Vast Asian markets will be opened for the European export
The European Commission announced it has presented to the Council last Wednesday the outcome of negotiations for the Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan and the trade and investment agreements with Singapore. The quick implementation of trade deals with two of the EU closest Asian partners was seen as one of the priorities by the Commission of President Jean-Claude Juncker. “The impact of these agreements will go far beyond our respective shores - it sends a clear and unambiguous message that we stand together against protectionism and in defence of multilateralism. This is more important than ever,” President Juncker said.
Russia's lawmakers propose bans on US imports and investments
President Donald Trump put the brakes last Monday on a preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, shifting from an announcement by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley that the White House is readying a new set of measures. While Haley had said that sanctions on Russian companies behind the equipment related to Assad's alleged chemical weapons attack would be announced last Monday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trump told his security advisers he was upset on imposing new sanctions.
 
The company is seeing growth in China after investing billions of euro there
German software maker SAP eyes to generate new business as a result of Saudi Arabia's “Vision 2030” plan, news wires reported last week. There is a big push towards cloud computing in Saudi Arabia, Luka Mucic, chief financial officer at SAP told CNBC.
 
Poland promises lavish spending
Poland's ruling conservative party promised tax breaks for small companies and big spending on children, the elderly and infrastructure in attempt to counter sliding support ahead of a series of elections, news wires reported.
New Zealand bans oil and gas drilling
Permits for offshore oil and gas exploration will no longer be issued by the New Zealand Government as part of its commitment to a clean energy future, PM Jacinda Ardern announced.
Trump hints of rejoining Trans Pacific trade pact
The US may rejoin the Trans Pacific Partnership if offered “substantially better” terms than those provided under previous negotiations, President Donald Trump tweeted last week in an obvious U-turn, news wires reported.
Sanofi, Advent in talks for European generics drugs business
French healthcare group Sanofi said it has launched exclusive talks with private equity firm Advent International over selling its Zentiva European generics drugs arm to Advent for €1.9bn ($2.4bn). Zentiva operates in 50 markets and has a strong presence in Eastern Europe, particularly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.
Amazon makes shopping from US available abroad
Amazon has launched an international shopping feature that will enable customers across the world to buy more than 45m items that can be shipped to their country from the United States, news wires reported.
In Brief
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IMF predicts strong global growth but warns of risks
 
The IMF forecast in its new assessment of the World Economic Outlook that 2018 will be the strongest year for global growth since 2011, with levels of up to 3.9%. The growth will stay such in 2019 as well. However, the IMF warned that the current momentum was not secure enough and could be influenced and even curtailed by emerging trade barriers. The IMF lists a number of risks that could lead to weaker performance, including what it calls policies that “harm international trade” as well as “waning support for global integration”.

Consortium submits highest bid for DESFA
 
A consortium composed of Italian gas infrastructure company Snam, Spain's Enagas Internacional and Belgium's Fluxys submitted the highest bid in a tender for the acquisition of a 66% stake in Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA), Greece's privatisation agency (TAIPED) said on 16 April. According to Kathimerini, the offer amounts to €535m. The asset sale is part of the country's multi-billion euro privatisation programme agreed with Greece's creditors.

Shire sells cancer drugs to Servier for $2.4bn Shire, the London-listed rare diseases specialist that is a potential takeover target for Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical, is selling its oncology business to unlisted French drugmaker Servier for $2.4bn. The deal suggests there is value locked up within Shire's portfolio - despite a dismal share price performance in the past two years - as its management braces for a possible $50bn bid battle with Japan's biggest drugmaker. Shire said on 16 April it would consider returning proceeds from the sale to shareholders through a buyback and that further selective disposals of non-strategic assets were possible.
Jaguar Land Rover intends to cut 1,000 UK jobs
 
The biggest carmaker in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover, plans to cut around 1,000 jobs and production at two of its English factories due to a fall in sales caused by uncertainty around Brexit and confusion over diesel policy, a source told Reuters. The company admitted it makes some adjustments to its production schedules and the level of agency staff, without confirming the number of jobs to be cut. Jaguar sales are down 26% so far this year, whilst Land Rover demand dropped 20% in its home market as buyers shun diesel, concerned over planned tax rises and possible bans in several countries.

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