South Pacific leaders meeting in Samoa were wary of having a single market foisted on them by an overly ambitious Australia and New Zealand, officials were quoted as saying yesterday. \nSamoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele told the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum yesterday that there were concerns national sovereignty would be lost in a headlong rush to integrate their economies. \n"Is unrestricted access to each other's investment and labor markets an ultimate objective?" he was quoted by Australia's ABC Radio as saying. \n"Is travel within the forum region, perhaps via a forum visa, at some point a realistic goal?" he was quoted as saying. \nSamoa is the host of this year's meeting, at which Australia and New Zealand are pushing a "Pacific Plan" to rationalize the smaller economies of the region. \nThe Pacific Islands Forum is made up of Australia, Fiji, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. \nAustralian Prime Minister John Howard, who is in the Samoan capital Apia for the three-day meeting, is basking in the glow of a successful Canberra-led intervention to restore law and order in the Solomon Islands. \n"Everybody is now taking the Pacific Island Forum far more seriously because they have seen what has been achieved in the Solomon Islands," he said prior to his departure for Apia. \n"If the Pacific countries work together in a cooperative way they can achieve a lot," Howard said. \nA year ago Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and other Pacific Forum countries sent in soldiers to separate and disarm militias that had brought chaos to the country. \nHoward said that small South Pacific nations recognized that they must pool their resources in order to survive. \nThe Pacific Plan formulated in Canberra is to have a single currency based on the Australian dollar, a single police force and a single airline. \nAn immediate project is to assemble a combined South Pacific rugby team that would play internationals and field against clubs in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. \nHoward is a late convert to the worth of the Pacific Forum, having been absent most years since his election to office in 1996. But he was a player at last year's summit in Auckland and managed to have Australia's candidate, veteran diplomat Greg Urwin, installed as the Pacific Forum's secretary-general. He's the first Australian to fill the post. \nUrwin's first test is ensuring a future for the 15,000 people of Nauru, once the richest people in the South Pacific but now reduced to begging from Australia. \nNauru has blown billions of dollars earned from mining the deposits of seabirds. With phosphate running out, and no alternative income, there are proposals that the 21km speck be abandoned and its residents move to Australia or another Pacific Forum country. \nCook Islands Prime Minister Robert Wooton said it was imperative Nauru was bailed out. \n"If we don't lend a helping hand in assisting Nauru, we will be facing another failed state," Wooton said. \nIn June a US financial institution owed A$244 million (US$170 million) evicted the Nauruans from their consulate in Melbourne after their government pleaded penury. \nThe parlous state of Nauru's economy was underlined this week when President Ludwig Scotty had to ask for a lift to Apia because Air Nauru's planes are grounded by financial disputes. \nEarlier this year Australia doubled its annual aid budget for the region to A$383 million, of which A$102 million dollars was earmarked for Papua New Guinea, the region's biggest country. \nDuring the past 30 years the region has received A$20 billion in Australian aid. \nCommonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon, who is in Apia for the meeting, praised Canberra's "paradigm shift" on regional matters. \n"Australia took a major sea-change in its foreign policy a year or so ago by its very high involvement in the Solomons," McKinnon said. \n"These are five- to 10-year processes," he said.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into