EU parliament approves world’s ‘biggest’ trade deal with Japan Dec 13, 2018 0 287 12345 AFPBrusselsThe European Parliament on Wednesday approved an accord with Japan that has been dubbed the world’s biggest trade deal, covering economies that represent a third of the world’s GDP.The agreement will go into effect in February and was celebrated as a victory for Europe as a free trade champion in the face of US President Donald Trump’s protectionism and Britain’s decision to leave the EU.“Our economic partnership with Japan -- the biggest trade zone ever negotiated -- is now very close to becoming a reality,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said.Talking to AFP before lawmakers voted by 474 votes to 152 to back the deal, Malmstrom called it “a symbol, a signal” and added: “We’re showing that for our part, we’re in favour of open but regulated trade.”The deal was confirmed even as British Prime Minister Theresa May defended her faltering attempt to negotiate Britain’s orderly departure from the European Union before a boisterous House of Commons.But, ironically, some EU leaders see the wide-ranging deal they have agreed with far-off Japan as a possible model for future commercial relations with the United Kingdom, once it formally quits the bloc.“Everything is uncertain with the United Kingdom for the moment, but one day or another we’ll have to negotiate something,” Malmstrom said, predicting a British deal would “go even further” than Japan’s.Covering more than 630 million people and economies that add up to around a third of global output, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement has been under discussion since 2013. When it goes into effect it will regulate almost all commerce between the Asian giant and the 27 remaining EU economies and, according to Malmstrom, will benefit in particular European farmers. The pro-business lobby welcomed the deal.“Approving the EU-Japan EPA, the European Parliament delivers on what business and citizens need in a time of political and economic uncertainty,” said BusinessEurope Director General Markus Beyrer.“This agreement is projected to increase exports between the two economies by 34 percent for the EU and 29 percent for Japan, liberalising up to 99 percent of bilateral trade,” he argued. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES QFC fosters Qatar-India business relations during networking event Dec 13, 2018 0 544 Canada frees CFO of China’s Huawei on bail Dec 13, 2018 0 190 Minister of Commerce and Industry meets Argentina’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Dec 13, 2018 0 261 Alstom, Siemens offer Brussels concessions Paris: French and German engineering giants Alstom and Siemens said Wednesday they had offered EU regulators concessions they believed would meet concerns over the planned merger of their railway businesses. The .. Indonesia’s Tokopedia raises $1.1 billion Jakarta: Indonesia’s top e-commerce site Tokopedia said Wednesday it has raised $1.1 billion in funding from investors including Japanese tech giant SoftBank and Chinese online store Alibaba. The latest financing .. Germany softens firing rules to lure banks post-Brexit Berlin: The German government agreed Wednesday a draft law that would loosen restrictions on firing top-paid bankers, one of a string of measures designed to ease the financial sector through Brexit. “The law on .. ‘Hitachi moves to buy ABB’s power grid unit for $7bn’ Tokyo:Japan’s Hitachi is moving to purchase the power grid business of Swiss engineering giant ABB for a deal worth as much as $7.05 billion, local media reported Wednesday. The electronics giant is in “the final stage of .. US consumer prices flat; inflation firm Reuters WASHINGTON US consumer prices were unchanged in November, held back by a sharp decline in the price of gasoline, but underlying inflation pressures remained firm amid rising rents and healthcare costs. .. Qatar’s industrial production slides 0.6% in Oct: PSA QNA Doha Qatar’s Industrial Production index (IPI) amounted to 108.1 points in October, a decrease of 0.6 percent compared to the September, the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) has said. The mining sector saw a ..