Ottawa free trade talks with China

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 08:  Chinese Premier...

OTTAWA — The Conservative government is expected to announce in the coming days that it has cleared the first hurdle towards free trade talks with China.

Canada and China launched a joint study during Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s trip to China in February that is aimed at determining ways to enhance trade and economic activity between the two countries.

The study was to be completed by the end of May, and industry representatives say they have been told the high-level assessment went better than expected.

China has emerged as Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the United States and a major source of foreign investment — including $10 billion into Alberta’s oilsands and B.C.’s shale gas deposits.

Kathleen Sullivan, executive director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, said members of her association had expected the results of the study to be released last week, but the government seems to be waiting for the right moment.

Whenever the results are released, however, the key question will be what comes next.

via Ottawa inching closer to free trade talks with China.

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Indonesia tax on metals risks China shipments

A piece of Ni about 3 cm in size Category:nick...

HONG KONG/JAKARTA May 4 Reuters – New Indonesian taxes on metals and curbs on shipment of raw minerals are likely to hit exports of nickel and bauxite to China, an industry source said on Friday, highlighting concerns over the impact of the policy on Southeast Asias biggest economy.Jakarta aims to boost investment in domestic ore processing to lift exports of higher-value finished metals by the G20 economy through the new rules which come into force on Sunday.

The resource-rich nation is imposing a 20 percent tax on some m etal ore exports and will prohibit shipments of raw minerals unless miners submit plans to build smelters.

The rules are likely to affect less than a third of Indonesias metal exports but are a precursor to a total ban on raw material exports by 2014.

Around 10,000 holders of mining business permits , mostly small-scale miners in the worlds top nickel miner and tin producer, will be required to produce plans of how they will process and smelt ores within Indonesia ahead of 2014, or face a ban on exporting from Sunday.

“Chinas imports of nickel laterite ores from Indonesia may fall sharply after May, which would force Chinese nickel-pig-iron producers to cut production as ore prices rise,” said a trade manager at a nickel pig iron producer in China, which has two ships at an Indonesian port trying to leave by Sunday.Indonesia supplied around 80 percent of Chinas nickel and 53 percent of its bauxite last year, according to PwC data.

via Indonesia tax on metals risks China shipments | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters.

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China’s accounting problem

KPMG offices in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. May...

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The Big Four — PwC, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG and Ernst & Youngaudit the books of most of the world’s largest corporations through networks of legally separate audit firms. Their Chinese arms, which also audit Chinese operations of large multinational companies, have also been beyond the reach of PCAOB inspections.

via Analysis: Painful choices loom on China’s accounting problem