Tag Archives: Foreign policy

Belt and Road China: Australia Cancels Victoria State Accord | Instant News

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Australia has canceled an agreement between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Victorian state government, in actions that could further sour relations between the two countries.

The Australian federal government canceled a memorandum of understanding between Victoria and China’s National Development and Reform Commission, signed in October 2018, along with a framework agreement between them signed a year later, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in an emailed statement Wednesday. Two other deals between Victoria and the Iranian and Syrian governments have also been canceled.

New Australian Law May Cancel China’s Belt and Road Treaty

“I consider these four arrangements to be inconsistent with Australian foreign policy or detrimental to our foreign relations,” Payne said.

New law passed by the national parliament in December gives foreign ministers the ability to break new and previously signed treaties between Australia’s foreign governments and eight states and territories, as well as with bodies such as local governments and universities. Relations between Australia and China have steadily deteriorated over the past few years, with a Chinese diplomat show Wednesday that there would be no immediate disbursement in relations between Beijing and Canberra.


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DiCaprio, Fonda urges the US not to sign a climate deal with Brazil | World | Instant News

Vice President Hamilton Mourão’s press office confirmed on Tuesday that deforestation in March had destroyed more than 360 square kilometers (138 square miles) of forest, up 12% compared to March 2020, and the highest in at least five years.

Since Biden’s inauguration, his administration has made signs that Biden can become a trusted environmental partner.

Brazil is seeking $ 1 billion in foreign funds to support efforts to reduce deforestation by 30% to 40% in one year, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles recently said. While Brazil says it needs funds to show improvement on the Amazon, critics urge Biden not to give money away.

Bolsonaro wrote a letter to Biden earlier this month in which he said support from the US government and the private sector would be accepted, but without specifying a dollar amount.

On April 16, Biden’s special climate envoy, John Kerry, said on Twitter that he looks forward to “urgent action and engagement with indigenous peoples and civil society so that this announcement can produce tangible results.”

This is not the first time the artist has clashed with Bolsonaro over management of his Amazon rainforest. In 2019, DiCaprio’s environmental organization Earth Alliance pledged $ 5 million to help protect the Amazon after that year’s spike in fires. Bolsonaro said later, without providing any evidence, that DiCaprio has funded a nonprofit group it says is partly responsible for the arson.


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Australian Foreign Investment Uncertainty Raises as Tensions Increase | Instant News

Photographer: Brendon Thorne / Bloomberg

Supply Lines is a daily newsletter that tracks trade and supply chains disrupted by the pandemic. Register here.

Foreign investment uncertainty in Australia is surging in 2020 amid rising international tensions and the politicization of decisions related to the energy and resources industry, according to the new measures.

The index shows uncertainty nearly doubled last year compared with the 2019 average, according to a report from US Studies Center in Sydney released on Friday. The gross inflows of foreign direct investment in 2020 fell to only half the five-year average through 2019, he said.

“The industrial sector most affected by the uncertainty of foreign investment in Australia is the energy and resources sector, which reflects the high levels of foreign ownership and high profile cross-border acquisitions that are likely to be politicized,” said Stephen Kirchner, an economist at the Center for US Studies who compile the report.

Australia cut its FDI review threshold to zero to prevent foreign buyers from taking on potentially depressed assets during the pandemic. It also introduced new national security tests in response to rising tensions with China and signs state-owned companies are acting as extensions of Beijing’s foreign policy.

Relations between Australia and its biggest trading partner have deteriorated since last April, when Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government asked that independent investigators be allowed into Wuhan to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. Since then, Beijing has implemented various trade measures against Australian goods, including coal, wine and barley.

China’s cross-border acquisitions in Australia fell to A $ 2.6 billion ($ 2 billion) in 2019 and only A $ 1 billion in 2020, compared to A $ 16 billion in 2016. Kirchner advises that cross-border acquisitions are supported Beijing has become an informal subject. Australia’s ban from the start of the pandemic.

The index is based on keyword searches in major Australian newspapers from 1997 to the end of 2020.


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Germany urges the Commission to purchase the Sputnik vaccine at EU level – POLITICO | Instant News

Germany is urging the European Commission to launch a joint purchase of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for the EU, a German official said on Wednesday.

“We have asked the Commission” to launch a procurement procedure for Sputnik, the official told reporters at a briefing in Berlin, adding that “we now see the Commission is in the process of launching this procedure.”

The official said the Commission should first test the waters between European Union capitals to see which countries are interested in buying Russian injections before launching contract negotiations on dosage amounts. Once the contract is finalized, EU countries could potentially buy a dose of Sputnik through an EU contract, the German official said.

European Medicines Agency (EMA) received the first dataset about Sputnik’s shot earlier this month as Russia sought European authorization. EMA chief Emer Cooke said Tuesday that the regulator is prepare to check out sites in Russia which produces the country’s COVID-19 vaccine. It is unclear what the EMA’s timeline is in making decisions about the Russian jab.

The German official said the first steps of the EU procurement procedure could begin in the meantime.

“We believe this process can start now, temporarily [regulatory authorization] is still ongoing “at the EMA, the official said.” We will take it right if the talks will start right now. “

The official added, however, that formal negotiations with Russia had not yet started. “I am sure that this will also be discussed again politically in the near future,” the official said, referring to potential discussions among EU leaders on the issue on Thursday and a virtual European Council summit on Friday.

Authorizing the Russian jab at EU level is controversial for some countries. Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė was warned last month that “Sputnik comes with multiple layers of propaganda and even undisclosed ambition to divide the EU countries and their partners in the south and east.”

Several EU countries as Hungary and Slovakia have purchased vaccines at the national level, bypassing EMA regulatory oversight.

At least four EU countries are required to request that talks begin on an earlier purchase agreement. As of last Sunday, the Commission said there had been “no talks” with developer Sputnik V.

Contacted for comment on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Commission declined to provide more details.

“I can add nothing but the fact that Member States and the Commission can decide together and at any time to expand the vaccine portfolio,” the spokesman said.

Helen Collis contributed reporting.

UPDATE: This story has been updated with a response from the Commission.


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Free and fair trade – POLITICO | Instant News

Liz Truss is Britain’s international trade secretary.

LONDON – After nearly 50 years, Britain is back to being an independent trading country.

This is an unrivaled opportunity to realize our vision of a Global UK, fostering an export and investment driven recovery by championing free and fair trade.

As stipulated by the British government on Tuesday at Integrated Review, a full assessment by the British government of its place in the world since the Cold War, we are determined to shape the future international order – a new era rich in jobs and opportunities for people in both developing and developed countries.

We are driven in this approach by our strong belief in the benefits of free trade, from lower prices to higher wages and productivity.

Free and fair trade is the best way forward for all of us. It is a force that has reduced poverty on a scale unprecedented in human history, igniting the spark for transformative innovation and bringing great prosperity.

But lately, confidence in free enterprise and free trade has wavered. Protectionist rhetoric and actions have escalated, and several countries have increased barriers to trade further during the pandemic, which Britain has completely rejected.

To restore support for free trade, we must make it fair and show that it provides things of public concern: better jobs, more prosperous communities, higher standards of living, a greener planet. We will do this by addressing practices ranging from state-sponsored forced labor to the degradation of environmental standards and the use of unreported industrial subsidies to gain trade benefits.

Now it’s time to turn the page. This year, Britain stepped in as G7 president and COP26 host to build a united allied front driven by common values ​​and modern views.

Together, we will lead the responsibility for a more effective, modern and green World Trade Organization that keeps pace with the opportunities and challenges of modern trade. We have to hold the next ministerial conference under the Director General of the WTO Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as an opportunity to rebuild a better trading environment where everyone plays by the rules and the full benefits of trading are felt around the world.

We will work together to reshape global trade rules to reflect our core values: democracy, human rights and high standards across everything from environmental and labor rights to data flows and intellectual property.

British values-driven policies have had success in trade negotiations. We have reached a follow-up agreement covering 66 countries plus the European Union to secure £ 890 billion worth of trade. Our agreement with the European Union is the first block approved based on zero rates and zero quotas. It includes services and has strong measures for digital commerce. We have agreed to state-of-the-art terms for digital and data in our deal with Japan, and are pursuing ambitious agreements with the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

We intend to be at the heart of that action, which is why the UK is deepening trade with markets in the Indo-Pacific region – which will dominate the global economy by the end of this decade – and signed up to join 11 dynamic economies. as part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It’s just like free trade that made Britain great in 19th century, we can be even bigger in 21st by becoming a global hub for digital commerce and services.

The Prime Minister has launched our new Office for Investments, demonstrating that the doors are truly open to potential investors in Global Britain. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has launched our first raft freeport, and I have launched a lower, simpler and greener UK Global Tariff regime.

As the Integrated Review states, Global Britain means local jobs – what I mean is that the opportunities we pursue abroad will support livelihoods across our country. Research last week released by the Department of International Trade estimated that 6.5 million local jobs were dependent on British exports.

By securing new opportunities abroad, business in all parts of the UK will be able to grow through exports, be it a Scotch whiskey refiner, a Welsh sheep farmer or an auto maker in the Midlands.

Trade and investment is also helping Britain play its strength as a science and technology superpower by securing high-quality jobs in the industries that will define our future through innovation and clean technology. From a factory in North Wales producing hundreds of millions of doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed in the UK to British innovators in northern England building the UK’s first electric car battery “gigafactory”.

What’s good for Britain is good for the world. We help build back better by unleashing our full potential, creating new jobs, businesses and industries across the UK and beyond. This is Global Britain in action.


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