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Wed, Aug 23, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Trade
Fowl tariffs worry Bangkok

Thailand said yesterday it would send a team of trade negotiators to Brussels to try to minimize the impact of planned changes to EU tariffs on chicken, one of the kingdom's most important exports. Under the new system, the EU plans to introduce quotas for cooked chicken, salted chicken and turkey by next month. Exports falling within the quotas would be taxed at the existing rates, but exports beyond that level would be taxed at a rate of 102 euros (US$130.80) per 100kg. "We will ask the EU to set quotas on chicken exports from Thailand not to below 140,000 tonnes a year," said Chantra Puranariksha, director-general of the export promotion department. Thailand last year shipped 106,503 tonnes worth some 265.8 million euros of processed chicken to the EU.

■ Taxation

HK, PRC sign tax deal

Hong Kong and Chinese officials have signed a new taxation deal aimed at attracting overseas investors to use the territory as a base to invest on the mainland. Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權) said the preferential tax treatment will enable businesses and individuals to better assess their investment positions and foster closer investment and trade links. Under the new arrangement, the top rates for withholding tax for dividends received by a Hong Kong business will be cut to 5 percent from 10 percent if it holds a stake of more than 25 percent in a Chinese company. The top rates for withholding tax for interest and royalties by a Hong Kong business will be reduced to 7 percent from 10 percent. The pact extends the scope of the original deal on business profits and income from personal services signed by both parties in 1998, ensuring the same income will not be doubly taxed in the two tax jurisdictions.

■ Computers

Cisco to buy Arroyo Video

Cisco Systems Inc, the world's biggest maker of computer-networking gear, agreed to buy Arroyo Video Solutions Inc for US$92 million to add software that lets phone and cable firm offer more on-demand services. Arroyo's software expands the services available on set-top boxes, computers and mobile devices, Cisco said yesterday in a statement. The deal follows the US$6.9 billion purchase in February of Scientific-Atlanta Inc, the second-biggest maker of cable TV boxes. "We're delivering more and more types of content to more and more devices," Paul Bosco, a Cisco vice president, said in an interview. There's increasing demand for the "ability to watch and listen to what you want, where you want it."

■ Software

Korean Windows released

US software giant Microsoft will release two Korean versions of its Windows operating system this week in compliance with the local anti-trust body's decision, company officials said. The Fair Trade Commission has set tomorrow as a deadline for Microsoft to sell Windows software either unbundling Media Player and Messenger or carrying Web links for downloading competitors' software. "We are bringing out two new [Windows XP] versions for Korea that comply with the order," said Oliver Roll, spokesman for Microsoft. "The new versions, all these compliant versions of XP Home and Professional, will be made available from Aug. 24." Roll, however, said the US firm's ongoing legal lawsuit against the anti-trust ruling at the South Korean appeals court remained unaffected.

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