New developments in the UK shale gas sector
The shale gas sector in the UK is still in its infancy, but the UK government has announced recently new measures and incentives to encourage its growth. On 13 December 2012, the government lifted a temporary suspension of drilling at the only drilling site in the UK, introduced tighter regulations to manage risk associated with hydraulic fracturing (fracking), set out new tax incentives to help accelerate the growth of the industry, and announced that it would establish a new government office dedicated to the shale gas sector.
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In a speech delivered at the College of Europe in Bruges on 14 January 2013, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Commissioner responsible for Competition, stated that the Commission hopes to settle around half of its outstanding cartel investigations in 2013, using the settlement procedure instituted in July 2008.
On 24 January 2013, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee of the European Parliament endorsed a new Regulation setting out customs procedures for goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights.
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Shanghai’s ground-breaking Pilot Free Trade Zone could mark the beginning of the long-awaited liberalisation of China’s legal services sector.