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Brussels loses faith in ‘volatile’ UK

The EU and its 27 remaining member states have all but lost faith in the British political system to deliver clarity on Brexit any time soon, according to interviews with officials and diplomats.

That has left most in Brussels expecting that the October 31 deadline will need to be extended, but still bracing for the chance of a no-deal catastrophe. And even if disaster is avoided, the EU27 are wondering if another postponement will serve any useful purpose.

The unprecedented U.K. Supreme Court ruling  that Prime Minister Boris Johnson illegally shut down parliament injected further confusion into what was already a bewildering and highly unpredictable situation.


Automakers warn millions of jobs at risk in no-deal Brexit

A month before Britain is due to quit the European Union, the bloc’s automakers have warned of billions of euros in losses in the event of a no-deal Brexit — with production stoppages costing 50,000 pounds ($62,355) a minute in Britain alone.

In a statement, groups including the European automakers association ACEA, the European suppliers body CLEPA and 17 national groups warned of the impact of “no-deal” on an industry which employs 13.8 million people in the EU, including the UK, or 6.1 percent of the workforce.

[Automotive News Europe]

EU trade boss Malmström says America is not enemy territory

Despite signs that Europe’s tariff war with Washington is poised to worsen in the weeks ahead, the EU’s outgoing trade chief wants to reassure her successor that he will find significant allies in the United States.

In a valedictory interview with POLITICO, Europe’s Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström admitted that some of U.S. President Donald Trump’s top trade officials have an “old fashioned” fixation with reducing deficits through tariffs, but said that Brussels still has significant allies in Congress and among business leaders.


Middle East

Oman’s global logistics ranking jumps 16 places

Oman’s ranking in the World Bank’s Global Logistics Performance Index went up from 59 to 43 between 2014 and 2018, said the organizers of the upcoming Oman Economic & Free Zone Summit in Muscat, Oman.

Khazaen Economic City is a major project in Oman’s integrationist approach towards logistics – dovetailing public and private sector efforts to create a value-adding logistics corridors. Located in Barka, around 60 kilometers north-west of Muscat, the project includes plans to create a new free zone, logistics and industrial complex and Oman’s first dry port. The in-land development will cover more than 50 sq. km and is expected to be the largest public-private partnership in Omani history.


Sanctions-hit Iran props up economy with bartering, secret deals

Washington’s policy of applying “maximum pressure” on Iran with wide-ranging sanctions has shredded the country’s oil revenues, sent its economy into recession and devalued its national currency.

Iranian officials, business people and analysts say the country is staying on its feet by stepping up exports of non-oil goods and increasing tax revenues, but most importantly resorting to bartering, smuggling and back-room deals.

To circumvent U.S. banking and financial sanctions, Iran’s rulers have built up a network of traders, companies, exchange offices, and money collectors in different countries, they say.