ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 20/05/2019

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South China Morning Post / Google ‘suspends some business with Huawei in wake of Trump trade blacklist’

  • Google has reportedly suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing.
  • Huawei has said it has spent the last few years preparing a contingency plan by developing its own technology in case it is blocked from using Android. Some of this technology is already being used in products sold in China, the company has said.
  • Last Thursday, the Trump administration added Huawei Technologies to a trade blacklist, immediately enacting restrictions that will make it extremely difficult for the company to do business with US counterparts.
  • The extent to which Huawei will be hurt by the US government’s blacklist is not yet known. Chip experts have questioned Huawei’s ability to continue to operate without US help.

The Guardian / US to hold Bahrain economic conference to launch Middle East peace plan

  • The US will hold an international economic “workshop” in Bahrain in late June, seeking to encourage investment in the Palestinian territories as the first part of Donald Trump’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan.
  • The conference in Manama on 25 and 26 June will bring together government and business leaders from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It is not yet known whether Israeli and Palestinian officials will take part.
  • “This will give hopefully the people in the region the potential to see what the economic opportunities could be if we can work out political issues that have held back the region for a long, long time,” a senior US official said.
  • US officials had said the peace plan would be rolled out after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in early June. But the announcement of the Bahrain workshop appeared to set the stage for a sequenced release of the plan.

The New York Times – Anatoly Kurmanaev / Venezuela’s collapse is the worst outside of war in decades, economists say

  • Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, according to the Institute of International Finance. To find similar levels of economic devastation, economists at the IMF pointed to countries that were ripped apart by war, like Libya earlier this decade.
  • Venezuela’s hyperinflation, expected to reach 10 million percent this year according to the IMF, is on track to become the longest period of runaway price rises since that in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1990s.
  • The crisis has been compounded by American sanctions intended to force Nicolás Maduro to cede power to Juan Guaidó. Maduro blames Venezuela’s economic collapse on the US and its opposition allies — but most independent economists say the recession began years before the sanctions.
  • Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves. But its oil output, once Latin America’s largest, has fallen faster in the past year than Iraq’s after the American invasion in 2003, according to data from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Euractiv – Frédéric Simon / Gas storage vies for central role in EU quest for carbon neutrality

  • The gas industry pitches its 1,200 terawatt hours (TWh) of available storage capacity as a potential benefit to Europe’s future low-carbon energy system. In the long-run, these storage sites could provide a platform to store low-carbon gases like green hydrogen generated from wind and solar power as well as biomethane produced locally from agricultural waste.
  • However, estimates vary widely as to the sector’s ability to deliver those clean gases in the quantities needed to support Europe’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The industry’s projections are dismissed as exaggerated by environmental organizations and even by the European Commission.
  • “We shouldn’t focus on delivering green gas at any cost,” said Milan Elkerbout, a researcher at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels. What matters most, he said, is to look at the end-use sectors that need to be decarbonized and, from there, assess the options available. And green gases will be attractive in some cases, but not always.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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