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UK, South Korea agree on post-Brexit trade deal rollover

Britain today agreed on an in-principle deal with South Korea to roll over the trade relationship it currently has with the country as a member of the EU, U.K. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said.

The U.K. is attempting to replicate the EU`s some 40 existing trade agreements in case it exits the bloc without a Brexit deal. It has so far signed 12, including with Switzerland, and Iceland and Norway – the South Korean one is the first to be signed in Asia.


The EU is creating a sustainability label for raw materials

An EU research group is creating a certification method for raw materials, to be completed by 2021. The project is part of a push to sustainably mine the metals needed for Europe’s clean energy transition.

There are certification schemes for textiles, food and sustainable timber, “so why not for other raw materials such as the metals we need to make batteries,” asks Dr Andreas Hucke, expert on transparency for CERA, a new certification method for raw materials.

The project aims to investigate a raw material all along its production chain – from prospecting, to mining, refining and manufacturing.

Like other certifications such as Fairtrade, the vision is to have a final stamp on an end product.



Middle East

Bahrain to ban plastic bags, starting July

A Ministerial order with respect to the technical regulations for plastic products will come into effect on July 21, 2019.

The order will regulate and phase out the use of plastic bags. The first phase will focus on single-use plastic bags as well as banning the import of non-biodegradable plastic bags. Later phases will witness a permanent ban on the use of plastic bags at certain malls and supermarkets.

[Gulf News]

Chinese firms to pump $4bln into giant UAE logistics parks

There will be large logistics parks in Jebel Ali and one near the Expo venue. One is for food processing and the other is for manufacturing and exporting, said a top official of National Association of Freight and Logistics.

Abu Dhabi will also have a huge logistics project that will boost the trading sector in the UAE.




Ethiopia parliament to approve telecoms liberalization law

International telecommunications firms have shown interest in entering Africa’s second most populous nation and one of the few telecoms sectors on the continent still protected by a state monopoly.

The law establishes an independent communications regulator accountable to the prime minister and will be responsible for promoting a competitive market, draft legislation seen by Reuters showed.

[Standard Digital]