US increasing tariffs on Airbus planes to 15 percent

US increasing tariffs on Airbus planes to 15 percent
An airport worker guides a Delta Air Lines Airbus A319-100 plane on the tarmac at LAX in Los Angeles, California, on Jan. 6, 2020. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo)
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Updated 15 February 2020

US increasing tariffs on Airbus planes to 15 percent

US increasing tariffs on Airbus planes to 15 percent
  • Airbus says higher US tariffs on EU planes will harm US airlines, consumers
  • Trump wants EU member states to further open their markets to American products, particularly agricultural goods

WASHINGTON: The United States is increasing tariffs on Airbus planes imported from Europe to 15 percent beginning March 18, authorities announced Friday.
The duties have been at 10 percent since October, when Washington hit $7.5 billion in European products with tariffs.
The announcement from the office of the United States Trade Representative came just days after President Donald Trump said it was time to talk “very seriously” about a trade deal with the European Union.
Washington imposed punitive taxes on the $7.5 billion in European products after the World Trade Organization (WTO) gave the United States a green light to take retaliatory trade measures against the EU over its subsidies to European aerospace giant Airbus.
Other products — including wine, cheese, coffee and olives — have been taxed at 25 percent since October.
Industry executives in Europe and the United States are on tenterhooks awaiting each new announcement from trade authorities.
“It has become abundantly clear that tariffs on distilled spirits products are causing rough seas on both sides of the Atlantic,” the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States said in a statement Friday.
The council called on authorities to withdraw 25 percent taxes on American whiskeys in the EU, and 25 percent taxes on liquors imported from five European countries, pointing to fears of a negative impact on the US economy and jobs.
But Trump, a real estate developer turned politician, sees tariffs as a negotiating tool.
After a trade war with China that lasted nearly two years and featured punishing reciprocal tariffs, Trump declared at the signing of a “phase one” trade deal with Beijing in January that it was a “momentous step ... righting the wrongs of the past.”
Airbus said the US government’s decision will hit US airlines already facing a shortage of aircraft and complicate efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with the European Union.
The European planemaker said it would continue discussions with its US customers to “mitigate effects of tariffs insofar as possible” and hoped the US Trade Representative’s office would change its position.
“USTR’s decision ignores the many submissions made by US airlines, highlighting the fact that they – and the US flying public – ultimately have to pay these tariffs,” the company said in a statement.
Trump has now turned his sights to Europe though relations remain tense as Washington brandishes the threat of taxing European auto imports, a move targeting Germany, Europe’s biggest auto exporter.
Trump wants EU member states to further open their markets to American products, particularly agricultural goods.
He has also threatened to hike tariffs on French wine — currently taxed at 25 percent — even further unless there is a deal on a digital tax which European nations want to impose on American giants such as Amazon and Facebook.


Saudi small traders can accept payment with their phones

Saudi small traders can accept payment with their phones
Updated 21 June 2021

Saudi small traders can accept payment with their phones

Saudi small traders can accept payment with their phones
  • The “Tap to phone” solution uses near-field communication technology to allow these businesses to accept payments via their smartphone devices

DUBAI: Saudi Payments, owned by the Saudi Central Bank, has partnered with Visa to launch a low-cost contactless payment technology for small and micro-businesses.
The “Tap to phone” solution uses near-field communication technology to allow these businesses to accept payments via their smartphone devices, without having to invest in a separate point of sale device.
The move is in line with Saudi Arabia’s goal to modernize its financial system by making innovation accessible to all segments of society.
“This step enhances the Kingdom’s financial technology capabilities and is congruent with Saudi Vision 2030’s nation-wide drive for digitization,” said Fahad Al-Akeel, Saudi Payments managing director.
He said contactless payments have since grown in popularity as people avoid physical touch points amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has made it critical for all businesses to expand their payment methods beyond cash, as consumers expect and prefer secure and seamless cashless payment methods wherever they shop,” Visa’s country manager, Ali Bailoun, said.
He said more than 50 percent of small businesses in the Kingdom showed keen interest in low-cost acceptance solutions, citing a recent Visa study.
“We are excited to partner with Saudi Payments to bring this innovative digital payment solution to merchants in Saudi Arabia and help accelerate the Kingdom’s digital transformation goals,” he added.


New Fairmont to open in Al-Khobar amid hotel building boom

New Fairmont to open in Al-Khobar amid hotel building boom
Updated 21 June 2021

New Fairmont to open in Al-Khobar amid hotel building boom

New Fairmont to open in Al-Khobar amid hotel building boom
  • With an opening date expected for 2023, the hotel will feature 160 rooms and serviced apartments

RIYADH: Accor is set to open a new Fairmont property in Saudi Arabia on the Ajdan Waterfront development in Al-Khobar.
With an opening date expected for 2023, the hotel will feature 160 rooms and serviced apartments.
"This prestigious destination is known to be one of the most desirable leisure attractions for visitors and residents of the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia,” said Abdullah AlFozan, chairman of Ajdan Real Estate Development Company.
Saudi Arabia has the world’s biggest hotel pipeline, according to STR data. The hotel research group said the country’s expected 67.1 percent increase in room supply over the next three years is the highest among the 50 most populated countries.
The new Fairmont planned for Al-Khobar will be part of the Ajdan Waterfront mixed-use development, featuring retail, commercial, residential, and entertainment components. It will be located close to the Saudi Aramco headquarters as well as the King Abdulaziz Cultural Centre and Airbase, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, and various malls and attractions in the city.
It is also in the vicinity of the King Fahd Causeway, which connects thousands of passengers from Al-Khobar to Bahrain.
Accor currently operates 39 properties with 14,314 rooms in the Kingdom with a pipeline of 33 properties.


Abu Dhabi pledges $9.5m to fund development projects in Comoros

Abu Dhabi pledges $9.5m to fund development projects in Comoros
Updated 21 June 2021

Abu Dhabi pledges $9.5m to fund development projects in Comoros

Abu Dhabi pledges $9.5m to fund development projects in Comoros
  • The fund will be used in key projects in education, health, and agriculture

DUBAI: The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has allocated 35 million dirhams ($9.5 million) to support the UAE’s ongoing development efforts in the African island-nation Comoros.
The fund will be used in key projects in education, health, and agriculture, state news agency WAM reported, under the “Mother of the Nation” development program, led by the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC).
About 4.5 million dirhams will fund a garment manufacturing unit to provide livelihood to families in the island; 10 million dirhams will be used to build a student dormitory; and 13 million for two women and children-focused health centers.
The rest of the fund will be channeled into agriculture and livestock projects, and construction of a school.
“Through this agreement, we seek to support sustainable development and improve the living standards of the people of the Comoros by ensuring their access to basic services in collaboration with ERC,” the ADFD’s director-general, Saif Al-Suwaidi, said.
The UAE’s commitment to Comoros dates back to the late 1970s, and the ADFD has since given 436 million dirhams in development aid to the African country.


Arabtec Holding and units bankruptcy approved by Dubai court

Arabtec Holding and units bankruptcy approved by Dubai court
Updated 21 June 2021

Arabtec Holding and units bankruptcy approved by Dubai court

Arabtec Holding and units bankruptcy approved by Dubai court
  • The court last week approved the liquidation of Arabtec and its six subsidiaries

RIYADH: A Dubai court has approved the opening of bankruptcy proceedings for Arabtec Holding and six of its units.
The court last week approved the liquidation of Arabtec and its six subsidiaries namely, Arabtec Construction Abu Dhabi, Arabtec Construction Dubai, Austrian Arabian Ready Mix Concrete (AAC) and Arabtec Precast, in addition to Emirates Falcon Electromechanical Co (EFECO) Abu Dhabi and EFECO Dubai.
The court appointed a trustee for each of the entities and ordered them to publish the bankruptcy decision of each one, review its debts, deposit a record of its creditors, and conduct all the procedures stipulated under the bankruptcy law, within 35 days, the company said in a stock exchange filing.
The court also instructed each trustee to prepare an initial separate report on the assets of each entity and its rights with third parties.
It stopped all judicial and execution procedures on the companies’ assets until approving the restructuring plan or the lapse of 10 months from the date of the decision to open the bankruptcy proceedings.
The court scheduled the next hearing for July 26.


Saudi Arabia was Abu Dhabi’s biggest trading partner in 2020, data shows

Saudi Arabia was Abu Dhabi’s biggest trading partner in 2020, data shows
Updated 21 June 2021

Saudi Arabia was Abu Dhabi’s biggest trading partner in 2020, data shows

Saudi Arabia was Abu Dhabi’s biggest trading partner in 2020, data shows
  • Imports hit 11.47 billion dirhams, while exports and re-exports stood at around 33 billion dirhams between the pair

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s trade with Saudi Arabia reached over 44.43 billion dirhams ($12.1 billion) in 2020, making the Kingdom its biggest trading partner during the year.
Imports hit 11.47 billion dirhams, while exports and re-exports stood at around 33 billion dirhams between the pair, state news agency WAM reported, citing customs data.
The UAE capital’s total non-oil foreign trade was recorded at 201.2 million dirhams during the same period, mainly attributed to its solid logistical infrastructure, especially amid the global health crisis.
Digital capabilities of Abu Dhabi Customs were enhanced during the pandemic, with digital custom transactions hitting over a million in the span of a year.
“This achievement came in line with the automation of all customs services and the digital completion of customs clearance processes and transactions,” according to a statement.