The speed with which the European Commission has had to frame its "Fit for 55" climate package will likely lead to lengthy, difficult negotiations with the European Parliament and EU Council, according to Brussels-based energy expert Giorgio Corbetta of strategic consultancy Global Counsel.
Central to Boris Johnson’s political sense of self is the notion that he is a “Brexity Hezza”: “Brexity” because he led the charge for the UK’s exit from the European Union; and “Hezza” because, like Michael Heseltine, his political passion is regenerating parts of the country that have suffered years of post-industrial decline — the policy known as “levelling-up”, even if precise definitions of it are hard to come by.
| Keir Starmer was right on one thing in his reshuffle - we need a Future of Work Secretary
After a poor set of local election results and a botched reshuffle, Labour hasn’t had the best of weeks. But one thing it may have gotten right is the appointment of Angela Rayner as “shadow secretary for the future of work”. While it is easy to mock the elaborate titles bestowed on the deputy leader after she was sacked from as party chair and national campaign coordinator, her brief is nothing to scoff at. The Conservative party would do well to appoint their own equivalent to sit on the front benches.
Until recently, concerns about the impact of technology on the workplace have largely focused on the so-called “gig economy”. This nebulous term refers to a whole range of jobs typically characterised by insecure and generally low-paid employment mediated by digital platforms – think ride-hailing, food delivery and courier services.
The Business Times
| New finance Minister Lawrence Wong not likely to rock fiscal-policy boat: observers
"Politically, the Finance Ministry is regarded as a heavyweight portfolio and there is some expectation that the appointment... primes (Mr Wong) as the leading candidate," remarked Andrew Yeo, head of strategic consultancy Global Counsel Singapore.
Mr Yeo, however, did not rule out both Mr Ong, the new Health Minister, and former army chief Chan Chun Sing, the new Education Minister, as contenders to be chosen as the new 4G leader.
| Cabinet reshuffle says little about who's in lead to be Singapore's next PM, analysts say
Giving their thoughts about each of the three potential candidates, the analysts said that the decision behind the new appointments are unconventional at this stage of their political careers.
Mr Andrew Yeo, senior associate at strategic advisory business firm Global Counsel, said that for Mr Wong, for instance, it may seem like his new role as finance minister may place him as the leading candidate.
After all, Mr Wong will be assuming the portfolio at an administratively complex phase, Mr Yeo noted, with the pandemic requiring adept management of competing priorities.
If politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose, what are they doing when they don’t say anything? This is the central mystery behind one of the untold stories of the pandemic in the UK: the precipitous decline in migration since the lockdown began last year. What does it mean for the economy as it reopens this week and what does the government think about it?
For 20 years the Conservatives have campaigned for stricter controls on migration in order to reduce the total number of people coming to live in the UK, whether for work, study or family reasons. Even Boris Johnson, a supposed liberal on these matters, made it a manifesto promise that “overall numbers will come down”. This was much to the dismay of businesses which benefited from relatively cheap supplies of labour, and which thought ministers were bluffing about wanting to cut net migration even as they pursued ending free movement through Brexit.
Jens Presthus, a senior associate at strategic advisory firm Global Counsel, says that China has faced accusations of political interference, resulting in currency devaluation several times over the last few decades. If the Yuan’s value is low against the dollar or the rupiah, it becomes cheaper for importers in Indonesia to purchase goods from exporters in China rather than turn to Indonesian manufacturers.
“Interventions like this are obviously undermining free and fair trade, but WTO doesn’t have specific rules against countries using their exchange rate as an export subsidy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) does, but lacks power to enforce such rules,” says Presthus.
He also points out that China did a lot to support its producers during the pandemic, with lots of tax and fee cuts, which reduces overall costs for Chinese companies and allows them to sell their goods at a lower price. “It seems to me that this is a key reason for why Indonesian producers are struggling to compete.”
If you’re not yet sick to the back teeth of hearing politicians intone the words “Build Back Better”, then you will be by the end of the year. Due to take centre stage at the G7 and COP26 summits the UK is hosting over the next six months, it is already a message chiselled into every government pronouncement and even the usually unscripted Boris Johnson faithfully repeats it.
A panel of experts discussed how Brexit has and will affect the private equity industry, with a focus on deals, portfolio company management, investor queries and more.
SPEAKERS: David Barbour, Managing Partner, FPE Capital; Ken Terry, CEO, Elysian Capital; Malcolm MacDougall, Partner, Stephenson Harwood; Tom King; PDD Practice Lead, Global Counsel.
Elly Darkin, trade adviser at Global Counsel, points out the group’s share of UK trade in 2019 was around 8%, with four countries – Canada, Australia, Singapore and Japan – accounting for 86% of that. The UK already has free trade agreements with three of these countries, and hopes to wrap one up with Australia shortly. Darkin says the true benefit may lie in side agreements on issues like the digital economy and harmonising e-commerce, making it easier for companies to launch.