The newly signed China-U.S. phase-one trade deal will reduce the uncertainty that has impeded global economic growth, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Friday.
"It is a welcoming sign that we now have the phase-one deal, sign in terms of reducing some of the uncertainty," Georgieva said at an event hosted by Peterson Institute for International Economics, a thinktank based in Washington D.C.
The IMF chief said her organization is making some projections around the impact of more certainty, which will be shared on Monday as part of the World Economic Outlook to be released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The multilateral lender expects the trade deal to support the growth of China's gross domestic product (GDP), Georgieva said. "It brings China in the parameters around the 6-percent growth for 2020, rather than below," she said.
In October, Georgieva warned that trade tensions were "taking a toll" on global growth, at a time when the global economy was going through a "synchronized slowdown."
According to the IMF's earlier calculation, the cumulative effect of the U.S.-China trade conflict, provided no actions taken, could mean a loss of 0.8 percent of global GDP, or around 700 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.
"What we are seeing now is that we've some reduction of this uncertainty, but it's not eliminated," Georgieva said. "We would see shrinkage of this negative impact, but not the eradication of this impact."
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) confirmed Friday that it is in discussions with major electronics manufacturer Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd., regarding the potential creation of an equal joint venture.
The proposed joint venture is to develop and manufacture in China new generation electric vehicles and to engage in the IoV (Internet of Vehicles) business, FCA said in a statement.
"The proposed cooperation, initially focused on the Chinese market, would enable the parties to bring together the capabilities of two established global leaders across the spectrum of automobile design, engineering and manufacturing and mobile software technology to focus on the growing battery electric vehicle market," it added.
The parties are in the process of signing a preliminary agreement which will govern further discussions aimed at reaching final binding agreements in the next few months, FCA said.
The Italian-American carmaker said it closed 2019 with December sales in Europe up 13.8 percent year-over-year to more than 69,400 vehicles and a market share of 5.5 percent.
Founded in China's Taiwan Island in the 1970s, Foxconn has expertise in cloud computing, mobile devices, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence (AI), smart networks and robotics, according to its corporate website.
Dutch agriculture exports rose 4.6% in 2019 from the previous year to a new record of 94.5 billion euros ($105.2 billion), the country's statistics office and a research organization said Friday.
In this country famous for its colorful fields of tulips, horticultural products such as fresh flowers, bulbs and plants were the highest-value agricultural sector, amounting to 9.5 billion euros.
Rising prices accounted for about two thirds of the increase, with growth in sales volumes making up the other third, the Central Bureau for Statistics and Wageningen Economic Research said.
Meat exports were second, weighing in at 8.8 billion euros, helped by soaring prices of pork sold to China. The rise was fueled by outbreaks of African swine fever in parts of Asia. Pig meat sales to China rose from 117 million euros in 2018 to an estimated 377 million euros in 2019, according to the research.
The Netherlands' eastern neighbor Germany remained the top market for exports, accounting for 25% of all sales, followed by Belgium and the United Kingdom.
German officials have agreed on a plan to shut down the nation's coal-fired power plants by the mid to late 2030s, the government said Thursday.
A year ago, a government-appointed panel recommended that Germany stop burning coal to generate electricity by 2038 at the latest, as part of efforts to curb climate change.
However, efforts to translate that into policy had stalled over recent months. Some areas, particularly in the less prosperous east, are heavily dependent on lignite coal mining.
Federal government officials and governors of affected states agreed on a "path to shut down" coal-powered plants at a meeting that ended in the early hours of Thursday, the government said in a statement.
It said that reviews will be carried out in 2026 and 2029 to determine whether Germany can exit coal-fired electricity generation in 2035, three years before the final deadline. Many other details weren't immediately available.
Germany gets more than a third of its electricity from burning coal, generating large amounts of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
The federal government already has approved a plan to spend up to 40 billion euros ($44.6 billion) by 2038 to cushion the impact on coal-mining regions of abandoning the fossil fuel. That money is supposed to start flowing once parliament has passed legislation setting out the dates and terms of Germany's exit from coal.
China and the United States formally signed their phase-one economic and trade agreement here on Wednesday, with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald Trump inking the papers in the White House.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Liu, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, first conveyed a message of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Trump.
The conclusion of the phase-one economic and trade agreement is good for China, for the United States and for the whole world, Xi said in the message read out by the vice premier.
"It also shows that our two countries have the ability to act on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and work through dialogue and consultation to properly handle and effectively resolve relevant issues," read the message.
In the next step, the two sides need to implement the agreement in real earnest and optimize its positive impact, so as to make even greater progress in China-U.S. trade and economic cooperation, the Chinese president said.
To maintain healthy and steady growth of China-U.S. relations serves the interest of both countries and requires joint efforts from both sides, Xi said.
In that spirit, Xi voiced hope that the U.S. side will treat fairly Chinese companies and their regular economic, trade and investment activities, and give support to the collaboration between enterprises, research institutes, and schools and colleges of the two countries, as it will help enhance mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides.
"China is prepared to work with the United States in that direction. And I will stay in close touch with you personally," Xi said. "I believe that under our guidance, China-U.S. relations will deliver more results and bring greater benefits to our peoples in the year ahead."
The Chinese vice premier, in his remarks, called the agreement mutually beneficial and of win-win nature. "It will bring about stable economic growth, promote world peace and prosperity, and is in the interest of producers, consumers, and investors from both countries," he said.
Liu noted that the phase-one deal is in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and that it is neither directed at nor will affect the lawful rights and interests of any third party.
Liu expressed the hope that both sides will work together under the principle of equality and mutual respect, strictly honor the agreement, accommodate each other's core concerns, and ensure a good implementation of the phase-one trade agreement.
"It is the pressing need and will also play an important role in the growth of bilateral economic and trade relations in the future," he said.
Speaking of the Chinese economy, Liu pointed out that it is transitioning from high-speed growth to high-quality development while a massive domestic market is taking shape.
China welcomes investors from around the world, including those from the United States, and will expand the import of quality products and services from countries around the world, he said, adding that China will open further to the world.
For his part, Trump called the signing of the phase-one economic and trade agreement a milestone, and a boon to the United States, China and the whole world.
Describing China as a great nation, Trump also expressed his admiration for Xi's wisdom and leadership.
Relations between the United States and China are very important, said the U.S. president, stressing that the two sides are working together closely in economy and trade, along with a wide range of other areas, which will help promote world peace and prosperity.
Trump also said he looks forward to another visit to China in the foreseeable future.
Approximately 300 people, including U.S. officials, all members of the Chinese delegation and representatives from various U.S. sectors, attended the signing ceremony.