Weekly Global Economic Round-up - 21 January 2022

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Global & Multilateral Updates

  • The World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report(external link) sees a deceleration in global growth from 5.5% in 2021 to 4.1% in 2022 and 3.2% in 2023, amid threats from COVID-19 variants and a rise in inflation, debt and income inequality worldwide. “Putting more countries on a favorable growth path requires concerted international action and a comprehensive set of national policy responses”, said(external link) World Bank Group President David Malpass.
  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) entered into force on 1 January 2022, for ten economies (Australia, China, Japan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam). The Republic of Korea will become part of RCEP from 1 February 2022. Malaysia has now ratified RCEP, and it will enter RCEP from 18 March 2022.

Regional Updates

Australia and the Pacific

  • Samoan government officials have issued a revised and updated travel advisory with effect from 17 January.  The most significant change is a requirement that the pre-departure negative COVID-19 test be conducted in the 48 hour period before flight departure (previously 72 hours).  Samoa has expanded the type of COVID test accepted for returnees aged 12 years and older to a range of Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) including RT-PCR, NEAR, TMA, LAMP or SDA. The US and UK have been added to the list of countries being closely monitored as “countries of concern with Omicron variant”.  Israel, Hong Kong and Australia remain on this list.
  • Separately Samoa has signalled the imminent resumption of commercial flights between Apia and Pago Pago given their low-risk COVID status as both jurisdictions currently remain COVID-free in the community.

Asia

  • On 11 January, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed that Japan’s current border restrictions under which entry into Japan by newly arriving foreign nationals is suspended will continue until the end of February. The tougher border restrictions came into force on 30 November when the first Omicron case was detected in Japan. According to Prime Minister Kishida, Japan has the strictest border settings among G7 member countries, which has allowed Japan to delay the arrival of Omicron, and provided time to prepare its healthcare system for an increase in cases. For those who may enter Japan, the government has shortened the required self-isolation period from 14 days to 10 days.

Americas

  • On 5 January, New Zealand was granted “expected foreign state investor”(external link) status by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS is an interagency committee who review certain transactions involving foreign investment in the United States, in order to determine the effect of such transactions on US national security. This welcome change in status should help to support NZ investment in the US. The Committee will make a final determination on New Zealand’s status in early 2023.

Middle East and Africa

  • On 6 January, Egypt issued a formal communication to the World Trade Organisation notifying that milk and dairy products may enter Egyptian ports without a halal certificate up until 28 February 2022. Additionally it provided that crude milk is excluded from the products which are required to have a halal certificate. New Zealand’s dairy exports to Egypt largely comprise of butter, cheese and milk powder.
  • On 6 January, Israel removed all countries from its travel red-list and opened its borders. Speaking to reporters on 6 January, about the opening of Israel’s borders, Nachman Ash (Director-General of Israel Health Ministry) said: “Light restrictions aren’t expected to bring a meaningful change so there’s no reason for them…We hope that all the other measures, primarily vaccination, will bring an end to this wave”. From 9 January, all foreign visitors have been able to enter Israel, providing rules are followed.

Market reports released this week

External links

The following links may provide useful information to businesses:

  • NZTE(external link) has a website focused on providing COVID-19 information for exporters. They’ve also launched myNZTE(external link), an interactive digital portal of insights and tools available to all New Zealand exporters.
  • The Treasury releases a weekly economic update(external link) every Friday. Stats NZ has published a data portal(external link) with near real-time economic indicators.
  • MBIE publishes a sector reports series(external link) which provides regularly updated reports on all industry sectors that make up the New Zealand economy. These include official economic data and the challenges and opportunities that face New Zealand’s industry sectors.
  • govt.nz(external link) provides tools and advice from across government to save small businesses’ time and help make the business a success.
  • MFAT has created a tariff finder(external link) which is designed to help goods exporters and importers maximise benefits from New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreements and compare tariffs in 136 other markets.
  • The all of government Trade Barriers website(external link) can be used to register any trade barriers experienced or issues exporting to an offshore market. Queries can be sent via the website or through the MFAT Exporter Helpline 0800 824 605. Enquiries will be sent to the government agency best placed to answer.

To contact our Export Helpdesk

Disclaimer

This information released in this report aligns with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982. The opinions and analysis expressed in this report are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views or official policy position of the New Zealand Government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the New Zealand Government take no responsibility for the accuracy of this report.

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