Foreign news briefs
China’s imports rose 40 per cent to US$41.7bn in September,
outpacing a 31 per cent rise in exports. The trade surplus
US$290m was the smallest since March.
Sino-Thai economic relations will in future be handled at the
deputy prime minister and vice premier level – an upgrade on the
previous situation, when economic and trade ministers used to meet.
The deal, signed before the APEC summit in Bangkok, also arranged
for visa exemptions for diplomatic officials and mutual recognition
of university degrees and other educational qualifications.
Australia’s live cattle exports to China more than doubled
nearly 21,000 in the eight months to August 2003. China is now Australia’s
fifth largest export market, with dairy cattle making up the
bulk of the trade.
A 300-metre Shanghai street will be built next spring in Lille,
northern France, featuring miniatures of Shanghai landmarks such
the Nanjing Road and Yuyuan Gardens. A Shanghai week will also
be held in Marseilles later in the year. In exchange, France will unveil
its France Culture Year in China next October. The exchanges will
cover an array of cultural topics such as arts, education, technology
Export incentives reduced China is to cut the average level
VAT rebates for exports by 3 per cent. The reduced incentive
export will affect many goods, including textiles, toys, petrol and
minerals, and will help ease US concerns about unfair trade as well
as easing China’s fiscal pressures. The finance ministry was
US$30bn in arrears on rebates at the end of 2002.