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STTAS EU Trade Weekly

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

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European Union: EU-US FTA (TTIP) Negotiation Mandate Disclosed

The EU Council has published the negotiating directives for talks on an EU-US free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This document explains the nature of the FTA, main principles, provisions on market access, regulatory issues, and non-tariff barriers and rules. (EU Council)

Russia: Gold Reserves Increased

According to data compiled by the International Monetary Fund, Russia increased its gold holdings for the fifth straight month in August, overtaking China and Switzerland to become the world's fifth-biggest buyer of the metal. Russia had 1,112.5 tons of gold in its foreign reserves at the end of August, up roughly 77 tons, or 7%, since January. The ratio of gold to foreign reserves has risen from 8.3% to 9.8%. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Russia: Fifty Documents on Russian-Chinese Cooperation to be Signed

China seeks to enhance practical cooperation with Russia in the spheres of aviation and space, energy, high-speed railways, finances, innovation and infrastructure development projects. (TASS)

Russia: Moscow Looks to Renegotiate WTO Vehicle Import Commitments

Russia is preparing to renegotiate some of the commitments it made when it joined the World Trade Organization, including those governing the duties applied to imported vehicles. According to Deputy Minister of Industry Viktor Evtukhov, Russia aims to preserve or even increase the import duties, which previously it had promised to reduce. (Automotive Logistics)

European Union: Cooperation Agreement Signed with Kazakhstan

 The EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement relates to cooperation in some 29 policy areas, including economic and financial cooperation, energy and transport. (EEAS)

Kazakhstan: Senate Ratifies Eurasian Economic Union Treaty

Kazakhstan’s upper house of parliament adopted on 9 October a law ratifying the treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, a Russia-led three-member bloc seen as an alternative to the EU. The document is to be later signed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. By 2025, in the framework of the EEU, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will open common oil and gas markets, which will be free of export duties and restrictions in mutual trade. (TASS)

Belarus: Parliament’s Lower House Ratifies Eurasian Economic Union Treaty

Deputies in the Belarus House of Representatives ratified on 9 October the treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, which is now due for immediate debate in the upper house before reaching the president for signature. Minsk has linked the treaty’s ratification with settlement of a Russian tax move in the oil industry that could have cost Belarus more than $1 billion, according to estimates. (TASS)


India: Trade Facilitation Committee Planned to Boost International Trade

India has initiated measures to reform customs procedures and cut red tape to speed up international trade. The government has decided to set up a national committee on trade facilitation that will suggest and implement measurers to ensure the seamless movement of cargo by addressing constraints like high transaction costs and poor infrastructure. (Economic Times)

Middle East/North Africa

Gulf Cooperation Council: IMF sees GCC Growing Strongly in 2014

The International Monetary Fund has lowered its economic growth forecasts for most Arab countries over unrest in the region but said growth would remain generally strong in the GCC states. In its semi-annual World Economic Outlook, the IMF said the Middle East and North African region would grow by 2.6 percent this year, down from a 3.2 percent forecast in April, and 3.8 percent in 2015, down from 4.5 percent. (Emirates 24/7 News)

Turkey: Plans to Renovate Custom Gates at Borders

Turkey is planning to introduce a comprehensive restructuring at its 17 customs gates in a bid to solve clogging at borders by speeding up transactions. The gates have been a subject of constant criticism due to long queues caused by bureaucratic procedures and smuggling allegations, particularly after escalated violence in Syria. (Hurriyet Daily News)

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