Abu Dhabi Airports to explore airport development with Romania

Abu Dhabi Airports currently operates five airports in the UAE including the main international airport in the capital. (ADAC)
Updated 26 November 2019

Abu Dhabi Airports to explore airport development with Romania

  • Abu Dhabi Airports currently operates five airports in the UAE including the main international airport in the capital

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi Airports said on Tuesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Romania’s South Development Group to explore opportunities to manage and develop airports in the European country in its first foray outside the UAE.
The airports group, wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government, currently operates five airports in the United Arab Emirates including the main international airport in the capital Abu Dhabi.
“We are exploring partnership opportunities for the future management and development of airports in Romania,” Bryan Thompson, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Airports told reporters.
He said the MOU would cover Bucharest airport and five regional airports in Romania.
Thompson said Abu Dhabi Airports, which was created in 2006 to spearhead the re-development of the Emirate’s aviation infrastructure, is also exploring projects with four or five other countries and airport groups.
“We are predominantly focused on Africa, Eastern Europe, Indonesia. There are many opportunities out there,” he said.
Thompson also said Abu Dhabi airport’s new 10.8 billion-dirham ($2.94 billion) Midfield Terminal, was 97.6 percent complete, although he could not give a date for its opening.
Thompson said passenger numbers in 2019 would be very close to 21.5 million, compared to 21.6 million passengers last year.
The Midfield Terminal is set to increase the airport’s passenger handling capacity to 45 million a year but it has faced a series of setbacks, delaying a planned July 2017 opening.


Mexico objects to labor enforcement provision in North American trade deal

Updated 15 December 2019

Mexico objects to labor enforcement provision in North American trade deal

  • Mexico produced more stringent rules on labor rights aimed at reducing Mexico’s low-wage advantage
  • US House of Representatives proposes the designation of up to five US experts who would monitor compliance with local labor reform in Mexico

MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s deputy foreign minister, Jesus Seade, said on Saturday he sent a letter to the top US trade official expressing surprise and concern over a labor enforcement provision proposed by a US congressional committee in the new North American trade deal.
Top officials from Canada, Mexico and the United States on Tuesday signed a fresh overhaul of a quarter-century-old deal, aiming to improve enforcement of worker rights and hold down prices for biologic drugs by eliminating a patent provision.
How labor disputes are handled in the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal was one of the last sticking points in the negotiations between the three countries to overhaul the agreement.
Intense negotiations over the past week among US Democrats, the administration of Republican US President Donald Trump, and Mexico produced more stringent rules on labor rights aimed at reducing Mexico’s low-wage advantage.
However, an annex for the implementation of the treaty that was presented on Friday in the US House of Representatives proposes the designation of up to five US experts who would monitor compliance with local labor reform in Mexico.
“This provision, the result of political decisions by Congress and the Administration in the United States, was not, for obvious reasons, consulted with Mexico,” Seade wrote in the letter. “And, of course, we disagree.”
USMCA was signed more than a year ago to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but Democrats controlling the US House of Representatives insisted on major changes to labor and environmental enforcement before voting.
The letter, released on Saturday, is dated Friday and addressed to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Seade said he would travel to Washington on Sunday to raise the issues directly with Lighthizer and lawmakers.
“Unlike the rest of the provisions that are clearly within the internal scope of the United States, the provision referred to does have effects with respect to our country and therefore, should have been consulted,” Seade wrote.
Both Canada and the US House Ways and Means Committee said the deal included a mechanism for verification of compliance with union rights at the factory level in Mexico by independent labor experts.
Some Mexican business groups bemoaned a lack of clarity and conflicting information on how the rules would actually be enforced under the deal, the first text of which became public only on Wednesday.