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Archive for the category “Trade”

Brexit: A Shoddy Impact Assessment of the new Withdrawal Agreement Bill…

This was really inspired and not well thought out of, the Department of Exiting the European Union and the rest of the Tories. Really didn’t care much for the estimates of the costs, nor the consequences in concerns of their amended Bill to Parliament. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to just pursuit the ending without doing the proper work. This is shoddy, disrespectful work, which he wanted to be over within 3 days or so. Within the parameter of when he wanted to suspend the Parliament.

So, his acts and his vision is blurry, as the whole law and amendments of it. Is substantial and needs time to be addressed properly, that is if, the Brexit process and withdrawal of membership has consequences. Which it does, but apparently it is more important to leave, than to know why your leaving.

I have today looked through the Impact Assessment Report on the bill, which in itself is a sad report. A disgraceful attempt of justification and proving the possible outcomes of the withdrawal. Apparently, that didn’t matter, because my quotes are very striking. Take a look!

There could be costs to business associated with the arrangements in the Northern Ireland/Ireland Protocol. But these are inherently uncertain in their nature and intensity, as such, these costs have not been quantified” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

Customs:

Businesses in Great Britain and Northern Ireland may face familiarisation costs in adapting to the new customs processes, such as the requirements for customs declarations, in particular if they have not undertaken such processes before” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

This isn’t rocket science and will cost both the state and the businesses. It will cost both time and money, to fill forms and secure the movement accordingly to the regulations on both sides of the customs.

VAT:

Northern Ireland will be required to align with certain EU VAT and excise rules. VAT collected in Northern Ireland will be retained by the UK. Specific practical arrangements will be the subject of discussions within the Joint Committee, and it is not therefore possible to assess costs or benefits at this stage” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

The taxation on goods will be an issue and how its issued. This will add prices possibly on the consumer and also on the businesses. But the HM Government don’t know to what extent and how to operate. That is clearly a smooth transition.

Tariffs:

No tariffs will be paid on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland unless they are deemed to be at risk of entering the EU. The appropriate UK tariff will be paid on goods moving from outside the UK or EU to Northern Ireland unless they are deemed to be at risk of entering the EU. The Joint Committee will agree the criteria to be used in determining whether goods are not considered to be at risk of entering the EU” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

So, there will certain cost of moving goods into the EU as per the tariffs stipulated by the Joint Committee. This means, the UK-EU on accord will find the fitted prices on movement of goods form the UK into EU. That means, the goods moving across the borders will cost more, than today, as there is no-tariff on lots of products crossing the borders at this very moment.

Agri-Foods from GB to NI:

Agri-food goods moving from Great Britain into Northern Ireland would need to be notified to the relevant authorities before entering Northern Ireland and would be subject to checks including identity, documentary and physical checks by UK authorities as required by the relevant EU rules. These processes would introduce additional costs, both from one-offfamiliarisation and ongoing compliance, to businesses compared to current arrangements” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

This will surely cost and make it more time consuming. Not making it easy or smooth either. Surely, all of this is hardening the trade of this to NI.

Manufactured goods from GB to NI:

To ensure regulatory compliance, businesses in Great Britain selling to Northern Ireland may incur additional costs from product testing and corresponding administrative processes. The nature of the costs will depend on the product-specific requirements in EU law and on a business’s current approach to meeting these requirements. These costs may be passed through to businesses in Northern Ireland” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

Here the costs will be put on the consumer in Northern Ireland for the goods coming from Great Britain. The manufactured goods will not be cheaper, but more time consuming to get and has to follow other protocols, than the ones coming from Ireland/EU. This means for the NI it will be more profitable to get EU goods, than GB goods, because of the cost. That is simple calculation.

We can all see, that the Withdrawal Agreement and new legal text makes business, movement of goods and borders to the Northern Ireland more harder. That without swimming into the legal text nor the statutes of the Withdrawal Agreement. Because, this is just the mere chip-shape of the impact assessment of it all.

The whole thing is lazy and that makes me grim. Because, this shows the people releasing it. Didn’t do their job and show the real estimates nor the possible costs of doing business. Only that it might cost more, which it most likely will do, because you have more things to do before doing business. Peace.

Reference:

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – Impact Assessment, 21.10.2019

Brexit: Lib-Dems – Government grovelling over food standards to try and secure US trade deal (07.10.2019)

Brexit: Lord Kinnoull letter to James Duddbridge MP Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – “Government response to Hosue of Lords’ report Brexit: the Customs challenge” (03.10.2019)

Uganda Peoples Congress: Caution on Coffee Bill (17.07.2019)

Zimbabwe: Terrifying high inflation rate!

Prof. Mthuli Ncube needs to really show the new dispensation and prove that the RTGS Dollar and Bond-Notes put together into the Zimbabwe Dollar really will save the economy. Because, the state is clearly failing on putting trust in the economy. The financial markets clearly has lack of trust or not feeling it. The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), the second republic has to prove now, that they can fix what the Mugabe regime couldn’t fix in 2008.

Now, the Ministry of Finance, the Professor and Minister has to prove himself. That he can fix this, before the hyper-inflation hits the fan. Since, there is an giant issue. The inflation is already getting out of hand.

On the 15th April 2019, the inflation rate was at 66,8%. By the 15th May 2019 it had already become 75,86%, it continued to spiral and by 17th June it was at 97,85%. That all seems bad enough, as the progression and estimates has been broken every month. Now today on the 15th July 2019, it has hit 175,66%. That means since April the rate has nearly tripled and is now at the level of triple digit.

The prices must really skyrocket, the salaries will not be able to follow these sort of numbers. The state cannot manage to finance the state nor get the civil servants paid enough. Now we can anticipate the fuel, gas and electricity prices to go up. It got too, because, the economy is crashing. When the inflation get to this, you know something is up. The state is now getting the inflation at a ten-year high. They are surely trying to get back into the 2008 mojo.

Mthuli Ncube really have to start doing some miracles, some sort of divine god-like acts that turns water into wine. He needs to dig deep into the shelters of misbelief and find redemption. Because right now, the bridges are burning and the state needs.

Just to tell how bad it is, the estimates in the coming months is already at 200% in August and by mid-September to get to 251%. If these are true, than we know the drill. The lack of foreign exchange, prices out of control and state reserves emptied. The need for IMF, World Bank and Chinese Exim Bank to save the day. To stabilize the economy and revamp the economy.

The ZANU-PF clearly doesn’t know how to build trust or fix this. Since, they are doing the same thing all over and they have not launched the new currency yet. This shows how dire and destroyed the economy is. Peace.

Ethiopia: Completion of Preparation of Reform Process of Ethio Telecom and Sugar Factories through Partial Privatization and Opening of the Sector for Competition (05.07.2019)

Zimbabwe: Lack of trust is the key to everything…

Well, this last few days has been revealing, as the state have added more measures to try to wheel in the economy, but if it will stick boils down to one important factor. That important factor is if the public, the citizens and the stakeholders trust the government and their policies.

This is the key with relaunch of the ghost currency, the decade long missing Zimbabwe Dollar, the joining currency floated after Bond-Notes and RTGS Dollars. Which is supposed to save the economy and bring a new normal. In an economy where there are spiralling prices, lack of imports and also lack of trust in general; this is not directly strengthening that, but surely is a test.

If the Second Republic and the second regime under Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) is to stick around, they need to fix this. They cannot have another crash, have another big blow and weakening economy. There is already plenty of issues as is, last years taxes on mobile money and transactions took out lots of funds from the economy in direct taxations; these funds have been taken by the state and never returned to the market.

With this in mind, the state is in dire need of change, to build up self-esteem and hope for a better future. However, is the launch of the Zim Dollar, the right thing to do?

Is it about right to monopolize all buying of maize to the Grain Marketing Board, where the public is not allowed to sell or transport even a set amount of maize without licence or without authorities authorizing the transport of the maize?

Will these things make the economy stronger or will they have a negative effect like the RTGS taxes of last year?

I am thinking so, because there is very little evident of good hopes on the horizon, of possible unique changes or patterns, which the state will benefit in huge quotas from this. By all means the ZANU-PF will say it is making progress, that its all good, but not long ago there was fuel shortage and other things lacking because of lack of foreign exchange. The Reserve Bank and the other authorities better be prepared and have good advice for these changes. If they want to revive the currency, they better have a gold standard, a reach and not print money like there is no tomorrow. Since, it doesn’t take much to devalue a currency and also get hyper-inflation. Especially, when the society, the financial institutions and the whole market are sceptical about the whole deal.

The Zim Dollar and the GMB might be good ideas, might be brought to the market by good means, but will only bring more pain or suffering. As the farmers, the traders and the citizens will bear the costs, as the state is figuring out new ways to control and secure funding without adding investment or collateral for these investments. Certainly we can hope for otherwise, that the Finance Minister and everyone else involve has a well functioning plan.

However, do we really think so? Do the ZANU-PF deserve this trust and the good faith? Do they? Alternatively, are they just another military junta finding new ways of scheming for funds? Because, that wouldn’t shock anyone of us. If they are making new commissions or inquiry boards to settle old sins and hire cronies. That is what they do and not really making progress.

We can lie to ourselves and say it will all get better with these measures, but are we really certain? Do they really do all good? Does the ban of foreign currency really help? When the state functions are still taking US Dollars for functions and expecting foreigners to pay in US dollars. Do the RBZ and the Ministry really configure this or are they winging it?

There was one fella, who called the Zimbabwean economy an albatross; I think he was right, I really think he was right. By all accounts, there is little luck and little positive to find. We can joke around, mock and make a fuzz. However, the dire consequences are that teachers cannot food; the civil servants cannot pay for mortgages and so on. It is a dire need for change and for trust in the economy. Nevertheless, as long as the ZANU-PF is playing along, there will be questions. Many, unanswered, which is bringing no good. Even when the measure might have been made with grandest intent. Peace.

New details in the UN Experts Report: On the Illegal Gold Export from Butembo to Uganda!

This is now more than known, that the Gold Refinery in Entebbe is a source of gold from Democratic Republic of Congo. Where the illicit gold export persists. This is a problem, where the state are not able to catch and the wealthy traders in Butembo/Bukavu bribe the local government associates. This here is showing how the President of Uganda and his family is involved in the illegal trading of gold. As the African Gold Refinery, which the First Family is owning is involved in. They are not transparent and for the reason, that the state doesn’t want to take responsibility for this trade.

“Several sources associated with gold trade told the Group that wealthy traders in Butembo and Bukavu or buyers in transit countries and Dubai financed the smugglers, enabling them to buy gold and transport it to foreign markets. Two sources directly involved in such transactions with gold traders based in Butembo told the Group that traders with no affiliation with the gold trade lent money to their bosses. The latter used the money in order to buy gold in Butembo. Traders who lent money were paid back in cash, either in Kampala or in Dubai, by those who received gold. The Group believes that circumventing the banking system through gold-based financial transactions generates a lack of transparency and violates the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force as reflected in Congolese legislation” (Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 35-36, 2019).

“Uganda declared gold exports of 12,000 kg, but the United Arab Emirates said that it had received 21,044 kg of gold from Uganda” (…) “The Group noted that, at the time of writing, the authorities of Uganda had failed to send the Group the report of their investigations into the activities of Kampala-based gold traders, as officials had promised. On 16 January 2019, the Group met with representatives of African Gold Refinery Ltd. (AGR) at AGR premises in Entebbe, Uganda, and discussed in particular the fact that AGR had yet to provide the names of its suppliers to the Group” (Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 36, 2019).

This is just verified reports from the United Nations Experts, whose investigated it. They have digging deeper. The Report is continuing to show how the state is benefiting of the illegal trade, as long as the Democratic Republic of Congo is missing it. They are being looted by illegal logging, trading, smuggling and not doing due diligence of the mineral resources produced there.

The Ugandan authorities doesn’t care that this is stolen and not verified, as the refinery is showing that they are not caring about the production or the proper protocol of the mineral production, as long as they are profiting from the illicit trade. This is the moral of the story, as the elites of Kampala are eating of the illegal trade. They are doing this and continuing to do so. Peace.

Central Bank of Kenya: Launch the New Generation Banknotes (01.06.2019)

Zimbabwe: Press Statement on Fees and Charges Levied by Government Ministers and Departments (31.05.2019)

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