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Mon, Jul 12, 2004 - Page 12 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Petroleum

CPC to buy Iraqi oil

State-run Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC, 中油) has reached an agreement with Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) to import 1.8 million barrels of oil from Iraq, the Central News Agency (CNA) said on Saturday. "CPC has reached agreement with SOMO on importing 1.8 million barrels of Iraqi oil between July 1 and December 31, averaging 1,000 barrels a day," CNA quoted CPC President Wenent Pan (潘文炎) as saying. During the rule of Saddam Hussein, CPC tried to import Iraqi oil but all efforts failed, possibly due to lack of diplomatic ties between Taipei and Baghdad. Taiwan imports about 600,000 barrels of oil each day. Seventy percent of this oil comes from the Middle East, 20 percent from Southeast Asia, and 10 percent from Africa and Latin America. Pan said CPC hopes to diversify its source of import.

■ Airlines

Landing rights expanded

Singapore offered landing rights in the island-state to India's Jet Airways and Air Sahara landing rights, The Hindu newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information. The offer was made after Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (吳作棟) held discussions with Indian officials in New Delhi, the report said. Prime Minister Goh is on a visit to India. Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the only three that by Air Sahara and Jet Airways, India's biggest private airlines, fly to. The two airlines, which fly to most major cities in India, have been asking the Indian government for permission to fly to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. At the moment, only Indian state carriers Indian Airlines Ltd and Air India Ltd fly to Singapore. The government permits local private airlines to fly to South Asian countries only.

■ Automobiles

Japanese get eco-tax

Japan's automakers may charge passenger-car owners as much as ?18,000 next year to pay for the recycling of vehicles, the Asahi Shimbun said, without saying where it got the information. Owners of cars with engines larger than 2 liters will pay from ?10,000 to ?18,000, while those with engines smaller than 2 liters will pay ?7,000 to ?16,000, the paper said. An additional data processing and administration charge of ?510 to ?610 may also be charged, it said. The charge will be levied by automakers on all new cars sold starting in January, while current car owners will pay the charge when they take their vehicles in for maintenance, the report said.

■ Mobile Phones

KDDI pushes fuel cells

Japan's second-largest mobile phone carrier, KDDI Corp, plans to develop handsets powered by small fuel cells, and to commercialize them in 2007, a news report said yesterday. KDDI wants to develop the phones through separate tie-ups with high-tech firms Hitachi Ltd and Toshiba Corp, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said. A fuel-cell-powered handset is expected to last more than twice as long as existing sets that use lithium-ion batteries, the newspaper said. As mobile phones become increasingly multifunctional, equipped with television viewing and game-playing capabilities, they are consuming more and more power, the newspaper said. Japan's top mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc has also been conducting research on a fuel cell for mobile phones, but KDDI will be the first to start a development project that seeks to commercialize the product, it said.

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