UK-Norway trade; China-Russia ties; G7 summit

In today’s episode, we will examine a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, discuss bettering trade ties between Russia and China and finally look at what can be expected from G7 countries in working towards an equitable distribution of vaccines.

Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • The UK signed a post-Brexit trade deal with the non-EU member European countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, last week. Secretary of State for International Trade - Liz Truss told reporters after announcing the agreement, that the deal would boost sectors such as digital and cut tariffs on UK farm products. Notably, the UK is Norway’s biggest trading partner outside the EU and with Iceland and Liechtenstein form the European Economic Area (EEA). Trade between the UK and the EEA was worth £22 Billion or approximately $31 Billion last year, of which £20 Biilion or $28.34 Billion was with Norway. 

  • The Customs Authorities of China revealed this week that the year-on-year trade turnover between Beijing and Russia increased by 23.6% between January and May, amounting to $50.65 Billion. According to the Chinese customs officials, Russia’s exports climbed by 35.3% in January-May reaching $22.92 Billion, and imports increased by 15.4% in the first five months of the year amounting to $27.73 Billion. The announcement comes at a time Moscow and Beijing have seen bilateral ties reach their best in years, particularly caused by a push from western sanctions on Russian and China.

  • The Group of Seven comprising France, Canada, Germany, the UK, Italy, Japan, and the USA will kickstart their three-day summit today to discuss several issues pertaining to trade and foreign policy. While a change in US Presidency will certainly see several landmark proposals including a 15% global corporate tax, a large portion of the world would be keenly looking at what the countries decide about the equitable distribution of vaccines. After many rich powers hoarded COVID-19 vaccines, Boris Johnson wants the G7 to donate hundreds of millions of doses to poorer countries, many of which are far behind the West in vaccinating their populations.

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