Taiwan's first free economic zone

Bintulu International Container Terminal

Kaohsiung, May 25 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday he hopes the Port of Kaohsiung can work toward becoming Taiwan‘s first showcase free economic zone to help drive the country’s economic growth.

Speaking at the groundbreaking of the second phase of the port’s International Container Terminal, Ma said the proposed showcase free zone will comprise the existing Kaohsiung Free Trade Zone, export processing zones and industrial parks in the southern Taiwan city.

The government plans to invest NT$28.11 billion in the NT$90.6 billion project for the terminal’s second phase, according to Taiwan International Ports Corp., which operates the Kaohsiung port.

The second phase of the terminal, which will create 19 new deepwater berths, is scheduled to be completed in 2019, the company said.

Ma said petrochemical companies in the area planning to relocate should consider moving instead to the container terminal, since 10 of the new berths will be used for a petrochemical distribution center in the terminal.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo also said that under the project, land will be allocated for the relocation of petrochemical companies in the old port area.

However, Chu Shao-hua, chairman of the state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan, said the company will move only its oil tank in the old port area and has no plans to establish a new petrochemical plant at the Kaohsiung terminal when its naphtha cracker complex shuts down in 2015.

The government confirmed May 14 that a controversial project intended to replace the production of CPC Corp.’s complex in Kaohsiung would be relocated to Malaysia.

The Kuogang project, partly invested by CPC Corp., was proposed in 2005 and was scheduled to be built in a wetlands area in central Taiwan’sChanghua County, but it was scrapped last y

via Free economic zone project to get off the ground in Kaohsiung – CNA ENGLISH NEWS.

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Jessica Alba is all business

English: Jessica Alba in Paris presenting the ...

Some may know her as the Fantastic Four beauty of Hollywood.

But Jessica Alba has actually stepped up her game as an entrepreneur, juggling motherhood and her eco-friendly baby products business.

And today’s outfit certainly reflected the fact that she meant business.

As Jessica dropped off daughter Honor, four, at school en route to her Honest Company offices, she was seen in a white blazer teamed with ivory chinos and a pair of two-toned ivory and lilac suede buck shoes.

via Jessica Alba is all business as she does the school run in a blazer and bucks | Mail Online.

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Penang free port status

Image of the Jewish Cemetery in George Town, P...

GEORGE TOWN: A PROPOSAL has been mooted to restore the free port status of Penang to boost international tourism investments.

It is learnt that the proposal has been forwarded to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and chairman of Tourism Malaysia Datuk Dr Victor Wee Eng Lye.

“Discussions are ongoing to make Penang a tourist haven and complement Langkawi’s free port status,” a source told the New Straits Times.

The source said the free port status for Penang is part of a move to improve the tourism appeal of both Penang and Langkawi and attract high-net investors to both islands.

via Proposal to restore Penang free port status – Top News – New Straits Times.

 

African free trade zone

Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Mahmoud Eissa stressed the need for consolidating inter-trade among African countries as this matter has become a must to achieve the regional economic integration, in light of the numerous challenges facing Africa and the multi-lateral trade system.

He also called for achieving reconciliation and matching by African various African blocs in order to achieve African free trade zone.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, public ...

Minister Eissa urged African countries to support all efforts to facilitate African inter-trade.

Eissa called as well for strengthening African business organization and the involvement of the private sector in carrying out the trade exchange programs. The world economic forum started Thursday in Addis Ababa with 700 African dignitaries taking part.

Egypt‘s delegation was headed by Dr. Mohamed Eissa, Industry and Foreign Trade Minister deputizing for Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Eissa gave a speech on means to give a push to the African trade Agenda. He met after the inaugural session with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who expressed his country’s keenness to cement strategic relations between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Eissa held several meetings with officials of a number of Egyptian companies operating in the Ethiopian market. He also met, on the sidelines of his participation in the World Economic Forum, with Egyptian members of the Egyptian-Ethiopian Business Council.

During his talks with the companies’ officials, Eissa discussed ways of boosting economic cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia within the upcoming phase.

The two sides also tackled the obstacles which hinder the increase of investments either in Egypt or Ethiopia.

via Egypt State Information Service.

 

Global economy

Nagpur branch of Reserve Bank of India. I took...

The storm clouds are gathering once again. After a brief reprieve, the global picture is again starting to look nervous reminding us that the ghost of the 2008 financial crisis is still with us. Crucial elections this past weekend in Greece and France have pushed Europe back into uncertain times. A highly fractured mandate in Greece has thrown the nation into turmoil and a shift of power in France has raised questions over the fate of the European fiscal austerity pact.

 

The result has been a sharp rise in risk aversion across global markets this week. On Tuesday, the benchmark equity index in Greece tumbled to the lowest levels in 20 years. Greece was not the only market to tumble. France, Germany, Italy all saw a sell-off in equities reflecting the nervousness that has once again gripped equity investors who seem to be shunning risk assets. For India, this does not bode well. Global investors, rightly or wrongly, tend to bunch risk assets together. And so a risk-averse environment is unlikely to leave India untouched.

 

The return of risk aversion is evident in the bond markets as well. As investors sought safety, money returned to US treasuries and German bunds which are now seen among the safest assets available. German bund yields, which move inversely to prices, have dipped this week. At the same time, US managed to sell 3-year treasuries at the lowest yield in 3 months – a reflection of strong demand for these “safe assets”. This is bad news for capital flows coming into India through portfolio investment. Investors may not pullout money from Indian equity markets but they may not bring in any fresh money either.

 

The currency markets are seeing a ripple effect as well. As talk of a possible Greece exit picked up once again, the Euro tumbled. The Euro fell below 1.30/$ – a level that the single currency has held on to since January. The fall in the Euro has a direct bearing on all emerging market currencies including the Rupee. As the Dollar strengthens, all currencies adjust to the strength in the Dollar. And so the Rupee has fallen back towards 53.50/$ despite strong intervention from the Reserve Bank of India just last Friday. In the light of the Euro fall, it seems futile for the Reserve Bank of India to try and defend the currency especially at a time when forex reserves are anything but abundant. Yet the markets do expect the RBI to continue supporting the Rupee to some extent.

 

In all of this, the silver lining may lie in the decline in commodity prices. As concerns around the global economy rise, commodity prices have fallen as well. So crude oil prices have slipped to their lowest levels in 6 months. This comes as a relief to a country like India which is grappling with a wide current account deficit. A large chunk of our import bill is on account of oil imports and even a marginal decrease in oil prices is positive for India. Unfortunately some of the benefits of lower oil prices are taken away by the weaker currency. Still lower commodity prices are perhaps the only silver lining in an otherwise worrying global scenario.

 

All eyes are now on Europe but also on economic data from the US. Will the political turmoil is Greece die down? How well will France’s new leadership work with the German leadership? And will economic data suggest a moderation in the US economy? Will the appetite for risk assets among global investors return? All questions that will remain crucial for India and indian investors in the days ahead.

via Global economy: What gloom means for India, Sensex, rupee.

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Top 10 Rookie Mistakes for Entrepreneurs

Clifton House Regional office for Tenon; a lea...

Many people who start businesses, including me, have little or no experience and just jump in. Over the years, I have compared notes with many fellow entrepreneurs, and I have seen them make the same mistakes over and over again — I recognize them because I have made them all, too. Here is my list of the biggest rookie mistakes:

1. Keeping your rent as low as possible. The key to business is to keep expenses low, right? Wrong. Sometimes it is worth paying more rent if it will generate more customers, if it gives a better image and inspires confidence, if it helps attract the right employees or if it makes it easier to deal with suppliers. In retail, this one mistake can determine success or failure.

2. Hiring someone you know and trust. Competence is more important. While hiring friends and relatives can work, it severely limits the pool from which you choose, leaving out people who could be much more qualified. Friends and relatives can also carry baggage. They can also be very hard to manage, which leads to my ultimate advice: if you can’t fire ‘em, don’t hire ‘em.

3. Buying used equipment to keep expenses down. This, too, works sometimes, but it is often shortsighted. For example, buying a used truck with 100,000 miles on it will guarantee that you will spend valuable time and money fixing the truck when it should be out taking care of customers. Can you really afford downtime with any machine?

via The Top 10 Rookie Mistakes for Entrepreneurs – NYTimes.com.

SAICA extends tax offering to public

Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia -...

Johannesburg, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 – As tax legislation continues to be more complex and turbulent, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants Saica has launched the Tax Suite, a tax knowledge-based platform aimed at keeping local practitioners, advisers and just about anyone that has anything to do with tax abreast of international and local best practice.Offered to both Saica members and non-members alike, the subscription-based web product is a comprehensive and broad tax resource offering on the South African market, backed by the countrys authoritative chartered accounting body.

Chartered Accountants already have access to Saicas normal tax resources, but the Tax Suite goes beyond this. It provides a great opportunity for all participants in the tax space, not affiliated with the institute, to receive a range of services at CA-quality levels not yet seen in the marketplace,” explains Saicas Standards Senior Executive Muneer Hassan pictured.According to Hassan, no other tax resource on the market delivers the same value-add that the Tax Suite does. Not only is there value inherent in court case analyses, Tax Suite newsletters and journals, and in the business matching feature, but the Tax Suite is staffed by a uniquely qualified team.There are, according to SARS, more than 34,000 tax practitioners in South Africa. Hassan believes that the Tax Suite service will find wide appeal from both members who practice in tax, and from a much wider audience of tax practitioners. “We have already received positive feedback from the legal fraternity, and the broad tax advisory industry. There are competitive offerings,” says Hassan. “but none that have the depth of staff, or value that our Tax Suite provides. We are confident that this service will become South Africas premier tax reference site in a short space of time.”

via Moneywebtax – Saica extends tax offering to public – Integritax.

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