Britain open to Australian-style EU deal
As the UK’s Brexit negotiations continue with the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Britain could trade with the bloc on similar terms to Australia if an agreement is not reached.
However, Australia is not happy with its arrangements with the EU and is pushing for better market access that is only attainable with a fully-fledged trade deal with the 27-member bloc and its 500 million potential customers.
The majority of Australia’s 15 billion Euros ($18 billion) exports to the EU are subject to tariffs and quotes that are set under basic World Trade Organization (WTO) terms, which is why Australian exporters are backing the moves to strike a new free trade agreement with Brussels.
Since talks slowed down this year, Johnson said the UK could live with an Australian-style arrangement. However, critics say this is a euphemism for a no-deal, given that Australia does not have a free-trade agreement with the EU.
„If they’re emulating our current access to Europe, it is a fairly fractured and limited access, so it’s an interesting one they’d like to copy.“ said Andrew McDonald, director of NH Foods Australia, a Japanese-owned beef producer based in Sydney with three processing facilities in eastern Australia.
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DPD confirms plans to operate zero and low emissions-only delivery solutions
DPD, a leading parcel delivery firm, has announced they plan on delivering to 25 of the largest towns and cities in the UK with zero and low-emission delivery means by the year 2025.
The plan is part of a Europe-wide drive by DPDgroup which involves 225 urban areas in 20 countries, and is based on a delivery model trialed in many cities including London. The company has re-thought the way it operates last mile delivery by implementing micro and urban depots, as well as other appropriate delivery solutions.
In total, the new program will mean more than 260 million parcels will be delivered by zero or low-emission vehicles by the end of 2025. CO2 emissions are set to decreaseby 89% and pollutants by 80% compared to 2020 in the targeted towns and cities.
In order to achieve their goal of 225 green cities, DPDgroup will deploy 7,000 new alternative vehicles, 3,600 charging points, and 80 new urban depots across Europe. These initiatives represent an investment of €200 million in total by 2025.
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Nearly 20,000 Amazon workers contracted coronavirus
Amazon has said that 19,816 of their front-line employees in the US have tested positive or have been presumed positive for COVID-19, which for the first time sheds light on how its workforce has been impacted by the pandemic.
The company had repeatedly resisted sharing comprehensive data with the public and their own employees about the total number of cases at its warehouses, which have become crucial hubs for household supplies during the pandemic. The e-commerce giant has downplayed the significance of releasing site or aggregate data, which has made it difficult to gain some clarity on overall infections at its sites. They have stated they’ve done a thorough analysis of data on all 1,372,000 Amazon and Whole Foods Market front-line employees across the US from March 1st to September 19th 2020. Amazon then compared its positive case rates to the general population during the same period, which were 42% lower than expected.
The data on infections within the company comes as Amazon prepares for its annual Prime Day sales event on October 13th-14th, which will mark a busy period for employees doing delivery and fulfillment. They have announced plans to hire an additional 100,000 employees across its operations network, and since the pandemic, they have hired 100,000 additional workers in a matter of weeks to meet demand from customers.
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