Welcome to E-TISNET Monthly News to keep you abreast
of the latest developments on trade and investment relevant to the Asia-Pacific
region. E-TISNET Monthly News is the electronic and user-friendly
version of the former TISNET Trade and Investment Information
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Ottawa to open talks with Republic of
Korea. The globe and mail,
30 June 2005.
Canada has decided to start formal free
trade negotiations with the Republic of
Korea as part of its drive to open up new
Asian markets. The move to the Republic
of Korea is part of Canada's emerging markets
strategy to tap fast-growing regions. Although
China is Canada's top trade priority in
Asia, the Republic of Korea is seen as a
"strategic gateway" into the region
for Canadian business.
Accessed on 6 July <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050630.wxrkorea30/BNStory/Business/>
China, Russian Federation pledge efforts
to boost economic, cultural cooperation.
People’s daily online,
4 July 2005.
China and the Russian Federation signed
a communiqué on economic cooperation
and cultural exchanges. The two countries
will take measures to create good environment
and necessary conditions for the implementation
of cooperation programs. Cooperation projects
in the fields of investment, science and
technology, transportation, space, civil
aviation, telecommunication and information
technology, the peaceful use of nuclear
energy and banking will be further implemented.
Accessed on 4 July < http://english.people.com.cn/200507/04/eng20050704_193841.html
GREATER MEKONG SUBREGION
GMS countries implement cross-border
transport agreement. Yahoo News,
1 July 2005.
Initial implementation of the agreement
on cross-border transport of passengers
and cargo among Greater Mekong Subregion
(GMS) countries started Lao Bao border
between Viet Nam and the Lao People’s
Democratic Republic. These are the first
two countries to implement the GMS agreement
to facilitate transport, cut time for
cross-border procedures, reduce transport
cost and increase competitiveness of goods,
which will contribute to boosting trade,
tourism and investment in the areas along
the East-West corridor.
Accessed on 4 July <
India, Singapore ink pact. Asia
Times, 4 July 2005.
Singapore and India formally signed the
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement
(CECA). CECA is a structured package of
several agreements involving trade in
goods, services, investments and economic
cooperation in fields such as education,
science and technology, air services as
well as intellectual property and flow
of human resources.
Accessed on 4 July < http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/GG02Df03.html
New Zealand is Ready to Accede to the
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast
Asia. ASEAN, 7 July 2005.
Zealand informed ASEAN of its wish to
accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation
in Southeast Asia. New Zealand believes
that accession to the treaty will further
strengthen its substantive ties with ASEAN.
Consent of all Southeast Asian States
parties to the treaty is needed for accession
by a non-regional State. To date China,
India, Japan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea,
the Republic of Korea and the Russian
Federation have acceded to the treaty
on friendly relations and cooperation.
Mongolia has also recently expressed its
wish to accede to the treaty.
Accessed on 7 July <http://www.aseansec.org/17533.htm>
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Republic of Korea, EFTA agree to sign
free trade accord. Forbes,
12 July 2005.
The Republic of Korea and the European
Free Trade Association (EFTA) have agreed
to sign a free trade agreement which will
come into effect next year. It will be
the third free trade pact for the Republic
of Korea following pacts with Chile and
Singapore, and its first free trade agreement
with a regional economic bloc.
Accessed on 13 July < http://www.forbes.com/business/feeds/afx/2005/07/12/afx2133310.html
Australia and East Timor develop new
ties. Radio Australia, 6
The Governor-General of Australia stated
that he was confident that a recent visit
by the President of Timor-Leste would
open up new opportunities for trade and
investment between the two countries.
He assured Timor-Leste that Australia
was committed to helping the nation to
achieve long term sustainability. Timor-Leste
in turn announced that it would sign a
Timor Sea border treaty with Australia
in a few weeks.
Accessed on 7 July < http://www.abc.net.au/ra/news/stories/s1407800.htm
UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Accord on vast UN-backed Asian Highway
Network enters into force 4 July.
United Nations News Centre, 1
The Intergovernmental Agreement on the
140,000-kilometre Asian Highway Network
linking the vast region from St. Petersburg
to Singapore and Seoul to Istanbul comes
into force on 4 July 2005. The Network
will facilitate trade and tourism and
open up landlocked countries. It sets
technical standards for road and route
signage and includes mechanisms for amendments
or additional routes. Twenty-seven out
of the 32 participating member States
have signed the Agreement. When finished,
the highway will ease border crossing
for people, vehicles and goods and give
the much-needed benefits to landlocked
Accessed on 5 July < http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=14849&Cr=escap&Cr1
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
United States of America and Thailand
concluded the fourth round of Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) negotiations in Great
Falls, Montana. Office of the
United States Trade Representative,
15 July 2005.
The Government of the United States of America
declared that it was pleased with the progress
that had been made and that it hoped to
conclude the free trade agreement (FTA)
in early 2006. Special focus was set on
the primary and value-added agriculture
sectors and small businesses. In addition,
United States and Thai trade negotiators
met with national and regional businesses,
including the telecommunications, express
delivery, financial services, autos, energy,
and other goods and services sectors. Total
trade between the United States and Thailand
was US$ 24 billion in 2004, nearly 11 per
cent higher than the previous year and nearly
doubling in the last decade.
Accessed on 20 July 2005 <http://www.ustr.gov/Document_Library/Press_Releases/2005/July/>
Vanuatu ratifies pacific free trade
deal. Radio Australia, 28
Vanuatu has ratified a key agreement aimed
at creating a free trade area in the Pacific
over the next decade. The Pacific Island
Countries Trade Agreement, PICTA, is due
to come into effect next January. Cook Islands,
Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea,
Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga have also
ratified the agreement.
Accessed on 19 July < http://www.abc.net.au/ra/news/stories/s1401749.htm
Ho Chi Minh City Trade Centre to be
built in Moscow. Viet Nam Economic
Times, 6 July 2005.
A trade centre of Ho Chi Minh City will
be built in Moscow next year. The trade
center will serve as a venue for Vietnamese
businesses wishing to enter the large
potential market in the Russian Federation
and to introduce high-quality Vietnamese-produced
goods, such as textiles and garments,
fine art and aquatic products.
Accessed on 7 July
B. CUSTOMS REGULATIONS AND CHARGES
China, ASEAN to lower industrial duties.
Asia Times, 30 June 2005.
China and the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) are scheduled to lower tariffs
on traded industrial goods from 20 July
2005. The tariff reduction is the second
phase in a strategy to forge a free trade
area (FTA) between China and ASEAN. In line
with a bilateral agreement on commodity
trade reached in November last year, tariffs
have gradually been reduced for more than
7,000 industrial commodities excluding agricultural
products, which are not subject to a tariff.
The current round of negotiations will be
followed up by talks on service trade, with
the complete FTA package to be established
Accessed on 6 July< http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/GF30Ad06.html
China offers preferential tax rate
on Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Viet Nam News Agency, 11 July
China has agreed that an additional 91
kinds of commodities exported from Lao
People’s Democratic Republic to
China will enjoy a tax rate of zero per
cent from the beginning of next year.
The new policy will bring the total zero
per cent tax goods exported from Lao People’s
Democratic Republic to China to 312. China
will also grant 80 million yuan renminbi
in non-refundable aid to Lao People’s
Accessed on 18 July
China is scheduled to implement zero
tariffs on all products originating from
Hong Kong, Province of China from 1 January
2006. China View, 19 July
The move will mark the start of the third
phase of the Closer Economic Partnership
Arrangement (CEPA) between the two sides.
All “Made-in-Hong-Kong” products
will be tariff-free when being exported
to China. As for the service sector, China
is also to open more industries to Hong
Kong, Province of China investors. The
framework of CEPA is expected to help
the two sides to overcome the obstacles
of tariffs as well as accelerate integration
of the two economies. Bilateral trade
volume of China and Hong Kong, Province
of China reached a record high last year
after the arrangement was launched.
Accessed on 19 July < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-07/19/content_3238793.htm
India offers duty cuts for United States
of America exports. Times of India,
19 July 2005.
India has offered the United States of
America to name products it exports to
India for which the United States would
like to see reduced duties. This offer
was a counter to the persistent demand
of the United States that India must reduce
duties. On an average, United States products
face a duty of 6 per cent in India. India
pointed out that export from India to
the United States, such as textiles and
leather products, faced rather high duties
in United States and thus pleaded with
the United States not to use the perceived
high tariffs in India as an excuse to
deny India market access in labour-intensive
products where it enjoys competitive advantage
in United States.
Accessed on 19 July < http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1174948.cms
Pakistan allows duty free imports
of items from India. Press Trust
of India, 4 July 2005.
Pakistan has allowed duty free imports
of five essential commodities, including
meat, tomatoes, garlic and onions from
India to meet the shortage in its domestic
market and to bring down the prices on
these commodities. The government stated
however, that the Kashmir issue should
be resolved first to completely open up
bilateral trade between India and Pakistan.
Accessed on 11 July <http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/$all/98D15CDF6FE910F76525703400503B38>
Government plans to raise import tariffs
on luxury cars. The Jakarta Post,
20 July 2005.
The government is considering plans to
increase import tariffs on luxury cars
as part of its drive to save energy. A
team, consisting of officials from the
Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Trade
and the Ministry of Industry has been
built to study an increase of import tariffs
on cars above 4,000 cubic centimetres.
Accessed on 20 July <http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20050719163451&irec=5>
Pakistan, China to establish tax-free
system. Jang Group News,
15 July 2005.
Pakistan and China will establish a comprehensive
tax-free trading system within the next
two to three years.
The Sino-Pakistan future economic relations
are expected to get a big boost under
the Early Harvest Programme (EHP) which
will come into force from January 2006.
The EHP is to secure market access for
a number of mutually agreed export items,
which will attract zero tariffs by 1 January
2008. The items on which market access
will be available in China include bedlinen,
table linen, home textiles, towels, cotton
& blended fabrics, articles of marble,
surgical goods, sports goods, cutlery,
etc. Pakistan has given market access
to China for products like organic chemicals
and machinery where tariff will be eliminated
on most of the items in two years. Both
sides will also simultaneously eliminate
tariffs on certain fruits and vegetables.
Accessed on 18 July
Government planning to raise import
duties by 1 per cent. Inquirer
News Service, 20 July 2005.
The Philippines plan to impose a one per
cent increase in overall import duties
to compensate for revenues losses arising
from the suspension of the expanded value-added
tax (VAT) law. The duty increase is expected
to generate P14.6 billion in incremental
Accessed on 21 July <http://money.inq7.net/topstories/view_topstories.php?yyyy=2005&mon=07&dd=20&file=2>
Russian Federation pledges to keep
high import tariffs to protect carmakers.
Russian News and Information Agency,
4 July 2005.
The Russian Federation announced that
the country would preserve high duties
on imported cars for seven years after
joining the World Trade Organization,
and after that tariffs would be at least
50 per cent above European levels. Duties
on other imported products will be cut
by an average of 25 per cent.
Accessed on 5 July < http://en.rian.ru/russia/20050704/40841610.html
Thailand to seek tax reduction on fruits
exported to China. MCOT,
5 July 2005.
The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives
of Thailand stated that Thailand will
open discussions with China to find ways
for a tax reduction on Thai fruits exports
to China. The announcement came after
a raise of the current rate from US$ 0.6
to US$ 1.2-1.8 per basket which causes
an increase in the cost of Thai fruits
in the Chinese market.
Accessed on 6 July < http://etna.mcot.net/query.php?nid=39871
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
United States of America scraps import
duties on 8 Indonesian products.
The Morningstar, 8 July 2005.
The United States of America has agreed
to discard import duties on eight Indonesian
products as part of a tsunami-relief program.
The duty cuts are made under the Generalized
System of Preferences (GSP) for countries
struck by the tsunami in December 2004.
Import duties for the eight products range
from 1.1 per cent to 8.0 per cent. The
cuts make Indonesia the largest beneficiary
of United States relief programs under
the GSP. Indonesia was the hardest-hit
by the massive earthquake and ensuing
tsunami that swept across Asia on 26 December
Accessed on 15 July <http://news.morningstar.com/news/DJ/M07/D08/200507080756DOWJONESDJONLINE000626.html>
United States of America allows duty-free
imports of coco products. Inquirer
News Service, 14 July 2005.
The United States of America granted the
request of the Philippines to remove duties
on coco fatty acids under the United States
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
scheme, starting on 1 July 2005. Coco
fatty acids are produced from coconut
oil which comes from the processing of
copra or coconut meal. The country's exports
of coconut fatty acids reached US$ 28.22
million in 2004. The United States imported
US$ 17.74 million worth of coco fatty
acids, followed by Malaysia with US$ 2.33
million; Spain, US$ 1.93 million; China,
US$ 1.9 million; and the Netherlands,
US$ 1.7 million.
Accessed on 18 July <http://money.inq7.net/topstories/view_topstories.php?yyyy=2005&mon=07&dd=14&file=5>
67 more Vietnamese commodities enjoy
Malaysia's preferential tariff.
Viet Nam New Agency, 5 July 2005.
Malaysia will add 67 more Vietnamese commodities
to the list of products enjoying the preferential
tax rate of ASEAN Integration System of
Preference (AISP) in Malaysia. AISP is
a project to help the four new ASEAN member
countries - Cambodia, Lao People’s
Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet
Nam - to integrate into the regional economy
and narrow the development gap between
the new and old ASEAN members. All 67
products will enjoy Malaysia's AISP tax
rate of zero per cent, while the ASEAN
common effective preferential tariff tax
rate is 5 per cent.
Accessed on 6 July
C. NON-TARIFF MEASURES
Initiation of an anti-dumping proceeding
concerning imports of certain footwear with
protective toecap originating in China and
India. Official Journal of the European
Union, 30 June 2005.
Effective from 30 June 2005, the EU gave
notice (2005/C 159/05) on the initiation
of an anti-dumping proceeding concerning
imports of certain footwear with protective
toecap originating in China and India. The
investigation will be concluded within 15
months. Provisional measures may be imposed
no later than 9 months from 30 June 2005.
Accessed on 7 July < http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2005:159:0007:0014:EN:PDF
Initiation of an anti-dumping proceeding
concerning imports of certain plastic
sacks and bags originating in China, Malaysia
and Thailand. Official Journal
of the European Union, 30 June 2005.
Effective from 30 June 2005, the EU gave
notice (2005/C 159/07) of initiation of
an anti-dumping proceeding concerning
imports of certain plastic sacks and bags
originating in China, Malaysia and Thailand.
The investigation will be concluded within
15 months. Provisional measures may be
imposed no later than 9 months from 30
June 2005. Accessed on 7 July < http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2005:159:0019:0023:EN:PDF
Definitive anti-dumping duty on imports
of bicycles originating in China and Viet
Nam. Official Journal of the European
Union, 14 July 2005.
Effective from 15 July December, the EU
issued Council Regulation (EC) No 1095/2005
imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty
on imports of bicycles originating in
Viet Nam and amending Regulation (EC)
No 1524/2000 imposing a definitive anti-dumping
duty on imports of bicycles originating
Accessed on 20 July < http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2005/l_183/l_18320050714en00010036.pdf
Initiation of an anti-dumping proceeding
concerning imports of certain footwear
with uppers of leather originating in
China and Viet Nam. Official Journal
of the European Union, 7 July 2005.
Effective from 7 July 2005, the EU gave
notice (2005/C 166/06) of initiation of
an anti-dumping proceeding concerning
imports of certain footwear with uppers
of leather originating in China and Viet
Nam. The investigation will be concluded
within 15 months. Provisional measures
may be imposed no later than 9 months
from 7 July 2005.
Accessed on 7 July < http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2005:166:0014:0017:EN:PDF
Indonesia to impose restrictions on footwear
imports. Yahoo News, 18 July
Indonesia pledges to shun illegal timber
for tsunami reconstruction. World Business
Council for Sustainable Development. 5
Indonesia will allow imported wood to
be used for reconstruction in tsunami-hit
regions to avoid the use of illegally
felled timber. Imports of other materials
such as steel and cement were also allowed
if the prices of domestically-made products
were too high. The tsunami on 26 December
2004 left over half-a-million homeless.
Rehousing them involves a massive construction
project requiring thousands of tonnes
of wood and other raw materials.
Accessed on 6 July <http://www.wbcsd.org/Plugins/DocSearch/details.asp?>
The Ministry of Industry of Indonesia has
declared that it will issue a set of import
restricting measures to boost the country's
footwear industry. Technical verification
will be required, and standardizations and
safeguard concepts will be adopted to prevent
illegal imports of footwear. A draft regulation
on technical verification has been prepared
and sent to the Trade Minister. Standardization
is also being drawn up for implementation.
The implementation of the safeguard concept
will take longer as it requires strong evidence
that imports hurt domestic industry.
Accessed on 20 July < http://asia.news.yahoo.com/050718/4/244al.html
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Sunset reviews concerning ammonium
nitrate from the Russian Federation.
United States International Trade
Commission, 5 July 2005.
The United States International Trade
Commission (ITC) voted to conduct a full
five-year ("sunset") review
concerning the antidumping duty order
on imports of ammonium nitrate from the
Accessed on 6 July < http://www.usitc.gov/ext_relations/news_release/2005/er0705cc1.HTM
United States of America textile industry
demands more curbs on Chinese imports.
Channel News Asia, 12 July 2005.
After the United States of America imposed
quotas on seven types of textiles imported
from China in May; three industry groups
are now demanding fresh curbs on for additional
Chinese imports, namely: non-knit shirts,
which had exploded 463 per cent since
1 January, skirts (up 879 per cent), nightwear
(647 per cent) and swimwear (408 per cent).
They also submitted a request for Chinese
curtains to be limited.
Accessed on 12 July <http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_business/view/157476/1/.html>
Quota reached on fourth category of
targeted Chinese apparel - import ban
imposed. SGMA, 20 July 2005.
United States of America imports of Chinese
manufactured knit man-made fiber shirts
and blouses have reached the quota level
triggering a ban on further imports of
this product from Chinese manufacturers
for the remainder of 2005. This is the
fourth of the seven product categories
that had been specified by Department
of Commerce’s Committee for the
Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA)
that has reached the quota limit. Cotton
knit shirts & blouses, cotton trousers,
knit man-made fiber shirts and blouses
and cotton & man-made fiber underwear
have all reached their quota levels.
Accessed on 29 July < http://www.sgma.com/press/2005/press1121995878-24898.htmlhttp://www.sgma.com/press/2005/press1121995878-24898.html
D. INDUSTRY AND TECHNOLOGY-RELATED INFORMATION
Internet spreading in Afghanistan.
Kashar News, 17 July 2005.
Internet is currently operating only in
the capital of Afghanistan. The Minister
of Communications of Afghanistan has now
announced that soon it will be available
in 12 provinces and that it should be operational
throughout the country by the end of the
year. Linking Afghanistan via wireless Internet
connections is seen as vital to both economic
and political development. In addition to
providing improved communications for the
government and private business, ut will
benefit the people, who until now have been
unable to afford Internet access. Currently,
access to the web is available through internet
cafes in Kabul. But prices, as much as one
dollar an hour, mean using the internet
is too expensive for most people in a country
where civil servants and teachers often
earn as little as 60 dollars a month.
Accessed on 18 July < http://www.kashar.net/technews/complete.asp?id=1725
China seeks Canadian uranium to meet
future power needs. Channel New Asia,
6 July 2005.
China is planning to build 40 more nuclear
reactors by 2020 to generate electricity
and feed its booming economy while reducing
its reliance on coal. It is currently
negotiating with suppliers in Australia,
Canada and Kazakhstan, looking to buy
raw materials or participate in joint
mining ventures. Officials and investors
from China have been scouting for uranium
in Canada, the largest producer in the
world. Canada has already delivered fuel
to China for use in its two Canadian-built
CANDU nuclear reactors purchased in the
Accessed on 6 July <http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business/view/156338/1/.html>
India can hope to acquire nuclear power
reactors from international market.
Press Trust of India, 19 July
India was until now unable to purchase
nuclear power reactors due to sanctions
and restrictions imposed by the United
States of America. Under an agreement
reached during talks between the Prime
Minister of India and the President of
the United States, the United States has
agreed to recognize India as a nuclear
weapon state and supply fuel for Tarapore
Accessed on 19 July <http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/$All/51087A9E3F4FCE46652570430020EC50?OpenDocument>
Indonesia finally has industrial policy.
The Jakarta Post, 4 July 2005.
The Ministry of Industry of Indonesia
revealed the ‘National Manufacturing
Sector Development Policy’, which
prioritizes 32 industry sectors which
have been contributing 78 per cent of
the national output and 83 per cent of
the country's total non-oil and gas exports.
These priority sectors will enjoy preferential
treatment from the government, including
fiscal, monetary and administrative incentives.
For these sectors, the government will
expand the market of products from these
industries, prioritize foreign direct
investment for them, enhance capacity
building of their human resources, direct
and organize university research for their
benefit, and build the infrastructure.
Accessed on 6 July <http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20050704.B07&irec=6>
Indonesia takes energy saving measures.
Forbes, 16 July 2005.
Indonesia, OPEC's only oil-importing country,
ordered energy-conserving measures this
week to blunt the effects of soaring crude
oil prices that risk blowing the country's
budget. Economists say, however, that
the steps are mostly symbolic, and serve
only to delay a painful reality facing
the government - that it must soon cut
the ballooning government subsidies that
ensure its 210 million people get some
of the cheapest petroleum products in
Accessed on 18 July < http://www.forbes.com/business/services/feeds/ap/2005/07/16/ap2141891.html
Japan keen to boost biotechnology R&D
activities with Malaysia. Biznewsdb.com,
12 July 2005.
At a seminar on “Exploring Business
Opportunities for Malaysian and Japanese
Companies” held in Malaysia, it
was stated that Japan's biotechnology
players were keen to boost biotechnology
research and development activities in
collaboration with their Malaysian counterparts.
Among other areas, potentials for strategic
partnerships and investment opportunities
were identified in the biotechnology industry
which could be a multi-billion industry
in the near future and which would be
an added advantage for both countries
to collaborate. The industry is being
given priority to be developed as Malaysia’s
next engine of growth. Combined with information
and communications technology, the biotechnology
industry could offer many job opportunities.
Accessed on 18 July < http://www.biznewsdb.com/english/newspage/newspage.asp
NT to begin wireless telephone service.
Kantipur online, 5 July 2005.
Nepal Telecom (NT) is to begin wireless
telephone service on a trial basis. The
technology will provide a number of facilities
including local and mobile telephone,
SMS, voice mail, wireless Internet/e-mail,
pre-paid calling, credit card calling
and universal access number. A total of
1,000,000 lines will be distributed and
207 towers in different parts of the country
will have to be installed for this.
Accessed on 7 July < http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=44869
President of Pakistan opens PRs 600
million Murree gas project. Pakistan
Times, 8 July 2005.
At the inauguration ceremony of a PRs
600 million gas project for Muree hills,
the President of Pakistan declared that
Pakistan would meet its growing energy
requirements for fast-paced progress.
On the one hand, the government would
encourage the exploitation of indigenous
resources such as hydro-power generation,
coal reserves and alternative sources
of energy like windmills. On the other
hand Pakistan would import natural gas
from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Qatar
and Turkmenistan and electricity from
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Accessed on 8 July < http://www.pakistantimes.net/2005/07/08/national4.htm
Viet Nam-China industrial cooperation
promoted. Viet Nam News Agency,
17 July 2005.
The Minister of Industry of Viet Nam informed
that Viet Nam and China had been expanding
effective industrial cooperation through
many projects and programs in industries
such as electricity, oil and gas, chemistry,
steel, mining, plastics, engineering chemicals,
paper and coal and that they had established
commercial ties in many other industries.
However, both Vietnamese and Chinese businessmen
have met some difficulties in realizing
their goals during the initial stage of
projects. The differences in the two countries'
regulations and procedures on investment,
and trade, and the lack of close coordination
between project developers are the major
reasons why some projects run slowly.
Vietnamese and Chinese industrial leaders
have worked together to seek possible
solutions to these problems to facilitate
the implementation of important industrial
projects as scheduled.
Accessed on 18 July <http://www.vnagency.com.vn/NewsA.asp?LANGUAGE_ID=2&CATEGORY_ID=30&NEWS_ID=159341>
E. INVESTMENT-RELATED INFORMATION
SEC may take action against rule breakers.
The Daily Star, 20 July 2005.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
is preparing a list of companies, which
are violating the principles of corporate
governance. It has launched a monitoring
programme regarding corporate governance
in collaboration with the Bangladesh Bank.
Introducing sound corporate governance in
the country's economy is needed in order
to expedite more foreign investment and
quality trade. If sound corporate governance
is introduced, it would help the country's
capital market, private investors, donors
and financial institutions.
Accessed on 20 July < http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/07/19/d50719050355.htm
China to restrict foreign investment
in steel sector. Channel News
Asia, 14 July 2005.
China plans to restrict investment in
its steel industry by barring foreign
companies from taking controlling stakes.
The move came as foreign players have
stepped merger and acquisition activities
in China, with a top European steelmaker
seeking control over China's Laiwu Iron
and Steel. As the world's largest producer
of crude steel, the Chinese government
has spent billions of dollars on upgrading
its steel makers. China was an insatiable
importer of European steel during 2004
but is now becoming less dependent on
imports as its own production comes on
stream. European companies have also been
eager to move production to China and
tap demand driven by an economy that is
expected to grow at well over nine per
cent in the first half of the year.
Accessed on 18 July <http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_business/view/157880/1/.html>
China to ease capital control.
China View, 19 July 2005.
China plans to further loosen its strict
capital controls to boost the competitiveness
of its firms overseas. The reforms will
grant domestic and multinationals in China
greater strategic freedom by allowing
them to buy more foreign currency as well
as lend the money to overseas subsidiaries.
Chinese banks will also be allowed to
lend foreign currency to Chinese companies
operating in foreign countries directly.
The chief of the central bank stated that
China should lift certain foreign exchange
controls in the near-term to create conditions
for the full convertibility of the local
Accessed on 20 July < http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-07/19/content_3237658.htm
China has revalued its currency, the
yuan renminbi, for the first time in a
decade. BBC News, 21 July
The Chinese currency, the yuan renminbi,
will no longer be pegged to the dollar,
but will float against a basket of currencies.
The reform is being seen as the first
step towards the liberalisation of China's
tightly controlled currency which had
been pegged at 8.28 against the dollar.
The currency will now appreciate against
the dollar, appeasing critics who say
a cheap yuan renminbi has helped Chinese
Accessed on 22 July < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4703477.stm
Justice expresses concern with investment
licenses. Fiji Government online
portal, 19 July 2005.
The Ministry of Justice is concerned with
investment licenses issued by the Fiji
Islands Trade and Investment Bureau and
has cautioned them to be more careful
of who it issues licenses to. It is concerned
that Fiji could become a centre for money
laundering. The call from the Ministry
came after the Financial Intelligence
Unit discovered a trend whereby some investors
who had been approved to set up shops
in Fiji, were in fact repatriating millions
Accessed on 21 July < http://www.fiji.gov.fj/publish/page_5002.shtml
Singapore eases home finance rules.
The Standard, 20 July 2005.
Singapore eased restrictions on property
financing and foreign home ownership.
Buyers will be allowed to borrow more
from banks and use more of their pension
funds to finance property purchases. The
government has also decided to make it
easier for foreigners to buy private homes.
In Singapore, 93 per cent of the population
owns a home - the highest ownership level
in Asia. The eagerly anticipated announcement,
which will take effect immediately, gave
a boost to property-related stocks on
the Singapore stock exchange.
Accessed on 20 July < http://www.thestandard.com.hk/stdn/std/Markets/GG20Ag05.html
Viet Nam's largest investment project
abroad launched in Lao People’s
Democratic Republic. Yahoo News,
18 July 2005.
A project to plant 10,000 hectares of
rubber trees in the Champasak province
of Lao People’s Democratic Republic,
Viet Nam's largest ever investment project
abroad, officially launched on 15 July.
The US$ 30 million project has a duration
of 50 years. It will pay a tax of $9 per
hectare per year and is expected to generate
jobs for about 4,000 labourers of both
Accessed on 20 July < http://au.news.yahoo.com/050718/3/v4pg.html
Prime Minister pledges to better investment
environment. Investment and Trade
Promotion Centre, 5 July 2005.
Viet Nam has assured businesses from the
Great Mekong Sub Region (GMS) that it
is removing barriers that may stand in
the way of investment and that it will
create a fair playing field for businesses
of all sectors. Along with the equitization
of State-owned enterprises, the Government
will facilitate the private sector's participation
in previously-restricted areas such as
electricity generation, cement production
and insurance services. Viet Nam is also
perfecting its legal system in accordance
with international laws to speed up the
negotiation process for entering the World
Accessed on 6 July <http://www.itpc.hochiminhcity.gov.vn/en/business_news/>
Foreign investors permitted to buy state
owned enterprises. VietNamNet,
5 July 2005. According to a newly promulgated
decree regarding state owned enterprises
(SOEs) assignment, sale, contracting and
leasing, all foreign invested enterprises,
foreign individuals or institutions with
legal status in Viet Nam or foreign countries,
are now permitted to buy all or part of
state SOEs. The participation of foreigners
in the sale and transferral process of SOEs
will create a new channel for attracting
foreign investment, an opportunity which
will exist alongside direct investment.
Unlike setting up a new business, the foreign
investors will have to fulfill less procedures
when acquiring SOEs.
Accessed on 6 July < http://english.vietnamnet.vn/biz/2005/07/465355/
F. DID YOU KNOW THAT...?
... 12 million people are likely to be infected
with HIV in Asia by 2010?
One in four new infections now occurs in
Asia and 1,500 die in the region each day.
Failure to fight AIDS will have a critical
economic impact on the region, but political
will to battle the illness is lacking in
most of the region's governments despite
the huge potential toll in lives and missed
development goals as millions of households
are pushed into poverty.
Read the full story from Reuters AlertNet:
Accessed on 19 July 2005
… that Asia seeks alternatives
to oil power as prices soar?
From bananas to wind farms, alcohol and
the sun, the search for alternative energy
sources has taken on a new urgency as
oil prices hit record levels. Some countries,
such as Japan and the Republic of Korea,
have launched major drives to move away
from traditional power sources.
Read the fool report from the World Business
Council for Sustainable Development:
… the global dominance of
oil production from Saudi Arabia is now
being challenged by the Russian Federation?
Accessed on 6 July 2005
The Russian Federation has emerged as a
reigning oil producer by supplying about
2.5 million barrels a day in 1960 to about
8 million barrels a day in 2004-2005. It
is estimated that by 2030, the Russian Federation
will account for 94 per cent of imported
oil and 81 per cent for imported gas of
the European Union.
Read the whole report from BusinessWire:
… India’s educational
system is undergoing a ‘quiet revolution’?
Accessed on 8 July 2005
While India’s elite educational institutions
have been producing first-rate scientists,
engineers, and managers for quite some time,
a far less visible, quiet revolution is
now taking place in India’s elementary
education. In ten years, enrolment in primary
education rose from 82 per cent to 95 per
cent and this at a time that the number
of children age 6 to 14 has risen by 35
million to 205 million.
Read the full report from Finance&Development:
Accessed on 19 July 2005.
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