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EU-Mercosur negotiations to be resumed this month
EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström believes an agreement can be reached in a matter of weeks.

EU, Mexico to hold talks on updating FTA
The next round is expected to focus on rules of origin, technical barriers to trade, and intellectual property but could get hung up on EU demands on geographical indications for food products.

Novel food regulation applicable from 1 January
The EU’s new regulation includes an expanded definition of “novel food” to account for innovation and technology advances in the food sector, a centralised EU-wide authorisation system of novel foods and traditional foods from third countries, a list of all authorised novel foods in the EU, and data protection provisions for applicants.
[EU Business]

Bulgaria seeks to join Eurozone
Leaders have stepped up their campaign to adopt the euro, challenging EU member states to let Bulgaria into the euro’s “waiting room” in the coming months or spell out why it cannot join.

Middle East

Turkey, Indonesia launch trade negotiations
The initial focus of the negotiations toward a comprehensive economic partnership agreement is to reach a deal on trade in goods, which is expected to be completed and ratified by the end of 2018.

UAE establishes 20 special VAT zones
The transfer of goods between these zones will not be subject to value-added tax under two conditions: (1) goods or parts are not released from the designated zone and are only transferred from one zone to another, and (2) the transfer is done in accordance with the common customs law implemented among Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan consider preferential trade agreement


East African Community members given until March to agree on common tariff
[The East African]