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IMF growth forecasts | African trade relationship | Soft Power 30 index

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reviews growth forecasts
On Monday 24 July, in its Latest World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised down UK and US growth forecasts. Both economies will expand more slowly in 2017 than previously predicted, according to the IMF.
Weaker activity in the first quarter of the year meant the UK would grow by 1.7 per cent, in comparison with the initial 2 per cent prediction. Simultaneously the US growth forecast was lowered from 2.3 per cent to 2.1 per cent, however, the IMF said the “pick-up in global growth” that it had anticipated in its previous survey in April continued to be on track.
A UK Treasury spokesperson said that the IMF forecast highlighted why the government’s pursuits to increase productivity, and secure “the very best deal with the EU” post Brexit, were fundamentally important.

Lord Price visits Africa to meet with South African trade ministers
Last week the Minster for Trade Policy, Lord Price, visited South Africa and Namibia to meet trade ministers from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique.
The UK government has voiced its commitment to working with the Southern African regions and nations across Africa, this follows an announcement from the Prime Minister at the G20 summit to support trade, investment and growth in Africa.
Lord Price said: “This visit shows the commitment of the British government to securing trade links in both developed and developing countries around the world.”
The Soft Power 30 index
Soft Power 30 is an annual index produced by PR firm, Portland Communications in conjunction with the University of Southern California school of public diplomacy. The index combines polling and impartial digital data to measure a country’s impact and perceived favourability.
According to the index, the top five influential countries are France, the UK, US, Germany and Canada. Britain led the list two years ago, and was overtaken by the US last year, but this year France rose from fifth to first place following the election of Emmanuel Macron.
Areas investigated are varied and include everything from government, culture, and foreign policy to sporting ability, digital engagement, and economic innovation. The Soft Power index can be used as a valuable asset to evaluate global influence, trends, and foreign policy.

Thursday 27 July 2017

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