1.     Turkey UK trade deal extension

The UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly recently travelled to Ankara Turkey to discuss a refresh of the UK Turkey free trade agreement signed in 2020 which currently only covers goods.

UK Turkey bilateral trade in 2022 was worth almost £24 billion in the four quarters to 1Q23. and is up around 20% year over year. UK exports to Turkey are around £9 billion whilst UK imports from Turkey are around £15 billion.

Turkey’s top export good to the UK is vehicles, machinery and textiles. UK’s top exports to Turkey are gold, combustion engines and metal.

The Turkish press release mentioned the new agreement would be focused on digital trade and services. Turkey is the UK’s 18th largest trading partner.

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2.     UK Trade Minister in Oman

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UK Minister for International Trade Nigel Huddleston has attended a meeting in Oman of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to discuss trade relations between the UK and the GCC.

Trade, renewable energy and green hydrogen were discussed. Bilateral trade between the UK and Oman is worth £1.3 billion with £1.1 billion in UK exports and imports worth £277 million. Exports are mainly tools, machinery and equipment. Imports are mostly plastics and base metals.

Oman is the UK’s 80th largest trading partner.

The UK Oman trade relationship goes back over 200 years to 1800 when the two nations signed a peace treaty.

3.     EU wants Australia, Mexico, Mercosur deals

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European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen has announced the EU should complete trade agreements with Australia, Mexico and South America by the end of 2023.

She said the EU would then be targeting deals with India and Indonesia.

Australia launched free trade negotiations with the EU in 2018 however the two parties have hit a stumbling block over naming rights to foods such as fetta. Europe is Australia’s third largest bilateral trading partner and second largest source of foreign investment, followed by the USA.

Mexico signed a trade deal with the EU in 2000 however in 2016 they began negotiating a new agreement to replace the existing one which would scrap high Mexican tariffs on European food and drinks, allow EU firms to sell more services to Mexico and include workers’ rights and environment clauses however Mexico has so far resisted pressure from the EU to sign the latest iteration. The EU is Mexico’s second largest export market after the USA.

Mercosur consists of the four nations Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The EU reached an agreement in principle with Mercosur in 2019 however it has not been signed or ratified yet. It would be the biggest trade deal signed by number of citizens for both Mercosur and the EU. The largest import would be beef and the EU would open a quota of up to 99,000 tonnes of beef at a preferential 7.5% tariff. The EU would export pesticides and cars.

4.     Middle East – India trade corridor

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A trade corridor is planned between the Middle East and India. The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) would go from Europe through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Greece. An MoU was signed at the G20 meeting in India by India, USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany and the EU.

The project bypasses Turkey and it is apparently planning a similar corridor to Iraq.

The corridor will include the construction of railroads from the Middle East to India which is currently only connected by ports. The new project will include power, gas grids and optical fibre network.

Saudi Arabia is investing £100 billion in the project including an oil refinery along the Western coast of India. India is one of the largest purchasers of raw materials from Saudi Arabia.

5.     Austrade export fund

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Austrade’s Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) has assisted more than 51,000 small businesses export goods internationally since 1974.

Administered by Austrade and funded by the Australian Government, small businesses can apply for funding to promote and market their products and services to any of 180 countries. Businesses can apply for multiple grants for up to 8 years.

There are three phases under which one can apply: ready to export, exporting and expanding and exporting, expanding and strategic shift.

To learn more about EMDG funding subscribe to Austrade’s newsletters here  https://www.austrade.gov.au/en/news-and-analysis/newsletters.html.

6.     Alberta mission to GamesCom

Gamescom in Köln by Dronepicr via Wikimedia Commons

Digital Alberta a media industry association for the state of Alberta has funded a trade mission to Germany. Video games developers from Edmonton attended GamesCom 2023, the largest video game trade fair which is held annually in Cologne, Germany.

One video game developer from Edmonton ‘Inflexion Games’ announced its new release.

The Government of Alberta, Global Affairs Canada and Canadian Heritage all supported the mission as part of the Canada Pavilion, facilitating networking and business to business matchmaking sessions.

7.     Biden mission to Vietnam

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US President Biden visited Vietnam recently to discuss trade relations between the two countries. Whilst there he announced a series of semiconductor, aerospace and infrastructure deals with business leaders in Vietnam, part of a push by the White House to deepen economic integration with Indo-Pacific nations that can provide a ‘bulwark to China.’

In 2022 China was Vietnam’s top trading partner with bilateral trade at USD$176 billion followed by the US with $124 billion, South Korea with $86 billion and Japan at $48 billion.

8.     Scottish energy mission to Denmark

Scotland’s energy minister Gillian Martin led a trade mission to Denmark to boost trade in Scotland’s renewable energy sector.

Representatives from Scottish Renewables, Crown Estate Scotland, SSE and representatives of ports in Aberdeen and the Forth will join the mission to meet with the Danish Climate Committee and wind turbine manufacturers.

Wind energy provides around a third of the UK’s energy and is the second largest source of energy in the UK.

Scotland has implemented two new freeports Firth of Forth and Cromarty Firth. Martin hopes to encourage large-scale energy production and export to Europe.

Featured image by Engin Yapici via Unsplash