■ EVA opens cargo center in HK
EVA Airways (長榮航空), one of Taiwan's leading carriers, said yesterday it has opened a cargo coordination center in Hong Kong, eyeing the booming business in southern China. "The center serves as a bridge between southern China and Taiwan or other destinations, coordinating EVA Air's cargo services via Hong Kong or Macau," an EVA Air spokeswoman said. In the past, such coordination task was done by the company's headquarters in Taiwan. "The presence of the Hong Kong center is expected to streamline the company's operations by taking advantage of the geographical proximity with southern China," the spokeswoman said. Last year, cargo services between Taiwan and Hong Kong and between Taiwan and Macau accounted for about one-third of EVA Air's cargo revenue, she said.
■ BNP to raise index target
BNP Paribas Securities (Taiwan) Co announced yesterday that it will raise its index target for the local bourse to 10,000 points by the end of next year, citing a greater probability of the normalization of cross-strait relations and increasing participation by retail investors in the stock market. The French brokerage in January predicted that the TAIEX would peak at 7,800 points this year and may further rise to 9,000 points on any positive developments in cross-strait relations.
■ Su announces conference
A sustainable economic development conference will be held on June 18 and 19, hosted by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), Vice Premier Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) announced yesterday. Some 150 people will be invited to attend, Council for Economic Planning and Development Chairman Hu Sheng-cheng (胡勝正) said after an organizing committee meeting. He also said that the conclusions reached at the conference will be implemented by the government, although the conference will not be seen as "part of the establishment." The conference will have five panels dealing with social security, industrial competitiveness, finance and economics, global and cross-Taiwan Strait issues, and government efficiency.
■ TAITRONICS going to Thailand
This year's TAITRONICS show will open on July 27 for four days in Bangkok, Thailand -- the first time it has been held in a foreign country, according to a press release issued on Sunday by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會). TAITRONICS, a show held annually by TAITRA for the past 33 years, is a major showcase for local products related to electronics, computers, audio-video and the Internet. A TAITRA official said the total value of Taiwan's high-tech exports to Thailand has increased by 30 percent annually in recent years. For that reason, holding TAITRONICS in Bangkok will bring Taiwanese products close to potential buyers, he noted. The official said besides buyers in Thailand, the show also expects retailers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and China to attend. According to TAITRA, 155 companies have registered for nearly 300 stands and there will also be two theme halls of "automobile electronics" and "telecom electronics" at the Bangkok show.
■ NT dollar falls
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, decreasing NT$0.250 to close at NT$31.648. A total of US$1.48 billion changed hands during the day's trading.