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"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London



General Motors to announce $1 billion in U.S. investment www.reuters.com

General Motors Co (GM.N) will announce as early as Tuesday long-held plans to invest about $1 billion in its U.S. factories, following recent criticism of the company by President-elect Donald Trump, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters late on Monday.

The largest U.S. automaker is making the decision for business and not political reasons, said the person, who asked not to be identified.

The investment will help GM create or retain more than 1,000 jobs, while the automaker also plans to tout other efforts to boost U.S. employment, including adding engineers, the person added.

GM General Counsel Craig Glidden told the Wall Street Journal, which reported the company's plans earlier on Monday, that any investment the company might disclose had been long planned and was not a response to Trump's criticism.

GM declined comment on the investment to Reuters.

Since the beginning of this year, GM has come under heavy criticism from Trump for building vehicles in Mexico, as have other automakers. On Jan. 3, Trump threatened to impose a "big border tax" on GM for making some of its Chevrolet Cruze compact cars in Mexico.

At a news conference last week, Trump cited recent U.S. investments by other automakers and said "General Motors will be following, and I think they will be."

Trump, who campaigned hard on bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States, said in an interview with German newspaper Bild published on Monday that he would impose a border tax of 35 percent on German car companies' vehicles imported to the U.S. market.

Earlier this month he criticized Toyota Motor Corp's (7203.T) plans to move production of the Corolla to Mexico from Canada.

Auto sales have been rising since 2009 and hit a new record in 2016. Automakers have recently been touting American investments, but say the investments have not been in response to Trump.

Last week, Japan's Toyota said it would invest $10 billion in the United States over the next five years, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU.N) said it would invest $1 billion to modernize two plants in the Midwest, creating 2,000 jobs.

Ford Motor Co (F.N) announced this month it would cancel a planned $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and would invest $700 million at a Michigan plant.

GM's "general plan is to build where we sell and we're focused on what we're doing in the United States," Chief Executive Mary Barra said in an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Washington on Monday. "We're a global company so we're going to continue that focus."

Barra, who told Reuters she planned to attend Trump's inauguration on Friday, said GM wants to work with him. "I do believe we have more in common than we have areas that we aren't aligned."

GM, which has more than 40 manufacturing sites in the United States, last year announced $2.9 billion in U.S. investments

But even as GM invests in U.S. plants, it has also been making job cuts. In recent months, GM announced plans to lay off about 3,300 employees at three factories.

It said in November it would cut about 2,000 jobs when it ends the third shift at its Lordstown, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan plants in January. Last month it said it planned to cancel the second shift and cut nearly 1,300 jobs from its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in March.



Visa to Mongolia will be granted online www.mongolia.gogo.mn

As of today, total of 27 thousand people from 122 countries are living in Mongolia with an official permission to reside. Of which 8707 are from China, 2568 are from South Korea and 3720 are from Russia, reports Mongolian Immigration Agency.
Moreover, Mongolian Immigration Agency is planning to grant visa and private invitation through online services from this year, enabling foreigners to submit their required documents for visa and invitation requests online, no need to send in any paper application.
In addition, the agency is planning to establish agreement on connecting Interpol information system with ISM system.
Mongolia has deported total of 1116 people over two years and imposed a penalty worth MNT 1 billion. Of which 800 of them from China while most of them have failed to leave the country on or before the expiry of the term of a visa.


Scientists say mining e-waste may be an economical option www.mining.com

A team of researchers from Canada’s University of British Columbia (UBC) say that recovering metals such as copper and rare earths from LED lights may turn to be an economical option.
Professor Maria Holuszko and PhD student Amit Kumar told The Province they have successfully recovered copper, silver and are certain they might also be able to extract some rare earths such as europium, cerium and lutetium from LEDs bulbs without using any chemicals.
Thanks to the increasing popularity of energy-efficient light-emitting diode bulbs and lamps, the researchers believe there will be enough of that kind of e-waste by 2020 to make extracting valuable metals from it an economically sustainable option.
So far, the team’s samples have proved to hold up to 65% recoverable copper — considerably more than processed ore — along with 4.5% zinc and 1,640 parts per million of silver.
“Eventually, we also hope to use this workflow to find a way to recover gold in significant amounts,” Professor Holuszko told The Province.
The projects follows similar endeavours announced in the past two years, including a new method for recovering gold from old gadgets such as mobile phones, TV’s and computers, developed by Scottish scientists and unveiled last year.
According to the researchers from the University of Edinburgh, who published their findings in the journal Angewandte Chemie, their extraction method not only doesn’t require the use of toxic chemicals, such as cyanide, but it is also more effective than current techniques.
A United Nations Environment Program report titled “Waste Crimes,” shows that up to 50 million tonnes of electronic waste — mainly computers and smartphones — are expected to be disposed this year. That’s up 20% from 2015, when about 41 million tonnes of that kind of gadgets were dumped, mostly into third world countries serving as global landfills.
Initiatives such as the ones in Canada and Scotland could help reduce the amount of e-waste while preventing related toxins from permeating soil and water supplies.


Renewable energy fair begins in UAE www3.nhk.or.jp

Companies from around the world are showcasing technologies and equipment to harness renewable energy at the World Future Energy summit in the United Arab Emirates.
More than 800 businesses and organizations from about 40 countries are participating.
On the first day, ministers and business leaders attended a conference.
Saudi Arabian energy minister Khalid al-Falih announced a massive investment plan. He said his country will spend up to 50 billion dollars on clean energy over the next 7 years.
The Japan Pavilion features an underwater drone designed to investigate seabed resources.
Also on display is a robot that automatically clears sand from solar panels.


Davos forum to focus on Trump www3.nhk.or.jp

Global leaders are gathering in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. With the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump just 3 days away, discussions are expected to focus on how his policies will impact the world economy and international affairs.
This year's attendees include government leaders and ministers from more than 70 countries. Some 1,800 business executives are also taking part.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to speak on the first day of the 4-day event. He's expected to stress China's pro-free trade stance, keeping Trump's repeated protectionist comments in check.
British Prime Minister Theresa May will take the podium on Thursday.
She'll likely to talk about Britain's exit from the European Union and her country's future relations with the US.
Senior officials from Trump's transition team will also be attending, drawing much attention for their comments on the new administration's priorities.
This year's agenda also includes populist political movements around the world, and measures against persistent terrorism. The effects of artificial intelligence on the global economy will also be among the wide variety of topics to be covered.


Rolls-Royce to pay £671m over bribery claims www.theguardian.com

Rolls-Royce, Britain’s leading multinational manufacturer, is to pay £671m in penalties after long-running investigations into claims it paid bribes to land export contracts.
The settlement means the engineering giant will avoid being prosecuted by anti-corruption investigators in the UK, US and Brazil, though individual executives may still be charged.
It comes five years after investigators across three continents first began examining claims that the £13bn multinational had paid bribes to secure contracts in countries around the world.
Last year a joint Guardian and BBC Panorama investigation identified 12 countries in which Rolls-Royce had hired “commercial agents” or advisers to help it secure high-value contracts.
Anti-corruption campaigners said the deal showed the British government was not serious about tackling bribery, despite years of rhetoric promising to make the UK a hostile environment for the corrupt.
Susan Hawley, the policy director of Corruption Watch, described the settlement as “proof the UK is not willing to prosecute a large, politically connected company”.
Robert Barrington, the executive director of Transparency International, said “there must be a prosecution of individuals” in addition to the settlement.
In deals announced on Monday, Rolls-Royce said it would pay £497m to the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), subject to approval by the high court. It will also pay $169m (£140m) in penalties to the US Department of Justice and $25m to the Brazilian authorities.
The terms of the agreement with the SFO are to be examined on Tuesday by Sir Brian Leveson QC, the president of the Queen’s bench division of the high court. Under the proposed deal, known as a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), Rolls-Royce will pay the penalties over five years, along with a payment covering the SFO’s costs.
Rolls-Royce announced that it reached separate deals with the US Department of Justice and Brazilian prosecutors. It added: “These agreements relate to bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in a number of overseas markets, concerns about which the company passed to the SFO from 2012 onwards.
“These are voluntary agreements which result in the suspension of a prosecution provided that the company fulfils certain requirements, including the payment of a financial penalty.”
The anti-bribery investigations have been embarrassing for the multinational, which sells turbines and engines for passenger jets and military aircraft across the globe.
David Cameron once praised it as “a world leader in the development of advanced technologies … of which the whole country can be proud”. The Duke of Cambridge called it “one of the United Kingdom’s great global companies”.
The firm has had close relations with British governments of all political hues, while ministers have often lobbied foreign governments to give large export contracts to the manufacturer.
Without admitting any wrongdoing, Rolls-Royce has repeatedly attempted to signal its willingness to reform after the bribery allegations emerged.
In 2013 the company hired the prominent City lawyer Lord Gold to conduct a review of its anti-corruption and compliance procedures. The following year the company used its annual report to reveal that it had substantially reduced its use of third parties to help it secure contracts.
The company’s chief executive said last year that winning contracts legitimately was key to future growth. Warren East, who took the helm in 2015, said in an interview with the Guardian that the bribery scandal was “not a very desirable situation”.
Hawley said: “The extent and egregious nature of the allegations against Rolls-Royce – and the fact that all indications are that it didn’t actually self-report, but this came from a whistleblower – really raise questions about whether this is being done as a convenient form for Rolls-Royce to carry on getting public contracts.”
Companies are supposed to refer themselves to investigators in order to qualify for a deferred prosecution agreement. If convicted of corruption offences, a company can be barred from bidding for public contracts unless it were able to prove it had reformed.
A relatively recent development in British law, a DPA is an arrangement under which a company can halt investigations against it for a fine. If further wrongdoing were to be committed during the duration of the agreement, the original prosecution could be reactivated.
Barrington said: “The fine is an eye-catching size, much bigger than any previous deferred prosecution agreement. Transparency International has always that the DPA must only be used when it is in the public interest, so information needs to be put into the public domain about this investigation.
“The critical part is that there must be a prosecution of individuals. There is criminality here, and we would like to see the SFO set out a timeline for those prosecutions.”
He said he was encouraged to see Brazilian, US and British regulators working together. “It will send a shiver down the spine of bribe-payers,” he said.
Sources close to the negotiations said the SFO and Rolls-Royce attended a preliminary court hearing on Monday, with a statement being issued as the markets closed.
It is understood that the Brazilian authorities have allowed Rolls-Royce to sign a leniency agreement, which is similar to a DPA.
The SFO has had at least 30 investigators in the UK focused on the multinational’s use of agents or middlemen to clinch export contracts in a number of countries across several strands of its business.
Rolls-Royce’s sprawling organisation has customers in more than 150 countries, including more than 400 airlines and leasing customers.
The Guardian and BBC’s Panorama revealed that agents have been hired in Angola, Azerbaijan, Brazil, India, China, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.


European power prices surge on cold snap www.rt.com

Abnormally low temperatures across northwest Europe and increased energy demand have resulted in the highest electricity prices in almost a decade. Power plant outages and worker strikes have also contributed to the spike.
German and Belgian power prices for next-day delivery jumped to their highest since 2008. The German spot power price for Tuesday delivery opened at €90.50 ($95.85) per megawatt-hour (MWh), before retreating to €84 per MWh. The price was €20 higher than on Friday for Monday delivery. Belgian prices climbed to €110 per megawatt-hour.
Prices In France, which largely depends on electricity for heating, rose to their highest since November. The French baseload contract opened at €120 per MWh, compared with €85.50 per MWh paid on Friday for Monday delivery.
The strong demand is expected to last through the week, and the French grid operator RTE has warned the supply could be strained as workers at Electricite de France’s (EDF) power plants plan a 24-hour strike on Monday. Six of the company’s 58 nuclear reactors are offline. Two reactors recorded unplanned outages over the weekend and have now restarted and are ramping up output. One more reactor is expected to restart on Tuesday.
RTE said it was ready to use exceptional measures to guarantee electricity supplies this week due to record consumption.
The average temperatures in northwest Europe were seen below minus four degrees centigrade on Monday and are forecast to fall sharply below seasonal levels for most of the week.
According to Germany’s national forecaster Deutscher Wetterdienst, on Tuesday temperatures are to fall as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius in some mountain regions.
Polar air from Scandinavia was said to bring ice and permafrost to some areas in Germany.
Freezing weather has already forced flight cancellations in Frankfurt, led to blackouts in Switzerland and restricted shipping on ice-choked rivers.


Japan extends oil rights pact with UAE www3.nhk.or.jp

Japan and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to extend a Japanese company's interests in an oil field off the coast of the Middle Eastern country.
Japan's Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko finalized the deal in a meeting with Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, in the UAE on Sunday.
Tokyo-based INPEX Corporation will also get rights to two smaller offshore oil fields for 25 years. These rights had been set to expire in March 2018.
Japan also faces expiration of interests in larger offshore fields in the UAE. These account for a quarter of Japan's output from self-developed oil fields worldwide.
In an effort to get those rights extended, Seko met with other leaders with influence with National Oil Company.
Seko said negotiations will go into full swing soon, and that Japan is ready to compete as Chinese and American companies are also looking to develop the same fields. He highlighted Japan's financial and environmental contributions to the UAE.


JPMorgan looks for big payoff from lead in deposit race www.reuters.com

Over the past five years, stock analysts have challenged JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) executives for keeping so many branches open as customers did more and more banking online.
Giving up real estate, the analysts said, was an obvious way the bank could save money when interest income was flagging and regulatory and legal costs were climbing.
But executives at the largest U.S. bank resisted. They argued that branches are great billboards for the Chase brand and essential to attracting people who want to open accounts or make major transactions in person.
Now it looks like the executives were right, or at least closer than other banks to delivering the right mix of physical and digital customer service.
JPMorgan has grown deposits over the last five years faster than major competitors and twice as fast as the industry, according to analysts at Bernstein Research.
Deposits in the Chase consumer bank grew in 2016 by 11 percent, or some $61 billion, the bank said when reporting quarterly results last week. Chase now has $607 billion in deposits, setting it up for a massive payoff if it can keep those funds and the company can lend them at higher interest rates in a stronger economy.
"We've been growing our deposits very strongly and we're going to enjoy the benefits,” Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said on Friday.
For the first time in roughly a decade, banks’ ability to gather deposits is poised to matter mightily to financial performance.
Interest rates are rising and the U.S. economy, which has been on the mend for a while, is expected to improve even more with stimulus from federal spending and tax cuts under the new government in Washington. Banks that did not take steps to grow deposits while loan demand was sluggish and interest rates were low may struggle to catch up in the coming years, experts said.
“JPMorgan has invested through the slower times,” said Mike Mayo, an analyst at CLSA who has questioned JPMorgan’s branch office strategy in the past.
The full payoff is not a sure thing.
Loan demand and lending rates could fall short. The economy might become so strong that depositors put their money to better use. Or, lending could be so attractive that JPMorgan rivals lure deposits away with higher and higher rates. Wary of fickle customers, JPMorgan executives say they are not offering high rates for deposits in a widespread, indiscriminate manner. “We have among the lowest rates paid for deposits in the industry,” Lake said in a conference call with journalists on Friday. “We've been very disciplined.”
The Bernstein analysis concurred, finding that JPMorgan offers relatively little for deposits. Still, the bank has been using promotions to get more people in the door.
For example, in recent months, Chase has been mailing offers of a $500 cash payment to new depositors who meet certain conditions, such as holding at least $15,000 in a savings account for three months.
Such come-ons are a marketing expense and do not lower the profit margin the bank reports for its deposits, Lake said.
Chase’s consumer deposit profit margin has fallen for at least five years, reaching 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 2.76 percent in the same period in 2011. It is difficult for outsiders to assess how customer-acquisition costs would depress that rate, or how many depositors lured through promotions will stay with the bank for the long haul, taking out the loans and paying the fees Chase expects.
Much of JPMorgan's deposit growth was born through mistakes, the financial crisis and sheer necessity.
Before 2007, Chase, like many banks, would lose a lot of customers each year because of poor service. Replacing them was expensive, but the churning expense could be covered by assorted fees, such as for overdrafts. That was sharply curtailed by post-crisis reform. Since then, banks have focused on better service to keep customers.
JPMorgan also took over Washington Mutual during the crisis. WaMu had a branch network full of holes in California and Florida, which Chase has tried to plug with new locations. Deposit growth has been a byproduct. Regulator demands that banks shore up funding has also been a factor. Deposits are more stable than short-term financing from capital markets, and new requirements on banks favor deposits from consumers.
A big chunk of Chase’s additional deposits have also come from the bank's push to gain more investment management business from “mass affluent” individuals, who may not be multi-millionaires but still have a meaningful level of household wealth. They are often Chase customers already, who open Chase Private Client accounts through branches and are offered perks for higher balances.
Perhaps the most substantial driver of Chase’s deposit growth? Sheer size and scale: it has more resources than competitors to spend to build up deposits. "It is about flexing their muscle," said Mayo.


Businesses can unlock $12 trillion via key development goals: Davos study www.reuters.com

Companies could unlock at least $12 trillion in market opportunities by 2030 and create up to 380 million jobs by implementing a few key development goals, according to a study by a group including global business and finance leaders.
The report, released on Monday by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, said pressure on business to become a "responsible social actor" was likely to grow.
The group was launched at the Davos 2016 World Economic Forum to encourage businesses to take the lead in poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Members include the chief executives of multinational firms such as Edelman, Pearson, Investec, Merck, Safaricom, Abraaj, Alibaba and Aviva, alongside academics, environmentalists, trade union leaders and philanthropists.
The study said businesses have a key role to play in achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to end poverty and protect the planet.
"Achieving the global goals opens up an economic prize of at least $12 trillion by 2030 for the private sector and potentially 2-3 times more," the study said, adding this could be achieved by action in just four areas - energy, cities, agriculture and health.
The $12 trillion - made up of business savings and revenue gains - would be equal to a tenth of forecast global economic output while 90 percent of the new jobs would be in the developing world, the study said.
Progress has been slow, however, and the study said businesses are still balking at longer-term investments, preferring instead to sit on cash or return it to shareholders via buybacks and dividends.
The 17 SDGs, adopted in September 2015, include targets on such issues as climate, clean water, gender equality and economic inequality.
The last of these has grabbed attention in recent years, bringing to prominence populist and nationalist politicians, especially in the West, as anger has grown over stagnant wages, migration, high CEO salaries and corporate tax evasion.
"We anticipate much greater pressure on business to prove itself a responsible social actor, creating good, properly paid jobs in its supply chains as well as in its factories and offices," the report said, adding that paying taxes transparently was key to rebuilding social contract.
Other steps it urged include pricing pollution via carbon trading and reducing food waste, a step that by itself could be worth up to $405 billion.
The cost of achieving these goals by 2030 will likely require $2.4 trillion of additional annual investment, however, especially in infrastructure, the study found.
The group recommended "innovative financing" from public and private sector sources to raise this amount, adding: "The global finance system needs to become much better at deploying the trillions of dollars of savings into the sustainable investments that ... the world needs."