Chinese wholesalers have set up shop in the Moroccan port of Casablanca, causing a wave of panic among local traders fearful of competition. \n"Chinese wholesale centre," reads a sign in Arabic, French and Chinese at one Chinese trader's shop. \n"I don't speak English and French very well, and Arabic is difficult," said Lin Xue-yun, 32, who manages a shop selling mirrors, sandals, shoes, chessboards and electronic toys. \nLanguage is the main obstacle for her and her compatriots who arrive unable to converse in Morocco's main languages, Arabic and French. Moroccan nationals are employed in an intermediary role in their shops. \n"I've only been here for four months," Lin said. "I have an 11-year-old son I left in Fujian," the province most wholesalers originate from. \n"Watch out, the Chinese are landing!" headlined the daily newspaper Aujourd'hui Le Maroc last week, saying "an army of Chinese businessmen (estimated at 1,200) has decamped in the kingdom's main towns and villages." \n"Business in Casa is good," said Yen Tieh, 39, in halting English, a sxi-months resident in Morocco. \nGhita, 21, a Moroccan employed in a Chinese shop in Derb Omar, the bustling trading area of Casablanca, said she was happy working where she was. "We sell sandals, photo and picture frames, and small gifts," she said, adding that her wages were "very satisfying." \nBut Nadia, writing out a bill on the counter of her neighboring shop, railed against the Chinese influx, claiming the new traders had "destroyed the economy and job market" in Casablanca. \n"The product for which I pay 25 dirhams in duty, they sell at 10 dirhams. They could sell sandals for only 18 dirhams (US$1.95)." \n"Their products are of a very bad quality," Nadia said, adding that some Chinese traders were going "door-to-door, suitcase in hand." \nSalah, a fellow Moroccan worker in Derb Omar, added: "I've seen them unload their own container at Casablanca port." \nThe Moroccan association for game importers says Chinese traders are engaged in "unfair and anti-competitive practices." \nIn a recent statement, the association said it wanted to "sound the alarm bell." \nShop manager Fatima Lmoussi, however, disagrees: "Trade is open to all. The arrival of the Chinese is even positive, because it creates a business dynamic." \nAccording to one taxi driver, the Chinese came across as "nice, extremely polite, and they pay the Moroccans they employ very well."
NEXT STEP? The contract chipmaker said it would decide whether to add more plants based on operation efficiency, cost economics and demand Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to build several more chipmaking fabs in the US state of Arizona beyond the one already planned, three people familiar with the matter said. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, announced in May last year that it would build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. The 12-inch wafer fab in Phoenix is expected to start mass production in 2024, the Investment Commission said in December, when it approved the plan. Three sources familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said that up
VIRUS CURBS: Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan is banned until May 17, the CECC announced The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday banned visits to patients or residents at healthcare and long-term care facilities in three cities until May 17. It also reported six imported cases of COVID-19 and two cases with unclear infection sources. As the number of locally transmitted cases rises, some of whom have visited many places in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, enhanced disease prevention measures have to be implemented in the three cities, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and
TAKING NOTICE: In the first time that G7 foreign ministers have mentioned Taiwan in a joint communique, they called for ‘peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait’ The Presidential Office yesterday thanked the G7 foreign ministers for their strong support of Taiwan after the group in its joint statement on Wednesday called for the nation’s participation in the WHO, and the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The ministers in a communique issued at the end of their three-day meeting declared support for “Taiwan’s meaningful participation” in WHO forums and the World Health Assembly (WHA). “The international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all partners, including Taiwan’s successful contribution to the tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said. The statement included a section
UP TO TWO DAYS: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said that most who got the shot and felt discomfort only felt ill for the first two days Employees can ask for unpaid COVID-19 vaccination leave, from the day of their shot until the end of the next day, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, adding that the policy takes effect immediately. “The policy of unpaid COVID-19 vaccination leave will be implemented starting on May 5, and all workers and civil servants will be eligible,” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news conference. Leave can be taken on the day of vaccination and if recipients feel discomfort after getting the shot, they can extend the leave to all of the