Qatar climbdown in WTO case involving ‘illegal’ ban on UAE goods


The UAE initiated WTO dispute-settlement proceedings against Qatar in January. (Reuters)
Updated 27 April 2019
0

Qatar climbdown in WTO case involving ‘illegal’ ban on UAE goods


  • UAE government said in January that it had initiated WTO dispute-settlement proceedings against Qatar
  • Qatar has now decided to partially withdraw its measures

LONDON: Qatar has backed down on measures relating to its “illegal” ban on UAE goods and services, the subject of a dispute lodged with the World Trade Organization, the Emirates’ state news agency WAM reported.
The UAE government said in January that it had initiated WTO dispute-settlement proceedings against Qatar, following a ban on goods imposed by Doha.
Qatar has now decided to partially withdraw its measures, in what WAM said was “a significant concession aimed at averting the consequences of the UAE’s case” lodged with the WTO.
The step was announced during a session of the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO on Friday, WAM reported on Saturday. Qatar has also partially revoked measures that banned buying and selling commodities exported by the UAE.
“The Qatari climbdown recognizes that Doha’s policies had violated its international obligations. However, the partial concession doesn’t … resolve some of the fundamental issues of the dispute, and the UAE continues to explore its legal options to ensure that Qatar abides by its WTO obligations,” WAM reported.
Abdullah Hamdan Al-Naqbi, director of the international law department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Qatar’s confession of its previous violations marks “a clear concession.”
“We continue to seek Qatar’s full withdrawal of these measures so as to ensure Doha’s commitment to its WTO obligations and ensure our exports of goods has free access to Qatar markets,” he said.
Qatar’s approach had “placed it on the defensive,” with little recognition of the consequences of its actions, Al-Naqbi added.
The UAE is one of several Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, that have imposed a boycott on Qatar due to its alleged support of terror groups. Doha denies the charges.


New designer’s ranges help lift sales at Burberry

A window of a Burberry store in central London, UK. The brand said new products accounted for about half the wares in its shops by the end of June. (Reuters)
Updated 17 July 2019
0

New designer’s ranges help lift sales at Burberry

  • Fashion label more than a year into an overhaul to take it more upmarket

LONDON: British luxury brand Burberry reported a pick-up in first quarter sales after it began shifting more new designs by creative chief Riccardo Tisci into its stores as part of a turnaround plan.

The fashion label is more than a year into a high stakes overhaul by CEO Marco Gobbetti aimed at taking Burberry more upmarket  and reviving its image, including with edgier takes by Tisci on some of its classic products such as the trench coat.
The brand said new products had accounted for around half the wares on offer in its shops by the end of June, more than some analysts had expected.
This helped to lift same store sales by 4 percent — following lacklustre growth of 1 percent in the previous three months and topping market expectations of around 2 percent — and its gamble on a new designer appeared to be paying off for now.
“The consumer response was very promising, delivering strong growth in our new collections,” Gobbetti said in a statement.
Burberry has in recent quarters lagged the performance of luxury industry leaders like LVMH’s Louis Vuitton or Kering’s Gucci, which benefited from thriving demand in China in spite of US trade tensions.

FASTFACT

Thomas Burberry was just 21 years old when he established the company of the same name in 1856.

Those firms are due to post sales for the April to June quarter next week.
The pace of Burberry’s revenue growth within China and more broadly across Asia also improved slightly, despite slowing Chinese economic growth.
Its revamp has included rolling out a new logo-style print, or monogram, it hopes will catch on as it works on extending its reach in high-margin handbags; and it is redesigning stores as well as making a big marketing push with social media campaigns.
The company maintained its forecast for broadly stable revenue and operating margin at constant exchange rates for the 2020 financial year. Revenue and operating profit are not expected to pick up in a more meaningful way until 2021.