China vows equal treatment
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday promised to treat foreign firms equally in government procurement, amid growing complaints that China’s business climate has worsened, state media said. “With regard to government purchases and construction projects, the Chinese government will adopt an open, transparent plan to let foreign companies and technological products enjoy equal treatment,” Xi said, according to state-run television. Xi said at an investment forum that China was taking “a serious and responsible attitude” in talks to join the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement.
Suzuki expanding in India
India’s leading car maker, Japan-owned Maruti Suzuki, said yesterday it would invest ¥35 billion (US$416 million) to build a new factory to meet growing local demand. “We had not estimated the pace at which car demand would grow [in India],” Suzuki Motor Corp chairman Osamu Suzuki said in a speech to Maruti Suzuki shareholders. The new factory will be the third unit at Maruti’s complex in Manesar, Haryana state.
Barroso suggests EU bond
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso yesterday proposed the creation of a joint European bond to finance major infrastructure projects, an idea not shared by all EU members. “Pooling money at the European level allows [EU] member states to cut their costs, avoid overlaps and get a better return on their investment,” Barroso said in a speech before the European Parliament. “We should also explore new sources of financing for major European infrastructure projects. For instance, I will propose the establishment of EU project bonds, together with the European Investment Bank,” he said.
Philips to sell stake to fund
Dutch electronics group Philips yesterday said it would sell its remaining equity stake in chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV to its underfunded British pension fund. Philips said it would make a cash contribution of 350 million euros (US$448 million) to the pension fund, which the fund would then use to buy the 17 percent of NXP the Dutch firm still owns. The sale will lead to a gain of 140 million euros in the third quarter, Philips said.
Samsung mulls Google TV
Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s largest television manufacturer, may manufacture sets run by Google Inc’s software to compete with Sony Corp and Apple Inc in the market for TVs that access movies, shows and games online. “We will have to see, but we are reviewing” whether to use Google’s Android operating system, Yoon Boo-keun, head of Samsung’s TV business, told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of a forum in Seoul. A key question is whether South Korean movie, TV and music providers will cooperate with Google, he said.
AOL adds DeGeneres
AOL is adding talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to its family of Web properties as it looks for ways to draw more people to its sites. The firm was to begin sharing traffic, content and promotions with the Web site for The Ellen DeGeneres Show” yesterday. AOL sites such as KitchenDaily.com and Popeater will promote DeGeneres and provide links to her site, and vice versa.