Jun. 30 – The first China Cleantech Business Forum will be held on July 8 and aims to bring together investors, venture capitalists, corporate executives, and researchers to work together on cleantech industry projects.
The term cleantech refers to products or services that improve operational performance, productivity or efficiency, while reducing energy consumption, waste and pollution. Despite the current credit crisis, overall fundraising for cleantech has remained steady in 2008, with 29 funds raising a total of US$6 billion worldwide.
The majority of these cleantech projects have gone to venture capitalists funds with infrastructure funds also playing a big role. China has increased its investments on cleantech by three-fold to RMB1.35 trillion in the past decade.
India and China are in talks to set up a direct hotline as early as next month. The hotline would connect Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, allowing the two to conduct direct diplomacy. Similar hotlines already exist between Beijing and Washington and Washington and Moscow.
China and India’s long simmering border dispute has heated up again recently, with India planning to increase troop levels and build more airstrips in the remote state of Arunachal Pradesh, a territory that China claims as its own. Indian media meanwhile reported that the Indian air force strengthened the northeastern airbase of Tejpur with a squadron of Su-30 fighters, the most advanced planes in the Indian armory. Continue reading
Jun. 29 – China’s state-owned news agency, Xinhua, will soon launch a trial run of its news program in English to be broadcast in supermarkets and outside Chinese embassies in Europe.
The English-language program is part of Beijing’s plan to improve its image abroad. Chinese media companies are flush with advertising money and compared to Western media institutions that have been downsizing rapidly, are willing to spend billions of dollars to expand abroad.
This year, China Daily begun overseas circulation in the United States and Europe. Even China Central Television has already expanded to include broadcasts done in English, Spanish and French.
Jun. 26 – According to this year’s Expat Explorer survey, Asia is home to the best paid expatriates; with one in four earning more than US$200,000 annually.
The survey based an expat’s quality of life on: annual income, disposable income, ability to save and possession of luxury items
Results of the survey showed that Russia took the top stop as the highest paid expat destination with salaries of more than US$250,000 a year while the rest of the top paying posts went to positions in Asia and the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar, India and the United Arab Emirates were the top five places where expat employees have been able to save the most.
Jun. 24 – Thailand’s central bank has stated that there is no further need for cutting interest rates to assist the domestic economy during the global financial crisis because it expects positive growth to resume by the year’s end.
The bank surprised markets last month by holding firm to interest rates when analysts had predicted a 25 percent basic point cut. The views were echoed by the Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who also stated that the recent political rifts that have undermined reform can be healed.
Noting inflation in Thailand had been negative for the past six months, Vejjajiva stated that the bank, “have already brought down interest rates as far as they can go, and there is also no inflationary threat.”
Jun. 23 – A World Bank report predicts that this year will end in slower growth with international capital flows projected to fall further to US$363 billion.
According to the Global Development Finance 2009: Charting a Global Recovery, developing countries will expand by only 1.2 percent by the end of the year compared to 2008’s 5.9 percent.
China and India will be responsible for most of the growth in the region and the reports says that when both are excluded, the GDP of the rest of the developing countries is estimated to drop by 1.6 percent.
The report also predicts that overall world growth will be negative with a 2.9 percent contraction of global GDP this year. It will be next year that global GDP is expected to recover by 2 percent then by 3.2 percent in 2011 with developing countries showing the most vibrant growth. Continue reading
Jun. 22 – Malaysia’s central bank has been allowed to purchase and hold Chinese government debt as part of its foreign reserves strategy and as a possible hedge against the weakening U.S. dollar.
Should the Bank Negara Malaysia decide to use its allotted quota for exchange-traded equities and debt, it would be the first foreign central bank to do so.
The Chinese economy has been showing growth driven by massive spending on infrastructure despite a hard-hit export industry. This growth is making the Chinese market attractive as an alternative to investing in U.S. or European bonds. Continue reading