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European Pork Production is Supported by Strong Demand from China

pork

European Pork Production is Supported by Strong Demand from China

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Pork (Meat Of Swine) – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Despite the decline in pork consumption in the EU and the UK, domestic producers may receive support due to growing demand from China.

The European Union and the UK together are the largest pork supplier to the global market, and the second-largest consumer in the world, only China is ahead. On the contrary, producers in China are facing serious problems due to the forced reduction in animal numbers in the wake of the African swine fever epidemic.

According to FAO forecasts, pork production in China may fall to 34 million tonnes in 2020, which is almost 17 percent lower than in 2018. The shortage of products in the local market is offset by growing supplies, mainly from Europe and Latin America, in particular Brazil. The United States, the world’s second-largest pork exporter, is losing the Chinese market as a result of a protracted trade war with Beijing, which imposed a 72 percent tariff on US pork in 2019.

In 2020, Europeans can enjoy not only an increase in supplies to China but also rising world prices for pork. This is especially important when the borders for export to Russia are closed due to mutual sanctions. After four years, this market can be considered lost for the Europeans due to the rapidly growing production of Russian farmers.

Pork Production in the EU and the UK

In 2019, pork production in the European Union reached 24M tonnes and is likely to see steady growth in years to come. The countries with the highest volumes of pork production in 2019 were Germany (5.4M tonnes), Spain (4.6M tonnes), and France (2.2M tonnes), with a combined 53% share of total production.

From 2009 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Spain, while pork production for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Producing Animals

In 2019, approx. 245M heads of animals slaughtered for pork production in the European Union; a decrease of 2% on 2018 figures. Overall, the number of producing animals continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2015 when the number of producing animals increased by 2% year-to-year.

Yield

In 2019, the average yield of pork in the European Union amounted to 93 kg per head, approximately mirroring the year before. Over the period under review, the yield continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2015 with an increase of 1.8% year-to-year. The level of yield peaked in 2019 and is expected to retain growth in the immediate term.

Consumption by Country

The countries with the highest volumes of pork consumption in 2019 were Germany (4.5M tonnes), Spain (3M tonnes), and Poland (2.4M tonnes), with a combined 47% share of total consumption.

From 2009 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Spain, while pork consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Germany ($12.5B), Spain ($8.9B), and Italy ($5.5B) were the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2019, together comprising 50% of the total market.

The countries with the highest levels of pork per capita consumption in 2019 were Denmark (115 kg per person), Spain (65 kg per person) and Poland (62 kg per person).

Exports in the EU and the UK

In value terms, pork exports rose markedly to $20.7B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019. The total export value increased at an average annual rate of +2.5% from 2009 to 2019. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2011 with an increase of 19% y-o-y. Over the period under review, exports reached the peak figure at $21.2B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2019, exports failed to regain the momentum despite the recent increase in shipments to China.

Exports by Country

Germany (1.8M tonnes) and Spain (1.7M tonnes) were the main exporters of pork in 2019, recording near 23% and 22% of total exports, respectively. Denmark (958K tonnes) ranks next in terms of the total exports with a 12% share, followed by the Netherlands (12%), Belgium (8.5%) and Poland (5.7%). France (351K tonnes) occupied a little share of total exports.

From 2009 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Poland, while shipments for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Spain ($5.1B), Germany ($5B) and Denmark ($2.7B) were the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2019, together accounting for 62% of total exports. These countries were followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and France, which together accounted for a further 27%.

In terms of the main exporting countries, Poland saw the highest growth rate of the value of exports, over the period under review, while shipments for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The pork export price in the European Union stood at $2,641 per tonne in 2019, picking up by 9.2% against the previous year.

Average prices varied somewhat amongst the major exporting countries. In 2019, the countries with the highest prices were Spain ($2,978 per tonne) and Germany ($2,800 per tonne), while Poland ($2,146 per tonne) and Belgium ($2,186 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

From 2009 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Spain, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

Huawei equipment

UK to Ban Huawei Equipment from its 5G Network While U.S. Announces Visa Restrictions

On July 14, 2020, the United Kingdom announced that it will ban Huawei Technologies, Co. Ltd. (“Huawei”) equipment from its 5G network. Effective December 31, 2020, Telecoms operators in the UK can no longer purchase Huawei equipment and have until 2027 to remove Huawei technology from their networks, with broadband companies receiving an additional two years to do so. The older 2G, 3G, and 4G networks will not need to have existing Huawei equipment removed.

The UK’s decision arrives after UK intelligence determined that they could no longer be confident in the security of the new equipment provided by Huawei. This announcement marks a change in policy from six months ago, when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously agreed that Huawei could take up to a 35 percent share of the 5G market.

In response, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that this decision by the UK’s decision “advances Transatlantic security in the [5G] era while protecting citizens’ privacy, national security, and free-world values.”  Secretary Pompeo also announced that the U.S. Department of State will impose visa restrictions on Huawei employees, which, according to Secretary Pompeo, are meant to punish complicity in human rights abuses. Specifically, the new U.S. visa restrictions on Huawei employees allege that Huawei is an extension of the Chinese Communist Party’s “surveillance state” in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

Additionally, Huawei and 114 of its affiliate companies remain subject to extensive export restrictions due to their designation on the U.S. Commerce Department – Bureau of Industry and Security’s “Entity List” while the Commerce Department continues to finalize forthcoming “foreign adversary” rules which will likely restrict the use of Huawei equipment and services in various U.S. information and communications technology or services (“ICTS”) transactions (Husch Blackwell’s coverage of Huawei developments is consolidated at this link and we have covered the proposed “foreign adversary” ICTS rules here and  here).

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Grant Leach is an Omaha-based partner with the law firm Husch Blackwell LLP focusing on international trade, export controls, trade sanctions and anti-corruption compliance.

Camron Greer is an Assistant Trade Analyst in Husch Blackwell LLP’s Washington D.C. office.

boohoo

The Boohoo’s Trade Ascendency – What Can we Learn?

The Coronavirus crisis has taken it’s fair share of victims in the world of retail, tolling the death knell for a whole slew of companies including Debenhams, Long Tall Sally, Cath Kidson, Warehouse and Oasis. And yet, recent news tells us all is not lost – Boohoo has stepped in and bought the online businesses of both Warehouse and Oasis for a bargain £5.25m. It’s no surprise that e-commerce based retailers have been less hard-hit than their high-street counterparts, but even so, the majority of e-tailers have reported losses during the crisis. Not so Boohoo. Despite a slight downturn when the crisis hit, sales shot back up in May and they closed the first quarter with a 45% sales increase on the previous year. So what is it that makes Boohoo so special?

Their secret it seems is in their provisioning – the “Test and Repeat” model. Rather than making major forward orders and holding large amounts of stock in their warehouse, they instead purchase small product runs, test them on the site, and then restock quickly the products that work well, discarding those that don’t. This has been vital during the COVID-19 crisis as it allowed Boohoo to switch their product range from party and club styles to loungewear and athleisure within a matter of days, adapting to their audience’s requirements without missing a beat. As the retail sector faces an uncertain future it’s worth considering whether this business model may be the solution for retailers everywhere, whatever their size.

The difficulty is sourcing products quickly enough to make it work. There’s no point in having a successful test-run of a certain product if, when the first batch sells out, your restock order from suppliers in China or India can take up to 2 months to arrive – by this point the bird will have well and truly flown. Boohoo combats this by stocking mainly UK based suppliers, and with imports affected by travel restrictions and breaks in the supply chain, sourcing products locally is, without doubt, the obvious solution (particularly with Brexit on the horizon). Some retailers may balk at the higher prices, but with lower risks and less deadstock, the benefits do seem to outweigh the increased costs.

The Coronavirus crisis has forced an entire industry to stop and think, literally. How can we change the way we work to face the challenges that have taken us all by surprise? Short-order provisioning may be a way for businesses to adapt to this new situation and respond to the rapid changes in consumer demand that are sure to continue over the coming months, however, this is likely to be a step outside of the comfort zone for many retailers who are used to ordering for season months in advance.

The good news is that there are simple options to help with the switch to the “Test and Repeat” model. TradeGala offers ready-to-ship stock from over 50 independent fashion brands covering womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, accessories, gifts and shoes. It’s simple to register and you can go from initial order to receipt of goods in just a few days. Whether or not the recent changes signal the future of the fashion retail industry, as with any business, adaptation is survival. Is your retail business ready for the “new normal”?

business in the UK

Important Things to Know about Doing Business in the UK

Interested in expansion into UK markets? It’s a worthwhile investment. The UK is one of the most prosperous and stable markets in the world, with a high wealth per capita and plenty of opportunities for capital acquisition, especially within London. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking this kind of prosperity was fairly exclusive. Indeed, following Brexit, it would seem that opening up a business in the UK as a foreign national is going to be quite a challenge. But, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Starting a business in the UK is really easy for newcomers and foreign nationals. You can establish a Limited Company in Britain without jumping any additional hurdles. You don’t need VISAs, agreements of trade or anything else — and there is no requirement for specific ID or passports. All you need is a company name, at least one director, to provide all necessary documentation (not as intimidating as it sounds) and to follow the process of registering for taxation. The only barrier you may face compared to a British resident is you’ll need to register your business to a UK address; easily done these days through virtual offices. This criterion of requiring an address does not exist to exclude anyone from starting up in Britain. It is merely a gateway to simpler correspondence and domestic accountability — should accountability be necessary.  

It should be noted that accountability is rarely necessary, but when it is, it’s vital. This is because the UK business landscape rests upon a complicated legal structure. Industries form around different regulatory bodies, and standards are upheld by various commissions, depending on your area of business. The nature of the UK business landscape is very protective and favors business stability and longevity. Follow the legal processes correctly and you’ll have a lot of the tools you need to thrive. However, failure to follow the legal structures imposed on your business can result in problems. Regulations are strictly enforced and consequences for non-compliance can be severe.

Education is your best bet. Enter the market aware of all your obligations and legal responsibilities. Legal advice from specialists — those who can ensure you get set up properly and conform to the right guidelines — is often recommended if it is an affordable expense. More than anything, this is to ensure you don’t miss any of the finer details — because your competitors, and customers, will likely be aware of those finer details and take you to task for rule-breaking. 

Standards of education in the UK are very high. Similar to the USA, it is legally required for all students to attend formal education until they are 18. Following basic education, many move on to university as higher education is often subsidized by the government with the rest of the money obtained through widely-available student loan systems. Expectations for levels of education are high, so be prepared to meet the high standards set by domestic learning, and contend with partners and consumers who know what they’re talking about. It’s a good business practice in the UK to assume that your customers know as much about your industry as you do, if not more. 

This fact leads us to the most important lesson you can learn about doing business in the UK. Good business routinely comes down to good business relationships. Every successful entrepreneur and business owner knows that who you know is just as important as what you know. That means no matter where you do business, you need to build healthy alliances and relationships.

In the UK, the key to building great relationships lies in navigating society and culture. The UK business landscape is a powerful environment for building strong, long-lasting, and loyal relationships that can provide pivotal opportunities for growth. But you have to get this right. In general, UK business culture — particularly the modern and adaptive landscape of London and other large cities — is very open to foreigners. The more you travel outside of cities to do business, the more cultural barriers you may find stand in your way, but this often comes not from hostility towards outside opportunities, but a lack of familiarity. Time and effort to establish yourself is what’s important when dealing with business communities with a lack of experience of foreign trade. A slow and tactful approach is always going to play favorably in the UK, no matter where you are trading.

However, with this idea of openness in mind, there are certainly still some cultural lessons to be learned before diving head-first into business within the UK. As we’ve mentioned, you’re building relationships, and the key to any successful relationship is behaving correctly. Loud, obnoxious, and forceful traits are unwelcome in British culture. Pushing for hard sales or getting in people’s faces with ideas might seem like the mark of passion and enthusiasm, but it won’t make you many friends — even in London. Modesty, restraint, and an even temperament are important. You’re looking to play the long-game here, building up stable bridges over time through humility, gradually increased levels of trust, and real-world demonstrations of your expertise and worth. 

In the UK, talk is cheap. 

Once you do start forming those relationships, you’ll have to be careful not to lose them. Bonds in UK business culture are tough to break once established, but the early days make them vulnerable if strife is introduced. Privacy is coveted, as is space. Don’t get too personal, and respect distances people establish. 

While there are ways your behavior can influence the business relationship, there are also ways that the actions of your new British partners could affect you. If you’re not aware of these factors, you may misinterpret them, which can again lead to conflict. We’re talking specifically about humor. Jokes — commonly at the expense of others — are prevalent in the UK. Referred to as “banter”, these are often light-hearted remarks aimed at teasing another individual. The intent is most-always friendly, but if you’re not familiar with the custom, it can appear to be offensive. The levels of “banter” you’ll experience can vary wildly from person to person, but it is a widespread form of social interaction in the UK. Just remember, it’s all in good fun, so laugh along. People who are unable to take a joke are generally looked upon unfavorably. 

Anything else it’s important to know about doing business in the UK?

To make a cup of tea, first, boil the kettle. Place a tea bag in a mug. Ask how many sugars. Each request, for example, “two sugars” means one teaspoon of sugar. Add the requested amount of sugar. Pour the water in. Leave to brew for a few minutes. Ask if they’d like milk. If yes, add a small amount of milk until the tea goes from dark to pale brown. Stir well. Remove the tea bag with your spoon. Extra points if you use the spoon to crush the teabag against the inside of the mug to squeeze out any remnants of flavor.

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This article was written by Rajesh Velayuthasamy, founder and director of Mint Formations, a company that supports local and foreign nationals to establish a business presence within the UK. 

UK

UK TAKES A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT ON TRADE

It seems that studies on the effects of free trade agreements on the U.S. economy have increasingly become exercises in checking a box, with groups for and against simply waiting on a punchline. Surely, we can do better to undertake public-facing intellectual analyses that are both accessible and potentially interesting to a wider swath of the general public – something more akin to what the United Kingdom (UK) has done to prepare for free trade agreement negotiations with the United States.

What’s good for the goose

Reflecting for a moment on U.S. free trade agreement negotiations with Central American countries in 2003, I recall we simultaneously worked with the Central American governments to build their institutional capacity to implement an eventual agreement. We also nudged the governments to engage their public on aspects of the agreement early in the negotiations. (Full disclosure, I was the Director for Central America at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative at the time.)

Our contention then was that only a very limited segment of the population would be tuned into any calls for input through the countries’ “Diario Oficial,” their version of the Federal Register where the U.S. Government publishes notices of regulatory changes and opportunities for public comment. The Central American negotiators set out to conduct a series of roundtables, even engaging women in rural Guatemala about how their traditional handicrafts could benefit from intellectual property rights and exports under the agreement.

It could have been a moment for introspection on our part, but it wasn’t. After all, interested parties in the United States are very familiar with the process of submitting comments and appearing at a public hearing to express views on a free trade agreement.

But there’s always room for improvement, isn’t there?

A fresh take on public engagement in trade

The UK Department for International Trade has provided an example of how to reinvent the process of public consultation on trade. After all, it had to. The UK hasn’t needed to lead on trade policy development for the last 50 years. Brexit, by definition, means the public is seeking a bigger voice in its affairs, including trade.

The Department’s report titled simply, UK-US Free Trade Agreement, runs about 110 surprisingly readable pages, not including the helpful Glossary of Terms and a detailed summary of feedback from public consultations. It begins where it should, by making the “strategic case” for a free trade agreement with the United States – a clear exposition on the “why”. Then it turns to the “how” with an outline of key components of an agreement. With that as context, the report explains how the government undertook 14 weeks of public consultations that included use of a new online portal, 12 “town halls,” a national Public Attitudes to Trade Tracker, and a series of roundtable events throughout the UK. These engagements were in addition to forming standing advisory committees similar to those the U.S. government relies on for expert perspectives from industry and civil service representatives.

Having presented that material, the remainder of the report is comprised of two pieces. First and importantly, is the government’s response to public input – “we heard you” and here’s how we’ll use your input in the negotiations. And second, is a relatable presentation showing the results of standard econometric modeling to understand the potential effects of a free trade agreement with the United States on the UK economy and workers.

UK-US Economic Impacts of FTA

A great example of effective policy communications

The UK’s Scoping Assessment concluded a broadly liberalizing FTA with the United States would boost UK exports to the United States by 7.7 percent and UK imports from the United States by 8.6 percent. This would induce a 0.5 to 0.36 percent gain in the UK’s productivity, sustained over time. In the long run, almost all sectors of the UK economy would increase output as they more efficiently allocate resources.

The explanation of the modeling’s output breaks down impact to GDP across its components: consumption expenditure, investment, government expenditure and net trade (C+I+G+(X-IM)=Y is the one and only equation I remember from economics classes, so I found that part of the report interesting). The report explains the limitations and imprecision of modeling – in other words, we should not fight over trade policy based on debatable numbers, but rather over directional gains versus losses.

Rather than only present economy-wide effects (after all, everything smooths out in the long run), the report indicates which UK nations and regions stand to gain most (Scotland, Wales, the North East, East Midlands and West Midlands of England) versus those that would expand the least (London, the South West and East of England). This recognizes that employment and industry vary across regions. The report even takes into account the effects on the UK’s trading partner (in this case, us), and developing countries that have a stake in access to both the UK and the United States, but which would be excluded from a UK-US FTA (impact negligible).

Workers affected by US-UK trade

Focusing on jobs

The report is direct in explaining the implications for some workers that would need to find employment in growing sectors. It also concludes workers are expected to experience increases in overall real wages and outlines how those gains are derived. The report breaks down potential changes in average wages by type of occupation and skill level. It also identifies sectors likely to add jobs so that the government and businesses can better prepare workers for shifts into growth areas.

When it comes to job losses, the agreement is not likely to cause any disproportionate change to what different segments of workers would naturally experience in terms of job loss as the economy churns – with one exception. Jobs held by 16-24-year-olds appear to be disproportionately concentrated in sectors where employment could fall. The government responds to this challenge by stating it already increased funding in education for 16-19-year-olds, funding for STEM, technical and digital skills, and new technical qualification programs to address the impact. This a staggeringly different approach than waiting to catch workers with a safety net when they fall.

Importantly, the report was written so that any reader could understand how the analysis was arrived at, what it means for them based on where they work and live, and what the government was prepared to do with the information – and, that the analysis would be updated and repeated to inform negotiations as they proceed.

Most trade reports are Greek to everyone but economists

Why is the UK report so readable? Because it was written to be read by the general public, not merely by congressional staffers who glance at an Executive Summary or economists who perform modeling themselves. This is not a knock on the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) which produces U.S. reports, though its report on the economic effects of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement was 376 pages and did contain Greek lettering.

USITC reports are first-rate analyses deploying industry-standard methodologies. A paragraph at the beginning, however, offers a good indication the reports intend to stick to their congressional mandate:

“[The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015] requires the Commission to assess the likely impact of USMCA on the U.S. economy as a whole and on specific industry sectors, including its impact on the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP); exports and imports; aggregate employment and employment opportunities; the production, employment, and competitive position of industries likely to be significantly affected by the agreement; and the interests of U.S. consumers.”

So, smart USITC economists set about to use a standard economy-wide computable general equilibrium (CGE) model based on the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model, among other modeling extensions, to fulfill its analytical mandate, with all the same caveats about econometric modeling limitations the UK describes. The USITC also conducts interviews with industry representatives and collects testimony from a public hearing and written submissions from interested parties.

Greek in USITC report

But the end result is a document that fulfilled a requirement rather than one that informs the negotiations. Neither does it resemble a government strategy to leverage the benefits of a trade agreement or mitigate the negative impacts on some workers. And it is unlikely that most of the general public would feel compelled to read such a report to gain understanding of a major component of national trade policy. Again, this outcome is because that is not what the USITC was asked to do.

Being too careful about what you ask

Everyone has a stake in the direction and outcome of trade policies, but not everyone cares enough to have their say. Nonetheless, the main complaint about trade policymaking is that large organizations with Washington representation know when and how to provide their input. The rest of us do not. For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S.-U.K. Business Council recently published comments on what their groups – that represent millions of workers – would like to see in a U.S.-UK deal.

A big conversation is coming about the value of global trade, which at TradeVistas we think is generally a source of strength and resiliency, not a vulnerability. Perhaps the time has come for the U.S. government to evolve and expand its approach to engage the public on trade before the deal is done, rather than pitch it to the public after the fact.

Given the potential for growing public skepticism, we can’t afford to wait to build awareness, understanding – and support – for trade deals like the one the administration is embarking on with the UK, one of our most longstanding and important allies, and a deal that will likely bring broad benefits to the citizens of the United States.

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Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fifteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

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

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