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Old May 30th, 2004, 02:14 PM   #1
muchbetter
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China's Economy - News and Projects Part I & II

巴西:“与中国一起出线!”
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2004-05-30 03:23:12 点击:554
  5月22日到27日,巴西总统卢拉率领包括420多名企业家在内的代表团访华,这支浩浩荡荡的队伍是巴西总统出访历史上最为庞大的一支。“我们组织了一个阵容最强大的巴西队去中国,这次去的目标既不是打赢,也不是打平,而是希望与中国一起出线,携手进入下一轮!”透过卢拉的幽默,我们脑海里闪现的必定是绿茵场上舞动着的桑巴……
  当然,除了激情澎湃的足球,“巴西”这两字可以涵盖的内容还很多很多,作为拉美地区最大的经济实体,巴西经济值得我们刮目相看的地方就不在少数。
  昨天今天:经济两重天
  巴西位于南美洲东部,是拉丁美洲面积最大、人口最多的国家。它拥有拉美地区最为完善的产业体系。历史上,巴西一度是单一农业经济国家,以蔗糖、咖啡为主要经济作物。20世纪初,巴西开始工业化进程。50年代起,巴西推行“进口替代”经济模式,并依靠大量举借外债获得了经济腾飞,其中1967年到1974年间,年均增速达到10.1%,创造了“巴西奇迹”。其后近20年的时间里,巴一直为外债和通货膨胀所困扰,经济发展陷于停顿。1994年7月巴西推出“雷亚尔计划”,成功控制了恶性通胀,使经济出现了一个稳定增长的局面。但日益严重的财政和经常项目双赤字、急剧加深的对外资依赖度,这些问题始终潜伏着,在东南亚和俄罗斯金融危机冲击下,巴西被迫于1999年初宣布采取浮动汇率制,货币雷亚尔兑美元大幅贬值。
  这之后,由于巴西政府执行了严厉的财政调整措施,增收节支,经济迅速恢复了元气,2000年经济增长达4.46%,通胀也基本得到控制。2001年,巴西经济受到世界经济减缓、阿根廷金融危机、国内电力紧张以及雷亚尔贬值等因素影响,只增长了1.78%。2002年,巴西经济增长率为1.9%。到了2003年,和政局有着相当关联度的巴西经济,在“卢拉效应”的过渡期,经历了1992年负增长0.5%以来的最低谷,出现了0.2%的负增长。
  这就是巴西经济的昨天。
  年历翻到2004,巴西经济期待走出低谷。尽管去年经济的停滞乃至倒退令人失望,但很多人仍相信,宏观经济形势的明显好转,为今年经济的“触底反弹”奠定了基础。他们的依据是,巴西金融市场趋于平稳;外贸继续保持旺盛势头;公共财政状况好转;外汇储备节节高攀;对外依存度降低……国际货币基金组织的预测又为巴西增添了底气,3.5%的增长预测与巴西政府的目标相吻合。
  一季度的事实似乎印证了巴西经济正在步步迈向复苏。据巴西国家统计局公布的数据,该国1月份的国内零售额比上年同期增长了6%,为三年来最大升幅。巴西工业协会的报告也表明,2004年前两个月国内新增了30万个就业岗位,为1992年以来最多的一年。另外,巴西GetϊlioVargas基金会在近期调查了608家工业企业,其中有54%的企业表示将扩大生产能力;43%的企业表示将扩大对原材料的需求;15%的企业表示将提供更多的就业岗位。
  与此同时,也有不乐观的预警信号存在:巴西的内销增长缓慢,4月份巴西消费者信心指数下降到105.2点,是2003年3月来的最低点。经济学家警告说,从长期来看,巴西经济的持续发展还缺乏必要动力。国际货币基金组织也提醒,尽管巴西政府为减少外债与GDP的比例作出了不懈努力,但这一比例并没有减少。

  飞机汽车:速度的两翼
  巴西的工业实力称雄拉美毋庸置疑。1994年实行“雷亚尔计划”以来,由于本币定值过高,其民族工业受到进口产品的冲击,工业发展一度放缓。1999年雷亚尔贬值后,该国工业立即取得了恢复性发展,其中尤以飞机制造业和汽车制造业的突飞猛进最引人侧目。
  提起巴西航空业,巴西航空工业公司就能全权代表了。然而,对于该企业,人们颇多疑问:这个生于1969年,长在发展中国家的飞机制造企业,何以在短时间内一跃进入世界排名前四,抗衡波音、空客这些巨无霸?
  细细探究,巴西航空的成功靠的并不是什么“独门秘籍”,说到底,它只是遵循了“市场规律”经营管理罢了。
  首先,就是改制添活力。成立之初,巴西航空姓“国”,主要承担本国军、民用飞机的研制、生产和销售。进入20世纪90年代,随着经济的萧条,世界民用航空市场也日渐萎缩。作为国有企业,只能依靠政府预算开发产品,由于产品不对路,公司在研发和销售上遇到重重困难,出现严重亏损,濒临破产边缘。寻找出路,巴西航空选择了民营化,1994年,巴西最大的投资财团之一BOZANOSIMONSEN公司和国内两家最著名的养老基金PREVI和SISTEL组成控股集团,收购公司60%控股权。1998年公司开始扭亏为盈。1999年,公司与法国航空航天集团组成战略联盟,法国公司拥有20%的控股权。实现了私有化后的巴西航空分别在美国纽约和巴西圣保罗证券交易所挂牌上市。
  可以说,民营化是公司踏出制胜一步———果断作出全力发展支线喷气客机战略决策———的先决条件。民营化使企业的管理理念发生了变化,以技术为导向已然成为过去式,以客户为导向才是“真理”。于是,通过对市场的深入分析和调查,公司决定与大企业错位竞争、调整主攻方向,推出了ERJ145喷气支线客机,50座的该机型正中支线运输市场下怀,加之机身轻,耗油少,售价低和维修费低等明显优势,在不到一年的时间里,便成为市场追捧的对象,到今年,该机型的销售累计已超过800架。当然,这只是公司步步为营的一个缩影,如今,公司正在良性循环中逐渐壮大着自己,通过新的融资方式筹集资金,投入先进技术的引进和新产品的研发,扩大再生产,获得的利益自然更为丰厚。
  再来看看巴西经济另一个巨大引擎———汽车业。谈巴西的汽车业,除了历数曾经的过度繁荣,不会遗漏的,当属留下的惨痛教训。
  上世纪90年代初的巴西,全球汽车工业刚刚摆脱欧美痛苦的经济衰退,巴西的汽车市场成为全球汽车工业的希望所在。当时的景象难怪人们会这么想,1993年,巴西汽车销量急增51%,第二年又增加24%,年销量超过百万辆。巴西对外资进入的大门越开越阔,进口壁垒逐步降低,国内经济也加快脚步,世界各大汽车制造商争相在巴西建厂,砸下的美元不下几百亿。
  好景不长,1997年,由于巴西经济受到突发事件冲击,巴西人均国内生产总值几乎减半,汽车销量一落千丈。雪上加霜的是,亚洲和俄罗斯相继爆发金融危机,引发巴西金融动荡,大批资本外逃,国际储备急剧下降,市场不可避免地走向崩溃,汽车产能陷入过剩泥沼。祸不单行,紧接着,巴西的邻国、大贸易伙伴阿根廷的政治经济局势急转直下,巴西货币因此急剧贬值,汽车业更是一蹶不振。
  专家们在分析这段历史时,普遍认为,巴西汽车工业全面外资化的模式是酿成苦果的症结所在。巴西汽车工业主要掌握在跨国公司手中,本国企业主要为外资企业做配套。巴西发展汽车工业的指导思想是增加就业和税收:外资建厂,雇佣当地劳动力,能很好解决失业;政府对外资企业的税收为30%,公司盈利后还要向政府缴纳所得税。表面看来似乎顺理成章,但这种政策导致汽车工业对外资过度依赖,加上内需又十分有限,一旦世界市场风吹草动,本国市场必定随之摆动。
  时至今日,巴西汽车业还未完全摆脱那场噩梦,去年巴西的汽车厂还有为数过半的生产能力闲置着,有的工厂为减少产量,强制工人休假,他们还算幸运,很多不走运的巴西人就只能接受裁员的结果了。
  巴西经济有望在2004年实现复苏,汽车业似乎也从中看到了重整旗鼓的一线曙光,然而,巴西现代化的汽车工厂每年的生产能力超过300万辆,但2002年的销量仅为150万辆,远低于1997年高峰时的水平,汽车业想再度辉煌恐怕还有待时日。

  中国巴西:腾飞的两极
  卢拉在启程来华前就强调,这次访华是巴西政府有史以来进行的一次最重要的政治和经贸之旅。
  此话一点也不夸张。单说经贸方面,卢拉在华期间,我们就听到了一个个好消息:巴西最大的国有企业———巴西石油公司将在北京建立办事处;巴西航空公司即将开辟直飞中国的航线;如果这还离我们太远,那么,巴西将成为南美洲第一个向中国开放的旅游目的地国家,这条消息足以让喜欢游山玩水的您跃跃欲试吧!一切都预示着,中巴两国的经贸关系自此将有质的飞跃。
  其实,回顾历史,由于中国和巴西经济互补性强,建交30年来,双边经贸合作已经取得了长足的发展。据中国商务部统计,目前巴西是中国在拉美的最大贸易伙伴,中国是巴西的第四大贸易伙伴和第三大出口市场。去年双边贸易额达到79.89亿美元,比上年增长78.7%。而1998年双边贸易额仅为22亿美元。
  中方出口以工业产品为主,质量和价格都具有一定竞争力;巴西对华出口以资源性产品和初级产品为主,近年,巴西航空工业公司开始向中国出口支线飞机,在优化对华出口产品结构上有较大突破。在中巴贸易中,中方长期处于逆差地位,1985年至2003年,中方累计逆差达136亿美元。今年1至4月,中方逆差达13亿美元。
  今年5月12日,联合国智囊机构发布的数据显示,仅2003年,拉丁美洲国家就向中国出口了价值108.7亿美元的商品,比2002年激增了72%。这说明,作为各类原材料的供应商,拉丁美洲对于中国来说变得越发重要。巴西的CompanhiaValedoRioDoceSA是全球最大的铁矿石出口商,去年,该公司销售额创历史最高纪录,其中,钢和铁矿石的需求增量有一半以上来自中国。
  除了贸易往来的进展一日好过一日,中巴在其它方面的交流也是愈加频繁。截至去年底,中国在巴西投资设立的贸易公司和企业73家,协议投资金额1.67亿美元,实际投资1.29亿美元;巴西在华投资项目312个,合同投资金额2.92亿美元,实际投资额0.89亿美元。
  作为东西方两个最大的发展中国家,中巴紧密合作的意义不仅限于自身发展。卢拉认为,中巴加强经贸关系有利于由巴西、阿根廷、乌拉圭和巴拉圭组成的南方共同市场及南美国家,巴西将成为中国进入南方共同市场和南美市场的大门;反过来,南方共同市场国家和其它南美国家也可以和巴西一道开启中国和亚洲市场。目前,巴西正在积极推动南美基础设施一体化,通过建设新的铁路、公路、桥梁及内河航道密切南美国家的经贸联系,巴西还计划建设通过太平洋向中国和亚洲出口的通道。卢拉表示,巴西欢迎中国参与这些项目的投资和建设。
  当今世界贸易关系不甚平衡,发达国家在要求发展中国家开放市场的同时,却以各种借口给发展中国家的产品出口,特别是农产品出口设置障碍。如果中国、巴西、印度、南非这些发展中大国能够抱成一团,就有足够的力量与发达国家抗衡,改变世界贸易的现行格局,使平等回归。
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Old July 10th, 2004, 10:06 PM   #2
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Did you know that Hong Kong's economy will be controlled independently by Hong Kong for only 43 more years. After that it will be controlled by China.

Quote (Microsoft Encarta 2004):
"Chinese officials have granted Hong Kong economic independence until 2047."

What do you think?

Will the ecomomy slow down or progress?

Last edited by big-dog; April 27th, 2008 at 12:29 PM.
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Old July 11th, 2004, 01:53 AM   #3
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i don't know. China maybe very democratic by 2047. If not, HK people will go on protest again and claim for independence. Lets US and British armed force beat out the chinese. (probably Taiwanese and japanese will join the British too)
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Old July 11th, 2004, 04:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid
Did you know that Hong Kong's economy will be controlled independently by Hong Kong for only 43 more years. After that it will be controlled by China.

Quote (Microsoft Encarta 2004):
"Chinese officials have granted Hong Kong economic independence until 2047."

What do you think?

Will the ecomomy slow down or progress?
that's a 50 years' unchanged promise made during the turnover because many believe china will change dramatically in the coming few decades.
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Old July 11th, 2004, 01:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent
i don't know. China maybe very democratic by 2047. If not, HK people will go on protest again and claim for independence. Lets US and British armed force beat out the chinese. (probably Taiwanese and japanese will join the British too)
Don't be so naive.

Nobody in HK will declare independence thats ridiculous. After 43 years there won't be any difference between HK and China.

US or British armed forces wouldn't beat out the Chinese, its impossible nowadays. Why would America or the Brits waste their own people and money for a war that doesn't benefit them? Just look at Iraq its already a mess, and one Chinese province alone is already bigger and more populated than Great Britain and Iraq. Taiwanese and Jap joining? Hahaha in your wet dreams. By then Taiwan would already be reunited, and it will only be a death sentence to the japs. Imagine a nuclear attack on Japan once again.
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Old July 11th, 2004, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent
i don't know. China maybe very democratic by 2047. If not, HK people will go on protest again and claim for independence. Lets US and British armed force beat out the chinese. (probably Taiwanese and japanese will join the British too)
a naive but evil kid
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Old July 17th, 2004, 02:46 AM   #7
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New website: China Rising

I want to announce the establishment of a new forum.

www.china-rising.org

The forum is newly established and has yet to register a large amount of members. However, it's articles and gallery section has already had material uploaded. The goal of the site is to promote the understanding and discuss issues pertaining to modern China. Everyone is welcome to join, and please contribute your opinions and thoughts to the forum. Thank you.
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Old July 18th, 2004, 08:35 PM   #8
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Great website, fk310! Information in "about us" is exactly what I feel. Also I like the layout of pictures.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 08:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muchbetter
Great website, fk310! Information in "about us" is exactly what I feel. Also I like the layout of pictures.
Please join and contribute! It was mainly set up by Xiaorongji and I, from the CNA forum!
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Old July 19th, 2004, 04:23 PM   #10
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Good job, keep going
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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:39 AM   #11
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If you tried to access the site recently, you would've noticed it was down. ANyways, it's back up so come in!
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Old July 28th, 2004, 04:49 AM   #12
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is it your own site?
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Old July 28th, 2004, 07:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neon
is it your own site?
It was set up by I and other friends. It is meant to promote better understanding of China in the west.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 06:48 AM   #14
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HK had very little democracy under the British, and will not have much under China either. What's most important is the status of China's economic freedom, not governmental freedom. Communism in China may fall before 2047, or it may not. However, if China is economically free and prosperous, HK will probably not be too worried, and there's no way Britain and the US would intervene. I'm not saying that HK and Chinese residents wouldn't prefer democracy, but my impression of both HK and the Mainland is that the big issue is quality of life and economic prosperity.

Since we're talking about 50 years into the future, we probably shouldn't assume that the US and Britain will have the same world roles that they do now.

Bottom Line, it's too early to predict what will happen in 2047. I hope both China and HK are free in every sense of the word.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 07:41 AM   #15
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I think Vincent is just joking, no need to be so serious.
But I agree dcb11 that the most important is free on economy.For so many years Hong Kong's advantage is free economy. If Hong Kong lost this advantage, then Hong Kong's economy will fall greatly. For example, a company invest in mainland, have to pay back 30-40% tax of the money earnt back to government, but Hong Kong just 18%, then many companies would set office in Hong Kong, but build factories in mainland to get the cheap labour and cheap tax. This is the advantage mainland give just for Hong Kong and Macau, other places in mainland don't. Hong Kong has the world's freest economy, if 50 years later Hong Kong become same to other parts of mainland, then the advantage will lost. But no one knows, maybe 20 years later the communist government fall...etc. No one knows still...
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Old August 30th, 2004, 04:45 AM   #16
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CEPA Free Trade Agreement

CEPA II provides further trade liberalisation



The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) and the Central People's Government (CPG) today (August 27) reached an agreement to provide further liberalisation measures on trade in goods and services under the second phase of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA II).

The Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr An Min, and the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, signed the arrangement at a ceremony held in Beijing this morning.

Under CEPA II, the Mainland will apply zero tariffs to products under 713 Mainland 2004 tariff codes, which are on top of the 374 products that have been enjoying zero import tariff status since January 1, 2004.

For trade in services, the Mainland has agreed to grant preferential treatment in eight new areas, and to broaden the liberalisation to 11 of the 18 services sectors to which preferential treatment has already been provided under CEPA.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Tang said that CEPA adopted a building block approach and provided a mechanism for further liberalisation measures. Hong Kong and the Mainland have agreed that the content of CEPA will be broadened and enriched through continuous discussion.

"Since the implementation of CEPA on January 1, 2004, the CPG and the HKSAR have held a series of high level and senior official meetings with a view to broadening the scope of CEPA, I am glad that the two sides have reached an agreement on CEPA II today."

"The HKSAR shall spare no effort in encouraging the local business sector to make full use of the preference under CEPA. We will also underline the many business opportunities offered by CEPA in our promotion work to attract more foreign investment to Hong Kong.

"The CPG and the HKSARG will continue to pursue further liberalisation on goods and services trade in the latter phases under CEPA through the established liaison mechanisms," Mr Tang said.

The 713 Mainland 2004 tariff codes covering both existing production (529 tariff codes) and planned production (184 tariff codes).

Products under the 529 tariff codes currently produced by Hong Kong manufacturers will enjoy zero tariff status starting from January 1, 2005. For the remaining 184 products, the Mainland will apply zero tariffs from January 1 of the following year upon confirmation by both sides that the products have come into production in Hong Kong.

On trade in services, the Mainland has agreed to grant preferential treatment in eight new areas, namely the airport services; information technology services; patent agency services; trademark agency services; job referral agencies; cultural and entertainment services; job intermediaries; and professional and technical qualification examinations.

The Mainland has also agreed to broaden the liberalisation for 11 out of the 18 service sectors enjoying preferential treatment under CEPA. The 11 sectors are: legal services; construction services; distribution services; transport services (including road passengers transportation and maritime transport); freight forwarding agency services; medical services; audio-visual services; accounting services; banking services; securities and futures services; and individually owned stores.

In particular, the Mainland has agreed to lift the geographical restriction and expand the business scope for the individually owned stores set up by Hong Kong permanent residents with Chinese nationality.

The new liberalisation measures will take effect from January 1, 2005, unless otherwise specified. Taking the two phases of CEPA together, Hong Kong services and services suppliers are now eligible for preferential treatment in a total of 26 services.

Mr Tang said, "The liberalisation permits earlier access for Hong Kong services suppliers to the Mainland market, ahead of China's WTO timetable. In some sectors, like audio-visual services, transport and related services and medical services, the concessions go beyond China's WTO commitments."

As part of the services trade under CEPA, Hong Kong and the Mainland have also committed to encouraging mutual recognition of professional qualifications and promoting the exchange of professional talent.

Witnessed by the Financial Secretary and the Vice Minister, a mutual recognition agreement for structural engineers and an agreement for the exemption of professional examination papers in the accounting sector were signed at the ceremony this morning.

Since the signing of the six Annexes of CEPA in September 2003, the two sides have already reached agreements or arrangements for professionals including estate surveyors; qualified personnel of the securities and futures industry; architects; insurance practitioners and patent agents.

"We will continue to consult the business and professional communities to understand their needs and discuss with the concerned business sectors appropriate policy measures that may be required to enable them to gain the greatest benefits from CEPA," Mr Tang added.

Today's signing ceremony was held after a meeting between the Financial Secretary and the Vice Minister this morning for the High Level Consultations of the Joint Steering Committee under CEPA in Beijing.

The main text of CEPA was signed on June 2003. Premier Wen Jiabao and the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, presided over the signing ceremony. Six Annexes to the main text, which set out the implementation details of CEPA, were subsequently signed by Mr An and Mr Tang on September 29, 2003.

A note on the further trade liberalisation measures and a summary of zero tariff products under CEPA II are available at the website of the Trade and Industry Department at www.tid.gov.hk.

Ends/Friday, August 27, 2004

Related Information - CEPA Background

The Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed in 2003 by the Central People’s Government and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and came into full effect from 1 January 2004. It provides preferential access to the Mainland market and reduced tariffs for certain enterprises and individuals in Hong Kong, whether locally or foreign-owned.

On 27 August 2004, the second phase of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, known as CEPA II, was announced. With effect from 1 January 2005, more goods and services will fall under CEPA and the benefits for many of the existing CEPA services will broaden. For the Government announcement click here and for more details of CEPAII click here

Strategically CEPA opens a new chapter in cross-border trade and investment between Hong Kong and the Mainland and it reinforces Hong Kong’s role as a bridge between China and the rest of the world. In essence, CEPA is a World Trade Organisation (WTO)-compliant, free trade agreement.

CEPA currently affects:
- trade in services,
- trade in goods, and
- trade and investment facilitation.
CEPA will evolve over time and new benefits will be introduced in phases.

This means that CEPA-qualified enterprises and individuals in Hong Kong, will have earlier and in some instances more privileges than will ultimately be available when doing business with the Mainland, following its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

For example, jewellery (a CEPA zero import tariff product) exported by a CEPA qualified Hong Kong enterprise or person, could enjoy zero import tariff. The same item exported once the Mainland has acceded to WTO will suffer a tariff rate of 20-35%.

These CEPA benefits are exclusive to Hong Kong – no other jurisdiction in the world can enjoy these preferential market access and import tariff rules. This package further strengthens Hong Kong’s position as the ideal location from which to do business with China and underlines Hong Kong’s importance as an international trade and business centre.

Related Information - Full Text of CEPA

The Mainland and Hong Kong submitted a joint notification on the CEPA to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 27 December 2003. The English translation of the CEPA text submitted is posted on this webpage. The CEPA was signed in the Chinese language, and only the Chinese text is authentic.

http://www.tid.gov.hk/english/cepa/fulltext.html
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Old October 6th, 2004, 05:26 PM   #17
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Saindak, Gwadar to boost trade with China

Saindak, Gwadar to boost trade with China

ISLAMABAD, Oct 5: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Tuesday said the Pakistan-China friendship would get a boost with the commissioning of Gwadar Port and Saindak Copper Projects in Balochistan.

He was talking to a 12-member delegation led by the Governor of Sinkiang province of China, who called on him at the Prime Minister's House. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz expressed confidence that the economic cooperation between the two countries, through the ongoing projects, would bring greater depth and direction to the time-tested friendship between the two countries.

Prime Minister said the Gwadar Port would emerge as a major hub of economic activities in the region facilitating imports and exports not only from the country but also from Chinese areas like Kashghar.

He underlined the need of greater interaction between the private sectors of the two countries adding that Minister Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas would soon visit Kashghar along with a business delegation to explore the possibilities of expanding trade.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan supports China in its efforts to combat and contain the menace of terrorism for greater peace and stability in the region. Pakistan-China friendship, Prime Minister said, is not only a source of strength for the two countries, but was also contributing to stability in the region.

He also promised to look into the possibility of operating direct PIA flights from Islamabad to Kashghar. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that Pakistan being an Investor-friendly country, would encourage and facilitate China in investing various fields.

The two sides also discussed ways and means to enhance mutually advantageous economic cooperation and suggestion was made to activate the quadrilateral treaty of truck traffic among Pakistan, China, Kirghizistan and Kazakhstan.

The meeting noted that there was a great demand of construction material in Pakistan, and China can cater to this need. The Chinese side thanked the Prime Minister for providing facilities at the Sust customs check post. The Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat and the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan were also present. -APP
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Old October 6th, 2004, 06:18 PM   #18
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Always nice to hear about the wonderful relationship between China and Pakistan.

I wonder why Pakistan isn't part of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperative Organization).
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Old October 8th, 2004, 03:21 PM   #19
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Hong Kong economic thread

Hong Kong consumers lead Asia-Pacific ex-Japan
Anthony Tran


Hong Kong consumers were the biggest spenders in the Asia-Pacific region, outside Japan, for the year ended June, surpassing spending seen in nine countries on leisure travel, luxury goods and high-tech electronic gadgets, according to a survey by Synovate.

The survey, which polled 1,710 consumers in each of 10 markets, found 60.8 per cent of Hong Kong people, or 1,040, took at least one leisure trip during the 12 months ended June - up 3 percentage points from the previous survey, for the year ended March 2004.

This outnumbered 751 in Singapore and 580 in Taiwan. The survey was also conducted in Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, India and Indonesia.

Big-ticket items such as laptop computers and luxury watches are now owned by 39 per cent of Hong Kongers polled, up 2 percentage points from the previous survey. Only 25.9 per cent of Taiwanese interviewed had one or more luxury watches, followed by 25.3 per cent of the Singaporeans.

``In just the last few months, our constantly updated tracking has enabled us to watch Hong Kong's increased confidence translate into higher product ownership, increasing purchase intentions and improving lifestyle,'' Synovate Asia Pacific media director Steve Garton said.

Garton added that 14.7 per cent of those surveyed in Hong Kong said they intended to purchase watches worth more than US$500 (HK$3,900) apiece in the coming 12 months.

Synovate found that 82.6 per cent bought one or more DVD players during the period compared with 71.6 per cent and 71 per cent of Taiwanese and Australians respectively.

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/thesta...356&intcatid=1
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Old October 10th, 2004, 06:19 PM   #20
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Economic Implications of Expensive Oil

Sunday October 10, 8:25 PM
Surging oil prices spell trouble for Hong Kong fishermen

Soaring oil prices have forced many Hong Kong fishermen to stay ashore and some are considering leaving the business for good, even though it's all their families have known for generations.

Oil prices broke the US$53 a barrel mark last week and show no signs of letting up. With oil about 79 percent higher than a year ago, fishermen have suffered a drastic increase in the cost of operating their boats. And they were struggling already because of low seafood prices, dwindling supplies and stiff competition from mainland Chinese rivals.

The diesel fuel used in fishing boats has risen in Hong Kong from about 300 Hong Kong dollars (US$40; euro 32) a barrel six months ago to the current HK$560 (US$70; euro 56).

Lai Kau-zai, a 54-year-old fishermen, is staying ashore these days and living off his savings.

Lai said he stopped working more than a month ago because he couldn't make ends meet. His small boat was consuming 500 Hong Kong dollars (US$64; euro 52) worth of fuel every day.

"It'll be very good if I can just maintain a livelihood," he said.

But Lai added Hong Kong's fishing industry is so depressed that he doesn't know if it can ever recover.

Hong Kong's fortunes have long been entwined with the sea. Its name means "fragrant harbor" and fishing was the territory's main source of income when the British annexed it from China in 1841 to use as a port for trade with the East.

Container shipping is now a lifeblood of the modern economy, and the seafaring traditions are evident in local temples where people pray to sea gods to keep fishermen safe.

Hong Kong has about 2,000 fishing vessels, mostly based at outlying islands or in communities well outside the bustling financial district. Most are now in a holding pattern, going out to sea only occasionally to keep costs down, said To Kwong-biu, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Fishery Alliance.

Business has taken such a heavy hit that the owners of half of those boats want to call it quits and put their vessels on sale _ except there are no buyers, said To.

The downturn is devastating for the fishermen who know no other way of life. Many come from families that have been in the business for generations.

"We buy a little fish and some vegetables and that's a meal. We can't eat voraciously any more," Lai told The Associated Press by phone.

Fishing had already been on the decline before the latest oil price shock. The fishermen had been suffering because of low fish prices and overfishing in the South China Sea, where they face growing competition from an expanding mainland Chinese fishing industry.

That pushed the number of fishing vessels down from about 6,000 after Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule in 1997 to the current 2,000, To told the AP.

To said the fishermen asked the government for oil subsidies several months ago.

Authorities have rejected that request, but as an alternative are allowing the fishermen to delay repayment of government loans, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department spokesman Donald Lam said.

For the struggling fishermen, with the fear of quitting comes the daunting prospect of finding work in a different profession.

"I'm not very well educated," Lai said. "If I go ashore, there won't be anything for me to do."

"I wouldn't even know how to open a coffee shop," grumbled 43-year-old shrimp fisherman Fung Kam-pui.

That's why Fung is still toiling away at sea even though he's operating at a loss. His larger boat uses up to 10 barrels of fuel per fishing trip, each spanning one day and two nights, costing him about HK$5,600 (US$720; euro 580).

Fung is betting that fuel prices will eventually come back down.

"I hope my profits tomorrow will cover my losses today," he told a reporter by mobile phone from Chinese waters.
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