■ World economy
UN predicts 3 percent growth
The UN is projecting global economic growth of just over 3 percent for this year and is calling for global economic cooperation to battle risks and fight "investment anemia." The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2006 report, which was released on Tuesday, said that the slowdown reflects "a maturing of the recent global economic recovery," and added that terrorist attacks and natural disasters are taking a toll. Another threat, according to the report, was in figuring out how to boost investment. Last month the International Monetary Fund forecast global economic growth of 4.3 percent for this year. Many economists believe that growth will slow slightly this year, mostly because of steep oil costs.
FedEx buys out PRC partner
With a US$400 million agreement to buy out its partner in a Chinese joint venture, FedEx Corp is poised to take over a package shipping network in China and boost its presence throughout the Asian region. FedEx announced plans on Tuesday to take full control of a 50-percent joint venture begun with the Tianjin Datian W. Group in 1999. The venture, called FedEx-DTW International Priority, runs an express package shipping network that includes 89 pickup and delivery locations in cities across China. Memphis-based FedEx said that it hopes to complete the acquisition during its 2007 fiscal year, which begins on June 1. After the acquisition, FedEx will have more than 6,000 employees in China working for "an express domestic service branded FedEx, owned by FedEx and operated by FedEx," company spokesman Jess Bunn said.
Asia-Pacific air traffic soars
Air traffic for Asia-Pacific carriers last month rose by nearly 1 percent year-on-year to 10.96 million passengers, bringing overall traffic for last year to 128 million, an industry group said yesterday. For air cargo, measured in terms freight-tonne-kilometers, traffic rose an annual 6.4 percent last month to 4.6 million tonnes, the Kuala Lumpur-based Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said. "The outlook for Asia-Pacific's aviation industry in 2006 remains fairly positive, although the burden of high oil prices on the global economy remains a concern," AAPA's director-general Andrew Herdman said.
Web site to monitor spyware
A corporate-backed Web site being launched by researchers from Harvard and Oxford universities seeks to become a clearinghouse for Internet users on spyware and other malicious software. The site, which Google Inc, Sun Microsystems Inc and Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) are underwriting, will ultimately identify purveyors of such programs by name and provide information to help consumers decide whether a program is safe to download. "It's important for users to understand what risks they face and try to help them identify which software is likely to be problematic,'' said Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist and one of the Internet's chief inventors. The nonprofit Consumer Reports WebWatch is serving as an unpaid adviser.