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Israel, India prepare to resume free trade agreement talks

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view of a container terminal is seen at Mundra Port, one of the ports handled by India’s Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd, in the western Indian state of Gujarat April 1, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

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By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and India are preparing to resume talks on a free trade agreement, Israel’s Economy Ministry said on Monday, adding that an Indian delegation had arrived in Jerusalem to discuss framework rules and coordinate expectations for negotiations.

Last October, India and Israel agreed to resume free trade talks with an aim of signing a deal by mid-2022.

Israel’s Economy Ministry said a senior team from India’s Industry and Trade would meet with their Israeli counterparts to discuss the ground rules but did not say when actual trade negotiations would resume.

Ties between Israel and India have grown closer in the eight years since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in power, and the two countries have formed a number of strategic, military and technology partnerships during that time.

Bilateral trade between Israel and India totalled $6.3 billion in 2021 up from $200 million in 1992 when the two countries opened diplomatic relations and Israel has emerged as one of India’s biggest suppliers of weapons alongside the United States and long-term partner Russia.

“We share similar challenges in a wide range of fields, from agriculture, climate and water to homeland security, fintech and cyber,” Israeli Economy Minister Orna Barbivai said in a statement.

She called the relationship between the two countries “strategic” and said a free trade deal would significantly boost existing collaboration.

Ron Malka, the ministry’s director general and former Israeli ambassador to India, said in the statement that a deal would ease trade barriers for Israeli companies operating in India, strengthen trade and economic cooperation and help the government in its efforts to lower the cost of living.

Last month Israel signed a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

India aims to sign new trade deals with several countries including Australia, the UAE, Britain and Canada, to boost exports and help the country recover faster from its coronavirus-induced slowdown.

Economy

Oil Russia ban news: Russia will ban the sale of its oil to countries that have imposed a price ceiling

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Will Russia sell oil to Europe? The administration of President Vladimir Putin is preparing an order prohibiting Russian companies and any trader from buying Russian oil to sell raw materials to countries and companies that have imposed a price ceiling on Moscow. Bloomberg news agency wrote this, citing a report from sources.

“The Kremlin is preparing a presidential decree banning Russian companies and any traders buying national oil from selling it to anyone who participates in the price ceiling,” the publication wrote.

According to the newspaper’s interlocutors, this would prohibit any mention of the price ceiling in contracts for Russian crude, as well as transferring it to countries that have joined the price ceiling for the natural resource.

In the first half of September, the press service of the US Treasury Department said that the USA, together with its allies from G7 (Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, France and Japan) and the European Union (EU) would impose a ban on marine transportation of Russian oil on December 5 and oil products – on February 5.

Earlier we reported that EU negotiations on limiting the prices of Russian oil reached a deadlock today.

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Economy

EU talks on restrictions on Russian crude oil prices today stalled

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Negotiations between the European Union countries about the “ceiling” of Russian crude oil prices today reached an impasse; Bloomberg reported, according to its sources.

Representatives of the bloc cannot reach an agreement on the ceiling price of Russian oil. According to the agency, the proposed European Commission limit of $65-70 per barrel, Poland and the Baltic countries believe “too generous,” while Greece and Malta, which is actively engaged in transporting fuel, do not want the limit to fall below $ 70. Recall that the Russian response to the oil price cap was negative. The Russian government has officially said that it will only sell oil at market prices.

“We are looking for ways to make this solution work and we are trying to find a common ground to implement it in a perfectly pragmatic and efficient way, while avoiding that it may cause excessive inconvenience to the European Union,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Earlier, we reported that the SEC fined Goldman Sachs $4 million for non-compliance with ESG fund principles.

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Economy

More than 50% of Germans said they had given up shopping for new clothes and electronics. Is Germany’s economy failing?

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is germany's economy failing

Die Welt newspaper cited a survey by the consulting company EY and said that about 56% of Germans who took part in the survey said that they had practically refused to buy new clothes.

Also, 56% of German consumers reported that they now refrain from buying televisions, smartphones, laptops and game consoles. Also, nearly one in two now uses less gasoline, and one in four said they are saving on medications.

What caused the economic crisis in Germany? The main reason is the war in Ukraine and the resulting sanctions by the EU. Also, every second respondent reported that at the moment he could buy only the essentials. According to EY analysts, German households plan to further reduce spending in the coming months. In particular, they plan to save money on food delivery and entertainment.

Earlier, we reported that prices for liquefied natural gas in Asia reached their highest since October.

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