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Asia’s Singapore Knocks United States out of Top Spot in Economic Competitiveness

Asia

Islamabad, Oct, 14: Emerging Asia’s Singapore knocks United States, the world's largest economy, out of the top spot in the World Economic Forum's annual competitiveness report for 2019. The Asian city state scored top marks for its infrastructure, health, labor market and financial system, according WEF report. With a score of 84.8 out of 100, Singapore is the country closest to the frontier of competitiveness.

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said on Facebook that the ranking was encouraging as it reflected how strong economic fundamentals here continue to distinguish Singapore from its competitors.

“Nevertheless, as a small and open economy, we cannot afford to take things for granted,” he added.

Other Asian giants Hong Kong stood at 3rd position despite domestic turmoil while Japan clinched the 6th position in the index.

Singapore Tops as worlds most competitive economy SRM 2019 B

Hong Kong, the financial hub of Asia, received high marks for its macroeconomic stability, health, financial system and product market - the most of any economy.

"Hong Kong's biggest weakness is undoubtedly its limited capability to innovate," the report said, adding that the region also lags behind Singapore in worker protection

The report stated also that Asia-Pacific is the most competitive region in the world, followed closely by Europe and North America.

Other G20 economies in the top 10 include the United States (2nd), Japan (6th), Germany (7th) and the United Kingdom (9th) while Argentina (83rd, down two places) is the lowest ranked among G20 countries

Though the United States has  lost out to Singapore but it remains an innovation powerhouse, ranking 1st on the business dynamism pillar, 2nd on innovation capability, and 1st for finding skilled employees.

The reported stated Nordic countries are among the world’s most technologically advanced, innovative and dynamic while also providing better living conditions and social protection.

Denmark, Uruguay and Zimbabwe have increased their shares of renewable sources of energy significantly more than other countries at their respective levels of competitiveness.

The Global Competitiveness Report series was launched in 1979 to provide an annual assessment of the drivers of productivity and long-term economic growth.

By : Dr.Muhammad Arif

Connectivity: Xi,Modi Meet to Begin New Era of Cooperation, Development

China

 Islamabad, Oct.13: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in India on two-day trip for the “Informal Summit” held in Delhi and Chennai respectively. Xi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is facing strained bilateral ties, and low reputation and trust as a statesman because of rising vandalism in India. Though two leaders met without any formal pre-determined agenda but officials termed Xi’s trip as “informal summit".

After Delhi, Xi and Modi met in the coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu, which had strong historical linkages with China's Fujian province, an ancient post of sea-borne Silkraod. Xi also visited the Shore Temple, dating back to the seventh and eighth centuries.

The official sources said one-to-one talks were designed for a free exchange of ideas on issues ranging from territorial disputes to India's expanding trade deficit with China, and the question related to Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei’s entrance into Indian market for 5G technology.

Despite trade-deficit and border skirmishes, the high level talks remained focused on a set of confidence-building measures.

The visit seemed nothing more than exchange of pleasantries between the so-called “buddies” as there was not any specific outcome of the two-day informal summit between PM Modi and President Xi.

But foreign official sources said India and China leaders,during the “informal summit”, attempted to find ways of bolstering trade and investment cooperation between the emerging economies.

Commenting on Xi’s India visit, Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India, tweeted saying as “beginning of a new era of cooperation” .

Xi Visits India

 Speaking to an India news agency (PTI), Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said a "new set of consensus", including "guiding principles" on giving a new direction to the bilateral ties, are expected from the engagement between the two leaders.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in his message said Xi Jinping talked about need for enhancing defence cooperation. "Chinese President Xi Jinping talked about need for enhancing defence cooperation" .

During the talks, people-to-people relations also came under discussion. "There was new focus on people to people relations. It was decided that public of both countries must be brought in the relationship. Ideas were exchanged on this," Vijay Gokhale said.

Thanking Xi Jinping, president of world’s emerging economic power for coming to India, Modi tweeted saying "I thank President Xi Jinping for coming to India for our second Informal Summit. The #ChennaiConnect will add great momentum to India-China relations. This will benefit the people of our nations and the world" .

Xi Visits India 2019 ARMThough both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday agreed to set up a new mechanism for issues relating to trade and investment and felt the two countries should cooperate on important regional and global issues, but no comments and talks on Kashmir, Hong Kong, Tibet and Belt and Road Initiative were reported in media.

The only out outcome was Chinese President Xi Jinping's invitation of PM Modi to visit China for next summit, which was accepted by Modi.

Foreign affairs experts say the timing of this meeting is also very significant as it comes against the backdrop of heated exchange of words between the two sides over the Kashmir issue following India's decision to revoke the special status enjoyed by occupied Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

From the news reports it seems that the “informal summit” aimed to prevent further deterioration of ties over the Kashmir issue and in Doklam tri-juction in Sikkim rather than focusing on charting a new roadmap of development, connectivity and cooperation between the two emerging economic giants of Asia.

India seems vooing China in the name of new era.But the roadmap of new era leads to Xi’s BRI, which India has not joined yet.

By: Dr.Muhammad Arif

BRI: Shanghai Gears up to Host 3,000 Enterprises for China International Import Expo in Nov.2019

China

Shanghai, Sept.29: Shanghai gears up to host the second edition of China International Import Expo (CIIE), a symbol of international cooperation, in Shanghai, from November 05 to 10, 2019, where nearly 3,000 companies from around the globe will be gathering to strike businesses deals worth billions. Experts say China is pulling out all the stops to champion free trade and globalization, despite recent US efforts to put up more trade barriers.

Officials of the CIIE, held under the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and themed "New Era, Shared Future", is a significant move for the Chinese government to hold CIIE to give firm support to trade liberalization and economic globalization and actively open the Chinese market to the world. It facilitates countries and regions all over the world to strengthen economic cooperation and trade, and o promote global trade and world economic growth in order to make the world economy more open.

China International Import Expo 2019 3

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has facilitated policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties among countries participating in the BRI, according to the white paper titled "China and the World in the New Era."

 “The Chinese government sincerely welcomes government officials, business communities, exhibitors and professional purchasers across the world to participate in CIIE and to explore the Chinese market. We would like to work with all countries, regions and international organizations to make CIIE a world-class Expo, providing new channels for countries and regions to do business, strengthen cooperation and promote common prosperity of the world economy and trade”, the organizers of the event say.

Recently, top companies and business leaders worldwide have shown great interest in the  China International Import Expo being held in Shanghai since 2018 . The organizer said it would welcome attendees with more exhibition areas and better services.

By now, more than 1,000 enterprises have applied or registered to attend the expo, including about 200 Fortune 500 companies, and more companies are expected to join the event. The exhibition area has surpassed 270,000 square meters, according to data from the CIIE Bureau.

The exhibition hall covers technology, automobiles, equipment, medical instruments and medical care, service trade, food and agriculture.

As the world's first national-level import exposition, CIIE provides a platform for companies to display their products, popularize their brands and find more business partners in the world's second largest economy.

As put forward at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation , the first CIIE, themed "New Era, Shared Future", was held , and attracted more than 3,600 companies and attendees from 172 countries, regions and international organizations.

In 2018, over 400,000 purchasers worldwide conducted business at the expo, with the value of orders and transactions reaching $57.83 billion. About 4,000 journalists from home and abroad attended the event.

"Through CIIE, we saw China's determination to build a more open business environment, promote globalization in the market and to meet people's expectations for a better life," said Lan Zhenzhen, vice-president of French cosmetic giant L'Oreal China. "It also lets us see the government's support for companies."

Lan said the company benefits from the many policies, such as tax and fee cuts, and loosened market access, which helps the development of foreign companies in China.

During last year's event, the company displayed more than 500 products, including debuting some cutting-edge cosmetics technologies, which attracted much attention from media and other professionals in the makeup industry, Lan added. The company has confirmed its participation in the  CIIE.

The Hong Kong branch of helicopter purchasing solutions provider Sino-US Intercontinental Helicopter Investment was an exhibitor in the intelligent and high-end equipment area of CIIE last year. Zhang Rongyuan, assistant to the chairman of the company, said they benefited greatly from the event.

China International Import Expo (CIIE) has provided a rare platform for cooperation between China and the United States.

"On the economic front, CIIE opens the door to American exporters to sell goods and services in the vast Chinese market. The country has developed a strong appetite for quality products," said Khairy Tourk, a professor of economics with the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

China International Import Expo 2019 2

CIIE Details:

Date: From November 05, 2019 09:30 until November 10, 2019 17:30

Venue:  At Shanghai - National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) Address: No. 168 East Yinggang Road, Shanghai, China

Contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:  +86-21-67008888

Web:  https://www.ciie.org/zbh/en/

 

By Muhammad Arif

BRI: China Builds World's Longest Cross-Sea Road-Rail Bridge for Regional Connectivity

China

Beijing, Sept. 26 (NSN): Chinese engineers and technicians have completed the main structure of the world's longest cross-sea road-rail bridge in its southeastern province of Fujian to bolster cultural exchanges and business development with Taiwan.This mega project of transportation and logistics reinforces China’s leadership in infrastructure investment.

Located in southeastern China's Fujian Province, the Pingtan Strait Road-rail Bridge, 16.34 km, showcases marvelous work of Chinese transportation engineering.

More than 1.24 million tonnes of steel have been used for the bridge, enough to build 190 Eiffel Towers.

Some 2.97 million cubic meters of cement, nine times the amount of cement used to build the Burj Khalifa towers in Dubai, the world's tallest skyscraper.

Officials say the bridge, which is expected to open in 2020, can help shorten travel time from two hours to half an hour between Fuzhou, capital city of Fujian Province and Pingtan, a pilot zone set up to facilitate trade and cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.

Experts say Pingtan Strait Road-rail Bridge will help attract more businesses to the island and further boost its economic development.

During the last decade, China has been seen as a "powerhouse of infrastructure development " for countless dazzling megaprojects, with the Chinese builders breaking their own world records.

It is worth noting that China is home to the world's highest bridge, longest cross-sea bridge and 90 out of the 100 highest bridges built this century.

From 2015 to 2020, China's transportation investment is expected to exceed 2.1 trillion U.S. dollars, with a substantial portion reserved for bridge construction.

Experts also say infrastructure development remains a top priority for China’s government, which believes that a modern economy runs on reliable roads and rails, electricity, and telecommunications.

Besides the Pingtan Strait Road-rail Bridge, China’s leadership has charted equally ambitious infrastructure development plans for the future. And, BRI is one of them, which is likely to increase the efficient transport logistics to tie the Eurasian region together and boost regional economic development.

By : Muhammad Arif

War-torn Iraq to Join China’s Multination Belt and Road Initiative

Middle East

BEIJING, Sept.25: The war-torn Iraq will be joining China’s multination infrastructure investment project “Belt and Road”, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi announced this while meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping on Monday in Beijing.

Abdul Mahdi was on an official visit to China from Sept. 19 to 23 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

“Iraq has gone through war and civil strife and is grateful to China for its valuable support,” said Mahdi, in comments broadcast on Chinese state media outlet CGTN.

“Iraq is willing to work together in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ framework,” he further added.

The chief architect of BRI, Chinese president Xi, who proposed the BRI in 2013, in his remarks said that the two countries would cooperate on oil and infrastructure projects.

“China would like, from a new starting point together with Iraq, to push forward the China-Iraq strategic partnership,” said Xi.

China was the first country to participate in Iraqi economic reconstruction and continued its work for the longest period. China has the most widely distributed projects in Iraq in terms of geography and fields. Chinese companies remained in Iraq even when the security situation was at its worst, said Xi.

Chinese premier Li Keqiang in his remarks said that China is willing to participate in Iraq's reconstruction, maintain a long-term and stable energy partnership with Iraq, and expand cooperation in capacity, manufacturing and agriculture to fuel the diversified development of the Iraqi economy and achieve win-win results.

Iraq

China stands ready to work with Iraq to dovetail the Belt and Road Initiative with Iraq's reconstruction plan, supports Chinese enterprises to positively take part in Iraq's infrastructure construction and hopes that Iraq will take forceful measures to guarantee the safety of Chinese institutions and individuals in the country.

Abdul Mahdi further said his country has experienced war and is rebuilding its homeland,  and added China is a country that loves peace and advocates cooperation, adding that Iraq is willing to work with China to enhance cooperation in the fields of trade, the economy, infrastructure construction, energy and culture to realize greater development of bilateral relations.

After the talks, Li and Abdul Mahdi witnessed the signature of a series of bilateral cooperation documents on the economy and technology, finance and culture.

After nearly 16-years of war, Iraqis are looking abroad to seek over $90 billion for the reconstruction of the homeland.

In 2018, trade volume between China and Iraq was more than US$30 billion (US$1.00 = RM4.18), according to state news agency Xinhua.

Beijing is Baghdad’s biggest trade partner, while Iraq is China’s second biggest oil supplier.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a massive global network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks spanning Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, which will see trillions invested in new infrastructure.

Many developing countries have joined the China’s megaproject to seek financial support for their development projects.

More than 150 countries and international organizations have joined BRI, which is thought to be the largest infrastructure project in human history.

China has already made Belt and Road cooperation agreements and launched development projects with a number of other Middle Eastern nations, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

By Muhammad Arif,

BRI: Cargo Trains Drive Foster Industrial Cooperation China and Europe

Obor

Changchun, Sept 10: In the plant of the world's top auto glass manufacturer Fuyao Group in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, forklifts are busy transporting windshields into standard containers.In the plant of the world's top auto glass manufacturer Fuyao Group in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, forklifts are busy transporting windshields into standard containers.

These windshields, designed for the medium and high-end models of Audi, will be transported to Heilbronn, Germany by the Changchun-Manzhouli-Europe cargo trains before arriving at Audi's assembly plants there.

The return trip of the train will carry auto components from Germany to Volvo's Daqing factory in Heilongjiang Province, which neighbors Jilin.
The China-Europe cargo trains have closely linked the old industrial base in northeastern China to the manufacturing bases in Europe and led to increasing industrial cooperation which is mutually beneficial and has contributed to the economy for both.

ADVANTAGED COOPERATION

A cargo train loaded with containers carrying windshields, wooden flooring, activated carbon and auto components left Changchun on Thursday night to deliver the cargo to Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany along the Changchun-Manzhouli-Europe route.


As an important project for Jilin to join the construction of the Belt and Road, the Changchun-Manzhouli-Europe cargo train line was launched in 2015.
The route starts from Changchun, exits China via Manzhouli, the largest land port on the China-Russia border, and passes through Russia, Belarus and Poland before arriving at the terminus of Nuremberg, Germany.


It measures about 9,800 km, and a single trip usually takes 14 days, saving more than 20 days compared with sea transportation, said Wang Yue, chairman of the Changchun International Land Port Development Co., Ltd. (CCILP), which operates the cargo trains on the route.
The inbound trains carry imports of engines, gearboxes and steering shafts from Europe and outbound trains have exports of goods like windshields, brake pads and bearings made by Chinese companies.
Since the Changchun-Manzhouli-Europe cargo train service was launched in August 2015, it has transported over 43,000 standard containers with the value of over 13.8 billion yuan (1.94 billion U.S. dollars).

Demi Ben, managing director of the CCILP GMBH, said, Changchun and some other northeastern Chinese cities are home to a number of top auto manufacturers and auto components enterprises, while Bavaria, where Nuremberg is located, is a major German automotive manufacturing base. The similar structure of the industrial clusters in northeastern China and the European country has paved the way for further cooperation.
The Nuremberg warehouse for the Changchun-Manzhouli-Europe railway has been very busy since it was put into use in June 2018, said Demi Ben, who is also in charge of the warehouse.
The auto components such as windshields and bearings from northeastern China are usually put into the warehouse for short-term storage and then sent to the appointed places required by the local business customers via the "door-to-door" service.
The Nuremberg warehouse has provided great convenience to small and medium-sized enterprises and attracted plenty of local enterprises in Germany to seek cooperation with Jilin enterprises, said Demi Ben.
Thanks to the Changchun-Manzhouli-Europe cargo train route, Jilin Universal Machinery (Group) Co., Ltd. set up an R&D center in Munich, where is adjacent to cities home to factories of top automotive manufacturers including Audi, Mercedes Benz and Porsche.
The Jilin Universal European R&D Center has cooperated with these automotive manufacturers on a number of projects, including producing steering knuckles for Porsche Panamera in its China plants.
Currently, there are seven projects under development, including steering knuckles for Audi and a small auto part for Mercedes Benz, which will bring a revenue of nearly 2 billion yuan to the company, said Li Jibao, chairman of Jilin Universal Machinery (Group) Co., Ltd.

MORE OPPORTUNITIES
Along with the frequent trade and cooperation between northeastern Chinese provinces and Europe via the Changchun-Manzhouli-Europe cargo trains, more and more European enterprises are starting to explore the market in northeast China.
Jiri Janku, startup advisor and investor of Feedyou, an AI service company from Czech, said on the just concluded 12th China-Northeast Asia Expo in Changchun, "compared with China's fast-developing big cities, small and medium-sized enterprises like us are more willing to seek business opportunities in northeast China."
On Aug. 19, Sino-German joint venture FAW-Volkswagen has put its new proving ground into use in the north of Changchun. The proving ground has five functional areas for durability, airbag effectiveness, highspeed loop, dynamic and performance testing, with 26 special test sections and 15 typical ones in line with Chinese road conditions.
Qin Huanming, a member of the board of directors at FAW Group, said the completion of the new proving ground will further promote the transformation and upgrading of both FAW and Volkswagen and deepen cooperation between the two.
A new industrial park is being planned in Changchun. "Many German companies have shown their interest in our park," said Chen Zhen, an executive of the company which develops the park.
China's northeastern region now has two pilot free trade zones -- one in Liaoning and the other in Heilongjiang. With similar latitudes and industrial foundation, there is plenty of scope for cooperation in high-end equipment manufacturing, ice and snow industry, among other fields, between the Chinese industrial base and Europe, according to experts.

Chinese, Russians Swimmers Cross Heilong River to Promote Sports Exchanges, Friendship

Culture

Beijing, July 17:  More than 300 people from China and Russia swim across the "Black Dragon," or Heilong River, on July 16, 2017.

Aged between 18 and 65, swimmers from the two countries work in different fields.

The event is meant to promote sports exchanges and consolidate the friendship of between China and Russia. The activity also commemorates the 51st anniversary of Chairman Mao Zedong's famed swim across the Yangtze River.

thumbnail China and Russia Swimmers Consolidate the Friendship

The Heilong River marks the border between China and Russia along the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang.

Islamabad,July 14 : China Cultural Heritage week concluded in Pakistan's capital city Islamabad on July 14 , offering opportunity for Pakistani public to enjoy different kinds of Chinese artworks.

The event was organized by Embassy of China, China Culture Center in collaboration with Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

China Cultural Heritage Week at PNCA Islamabad in Pakistan

The exhibition was titled Inheritance and Innovation Exhibition of Dalian Jinpu New Area Intangible Cultural Heritage.Different kinds of Chinese artwork such as Jinzhou Modern Folk Painting, Chinese Paper-Cutting, Bird-Worm Seal Script, Dough Modeling as well as Ceramic Handicrafts were presented during week-long exhibitions that continued from July 7 to July 14.

 China Cultural Heritage Week in Pakistan

In the concluding ceremony of China Cultural Heritage week, China Cultural Centre has donated some of the precious art work to the National Gallery of PNCA.

Some of the art work includes Chinese Calligraphy, a book: The art of Chinese seal script, Chinese Shan Shui Painting, Color ceramic bowl, Paper cuttings.

 China Cultural Heritage Week in Pakistan

Director General PNCA Syed Jamal Shah was the chief guest in the concluding the ceremony.

He highly appreciated the efforts made by the China Cultural Centre in introducing Pakistan to Chinese art and culture.

China Cultural Heritage Week in Pakistan

Bishkek, (Kyrgyzstan), July 7: One Belt, One Road and Xinjiang," an exhibition of works of art on paper made from the bark of the mulberry tree opened Tuesday in Bishkek, capital city of Kyrgyzstan, featuring Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Chinese calligraphy and painting

Wei Baoshan, senior secretary of the Xinjiang Academy of Chinese Painting greeted guests and showed off his calligraphic skills at the opening ceremony.

"This is one of the oldest craft on earth, a living relic of civilization and the greatest invention on the ancient Silk Road, which spread to Central Asia and Europe," said the Chinese artist.

The form of art also serves as a witness of political, economic and cultural exchanges between ancient China and the country of Central Asia, Wei said.

Wei emphasized the excellent properties of paper made from mulberry tree bark, explaining that the antiseptic material absorbs water well, is made of high tensile and will not fade for a thousand years.

"It is extremely valuable and won great favor among ancient artists. Western scientists call the paper an outstanding creation that came from the East," he said.

In 2017, the Xinjiang Academy of Chinese Painting organized a series of exhibitions in order to publicize the culture of the northwestern Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang and to promote exchanges in the field of culture and art between countries along the Silk Road.

The organizers have held a number of events dedicated to the theme, and the Bishkek exhibition is the latest.

The exhibition is organized with material support from the Chinese National Art Foundation and with the assistance of the Xinjiang Economic Newspaper, Contimost magazine and Bishkek Humanities University.

Sourcce by news.xinhuanet.com

SANTIAGO, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Since learning Mandarin became possible in Chile 12 years ago, more than 10,000 students have been introduced to the Chinese language, local daily El Mercurio reported on Wednesday.SANTIAGO, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Since learning Mandarin became possible in Chile 12 years ago, more than 10,000 students have been introduced to the Chinese language, local daily El Mercurio reported on Wednesday.

Chineselanuage

The Chinese language is taught at 16 city-run schools in five regions of the country these days, half of them in the southern region of Biobio, due to "a regional initiative to get closer to China," Karina Pina from the Education Ministry told the daily.

Apart from learning a language that many believe will be in increasing demand as China becomes a leading global power, studying Chinese has the added benefit of increasing students' cognitive and artistic skills in other areas, said Pina.

"Constructing and understanding Chinese characters promotes a high degree of creativity in students, which expresses itself beyond the level of language," she said.

What's more, students who study Chinese "achieve a degree of cultural openness," and acquire "a broader vision of the world," she said.

In 2004, when Santiago hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, Chile and China signed an agreement to promote Chinese language learning. The program kicked off in 2005 at three city schools, with the goal of having 100 Chileans speaking Chinese by 2010.

Last year, 1,704 Chilean students enrolled in Mandarin classes, and this year, China sent 18 professors to teach at schools around Chile.

Chinese-language professors are provided by Hanban, the department of China's Education Ministry in charge of promoting Chinese as a second language abroad, through its network of Confucius Institutes, two of which operate in Chile, one at the Catholic University and the other at the University of Santo Tomas.

A little more than a decade since the Chinese-learning program began, Education Ministry has established a certification program to certify students who have achieved a certain level of linguistic skill, making them eligible to apply for scholarships to study in China.

The Ministry aims to have the country's secondary school students graduate with at least an intermediate level of Mandarin, "the level required to apply for the scholarships China's government offers to study there," said Pina.
Source by: news.xinhuanet.com

KATHMANDU, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Wednesday appealed to the general public to adopt a healthy lifestyle by making Yoga a part of their lives.

PM Deuba made the remarks when addressing a mass Yoga demonstration ceremony held in the capital Kathmandu on the occasion of the 3rd International Day of Yoga.

Claiming that Yoga helps maintain peace and harmony, he asked all to be healthy and prosperous through regular Yoga practice.

"Yoga is an ancient discipline which is essential for both mental and physical health. Yoga helps to have healthy body and health mind and in overall, a balanced life," Deuba said.

Along with the general Yoga practitioners, the prime minister also attempted the soothing "Om" chanting and expressed commitment for building a healthy society. Dressed in Nepali formal dress, Deuba also demonstrated standing Yoga postures to encourage the participating Yoga enthusiasts.

This is the second year the Nepal government formally celebrated the International Day of Yoga, which was declared by the United Nations in 2015.

Ministers, members of Parliament, dignitaries and hundreds of people from different walks of life jointly performed Yoga postures despite heavy rainfall since early morning.

Yoga has been gaining wide popularity in Nepal in recent years. It is regarded as an invaluable gift of ancient tradition and most essential for a healthy life.

Yoga instructor Mohan Man Shrestha told Xinhua on the spot, "I am teaching Yoga since last 10 years. If we continued Yoga every day, we should never visit hospitals or doctors. It's good for both physical and mental health."

"I am 64 years old but I have never taken any medicines or visited hospitals. It has been possible only through Yoga," added Shrestha.

According to instructors, maximum of the Yoga practitioners in Nepal are women. They gather in local Yoga centers or available spaces every morning and practice different postures.

Since health problems like gastritis, diabetes and uterus ailments are quite common among Nepalese, they regard Yoga as a perfect medium to fight such diseases.

Source by: news.xinhuanet.com

 

ALMATY. KAZINFORM - Kazakhstani fashion designers are expected to participate in the upcoming Milan Fashion Week F/W 2017-2018, Kazinform reports.

 

Milan Fashion Week is the third week on fashion calendar. Kazakhstan will be represented by 5 fashion brands at the event. 

Kazakhstani designer Ayazhan Zhaksybai believes it is very important to create a brand that will be competitive at the global market. 

Unfortunately, in her words, many Kazakhstani designers start small. 

"They [designers] develop their brands with the focus on inner market and plan to go global in the future. However, I think this is the wrong approach. It is crucial to prepare your product for international market. This is exactly what we are doing right now. We are developing a clothing, an accessories and a jewelry brand," Ms Zhaksybai said. 

She believes that the Milan Fashion Week is a chance for Kazakhstani brands to access the global market. 

"This is of paramount importance for the development of our product," the designer added. 

In order to boost competitiveness of Kazakhstani fashion companies, the country enlisted the help of foreign specialists. One of them Pitusa Bolano delivered a workshop on how to create design popular among consumers.

"We've demonstrated Kazakhstani designers and producers how to develop collections suitable for European market. Kazakhstan stands a good chance to enter the global market thanks to excellent quality of its products," Ms Bolano said.

Source by: inform.kz

 

Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and China Chamber of Export and Import of Food Products Sign Cooperation

Economy

Beijing, Aug 3, IRNA : Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and China Chamber of Export and Import of Food Products signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on economic cooperation for the promotion of food business between the two countries. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of international conference on dried fruits, which kicked off on Thursday for duration of 2-day in the city of Guangzhou, sprawling port and capital of Southern China's Guangdong province.
Iran and China
Head of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce Assadollah Asgar Ouladi in a speech explained economic cooperation situation between Iran, China and presented figures concerning world export of pistachio and Iran's share in this market.
 
The conference is held with the aim to improve exchange process between companies active in dried fruits and promotion, development of nuts industry in China.
It is expected that experts from different countries would share their experiences in the conference.
 
On the sidelines of the conference an exhibition will be held by companies active in dried fruits industry and among them five Iranian companies will present their products.
 
Source: IRNA

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Doing a Significant Work for the Development of the Silk Road

Silk Road Fund

Baku, July 19:  Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are doing a significant work for the development of the Silk Road.

Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan Aydin Aliyev made the remarks during the trilateral meeting of Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey, with participation of First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Georgia Dimitry Kumsishvili, Minister of Customs and Trade of Turkey Bulent Tufenkci on July 19, Trend reported.

Aydin Aliyev stressed that the three countries pay special attention and carry out large-scale work in the spheres of increasing freight traffic and ensuring energy security in the region.

In turn, Turkish Minister of Customs and Trade Bulent Tufenkci said that the construction of the Turkish part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, which is an important part of the historical Silk Road is planned to be completed by late 2017.

The Minister added that in the past, there were certain problems with the project implementation but they have already been fixed.

The three sides signed declaration on establishment of a permanent commission that will help improve relations between the customs structures of the three countries, as well as business and customs authorities in the region.

The customs bodies of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey will jointly work on the development of transit cargo transportation, invest in the modernization of customs services, and create mechanisms for the exchange of information on subjects and goods passing through the borders of the three countries, in accordance with the declaration.

Moreover, the customs services of Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an agreement on the creation of an electronic system for the exchange of information on transit transport by road.

The new Silk Road project, which involves over 60 countries with a population of 4.5 billion people, runs through an area of 40 million km2.

 Turkey, which is located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, is one of the leading countries participating in the Silk Road and the corridor of the Silk Road will connect Europe with Central Asia through Turkish Anatolia and will be brought to China.

Currently, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are working on the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway.

The BTK railway is being constructed on the basis of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey intergovernmental agreement. The main purpose of the project is to improve economic relations between the three countries and gain foreign direct investment by connecting Europe and Asia.
The project implementation began in 2007 and construction began in 2008.

The line is intended to transport one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight at the first stage. This capacity will then reach 3 million passengers and 17 million tons of cargo. 

The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey amounted to almost $1.2 billion in the first half of 2017, between Azerbaijan and Georgia-$270.35 million, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan.

China's Digital Economy Surges to 22.6 trillion yuan ($3.35 trillion) in 2016, Drives Engine of Economic Growth

Economy

Beijing, July 19: China's booming digital economy had been serving as a major engine for the country's economic growth.

China's digital economy surged 18.9 percent in 2016 to 22.6 trillion yuan (3.35 trillion U.S.

dollars), according to a white paper issued by China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The expansion was much faster than that of China's overall economy, which grew 6.7 percent in 2016.

Digital economy accounted for 30.3 percent of China's total gross domestic product (GDP) over the year, said the white paper. Taking its spillover effect into account, digital economy contributed 69.9 percent to the GDP in 2016, it added.

Digital economy, also known as the Internet economy, is based on digital computing technologies, comprising new business models such as e-commerce, cloud computing and payment services.

Technology is functioning as a driver of revenue and enabler of new business models for many Chinese companies, including China e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com.

China's digital economy grew significantly higher than the overall economy, becoming a major engine of growth, said the paper.

CAICT expects China's digital economy to be valued at 32 trillion yuan and account for 35 percent of the whole GDP by 2020, before taking up over half of the country's GDP by 2030, according to the white paper.

China has made a point of promoting digital economy as part of its measures to upgrade the economy, and the central and local governments had identified digital economy as "major development strategy."

At the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016, China put digital economy high on the agenda, making it part of the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth for the first time.

In March this year, Report on the Work of the Government called for more efforts to deepen the development of "Internet Plus" and accelerate the growth of digital economy. This is the first time that "digital economy" was referred to in such a report.

And the central government is to formulate and issue a strategic plan for promoting digital economy, according to the State Council executive meeting held on July 12.

Local governments had also geared up for digital economy, with Guizhou, Jiangsu, and Anhui among others, having made provincial-level plans to make their economy more digitalized.

For example, southwestern Guizhou aims to make added value created by digital economy grow 20 percent annually and carve up at least 30 percent of the province's GDP by 2020.

Digital economy has become an area where China's economic transformation and industrial upgrading can achieve major breakthrough, said MIIT Minister Miao Wei in April.

Miao pointed to smart manufacturing, industrial Internet, sharing economy, and the digitalization of traditional industries as areas that should be boosted.

The development of China's digital economy, however, is imbalanced, with the service sector adopting the digital economy more extensively than the primary and secondary industries, said Lu Chuncong, president of Communications Policy and Economics Research Institute, CAICT.

Regulation of market access does not suit the development of digital economy, said Lu, calling for establishing a mechanism of negative list where all market players can enter digital economy on an equal footing.

Source: (Xinhua)

China's Silk Road Unlikely to Derail India-Japan Relations

Silk Road Fund

Amid speculations that Japan could jump on China’s "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) bandwagon, Indian experts project a grim possibility of such venture.

New Delhi, July 18:  A meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg, Germany this weekend triggered speculation that Japan could be joining OBOR ["One Belt, One Road"] — China’s trade and development strategy that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries via land and sea.

The Japan News quoted Prime Minister Abe as saying “It (OBOR) has potential. We hope the initiative will contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity by adopting ideas held by all in the international community. We want to cooperate in that respect.”
This statement was widely construed as an affirmation of Japan’s desire to participate in the Chinese with the intent of reaping dividends for its domestic companies as well as to gain a voice within a big-ticket project. It was also seen as Japan’s tactical pressure on the US as a key ally joining a Chinese-led initiative could force President Donald Trump to reconsider his stance on withdrawing from the Asia-Pacific region.

Earlier in March this year, China had organized a grand summit in Beijing to showcase its plans to build OBOR – a network of trade routes that will connect Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. India and Japan were also invited along with 65 other countries. While India flatly refused to participate, Japan, after initial reluctance, had agreed to send a low-key delegation to the summit. Around 60 countries have so far agreed to be part of the project, with a cumulative estimated investment of as much as $8 trillion.

Indian experts say while Japan did attend the OBOR Summit in Beijing, there still remains an open-ended debate within Japan over their level of engagement. “There is no concern for India as we still don’t know what level of engagement Japan is eyeing in the project. There is a significant domestic lobby within Japan, particularly industry people, who want to take part in the project as it makes business sense for them. But, Prime Minister Abe hasn’t committed anything so far and he is coming to India later this year where we will get a very clear idea of what’s going on. Also, even if Japan wants to get involved in the OBOR, we can’t prevent or object to it. What matters is that Japan is also involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor. We have a strategic partnership with them,” K.V. Kesavan, Distinguished Fellow at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation told Sputnik.

India’s key concerns stems from the fact that a 3,000 km stretch of the project passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region which lies in the Kashmir region over which both India and Pakistan has territorial claims. India is also threatened as it feels that China is encircling it through a web of sea and land route under the garb of commercial projects, which could be used as military facilities as well.

Nevertheless, experts say it would be premature to speculate any impact of Japan’s seemingly changed stance on OBOR on India-Japan strategic partnership which is mainly aimed at containing the military rise of China. The two countries along with the US are currently part of the ongoing annual Malabar naval exercise in the Indian Ocean.

Source: Sputnik

AIIB Receives Third Triple-A Credit Rating from S&P Global Ratings

AIIB

Beijing, July 18: S&P Global Ratings ("S&P") announced it has assigned the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) its highest possible rating and a stable outlook. According to its press release, S&P has provided its 'AAA/A-1+' long- and short-term issuer credit ratings to AIIB.

S&P stated: "The ratings reflect our opinion that over the next three-to-five years AIIB will establish a track record and significantly enhance its operational setup, supporting our assessment of its very strong business profile and its extremely strong financial profile."

The full press release announcing S&P’s decision is available here.

The document entitled "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Assigned 'AAA/A-1+' Rating; Outlook Stable", dated July 18, 2017 is entirely the copyright of, and is reproduced with the permission of S&P.

The contents of such document are the property of S&P and subject to the disclaimers contained in such document. By accessing the above-described document, the user acknowledges the disclaimer.

AIIB makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of this document, and accepts no liability for the consequences of your placing any reliance on it.

China's New Economy Picking up Steam Amid Steady Growth

Economy

BEIJING, July 17 : China on Monday reported steady growth of 6.9 percent for the first half of 2017, though the figure was overshadowed by reform progress and performance in new economic sectors.

Consumption and service, together with the innovation-driven new economic sectors, are taking up larger roles in the economy, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

NEW ECONOMIC SECTORS

The high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors are leading the country's industrial growth, with year-on-year output increases of 13.1 percent and 11.5 percent in the first half, respectively, compared with a 6.9 percent rise in overall output.

"New economic strength is on the rise," said Xing Zhihong, a spokesperson with the NBS.

In the first six months, up to 45.6 percent of the total industrial investment went into technological improvement, paving way for future industrial upgrades, according to Xing.

Online sales of physical goods, one of China's major new business patterns, rose 28.6 percent to 2.37 trillion yuan (about 350 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 13.8 percent of the country's total retail sales.

An NBS survey into China's 40,000 small and micro-firms, crucial businesses in the country's pursuit of new and inclusive economic growth, showed that the business climate index of these firms reached a two-year high of 96.5 percent in the second quarter.

Wu Yibing, joint head of China of Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings, told Xinhua that his company wanted to increase investment in China's new economic sectors as Temasek was optimistic about China's ongoing economic transition.

He named a few new economic sectors which he described as "very attractive," including high-tech, non-banking finance, life science and consumption.

"Investment into these industries has witnessed better performance than the company's overall investment portfolio," he said.

NEW GROWTH ENGINES

Progress is also being made in the country's supply-side structural reform and growth engine shift, according to the NBS.

The service sector, already accounting for 54.1 percent of the overall economy, expanded 7.7 percent year on year in the first half, outpacing a 3.5 percent increase in primary industries and 6.4 percent in secondary industries, NBS data showed.

In the same period, the contribution of domestic demand to GDP growth reached 96.1 percent, 0.3 percentage points higher than the first quarter level, a trend much in line with China's efforts in growth model shift.

Meanwhile, industrial capacity utilization stood at 76.4 percent in the first half, up 3.4 percentage points from a year ago.

In terms of de-stocking in the property market, the floor space of unsold homes were down 9.6 percent at the end of June.

Growth in property development investment continued to decelerate to 8.5 percent in Jan.-June, down from 8.8 percent during the first five months, adding to evidence that China's property market is running out of steam amid government cooling measures to quash potential asset bubbles.

BETTER GROWTH OUTLOOK

The ongoing economic transition and structural reform sparked optimism on China's future growth outlook.

"China's economy is operating within a reasonable range, maintaining stable, coordinated and sustainable development, laying a solid foundation for achieving the annual target," Xing said.

In the second quarter, GDP growth was steady at 6.9 percent year on year, flat from the first quarter, but well above the government's annual growth target of 6.5 percent.

Looking ahead, Xing said more positive changes were on the way and that the firming would be consolidated by improvement in the real economy and expansion of both external and domestic demand.

During a two-day National Financial Work Conference that ended Saturday, China unveiled reform plans to improve the financial sector's capabilities to serve the real economy while guarding against systemic risks.

Nomura Securities said in a report after Monday's data release that given the data, it was raising the forecast for the third-quarter growth to 6.8 percent from the previous 6.6 percent, and the annual growth forecast to 6.8 percent from 6.7 percent.

The forecast of a gradual growth slowdown due to a weakening property sector, possible moderation of domestic demand as well as uncertainties over external demand remained valid, the report said.

Source by: Xinhua

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Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education Held at Air University, Islamabad

Education

Islamabad, July 17: The first Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education was held at Air University, Islamabad, to boost greater cooperation between the academia of the two countries under China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) which has added new momentum to the time-tested China Pakistan cooperative partnership.

Education experts, scholars,researchers, policy makers and students from China and Pakistan attended the forum, jointly organized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and China Association of Higher Education. 

 China Forum on Higher Education1

The forum started with a welcome note from the Vice Chancellor, Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir and a scholarly exposition of the theme by Lt. Gen. (R) Muhammad Asghar, Consultant CPEC at HEC.

Speaking at the forum Ms.Xiaomei Wang,the leader of the Chinese educational delegation, highlighted the need for greater cooperation between the academia of China and Pakistan. She also the policy makers to boost academic exchanges and joint research projects between between Higher Education bodies of the two countries for scientific collaboration in various areas.

 China Forum on Higher Education2

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

Highlighting the educational opportunities under China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) in his inaugural address,Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said “CPEC means Pakistan’s entry into the global supply chain,”.

 Ahsan Iqbal further said that the current government is fully supportive of higher education commission aimed at capacity building of existing HEIs ( higher education institutes) to prepare suitable human resource for CPEC and promote cultural harmony between the two countries.

 China Forum on Higher Education3

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

He also appreciated the efforts of the Higher Education Commission for building CPEC University Alliance and CPEC Consortium of Business Schools. “These efforts will help build collaborative linkages and intellectual connectivity which symbolize the spirit of CPEC,” he said. The minister welcomed the Chinese Scholars to Pakistan which he hoped will explore new avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries.

 China Forum on Higher Education4

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

Earlier, in his address, the Executive Director of HEC, Dr Arshad Ali thanked the Minister for his wholehearted support for higher education, which he emphasized in not a goal but a pre-requisite in a knowledge-based economy. The Forum focused on three areas: National Role and Contribution in Improving Quality of Higher Education; Ensuring Quality with Large-scale Increase in Access; and Balancing Quality of Higher Education in Diverse Regions. 

 China Forum on Higher Education5

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

The one-day forum on “Challenges of Equitable Access and Quality in Higher Education” was also addressed by eminent speakers from the higher education bodies of the two countries, and attended by a large number of educationists and students.

By Muhammad Arif

China-Tech: World's First Production Line for High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Starts Mass Production

Sci & Tech

Baotou,(China), July 17: The world's first production line for high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) fuel elements has started mass production at China North Nuclear Fuel, headquartered in Baotou in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The 200,000 spherical fuel elements were made Monday, marking a transition from a test production line to an industrial one, according to Wang Shoujun, president of China National Nuclear Corporation, parent company of China North Nuclear Fuel.

China is cementing its leading position as a manufacturer of HTGR fuel elements, Wang said.

With a designed capacity of 300,000 spherical fuel elements per year, the production line will provide fuel for the demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant being built at Shidaowan, near Rongcheng city in Shandong Province.

China has independent intellectual property rights for the production line, which was put into operation in 2016. The HTGR is best known for its inherent safety design.

Pakistan Television to Air Chinese Cartoon Series under CPEC Cultural Cooperation

CPEC

May 17: Pakistan Television (PTV) will begin airing Chinese folk opera cartoon series titled “Three Drops of Blood, a step towards expanding horizon of cultural exchanges and media cooperation between Pakistan and China under the framework of CPEC, a flagship project of China's Belt and Road development plan.

The announcement was made at the official launching ceremony jointly organised by the National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and Pakistan Television (PTV) on Friday evening.

 Deputy Chief of Mission, Chinese Embassy, Zhao Lijian graced the ceremony as chief guest while General PNCA, Syed Jamal Shah and Chief Planner Yong Tao, Bai Zhijun were also present.

Speaking at the mesmerizing ceremony, General PNCA Jamal Shah said “Three Drops of Blood”, Chinese Shaanxi folk Opera cartoon, sheds light on the strong ties between Pakistan and China, and lauded the cultural exchanges between the two countries which he said had been of high calibre and value.

Appreciating the continuous support of China, increasing investment and cooperation in art and culture by the Chinese government, he said: “Art and culture engages people in an intimate manner, thereby transpiring several other levels of engagement. Art and culture inform individuals about themselves intimately. Intimate knowledge becomes strength making people informed decision makers.”

He further added by saying the program will be followed by a workshop of animation by inviting emerging animators from schools and media institutions. While a Chinese film festival will also be arranged.

Depicting traditional values of Chinese culture, “Three Drops of Blood” is a classical story with 500 years’ circulation by a theater genius known as Oriental Shakespeare with a long lasting performance of 100 years.

Directed by Bai Zhijun and Produced by Wang Nan, the cartoon series is a joint cultural product of Shaanxi Association of the Promotion of International Cultural Exchange, the Shaanxi Dramatists Association, the Xi’an Qinqiang Theater Co, Ltd, The Xi’an Silk Road Modern Art Center and Shaanxi Zhongshan Cultural Media Co.

The story’s themes revolve around ancient and apocryphal issues, the Emperor’s Court, interpersonal relations and textual research on the classics of the upper class, meanwhile involving folklore, anecdote, medical science, divination and astrology, and the tales of God’s, ghosts and goblins discussed among the lower classes.

According to the producers, the cartoon stories also reflect contemporary social issues, laying bare several of its contradictions besides illustrating the good and evil conduct of various social classes of the day.

The program will be screened on PTV World every Saturday for six weeks.

Since the launch of CPEC, increase in people to people exchanges and collaboration in art and culture sectors have attained significant place on the agenda of policy makers of China Pakistan strategic cooperation partnership.

By: Muhammad Arif

AwesomePakistan.Net Honored by Joomla Int'l CMS

Travel to Asia

Islamabad, July 21: Joomla an international platform for free and open-source content management system (CMS) honors AwesomePakistan.Net for incredible web design and development as well as rich content on Pakistan’s Travel and Tourism Industry. Awesome Pakistan Team is proud to present Pakistan at international forum like Joomla. Silk Road Media, Skyline Travel, Congratulate the team of AwesomePakistan.Net. We will continue our efforts to bring Pakistan’s Rich Heritage, Wonderful Natural Beauty and Amazing Diversity at World Stage.

Thank you Team AwesomePakitan.Net

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