Posts tagged ‘Belgium’

07/11/2016

Theresa May Says U.K. May Improve Visa System for Indians – India Real Time – WSJ

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday said the U.K. may make improvements to its visa system for Indians, as she sought to lay the foundations for a future trade deal once Britain leaves the European Union.

On a two-day trip to India focused on trade, Mrs. May, speaking alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the partnership between the U.K. and India was natural, since the countries have shared values and culture. But a key sticking point in U.K.-India relations has been Britain’s reluctance to loosen restrictions for Indians wanting to work or study in the U.K., and this will likely be a difficult point to settle in any free-trade negotiations.

“The U.K. will consider further improvements to our visa offer if at the same time we can step up the speed and volume of returns of Indians with no right to remain in the U.K.,” she said.

Mrs. May is unlikely to implement any changes that would result in big increases of Indians entering the U.K. She has said the June vote to leave the EU was underpinned by frustrations about rising levels of immigration and has pledged to reduce numbers.The U.K. is seeking to go beyond its traditional trading partners in Europe as it prepares to leave the European Union. While it can’t finalize trade deals while still a member of the EU, Britain is in preliminary discussions on trade with countries including Australia and India, the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Any deal is likely to take years to complete.

Source: Theresa May Says U.K. May Improve Visa System for Indians – India Real Time – WSJ

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04/11/2016

The Economist explains: Why Britain is wooing India | The Economist

WHEN Britain eventually leaves the European Union it will prosper by trading farther afield. So argues Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, ahead of her first big bilateral trip abroad, a three-day visit to India, which begins on Sunday, November 6th. She talks of forging a “new global role” with this trade mission, hobnobbing with Indian leaders and championing free trade in general. The idea is to promote ties between small and medium businesses in the two countries. Yet creating a stronger economic relationship with India will prove much tougher than Mrs May and her colleagues expect.

On the face of it, the signs are good. India has nearly 1.3bn people. Many are emerging as middle-class consumers for the first time. The country is creating a single market for goods and services, reducing internal and external barriers to trade and tackling some corruption and bureaucracy. Its economy, worth over $2trn, is the fastest-growing large one in the world. It is likely to rattle along quickly for many years to come; by 2030, India could rank as the world’s third-largest. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, wants to make it less difficult for businesses to operate there, and to win more foreign investment and trade deals. British firms are already among the biggest investors. Now India is opening up for foreign activity in sectors that might suit British firms especially: notably in insurance, defence, railways and some retail. At the same time, large Indian firms—such as Tata, which owns Jaguar Land Rover, as well as Tata Steel—are in Britain. London has also become a base for Indian firms, for example in business consulting, that tap the wider EU market. A common language, shared cultural, historic, legal and sporting ties, plus the influence of the Indian diaspora in Britain, bode well for closer ties.

Mrs May is thus right to reach out. But anyone expecting quick gains will be disappointed. One of India’s priorities, for example, is avoiding complications over a long-stalled free trade agreement with the EU, which has been under negotiation since June 2007. After 12 rounds of talks, some consensus has been found on issues including trade in rice, sugar, textiles and pharmaceuticals. It is not clear that India’s overstretched trade negotiators will see much benefit in being diverted to work on a deal with Britain alone, especially if that makes it harder to complete one with the bigger EU market. Even if they do decide to talk biltaterally, among the sticking points has been India’s 150% tariff on imports of whisky from Scotland. Future British negotiators would struggle to be more effective than their European counterparts at getting that scrapped. The biggest concern, however, is about Britain’s ever colder shoulder towards Indians who want to travel and study there. Under the Conservatives, Britain has in the past six years become less welcoming to foreigners, notably from South Asia, who hope to attend university and then work. Eye-wateringly expensive visas, increasingly hostile rules to get them, official talk of cracking down on foreign students in Britain, and graduates who lose the right to work after finishing a degree in Britain all leave Indians feeling unwelcome. Anecdotes abound of bright Indian students who win places at the best British universities but are refused visas to travel. Perceptions of generally rising xenophobia in Britain are discouraging to Indians too.

For Mrs May to win a warm welcome in India she needs to offer a message that is not only about investment and trade, but also sets out that Britain—in particular its universities—will again become more open to Indian visitors, migrants, students and their families. America is proving far more successful at attracting the highest-skilled migrants, especially software and other engineers. Other countries, including some in Europe, are rolling out policies to attract more Indian students to their universities. Yet Britain appears more hostile to migrants than it has in many decades. Within a few years, it is worth remembering, India’s economy will be bigger than Britain’s. Welcoming more exchanges of people, as well as encouraging higher levels of trade and investment, would make sense for both sides.

Source: The Economist explains: Why Britain is wooing India | The Economist

04/08/2016

Rude Chinese banned from going on holiday | The Times & The Sunday Times

“Uncivilised” Chinese tourists who commit such crimes against etiquette as asking foreigners for selfies, throwing nut shells around or defacing historical sites may find themselves stuck at home because their names are on a travellers’ blacklist.

Authorities in China have been cracking down hard on individuals who sully the country’s name abroad by acting rudely or violently, and the national tourism administration introduced a blacklist for the worst offenders last year.

A draft regulation released this week will, if passed, allow government agencies and tour companies to share blacklists and bar trouble-makers from future trips.

As well as travel companies, government organisations such as customs control, quarantine and border protection bodies would potentially be able to access the blacklist and take measures against those on it.

So far the blacklist contains only 19 names. The administration said that behaviour that could lead to a tourist being blacklisted included “damaging public facilities or historical relics, ignoring social customs at tourism destinations and becoming involved with gambling or prostitution”.

The regulation draft, which is in its public comment phase, stated: “Punishments can be imposed by travel agencies or other related agencies or organisations based on the record.

”Some analysts questioned how effective implementation of the rule could be. Liu Simin, of the China Society for Futures Studies research group, said: “If tourism authorities want to restrict blacklisted tourists from travelling overseas, they can do this only through travel agencies. If travellers plan their own trips and skip the agencies, they’re out of reach.

”The introduction of the blacklist came after President Xi told Chinese tourists in 2014 to clean up their act when abroad to help to dispel negative stereotypes about them.

Talking in a light-hearted fashion, he said: “Do not litter water bottles everywhere. Do not damage coral reefs. Eat less instant noodles and more local seafood.

”The year before the president’s comments, Chinese tourists spent more than £14.5 billion on holidays abroad — more than any other country.

Badly behaved Chinese tourists have continued to make headlines since the introduction of the blacklist.

Last week a Chinese woman was arrested for common assault after throwing orange juice at a flight attendant on a flight from Dubai to Hong Kong. She is understood to have been angry because meals for her children had not been prepared by airline staff in advance.

Source: Rude Chinese banned from going on holiday | World | The Times & The Sunday Times

29/07/2015

GIFT, the Indian Smart City That Would Cost $23,500 a Person – India Real Time – WSJ

Two 29-story steel-and-glass office buildings rise above a dusty wasteland in the Indian state of Gujarat, the most conspicuous sign of progress on an ambitious project conceived by the man who is now India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi.

More than seven years ago, Mr. Modi, at the time the state’s top elected official, decided to push the construction of an entirely new city—dubbed the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, or GIFT—about a 40-minute drive from Ahmedabad, the historic commercial hub here.

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The if-you-build-it-they-will-come idea was to create a magnet for banks, securities firms and information-technology companies akin to Canary Wharf in London or La Defense outside Paris. But construction work has moved slowly and few private enterprises have signed up. Of the two office towers, the first is about 50% occupied and the second one is empty.

Critics say the undertaking’s halting progress is a cautionary tale as Mr. Modi’s federal administration moves ahead with plans for 100 “smart cities,” which, among other things, would use technology to improve public services such as waste disposal and save energy.

Ramakant Jha, managing director of the company building the city, says that offices and retail stores and other businesses at GIFT will help create one million direct and indirect jobs. The city will also have homes, allowing employees to walk to work, and social infrastructure like a school, hospital and malls.

With central air-conditioning in all buildings, filtered tap water and municipal waste collection (a rarity in urban India), GIFT, as planners envision it, would be far more advanced than existing Indian cities.

But all this comes at a cost. If 100,000 people live in a city, the cost of building the city’s infrastructure comes to around $23,500 per person. In comparison, India’s gross national income per capita is around $1,600, according to the World Bank.

via GIFT, the Indian Smart City That Would Cost $23,500 a Person – India Real Time – WSJ.

18/06/2013

China destroys Belgian chocolates as trade spat intensifies

The Independent: “BELGIANS are justly proud of their nation’s reputation as one of the world’s finest chocolate producers. So when Chinese authorities announced this week that they had destroyed an unspecified amount of their chocolates because they contained toxic substances, alarm bells rang.

The Belgian media was swift to point out echoes of 2008, when Beijing declared a shipment of Belgian chocolate “not suitable for human consumption”. That snub was widely seen as tit-for-tat retaliation after the Brussels-based European Union banned Chinese soy-bean imports over high levels of toxic substances. Could it be coincidence that the latest trashing of the national delicacy comes as the EU pursues import tariffs on Chinese solar panels, local newspapers asked?

While the link between the discarded chocolates and the solar panels has yet to advance beyond conspiracy theory, it is not too far-fetched given the other signature European products including French wine and German cars already dragged into a trade spat souring EU-China relations and on the agenda at EU trade ministers’ talks on Friday.

The alleged bout of recent score-settling began earlier this month, when the EU said it was going to impose tariffs of up to 47 per cent on solar panels made in China. The bloc accused China of “dumping” the panels in Europe – a trade term for selling a product for less than the production cost in an attempt to corner the market.

Within days, the Chinese announced that they were launching their own investigation into the sale of French wine in China, now the biggest export market for Bordeaux. The commerce ministry argued the agricultural subsidies handed out to French farmers put domestic producers at an unfair disadvantage.

Next to take a hit were German car makers. The Financial Times reported last week that Beijing was mulling a lodging a complaint over imports of luxury cars – another growth market in the booming Chinese economy.

“They are picking products for which China is an important market and that is good bargaining, to attack where it hurts, and it is very symbolic,” said André Sapir, a senior fellow specialising in trade at the Brussels-based Bruegel think tank.”

via China destroys Belgian chocolates as trade spat intensifies – Independent.ie.

27/04/2012

* China’s vice-premier starts landmark European mission

Li Keqiang, Chinese politician

Li Keqiang, Chinese politician (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

China Daily: “Visit covers Russia, Hungary, Belgium and EU headquarters

Business opportunities will emerge from the economic development of China and Russia and both countries will benefit from increasing prosperity and global influence, Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday. “The two countries are in total agreement on this point,” Li said in a Russian newspaper article.

The vice-premier started a 10-day visit on Thursday, to promote trade and investment. He will visit Russia, Hungary, Belgium and EU headquarters in Brussels.”We view each others growth as opportunities because both nations share similar targets,” Li said.”

via Chinas vice-premier starts landmark European mission|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn.

The wooing continues unabated; Premier Wen visits Iceland, Sweden, Germany and Poland, then VP Li visits Russia, Hungary, Belgium and EU.

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