Singapore, Nov 13 (AP/UNB) — The potential damage to the global trade brought on by President Donald Trump's tariffs battle with Beijing is looming as leaders of Southeast Asian nations, China, the U.S. and other regional economies meet in Singapore this week.
Newly imposed tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of each other's exports resulting from a battle between the U.S. and China over technology policy and other issues have begun to bite.
It's unclear if the region's reliance on trade will lead ASEAN to push ahead with a free trade pact that would commit member countries to opening markets further this week. But the talk in Singapore was of freer trade.
Premier Li Keqiang told a business forum Monday that no country can handle trends toward more protectionism, uncertainty and other destabilizing factors alone.
Tokyo, Nov 13 (AP/UNB) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss bilateral trade and to touch base on their policies on North Korea as the two sides tried to showcase alliance ahead of key regional summits this week.
Pence told Abe as their talks started Tuesday that he planned to follow up on bilateral free trade talks that the two countries have agreed to start.
Japan has faced demands that it reduce its trade surplus with the U.S.
Pence and Abe gave reassurances of their cooperation on North Korea's denuclearization.
Pence will leave later Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore and an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea on behalf of President Donald Trump.
Shanghai, Nov 12 (Xinhua/UNB) -- China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Monday said the Singles' Day sales on its online shopping platforms reached a record 213.5 billion yuan (30.7 billion U.S. dollars).
The total sales on its platforms including Tmall and Taobao on Sunday represented an annual increase of about 27 percent from 168.2 billion yuan a year ago, Alibaba said.
Alibaba launched the annual online shopping promotion on Nov. 11, 2009, a day celebrated by many Chinese young people as Singles' Day.
Sales of Tmall's first shopping festival totaled about 52 million yuan and the number has been growing ever since with increasingly more consumers turn to online shopping.
According to Alibaba, more than 19,000 overseas brands from 75 countries and regions have participated in this year's online shopping spree in China.
Dhaka, Nov 12 (AP/UNB) -Momentum seems to be growing among major oil producers to reduce output in an effort to end a slump in prices.
Saudi Arabia's energy minister said Sunday that the kingdom will reduce exports by about 500,000 barrels a day from November to December. Khalid al-Falih made the comment at a meeting of oil producers in Abu Dhabi.
Russian oil minister Alexander Novak said his country is open to cuts if they are approved by a coalition of producers including OPEC.
Saudi Arabia and Russia are the world's biggest exporters, although the United States now produces more oil, according to U.S. government estimates.
"Today's meeting is a clear signal producer countries are worried about prices slipping further in the face of rising supply and weaker demand," said Jason Bordoff, a Columbia University professor and former energy official during the Obama administration.
Bordoff said, however, that producers might not be ready to cut output yet because of uncertainty over the effect that new U.S. sanctions could have on Iranian production.
A decision is expected when OPEC meets next month.
Concern about oversupply has pushed oil prices down by roughly 20 percent since early October. The decline in prices continued last week after the U.S. said it would let eight countries keep importing Iranian oil. That eased fears that new U.S. sanctions on Iran would cause shortages and drive prices higher.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, ended last week at $70.18, down 19 percent since Oct. 3. The U.S. standard, West Texas intermediate crude, was $60.19, down 21 percent in the same period.
Prices have been hurt by rising U.S. oil inventories and fear that trade wars could contribute to slower economic growth, which would reduce demand for energy.
Even with the slump, however, oil prices are still higher than they were a year ago.
Dhaka, Nov 9 (UNB) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said China will continue supporting Bangladesh's various economic development and infrastructure projects.
He conveyed this to Bangladesh's Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque at a meeting in Beijing, said the Foreign Ministry here on Friday.
Shahidul Haque led a 10-member Bangladesh delegation to the 11th Bangladesh-China Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) held in Beijing on Thursday.
The Chinese side was led by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Kong Xuanyou.
Bangladesh Ambassador to China Fazlul Karim and senior representatives from both sides were present.
The Chinese Vice Minister reiterated his country's commitment to play a positive and constructive role in resolving the Rohingya crisis and appreciated the staunch political will of Bangladesh to resolve the crisis peacefully.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque noted that the crisis originated as a conflict between the Myanmar government and its own people and stressed that Myanmar should start taking back its people without further delay as per the agreement reached during the recently concluded Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting.
In this context, he urged the Chinese side to do its utmost to encourage Myanmar to create a conducive environment for the speedier return of the displaced Rohingyas to their homeland in Rakhine.
The FOC reviewed various global, regional and sub-regional issues of mutual interests.
Issues of bilateral cooperation were also discussed at length. It took stock of the implementation status of decisions taken in the past at different levels of the two governments.
A host of new and emerging issues also came up for discussion.
The FOC especially focused on progress of materialising the agreements reached during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Bangladesh in October 2016 and during the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to China in June 2014.
The FOC outlined the future course of action to carry forward the ongoing works to translate into action the commitments reached at the leaders’ level.
The Vice Minister of China stated that Bangladesh is an important country for China's Belt and Road Initiative.
The Foreign Secretary underscored Bangladesh's support for the regional initiatives on connectivity, energy cooperation and economic integration under Saarc, Bimstec, BBIN and BCIM amongst other formations.
He noted that Bangladesh is engaged with all major economic powers of the world for realising its legitimate development aspirations, and connectivity across all major fields of economic partnerships.
He briefed the Chinese side about the Vision 2021 and the Vision 2041 outlined by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and sought continued Chinese support for the realisation of the Vision.
Consensus was reached at the FOC to expedite the approval procedure for Chinese loans for speedy implementation of infrastructure projects in Bangladesh.
Enhancing trade and investment promotion measures, technical cooperation in agriculture, attracting investments for the Hi-tech parks in Bangladesh, production capacity cooperation, cooperation in Blue Economy, power and energy cooperation, cooperation on climate change issues, and visa facilitation measures, among others, came up during the consultation.
Foreign Secretary Haque requested the Chinese Vice Minister Kong for ‘positive actions’ to respond to Bangladesh’s concerns over the trade imbalance.
He also requested the Chinese side to substantially increase import of Bangladeshi products, including jute and jute goods, pharmaceuticals, fruits and vegetables, and other non-traditional items for bridging the trade gap.
Foreign Secretary Haque stressed the need for enhanced Chinese investment in the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and in the Hi-tech parks.
The Chinese Vice Minister assured that necessary steps would be instituted to support Bangladesh's trade interests. Decision was taken at the FOC to hold the first-ever consular consultation between the two countries in Dhaka at an early date.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque along with his delegation visited the Headquarters of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at Xicheng District, and met DJ Pandian, Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer of AIIB.