Dhaka, Dec 04, (UNB) - A three-day-long International Flower Exhibition and Conference 2018 will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the city from December 6 to 8.
“The main aim of this event is to attract investors and businessmen to this sector as it is being flourished,” Abul Kasem Khan, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) said at a press conference at its office on Tuesday.
He said the country's flower market has reached US$ 144 million from US$ 96 million in recent time. “We would like to engage the government and other stakeholders to flourish the sector further.”
"Around 70 national and international SME's will exhibit and promote their products and services at the fair,” he added.
International Trade Center (ITC) in its study showed global exports over the last few years have grown by more than 10 percent annually.
DCCI will organize the three-day event with the partnership of USAID and BFS.
Lee Rosner, USAID chief of party, Awar Faruque, former secretary of Agriculture Ministry, Abdur Rahim, president of Bangladesh Flower Society, among others, were present at the program.
Singapore, Dec 4 (AP/UNB) — Asian shares were mostly lower Tuesday as investors questioned if a 90-day truce in a tariffs battle will allow the U.S. and China to resolve a range of issues from technology development to trade.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index shed 1.0 percent to 22,356.80 and the Kospi in South Korea lost 0.5 percent to 2,120.65. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.2 percent to 27,139.87 while the Shanghai Composite index was flat at 2,655.96. Both Chinese indexes finished more than 2 percent higher on Monday. The S&P ASX/200 in Australia gave up 0.9 percent to 5,721.00. Shares fell in Taiwan and Singapore but rose in Indonesia and the Philippines.
WALL STREET: A cease-fire in a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies lifted major U.S. indexes on Monday. The S&P 500 index jumped 1.1 percent to 2,790.37, after gaining close to 5 percent last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.1 percent higher at 25,826.43. The Nasdaq composite added 1.5 percent to 7,441.51. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1 percent to 1,548.96.
U.S-CHINA TRUCE: On Saturday, a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping ended with a verbal agreement to hold off on further tariffs for at least 90 days. Trump was set to raise tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods, starting Jan. 1. In return, the White House said Xi will buy a "very substantial amount" of U.S. agricultural, energy and industrial products. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that the leaders had detailed conversations on 142 items and will need to turn those pointers into a "real agreement" in the coming months.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "Markets are reflecting a fragile truce between the U.S. and China after an initial sigh of relief. Investors are taking some money off the table as they figure out the details of what the leaders have agreed to and how long the truce can last," said Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Private Banking.
ENERGY: Oil prices are rallying ahead of an OPEC meeting on Thursday, where members are expected to cut output in 2019. News that the Canadian province of Alberta will cut production by 325,000 barrels a day also boosted sentiment. Benchmark U.S. crude gained 56 cents to $53.51 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added $2.02 to settle at $52.95 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude rose 60 cents to $62.29 per barrel. It ticked up $2.23 to $61.69 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 113.30 yen from 113.63 yen late Monday. The euro rose to $1.1372 from $1.1353.
Washington, Dec 3 (AP/UNB) — The truce in the trade dispute between the U.S. and China should boost rattled financial markets, at least likely through year's end, experts say. But the stock market's wild gyrations of recent months likely will persist as the two countries strain to reach a permanent accord.
"The all-clear sign hasn't flashed yet but it's certainly positive news," says Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade.
The U.S. was set to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods Jan. 1. President Donald Trump agreed Saturday in a meeting with Chinese Leader Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit to hold off for 90 days while the two sides try to settle their differences.
That looming deadline, as well as Trump's threat to impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion of goods from China, possibly including iPhones and laptops, had contributed to sharp declines in stocks since early October.
The agreement buys time for the two countries to work out their differences in a fight over China's aggressive drive to supplant U.S. technological dominance.
In the short term, at least, strong market gains could be in the offing.
"I think the market will probably respond quite favorably," Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist for CFRA, said in reference to the temporary trade accord. "I do think that a Santa Claus rally is in the making."
After a steep decline in October, stocks steadied in early November, but the selling picked up again as investors abandoned high-flying technology stocks amid concerns over the U.S.-China trade tussle and slowing global economic growth. They also bailed on energy stocks as the price of oil plummeted.
The market also feared the Federal Reserve's policy of gradual interest rates hikes could end the longest bull market in history by slowing economic growth and depressing company profits. But last week Fed Chairman Jerome Powell indicated the central bank might consider a pause in rate hikes next year to gauge the impact of its credit tightening.
Stocks soared, with the S&P 500 rising nearly 5 percent for the week. The closely watched index is now up 3.2 for the year and, with the U.S.-China tentative agreement now in hand, some analysts expect it could post a gain for the year in the mid-single digits.
The euphoria could stretch into early next year. But if the 90-day deadline nears without a formal trade pact, Trump could tweet his displeasure at the Chinese and issue threats, creating more market choppiness, analysts say.
"You're going to see a ton of volatility," suggested Nate Thooft, a senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. "There's definitely no shortage of uncertainty."
Volatility has been a hallmark of the market recently. According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, the S&P 500 closed with a gain or loss of 1 percent or more on 18 of 44 trading days in October and November. There were eight such days in all of 2017.
Beyond the trade and tariff issues, there are still nagging concerns that higher interest rates could crimp economic growth in the U.S. and globally. Potential hot spots and instability abroad that can fuel higher commodity prices and spark inflation also aren't going away.
That means even with the encouraging results of the Group of 20 summit, "There will still be a cloud hanging over the market," E-Trade's Loewengart said.
Still, Stovall believes a formal trade agreement with China could help stave off a recession or bear market next year because uncertainly around growth in corporate profits would be lessened.
In the meantime, analysts say stocks that were especially hard-hit during the recent months of market turmoil are positioned for a nice rebound in the post-summit rally.
The Chinese agreed over the weekend to buy a "very substantial amount" of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products from the U.S. to trim America's widening trade deficit with China, so some companies in those sectors could benefit.
Stocks of tech giants like Facebook and Apple, which took a severe beating, as well as banks and electronic semi-conductors also look to be in for a turnaround.
Argentina, Dec 2 (AP/UNB) — The United States and China reached a 90-day ceasefire in a trade dispute that has rattled financial markets and threatened world economic growth. The breakthrough came after a dinner meeting Saturday between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise tariffs Jan. 1 on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The Chinese agreed to buy a "not yet agreed upon, but very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial" and other products from the United States to reduce America's huge trade deficit with China, the White House said.
The truce buys time for the two countries to work out their differences in a dispute over Beijing's aggressive drive to supplant U.S. technological dominance.
In another long-sought concession to the U.S., China agreed to label fentanyl, the deadly synthetic opioid responsible for tens of thousands of American drug deaths annually, as a controlled substance.
The White House announcement framed a victory for Trump and his unflinching negotiating tactics, securing a commitment from China to engage in talks on key U.S. economic priorities, with little obvious concession by the U.S. Notably, however, the White House appears to be reversing course on its previous threats to tie trade discussions to security concerns, like China's attempted territorial expansion in the South China Sea.
"It's great the two sides took advantage of this opportunity to call a truce," said Andy Rothman, investment strategist at Matthews Asia. "The two sides appear to have had a major change of heart to move away from confrontation toward engagement. This changes the tone and direction of the bilateral conversation."
The Trump-Xi meeting was the marquee event of Trump's whirlwind two-day trip to Argentina for the G-20 summit after the president canceled a sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin over mounting tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Trump also canceled a Saturday news conference, citing respect for the Bush family following the death of former President George H.W. Bush.
Trump said Bush's death put a "damper" on what he described as a "very important meeting" with Xi.
The United States and China are locked in a dispute over their trade imbalance and Beijing's tech policies. Washington accuses China of deploying predatory tactics in its tech drive, including stealing trade secrets and forcing American firms to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.
Trump has imposed import taxes on $250 billion in Chinese products — 25 percent on $50 billion worth and 10 percent on the other $200 billion. Trump had planned to raise the tariffs on the $200 billion to 25 percent if he couldn't get a deal with Xi.
China has already slapped tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. goods.
Under the agreement reached in Buenos Aires, the two countries have 90 days to resolve their differences over Beijing's tech policies. If they can't, the U.S. tariff increases will go into effect on the $200 billion in Chinese imports.
U.S. officials insist that the American economy is more resilient to the tumult than China's, but they remain anxious of the economic effects of a prolonged showdown — as Trump has made economic growth the benchmark by which he wants his administration judged.
A full-blown resolution was not expected to be reached in Buenos Aires; the issues that divide them are just too difficult.
Growing concerns that the trade war will increasingly hurt corporate earnings and the U.S. economy are a key reason why U.S. stock prices have been sinking this fall.
Joining other forecasters, economists at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development last week downgraded their outlook for global economic growth next year to 3.5 percent from a previous 3.7 percent. In doing so, they cited the trade conflict as well as political uncertainty.
The two countries also made progress on the regulation of fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin. U.S. officials for years have been pressing the Chinese government to take a tougher stance against fentanyl, and most U.S. supply of the drug is manufactured in China.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says China's decision to label the drug as a controlled substance means that "people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China's maximum penalty under the law."
Trump met Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a rare trilateral meeting. The symbolism ahead of the Xi meeting was clear: The Trump administration has looked to find common cause with both nations in countering China's regional hegemony.
Earlier that day, Trump signed a revamped three-way trade deal with Canada and Mexico, fulfilling a long-standing pledge, though the agreement could face headwinds in Congress.
Argentina, Dec 1 (AP/UNB) — Divisions among the world leading economies emerged from the moment their leaders gathered Friday in Argentina: Donald Trump struck his own deals and angered allies, and the leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia bonded amid criticism from European powers.
U.S. negotiators blocked progress at the Group of 20 summit on managing migration, slowing climate change, and streamlining how world trade is governed, according to European officials involved in the discussions.
Security concerns also weighed on the two-day talks in Buenos Aires. Argentina's security minister said eight gasoline bombs were discovered in an area of the capital several miles from the summit venue where a protest in the afternoon drew thousands of demonstrators who held up banners with slogans like "Go away G-20" and "Go away Trump."
The whole point of the G-20 — formed in the wake of the global financial crisis a decade ago — is finding ways to solve global problems together, but diplomats in Buenos Aires struggled to find enough things all the leaders agree on.
Trump sought to use the summit to make his own trade deals, and angered the Argentine hosts by misconstruing their position on China's trade practices.
Meanwhile, two men under heavy criticism from the West lately — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — appeared to seek refuge in each other, bonding with a tough-guy hand grab as the leaders sat down around a huge round table for talks.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri kicked off the summit by acknowledging divisions within the G-20 while urging world leaders to have a "sense of urgency" and take actions "based on shared interests."
Diplomats from the Group of 20 countries were haggling hard over a final summit statement, with deep divisions over what language to use on the Paris climate accord and the World Trade Organization.
Two European officials involved in the discussions said the U.S. was stymieing progress on both.
So an unorthodox solution emerged: An official in the French president's office said the statement may have language that sets the U.S. apart. For example, a draft says 19 of the participants agree on the importance of upholding the Paris climate accord, but the U.S. doesn't.
Asked about the European concerns, a U.S. official said progress was being made on the joint statement and the White House was "optimistic" about the document as a whole.
Later the Argentine official shepherding the G-20 finance talks, treasury official Laura Jaitman, said Trump was "very active and committed" in the dialogue and said progress was made in Friday's talks on finance and trade.
"There's a very positive message of how trade has been an engine of growth for the next decades and how it will continue in the future providing benefits for all citizens," Jaitman said.
Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said trade talks were moving forward and nations were continuing to work on climate change wording.
Despite Trump's dismissal of concerns about global warming, China, France and the United Nations came together Friday to pledge their support for the Paris climate accord. Their declaration was meant to encourage other G-20 members to do the same, and to provide a boost for an upcoming U.N. climate summit.
Overall the G-20 summit is meant to focus on issues such as labor, infrastructure, development, financial stability, climate sustainability and international commerce.
But as the gathering got underway, those themes seemed like afterthoughts, overshadowed by contentious matters from the U.S.-China trade dispute to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Russia and Ukraine have traded blame over the weekend seizure of Ukrainian ships and their crew — which Trump cited in canceling a much-awaited meeting with Putin at the G-20. Russia's foreign minister regretted the cancellation, but said "love can't be forced."
Also looming large amid dozens of bilateral meetings in Buenos Aires: The gruesome slaying of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul Consulate and how the Saudi crown prince, who is alleged to have ordered the killing, is received by world leaders.
As soon as he arrived, the crown prince was confronted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who pressed him on the Khashoggi investigation and the Saudi-backed war in Yemen.
Bin Salman told Macron not to worry, but Macron countered, "I am worried."
Saudi Arabia has denied that bin Salman played a role, but some leaders were concerned about seeming to legitimize a man who U.S. intelligence agencies concluded ordered the killing. Trump's administration, however, has made clear it does not want to torpedo the longstanding U.S. relationship with Riyadh.
It is the prince's first significant appearance overseas since the killing. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia over the incident, is also in attendance.
Leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico, meanwhile, met in the morning to sign a trade deal replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement that was struck following months of tough negotiations that analysts say left a bitter taste among the partners.
It must still be ratified by lawmakers in all three countries, and passage in the U.S. could face a tough road in the House of Representatives after Democrats won a majority in November midterm elections.
While Trump canceled his meeting with Putin, the U.S. president was still scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but analysts were not optimistic about prospects for a major breakthrough on the two countries' trade disputes a month before U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are set to ramp up.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived late after her plane suffered a technical problem.
British Prime Minister Theresa May's attendance at the summit marked the first time a U.K. prime minister has visited Argentina's capital. The only other prime minister to visit the country was Tony Blair, who went to Puerto Iguazu in 2001. The two countries have long been at odds over the South Atlantic islands known as the Falklands in Britain and the Malvinas in Argentina.
Faurie, the Argentine foreign minister, said the recent establishment of more flights to the disputed islands was a positive development.
"We are not withdrawing our historic claim," he added. "The focus of this opportunity is in the reestablishment of trust."
In downtown Buenos Aires, meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators flooded the 9 de Julio Avenue waving flags and holding up banners. Several marched topless with colorful national flags of summit countries painted on their chests."
About 22,000 police officers and other security forces are guarding the leaders during the summit.
Argentina is the first South American country to host the G-20, and officials have the added challenge of ensuring that chaos is better contained than it was at last year's meeting in Hamburg, Germany, where clashes broke out between police and protesters.
Argentine authorities have said they will not tolerate violence or allow the gathering to be disrupted.