Fujiya president resigns
The president of a major Japanese cake and candy maker yesterday said he was stepping down after acknowledging the company had repeatedly used old milk and other ingredients in cream puffs and other products. "I am resigning to take responsibility," president Rintaro Fujii, 64, said on nationally televised news. In a news release yesterday, Fujiya said an internal investigation unveiled 18 cases over the last seven years in which expired ingredients were used at a plant in Saitama, near Tokyo, including milk, cream, eggs, blueberry jam and apple filling in products such as cream puffs.
Thailand relaxes controls
The central bank yesterday lifted the ceiling on the amount local companies can invest abroad and said it may relax controls on some foreign borrowings used to finance local investments. The ceiling for overseas investments for companies and individuals was raised to US$50 million a year, from a previous limit of US$10 million, the Bank of Thailand said. The central bank governor said separately that some funds borrowed abroad may be exempt from a 30 percent lockup for 12 months.
FDI up in China
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China, excluding banks and other financial companies, rose 5 percent last year to US$63 billion, the government said yesterday. Speaking at a conference on commercial policy, Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai (薄熙來) said the figure marked a reversal of an investment decline in 2005, the Xinhua news agency reported. With banks and financial companies added, China's foreign investment in 2005 reached a record-high US$72.4 billion, figures reported earlier by the ministry showed.
Seoul eases foreign limits
South Korea yesterday announced a set of measures to boost outbound investment by local companies as part of efforts to curb the won's rise against the dollar which has been putting pressure on exports. Finance Minister Kwon O-kyu said the government would ease a cap on overseas property purchases by South Korean investors and exempt local investors from capital gains tax on earnings from equity investments abroad for three years. The US$1 million cap on real estate investment abroad will be raised to US$3 million, he said. "The move is aimed at stimulating outbound investment by South Korean firms," he said, forecasting a capital outflow of up to US$15 billion.
Japanese orders up 3.8%
Japan's core machinery orders rose 3.8 percent in November from October, the government said yesterday, suggesting business investment will ensure the country's economy continues to recover. The figure exceeded the forecast by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, who estimated on average that core orders would grow 3.4 percent. The data marked two months of growth following a 2.8 percent rise in October. Machinery orders are widely regarded as a leading indicator of capital investment. The data excludes often volatile orders from utilities and for ships. The figures may add to speculation that the central bank will raise interest rates to 0.50 percent from 0.25 percent at its two-day monetary policy meeting ending on Thursday.
Dignitaries from 47 countries yesterday congratulated President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the commencement of her second term and highlighted Taiwan’s achievements in democracy and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his congratulations a day earlier. As of noon yesterday, 263 high-ranking officials from 47 countries and global organizations had congratulated Tsai via statements, letters, social media posts or recorded footage, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, while releasing a collection of footage sent by selected dignitaries. The governments of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies sent their congratulations, as did the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy,
REASSURING NUMBERS: Taiwan’s test capacity ranks sixth or seventh among 91 nations, and is not low compared with other nations, Chen Shih-chung said The quarantine period for foreigners visiting Taiwan for business would vary based on the COVID-19 situation of the nation or territory that they are coming from, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported the 13th consecutive day of no new cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told reporters at the center’s daily briefing that modified rules covering foreign business visitors had been completed and were ready for him to sign. The complete details of the new rules would be released later this week, he said. Foreigners on long business trips would have
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,