Posts tagged ‘Argentina’


5 Takeaways From China’s State-of-the-Nation Speech – WSJ

With a state-of-the-nation speech, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced an era of slower growth, saying “China’s economic development has entered a new normal.” The nearly 100-minute speech inside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on Thursday outlined the Chinese government priorities for the coming year. The overriding imperative: generating enough growth to keep people happy while the government guides a transition away from smokestack industries to services.   

1 China’s ‘new normal’ is slower, but not slow.

The lowered growth target of about 7% is the lowest in over a decade, but still — Chinese state media reminded — fast for a major economy. A willingness to see an economic free-fall after years of heady growth it isn’t. Mr. Li several times cited the need to keep the economy humming along. He said maintaining “medium-high-level growth” is crucial to boosting living standards, creating jobs and finding new growth drivers.

2 Is smaller better?

While China’s large and often unpopular state enterprises typically capture a large share of bank loans and other government support, Mr. Li gave more than a shout-out to small businesses. He promised to make it easier to start new businesses and encourage people to do so. It isn’t so much an ideological retreat from state control to the private sector. The reason, he said, is that China needs to create jobs and smaller businesses do that.

3 The government isn’t going away

For all the progress, China’s government still believes strongly in the state’s hand over the invisible hand. The deficit is being widened – to 2.3% of gross domestic product from 2.1% – to spend more money to create growth. Big infrastructure projects are still in vogue, with the government promising 800 billion yuan (about $127.6 billion) for new railways and a similar amount for water projects. One of President Xi Jinping’s pet projects, a bevy of cross-border infrastructure projects to bind neighboring economies to China’s orbit known as the new Silk Road, received three mentions.

4 What about the environment?

Expected to be a hot topic, the environment didn’t feature highly in government priorities. Last year, Mr. Li vowed to “declare war on pollution” in a bow to rising middle-class complaints about noxious air, especially in Beijing. A documentary by a former state TV reporter released last weekend went viral. Mr. Li’s speech, however, offered tinkering on already-laid plans. Energy intensity – a measure of energy used to create economic growth – is to be cut 3.1%, lower than last year’s 4.8% but enough to reach a long-term target.

5 China still has a long way to go.

For all China’s tremendous success in becoming an economic powerhouse, income gaps are wide and many people — especially in rural areas — struggle. These government reports are a good reminder of that. This year, Mr. Li said, 60 million more rural Chinese will get access to safe drinking water. Some 200,000 people live without electricity, though more will get it, he said. The social safety net the government has struggled to build out is still thin. The government’s raising pensions, but even so the lowest basic pension across urban and rural China will be 70 yuan a month, less than $12.

via 5 Takeaways From China’s State-of-the-Nation Speech – WSJ.


China to expand presence in Antarctica with new research bases | Reuters

China will expand its presence in Antarctica by building a fourth research base and finding a site for a fifth, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday, as the country steps up its increasingly far-flung scientific efforts.

Chinese scientists are increasingly looking beyond China for their research, including sending submersibles to explore the bottom of the ocean and last weekend landing the country\’s first probe on the moon.

Workers will build a summer field camp called Taishan and look for a site for another research station, the official China Daily reported.

\”As a latecomer to Antarctic scientific research, China is catching up,\” the report cited Qu Tanzhou, director of the State Oceanic Administration\’s Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration, as saying.

China already has three Antarctic research stations – Great Wall, Zhongshan and Kunlun.

\”Building the Taishan camp and inspecting sites for the (other) station can further guarantee that Chinese scientists will conduct scientific research over a wider range and in a safer way,\” Qu said.

The Taishan camp will be used during the South Pole\’s summer from December to March and will provide logistical support and be used to study geology, glaciers, geomagnetism and atmospheric science, the newspaper said.

Scientists will also be focusing their studies on climate change, it added.

The Taishan camp will be near the United States\’ McMurdo Station, Italy\’s Zucchelli Station and a recently built South Korean station, the newspaper said.

\”While the nation is expanding its presence in Antarctica, it is also enhancing its scientific research ability, with a new icebreaker to be built and a fixed-wing aircraft to be bought for future polar expeditions,\” the report added.

In 1908, Britain became the first country to claim Antarctic territory, and since then New Zealand, France, Norway, Australia, Chile and Argentina have also lodged official claims, although most countries do not recognize them.

China does not have any territorial claims, but has been boosting its presence in Antarctica, and in June President Xi Jinping said polar exploration was an important field to develop.

via China to expand presence in Antarctica with new research bases | Reuters.


China’s Gezhouba to build dams in Argentina worth $4.7 billion | Reuters

China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd (600068.SS), known for building the country\’s Three Gorges Dam, said it would build two hydroelectric dams in Argentina worth $4.7 billion.

The project, in which Gezhouba holds a 60 percent interest and Argentina\’s Electroingenieria SA the rest, will involve designing and building the dams in Patagonia and maintaining them for 15 years, Gezhouba said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Friday.

The dams – named after former President Nestor Kirchner and a former regional Governor, Jorge Cepernic – are located along the Santa Cruz River and will have a combined generating capacity of 1,740 megawatts.

They will take 66 months to complete, said Gezhouba, which has handled overseas projects in Africa, the Middle East and other parts of Asia.

The project is unlikely to have any impact on Gezhouba\’s results in 2013, it said.

Argentina\’s Economics Ministry will apply for financing and loans from Chinese banks.

via China’s Gezhouba to build dams in Argentina worth $4.7 billion | Reuters.

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