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ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
“TREATI” to expand EU-ASEAN
trade and investment flows. Bernama,
9 August 2006.
The European Union (EU) has proposed a “Trans-Regional
EU-ASEAN Trade Initiative” (TREATI)
to inject new dynamism and significantly
raise trade and investment linkages with
ASEAN. TREATI aims to set up an effective
framework for dialogue and regulatory cooperation
in trade facilitation, market access and
investment between both regions.
Accessed on 15 August
ASEAN+3 economic ministers approve
5 new projects. Nhan Dan,
25 August 2006.
ASEAN economic ministers and ministers
from China, Japan and the Republic of
Korea (ASEAN+3) approved five new cooperation
projects at their 9th consultations. The
approved projects are on information and
communication technology cooperation towards
co-prosperity in East Asia; ASEAN+3 website
for customs information exchange; ASEAN+3
logistics cooperation for future trade
facilitation; ASEAN+3 cooperation for
internationally comparable statistics;
and an agricultural technology and management
training programme for ASEAN countries.
Accessed on 28 August < http://www.nhandan.com.vn/english/news/250806/domestic_asean.htm
ASEAN signs trade pact with United
States of America. CNN, 25
Southeast Asian trade ministers have signed
an expanded trade and investment agreement
with the United States that calls for
a mechanism that allows United States
imports easier access to the region. The
agreement includes cooperation on pharmaceutical
regulatory issues aiming at speeding the
delivery of innovative medicines to ASEAN
countries and facilitates the cooperation
concerning sanitary issues in specific
agricultural goods. Two-way trade between
Southeast Asia and the United States reached
US$ 152 billion in 2005.
Accessed on 25 August < http://edition.cnn.com/2006/BUSINESS/08/24/asean.pact.ap/
Bangladesh and Cambodia ink trade agreement.
Asia News Yahoo, 7 August 2006.
Bangladesh and Cambodia have signed a
trade agreement aimed at boosting economic
development and strengthening bilateral
relations between the two countries. The
agreement will establish the principles
of equality and mutual benefit and most
favored-nation treatment for enhancing
economic development in the two countries.
Accessed on 15 August < http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060807/4/2o42p.html
Chile and China sign trade deal.
BBC, 22 August 2006.
China and Chile have signed an FTA, China’s
first with a South American country. The
agreement will give China better access
to Chile’s extensive natural resources,
such as copper, while Chile will be able
to target the vast Chinese market. The
treaty will free 92 per cent of Chile’s
exports to China from customs tariffs
and remove Chilean tariffs on 50 per cent
of China’s exports. Other Chilean
exports will remain subject to ongoing
tariffs for between five and ten years.
Accessed on 23 August < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5273344.stm
EU to approach World Trade Organization
to cut Indian duties on whisky and wine.
Hindustan Times, 1 August 2006.
The European Union has decided to seek
the removal of India’s restrictive
import duties under the World Trade Organization’s
(WTO) dispute settlement mechanism. Based
on a complaint lodged in July 2005, the
European Commission initiated an investigation
in September 2005 and has now concluded
that the levy of additional duty and extra
additional duty amounted to “blatant
cases of breaching fundamental WTO rules”.
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1757834,00020008.htm
India and Tajikistan to further bilateral
trade. Economic Times, 2
India and Tajikistan have agreed to further
develop bilateral cooperation in the areas
of trade, industry, agriculture, construction,
transport, education, scientific and technical
cooperation as well as tourism. In order
to widen trade and economic relations,
the two countries will hold business forum
meetings. Both sides have underlined the
importance of establishing long-term cooperation
in the field of industry and have agreed
to make efforts to achieve this goal,
especially in view of the great potential
for cooperation in the manufacturing sector
in textiles, chemicals, construction materials,
mining and processing of light metals.
Accessed on 15 August < http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1842196.cms
India and Mauritius conclude eighth
round of CEPCA talks. Tax News,
11 August 2006.
The eighth round of the Comprehensive
Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement
(CEPCA) talks between Mauritius and India
concluded on 8 August. The talks focused
on trade in goods, trade in services,
investment and economic cooperation. With
regard to trade in goods, the text for
the preferential trade area, rules of
origin, operational procedures and preferential
safeguards were finalized and prepared
for signature. India has also agreed to
seek the necessary mandate on the proposal
of Mauritius to finalize a free trade
area within a period of four to six months.
Discussions were also held on the request
for market access in trade in services
by both sides, particularly in accounting
and auditing, health services, computer
and computer-related services, tourism
and financial services. A framework text
on investment was also finalized.
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story_open.asp?storyname=24509
ADB to give US$ 1 billion for Pakistan’s
trade corridor. The Daily Star,
20 August 2006.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed
to provide US$ 1 billion for Pakistan’s
National Trade Corridor (NTC) project
that will link Karachi to Gwadar and Khunjrab
in the North. The World Bank and other
lenders have already agreed to provide
US$ 1.8 billion for the Karachi-Gwadar-Khunjrab
section, which is estimated to cost US$
2.8 billion. The overall cost of the NTC
programme, which envisages improving all
sectors of communications, including ports,
shipping, aviation, etc. is estimated
at US$ 6 billion.
Accessed on 23 August <
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Republic of Korea and United States
swap tariff cut proposals. The
Dong A Ilbo, 16 August 2006.
The Republic of Korea and the United States
have exchanged tariff cut proposals on
15 August as a step to reach an FTA. The
proposals include 11,261 items in manufactured
goods, agricultural products and textiles.
In the second round of FTA negotiations,
both sides agreed on a phased implementation
of the elimination of tariffs on manufactured
goods. The proposals allow for a five-tiered
lifting of tariffs from the day the proposals
come into effect. The five tiers are immediate
elimination, elimination within three,
five and ten years, and longer grace periods.
After reviewing each other’s proposals,
negotiators will participate in the third
round of talks in Seattle between 6 and
9 September, where the specific implementation
periods will be discussed on each item.
Accessed on 16 August
Singapore asks India to widen import
list and relax origin rules. Economic
Times, 4 August 2006.
Singapore, which entered into a comprehensive
economic cooperation agreement with India
last year, has now asked India to add
752 items ranging from edible oils to
electronics to the list of products being
imported from Singapore on concessional
terms. It also asked for a relaxation
of the rules for determining the origin
of products so that more items could qualify
for preferential treatment. India replied
that while some additional concessions
could be extended to Singapore, it would
not be possible to accommodate all their
Accessed on 15 August <
Tonga defers WTO membership for a year.
MSN Money, 27 July 2006.
After ten years of negotiations to join
the WTO, Tonga has now deferred membership
in the body for a year. Tonga joined the
WTO in December 2005, subject to formal
ratification. Tonga emphasized that the
delay did not mean that Tonga was withdrawing
its WTO membership application, but that
it needed more time to improve its tariff
system. Tonga earns around two-thirds
of its revenue from trade taxes. Cutting
tariffs might affect its ability to provide
basic health care, education, water supply
and other essential services.
Accessed on 23 August
WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO)
WTO Aid for Trade Task Force submits
final report to members. Bridges
Weekly, 2 August 2006.
The WTO Task Force on Aid for Trade has
presented its final recommendations. The
task force was established in February
with a mandate to provide Members with
recommendations for how Aid for Trade
might contribute most effectively to the
development dimension of the Doha Development
Agenda. It further emphasizes the need
to mainstream trade-related issues into
national development strategies. It identifies
a number of challenges involved with doing
so, such as the lack of private sector
involvement in identifying trade needs,
the limited absorptive capacity of recipient
countries, ineffective monitoring, and
the slow, duplicative and bureaucratic
processes in the assessment and delivery
of trade-related assistance. The task
force suggests that country ownership
and country-driven approaches, as well
as a commitment of Governments to fully
mainstream trade into their development
strategies, is key. It also emphasizes
mutual accountability, aligning aid to
national development strategies, effective
donor coordination, harmonization of donor
procedures and transparency.
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.ictsd.org/weekly/06-08-02/story3.htm
B. CUSTOMS REGULATIONS AND CHARGES
India to offer tariff concessions to
least developed African nations. Financial
Express, 8 August 2006.
India is set to extend the unilateral trade
preference (UTP) scheme to all least developed
countries (LDC) in Africa and also to some
African countries which have no trade agreements
with India. The scheme offers unilateral
tariff concessions and easing of other restrictions
on trade with the aim to promote South-South
economic cooperation. At the same time,
India has stated that India did not intend
to offer any more incentives to the LDCs
of South Asia, apart from the ones already
offered under SAFTA.
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=136584
Customs duty on palm oils and palmolein
cut ten per cent. Financial Express,
10 August 2006.
In a bid check prices of essential commodities,
India has cut customs duty by ten per
cent on crude and refined palm oils and
palmolein. Effective from 10 August, the
duty on crude palm oil, crude palmolein
and other varieties of crude palm oil
will be reduced to 70 per cent from 80
per cent. In case of refined bleached
deodorized palm oil, palmolein and other
refined palm oils, the duty will be cut
to 80 per cent from the present 90 per
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=137043
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
Islamic Republic of Iran and South
Africa sign customs cooperation agreement.
IRNA, 23 August 2006.
The Islamic Republic of Iran and South
Africa have signed a customs cooperation
agreement to facilitate trade between
the two countries. The two sides issued
a joint statement, voicing their interest
in expanding extensive relations in different
sectors of politics, economics, sports,
culture and arts. They will set up a preliminary
regional healthcare network in one of
the states of South Africa. They also
agreed to expand their scientific cooperation
in biotechnology, nanotechnology and conversion
of gas into oil products and to encourage
joint ventures for the distribution of
petrochemical, chemical and polymer products
in the Islamic Republic of Iran, South
Africa or other countries.
Accessed on 24 August < http://www.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-237/0608237784163706.htm
Customs to grant tariff concessions
on items used in projects. Haama
News, 30 July 2006.
Maldives Customs Services (MCS) has announced
that items imported for temporary use
and returned to their origins will not
be levied import duty. Concessions on
items that are imported for temporary
use range from ten per cent to 100 per
cent of the commercial prices. If an item
is imported for temporary use and returned
in 30 days, MCS will charge zero tax on
the item. If such an item is imported
and used within a period of two years
and returned, a ten per cent tariff concession
is granted by MCS.
Accessed on 15 August
Government lifts gasoline import duty.
Kommersant, 4 August 2006.
The Russian Federation is lifting the
five per cent import duty on A-95/98 gasoline
in an effort to improve competition on
the market and stabilize prices for premium
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?idr=528&id=695085
Tonga postpones new customs tariffs.
Metangi Tonga News Online, 2
Tonga’s decision to defer its accession
to the WTO until July next year results
in postponement of the planned new customs
tariff. The decision means that Tonga
will continue, for another 12 months,
to collect revenue under the old tariff
rate and will also withhold the introduction
of new indirect tax regimes.
Accessed on 4 August < http://www.matangitonga.to/article/tonganews/economy/wto020806.shtml
Customs PC trade system to go live
on 1 October. Pacific Magazine,
10 August 2006.
Tonga’s Head of Customs said that
the Customs PC Trade System is expected
to be implemented on 1 October 2006. PC
Trade is an electronic lodgment and clearance
system for importers and exporters that
is designed to streamline the current
process of clearing goods. It is envisaged
that a large percentage of imported goods
into Tonga will be able to be delivered
without the need for further Customs intervention
at the border. Post-clearance compliance
audits will be fully introduced which
will allow Customs to measure compliance
with Customs legislation. The electronic
system will also allow for the phasing
out of most registers and the need to
manually record details of imported, exported
and warehoused goods will no longer be
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.pacificislands.cc/pina/pinadefault2.php?urlpinaid=23994
Customs exemption for goods whose price
doesn’t surpass 100 euros. The
New Anatolian, 4 August 2006.
All kinds of goods, sent from abroad to
a person within the Turkish Customs Zone
by letter, by post package or by fast
cargo transportation, and of which the
real value doesn’t exceed 100 euros
per sending, will be exempted from customs
duty. The decision does not include alcohol
and tobacco as well as derivative products
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-12254.html
Viet Nam cuts tariffs for Cambodia’s
farm produce. Nhan Dan News,
5 August 2006
Effective from 1 September, Viet Nam will
grant a zero tax rate to 40 agricultural
products imported from Cambodia. However,
rice and tobacco will be subject to Viet
Nam’s import quotas. The new tariff
structure reflects Viet Nam’s efforts
to reduce poverty in Cambodia and increase
trade relations with its southwestern
neighbor. Two-way trade between Viet Nam
and Cambodia in the first half of this
year increased 28.7 per cent from the
corresponding period last year to US$
Accessed on 5 August < http://www.nhandan.com.vn/english/business/050806/finance_vietnam.htm
Viet Nam Prime Minister calls for
tariff cut ‘roadmap’ ahead
of WTO membership. Thanh Nien
News, 11 August 2006.
The Prime Minister of Viet Nam told the
Ministries of Finance and Trade to publish
a roadmap for tariff reductions to comply
with international commitments Viet Nam
has made to its trading partners. Further,
the Ministry of Finance must also consider
ways to offset the reduced revenues following
the tax cuts. Together with other agencies,
it must draft comprehensive plans to raise,
allocate and effectively use foreign aid.
In bilateral negotiations on market access
with the 26 trading partners, taxation
emerged as the most complex and sensitive
issue. The 22 per cent reduction in import
duties will be implemented over a five-year
period after Viet Nam becomes a member.
Reductions vary from sector to sector,
ranging from a two per cent reduction
on imported minerals to a 63.2 per cent
reduction on textiles and garments. The
tariffs on imported seafood will be cut
by 38.4 per cent, on leather and rubber
by 21.5 per cent and on agricultural products
by 10.6 per cent.
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.thanhniennews.com/politics/?catid=1&newsid=18768
C. NON-TARIFF MEASURES
Non-tariff barriers to be eliminated
by 2012. Financial Express,
24 August 2006.
ASEAN will fully eliminate non-tariff barriers
(NTBs) by 2012. The 38th ASEAN economic
ministers meeting announced that NTBs will
be dismantled beginning 2008, 2009 and 2010
for the developed countries and 2010, 2011
and 2012 for the less developed countries.
These NTBs include non-automatic licensing
requirements, quantitative restrictions,
technical and control measures and inspection
systems which are deemed to be trade-restrictive.
Furthermore, the meeting reiterated commitment
towards realizing the establishment of the
ASEAN single window by 2008 for Asean-6
(comprising Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and
Thailand) and 2012 for the CLMV (comprising
Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic
Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam) .
Accessed on 24 August < http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=138226
Government moves to make businesses
aware of anti-dumping rules. The
Daily Star, 16 August 2006.
The Government of Bangladesh has initiated
a campaign programme to make businesspeople
aware of how to handle anti-dumping measures.
To this end, the Ministry of Commerce
formed a committee to examine the existing
anti-dumping rules and to disseminate
information to the businesspeople so that
they can take safeguard measures to protect
Accessed on 16 August < http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/08/16/d60816050157.htm
China rules against EU potato starch
exporters in anti-dumping case. People’s
Daily Online, 19 August 2006.
The Ministry of Commerce has ruled that
potato starch producers from the European
Union are guilty of dumping on the Chinese
market, damaging China’s domestic
industry. Effective from 18 August, importers
of potato starch from the EU have to pay
duties, the amount of which depends on
the extent of the dumping by each producer.
It will range from 35 per cent to 57.1
Accessed on 23 August < http://english.people.com.cn/200608/19/eng20060819_294615.html
EUROPEAN UNION (EU)
EU to push for tariff on fridges of
the Republic of Korea. The Korea
Times, 15 August 2006.
The European Union has confirmed anti-dumping
duties on large side-by-side refrigerators
of the Republic of Korea. The duties are
set at between 3.4 per cent and 12.2 per
cent. The Republic of Korea holds about
65 per cent of the side-by-side refrigerator
market in Europe. The United Kingdom was
the largest single importer of Republic
of Korean side-by-side refrigerators,
followed by France and Germany.
Accessed on 16 August < http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/biz/200608/kt2006081518202911870.htm
Government imposes 108 per cent anti-dumping
tariff on Chinese silk products. Bharat
Textile, 12 August 2006.
India has imposed 57 to 108 per cent emergency
tariff on silk from China to control dumping
policy. Currently, India is conducting
an anti-dumping investigation on silk
products from China but has not posted
any result over the matter.
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.bharattextile.com/newsitems/2000938
Shrimp consignments to Japan to carry
lab reports. Financial Express,
14 August 2006.
Japan has announced that all consignments
of aquaculture shrimp from India to Japan
have to be accompanied by a test/analytical
report. The Indian Marine Products Export
Development Authority (Mpeda) has published
a list of eight Export Inspection Agency-approved
laboratories whose certificate is mandatory
for shipping out to Japan. Mpeda states
that without certificates stating that
metabolite is absent, the consignments
would be detained and tested there. Even
with the test report, the quarantine station
in Japan could test consignments as part
of monitoring. Mpeda also published list
of agriculture chemicals such as pesticide,
herbicide, etc. and veterinary drug such
as antibiotic for which the minimum levels
had been fixed by Japan.
Accessed on 16 August < http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=137252
Japan lifts ban on United States beef
imports. MSNBC.com, 27 July
Japan announced the resumption of beef
imports from the United Sates, ending
a ban imposed over concerns about mad
cow disease and removing a strain in relations
with the United States. The latest ban
was imposed in January 2006 when Japanese
inspectors checking a veal shipment found
banned parts that are believed to be risky.
It was lifted after Japanese representatives
toured United States facilities to ensure
they met safety guidelines.
Accessed on 28 July < http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14067330/
Japan to extend anti-dumping tariffs
on United States for another year.
Yahoo News, 4 August 2006.
Japan has decided to maintain 15 per cent
punitive tariffs on United States ball
bearings and steel products until 31 August
2007 in retaliation against the continued
implementation of a controversial United
States anti-dumping trade law known as
the Byrd Amendment. The WTO has ruled
the Byrd Amendment as illegal because
it distributes funds to United States
firms affected by unfair trade. It has
provoked ire from major trading partners,
leading to retaliatory sanctions from
Japan, the European Union and Canada.
The measures, which originally started
last year, will become effective 1 September
after the cabinet gives its approval.
Accessed on 17 August
Anti-dumping duties imposed over peaches.
Stuff, 11 August 2006.
New Zealand has moved to protect local
canned peaches by imposing anti-dumping
duties on peaches being imported from
China. A dumping investigation is currently
under way and due to be completed by the
end of August.
Accessed on 16 August < http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3760840a13,00.html
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Commerce Department finds unfair dumping
and subsidies on lined paper products
from India. United States Department
of Commerce, 1 August 2006.
The Department of Commerce announced its
affirmative final determinations in the
anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations
on lined paper products from India. It
determined that Indian producers/exporters
have sold lined paper products in the
United States at 3.91 to 23.17 per cent
less than fair market value. It also determined
that Indian producers/exporters of lined
paper products have received net countervailable
subsidies ranging from 1.67 to 10.24 per
cent. The United States International
Trade Commission (ITC) is now scheduled
to make its final injury determinations
in September. Under the law, the ITC examines
whether the United States industry is
injured or threatened with injury by imports
of the subject merchandise.
Accessed on 15 August < http://trade.gov/press/press_releases/2006/linedpaper_080106.asp
D. INDUSTRY AND TECHNOLOGY-RELATED INFORMATION
State Environmental Protection Administration
to tighten environment criteria. China
Daily, 18 August 2006.
The State Environmental Protection Administration
(SEPA) will draw up and update nearly 1,400
environmental protection criteria during
the 11th five-year plan (2006-2010) period,
covering areas such as pollution, high-energy
consumption industries and over-capacity.
Among the near 1,400 criteria, seven will
be related to environmental quality, 121
will concern pollution control and 1,122
will pinpoint environmental requirements
of different sectors. New standards are
expected governing circular economy, environmentally
friendly industry, emissions monitoring,
nuclear and electromagnetic radiation and
measures for dealing with emergencies.
Accessed on 18 August <
India to put US$ 1 billion in African
oil. BBC, 14 August 2006.
India plans to invest US$ 1 billion into
developing oil and mining projects in
Africa’s Republic of Côte
d'Ivoire over the next five years. The
country hopes to tap into the region’s
vast oil wealth by accessing the Gulf
of Guinea’s shoreline. Furthermore,
to boost trade ties, India has said it
was looking to open new factories in the
region. India’s Oil and Natural
Gas Commission has already invested US$
12 million to explore an offshore block
in the region, which it is now drilling.
Accessed on 17 August < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4791381.stm
Government to launch three incentives
to support electronic industry. Antara,
31 July 2006.
Indonesia will launch three different
incentives to contribute to the growth
and development of the electronic industry
in the country, especially in facing the
current gloomy market. The three incentives
are the expansion of the abolition of
luxury goods sales tax on electronic products;
an incentive to fresh investments under
the revised Government Regulation No 148
of 2000, namely a 30 per cent cut of income
tax and reduction of amortization period
to five years; and an incentive on the
extent of local content. Under this ruling,
locally made electronic products might
be prioritized in State budget-funded
Government procurement of goods and services.
The Ministry of Industry is also considering
the abolition of import duties on electronic
components like plastics and flat steel
which are still not domestically manufactured.
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.antara.co.id/en/seenws/?id=17344
Japan and Viet Nam sign scientific
cooperation agreement. Bilaterals,
22 August 2006.
Japan and Viet Nam have signed an agreement
to facilitate exchanges of information,
scientists and technicians; and provide
training to improve professional skills
and the protection of intellectual property
rights. Under the agreement, each side
will ensure favorable conditions for individuals
and units from both private and public
sectors to join cooperative activities.
Accessed on 23 August <
Kazakhstan’s national oil company
works on a refinery project in Turkey.
The New Anatolian, 14 August
2006. Kazakhstan’s national oil
company is carrying out feasibility studies
to build a refinery in the Black Sea at
the coast of Turkey to transfer Kazakh
oil to the Mediterranean region.
Accessed on 23 August < http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-12711.html
EU to boost biotech ties with Malaysia.
MIDA, 10 August 2006.
The EU aims to further improve cooperation
with Malaysia, particularly in the field
of research in biotechnology and stated
that Malaysia’s environmental heritage
had great economic potential to serve
as a renewable resource for the biotechnology
industry. In this respect, the EU invited
researchers to take a closer look at how
the EU-funded research programmes could
support their researches and link up Indonesia-based
researchers with EU-based research institutions
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.mida.gov.my/beta/news/view_news.php?id=2651
Grant project launched to upgrade training
and skills in Mongolia’s construction
industry. ADB, 4 August 2006.
The Asian Development Bank has launched
a grant project to enhance job and income-earning
opportunities in the construction industry
for unemployed youth and adults of Mongolia.
The project, backed by a grant of US$
1 million, will focus on boosting skills
of those wanting to enter construction.
It will establish public-private partnerships
to promote training, design and test a
new training system that utilizes approaches
such as on-the job training and placements
within the industry, and upgrade selected
public and private training centers, including
facilities and the teaching and learning
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.adb.org/Media/Articles/2006/10372-Mongolia-skills-training/
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Incentives offered for greenhouse gas
cut. The Korea Times, 27
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and
Energy (MOCIE) announced that financial
incentives would be given to firms voluntarily
cutting down on global warming gases such
as carbon dioxide and methane. Companies
will be required to submit a gas-reduction
plan to the Korea Energy Management Corporation
(KEMC) for verification. The cash incentive
is designed to encourage more companies
to adopt environment-friendly technologies
and invest in other measures to reduce
Accessed on 28 August < http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/biz/200608/kt2006082718121111890.htm
Viet Nam and Venezuela sign energy
pact. Than Nienh News, 31
Venezuela and Viet Nam have signed an
energy cooperation pact. Besides the energy
cooperation pact, ministers of the two
countries, which have only set up embassies
in Hanoi and Caracas over the past year,
signed a diplomatic framework pact and
an agreement on culture cooperation.
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.thanhniennews.com/politics/?catid=1&newsid=18308
Viet Nam and Cambodia to share oil
resources. Thanh Nien News,
21 August 2006.
Cambodia and Viet Nam have announced that
they will cooperate to study and explore
Cambodia’s potentially rich offshore
oil reserves. Viet Nam is an established
oil producer, ranking third in oil production
among the 10-nation ASEAN. Most of its
production comes from offshore basement
reservoirs, similar to Cambodia’s
richest known reservoirs. Cambodia said
it hoped drilling would begin by 2008.
Accessed on 23 August < http://www.thanhniennews.com/business/?catid=2&newsid=19098
E. INVESTMENT-RELATED INFORMATION
Bangladesh Bank eases conditions for
foreign firms. The Daily Star,
17 August 2006.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the central bank
of Bangladesh, has relaxed the terms and
conditions for borrowing from commercial
banks by foreign companies. If the debt-equity
ratio of a foreign company does not exceed
50:50, the company will be able to take
loan from a commercial bank without any
prior approval from the BB. In case of a
joint venture company, it will not need
to apply for the central bank’s approval
to borrow up to an amount equivalent to
its local investment from a commercial bank.
Accessed on 23 August < http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/08/17/d60817050167.htm
Insurers face new regulation. People’s
Daily Online, 15 August 2006.
Effective from 1 September, insurers in
China will be banned from including survival
benefits in their medical and disease
insurance policies. When selling policies
to protect against losses caused by medical
bills and diseases, insurers can’t
include the survival benefits. The new
rules also stipulate that when insurers
are selling health policies as an appended
product to a main policy, the effective
term of the health policy shall be at
least as long as that of the main policy.
The latest move is aimed at protecting
policy holders who have complained about
getting no compensation from insurance
Accessed on 16 August < http://english.people.com.cn/200608/15/eng20060815_293317.html
China tightens bank lending in real
estate sector. China Economic
Net, 17 August 2006.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission
(CBRC) has issued a new policy tightening
bank credit in the real estate sector
in the hope of fending off possible risks
fuelled by sizzling property lending.
Under the new policy, financial institutions
shall not grant loans to property development
projects whose developers fail to raise
35 per cent of the investment from their
own resources. The new policy also tightens
lending to developers who are suspected
of hoarding land and property to artificially
enhance expectations of widespread sales.
For personal housing mortgage loans, the
new policy suggests that banks will decide
how much a borrower will have to put down
based on their credit worthiness, instead
of using a unified standard.
Accessed on 18 August
China enacts new bankruptcy law.
BBC, 28 August 2006.
China has passed a new bankruptcy law
that will address not only state but also
private firms for the first time. The
legislation, which gives greater protection
to creditors, will apply to foreign and
domestic firms alike. The move brings
China more in line with market-based countries,
where it is standard practice to pay creditors
first. The bill will also permit firms
that are struggling financially to request
Accessed on 28 August < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5291910.stm
Malaysia raises foreign ownership of
insurers to 49 per cent. Business
Times, 23 August 2006.
Malaysia has raised the bar for foreign
ownership in local insurance firms to
49 per cent from 30 per cent previously,
to harness the potential for financially
strong and internationally known foreign
players. The move is expected to enhance
the development of domestic capabilities,
particularly in the areas of technical
expertise, innovation and improved operating
Accessed on 23 August
First mutual fund launched abroad.
Business Recorder, 28 July 2006.
Pakistan has made its first portfolio
investment abroad by launching the Pakistan
International Element Islamic Fund (PIIF).
The investment has been made in three
different United States-run Islamic mutual
funds, one representing large-capital
investment in United States blue chip
companies, one in in diverse European
companies and one in leading Chinese,
Japanese, Republic of Korean companies.
Accessed on 28 July
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Cambodia and Republic of Korea plan
joint bourse. The Korea Times,
7 August 2006.
The Republic of Korea will establish a
joint stock exchange in Cambodia as part
of moves to strengthen ties with Southeast
Asian bourses. The Korea Exchange sent
a draft MoU to the Cambodian Government
to this effect. The two sides are expected
to sign a contract soon and to start work
on the establishment of the bourse within
this year. It is the second time for Korea
Exchange to be involved in a stock exchange
building project overseas after a similar
project in Viet Nam in 2000.
Accessed on 7 August <http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/biz/200608/kt2006080717495611880.htm
Ministry of Social Welfare of Turkmenistan
to set up pension accumulation. Trend,
16 August 2006.
The President of Turkmenistan has signed
a resolution approving the regulations
on organization and maintaining of personified
records of retirement insurance as well
as on the procedures and terms of investment
of pension accumulations. The document
was signed in connection with the adoption
of the revised law on pensions to improve
organization and maintenance of records
of pension accumulations and their investment.
Under the new resolution, the Ministry
of Social Welfare is tasked to set up
a department for pension accumulations.
Accessed on 16 August < http://www.trend.az/?mod=shownews&news=25641&lang=en
Viet Nam releases decree on investments
abroad. Thanh Nien News,
12 August 2006.
Viet Nam has issued a decree supporting
the new Investment Law to provide a legal
framework and simplify procedures for
domestic investments abroad. The first
decree issued on the law allows domestic
businesses, both public and private, to
go ahead with their overseas investment
plans if they fail to receive a reply
from Government agencies within 15 days
of application. The Prime Minister’s
approval is required for investing above
a certain amount in the banking, finance,
insurance, mass media and telecom sectors.
The limit is VD 150 billion for State
companies and VD 300 for others. For investment
in other sectors, the limits are VD 300
billion and VD 600 billion.
Accessed on 15 August < http://www.thanhniennews.com/politics/?catid=1&newsid=18783
F. DID YOU KNOW THAT...?
… a microscope will aid fight
against piracy of CDs, DVDs in Thailand?
A package of optical-disc forensics equipment,
including a microscope, camera and specialized
software, will aid efforts to combat intellectual
property piracy in Thailand by enabling
authorities to identify compact discs
and digital video discs manufactured by
Read the whole report from the USInfo:
Accessed on 15 August
… a waterproof rice gene
has been identified?
Scientists say they have identified a
gene that will allow rice plants to survive
for up to two weeks when being completely
submerged in water
Read the whole report from the Truth
Accessed on 15 August
… ASEAN will forge a single
regulatory scheme for cosmetics in 2008?
ASEAN will establish a single regulatory
scheme for the region’s cosmetics
industry from the start of 2008. The scheme
will establish common standards, lowering
manufacturing costs and increasing trade
in the goods traded within ASEAN.
Read the whole report from Channel News
Accessed on 23 August
… Beijing’s ATMs
will recognize your face?
Beijing will equip ATM machines with
a face recognition system to detect criminal
suspects and prevent cash withdrawal frauds.
Read the whole report from SINA English:
Accessed on 15 August
… new oil and gas deposits
were discovered in Myanmar?
Signs of new oil and gas deposits have
been discovered off Myanmar’s coast,
raising the prospect of further foreign
investment in the country.
Read the whole report from Asia News
Accessed on 23 August
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