Members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) pledged to further their cooperation at the APEC Concluding Senior Officials' Meeting (CSOM) held here on Saturday.
Convened by Chile, the host of APEC 2019, the CSOM summarized the fruitful achievements of APEC Chile year in 2019 and rolled out roadmaps ahead for continued actions.
According to Chinese APEC senior official Lu Mei who is also the head of the Chinese delegation, the CSOM summarized the work throughout the year of 2019, and endorsed a number of initiatives and outcomes on various fields, including "regional economic integration, digital economy, connectivity, women and inclusive development, and marine environment."
Members also appreciated Chile's efforts in hosting the APEC 2019 and promoting APEC cooperation, and pledged to join in the efforts to implement the projects and deliverables achieved in the APEC Chile year, she added.
During the CSOM, Chile issued the 2019 APEC Host Economy Leader's Statement, which officially marks the end of the APEC Chile year. The statement speaks highly of the achievements that APEC has made over the past 30 years since its establishment. It also reiterates that APEC is committed to promoting free and open trade and investment, strengthening multilateral cooperation and rules-based international trade, and continuously advancing cooperation on connectivity, digital economy, regional economic integration, and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
The statement welcomes the report on the Post-2020 Vision submitted by the APEC Vision Group and looks forward to the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia in 2020.
As an important member of the Asia-Pacific community, China attaches great importance to APEC and has long been deeply engaged in APEC cooperation in various areas with great contributions, Lu said.
China is fully committed to APEC cooperation and "will continue to uphold the spirit of the Asia-Pacific community and partnership, promote multilateralism, stick to the mission and principles of APEC cooperation, maintain the momentum of APEC cooperation," the Chinese official said.
APEC will continue to play an important role in the Asia-Pacific as well as in the global economic cooperation for the mutual benefit and the common development of the Asia-Pacific community, she added.
At the meeting held at the APEC Secretariat in Singapore, Chile presented three roadmaps for collective action which are agreed to by member economies during the year on key issues for regional prosperity: women's economic empowerment, marine debris, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
"In a time where the needs of our people are evolving, multilateral and regional fora such as APEC can provide inclusive and sustainable solutions and create new opportunities for all our people," said Mathias Francke, 2019 chair of APEC Senior Officials.
China's trade with the United States sank again in November as negotiators worked on the first stage of a possible deal to end a tariff war.
Exports to the United States fell 23% from a year earlier to $35.6 billion, customs data showed Sunday. Imports of American goods were off 2.8% at $11 billion, giving China a surplus with the United States of $24.6 billion.
Exports to some other countries including France rose, helping to offset the loss.
China's global exports were off 1.1% from a year earlier at $221.7 billion despite weakening worldwide demand. Imports were up 0.3% at $183 billion, giving China a global surplus of $38.7 billion.
Hopes for a settlement to the fight over Beijing's technology ambitions and trade surplus rose after President Donald Trump's announcement of a "Phase 1" agreement following talks in October. But there has been no sign of agreement on details nearly two months later.
The dispute has disrupted global trade in goods from soybeans to medical equipment and threatens to depress economic growth.
Trump put off a tariff increase in October but penalties already imposed by both sides on billions of dollars of imports stayed in place. Another U.S. increase is due on Sunday on $160 billion of Chinese goods. That would extend penalties to almost everything Americans buy from China.
Chinese spokespeople have expressed hope for a settlement "as soon as possible," but Trump spooked financial markets last week by saying he might be willing to wait until after the U.S. presidential election late next year.
Financial markets have repeatedly risen on optimism about the talks only to fall back when no progress is announced.
The "Phase 1" agreement doesn't cover contentious issues including U.S. complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. Economists warn tensions could rise again next year and the bulk of tariff hikes are likely to stay in place for some time.
For the first 11 months of 2019, China's total global exports were off 0.3% at $2.3 trillion despite the tariff war. Imports were down 4.5% at $1.8 trillion, adding to signs Chinese domestic demand is cooling.
China's exporters have been hurt by the U.S. tariff hikes but its overall economy has been unexpectedly resilient. Growth in the world's second-largest economy slipped to 6% over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, down from the previous quarter's 6.2% but still among the world's strongest.
Weaker Chinese demand has global repercussions, depressing demand for industrial raw materials and components from other Asian economies and oil, iron ore and other commodities from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers.
The Ministry of Finance announced Friday that China was waiving punitive import duties on U.S. soybeans and pork, keeping a promise announced in September.
A sticking point is Beijing's insistence that Washington roll back its most recent penalties on Chinese goods as part of the "Phase 1" deal. Beijing said last month the U.S. side agreed, but Trump dismissed that.
A Chinese spokesman repeated Thursday that Beijing expects such a move in a "Phase 1" agreement.
India's largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki has proactively recalled 63,493 certain petrol Smart Hybrid (SHVS) variants of Ciaz, Ertiga and XL6 vehicles, the company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange late Friday.
The vehicles were manufactured by an overseas global part supplier between Jan. 1 to Nov. 21 this year for a possible defect with the Motor Generator Unit (MGU) and such vehicles will be retained for replacement of the same free of cost, the statement said.
Customers of suspected vehicles can also visit the company website and fill in the chassis number to check.
In August, the company had voluntary recalled 40,618 units of the WagonR manufactured between Nov. 15, 2018 and Aug. 12, 2019 to inspect a possible issue of fuel hose fouling with metal clamp.
In May 2018, Maruti Suzuki recalled 52,686 units of Swift and Baleno models, which were affected by a faulty brake vacuum hose.
Employment "pleasantly surprised to the upside" in November, and the service sector continues to offset "weakness" in manufacturing, Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, a major accounting firm, said on Friday.
U.S. employers added 266,000 jobs in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier Friday. The number of people employed in manufacturing rose by 54,000 in November, after a decline in October when General Motors (GM) workers were on strike, the bureau said.
In a blog titled "Headline Employment Gains Mask Weakness," Swonk wrote that the manufacturing sector "actually appears to have lost jobs" after adjusting for the return of striking GM workers and those laid off because of idled production at GM.
According to an earlier report from the Institute for Supply Management, economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted in November, the fourth month in a row, with the Purchasing Managers' Index standing at 48.1 percent.
The service sector continued to hold up significantly better than manufacturing, Swonk said, noting that nearly 40 percent of job gains during the month were in healthcare and social assistance, and leisure and hospitality.
"Job gains in the healthcare sector are being driven by aging baby boomers and a surge in the number of those who are over 80 years old," she said.
Retail hiring was essentially unchanged for the month but has fallen more than 30,000 over the last year, she said, adding that the shift from in-store to online shopping has triggered a surge in retail bankruptcies, which is holding down overall employment.
Overtime in the manufacturing sector fell during the month compared to a year ago, and that, according to Swonk, "reflects the ongoing weakness associated with tariffs and growth abroad."
The unemployment rate slid by 0.1 percentage points to 3.5 percent, the lowest since December 1969.
Job gains have averaged 180,000 per month so far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018, indicating that the overall level of hiring has been slowing down over the past few months.
Vodafone Idea, a telecom operator in India, will shut down if the government does not provide relief on the liability it faces, the company's Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said Friday.
"If we are not getting anything then I think it is end of story for Vodafone Idea," Birla said at a leadership summit organized by a local daily. "If you ask me specifically, it is true that we will shut shop if we don't get relief."
Birla was responding to a question about the company's course of action in moving forward in the absence of government relief.
He said Aditya Birla Group, the parent company, will not invest any money in Vodafone Idea in the absence of relief from the government.
"There is no sense that good money should follow bad money," he said.
Vodafone Idea is the third-largest mobile service provider in India.
Birla's Idea Cellular and British telecom giant Vodafone's India unit merged last year to carry out business in India.
It posted the biggest quarterly loss after it provisioned for the payment to the department of telecommunications, following the Supreme Court upholding the government's position in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) matter.
Vodafone and another telecom company have petitioned the government for relief in waiver of interest and penalty in payment of telecom license fee and spectrum usage charges.