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Business in Asia Today -- Aug. 9, 2002.

A summary prepared by Asia Pulse (http://www.asiapulse.com/), the real-time, Asia-based wire with exclusive news, market intelligence and business opportunities:

KOREAN MINISTRY EYES PRIVATE OWNERSHIP FOR PORT FACILITIES

SEOUL - The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has outlined plans to implement a law revision aimed at allowing limited private ownership of ports. The ministry plans to change the laws from 2003. Current laws stipulate state ownership of port facilities, allowing for private ownership only for the facilities exclusively intended for cargo owners. The period of free use of port facilities built by private investors will be shortened from 50 years to 30 years. Awareness about investing in roads and ports will be available online.

INDONESIA'S PEKABUHAN TO BUILD NEW INT'L PORT IN SURABAYA

SURABAYA - The state-owned port operator PT Pekabuhan Indonesia III plans to build a new international port here next year with an investment of US$200 million. Company president Bambang Darwoto said yesterday PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III also plans to build another major ports in East Java in Kalimireng in Gresik. The government has invited the regional administration and private companies to take part in the development of the ports, as the plan has yes to attract an investor. The Kalilamong port in Surabaya will include a container terminal and other supporting facilities such as bonded zone to serve as area for export processing zone. It will reduce congestion in Surabaya's Tanjung Perak port and container terminal operated by the state-owned PT Terminal Petikemas Surabaya.

WTO OFFERS INDIA HUGE OPPORTUNITY TO BOOST EXPORTS TO CHINA

NEW DELHI - The government today said China's entry into the WTO could provide India with enhanced market access in certain sectors such as agriculture and marine products. WTO membership for China has opened a large market for India and ensured public availability of economic rules, regulations, international dispute mechanism, patent protection and transparency. Present levels of Indo-China bilateral trade account for only 1 per cent of India's global trade. Bilateral trade in 2000-01 has grown to $2.29 billion with imports from China at $1.46 billion and exports to China at $0.82 billion.

CHINA TO PURSUE STEADY MONETARY POLICY: CENTRAL BANK

BEIJING - China will continue to implement a steady monetary policy to prevent financial risks and adjust money supply appropriately in the second half of this year, according to a report released by the People's Bank of China today. It said it will take various monetary measures to make credit grow appropriately. At present the deposit interest rate is at the lowest level since China implemented the opening up policy.

VIETNAM BEGINS BUILDING STEEL MILL IN CENTRAL CITY

HANOI - Construction of a new steel mill will soon begin in Da Nang in response to local and overseas demand. The Lien Chieu Steel Mill will cost VND460 billion [US$30 million] and will be one of three large-scale mills operated by the Vietnam Steel Corporation. It will be equipped with imported modern technology to ensure environmental protection standards are met. When the mill is running at full capacity, it will increase Da Nang Steel Company's production capacity nine-fold. As well as meeting local demand, it will export to regional nations such as Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

MINISTER TO LAUNCH PAKISTAN TELECOM INTERNET SERVICE

ISLAMABAD - Paknet.com, a new branch of Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited an arm of a broad band wireless connection was launched last night, the first step of a new program of internet usage that is hoped to overcome problems with cable infrastructure. The system will provide a high speed service of up to 10 megabytes with the basic system covering 15 km. The higher speed system can extend the coverage to 40 km.

PAKISTAN COTTON PRICES HIT NEW SEASONAL PEAK

KARACHI - Cotton prices on Wednesday hit a new seasonal peak as spinners engaged in panic-buying amid reports of slow arrivals from the lower Sindh. Some of the deals in the new crop from the lower Sindh cotton belt were finalized at Rs.2,150 [US$4.42] which is the peak for this season. "The total availability of the current crop together with the imported stuff comes to over 11m bales, which the local industry could hardly consume despite increases in textile quotas by the US and European Union," said a leading cotton analyst.

SHIPBUILDER TSUNEISHI CEBU TO BUILD SECOND SLIPWAY

CEBU CITY - Shipbuilding company Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu) Inc. is pushing through with construction of a second slipway but could not say when construction will begin. Company president Valiente denied speculations that the delay in Tsuneishi's expansion was due to opposition on the firm's operations by environmental groups. The second slipway would enable the company to build bigger ships. Tsuneishi is currently building an average of six bulk carriers of up to 53,000 deadweight tons a year The expansion would add some 2,000 employees to the existing 3,000 employees of the shipbuilding facility, he said.

PHILIPPINE AUTO SALES GROWTH SLOWS TO 8.3 PCT IN JAN-JULY

MANILA - Sales of motor vehicles in the January-July period this year slowed down to 8.3 per cent compared to 10.3 per cent in the first half this year according to a report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. Sales in the January-July period this year reached only 46,135 units reflecting a modest 8.3 per cent increase from 42,604 units in the same period last year. Sales of passenger cars declined by 2.4 per cent having sold only 12,792 units as against 13,111 units in the same period last year.

PAKISTAN TELECOMS POSTS US$319 MLN POST-TAX NET PROFIT

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has earned a net profit of over Rs.19 billion (US$319.87 million) during fiscal year 2001-02 as against Rs. 18 billion profit last year. The Chairman Akhtar A. Bajwa said that of the total revenue, domestic earnings accounted for Rs 47.5 billion while those from the International customers is to the tune of around Rs 19.5 billion. 70 per cent of revenue comes from corporate customers while remaining 30 per cent is generated from the general customers. PTCL will invest Rs. 19 billion in network expansion and to provide cheap and efficient value added services.

Asia Pulse Pte Ltd. Each day Asia Pulse creates up to 300 items of news, business opportunities, expert commentary and industry profiles. Asia Pulse is a unique joint venture involving the resources of Asia's major news and information groups:
 (AAP) - AAP Information Services Pty Ltd (Australia)
 (ANTARA) - LKBN ANTARA (Indonesia)
 (CNA) - Central News Agency (Taiwan)
 (IRNA)- Islamic Republic News Agency (Iran)
 (Nikkei) - Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc (Japan)
 (ONA) - Oman News Agency (Oman)
 (PNA) - Philippines News Agency (Philippines)
 (PPI) - Pakistan Press International (Pakistan)
 (PTI) - The Press Trust of India Ltd (India)
 (Yonhap) - Yonhap News Agency (Korea)
 (VNA) - Vietnam News Agency (Vietnam)
 (XIC) - Xinhua Information Centre (China)
 SOURCE Asia Pulse


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