3-year duty-free entry for agricultural, industrial products
Foreign affairs ministers of the EU agreed at a meeting on 17 July to grant Ukraine preferential trade terms from the end of September, for a period of three years. The measure comes in recognition of reform efforts taken by Kiev to bolster the country's fragile economy. Ukraine will have the opportunity to export more industrial and agricultural goods to the bloc free of tariffs. "We are allowing more Ukrainian products to be exported to the EU," said Sven Mikser, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia.
New rules to govern the trade in telecommunications and financial services
The Trump administration unveiled last Monday its goals for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), issuing a broad plan for how it hopes to rewrite the terms of trade and transform the US economy for decades to come, news wires reported.
 
The Latin American country relies on shale gas production to reduce imports
France's Total, Argentina's state-run oil firm YPF, Wintershall Energia and BP unit Pan American Energy announced last Tuesday a $1.15bn investment in a joint shale gas project in Argentina.
 
EC objects generic pharma deal
The Commission informed last week the pharmaceutical company Teva that an agreement concluded with Cephalon was in breach of EU antitrust rules, the EU press service reported.
Bolivia bets on lithium
The Bolivian government aims to pump massive investments to expand the country's production of lithium, a metal needed for the batteries that power almost everything, news wires reported.
Major oil reserves found in offshore Mexico
The UK’s Premier Oil, Talos Energy of the US and Mexico's Sierra Oil and Gas announced they have discovered potentially more than 1bn barrels of oil off the coast of Mexico.
Citigroup set to move its base to Frankfurt
Citigroup is set to become the latest Wall Street bank to pick German financial hub Frankfurt as its EU base in preparation for Britain leaving the Union, news wires reported.
Daimler recalls 3 million diesel cars in Europe
German automaker Daimler announced it is to recall millions of Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles.
In Brief
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ECB set to review Deutsche Bank largest shareholders
 
The European Central Bank (ECB) is planning to carry out a review of Deutsche Bank's two largest sha­reholders, according to a regulatory source. The ECB may launch the so-called ownership-control procedures to scrutinise both Qatar's royal family and China's HNA, which each own just under 10% of Germany's flagship lender shares. The aim of such an assessment is to establish whether an investor is trustworthy and financially sound, where the money used for the investment came from, and whether the investor engages in any criminal dealings such as money-laundering or financing of terrorism.

Insurers paid out $19.5bn for natural disasters so far in 2017
 
Insurers paid out around $19.5bn for natural disaster claims in the first half of 2017, almost 40% less than the year-earlier payout of $32bn, according to data of the reinsurer Munich Re. But some $21.5bn of losses were uninsured, down from $79bn a year earlier. Thunderstorms in the US caused the most damage overall, causing economic losses of $18.5bn, of which $13.5bn was insured, Munich Re said. The single costliest catastrophe was the flooding in Peru in February and March, which caused $3.1bn in economic losses, but only $380m was covered by insurance.

Belgium support to airlines breaks EU state rules
 
Public support granted by Belgium to three airlines flying from Brussels airport gave them an unfair advantage over other airlines, in breach of EU state aid rules, according to the Commission. The airlines are Brussels Airlines, TUI Airlines Belgium and Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, which received aid of €16.8m, €2.1m and €77,000 respectively. But in March, Belgium recovered the aid, so the distortion of competition had already been removed before the Commission concluded its in-depth investigation. 

Electrolux profit rises on European and US demand
 
Swedish-based home appliance maker Electrolux announced last Wednesday that its second quarter net profit climbed 22%, due to higher demand in Eastern Europe and the US. The net profit is 1.3 billion kronor (€136m) compared to 1 billion kronor in the same business period a year ago. Year-on-year net sales rose 5.1% to 31.5 billion kronor. CEO Jonas Samuelson said the overall European market, except the UK, was solid. The US market was also strong, the Middle East and Africa remained weak, while in Latin America there were signs of a slow recovery.

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