Economic growth around the world is decreasing, and various governments, including Germany, China and South Korea, have announced stimulus packages to boost their economies. In fact, the International Monetary Fund expects global GDP growth to slow from 3.6% in 2018 to 3.3% in 2019, before returning to 3.6% in 2020.
The world trading system should be continuously re-examined with regard to reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the governance of data flows, given the escalation of trade restrictive measures and the impact on businesses, said Mr Akahoshi, President of JETRO.
As of 1 February, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Japan has entered into force, marking the largest open trade zone in the world. The EPA removes the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan.
The January to November crude steel production statistics released by the World Steel Association indicate India as the second largest steel producer in the world, overtaking Japan for the second month in a row, with a growth rate of 4.9%.
Japanese NYK announced a schedule update regarding its plans to form a joint holding company to integrate the management of the four NYK Group terminal operation companies in Japan, through a new joint holding company that will be established by NYK and Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation (MLC), as announced in August 2018.
The European Union wants to take part in a complaint that Japan filed against the South Korean shipbuilding industry, according to the World Trading Organization (WTO). Namely, Japan has requested WTO dispute consultations with South Korea concerning alleged subsidies provided by the Korean government to its shipbuilding industry.
Japan has requested WTO dispute consultations with South Korea concerning alleged subsidies provided by the Korean government to its shipbuilding industry. Japan claims that the challenged measures, which include funds, loans, guarantees, insurance and other financing, are inconsistent with WTO’s SCM Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994.
A total of 1,966 vessels have deliveries dates scheduled for 2018, but only 1,100 have hit the water so far this year, meaning 44% of the ’18 orderbook is outstanding, according to VesselsValue. Ship deliveries typically slow down towards the end of the year, as a vessel is considered a whole year younger if shipowners wait a few weeks, allowing the delivery to slip into the new year.
At the EU-Japan summit in Tokyo, on July 17, the two parties signed the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. The trade agreement between two of the world’s largest economies includes provisions that promise a free trade, something that ECSA welcomed in a statement.
The European Commission presented trade agreements with Japan and Singapore to the Council to eventually be adopted. The European shipowners welcomed this move, noting that this was the first step towards the conclusion of these agreements, which “send a strong message to the world in support of fair and regulated trade”.
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