Britain confident of making progress in Brexit talks by October

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis (L) and European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier hold a joint news conference after the round of Brexit talks in Brussels, Belgium July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo
Updated 17 August 2017
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Britain confident of making progress in Brexit talks by October

LONDON: Britain is confident it will make “sufficient progress” in negotiations with the European Union by October to move on to the next phase of the talks and discuss future ties with the bloc, the government said on Thursday.
After a slow start to negotiations to unravel more than 40 years of union, Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is keen for the discussion to move beyond the EU’s focus on a divorce settlement to consider how a new relationship could work.
But the bloc has repeated that before there is “sufficient progress” in the first stage of talks on the rights of expatriates, Britain’s border with EU member Ireland and a financial settlement, officials cannot consider future ties.
Last month, the EU’s top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told ambassadors from the 27 countries that will remain in the bloc that talks on future ties were less likely to start in October.
“Government officials are working at pace and we are confident we will have made sufficient progress by October to advance the talks to the next phase,” a spokeswoman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said in a statement.
“As the Secretary of State (Brexit minister David Davis) has said, it is important that both sides demonstrate a dynamic and flexible approach to each round of the negotiations.”
On Wednesday, unidentified sources were quoted by Britain’s Sky News as saying the two sides might have to delay talks on their post-Brexit relationship until December because they would not make the progress required by the EU.
Britain published proposals for the border between Ireland and the province of Northern Ireland on Wednesday, saying there should be no border posts or immigration checks to avoid a return to a ‘hard border’.
It was aimed at tackling one of the most difficult aspects of the talks and was welcomed by the Irish government.
But perhaps a more tricky part of the talks is how much Britain should pay the EU when it leaves in March 2019. While saying it will meet its responsibilities on the so-called Brexit bill, Britain has also questioned some suggestions from the EU that it must pay around 60 billion euros.


With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

Routine day at Dubai International Airport. AN photo
Updated 22 min 9 sec ago
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With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

  • The ruler of Dubai changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies
  • The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals

NEW DELHI: Indians are likely to “flood” the UAE once its recently announced residency visa rules for students and highly qualified professionals come into place, experts said Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and the prime minister of the UAE, announced on Sunday a 10-year visa for investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as their families.
 As part of the changes, students will get five-year visas and “exceptional” graduates will be eligible for a 10-year visa.  Students currently have to apply to renew their visa each year.
The ruler of Dubai also changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies. So far companies have been required to have a local partner who would hold the majority stake.
 The changes are expected to kick in during the third quarter of this year.
 “The UAE has always welcomed, and always will, innovators and business leaders,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted as he announced the new rules.
 The UAE, with its proximity to India, high salaries and low taxes, has always been a magnet for Indians. It is home to about 2.6 million Indians who make up roughly 30 percent of the country’s population, according to the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. These numbers are expected to shoot up once the new rules apply.
 “Indians are always looking at new work opportunities anywhere in the world,” said Aradhana Mahna, managing director of Manya Education, a study abroad solutions provider in Delhi.  While the US and the UK have historically been avenues for Indian students looking to study abroad, the number of students applying to those countries have undergone a “sharp decline” since the election of US President Donald Trump — who made protectionist comments during his campaign days and since taking office — and since the UK decided to split with the European Union, Mahna said.
 “Dubai is close to home and that has always made it a preferred destination for Indians. Especially now with the US going down, it will be flooded by Indians,” she added.
Mukesh Bhasin, partner at Career Connect, an executive search firm that focuses on banking, financial services and the insurance sector (BFSI), agreed that the new rules would go a long way in attracting Indian talent.
 “The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals,” he said. “The encouraging visa regime will lead to a lot of interest from Indian BFSI professionals toward Middle East opportunities given the already-existing tax benefits and international-quality lifestyle.”
 Since the collapse in 2008 of Lehman Brothers, most developed markets, including neighboring Singapore and Hong Kong, have cut back on the number of people they are hiring from abroad for their domestic operations. This includes a slowdown in foreign transfers for Indian employees of multinational banks, said Bhasin.