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NORTHERN IRELAND ISN’T WAITING ON POST-BREXIT TRADE DEAL TO COURT U.S. INVESTORS

ireland

NORTHERN IRELAND ISN’T WAITING ON POST-BREXIT TRADE DEAL TO COURT U.S. INVESTORS

A Trade Agreement for the “Whole of the U.K.”

On March 2, 2020 the United Kingdom (U.K.) released its public negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement with the United States, its largest bilateral trading partner. In pursuing increased trade in goods and services and greater cross-border investment, the U.K government seeks an “agreement that works for the whole of the U.K.,” including “all four constituent nations,” and that takes account of the Northern Ireland Protocol that aims to avoid the introduction of a hard border on the island of Ireland. The United States released its objectives for talks with the U.K. in February of 2019.

Trade agreements are a valuable tool governments use to generate broad economic benefits, but negotiations can take time and outcomes are uncertain. Many governments simultaneously deploy export and investment promotion agencies to promote access to new markets for its companies or attract investments that will create jobs at home.

Usually affiliated with government, these agencies may promote the image and offerings of the home market, provide export training, offer support in identifying partners or specific business opportunities, organize trade fairs or trade missions, and conduct research and market analysis. They may be based domestically and maintain offices abroad.

The U.K. has enjoyed longstanding success in attracting inbound investment, but with uncertainties surrounding the implementation and impact of Brexit, U.K. trade and investment promotion agencies have a key role to play in promoting a thriving post-Brexit economic future. Although the U.K.’s Department for International Trade is on the front lines in providing trade and investment services, another agency — Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) — is specifically focused on making sure benefits accrue to Northern Ireland.

Banking on Belfast

Formed in Belfast in 2002 through a consolidation of the departments of trade, investment, and research and development, Invest NI helps new and existing Northern Irish businesses to compete internationally and works to attract new investment to Northern Ireland. The organization has over 600 professionals in its network, with business advisors across Northern Ireland, and throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East. With U.S.-U.K. commercial relations in the headlines, we spoke with Peta Conn, the Boston-based Executive Vice President and Head of Americas for Invest NI about the narrative she shares.

“Northern Ireland’s strength is its talent – a growing youth population, excellent universities and people who want to stay. We offer a strong ecosystem that brings together government, academia and business. There is a real focus on ensuring we can cater to future demand for skills. I’d add that Northern Ireland offers a great lifestyle and one that is affordable. Many come for the business and stay for the life.”

Look at Belfast

Key industries in Northern Ireland include financial services, legal services and cyber security. According to FT fDi Markets, Belfast has been ranked as the world’s number one destination for financial technology development projects, the top city in Europe for new software development projects, and the number one international location for U.S. cyber security development projects.

Conn highlighted the importance of testimonials, including the vote of confidence from Boston-based security analytics software and services firm Rapid7, which announced in October 2014 it would set up a software innovation center in Boston’s sister city of Belfast, creating high-paying jobs. Speaking of the investment at that time, Rapid7 CEO Corey Thomas pointed to the work that Northern Ireland’s universities were doing in IT security and the availability of high-quality technical staff.

The Hunt for Talent

Despite the uncertainties of Brexit, Conn noted that the last few years have seen some of the strongest foreign direct investment flows out of the United States into Northern Ireland. “It’s really about the need for talent and an immediate need for developers.”

That talent flows from Northern Ireland’s two major universities – Queens University Belfast and Ulster University. Both are leaders in innovative research, and Queens is home to the Centre for Secure Information Technologies, the U.K.’s national innovation and knowledge center for cyber security.

“If you want development operations or software, you can do this at Belfast salaries that are 20 percent lower than Dublin and 30 percent lower than London, and also have lower workforce attrition.”

NI's human talent

The Tools

Conn leads the Americas team, which includes a dozen people in Boston and 28 people in total across the region, in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Toronto, Santiago, and, as of very recently, Los Angeles. In addition to promoting foreign direct investment, the team also helps Northern Ireland companies export to the United States.

Their performance indicators are based on employment and economic growth. Sales teams work to identify prospective investors and explain how Northern Ireland could fit within their growth strategies. Business development teams then offer customized solutions of how the market can specifically support business plans.

Once a company has committed to set up in Northern Ireland, one of the programs on offer is a pre-employment program called Assured Skills, which is unique to the region. Companies can co-design an academy-style course with a local training institution and then recruit a cohort of potential employees to take the course. At its conclusion, all participants are offered a job interview, thus de-risking the recruitment process and leading to a conversion rate of about 90 percent.

Crushing It

As U.S.-U.K. trade talks get underway, politics in both countries and the U.K.’s parallel negotiations with the EU, make the timing of any deal uncertain. The issue of Northern Ireland, which under the U.K.’s Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union (EU), remains part of the UK customs territory but subject to EU regulations, will be a focus of attention among U.S. lawmakers insistent on avoiding a hard border in Ireland and protecting the 1998 peace agreement that helped bring an end to conflict in the region.

A U.K. trade deal with the United States may bring modest benefits for Northern Ireland as government analysis suggests, but the Rt. Hon. Brandon Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has emphasized: “The United Kingdom is going to be one area and all will be able to benefit from our future global trade deals.”

While the talks proceed, Invest NI will continue to offer a compelling narrative of innovation, entrepreneurship, and opportunities to invest in Northern Ireland. Their stories will include everything from sophisticated software development to Northern Ireland’s dominance in producing 40 percent of the world’s mobile crushing machines and manufacturing a third of the world’s airline seats.

Like free trade agreement talks, investment promotion involves understanding long-term strategy direction and the areas of an economy’s competitive advantage. Invest NI will remain an important complement to U.K. government trade negotiation efforts, serving as the messenger of an economy that is open for business.

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Leslie Griffin is Principal of Boston-based Allinea LLC. She was previously Senior Vice President for International Public Policy for UPS and is a past president of the Association of Women in International Trade in Washington, D.C.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

the EU

Sweet Biscuit, Waffle And Wafer Market in the EU Reached $5.5B

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Sweet Biscuits, Waffles And Wafers – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the market for sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers in the European Union amounted to $5.5B in 2018, surging by 3.2% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). Overall, consumption of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern.

Consumption By Country in the EU

The countries with the highest volumes of consumption of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers in 2018 were the UK (278K tonnes), Italy (269K tonnes) and France (224K tonnes), with a combined 50% share of total consumption. These countries were followed by Germany, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Belgium, which together accounted for a further 39%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of consumption of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Romania, while consumption of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest sweet biscuit, waffle and wafer markets in the European Union were Italy ($1.4B), the UK ($1B) and France ($697M), together accounting for 56% of the total market. These countries were followed by Germany, Spain, Ireland, Romania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary and Belgium, which together accounted for a further 35%.

The countries with the highest levels of sweet biscuit, waffle and wafer per capita consumption in 2018 were Ireland (11,206 kg per 1000 persons), Slovakia (6,497 kg per 1000 persons) and Portugal (4,933 kg per 1000 persons).

Market Forecast 2019-2025 in the EU

Driven by rising demand for sweet biscuit, waffle and wafer in the European Union, the market is expected to start an upward consumption trend over the next seven-year period. The performance of the market is forecast to increase slightly, with an anticipated CAGR of +0.6% for the seven-year period from 2018 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 1.6M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Production in the EU

In 2018, approx. 1.8M tonnes of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers were produced in the European Union; lowering by -3.6% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.2% over the period from 2007 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations over the period under review. The volume of production of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers peaked at 1.9M tonnes in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Production By Country in the EU

The countries with the highest volumes of production of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers in 2018 were Italy (281K tonnes), Germany (270K tonnes) and the UK (215K tonnes), together comprising 43% of total production. These countries were followed by Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Denmark, which together accounted for a further 50%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of production of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by the Czech Republic, while production of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Exports in the EU

In 2018, the exports of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers in the European Union totaled 2M tonnes, going up by 2.3% against the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +4.1% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Over the period under review, exports of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers reached their maximum in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the near future. In value terms, exports of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers amounted to $7.1B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

The exports of the four major exporters of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers, namely Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland, represented more than half of total export. Italy (142K tonnes) occupied a 7.2% share (based on tonnes) of total exports, which put it in second place, followed by the UK (6.8%), Spain (6%), the Czech Republic (5.4%) and France (5.4%).

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by the Czech Republic, while exports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest sweet biscuit, waffle and wafer supplying countries in the European Union were Germany ($1.2B), the Netherlands ($936M) and Poland ($889M), together comprising 42% of total exports. Belgium, Italy, the UK, France, Spain and the Czech Republic lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 43%.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the export price for sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers in the European Union amounted to $3,641 per tonne, going up by 4.8% against the previous year. Overall, the export price for sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was Italy ($5,039 per tonne), while Spain ($2,375 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Poland, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in the EU

In 2018, the imports of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers in the European Union stood at 1.7M tonnes, jumping by 4.7% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.5% over the period from 2007 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations being observed throughout the analyzed period. In value terms, imports of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers totaled $5.3B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Imports by Country

France (258K tonnes), Germany (216K tonnes) and the UK (197K tonnes) represented roughly 40% of total imports of sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers in 2018. Italy (129K tonnes) took the next position in the ranking, followed by Belgium (120K tonnes) and the Netherlands (115K tonnes). All these countries together held approx. 22% share of total imports. Spain (73K tonnes), Austria (65K tonnes), Portugal (62K tonnes), Ireland (61K tonnes), Romania (57K tonnes) and Poland (55K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Romania, while imports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest sweet biscuit, waffle and wafer importing markets in the European Union were France ($794M), Germany ($750M) and the UK ($735M), together comprising 43% of total imports. These countries were followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Austria, Poland, Ireland, Portugal and Romania, which together accounted for a further 41%.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the import price for sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers in the European Union amounted to $3,154 per tonne, rising by 2.8% against the previous year. In general, the import price for sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was the UK ($3,741 per tonne), while Portugal ($2,437 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the UK, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

frozen fruit

Frozen Fruit and Nut Market in the EU Grew Slightly to $2.4B

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Frozen Fruit And Nuts – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the frozen fruit and nuts market in the European Union amounted to $2.4B in 2018, growing by 1.5% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +1.5% from 2007 to 2018; the trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Over the period under review, the frozen fruit and nuts market attained its maximum level in 2018 and is likely to see steady growth in the near future.

Consumption By Country

The country with the largest volume of frozen fruit and nuts consumption was Germany (369K tonnes), comprising approx. 25% of total volume. Moreover, frozen fruit and nuts consumption in Germany exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest consumer, France (184K tonnes), twofold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Italy (149K tonnes), with a 10% share.

In Germany, frozen fruit and nuts consumption expanded at an average annual rate of +2.2% over the period from 2007-2018. The remaining consuming countries recorded the following average annual rates of consumption growth: France (+1.8% per year) and Italy (-5.0% per year).

In value terms, Germany ($632M), France ($389M) and Italy ($272M) constituted the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2018, with a combined 54% share of the total market. These countries were followed by Poland, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Hungary and Romania, which together accounted for a further 37%.

The countries with the highest levels of frozen fruit and nuts per capita consumption in 2018 were Belgium (6,286 kg per 1000 persons), Austria (5,257 kg per 1000 persons) and Germany (4,509 kg per 1000 persons).

Market Forecast 2019-2025 in the EU

Driven by increasing demand for frozen fruit and nuts in the European Union, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next seven-year period. Market performance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +1.2% for the period from 2018 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 1.6M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Production in the EU

In 2018, approx. 951K tonnes of frozen fruit and nuts were produced in the European Union; shrinking by -5.9% against the previous year. Overall, frozen fruit and nuts production continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. Over the period under review, frozen fruit and nuts production attained its maximum volume at 1.1M tonnes in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2018, production stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Production By Country

Poland (351K tonnes) remains the largest frozen fruit and nuts producing country in the European Union, comprising approx. 37% of total volume. It was followed by Spain (127K tonnes) and Italy (122K tonnes), with the combined share of 26%.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume in Poland stood at +1.5%. The remaining producing countries recorded the following average annual rates of production growth: Spain (-1.2% per year) and Italy (-5.8% per year).

Exports in the EU

In 2018, the exports of frozen fruit and nuts in the European Union stood at 885K tonnes, rising by 2.6% against the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.3% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. In value terms, frozen fruit and nuts exports totaled $1.7B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

Poland represented the key exporter of frozen fruit and nuts exported in the European Union, with the volume of exports recording 349K tonnes, which was near 39% of total exports in 2018. The Netherlands (117K tonnes) held a 13% share (based on tonnes) of total exports, which put it in second place, followed by Belgium (9.3%), Spain (5.9%) and Germany (5.8%). Italy (34K tonnes), Greece (32K tonnes), France (18K tonnes), Bulgaria (17K tonnes), Austria (17K tonnes), Portugal (15K tonnes) and Lithuania (15K tonnes) occupied a little share of total exports.

From 2007 to 2018, average annual rates of growth with regard to frozen fruit and nuts exports from Poland stood at +2.2%. At the same time, Portugal (+10.7%), France (+7.4%), Bulgaria (+5.0%), the Netherlands (+4.3%), Germany (+3.5%), Italy (+3.3%), Lithuania (+2.0%), Spain (+1.7%) and Greece (+1.4%) displayed positive paces of growth.

Moreover, Portugal emerged as the fastest-growing exporter exported in the European Union, with a CAGR of +10.7% from 2007-2018. Belgium experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, Austria (-3.6%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period.

In value terms, Poland ($563M) remains the largest frozen fruit and nuts supplier in the European Union, comprising 33% of total frozen fruit and nuts exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by the Netherlands ($229M), with a 13% share of total exports. It was followed by Belgium, with a 11% share.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the frozen fruit and nuts export price in the European Union amounted to $1,931 per tonne, surging by 5.8% against the previous year. Overall, the frozen fruit and nuts export price continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 an increase of 27% year-to-year. The level of export price peaked at $2,304 per tonne in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, export prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was Lithuania ($3,052 per tonne), while Greece ($1,450 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

Imports in the EU

In 2018, approx. 1.4M tonnes of frozen fruit and nuts were imported in the European Union; surging by 2.5% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.8% over the period from 2007 to 2018. The volume of imports peaked in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the near future. In value terms, frozen fruit and nuts imports amounted to $2.6B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Imports by Country

Germany represented the largest importer of frozen fruit and nuts imported in the European Union, with the volume of imports finishing at 396K tonnes, which was approx. 28% of total imports in 2018. It was distantly followed by France (183K tonnes), the Netherlands (154K tonnes), Belgium (136K tonnes), Poland (93K tonnes), the UK (89K tonnes) and Austria (63K tonnes), together committing a 52% share of total imports.

In value terms, the largest frozen fruit and nuts importing markets in the European Union were Germany ($671M), France ($386M) and the Netherlands ($257M), together comprising 50% of total imports. Belgium, the UK, Poland and Austria lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 28%.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the frozen fruit and nuts import price in the European Union amounted to $1,903 per tonne, jumping by 5.4% against the previous year. Overall, the frozen fruit and nuts import price continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern.

Average prices varied somewhat amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, major importing countries recorded the following prices: in the UK ($2,256 per tonne) and France ($2,102 per tonne), while the Netherlands ($1,664 per tonne) and Germany ($1,696 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform