Summit addresses crisis
Seventeen Latin American governments issued a regional “food emergency” on Wednesday at the close of a one-day summit on the food crisis that underscored an ideological split among its participants. The final statement included a US$100 million Venezuelan initiative to boost cereal production that Mexico said should have been omitted because it was merely a proposal. The document was signed by all but El Salvador and Costa Rica, which complained that Venezuela and its leftist allies were against free trade. The summit, convened by the Alba trade group, or the leftist regimes of Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba, called for speeding up food production in Latin America and urged the 63rd UN General Assembly to take up the world food crisis when it meets in September.
Airbus claims more orders
European aircraft maker Airbus said on Wednesday it had outpaced Boeing so far this year, winning 397 orders in the first four months, compared with to April compared with 346 for its US rival. It said it had 432 orders in all in the period, but 35 cancelations. Medium-haul planes dominated, with 290 A320s ordered compared with 235 of Boeing’s 737 workhorse series. Airbus said that for its long-haul aircraft — the A330, A340 and A350 — it had won 104 orders, while Boeing had 109 for its 777 and 787 models. There were three orders for the A380 superjumbo while Boeing had two orders for its 747. Last year, Airbus won 1,341 orders compared with Boeing’s 1,413.
Group denies illegal gains
Credit Suisse Group denied allegations that it made improper gains from trading South Korean companies’ overseas convertible bonds. Credit Suisse has “not conspired with any Korean convertible bond issuers to engage in market manipulation or any other improper conduct,” the Zurich-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Media allegations that such trades took place are “baseless and unfounded,” it said. Credit Suisse has been in “regular dialogue” with the South Korean regulatory authorities and will continue to cooperate with them to help them reach the same conclusion, it said.
Air fares rise 7 percent
Business class air fares in the Asia-Pacific region climbed 4 percent in the first quarter of this year on demand for long-haul flights to the Americas and on regional routes, a business travel monitor said yesterday. Air fares across the region rose 7 percent year-on-year, an American Express report said. India was the exception to the upward trend in air fares in the region, the report said. “Current economic conditions seem to be having little effect on published air fares across [the] Asia Pacific, with demand still outstripping supply, the Business Times quoted advisory services head Kurt Knackstedt as saying.
Apple signs new agent
America Movil SAB, the top mobile phone operator in Latin America, said on Wednesday it had inked a deal to bring Apple Inc’s iPhone to more than a dozen countries starting later this year. The company didn’t offer more details about the arrangement, including whether it would be the exclusive iPhone provider in the targeted countries. Mexico City-based America Movil boasts 159.2 million subscribers in 16 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.
NINE NEW CASES: The CECC said two locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, and seven imported ones – five women and two men – brought the nation’s total to 348 People who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation after being asked to do so would face a NT$3,000 to NT$15,000 fine, effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday after announcing nine additional COVID-19 cases. In a move to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday announced that people must wear masks on trains and intercity buses, while Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, on Tuesday said that people should wear them when they cannot maintain a social distance of 1.5m indoors. Chen yesterday
TRILLION PROPOSED: The premier said the goal was to keep ‘businesses solvent, the unemployment rate down, transportation and logistics going, and cash flowing’ The Executive Yuan yesterday announced an expanded economic stimulus package totaling NT$1.05 trillion (US$34.64 billion), including NT$81.6 billion in subsidies for employers to prevent a spike in unemployment. The increased budget comprises a special budget of NT$210 billion, up from the NT$60 billion already passed by the Legislative Yuan; NT$140 billion — up from NT$40 billion — to be appropriated from the general budget; and NT$700 billion in loans to industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) told a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei. The NT$150 billion increase in the
TARGETED TEXTS: The center’s head said that visitor numbers at scenic spots were greater than expected and people did not do a very good job of social distancing The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday sent two warning text messages to urge people to practice social distancing, especially by avoiding crowded scenic areas. The two messages were sent at 11:55am on the third day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, reminding people about social distancing and hand hygiene to help prevent COVID-19 infection. “When visiting crowded scenic spots during the Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, please keep a social distance of at least 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. Please wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention if you are feeling ill
The US National Security Council yesterday thanked Taiwan for its support amid the COVID-19 pandemic following President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement that Taiwan would donate 10 million masks to hard-hit countries. The donation includes 2 million masks to the US on top of the weekly 100,000 announced previously; 7 million to Europe; and 1 million to diplomatic allies, on top of 1 million Taiwan procured for allies from their neighboring countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. After European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed appreciation for the donations, the US body yesterday wrote its thanks on Twitter. “We