1.     UK logistics company to invest $76m in Germany

Advanced Supply Chain (ASC) a UK logistics company has announced it will open a £76 million logistics facility in the North West of Germany. The new facility will create 400 jobs by the end of 2026. It also plans to open a new operation in Poland by 2027.

ASC is also opening a new facility in its home location Bradford. ASC intelligent supply chain handles freight forwarding, warehousing and fulfilment, transport, reverse logistics in the clothing, home and lifestyle, health and beauty, food and general merchandise sectors. ASC has operations globally.

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2.     Sri Lanka to join RCEP

Image Anton Lecock

Sri Lankan officials visited Jakarta earlier this year to discuss joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) which has now been ratified.

The 15 countries of RCEP, the largest trading bloc in history, are the nations of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam which represent 30% of the world’s population.

RCEP aims to remove up to 90% of trade tariffs between signatory countries within 20 years.

Sri Lanka’s President also announced a free trade agreement with ASEAN Nations which include Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

3.     Chile US celebrate 20th anniversary FTA

Image Loïc Mermilliod

Chile and the US are celebrating the 20th anniversary of a free trade agreement. Chile was the sixth country globally to have a free trade agreement with the US and the first in South America. The trade deal includes 100% bilateral tariff free trade.

Chile is the top exporter of 51 products to the US last year including grapes, cherries, oranges and apples; salmon filet; mussels; lithium carbonate; and refined copper.

Bilateral trade was $34.4 billion in 2019.

4.     Nicaragua China FTA

Image Hermes Rivera

Nicaragua recently severed ties to Taiwan after it sided with China in an announcement. Nicaragua Taiwan relations date back to the 90s.

The Nicaraguan Government ran a social media campaign offering Apple watches, an all-expense paid trip to China, computers and cellphones in return for a 3 minute video about the friendship between China and Nicaragua but it has not got much response.

The two countries have signed an MoU and are set to sign a free trade agreement. Nicaragua exported $6.7 million of goods and services to China in the first six months of 2023. Nicaraguan exports to the US exports totalled $1 billion in the same timeframe.

5.     China-ASEAN FTA

Image Nuno Alberto

Digital and data localisation rules are the most recent sticking point in China-ASEAN FTA negotiations. China’s data laws are far more onerous than ASEAN nations and are causing friction. Australia, Japan and Singapore co-chair the joint initiative on e-commerce that promotes the adoption of digital trade as it reduces trade costs by up to 145%. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe first advanced the Data Free Flow with Trust concept, and this is pursued by the joint initiative.

For example, subsea cables built by communications company Apricot for Google and Meta in Indonesia, Philippines and Guam were built specifically to avoid the South China Sea.

6.     Saudi minister visits Panama

Image Miguel Bruna

Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister visited Panama last week and met with Government officials to discuss bilateral trade, cooperation and investment partnerships.

Panama exports to Saudi Arabia totalled $68.2M in 2021. Saudi Arabia exports to Panama totalled $832k in the same year.

7.     New Jersey visits East Asia

Image Manisha Raghunath

A delegation from New Jersey led by Governor Phil Murphy will visit East Asia in Autumn, to discuss job creation and investment in New Jersey. The nine day trip will include nations such as Japan and South Korea. Attendees will include elected officials, diplomats and business leaders who will focus on key industry sectors such as infrastructure, clean energy, financial services, life sciences, technology, logistics, manufacturing, and food and beverage.

Choose New Jersey the supporting organisation says Japan and South Korea alone generate more than $13 billion in annual shared economic activity with New Jersey.

8.     Saudi Exports organizes trade mission to Japan to support national exports

Image Jezael Melgoza

Shinzo Abe and Turki bin Muhammad bin Fahd Al Sa’ud at the Enthronement of Naruhito Image via Wikimedia Commons by 首相官邸ホームページ

A Saudi delegation ‘Saudi Made’ visited Japan to promote non-oil exports, promote exporters and encouraging Saudi products. 22 Saudi and 73 Japanese companies in food and service sectors participated in the trade mission, conducting bilateral business meetings to enhance economic and trade ties between the two countries.

Saudi non-oil exports to Japan totalled Saudi Riyal (SR)3,72 billion last year or £78 billion led by chemical and polymer sector.

The trip aligns with Saudi Vision 2030 by diversifying income sources.

9.     20,000 jobs created in Coventry and Warwickshire through foreign investment

Image ian kelsall

Coventry and Warwick Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has created 20,000 jobs over the past 9 years making it one of the most successful areas in the country according to this month’s SmartRegion report which is created from data sources contributed to by the Growth Hub, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council.

Over 403 FDI projects over the past 9 years, and 56 in 2022 alone created 3,195 jobs.

Department for Business and Trade names the West Midlands as another top attracting sector of FDI outside London.

Read the full report here 

10. 2023 Global Rankings Report

The 2023 Global Rankings Report names USA, China, Canada, Brazil and India as the top 5 countries attracting the most FDI.

Top Smart Cities were named as Zurich, Oslo, Copenhagen, New York and Toronto.

Read the full report here