Biden plays down chances of UK-US trade pact

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New York, Sep 22 | US President Joe Biden has played down the chances of a post-Brexit free trade deal between his government and the UK, as he held talks with Boris Johnson at the White House.

Biden said he would discuss the issue “a little bit” with the UK prime minister, adding: “We’re going to have to work that through.”

Downing Street said a direct deal with the US remained his “priority”.

However, UK ministers have been pondering joining an existing North American trade pact instead, the BBC reported.

Biden and Johnson also discussed Northern Ireland, climate change and Afghanistan during the 90-minute meeting.

The UK is keen to strike free trade deals around the world in the wake of leaving the European Union’s single market, including with the US, with which annual trade was worth an estimated $273 billio in 2019.

A deal would encourage more business between the two countries by making it cheaper, usually by reducing or eliminating taxes called tariffs.

Johnson, echoing Biden, downplayed chances of securing agreement with the US before the next general election, saying: “The Americans do negotiate very hard.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice told Sky News: “We still very much hope to be able to put together an agreement with the United States. We are not putting timescales on it.”

“It’s just not a priority for the US administration,” he added.

Johnson highlighted the decision to lift the ban on British beef, and Downing Street is increasingly confident that there could soon be a favourable decision lifting the export ban on lamb.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office before the talks, Biden said: “We’re going to talk a little bit about trade today and we’re going to have to work that through.”

He did not counter the assertion from his predecessor Barack Obama that the UK would have to join “the back of the queue” in seeking a trade deal after Brexit.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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