G7 renews push for Doha
Finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the G7 leading industrial countries said on Saturday they supported resumption of stalled Doha trade talks aimed at tearing down barriers to global trade. "We remain committed to resisting protectionist sentiment and fully support the re-launch of the Doha trade negotiations announced in Geneva," the world finance chiefs said in a final communique issued at the end of their two-day summit in Essen, Germany. "We firmly believe that all participants have the responsibility to ensure a successful outcome of the Doha round as it will enhance global growth and contribute to poverty reduction," the G7 statement said.
Greece targets tax evaders
Short of funds for social spending, Greece is putting the squeeze on a vast army of tax evaders -- believed to run in the millions -- to bring in the necessary cash. The chosen method was through a "guilty conscience" campaign to root out a decades-old mentality that sees dodging the taxman as an admirable feat of skill. The exact size of Greece's black market economy is unknown. But a 2001 study by the Greek foundation for economic and industrial research placed it at over 35 percent of GDP, worth close to 44 billion euros (US$57.2 billion). The study also found that 50 percent of Greeks would not declare their full income if they thought they could get away with it.
Hindalco to acquire Novelis
Hindalco Industries Ltd, India's biggest producer of non-ferrous metals, plans to acquire Novelis Inc, a Canada-based aluminum-sheet maker for as much as US$6 billion, company spokeswoman Pragnya Ram said yesterday in Mumbai. Indian companies have been expanding overseas to tap mature industrial markets. Tata Steel last month succeeded in its US$12 billion bid to acquire Corus Group Plc, the biggest British steelmaker, outbidding Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA of Brazil. Hindalco's parent, the Aditya Birla Group, has interests in telecommunications, cement, metals, textiles and financial services.
LG.Philips boosts production
LG.Philips LCD Co, the world's second-largest liquid-crystal-display maker, said it will boost production capacity of the flat panels by 22 percent to meet rising demand. The Seoul-based company will increase the monthly production capacity at its factory in Paju, north of Seoul, to 110,000 glass substrates by the third quarter from the current 90,000. LG.Philips' so-called seventh-generation plant in Paju is designed to manufacture 42-inch and 47-inch screens. Each glass plate used in the factory can make eight 42-inch panels or six 47-inch screens.
Macao tough for competition
Macau gaming billionaire Stanley Ho (何鴻燊) said his company had a 63 percent share of the city's casino market last year and it will take "a lot of time" before the new entrants are fully competitive. Speaking at the opening of the 40-story Grand Lisboa casino, Ho said the market share of Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau, which for 40 years had a monopoly on gaming in the former Portuguese colony, was based on last year's gaming tax revenue. Ho said he was confident the proposed HK$15 billion (US$1.9 billion) listing in Hong Kong of Sociedade de Turismo's casino-operating unit will go ahead this year.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly