We are living in a emerging trade war. It is likely to get worse before it gets better.

This is serious since we know that trade and trade development is one of the most efficient ways to enhance our socities, to develop the standards for people, to create jobs and growth and to fight poverty. We need trade.

Wolrf Economic Forum has a great blog about trade that I highly recommend,

Last week this text by Anahita Thoms was published. There are some really interesting messages in the text, you find the link below.

In the article Thoms writes:

“Trade disputes do not produce winners in the long-term, although calculations are often presented to the contrary. A recent calculation by the Ifo-Institute found that Germany and other EU economies may benefit if the US implements further tariffs on Chinese imports. These findings were somewhat superficially cited in major newspapers, however, the calculation did not take into account the negative effects of investor uncertainty nor the possibility of a devaluation of the Chinese currency.

Of course, in individual cases, certain countries may temporarily benefit from bilateral trade disputes since the flow goods may be diverted. Vietnam’s exports to the US, for example, have increased by 40% this year, because Chinese businesses have relocated their distribution to Vietnam in order to circumvent US tariffs. However, there is always the danger that the beneficiary may also be targeted, which would not only put an end to such beneficial side-effects but further escalate the trade dispute”

“Public support for free trade is shrinking and the long-standing political consensus that trade liberalization is beneficial is under attack. The US in particular has recently shifted towards protectionism by imposing tariffs and continuously threatening its largest trading partners, in particular the EU and China. Brexit, too, is partly driven by a protectionist attitude: although the UK intends to enter into Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with other countries, the move away from the single market is itself a rejection of free trade within the EU.

The current challenges to the world economy are worrying and it is unclear whether satisfactory solutions can be found in the near future. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the OECD, therefore, rightly call for policy actions to reduce trade tensions. In order to boost public support for free trade, it is particularly important to counter the short-sighted notion that trade disputes produce both winners and losers and acknowledge the role that national governments have played, with their fiscal policies that did not spread the benefits of globalization fairly and failed to soften the disruption to older industries. The truth is that, in the long-term, trade tensions will only produce losers as the implied dangers could demolish the progress of recent decades”.

To read the entire article, click here: Why trade wars have no winners

Source: WEF

South Africa, the springboks, today won their third World Cup in Rugby beating England 32-12 in the Rugby world cup played in Japan.

South Africa had a great tournament and they are clearly worthe world champions. The England victory over favourites New Zealand all blacks costed them a lot. In the final Springboks was the best team.

Another Brexit Day is here. There will likely be more, at least one.

Brexit is not happening on 31 October after all.Today was going to be the day the UK left the European Union.

Here are some facts and figures on where we are now…

1,226 – the number of days since the June 2016 date that the UK voted to leave the EU.

949 – the days since Article 50 was invoked.

219 – days since the original date planned for Brexit to happen (29 March 2019).

£4.2bn – how much the Treasury says it has allocated for Brexit preparations – roughly £2bn has been spent on no-deal plans under Operation Yellowhammer.

Now we are looking forward to seeing the next steps on Brexit. A flextension and delay of arricle 50 has been agreed to maximum 31 January 2020.

Between there and now there will be a national general election on December 12. A new Parliament will decide on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

The clock is ticking. Again.

Source: Sky News

Think of the biggest cities in the world. The megacities. True giants with populations of over 10 million people.

Tokyo will, of course, be on your list. So too Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City, New York, Cairo. Possibly Lagos, Jakarta and Chongqing if you pride yourself on keeping your geography general knowledge up to date.

But Chengdu? Hyderabad? Luanda?

They are among 10 cities that the UN predicts will break the 10 million mark between now and 2030, bringing the total number of megacities to 43.

The rise in the number of megacities is the most visible evidence of the accelerating global trend towards urbanization. In 1950, cities were home to 751 million people, less than one-third of the global population. Just two (New York and Tokyo) had more than 10 million inhabitants. Today, 55% of us live in urban areas – that’s 4.2 billion city-slickers. In another generation, that proportion is set to grow to 68%, potentially adding another 2.5 billion people to already crowded cities.

Ninety percent of that shift to urban areas will take place in Asia and Africa. In part, that is down to the very high levels of urbanization elsewhere – four out of five people in the Americas, and three-quarters of Europeans already live in cities. In contrast, cities are home to only half of the population of Asia, and Africa is still predominantly rural.

But that is changing rapidly. Right now 22 of the world’s 33 cities with populations over 10 million are in Asia and Africa, as are all except one of the 10 set to join them by 2030.

Source: WEF

Yesterday the UK Parliament, House of Commons, MPs voted 438 to 20 in favor of the motion to hold a General Election on December 12.

It will be an election about Brexit. Most parties will go to the general election on a Brexit platform and nonprty will be able to move the topic of Brexit away from the agenda.

Exiting five weeks of campaining, polls, ahead of us. Then we will know whonis the new Prime Minister and if there is a majority in the House of Commons for the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB). If so, UK will leave the EU at the endnof the year with a deal and a transition period to 31/12 2020.

Tonight the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, accepting the rxtension of article 50 to January 31st 2020.