These things will have an impact on the wider world.
1. May’s “global Britain”
Britain will be a leader on the world stage, but reforms are necessary to achieve prosperity for all, not just the “privileged few,” said British prime minister Theresa May in her speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) today in Davos, Switzerland.
Addressing executives, politicians and public intellectuals, she warned against the negative effects of globalisation, which is responsible for creating societal divisions and inequality.
May expressed similar sentiments in her article published in The Sun this morning, promising to tear down “the barriers of privilege” and “spread wealth and opportunity across every community.”
However, speaking at the WEF, Pierre Moscovici, head of economic and financial affairs at the European Commission said that Brexit would be “damaging.”
Senior financiers are also unconvinced by May’s promised benefits from a hard Brexit. HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world, has already confirmed plans to relocate 1,000 London-based employees to Paris.
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Others remain optimistic about Britain’s economic prospects. Patrick Thomson, a fund manager at JP Morgan Asset Management who specialises in sovereign wealth funds told the BBC he believes investors will continue to be drawn to the UK market.
“You have to remember these are intergenerational investors — that’s the time horizon they have, and they are upbeat about the UK, which still has many attractions for them, including ease of investment and rule of law.”
2. The UK’s so-called informal trade talks
“Dozens of countries” are preparing to strike trade deals with the UK once it has left EU in 2019, according to international trade secretary, Liam Fox.
“We have taken our first steps to establishing ourselves as the champions of free trade and taking our place, once again, as one of the greatest open trading nations in the world,” wrote Fox in his piece for The Telegraph.
UK ministers are already in trade talks with countries including China, India, Australia and South Korea as well as Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia and Oman.
“When we leave, we will want to develop new arrangements with countries like Australia, New Zealand and India. We are conducting trade audits with a number of countries to see how we can remove barriers to trade and investment to our mutual benefit,” Fox added.
3. China backs away from the US
China cut its holdings of US Treasuries by $66bn in November in an effort to support the weakening yuan, which has fallen four per cent against the US dollar since the start of last year.
The decline in China’s holdings is the largest since December 2011’s record drop of $102.7bn.
“I’m not surprised since China’s reserves are shrinking — they are selling Treasuries to prevent the yuan from weakening too much,” Priya Misra, head of global rate strategy at TD Securities told Bloomberg.