BALI, Indonesia, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Details of a sizeable foreign currency reserve pool among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3) were finalized here on Sunday, two years after the initiative was first introduced to combat emergent financial problems. Finance ministers of the ASEAN+3 nations reached the agreement on all main components of regional reserve pool, known as Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), and it will be implemented before the end of this year. The agreement on the CMIM includes "the individual country's contribution, borrowing accessibility, and the surveillance mechanism," said a statement issued after the finance ministers' meeting. The total size of the CMIM is 120 billion U.S. dollars with the contribution portion between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries at20 percent versus 80 percent. China and Japan will each contribute 38.4 billion U.S. dollars to the pool, while South Korea will contribute 19.2 billion dollars. Among China's portion, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will contribute 4.2 billion U.S. dollars. "We welcome Hong Kong, China, to participate in the CMIM," said the statement. The CMIM is set up to "address short-term liquidity difficulties in the region and to supplement the existing international financial arrangements," the statement said. The ministers agreed to establish an independent regional surveillance unit to monitor and analyze regional economies and support CMIM decision-making. As a start, there would be an advisory panel of experts to work closely with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the ASEAN Secretariat. In the statement, the ministers also endorsed the establishment of the Credit Guarantee and Investment Mechanism (CGIM) as a trust fund of the ADB with an initial capital of 500 million U.S. dollars. It could be increased once the demand is fully met. "It's a welcoming step in coping with the crisis, and an important step to the financial architecture of the region and it will infuse confidence to the market," said ADB Managing Director General Rajat Nag after the meeting, referring to the finalization of the CMIM. Asked whether the CMIM is meant to replace the role International Monetary Fund plays in the region, he said the mechanism is only "good complement" to what IMF does. "Gladly, we don't have the situation like in the U.S. or Europe but it's better to be prepared. Once there is a need, we are able to present our concerns and there is facility there," said Philippine Finance Secretary Margarito B. Teves." It is a helpful matter for the market." "It's done, there would be no blocking stone toward the final implementation of reserve pool," said Thai finance minister Korn Chatikavanij.
BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese equities gained 2.1 percent to hit a 13-month high Tuesday after three days of losses, boosted by financial, real estate and steel shares. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed at 3,145.16 points, up 64.6 points, or 2.1 percent. The Shenzhen Component Index closed at 12,991.06 points, up 330.51 points, or 2.61 percent. Total turnover expanded to 280.53 billion yuan (41.07 billion U.S. dollars) from 268.78 billion yuan on the previous trading day. Winners outnumbered losers by 795 to 67 in Shanghai and 667 to 74 in Shenzhen. This multiple exposure picture shows an investor at a stock brokerage in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, on July 14, 2009. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index on Tuesday closed at 3,145.16 points, up 64.6 points, or 2.1 percent to hit a new 13-month high led by banking shares "Strong investor optimism and a rebound in major markets in the United States and Europe driven by financial shares helped push up the gains in Chinese equities," said Qin Xiaojun, an analyst with Galaxy Securities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.4 percent Monday with Bank of America, Citigroup, and J.P. Morgan Chase, three of its banking components, posted solid gains. Positive signals strengthened investor confidence as China posted a 19.6 percent fiscal revenue increase in June Monday. China's central bank Monday called on financial institutions to improve financial support to stimulate the economy. Brokerage shares performed well. Guoyuan Securities rose by the daily limit of 10 percent to close at 24.97 yuan, and Hongyuan Securities advanced 6.19 percent to 26.6 yuan. The real estate sector posted widespread gains as the Beijing-based Vantone Real Estate Co., Ltd and Xiamen-based Chuangxing Real Estate Co., Ltd reached the daily limit of 10 percent to close at 13.83 yuan and 11.31 yuan respectively. Anyang Iron and Steel Group Co., Ltd and Guangxi Liuzhou Iron and Steel Group Co., Ltd also rose by the daily limit to 5.48 yuan and 9.01 yuan respectively.Investors are seen at a stock brokerage in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, on July 14, 2009. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index on Tuesday closed at 3,145.16 points, up 64.6 points, or 2.1 percent to hit a new 13-month high led by banking shares.
WASHINGTON, April 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday that the prosperity of the American economy needs the rest of the world to recover. "The rest of the world needs the U.S. economy and financial system to recover in order for it to revive," said Geithner in remarks to the Economic Club of Washington. "We remain at the center of global economic activity with financial and trade ties to every region of the globe." "Just as importantly, we need the rest of the world to recover if we are to prosper again here at home," the Treasury chief said. "Before the crisis, U.S. exports were among our economy's fastest-growing sectors, accounting for more than 6 million American jobs, or about 5 percent of total private sector employment in the U.S. Now, they are one of its fastest-shrinking," he stated. He called for global cooperation to cope with the current crisis, which he said was "the most severe crisis in generations." "As a consequence, the community of nations must work together -- and that work has already begun -- to revive economies around the world and to lay the groundwork for a new, more stable and more sustainable pattern of growth in the future," he said.
CHENGDU, Sichuan, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday expressed his appreciation of the world community for their strong support and valuable aid on the wake of last year's devastating earthquake in southwest China and called for further international cooperation in tackling major natural disasters. "In face of grave natural disasters, the international community could support each other, enhance cooperation, join hands and jointly tackle the difficulties," Hu told some senior foreign diplomats who were invited to the capital of Sichuan Province on the anniversary of the quake. Chinese President Hu Jintao (C front) meets with envoys and delegates of some countries and international organizations, who come to attend the activities marking the anniversary of last year's devastating earthquake in the southwestern Sichuan Province, in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, May 11, 2009. The magnitude-8.0 quake that hit southwest China, including many parts of Sichuan, on May 12, killed more than 69,000 people, left nearly 18,000 missing, more than 374,000 injured and millions homeless. Facing the grave disaster, Chinese armed forces and Chinese people worked as one and struggled in unity in rescue work and disaster relief, Hu told those diplomats during the half-hour meeting. The international community extended their helping hands as governments, groups and individuals from more than 160 countries and some international organizations offered a large number of fund and material assistance via different channels. Some countries, such as Russia and Japan, sent rescue teams and doctors to help the Chinese people in the quake-hit areas. Foreign rescuers, in total, offered medical care to more than 10, 000 injured people, found 52 bodies of the victims and took out one survivor from the debris, Chinese official statistics show. "The assistance from the international community strongly supported China's disaster relief and reconstruction efforts, showcased grand humanitarianism and sincere friendship with the Chinese people," Hu said. Hu briefed China's reconstruction work to the diplomats, saying it has been carried out in a strong, orderly and effective manner and recorded staged success. "After one year of hard working, the quake-hit areas witnessed the resumption of and development in their social and economic construction," Hu noted. The production and living conditions in those areas were improving and the people were working hard to build better lives and new homes, said the head of state. Hu thanked the international community for their support and aid, saying the money and materials have been used in various fields such as rebuilding of homes, roads, schools, hospitals and other important infrastructure. China has carried out "vigorous overseeing" and "effectively used" the donation from the international community, Hu told the 30 diplomats, including those from the United States, Russia, Japan, Pakistan and representatives from the UN International Children 's Emergency Fund and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "We will strive to use the international donation in the places most in need," he said, labeling the cooperation between China and the world as "a good example of international cooperation in disaster relief." "Chinese government and people will step up exchange and cooperation with the world community, jointly tackle various global challenges and push for a harmonious world featuring long-lasting peace and common prosperity," Hu said. "We came here to show respect to the patriotism and wisdom of the Chinese people," said Nolana Ta Ama, ambassador of the Republic of Togo and dean of the diplomatic corp to China. The diplomats were also here to show respect to the mechanism Chinese government established in tackling the quake, he said. "China's efforts and success in fighting against the quake and disaster relief were a contribution to the world." Ama spoke highly of China's "enormous efforts in saving lives and helping the survivors to resume their lives," pledging that the world community will continue support and help the affected regions. The diplomats will visit some quake-hit spots near Chengdu on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON, April 22 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday warned that the global economy was in "a severe recession" and the world output is projected to decline 1.3 percent this year, the deepest global recession since the Great Depression in 1930s. "The global economy is in a severe recession inflicted by a massive financial crisis and acute loss of confidence," said the IMF in its latest World Economic Outlook report. "All corners of the globe are being affected." EPICENTER OF CRISIS According to the report, the world economy is projected to decline by 1.3 percent in 2009 as a whole and to recover only gradually in 2010, growing by 1.9 percent. "Achieving this turnaround will depend on stepping up efforts to heal the financial sector, while continuing to support demand with monetary and fiscal easing," said the IMF. The advanced economies experienced an unprecedented 7.5 percent decline in real GDP during the fourth quarter of 2008, and output is estimated to have continued to fall almost as fast during the first quarter of 2009, according to the report. Although the U.S. economy may have suffered most from intensified financial strains and the continued fall in the housing sector, western Europe and advanced Asia have been hit hard by the collapse in global trade, as well as by rising financial problems of their own and housing corrections in some national markets. Emerging economies are suffering badly and contracted 4 percent in the fourth quarter in the aggregate. The United States, at the center of an intensifying global financial storm, will contract by 2.8 percent this year, said the IMF, adding that "the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression has pushed the United States into a severe recession." Meanwhile, the euro zone economy will shrink by 4.2 percent this year and fall a further 0.4 percent in 2010, the IMF said, criticizing the bloc for weak public policy responses and coordination. In Japan, the IMF expects 2009 output to fall 6.2 percent, far worse than its January forecast for a 2.6 percent decline. China is expected to slow to about 6.5 percent this year, half the 13 percent growth rate recorded pre-crisis in 2007 but still a strong performance given the global context, according to the IMF. UNCERTAIN OUTLOOK The IMF warned the financial crisis remains acute. "The financial market stabilization will take longer than previously envisaged, even with strong efforts by policymakers," it said. Thus, financial strains in the mature markets are projected to remain heavy until well into 2010, and overall credit to the private sector in the advanced economies is expected to decline in both 2009 and 2010. Meanwhile, emerging and developing economies are expected to face greatly curtailed access to external financing in both years. In a semi-annual report Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR), which was released on Monday, the IMF said write-down on U.S.-originated assets to be suffered by all holders will be 2.7 trillion dollars, "largely as a result of the worsening base-case scenario for economic growth." Total expected write-downs on global exposures are estimated at about 4 trillion dollars, of which two-thirds will fall on banks and the remainder on insurance companies, pension funds, hedge funds, and other intermediaries. In the latest World Economic Outlook report, the IMF warned that the current outlook is exceptionally uncertain, with risks weighed to the downside. The crisis has hurt international trade, with volume expected to plunge 11 percent this year before eking out 0.6 percent growth in 2010. Consumer prices in developed countries were under pressure and would fall 0.2 percent in 2009. "Even once the crisis is over, there will be a difficult transition period, with output growth appreciably below rates seen in the recent past," said the IMF. BOLD POLICY The IMF called for its members to take new bold policy stimulus to jump-start their economies. "This difficult and uncertain outlook argues for forceful action on both the financial and macroeconomic policy fronts," said the IMF. Past episodes of financial crisis have shown that delays in tackling the underlying problem mean an even more protracted economic downturn and even greater costs, both in terms of taxpayer money and economic activity. "Policymakers must be mindful of the cross-border ramifications of policy choices," said the IMF. "Initiatives that support trade and financial partners will help support global demand, with shared benefits." In advanced economies, scope for easing monetary policy further should be used aggressively to counter deflation risks. Although policy rates are already near the zero floor in many countries, whatever policy room remains should be used quickly, according to the IMF. Emerging economies also need to ease monetary conditions to respond to the deteriorating outlook. However, in many of those economies, the task of central banks is further complicated by the need to sustain external stability in the face of highly fragile financing flows, the IMF warned. The 185-member organization also warned against the rising protectionism. "Greater international cooperation is needed to avoid exacerbating cross-border strains," said the IMF. "Coordination and collaboration is particularly important with respect to financial policies to avoid adverse international spillovers from national actions." "A slide toward trade and financial protectionism would be hugely damaging to all, a clear warning from the experience of 1930s beggar-thy-neighbor policies," it warned.
BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) -- China's State Council Monday published a guideline to maintain current agricultural development and promote income for farmers. The guideline was issued on the Chinese central government's official Web portal www.gov.cn. It consists of 22 items in eight parts, calling for more efforts to expand domestic demand, promote exports and stabilize grains' prices. The guideline calls for more support for spring sowing, including pest control, guarding against natural disasters and science and technology services. It also stresses the importance of granting subsidies to farmers and setting grain prices.
ROME, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China is set to become a global leader in the implementation of environmental-friendly policies and green technologies to tackle climate change, an Italian expert told Xinhua in a recent interview. For Stefano Pogutz, an environmental management professor at Bocconi University in Milan, China's green-policies investment plans are greater than those carried-out in the United States and in many other industrialized countries. "What China is doing to tackle global warming is impressive considering the density of Chinese population and the rapid economic growth model China is following," Pogutz said. Climate change is at the core of the G8 summit held in L'Aquila from Wednesday to Friday. Talks had focused on the need to forge anew post-Kyoto agreement and to increase research and investments in the green economy. The results of the G8 summit on climate change should pave the way to the United Nations meeting in Copenhagen in December, which aims at sealing a global deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions. According to the UN climate change framework agreement and the Kyoto protocol, China is not subject to mandatory emission cuts ofCO2. However, on its own China is already contributing to the fight against climate change through a series of initiatives aimed at curbing carbon emissions, such as lowering internal energy consumption levels and launching traffic and transportation monitoring schemes. "I don't agree with those who believe that China is responsible for global pollution," Pogutz said. "China is doing a lot, there's a direct public intervention on measures aimed at fighting climate change. The Chinese government has increased investments in technologies and infrastructures to boost energetic efficiency and cut CO2 emissions." Luca Labella, a China analyst with Rome's International Studies Center (Cesi), remembered the numerous local green projects implemented in China such as Shanghai's LPG buses and the rural towns' biomass-fueled. "China is open to climate change issues and solutions. However, in China climate change is not considered under a political perspective but a scientific one, focused on progress and research," he added. According to Pogutz, China is set to have a role of leadership in the use of renewable energies and other green technologies. "Today China is one of the greatest producer of solar panels and in the near future it could lead in the export of alternative energy technologies." But it's not only a matter of strategic investments in green technologies. China's contribution to the global fight against climate change largely depends as well on its human resources. "Almost all PhD students in the U.S. come from China," he added.
TAIPEI, May 31 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese mainland business delegation arrived in Taiwan Sunday to kick off a buying spree to expand trade ties and offset the effects of the global economic downturn. The group, organized by the Mainland Association for Cross-Strait Economic and Trade Exchanges, comprised about 80 representatives of 35 companies, including IT and home appliance giants Lenovo, Haier, Changhong and ZTE. The shopping list could include home appliances, machinery, textiles and foodstuffs manufactured on the island, said Li Shuilin, director of the association and delegation head. The mainland businesses would hold talks with Taiwan firms in Taipei and Kaohsiung to learn more about their products and market potential in the mainland, Li said. They would probably make some purchasing orders, although no exact plans had been announced, he added. The delegation, the first of its kind, was warmly received on the island amid the mainland's repeated calls for collaboration across the Taiwan Strait to cope with the international economic downturn. This marked a substantial step by the mainland to help boost investment in Taiwan and the purchase of Taiwan products, proposed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in April, Li said. The mainland announced last week that seven to nine procurement delegations to Taiwan would be organized from May to September to help develop the island economy during the global downturn. The China Video Industry Association would organize a visit of leading mainland television producers on Monday to hammer out a planned 2.2-billion-U.S.-dollar contract for TV parts produced in Taiwan. Also in June, tea merchants and fruit organizations would visit central and south Taiwan. In September, representatives of trading cooperatives from 11 provinces and cities, six industry associations and 13 agricultural products producers will visit the island. Mainland telecommunications companies, including China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, also plan purchasing visits the island.
BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Most parts of China would experience cold weather and precipitation during the next week, forecast of the country's central observatory said Saturday. Northeastern parts of China were to embrace lower weather and scattered precipitation during the period, which would help ease the drought plagued the region, said the National Meteorological Center. Moderate or heavy rains would sweep most parts of south China. Some regions south to the Yangtze River and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region would experience rain storm or strong convective weather.People walk on the street in Hefei, east China's Anhui Province, June 5, 2009. A heavy rain cooled the hot weather in Hefei on Friday eveningOn Sunday, most parts of Sichuan Province, western and northern Chongqing, southwestern Yunnan and Guangdong provinces would be hit by heavy rain or rainstorm. Strong convective weather was to hit these regions, resulting in strong wind, thunder storm or hails. According to statistics of the Ministry of Civil Affairs Friday, storms sweeping five provinces in central and east China killed 27people and damaged more than 341,000 hectares of crops.
MILAN, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo arrived in the Italian city of Milan on Monday for an official goodwill visit to the country. Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), began his tour in Italy at the invitation of Italian Senate President Renato Schifani and Chamber of Deputies President Gianfranco Fini. In a written statement released at the airport upon his arrival, Wu said China is ready to work with Italy to maintain the sound momentum of practical cooperation so as to make contributions to overcoming the international financial crisis and spurring the recovery of the world economy. Wu Bangguo (R Front), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, arrives in Milan on May 18, 2009 at the start of an official goodwill visit to Italy Wu is scheduled to meet with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as well as heads of both houses of the Italian parliament and other Italian leaders to exchange views on bilateral relations and other regional and international issues of common concern. Wu is also to visit a research and development center of the Italian National Agency for New Technology, Energy and the Environment (ENEA), which shows China's interest in using European technologies to improve energy efficiency of its economy. After Chinese President Hu Jintao's attendance at the London G20 summit in April and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's Europe tour in January, Wu is yet another senior Chinese leader to visit Europe in the past few months. Against the background of the worsening global financial crisis, Wu's visit highlighted the importance that China attaches to cooperation with Europe in addressing global challenges. Italy, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the G8 group, will host a summit between the leaders of G8 nations and developing countries in June. Hu is expected to attend the meeting. Wu's visit coincides with a G8 environment ministers meeting that is to be held in Italy on May 22. China and Italy have witnessed smooth development of bilateral ties in recent years. Berlusconi visited Beijing for the Asia-Europe summit last October. Besides Milan, Wu is also to visit Rome, Florence and Venice. Italy is the final leg of Wu's three-nation Europe tour, which had already taken him to Russia and Austria.