Friday, 24 January 2020 07:37

Brexit to lower risks of world economy, Davos

Addressing the forum held in the Swiss Davos, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that “the danger of Germany slipping into recession is receding thanks to an easing in tensions between major global trading partners”. 

“I think we should be happy that the first phase of a trade deal between the U.S. and China has been agreed,” she said during a Q&A session after her speech, Caspian Energy News reports, citing Bloomberg.

In her opinion, an orderly British exit from the European Union, with trade deals and no trade war, less protectionism is reducing the danger of a recession. Europe can contribute to growth and stability and foster confidence in the euro by completing the integration of its banking system and capital markets, the German leader said.

Merkel rejects excluding suppliers from 5G.

The German leader said she was concerned about the conflict between campaigners for a cleaner planet and those who don’t believe in global warming. She said the scientific evidence is clear, and emotions should not be confused with facts.

Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated that Turkey’s maritime boundary agreement with Libya is unacceptable and illegal amid the growing tension in the eastern Mediterranean.

“We don’t need Turkey’s permission” to supply Europe with Cypriot, Israeli or potential Greek gas, Mitsotakis said earlier in Davos. The pact signed by Libya and Turkey has an impact for the planned EastMed pipeline project, he said.

 

According to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, it will take the EU and Great Britain by the end of the year to hammer out a trade deal. To agree on a trade deal “we need to agree on level playing field and all the other issues,” the Dutch leader said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “It’s an awfully short amount of time so I hope that coming next summer, June, July, that Boris Johnson will at least contemplate extending, if necessary, this transition phase.”

Coming to an arrangement is “very difficult and there is still the risk that you will have a cliff edge scenario’ like we had experienced last year.”

U.S., China must adjust for the stable world, Singaporean PM says. 

Both the U.S. and China must make adjustments if they are going to reach a lasting phase-two trade deal that benefits the rest of the world, according to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The U.S. must decide whether to create rules that allow “the best man” to win or only let America come out on top, Lee said.

Global trade will likely expand in line with 2019’s growth of “slightly less than 2%,” A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S Chief Executive Officer Soren Skou said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

CEO of Maersk does not expect an acceleration of the trade growth in 2020.

The reason why freight rates have “gone up quite substantially” since October is mainly the introduction of new more environmentally friendly fuel. “Many of our customers recognize that it’s good for everybody that we go to a cleaner fuel,” Skou said.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies and deregulation moves have been good for business and generated “substantial rewards,” Moelis & Co. founder Ken Moelis said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

Trump has done a good job of telling the story of how the U.S. economy is booming, with low unemployment, Moelis said, adding that despite “a lot of hand-wringing” in the U.S., the country remains a “tremendous place” with great laws, great capital markets and innovation.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said it’s now clear that women need laws to protect them from discrimination in the work place and the issue can’t be left in the hands of the private sector.

“You need laws and structures that lead the way to gender equality,” 34-year-old Marin said during a panel debate. “It doesn’t just happen by itself.” The concern is that an unconscious bias kicks in, steering men in a position to hire toward “similar-minded and similar-looking people” who are deemed to be “more qualified.”

Dutch Finance Minister said that brexit risks EU power. After Brexit, the EU risks becoming a weak player in global politics, because the U.K.’s departure offsets the bloc’s balance, according to Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra.

“When there is a balance between France, Germany, and the U.K., we in the Netherlands are at ease,” Hoekstra said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “That balance is now gone, and for the European Union, both in economic terms, but also in geopolitical terms, Brexit is very bad news.”

Minister: Saudi Arabia must act on emissions

Saudi Arabia must advocate for solutions to tackle climate change as one of the world’s largest energy producers, according to Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman.

“We cannot sit on our hands as a producer without advocating for something that brings a solution to the emissions issue,” he said during a panel discussion. “We can’t see all components of sustainability and market stability without also being involved in the other debate which has to do with climate change.”

The idea of a waste-free global economy is catching on. When British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur was promoting the idea of the circular economy on the sidelines of Davos in 2012, the big attraction was curiosity about what she was up to after her sailing career.

Eight years on, firms such as Adidas AG, Unilever NV, and BlackRock Inc. are embracing MacArthur’s vision. Her foundation is pushing an economic system where product lifespans are extended and components used repeatedly. The idea is to replace the “linear” model of growth -- extraction, production and disposal -- and reduce the strain on the planet’s limited resources.

Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing is “hopeful” that the planned strategy review by the European Central Bank will lead to change.

 

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