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Mon, Jul 02, 2007 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ ENERGY

China mulls new pipeline

China, the world's second-largest energy consumer, may start building another pipeline carrying gas from its western regions to the east to meet the rising demand there. "The feasibility study is expected to be completed within the year," Jiang Xinmin, an expert with the National Development and Reform Commission's Energy Research Institute, told reporters at an oil conference in Shanghai on Saturday. China, which uses coal to supply two-thirds of its electricity, plans to increase consumption of gas to 8 percent of its total energy use in 2010 from about 3 percent now to reduce pollution.

■ ECONOMY

`Tankan' survey out today

Japan's central bank could set the scene for another interest rate rise this week when it publishes a key survey expected to show solid corporate sentiment and rising investment, analysts said. The Bank of Japan's quarterly "Tankan" survey, due today, is likely to show confidence holding firm close to a two-year high, they said. Major companies are also expected to have upgraded their capital expenditure on new plants and equipment, helping to maintain Japan's longest sustained expansion since World War II.

■ ENERGY

President defends rationing

Iran's president on Saturday defended a rationing scheme to cut back on gas guzzling in the world's fourth-largest oil producer, saying even tighter controls are on the way. "In recent days, gasoline consumption has dropped from 80 million liters per day to 70 million and [it] must go down to less than 60 million liters per day," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, as cited by the official news agency IRNA. Ahmadinejad's government last Tuesday night suddenly announced gas rationing throughout Iran, saying private cars using gas would be limited to 100 liters of gas a month and those using both gasoline and liquefied gas would only be allowed 30 liters.

■ EMPLOYMENT

Group urges enforcement

An influential European business group yesterday said China must ensure a new law to help workers is respected, as the effectiveness of similar legislation has been "non-existent" in the past. A controversial bill on contract labor approved on Friday will safeguard job conditions but it must be enforced, the EU Chamber of Commerce in China said. "There is no doubt that the passing of the law and its strict implementation will drastically improve the working conditions in China," the statement said. But it warned of the dangers of non-compliance by companies and previous non-enforcement of existing laws by the authorities.

■ AUTOMAKERS

Nanjing Fiat plan agreed

China's Nanjing Auto and Italy's Fiat SpA have agreed to invest an additional 3 billion yuan (US$400 million) in their troubled joint venture Nanjing Fiat, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. According to earlier reports, Fiat was considering ending its partnership with Nanjing Auto because the Chinese side had delayed planned investment in the joint venture. The two sides also reportedly were at odds over a potential tie-up between Fiat and rival Chinese automaker Chery Automobile. "With the help of the government departments in Jiangsu Province, the two companies became reconciled," Xinhua said.

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