UK strikes post-Brexit trade agreement with Japan
The United Kingdom has announced a $19.5 billion deal with Japan which will take effect on January 1st, 2021. The deal aims to replicate the current EU-Japan deal and represents a major post-Brexit trade agreement. The deal, dubbed the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, was agreed in principle by Japan Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss.
With this deal, around 99% of exports between the two countries will be tariff-free. Japan will benefit from reduced tariffs with its manufacturing parts, while the UK will benefit from its pork, beef, and salmon exports. The deal will cover provisions on brand protection for iconic British goods, for example Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, Welsh lamb, and English sparkling wine.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that they would “thrive as a trading nation outside the EU”. Liz Truss noted that the agreement between the UK and Japan was negotiated “in record time and in challenging circumstances, and goes far beyond the existing EU deal”.
The UK and EU are now sorting out the terms of their new relationship, since the EU has threatened to take legal action after the UK vowed to implement a new law that would break its treaty,
Click here to read more.
Hydrogen supply chain in the works between Germany and Australia
An agreement has been signed between Australia and Germany, initiating a joint feasbility study into the potential for hydrogen collaboration, which includes the future development of a hydrogen supply chain between the two countries.
Simon Birmingham, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, said that partnerships with countries such as Germany would be key to the development of a strong, world-leading hydrogen industry in Australia.
“Exploring opportunities for future collaboration on commercial scale operations, and investments in hydrogen production is vital if Australia is to realise the significant economic benefits and job creation opportunities hydrogen brings”, Birmingham went on.
The study will get the ball rolling on the development of a future hydrogen supply chain with Germany, which could potentially lead to billions of dollars in export earnings for Australia, and help them meet their future ambitions for clean energy. Clean hydrogen is a fuel that can be used to power vehicles, generate heat and electricity, and as a chemical feedstock in major industrial applications. Australia believes it has what it takes to be a world leader in hydrogen production and exports that will help their trading partners lower their emissions. Partnerships with key partners such as Germany will help to decrease the cost of new hydrogen technologies. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for them to develop links with future importers around the world.
The Australian Government has committed more than $500 million to back this industry’s investment. The partnership with Germany comes in addition to existing commitments Australia has made with other similar economies such as Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.
To read more, click here.
South Korean government and Samsung team up after Japanese export restrictions
The South Korean government have unveiled an expanded semiconductor material testing facility. The centerpiece is a machine given by Samsung Electronics at a fraction of its market price.
Japan imposed export curbs on high-tech chip materials last year, and South Korea has since pushed for self-sufficiency. Industry sources have warned South Korea that they have a long way to go to achieve this, though. However, the need for self-reliance in chip technology is becoming more critical, especially with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and U.S.-China tensions threatening to accelerate shifts in the supply chain.
Due to the export restrictions, Samsung has begun to foster local suppliers and create a system where they can be supplied without disruptions. They have decided to invest in firms which need cooperation to develop next-generation chip technologies. The company seems to be securing various options so that they are not too dependent on any one source. With no sign of tensions easing between South Korea and Japan, Seoul is pushing to diversify supply sources it gets from Japan and has pledged to invest 5 trillion won by 2022. However, a professor at Korea Polytechnics University has cautioned that South Korea could be hit hard or that chip production could stop altogether if Japan extends curbs to chipmaking equipment.
Interested in reading more? Click here.