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Fri, Nov 21, 2003 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Internet
Free software offered

Software maker Computer Associates is offering worldwide PC users free anti-virus software as part of an effort to fight the epidemic of Internet attacks. The company said it would offer the EZ-Armor anti-virus program and a firewall to qualified Windows home computer users. "The widespread embrace of PCs and the Internet has put extremely powerful technology in the hands of consumers," said Toby Weiss, senior vice president at CA. "To ensure the safety and integrity of the Internet experience, we are making CA's powerful enterprise-class security technology readily available to home computer users while supporting Microsoft's `Protect Your PC' campaign." The company cited a study showing there are roughly 105 virus infections per 1,000 PCs per month. This has increased steadily from 32 per 1,000 in 1998. The announcement was made at the Comdex computer industry trade show.

■ Electronics

Philips boosts production

LG Philips LCD, a joint venture between South Korea's LG Group and Royal Philips Electronics, plans to boost spending to build a production line for flat panels to meet increasing demand for large-screen televisions. LG Philips plans to spend 3.3 trillion won (US$2.8 billion) this year to build what is known as a sixth-generation liquid-crystal display production line capable of handling 90,000 sheets a month, 50 percent more than originally planned, spokesman Kim Chang Dong said. Kim declined to comment on a Maeil Business Newspaper report that said the spending plan is about 1 trillion won more than earlier projections. The production line will make panels for televisions with screens larger than 81cm, the report said. LG Philips, Samsung Electronics and other flat-panel producers are boosting investments to build larger-sized panels, betting demand for bigger flat-screen televisions will increase. Samsung Electronics, which was the world's biggest flat-panel display maker last year, is jointly investing with Sony to build a production line larger than LG Philips.

■ Statistics

China defends GDP figures

China's director of statistics defended the nation's GDP figures yesterday, saying despite imperfections the method of compiling data basically reflected economic growth in the country. "I can confidently tell everyone that China's statistical work and method of collecting data is basically integrated with internationally accepted standards," said Li Deshui, director of the National Bureau of Statistics.

■ Trade

EU ready to scrap rules

The EU is prepared to scrap its efforts to draft rules on customs simplification and the awarding of government contracts under international trade law, in an effort to revive talks that collapsed two months ago. WTO discussions foundered when developing nations, led by India, refused to act on EU proposals for investment, competition, customs red tape and procurement contracts to be written into WTO law. On the final day of negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy offered to shelve two of the four issues -- investment and competition -- to save the talks from failure. Instead, those rules may be more effective as a series of agreements that the WTO's 148 members can chose to sign, he said.

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