MTV Sugareski with Mihajlovic

in ECONOMY/EUROPE by

Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in charge of Economic Affairs Dr. Kocho Angjushev together with Minister of Transport and Communications Goran Sugareski met today in Belgrade, R. Serbia with Dr. Zoran Mihailovic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Construction, Infrastructure and Transport discussed the key infrastructure projects that connect the two countries. At the meeting an agreement was reached to facilitate all procedures for the transfer of goods and passengers at the border crossings.

Deputy Prime Minister Angjushev said that the parts have reached an agreement first in the region to facilitate all procedures for the transfer of goods and passengers at border crossings. He added that it is important to say that diplomats have found understanding within their cooperation to establish a customs office in Tabanovce, at the railway crossing between Macedonia and Serbia at the railway crossing. The countries will fund such a station jointly and at the same time ask for funds from the Western Balkans Investment Fund, which has already been discussed. Finally he stated they agreed to start such projects as soon as possible in the interests of the citizens of both countries: he thinks that in 2019 they can start building.

Japan’s former chief negotiator for talks on North Korea warns that U.S. lacks expertise on Pyongyang

in FAR EAST/POLITICS by

In a striking reversal, U.S. President Donald Trump has asked trade officials to explore the possibility of the United States rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a free trade deal he pulled out of during his first days in office as part of his “America first” agenda. Trump’s request comes as he faces pressure from farm-state Republicans anxious that his protectionist trade policies could spiral into a trade war with China that would hit rural America. It was not immediately clear how committed Trump was to embarking on a new path of potentially thorny negotiations. Trump frequently equivocates on policy when faced with opposition, only to reverse course later. It’s unclear how willing the other 11 countries would be to reopen the agreement and make concessions to lure the United States back.

“If the Trump administration doesn’t pose too many demands, it is likely that the other TPP members will see the value of the bringing the U.S. back into the fold,” said Eswar Prasad, Cornell University professor of trade policy. “Undoubtedly, a TPP that includes the U.S. would be stronger and more formidable than one that does not.” Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been renewing their pitches for TPP — rather than Trump’s threats of steep tariffs on steel and other products — as a way to counter China on trade. Sen. Ron Johnson was among a handful of senators who recently visited China to meet with government and business leaders there. He said it’s time to work with a coalition of trading partners to increase pressure on China.

EU integration: the Balkans follow the example of Albania

in EUROPE by

Successful reforms in Albania, highlighting justice reform in particular, make this country the best example for the countries in the region who want to advance on the path of integration. 

This is how the international politics and business magazine “IntelliNews” writes, which during the analysis of the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries states that the EU has received solid achievements in its reform efforts and progress on the path of membership. 

High Representative for Foreign Policy and European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini are quoted as saying that “the EU needs this pro-European energy of Albania within the European Union”. 

Johannes Singhammer of the Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria knows Albania very well. For years, Bavaria and CSU have been engaged with Albania since the country was first projected as a potential candidate for EU membership in 2000: he said that Albania is a secular country, where different religious communities live in harmony with one another. Finally he underlined that the country is a full member of NATO since 2009 and is now a consolidated part of the values of the Western community, adding that Albania is actively participating in security operations in line with the common foreign and security policy of the EU and currently has a presence in Mali and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Investment opportunities in Macedonia at the annual investment summit in Dubai

in ECONOMY/EUROPE by

Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi, from the 9th to 11th of April, participates at the eighth edition of the Annual Investment Summit in Dubai, UAE, under the auspices of His Majesty Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Prime Minister of Dubai. 

It is an annual gathering that is the leading global platform for foreign investments, whose annual theme is “Linking Developed and New Foreign Direct Investment Markets – Partnership for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development”, which brings together several tens of thousands of participants from public and private sector from over 100 countries, including representatives of ministries and government scientific public, chambers of commerce, industrial and economic zones, banks and financial institutions, startups and small and medium enterprises. 

Minister Bektesi, within the rich program, presented the possibilities for investing in the Republic of Macedonia and the economic situation of the country and realized numerous meetings with interested investors. During the visit, Bekteshi met with the renowned entrepreneur Ph.D. B.R. Sixth, one of the most successful global businessmen and one of the richest people in the United Emirates, where he is present with many companies and factories in various sectors. 

China’s President Xi Jinping offers to lower trade barriers

in ASIA/POLITICS by

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday that in a world aspiring for peace and development, the Cold War and zero-sum mentality look even more out of place. “Putting oneself on a pedestal or trying to immune oneself from adverse developments will get nowhere,” Xi said while delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference. Xi also stressed the need to promote dialogue and share responsibility, engage in cooperation for win-win results, uphold inclusiveness and seek harmony without uniformity, as well as treat nature with respect and treasure our planet. China will not threaten anyone else, attempt to overturn the existing international system, or seek spheres of influence, no matter how much progress it has made in development, President Xi Jinping said.

Japan: energy plan through 2050

in ASIA by

Japan will accelerate the development of renewable energy and keep its current policy of lowering its dependence on nuclear power as it aims for a low-carbon society, a government panel report on the country’s energy plan through 2050 showed Tuesday. The long-term policy comes as Japan lags behind the global trend to invest in renewables. The most recent targets set out in 2015 seek to have renewable sources account for 22 to 24 percent and nuclear 20 to 22 percent of electric power generation in fiscal 2030. Under the 2015 Paris climate accord, Japan aims for an 80 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from 2013 levels. The report acknowledged that while there have been global movements to phase out nuclear power following the Fukushima crisis, efforts have also been made to enhance the “safety, economic feasibility and mobility” of nuclear power generation. As for thermal power generation, the report said it will remain a major power source in 2050 but inefficient coal plants should be phased out with more focus on gas plants. 

Horizontal Facility program crucial to bring Bosnia closer to the EU

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

The Joint Program of the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey” is of great importance for Bosnia and Herzegovina because it is approaching the EU and helps it meet EU standards, especially in the field of the rule of law and the fight against discrimination. The total budget of the program is 25 million euros, of which the EU has provided 20 million and the Council of Europe five million.

This program implemented in BiH has four projects: two projects initiated last year, “Human Rights Program for detainees and prisoners” and “Capacity building program for the ombudsman institution for the fight against discrimination”, and two introduced this year, namely “Quality Education in Multiethnic Societies” and “Program for the Rights of National Minorities”. The Horizontal Facility program has been crucial for the implementation of reforms that are in line with the Council of Europe monitoring and EU standards monitoring bodies, and to be implemented in areas that treat prisons, police and the fight against discrimination in BiH.

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