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Turkey moves to expand Customs union with EU

ANKARA: Months after agreeing with Brussels to upgrade a decades-old Customs Union, Ankara has moved towards implementing practical steps that would bring the economies of Turkey and the European Union closer together. “We will be sitting around the table for negotiations probably by September,” Turkey’s Economy Minister Mustafa Elitaş recently said, while also setting the end of 2017 as a ... Read More »

Indonesia Customs nabs British with marijuana

JAKARTA: A British man was reportedly arrested on January 9 for carrying three grams of marijuana in his buttocks. Identified in an Antara Bali report as 58-year-old Stephen Russell Hakes, the man was arrested shortly after he landed in Bali from an AirAsia flight out of Bangkok, said Ngurah Rai Airport’s Head of Customs and Excise Budi Harjanto. According to ... Read More »

SL Customs targets Rs 1 trillion record revenue this year

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) is expected to collect Rs. 1 trillion as tax revenue for 2016, Director General Chulananda Perera said. Speaking at a seminar on Sri Lanka Customs’ Single Window Implementation for Boarder Regulatory Authorities, Perera said the Customs will take proactive measures to reach this target. Perera however noted that the SLC is not willing to touch ... Read More »

Petrobras to sell its share in petrochemical firm Braskem

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian state oil company Petrobras will sell its share in Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in Latin America, as part of its massive divestment process, local media said Wednesday. According to daily Folha de Sao Paulo, Petrobras has hired the Bradesco bank to seek out potential clients for its share in Braskem, with Canadian company Brookfield reportedly ... Read More »

Singapore’s container throughput falls by 8.7% in 2015: MPA

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s container throughput and cargo throughput fell by 8.7 percent and 1.1 percent respectively in 2015 year-on-year, according to advance estimates released by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Wednesday. Amidst weak global economic conditions and structural changes in the maritime industry, the Port of Singapore put in a mixed performance last year, said MPA. Vessel arrival ... Read More »

France’s CPI rises by 0.2% in Dec

PARIS: The French consumer price index (CPI) increased by 0.2 percent in December 2015 as increasing prices of services and manufacturing products drove up the country’s inflation rate, official data showed on Wednesday. On a yearly basis, the CPI rose by 0.2 percent, the national statistics bureau Insee noted in its monthly report. Last month, the rise in prices stemmed ... Read More »

Japan’s Nov. core machinery orders fall 14.4% on month

TOKYO: Japan’s core machinery orders plummeted a seasonally adjusted 14.4 percent in November from a month earlier, marking the first decline in three months, the Cabinet Office said Thursday. The orders, excluding volatile ones for ships and utilities, totaled 773.8 billion yen (6.6 billion U.S. dollars) in the recording period, with the figure coming in well below median analysts’ estimates. ... Read More »

European development bank makes record annual investment in central Asia

LONDON: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced Wednesday that its investment into central Asia reached a record level in 2015. Investment in 2015 by the London-based development bank rose 75 percent to 1.4 billion euros (about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars) from 803 million euros, in 82 different transactions, up from 71 projects in 2014. This brings the ... Read More »

S.Korea freezes interest rates at record low as expected

SEOUL: South Korea’s central bank on Thursday froze interest rates at a record low as expected, keeping a wait-and-see stance for seven straight months. Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-Yeol and six other policy board members decided to keep the benchmark 7-day repurchase rate on hold at 1.5 percent. The bank lowered it by 25 basis points in March ... Read More »

BP plans to boost its natural gas business in sustainable energy push

LONDON: The United Kingdom-based oil and gas giant BP Plc plans to increase its business in the natural gas sector as a part of efforts to limit climate change, a senior executive said on Wednesday. “We are building a more resilient portfolio with a growing natural gas component to support actions of the Paris agreement on climate change,” said David ... Read More »

Huawei sets ambitious goal of $100b per year in revenue

Beijing: Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is aiming big for its smartphone business. Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei, set an ambitious target on Wednesday, calling on the company’s consumer business group to aspire to $100 billion in annual revenue within the next five years. The company previously predicted that its smartphone sales revenue for 2015 will stand at $20 billion. ... Read More »

China’s outbound M&A hit record high at $111.9b in 2015

BEIJING: China’s outbound M&A volume increased for the sixth consecutive year to a record high of $111.9 billion in 2015, breaching the $100 billion mark for the first time ever, says a recent report from Dealogic, an international information provider on investment deals. Europe was the top targeted region for Chinese acquisitions and accounted for almost one third of total ... Read More »

China advances diversity in trading partners

BEIJING: China has achieved progress in diversification of trading partners. In 2015, the bilateral trade between China and its largest trading partners – the European Union, the US and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – stood at 3.51 trillion yuan ($533.52 billion), 3.47 trillion yuan and 2.93 trillion yuan, respectively. The country’s trade with emerging market economies such as ... Read More »

‘Gloomy’ trade prospects seen amid restructuring

BEIJING: China’s foreign trade ran into difficulties last year, with imports and exports both experiencing year-on-year declines. Despite encouraging figures last month, the trade picture for this year remains gloomy, according to Customs data released on Wednesday. “The double decrease in imports and exports is due to economic slowdown and weak demand throughout the world,” said General Administration of Customs ... Read More »

Innovation helps transform Dongguan’s economy

BEIJING: Increase in exports of products developed locally through innovation has helped upgrade the trade and industrial structure of Dongguan, a Pearl River Delta city in Guaongdong province, a senior local official said. The city is known for its strong manufacturing and trade. “General trade, which is marked by export of products made locally, will become a major force and ... Read More »

China-made Cadillac hybrid car to be sold in US market

BEIJING: Two days after unveiling the first new vehicle from Detroit’s Big 3 imported from China, General Motors Co said it also will import the plug-in hybrid version of the Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan to the US from the mainland. The plug-in hybrid CT6 will be made at a plant in China. GM also plans to make the CT6 at ... Read More »

Uzbekistan keens to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Uzbekistan Ambassador Furkat A. Sidikov visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and said that his country was keen to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan as both countries have good potential to promote trade relations in multiple areas. He said Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoyed good political relations since long, but it was the need of the hour to ... Read More »

Brazil real rises on commodities after Chinese exports surprise

BRASILIA: Brazil’s real followed commodities higher after a report showed Chinese exports unexpectedly rose last month in yuan terms. The real advanced 0.6 percent to 4.0050 per dollar at 9:49 a.m. in Sao Paulo. The Bloomberg Commodity Index, which touched a record low on Tuesday, rose after China’s trade surplus widened and exports recovered. Commodities account for about half of ... Read More »

US Customs seizes $200K in drugs at Rio Grande Valley Bridges

HIDALGO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridges arrested two men after detecting $198,000 worth of alleged cocaine and methamphetamine hidden within the vehicles they were driving. “As smugglers continue with their efforts to introduce illegal narcotics into the United States, our frontline officers’ resiliency and determination to combat those ... Read More »

US Customs arrests heroin smuggler at JFK

JAMAICA: An arriving passenger was planning to enjoy a very interesting cocktail, but U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport shut down her speakeasy before it ever opened. On January 6, Ms. Rosa Almonte De Ortega arrived on a flight from Santiago, Dominican Republic and presented one checked-in suitcase for examination. During the examination ... Read More »