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2014

 

Monday’s Quote — 29December2014

Start the week thinking

“To begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment.”
–James Allen

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The European Parliament Supports the Film Industry

Cinema was born in Europe, but at present the European film landscape is characterized by the strong presence of Hollywood ‘majors’ such as Sony Pictures, Walt Disney and Warner Bros.

Strikingly, despite US-based companies producing only 622 films in 2013, compared to 1 546 European productions in the same period, they currently account for almost two thirds of the EU market.

European Parliament supports the Film Industry
Read the complete report:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2014/542181/EPRS_ATA(2014)542181_REV1_EN.pdf

 

Video, the EU Parliament aids European Cinema – EPP Group

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Monday’s Quote — 22December2014

Start the week thinking

Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them.
The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.
– Voltaire

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OECD Publishes Economic Outlook

OECD Economic Outlook – published November 2014

The mission of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. They work with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change.

They measure productivity and global flows of trade and investment. They analyze and compare data to predict future trends.

They set international standards on a wide range of things, from agriculture and tax to the safety of chemicals.

They also look at issues that directly affect everyone’s daily life, like how much people pay in taxes and social security, and how much leisure time they can take.

They compare how different countries’ school systems are readying their young people for modern life, and how different countries’ pension systems will look after their citizens in old age.

Drawing on facts and real-life experience, they recommend policies designed to improve the quality of people’s lives.

They work with business, through the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, and with labor, through the Trade Union Advisory Committee.

They have active contacts as well with other civil society organizations.

The common thread of their work is a shared commitment to market economies backed by democratic institutions and focused on the well being of all citizens. Along the way, they also set out to make life harder for the terrorists, tax dodgers, crooked businessmen and others whose actions undermine a fair and open society.
OECD Economic Outlook
http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/economics/oecd-economic-outlook-volume-2014-issue-2_eco_outlook-v2014-2-en#page1
Video, OECD

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Monday’s Quote — 15December2014

Start the week thinking

“To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”
– Confucius
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IATA Passenger Market Analysis

The International Air Transport Association released the Passenger Market Analysis for October 2014.

The Key Points:

Air travel volumes were up 5.7% in October year-on-year, slightly stronger than the September rise of 5.2%;

The fall in crude oil prices has partly come as a result of sluggish demand in key markets, including Europe and China;

But trends in air travel growth have remained positive, unaffected by emerging weakness in these regions;

International Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) on Asia Pacific carriers were up 5.5% in October, supported by growth in regional trade activity;

European airlines international RPKs were up 5.8% despite slowdown in the Eurozone economy, supported by strong growth is air travel on low cost carriers;

Domestic RPKs in Russia are showing signs of slowdown as a result of the Russia-Ukraine crisis with a rise of 6.1%;

Industry load factors slipped slightly in October as a result of solid expansion in capacity on international markets, particularly for Asia Pacific carriers;

On balance, the outlook for air travel remains positive, despite the presence of some downside risk;

Demand conditions are improving in the US and trade volumes have been on the increase, especially in Asia Pacific;

This should help offset some adverse developments, including the recent faltering of the Eurozone economic recovery.
Read the full IATA Economic Market Analysis:

http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/Documents/economics/passenger-analysis-oct-2014.pdf

Video, IATA Today

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Monday’s Quote — 08December2014

Start the week thinking

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

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IATA Releases Data For Global Air Cargo Markets

Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released October data for global air freight markets showing that the strong performance of air cargo in recent months is continuing.

Demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTK), rose 5.4% in October compared to October 2013. This out-stripped capacity which grew by 4.4%. Compared to September demand grew by 0.7% bringing freight volumes to a new record monthly high.

The good results reflect the improvements in world trade and business activity which have been evident since the summer. World trade is growing steadily, supporting increased air cargo shipments. Regional differentiation in performance, however, is very apparent.

Carriers in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific saw demand grow faster than the global trend, while North America, Europe and Latin America grew more slowly.

More significantly, however, carriers in all regions except for Europe improved on their year-to-date performance. Cargo demand for European carriers grew by a weak 1.4% compared to the previous October, reflecting economic uncertainty and the impact of sanctions as a result of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

“We are now back to levels of demand not seen since the 2010 post-recession bounce-back. But the industry is still in the hot seat and under pressure to improve its value offering. Customer expectations have evolved dramatically. Other modes of cargo have improved their competitiveness. Shippers expect the efficiency of electronic processes that they experience in almost every other sector. And when shipping specialty products—such as those requiring cold chain control—they expect quality from end-to-end. The industry is investing to build its future by meeting these expectations,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Oct 2014 vs. Dec 2013
FTK Growth
AFTK Growth
FLF
International
5.6%
5.1%
50.4%
Domestic
3.9%
1.8%
32.7%
Total Market
5.4%
4.4%
47.0%

YTD 2014 vs. YTD 2013
FTK Growth
AFTK Growth
FLF
International
4.7%
4.0%
48.7%
Domestic
3.0%
2.1%
30.7%
Total Market
4.5%
3.6%
45.2%

Analysis in detail:
Asia-Pacific carriers reported a 6.7% increase in FTKs, boosted by the release of the iPhone 6, and solid increases in trade and exports from emerging Asian economies. Looking forward, the rate of growth in the Chinese economy continues to slow down which may impact on air cargo. Capacity grew 5.7%.

European airlines improved cargo volumes by 1.4%. The Eurozone economy only just avoided recession in the third quarter. Poor business confidence and the ongoing sanctions against Russia will continue to weigh on European cargo in the months ahead.Capacity expanded 4.4%.

North American carriers recorded an increase of 3.1% in October. Growth was slower than the September figure of 5.4%, but the overall trend is showing an acceleration on growth for the year-to-date (2.7%). Underlying indicators are positive, which bodes well for increased cargo growth in the future. Capacity contracted 1.2%.

Middle Eastern carriers once again recorded double-digit increases, expanding 13.0%. Carriers in the region have diversified, expanding their services in perishables and linking growing markets in Asia and Africa. Capacity expanded 15.8%.

Latin American airlines’ grew FTKs by 4.1% year-on-year. This solid growth reverses the trend from September, when volumes fell 0.7%. Stronger export growth across Latin America is supporting better air cargo performance. Capacity grew 2.3%.

African airlines’ reported strong growth of 9.6% year-on-year. Regional trade volumes are still volatile, but the improvement in key economies such as South Africa is supporting this improvement. Capacity fell 2.4%.


Australia and South Korea Free Trade Act

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb has announced that Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with South Korea will enter into force on 12 December 2014.

The announcement follows a vote overnight by the Korean National Assembly in support of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), and an ‘exchange of notes’ today between Australia’s Ambassador in Seoul and the Korean Government, agreeing to the date for entry into force.

Mr Robb said seeing KAFTA enter into force before the end of the year was an important objective of the Abbott Government.

“KAFTA’s entry into force at this time will mean that many Australian exporters will benefit from an immediate tariff cut by Korea, and a further tariff cut on 1 January 2015; shoring up our competitiveness in our third largest export market,” Mr Robb said.

KAFTA is one of three landmark trade agreements concluded by the Abbott Government since taking office, with Japan and China FTAs completing the trifecta.

Under KAFTA, tariffs will be eliminated on 84 per cent of Korea’s imports (by value) from Australia immediately on 12 December.  On full implementation of the Agreement, 99.8 per cent of Australian goods exports will enter Korea duty free.

“KAFTA is expected to result in an annual boost to the economy of close to $650 million when fully implemented.  It’s also projected to create many thousands of jobs over the next decade, helping to underwrite our prosperity for years to come,” Mr Robb said.

Given Korea is Australia’s fourth-largest trading partner – with bilateral trade worth more than $34 billion in 2013-14 – Mr Robb said KAFTA will increase export opportunities across a wide range of industries: from beef, wheat, sugar, dairy, wine, horticulture and seafood, to automotive suppliers, and the resources and energy industries.

It will also open up significant opportunities for service providers. “I urge Australian businesses to take full advantage of this Agreement,” Mr Robb said.

A guide for exporting and importing goods under KAFTA, including customs procedures, and step-by-step advice for business ahead of entry into force, can be found at: http://dfat.gov.au/fta/kafta/fact-sheets/guide-to-using-kafta-to-export-and-import-goods.html

KAFTA was signed in Seoul in April by Mr Robb and his Korean counterpart, Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jik.

Mr Robb said the agreements concluded by the Abbott Government with Korea, Japan and China, send a strong signal that Australia is indeed open for business.

“Together these transformational agreements account for 62 per cent of our goods exports and 19 per cent of our services trade,” Mr Robb said.


US Department of Commerce – National Export Initiative

Today – 05December2014 – The US Department of Commerce, Office of Public
Affairs issued the trade statistics for October 2014.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement today on the release of the October 2014 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services data.

U.S. exports of goods and services increased to $197.5 billion in October from $195.2 billion in September. Record monthly levels were reached in exports of non-petroleum goods, including a record in capital goods, as well as in charges for the use of intellectual property. The goods and services deficit decreased by $0.2 billion to $43.4 billion in October.

“Today’s data shows that American goods and services are in high demand around the world, which is great news for our businesses, job creation and the American people,” said Secretary Pritzker. “U.S. exports already support 11.3 million jobs, and increasing our exports is critical to this Administration’s efforts to create more jobs, promote sustainable growth, and strengthen the middle class.

In order to sell more American goods and services to the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the United States, America must continue leading the world in negotiating high-standard trade agreements that give our exporters access to billions of customers beyond our borders.”

In May, Secretary Pritzker launched NEI/NEXT to help more U.S. companies begin exporting and to assist companies already exporting increase sales to more overseas markets. The NEI/NEXT strategy focuses on improving data, providing information on specific export opportunities, working more closely with financing organizations and service providers, and partnering with states and communities to empower local export efforts.

NEI/NEXT builds on the success of the National Export Initiative (NEI) announced by President Obama in 2010. Since the launch of the NEI, a record number of U.S. companies have exported annually, and the United States has seen an increase of 1.6 million export-supported jobs since 2009. U.S. goods and services exports have hit record highs four years in a row, reaching $2.3 trillion in 2013.

Video, The NEI/Next Program — US Department of Commerce

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European Parliament Releases Briefing Report On TTIP And Labor

The News Headlines regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been unusually quite over the past few weeks.

The TTIP Agreement in the works between the EU and the USA is an interesting event unfolding.

If/when the agreement is signed off and becomes a “hard treaty” it will have far reaching effects for all of the EU member states. Some countries will probably not be too happy as the decision for their future well being is decided in Brussels and they will be bound to adherence.

Evidently there is a concern, and there should be, over how this will affect the labor markets in the European Union.

The European Parliament Policy Department has been addressing the concerns in committee.

Today a briefing overview was disseminated for public review.

Below is a recent briefing release from the European Parliament/ Think Tank

 The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Labor

This briefing prepared by Policy Department A for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee provides an overview of labor provisions in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

After a summary of its scope, state and EP involvement it analyses the evolution of labor provisions in trade and investment agreements with a view to similarities and differences in the EU and US approaches.

Finally, it presents a number of employment-related issues as well as selected results from research on potential job effects.

TTIP Briefing Report
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=IPOL_BRI(2014)536315

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Australia A World Leader In Nuclear Medicine

Australia is positioning itself to become a world provider of the radioisotope
Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).

Mo-99 is widely used in nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures.
The future global supply of the in-demand isotope may be diminishing due to outdated
research reactors and outright closures of others.

The ANSTO/ANM project, now being built, will put Australia in the position
of being able to supply a healthy percentage of the global demand for the isotope.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization announced
an update on Australia’s new nuclear medicine manufacturing facility.

Work is well underway on Australia’s new nuclear medicine manufacturing facility, which will enable Australia to help meet world demand for the most common radionuclide used in nuclear medicine, Molybdenum-99.

The first critical steps in the development of Australia’s new nuclear medicine production facility are now complete with the bulk of the excavation work finalized and more than 1700m3 of concrete poured, and more than 200 tonnes of steel reinforcement in place.

The ANSTO Nuclear Medicine (ANM) project, underway at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), represents a $168.8 million investment by the Australian Government.

Through it, Australia will secure continued supplies of nuclear medicines for the domestic market, and the ability to contribute significantly to international demand.

Currently ANSTO produces around 10,000 patient doses of nuclear medicines per week which is distributed to more than 250 hospitals and medical practices across Australia, as well as shipping product internationally.

The current world demand for Technetium-99m (Tc-99m), which is the decay product of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) is estimated to be approximately 40 million patient doses per annum.

Once fully operational, Australia’s new Mo-99 manufacturing plant will enable ANSTO to significantly increase its production capabilities, and to supply up to 25-30% of global demand.

“The basement concrete has been poured on this project and we expect to be out of the ground early in 2015,” said ANM Board Chairman, Doug Cubbin.

“Our project is currently on schedule and budget. We are confident the planned operational date will be achieved as our facility will use proven production methods already demonstrated at the scale we are building our facility for.

“We expect that once operational it will deliver a medical dividend to the world, and a financial dividend to Australia,”

“Importantly, though this project, Australia will continue to produce nuclear medicine using Low-Enriched Uranium, which is proliferation-proof – contributing significantly to regional nuclear security goals.”

VIDEO, The OPAL Research Reactor – AnstoVideos

VIDEO, time lapse of construction

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