Digital sales set to rise
Asia Optical Co Inc, Eastman Kodak Co and Nokia Corp are among the companies that some analysts say will benefit from a rise in digital camera purchases even as competition squeezes profit, Barron's reported. Digital camera sales in the US are expected to surpass conventional cameras for the first time next year, selling 52 million units compared with 40 million, according to research firm iSuppli, Barron's reported. Camera prices will decline to US$250 on average next year from US$290 this year, iSuppli said. Asia Optical of Taiwan is one of several companies, including Premier Image Technology Corp, that is likely to get more business as bigger name makers such as Nikon Corp outsource manufacturing to reduce costs, Steve Werber, who runs the Seligman Global Technology fund, told Barron's.
Japan mulls retaliation
Japan may boost tariffs on coal, chemicals, steel, textiles and electrical machinery imported from the US after Washington imposed tariffs on steel imports in March last year, the Nihon Keizai newspaper said. Japan's tariffs may cost US exporters about ?10 billion (US$92.3 million) a year, the report said, without saying where it obtained the information. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry intends to inform the WTO by the end of this month about the planned increase in duties unless the US ends its import restrictions, the report said.
■ Hong Kong
Habour Fest overspent
Hong Kong will have to pay the full HK$100 million (US$13 million) set aside for the Harbour Fest series of music concerts after ticket sales and sponsorships failed to meet targets, the South China Morning Post reported. The cost of holding the concerts from Oct. 17 to Nov. 9 was HK$152.9 million, about HK$36 million more than budgeted, the report said, citing preliminary figures given by the government. Hong Kong lawmakers yesterday criticized the government and the American Chamber of Commerce, the event organizer, for overspending on the event, the report said.
Japanese hiring part-timers
Aeon Co, Ito-Yokado Co and other supermarket operators are hiring more part-time employees to reduce costs, the Nihon Keizai newspaper said, without citing where it obtained the information. As of the end of August, there were 220,000 part-time workers at 14 large supermarkets, or almost three-fourths of their total work force, the report said. The figure is 31,000 more than in February 2001, when the percentage of part-timers stood at 69 percent, the paper said.
Mexico to talk to Mercosur
Mexican President Vicente Fox said his country is set to begin trade talks with members of Mercosur to reach an agreement with the South American trade bloc. "We're in agreement to begin negotiating, holding dialogue and advancing on this Mercosur-Mexico accord," Fox said in a transcribed version of a press conference in Bolivia. "Certainly, we will soon have it." The Mercosur comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Fox signed a trade agreement between Mexico and Uruguay yesterday during the 13th Iberoamerican Summit in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
HELPING HAND: Taiwan is ready to help other nations and will not sit idly by while the global fight against the coronavirus continues, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is to offer humanitarian assistance to nations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by sending them masks and medicine, as well as sharing with them an electronic system that the government has been using to track down people that need to be quarantined, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. With the nation’s daily production having reached 13 million masks and soon to reach 15 million, the government is to donate 10 million masks to medical personnel in nations most severely affected by the coronavirus, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei. The