Posts tagged ‘United States’


China to prepare for aging society – China –

Ten ministerial-level departments, including the ministries of civil affairs and education, on Monday jointly released a circular calling for the country to prepare for the coming aging society.

Old Couple

Old Couple (Photo credit: AdamCohn)

The circular stressed the importance of building an elder-friendly society as the percentage of the senior population is rising quickly.

China’s aging citizens reached 200 million at the end of 2013 and will account for more than 30 percent of the country’s total population by 2042, according to the circular.

Government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should carry out more voluntary services for the elderly and encourage the young generation to be more aware of seniors’ needs and concerns.

The circular also called for accelerating development of industries serving the demands and convenience of the elderly, such as nursing homes and adult education classes, the circular said.

Elderly citizens should not be regarded as burdens but valuable human resources for the sustainable growth of the economy, according to the circular.

The public sector will encourage the elderly to participate in various social activities, such as teaching in schools or helping with scientific research, in order to give them a sense of satisfaction while also promoting social harmony and the economy.

The circular also emphasized establishment of a national elderly care system, strengthening social security for the elderly and improving laws that protect the rights and interests of senior citizens.

via China to prepare for aging society – China –


India’s potential that of world’s biggest economy: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg – Financial Express

India, an emerging global economic power, has the potential to become the largest economy in the world, Facebook Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg said today.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg started her career in India in 1981, working with the World Bank on Leprosy.

Sandberg, who served as Chief of Staff for the US Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton, said the over USD 2 trillion Indian economy has immense potential to create jobs and drive growth, especially with its huge base of small and medium businesses (SMBs).

“India has the potential to become the largest economy in the world. And if you look at economic growth, particularly recently, jobs is a very hard situation all over the world. From the US to developing markets, everyone is very concerned about jobs.”

“And majority of the growth, as I understand it, is certainly here, certainly in the US. In most countries, I have visited, SMBs are the way to growth,” she said.

Explaining further, Sandberg, whose previous stint was as Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, said “the answer to growth is entrepreneurship”.

“Individuals are creating businesses and employing other people, and in India, the SMB growth is strong. And Internet provides more growth stories to SMBs. People are connecting to people and getting more customers and that’s what leads to economic growth,” she added.

Micro, small and medium businesses contribute nearly eight per cent of India’s GDP, 45 per cent of the manufacturing output and 40 per cent of exports.

The sector is estimated to have given employment to about 595 lakh people in over 261 lakh such enterprises throughout the country.

via India’s potential that of world’s biggest economy: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg – Financial Express.


E China plants suspended after students’ nosebleeds – Xinhua |

Nine industrial plants in east China’s Zhejiang Province have been fined and suspended after their emissions were blamed for a spate of nosebleeds in a nearby middle school, authorities said on Thursday.

From March to May, 18 students suffered nosebleeds in Huangjiabu Township Middle School in the city of Yuyao, school medical room records show.

He Dongfeng, father of a student at the school, said his son suffered a bleeding nose about three weeks ago, together with three or four of his classmates.

He reported a sour and metallic smell in the air near the school.

Huangjiabu Township High School is near Huangjiabu Township’s industrial zone, a 133-hectare area that is home to 31 plants, including nine metal finishing and six dyeing plants.

Zheng Qilong, deputy head of the township, said authorities could not deny, but also did not have any evidence of, a connection between industrial pollution and the students’ nosebleeds.

According to doctors, toxic air can cause bleeding from the nose if the density of particulate matter is high enough. Another possible reason is that long-term exposure to toxic air may damage the coagulation function of blood platelets, leading to nosebleeds.

Yang Sheng, an official with Huangjiabu’s environmental protection bureau, said based on complaints from teachers and students of the high school, environmental authorities have carried out plant inspections and fined and suspended nine of them.

via E China plants suspended after students’ nosebleeds – Xinhua |


Building Golf Courses in China: An Illegal and Booming Industry – Businessweek

Like the U.S., China has an extensive national park system. Still, its designated parklands aren’t always protected from economic development. On Tuesday, Beijing Youth Daily published an investigation into how 20,000 acres of protected land in southern China’s Guizhou Forest Park were converted into golf courses, padding the pockets of local developers.

Clearing the way for a golf course in China's southern Hainan province early in 2103

A  telling note: Since 2004, construction of new golf courses has been illegal in China, following a directive of the State Council. The poorly enforced regulation hasn’t stopped the number of golf courses from multiplying from 170 in 2004 to more than 1,000 today—a more than fivefold increase in a decade, according to the paper.

The quixotic rise of golf in China—where Mao Zedong once lambasted putting as a bourgeois pastime—is the subject of a new book by the Asia Society’s Dan Washburn. In The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream, a charming and accessible work, Washburn follows the lives of three men whose careers are shaped by the sport: an American golf course designer who finds work in China, a budding Chinese tournament golfer, and a farmer whose land is converted into fairways.

via Building Golf Courses in China: An Illegal and Booming Industry – Businessweek.


China Minting Millionaires in Global Wealth Surge – Businessweek

Where do the world’s rich live? As has long been true, the U.S. has more millionaires (in U.S. dollars) than any other country, with 7.1 million. But China last year came in second with 2.4 million millionaire households, beating Japan with half as many. The number of millionaire families around the world reached 16.3 million last year, up from 13.7 million the year before.

Visitors crowd around a luxury yacht on display during the 19th China International Boat Show in Shanghai on April 10

All told, the total value of global private wealth grew far faster than global economic output, up 14.6 percent, to $152 trillion, compared with an 8.6 percent increase in 2012. Much of the new money originated in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan), up by 30.5 percent, to $37 trillion. That put Asia in the No. 3 spot for riches, behind North America and Europe, according to the 14th annual survey on private wealth by Boston Consulting Group.

Driven by rapid GDP growth in China and India, Asia is expected to surpass North America and Europe as the leading source of global wealth in 2018. That year, the global pot of gold will total a bit less than $200 trillion, with the proportion from Asia projected to reach $61 trillion, slightly more than North America, with $59.1 trillion. “The Asia-Pacific region and its new wealth will account for about half of the total growth,” the report predicts.

via China Minting Millionaires in Global Wealth Surge – Businessweek.


Highlights – President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to parliament – Reuters

The new government will pursue an economic reform agenda that foresees introducing the goods and services tax, encouraging foreign investment and speeding approvals for major business projects, President Pranab Mukherjee said in a parliamentary address on Monday.

Mukherjee also said the focus of the Modi government would be to:

- contain food inflation

- improve supply side of agro-based products

- prepare contingency plans for sub-normal monsoons

- increase public and private investments in agriculture

- address issues in farm pricing and procurement

- set up IITs and IIMs in every state

- have zero tolerance against violence against women and will strengthen criminal justice system

- tackle illegal immigration and infiltration in the north east region

- roll out broadband highways in every village in next five years

- vigorously follow up issue of black money with foreign governments

- focus on social media as a tool for participative governance

- provide predictable, fair and stable policy environment

- make every effort to introduce goods and services tax

- encourage investment through foreign direct investment

- promote labour-intensive manufacturing, tourism for job creation

- move towards a single-window system of clearances to promote manufacturing

- fast-track investment friendly public, private partnership

- liberalise foreign direct investments in defence

- encourage private investments in defence production

- implement reforms in defence procurement

- take up modernisation and revamp of railways on priority

- chalk out infrastructure development programmes for high-speed rails, roads and airports

- launch comprehensive national energy policy and focus on increasing electricity generation

- urgently pursue reforms in coal to attract private investments

- operationalise international civilian nuclear pacts

- ensure every family has good house by 2022

- ensure 24×7 electricity supply by 2022

- follow zero tolerance towards extremism, terrorism and communal violence

- formulate clear rules for allocation of coal, minerals and telecoms spectrum

- work towards putting economy on high growth path

- engage energetically with neighbours, including China

- bring renewed vigour in its engagement with the United States

via India Insight.

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Creativity advances as patent filings rise – China –

An increase in overseas patent applications from Chinese applicants is a positive sign for China’s innovation and economy, World Intellectual Property Organization Chief Economist Carsten Fink said.

WIPO emblem.

WIPO emblem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the WIPO, China’s patent office became the world’s largest intellectual property office in 2012 in terms of the number of its patent applications, but Chinese patent applicants did not file their patents as frequently abroad in other countries as did those from the United States, Europe and Japan.

Fink said that a changing picture was observed as patent filings abroad by Chinese companies and research institutions have been growing rapidly.

The WIPO found in its new study that the growth of Chinese patent filings abroad increased significantly after 2000, with a five-year average annual growth rate of 40 percent between 2000 and 2005, and 23 percent since 2005.

“That is important because on the one hand, it signals that Chinese companies really operate on the world technology frontier, and (on the other hand) it also suggests that indeed they are pushing the world’s technology frontier. That is a good sign for China’s innovation system,” Fink said.

Fink stressed that overseas patent filings weighed heavily for China’s economy and could be a positive boost.

“That will help Chinese companies to transfer their business models from the past one that relied on low wages to another one that will rely more and more on new technologies, new products and new ideas,” he said.

via Creativity advances as patent filings rise – China –

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India hits U.S., China with solar imports anti-dumping duties | Reuters

India will impose anti-dumping duties on solar panels imported from the United States, China, Taiwan and Malaysia to protect domestic solar manufacturers, according to a government statement seen by Reuters on Friday.

A man cleans panels installed at a solar plant at Meerwada village of Guna district in Madhya Pradesh June 18, 2012. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

The order, almost certain to anger India’s trading partners, sets duties of between 11 and 81 U.S. cents per watt and comes after a investigation which started in 2011. The ruling by a quasi-judicial body has to be published by the Finance Ministry before it takes effect.

The decision adds to India’s growing trade disputes just before Narendra Modi takes office as prime minister on Monday.

“Imposition of anti-dumping measures would remove the unfair advantages gained by dumping practices,” said India’s Anti-Dumping Authority in its order released on Thursday.

Local manufacturers have long complained that U.S., Chinese and Malaysian companies enjoy state subsidies and are selling their products at artificially low prices to capture the Indian market.

India also believes that anti-dumping duties imposed on Chinese solar producers by the European Union and the United States have further driven down the price of Chinese solar products, to the detriment of Indian suppliers.

India aims to raise its solar power capacity to 20,000 MW by 2022 from 1,700 MW currently. It imported solar products worth nearly 60 billion rupees ($1.03 billion) last year, according to an industry estimate. Domestic manufacturers got less than 2 percent of that business.

“India’s solar manufacturing is now bound to revive and further increase with both local and overseas participation ensuring a robust supply chain,” said H.R. Gupta of the Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association.

Under the new duties, importers will have to bear additional costs of between 5 percent and 110 percent while importing solar cells and panels from the United States, Malaysia and China.

via India hits U.S., China with solar imports anti-dumping duties | Reuters.

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Wal-Mart to open 110 stores in China as part of $100 million expansion bringing 19,000 jobs to world’s second-largest economy | Mail Online

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has announced plans to accelerate its expansion into China by adding as many as 110 stores over the next three years, resulting in an almost $100 million investment.

Re-adjustment: Wal-Mart Stores Inc is changing its approach, closing some big-box stores that never quite caught on with locals

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based firm wants to open the new stores in the world’s second-largest economy at the same time as closing 30 under-performing outlets over the next 18 months.

China is key to Wal-Mart’s international ambitions but it has stumbled in a market where consumers value safe and authentic food over the low prices for which the retailer is known.

The U.S. retailer, which operates about 400 units in China, said last October that it would open up to 110 facilities in the country between 2014 and 2016 and was looking to close 15-30 others over the next 18 months as part of a rationalization process in the country.

Its local rival, Sun Art Retail Group Ltd, said in March it would continue to maintain steady new store expansion after China’s top hypermarket operator posted a 15.2 percent rise in 2013 net profit with an expanding store network helping it shrug off an economic slowdown.

‘China presents one of the biggest opportunities for us around the world to grow our stores and clubs, so its really important,’ Doug McMillon, president of Wal-Mart’s international business, said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Wal-Mart already has 400 outlets across China and Wal-Mart is looking to develop a larger presence in the country’s largest center’s while building bigger stores in third- and fourth-tier cities.

via Wal-Mart to open 110 stores in China as part of $100 million expansion bringing 19,000 jobs to world’s second-largest economy | Mail Online.

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Does China Pose a Threat to Global Food Security? It Says No – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Twenty years ago, environmental advocate Lester Brown got in hot water with Beijing for writing a book called “Who Will Feed China?”

China was displeased with the suggestion in his book that the country’s growing population and water scarcity could drastically burden the world’s food resources. Beijing publicly criticized the author – then began a series of reforms including improving farming techniques and adopting a national policy of self-sufficiency in grain consumption that vindicated Mr. Brown’s arguments. It paved the way for a gradual rapprochement with the American, now 80.

Détente is over.

On Wednesday, China’s agriculture ministry issued a statement again criticizing Mr. Brown. It took umbrage with an essay he wrote titled “Can the World Feed China?” a riff on his earlier book. The essay details Mr. Brown’s concerns that rising domestic pressures on food consumption could result in spiking food prices and political unrest as China joins in a global “scramble for food.”

It isn’t clear why Mr. Brown was singled out for criticism; many analysts have in one form or other also articulated these trends, though arguably not as directly or pungently. But the move underscores how increasingly sensitive China is to the growing impression that it can’t feed itself and that its acquisitions of global food assets are posing a risk to food security for the rest of the world. China has been keen in recent years to head off any impression that it’s on a global grab for natural resources.

Mr. Brown wasn’t immediately available for comment.

The government is unhappy with the notion it’s being blamed for sharpening global competition for food. Mr. Brown’s essay said China’s rising grain imports  mean “it is competing directly with scores of other grain-importing countries.” He also warned that China’s purchase last year of U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods “was really a pork security move.” So too, he said, was China’s deal with Ukraine to provide $3 billion in loans in exchange for corn. “Such moves by China exemplify the new geopolitics of food scarcity that affects us all,” he wrote.

Not likely, ministry spokesman Bi Meijia said in the government’s statement. Mr. Bi said 97% of China’s grain consumption comes from its own output, not imports.

“On the issue of food security, China not only does not pose a threat to the world, but makes a contribution to global food security,” he said. China intends to continue its existing policies, he said.

Mr. Bi said rising grain imports aren’t due to domestic shortages, but because global prices are lower than domestic prices. The ministry also pointed out that imports accounted for just 2.6% of domestic grain production volume in 2013, and just 4% of global output.

via Does China Pose a Threat to Global Food Security? It Says No – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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