India ends Iranian oil imports

The Trump administration has ramped up economic pressure on Iran. (Reuters)
Updated 23 May 2019

India ends Iranian oil imports

  • India's ambassador to the US says India had already sharply decreased its imports from Iran

WASHINGTON: India has ended all imports of oil from Iran, its ambassador in Washington said Wednesday, becoming the latest country to comply with threatened US sanctions.
India had already sharply decreased its imports from Iran and bought one million tons of crude in April, the last month before Washington stepped up its pressure campaign against Tehran and ended all exemptions to sanctions, Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.
“That’s it. After that we haven’t imported any,” Shringla told reporters during a briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election victory.
Shringla said that energy-hungry India has also ended all imports from Venezuela because it considered itself a partner of the United States — but said the shift had caused pain at home, with Iran formerly supplying 10 percent of India’s oil needs.
Calling Iran “an extended neighbor” of India with longstanding cultural links, Shringla declined to say if New Delhi shared President Donald Trump’s concerns about Tehran.
“This is an issue that has to be dealt with, really, between the United States and Iran. We are only, in many senses, looking at it as a third party,” Shringla said.
But he added: “We would not like to see a move toward any escalation in any way in that area, for the simple reason that we depend very heavily on stability in that part of the world.”
Trump last year pulled out of a multinational pact under which Iran drastically scaled back its nuclear work in return for promises of sanctions relief.
The Trump administration has instead ramped up economic pressure on Iran and recently deployed military assets including an aircraft carrier strike group to the area.
The United States as of May 2 has ended exemptions it had given to eight governments from its unilateral order to stop buying Iranian oil.
Turkey, which enjoyed a waiver and vocally disagreed with the US policy, has also stopped importing oil from Iran, a Turkish official said Tuesday.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus welcomed the news from Turkey.
“We want the whole world to comply with these sanctions, and we’re grateful for our partners and allies that are respecting them,” she told reporters.


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 18 August 2019

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”