The German foreign minister is on a charm-offensive through Southeast Asia. Guido Westerwelle is seeking to strengthen ties with the world's fourth leading financial centre.
The crisis centering on the Crimean peninsula could push Ukraine over the brink into bankruptcy. However, analysts believe international markets and European gas imports will not see significant shake-ups for now.
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned US and EU officials negotiating a free trade deal that Germany will not accept cuts in social and environmental norms. "Blind privatization" was untenable, he said.
The North American Free Trade Agreement starring the United States, Canada and Mexico is a vintage 20 years old. It's been quite a success story, however problems and stumbling blocks remain.
With talks on the EU-US transatlantic free trade deal set to continue next month, this week's outrage over a European Parliament vote on genetically modified corn will hardly be the last obstacle negotiators face.
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