Wednesday 13 July 2016 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Wednesday. 13/7/2016

The Monocle Minute

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images

Moving day

In the US an incoming president has two and a half months from election to inauguration in which to collect their thoughts, pick their team and plan their first term. In the UK, however, the incoming Theresa May has had only two days. She will become the UK’s 76th prime minister later today, less than 48 hours after she emerged as the last woman standing following a swift leadership election sparked by David Cameron’s resignation just two weeks ago. This is quick even by UK standards; usually there is a general election first. Spare a thought too for Cameron: three weeks ago he was planning to stay in office as prime minister until 2020, today he needs to find somewhere else to live.

Image: Lorne Bridgeman

Trading places

Proposals in Canada for a new inter-provincial trade pact – which would ease the flow of goods and services as well as many of the regional laws that affect trade in Canada’s 10 provinces – have been finalised. The hope is that by standardising trade protocols for many sectors, including alcohol, it will make Canada’s domestic economy more efficient, stimulate local wealth and, in turn, boost the country’s national finances too. If approved by provincial and national governments it may provide a useful template for other federalised economies seeking stability, particularly in Europe, where uncertainty over the impact of Brexit on international trade deals continues.

Image: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images

Sales flyers

Despite heavy rains at this week’s Farnborough International Airshow, the event hasn’t been a total washout. Sales don’t appear to have been dampened at the South East England-based biennial air show, which is the biggest event on the aviation calendar. The show has long seen Airbus and Boeing vying for headlines over big sales and this year is no different. Both companies announced a series of clinched deals as well as keen interest from Asian airlines. Boeing also firmed up a major deal with the UK’s Ministry of Defence as outgoing prime minister David Cameron announced the purchase of nine P-8A Poseidon aircraft and 50 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters in a deal worth €5.4bn. The event runs until Sunday 17 July so it’s still too early to know whether this year’s sales will fall short of 2014’s blockbuster figures, as many analysts have predicted.

Image: Jose Fuste Raga/Getty Images

Home improvements

Beijing’s dizzying array of ring roads frequently confounds visitors but fortunately drivers will soon have a clearer sense of direction. By the end of this month the city aims to combine its urban planning and land-use departments into a single entity, which will take on ambitious infrastructure improvements over the next five years. Beijing is the last of China’s first-tier cities (which are measured in terms of size and GDP, and include Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) to streamline municipal management in this way. The new committee will also assume environmental responsibilities to assist the Chinese capital in its transition from coal power to natural gas. Beijing mayor Wang Anshun turned heads last year when he described the polluted Chinese capital as “unliveable”. The hope is that by 2020 he’ll see things a little differently.

Light relief: Flos CEO Piero Gandini

With a history spanning a half-century, Italian lighting firm Flos has gained an industry-leading reputation. CEO Piero Gandini talks about striking a balance between brand integrity and commercial responsiveness and the relationship between technology and design.

Waterside Expo: Helsinki

The Helsinki Swimming Stadium, originally earmarked for the 1940 Olympic Games, is a winning attraction in the Finnish capital and an oasis among lush lawns where residents come for relaxation and training – after the compulsory jump, that is.


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