UK-Turkey Business Forum
When & Where: October 2nd, 2017, Mansion House, London
A forum on current opportunities for UK businesses in Turkey, at the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the establishment of the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey.
RSVP: Please send an email to email@example.com
Please note: places are limited and come on first come, first served basis.
Joint UK-German call to put shared economic interests first in Brexit negotiations
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce (DIHK) have called for UK and EU negotiators to put a clear focus on our shared economic interests as Brexit talks reconvene in Brussels.
The leading German and UK business organisations are challenging political leaders to build an atmosphere of mutual trust and constructive dialogue, to deliver clarity and certainty for trading businesses across Europe.
With the third round of Brexit negotiations underway, a number of business-critical areas that form part of the withdrawal agreement are yet to be resolved, including the rights of EU workers in the UK and UK workers in the EU27. Additionally, there are hundreds of practical and technical issues, including customs arrangements and tax procedures, that need to be negotiated as part of the future EU-UK relationship during later stages of the negotiations. Businesses in both the UK and Germany want to see talks move on to these fundamental issues – and particularly customs concerns – as soon as possible.
There is great uncertainty in the business community all across Europe. A DIHK survey has found out that the business outlook of companies that are engaged in trade with the United Kingdom is worsening, due to the expectation of cost burdens from limits on free movement of workers, taxes, tariffs and increasing bureaucratic hurdles at Europe's new borders negatively affecting business on both sides.
Meanwhile, respondents to a recent British Chambers of Commerce survey have expressed their preference for a substantial transition period, with 68% saying they seek a transition period of at least three years. Both German and British businesses also want clarity at the start on the overall shape of the final destination settlement.
The United Kingdom is the third-largest market for German goods exports; in turn, Germany is the UK’s second-largest goods and services exports destination. German companies maintain about 2,500 branch offices in the UK, which employ nearly 400,000 workers. British companies have 1,200 branch offices in Germany, which employ about 220,000 workers.
Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“As Brexit talks continue, it’s clear that companies in the UK and on the Continent all want economic issues to rise to the top of the negotiations agenda. There is real business appetite from both sides for a focus on practical, day-to-day business concerns, and a desire for clarity on future trading arrangements.
“The UK and the EU must begin work on transitional arrangements, particularly on customs, so that firms on both sides of the Channel have the confidence to make investment decisions.
“Chambers of Commerce in the UK and in Germany want to see thriving trade continue between our firms, both now and into the future. Politicians must do everything in their power to help this happen.”
Dr Martin Wansleben, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK):
“Businesses are very concerned that Brexit will have a major negative impact. Not only it could lead to more trade barriers – additional bureaucracy, increased waiting time and stricter border controls resulting in higher costs. The terms of exit are still completely unclear. Many of our members are reporting that they are already shifting investments away from the UK in anticipation of these barriers.
“The first effects of the Brexit vote are already being observed: German exports to the United Kingdom were down by 3 percent in the first half of this year compared to the first half of last year, whilst exports to the EU increased with 6 percent in the same period.
“A transitional period would be helpful for business, but it is important to businesses on both sides that the contours of a future trading relationship are becoming clearer over the next months.”
British and Finnish Chambers in joint call to minimise potential Brexit trade barriers
On the occasion of the visit of a high-level Finnish business delegation to London, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), and the Finnish Chambers of Commerce (Kauppakamari) are jointly calling for UK and EU negotiators to minimise trade barriers - and prioritise shared economic ties beyond Brexit.
There are strong commercial links between the UK and Finland: the UK imports £2.6bn of goods and services from Finland, and exports £2.7bn of goods and services to the country.
Science and Innovation are areas of very active cooperation between the two countries, with the UK and Finland working closely together on life sciences, digital, and low carbon technologies. There are a number of partnerships between the two countries, many of which are facilitated by the EU Horizon 2020 strategy.
The future of these projects, the long-term ease of trading between the UK and Finland, as well as the future status of Finnish nationals in Britain and British nationals in Finland, are all questions where British and Finnish businesses want negotiators to deliver clarity as soon as possible.
Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“As we welcome our Finnish colleagues to London, the vibrant trade links between our countries are yet another reminder of the importance of reducing any possible future trade barriers between the UK and the EU.
“Businesses want to minimise the risk to free-flowing trade with partners like Finland, and to avoid the creation of artificial new barriers that stop companies collaborating across boundaries. The on-going Brexit negotiations must seek to provide businesses with clear answers on practical issues including customs procedures, health and safety checks, and tax rules - and guarantee the status of nationals resident on either side.
“The links between innovative British and Finnish businesses are an important reminder that the Brexit negotiations must also deliver a framework for future collaboration between the UK and the EU on science and innovation."
Dr Risto Penttilä, CEO of Finland Chamber of Commerce, said:
“The UK has been one of Finland’s strongest allies in promoting free trade and pragmatic reforms in the EU. The objective of the Brexit negotiations must be a European wide market that includes the UK, Switzerland and the EEA countries.
“Brexit must not lead to new obstacles or increased costs for companies from the UK, Finland or other EU countries. The UK is one of our most important trading partners, and a strong British economy will benefit both Europe and Finland.
“The Brexit process has reached a point where committed political leadership is needed both in the UK and the EU. Businesses, as well as citizens, need a clear roadmap for the years to come to ensure a smooth transition.”
International Chamber of Commerce Trade Finance Conference
Date: 9th November 2017
senior trade finance managers, corporates, alternative financiers, regulators, academics and fintechs to discuss and ICC's role in unlocking global growth.
The day-long conference held at the historic Stationers' Hall will bring together senior trade finance practitioners, large corporates, SMEs, fintechs, regulators and academics to discuss the current state of the international trade finance market, future threats and opportunities and the challenges and solutions to accessing finance.
Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP created a European Export growth index which tracks the export performance of the five largest European economies and the European Union on a quarterly basis. In the first quarter of 2017 the UK’s index was at the heights of 109.4. It has currently dropped from there to 104.4. Interestingly though this quarterly growth figure is higher than both Germany’s and France’s. According to the BDO LLP data this is the fifth consecutive quarter in which this is the case. Germany is often used in European exporter circles as the benchmark for international trade prowess. It is heartening to see the UK’s growth performing well in relation to its European rival’s.