Economics & Trade

Urban stampede

Rural migrants are now a crucial part of China's urban economy, yet the state is only starting to ease the restrictions placed on their movement.

Efficiency gains

B2B trading sites offer considerable cost savings in developing countries such as China, but the sheer backwardness of many local businesses on the mainland means that uptake has been excruciatingly slow so far.

Waigaoqiao warning

Newly established companies in Waigaoqiao FTZ now enjoy greater tax subsidies than existing companies. However, these subsidies may have to be removed if they are found to be in breach of central taxation policy.

Stoking the coals

The coal industry in China, known for being dangerous and highly polluting, is undergoing a series of reforms designed to improve safety and efficiency. The focus is now on promoting efficiency and developing clean coal technology.

Special treatment

With so many different types of investment zone, foreign companies face major difficulty in getting the best deal from their investments in China.

Investors beware

There has been a rapid surge in M&A activity since the start of the SOE reform process. However, investors should be aware that there remain serious inconsistencies in the application and enforcement of the laws.

Higher standards

China is making substantial progress in bringing its food standards into line with developed countries, but the rules are applied patchily and some claim they are being used to stifle market access to foreign producers.

The price is right

With new apartment blocks being constructed on almost every street corner and strong government incentives offered to homebuyers, now is an ideal time for locals and foreigners in Shanghai to buy a property.

Value judgment

Ikea is a highly successful retailer in Europe and the US but making a profit in a developing market such as China is going to be a big challenge.

Shanghai swagger

Having nearly finished the task of restructuring its lumbering state industries, Shanghai government officials are forging ahead with ambitious new projects and a bold industrial vision focused on modern and high-technology sectors.

Urban plans on track

Work is underway on many major rail projects in China's congested urban centres, while others are backed up in the pipeline. When completed, these projects are set to change the face of the country's leading cities.

The great arms race

China's defence industry is technologically backward and much of its weaponry is worthless in the modern era. However, the PLA is now looking to combine its defence technology acquired from abroad with home-made systems to create a new breed of defence equipment.

Rocky relations

Just as transport links with Taiwan are now opening up, companies from across the Strait are finding it more difficult to conduct business in Xiamen and they are being lured by better investment conditions further north.

Fading appeal

Structural shortcomings and the fallout from a smuggling scandal are two of the factors why foreign enthusiasm in Xiamen is starting to fade.

Emergency case

Shanghai has launched a reform plan to improve the provision of medical services. It is the start of China's most radical urban healthcare shake-up in the past 20 years.

China Shipping and Zim forge new deals

A series of new slot-sharing agreements have been put together between China Shipping (CSCL) and Zim I

GDP growth target set at 7 per cent

The target economic growth rate for 2002 is 7%, Zeng Peiyan minister of the State Development Planning

Statistics found to be flawed

Officers at the National Bureau of Statistics uncovered at least 60,000 violations of China's statisti

Port shifts focus

The construction of several new container berths at Tianjin port will boost throughput and help local manufacturers reach foreign markets.

Chip commitment

The municipality of Tianjin is emerging as a key manufacturing base in China for the semiconductor chip industry, spearheaded by Motorola's US$1.9bn plant in the city's thriving economic development zone.

CSRC comes clean

The rule of law will need time to take root in China's securities market, but the market regulator is determined to fight its corner in the courts.

Limited porogress

Recent changes to foreign investment laws bring China into greater compliance with WTO requirements. However, the impact is likely to be minimal and much remains to be done to open up the country's markets.

Sale of the century

The Chinese government has kicked off a new chapter of economic reform with a policy it has been avoiding for years - the mass privatisation of state-owned assets.

New era for STDM

More than any other company, STDM has helped to reshape Macau. Now, under Chinese rule, it is being forced to adapt to a more competitive era.

The IT challenge

Macau is striving to keep pace with the new information age, but a lack of investment and bureaucracy mean that the transition will not be easy.

Beware the pitfalls

Foreign life insurers will be allowed to introduce new products once China joins the WTO, but the regulatory environment is also likely to change.

New law on foundations

Along awaited Law on Foundations will raise the minimum funding threshold for registration from Yn200,000 to Yn5m and allow up to 50 per cent of capital to be invested in businesses and securities provided that risk is spread and funds are managed professionally. So said Dr Wu Zhongze, head of the Ministry of Civil Affairs Bureau of Non-Government Organisations, which has been closely involved in drafting the law.

A Kind of giving

Corporate philanthropy is taking hold in China, especially among private enterprises. More than half the money is spent on poverty alleviation but a high percentage goes direct to the government, much of it to support basic infrastructure projects.

Making provisions

New regulations clarify the rules on foreign investment in China and simplify the approval process, which should yield savings for investors.

Show time

The key to participating in a successful exhibition lies in selecting the right event, says Brendan Jennings of Hong Kong Exhibition Services.

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