© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Semiconductors are pictured at the chip packaging firm Unisem (M) Berhad plant in Ipoh, Malaysia October 15, 2021. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng
By Rozanna Latiff and Liz Lee
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The United States’ planned Indo-Pacific economic framework will be inclusive and flexible, and will not be structured like a typical free trade deal, its commerce secretary Gina Raimondo said on Thursday.
In a teleconference call during a visit to Malaysia, Raimondo said discussions on the framework are in preliminary stages, but could involve several key areas including the digital economy, supply chain resiliency, infrastructure, export control, and clean energy.
“We absolutely do not envision this to be a traditional trade agreement, absolutely do not envision it to require Congress to be involved,” she said, adding that the U.S. will develop the framework with allies in the months to come.
On Wednesday, Raimondo said an Indo-Pacific economic framework could be launched at the start of next year https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/us-commerce-chief-sees-indo-pacific-economic-framework-early-next-year-2021-11-17, and her Asia visit was to lay the groundwork for potential partnerships.
Critics of U.S. strategy for the region have pointed to its lack of an economic component after former President Donald Trump withdrew in 2017 from a U.S.-inspired trade deal, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. and Malaysia said in a joint statement that both countries plan to sign an agreement by early 2022 towards improving transparency, resilience and security in the semiconductor and manufacturing sector supply chains.
The agreement comes as Malaysia seeks to tackle a shortage in semiconductor chips after supplies were disrupted due to curbs imposed to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases this year.
Malaysia’s chip assembly industry, accounting for more than a tenth of a global trade worth over $20 billion, has warned that shortages will last at least two years.
Raimondo said both governments had a broad ranging discussion with the semiconductor industry on Thursday, including to cut out redundancy in investments and to boost supplies.
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South Korean exports dropped 14% in November, the highest in 2.5 years
South Korea’s exports fell 14 percent year-on-year to $51.91 billion in November, preliminary data from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy showed. The November drop was the biggest in 2.5 years since May 2020 and was caused both by the deteriorating global economy, which even a Google price chart showed, and a truckers’ strike in the country.
South Korea exports 2022 – reasons for the drop
Exports fell for the second month in a row. Analysts on average expected an 11% decline, according to Trading Economics. Respondents to MarketWatch predicted a 10.5% decline.
Shipments of semiconductor products overseas, the country’s top export item, fell 29.8%; petrochemicals fell 26.5% and steel exports fell 10.6%. Meanwhile, exports of automobiles jumped 31% and petroleum products 26%.
Exports to China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, fell by 25.5%, and to Asian countries – by 13.9%. Below, supplies to the USA grew by 8% and to the European Union – by 0.1%.
In January-November exports rose by 7.8% on the same period last year and reached a record $629.1 billion.
South Korean imports rose 2.7% to $59.2 billion in November, marking the 23rd consecutive month of gains, but the current rate of growth is the lowest since November 2020. Experts had predicted an increase of only 0.2%.
South Korea’s trade deficit last month was $7.01 billion, compared with a surplus of $2,973 billion a year earlier.
The negative balance was recorded for the eighth month in a row. As a result, by the end of 2022, the country may record a foreign trade deficit for the first time since the financial crisis in 2008.
Earlier we reported that the UN estimates the cost of humanitarian aid in 2023 at a record $51 billion.
The UN estimates humanitarian aid costs in 2023 at a record $51 billion because of an impending humanitarian crisis
Joint humanitarian operations will require a record $51.5 billion in 2023 to address urgent problems.
The UN Office for the OCHA estimates that 339 million people will need urgent aid in 2023. At the same time, OCHA called on donor countries to provide funds for assistance in 2023 to the 230 million people most in need, living in 68 countries.
Griffiths explained that aid is needed not only for people experiencing conflicts and disease outbreaks. but also for those suffering the effects of climate change, such as people in peninsular Somalia facing drought and those in Pakistan experiencing severe flooding. For the first time, the growing humanitarian crisis has brought the number of displaced people worldwide to the 100 million mark. Also worsening an already bad situation is the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, which affects the poor. Note that the general economic crisis has begun to negatively affect even the Netflix price chart.
Earlier we reported that house prices in the UK fell by 1.4% in November.
Average house prices in the UK fell 1.4% in November
Average house prices in the UK fell 1.4% in the previous month in November to 263,788 thousand pounds (about $319,000), according to the British mortgage company Nationwide Building Society.
The decline was recorded at the end of the second consecutive month and was the most significant in almost 2.5 years – since June 2020. Analysts on average had forecast a decline of only 0.3%, according to Trading Economics.
Are house prices in the UK going to fall even more?
Residential real estate prices in November compared to the same month last year increased by 4.4%. At the same time, experts expected a larger increase of 5.8%. The growth rate slowed down significantly compared with 7.2% in October. Because of the difficult economic situation, British investors are investing in other instruments. The Microsoft price chart, for example, is showing potential for growth, so many are interested in the U.S. stock market.
“The market looks set to remain under pressure in the coming quarters. Inflation will remain high for some time, and interest rates are likely to continue to rise,” believes Nationwide Senior Economist Robert Gardner. – The outlook is unclear, and much will depend on how the overall economy behaves, but a relatively soft landing is still possible.”
Earlier we reported that Sanctions Circumvention was included in the EU’s list of criminal offenses.
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