Feb 29

China Watch Blog reports that Chinese companies will face growing risks involving short-term export trade credit in the first quarter.

Waigaoqiao port

“Italy, Germany, South Korea, Spain and Mexico are the major countries that Chinese exporters should be particularly concerned about over short-term export credit insurance,” said Ai Renzhi, chief credit analyst with the China Export & Credit Insurance Corp, also knowen as Sinosure.

The China Daily reported that the insurer on Tuesday launched a short-term export trade credit risk index, an indicator tracking the risks of the nation’s major trading partners.

The index is meant to help Chinese companies hedge the risks of doing business overseas.

Italy, Germany and Spain have been primarily affected by the debt crisis, while South Korea and Mexico pose a risk because they rely heavily on exports, said Ai.

Chinese exporters should be more careful about trading in electronic products and metal products, mainly steel, Ai added.

Most economists believe that China’s exports will drop further this year since the global economy is expected to falter in 2012.

“Moreover, as external demand shrinks, the value of orders is also likely to drop and unit prices will be lower because of strong competition, thus leading to higher credit risks with trading partners,” said Xie Zhibin, assistant president of Sinosure.

As more Chinese exporters shift their business from developed countries to developing ones, Xie said the credit risks of export-driven developing economies should not be overlooked.

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Feb 29

China Watch Blog has learnt that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) claims that the True Cost of a Third Runway Reclamation in Hong Kong will include a HK$48 Million Loss to the Fishing Industry in a New UBC Modelling Study.

A new study by the University of British Columbia (UBC) Fisheries Centre on the impacts of reclamation on fisheries was released by WWF today. The study projects the impacts of a 650 hectares potential third runway reclamation at Hong Kong International Airport, on the recovery of the marine ecosystem and the development of sustainable fisheries in the wake of the forthcoming trawling ban and ban on commercial fishing in Marine Parks.

It shows that the fishing industry would likely suffer losses in value of their catches of HK$48 million and losses in net profit of HK$11 million over a 18 year period .

The study also reveals that the impacts on fish catches and the fishing community of a third runway reclamation are five times greater than anticipated by Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK).

The new UBC figure estimates the impact of a third runway to be 0.44 percent of Hong Kong’s yearly production, versus AAHK’s figure of 0.08 percent . The UBC study calculated the loss against the more healthy marine ecosystem and fishery resources that will occur when trawling stops in late 2012, and other fishery management measures.

Samantha Lee, Senior Conservation Officer, Marine at WWF-Hong Kong said, “AAHK has downplayed the impacts of the third runway reclamation to fisheries and the fishing community. Without conducting fishery modelling to look into the future, the real cost of reclamation cannot be estimated. This new information on fisheries also fills a crucial data gap needed to conduct a Social Return on Investment (SROI) study in order to measure the true environmental and social cost of a potential third runway.”

The study shows that up to 31 non-trawler fishers are likely to lose their jobs. This is because the reclamation will reduce the expected growth in marine life such as fish, shrimp and squid populations in Hong Kong following the trawling ban. Therefore, fishers’ overall catches will be lower. If the government provides full compensation and training for the fishers using current procedures, the estimated costs would be between HK$12-31 million.

Ms. Lee continued, “The proposed third runway will undermine the social and ecological benefits that will result from the trawling ban; countering the effectiveness of conservation measures to protect the fishery resources. On the one hand the government is trying to rebuild fish stocks; on the other, it seems intent on destroying substantial areas of the sea. The government should much more carefully consider the future impacts on marine ecosystem recovery and sustainable fisheries before deciding whether to proceed with such large-scale reclamations.”

This study was conducted over the past two months. By using this type of modelling, WWF and UBC have collaborated to develop a new tool to examine not just the impacts of reclamation on fisheries but also how fishery resources will recover from the trawling ban.

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Feb 29

China Watch Blog has learnt that whether or not you have a brick and mortar presence, your company’s website serves as your online storefront, giving potential customers an opportunity to learn about your company, products and services.

Search Engine Optimization is the strategy that leads new customers to your business by helping your site appear higher in the rankings.

Hiring a Search Engine Optimization company is the best way to make sure your site is found by the clients you want. National Positions (www.nationalpositions.com) claims to be the top SEO company in the industry with the results to prove it! Anyhow it is ranked 73,376 by Alexa.com compared with GCTL8.com/blog’s 104,716 ranking and therefore should be ok. Check it out.

Why is Search Engine Optimization crucial to your long-term success? Consider these stats:

97% of consumers research online before purchasing and are impacted by an SEO company’s work
92% of potential clients contact a company immediately after searching
Search Engine Optimization and Internet marketing offers better leads, with the smallest cost-per-lead
Internet marketing drives $6 of in-store sales for every $1 online
92% of Internet users have researched a product or service online
and then purchased offline from a local company at least once

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Feb 29

China Watch Blog wishes to inform readers that there is another book – However Long the Night, published by Eternal Press. Winner of the Lighthouse Book Award for fiction and the Royal Palm Award for fiction – by former Latin American government consultant and prolific author, David Pereda, which sounds interesting.

Sorry, yours truly has not read it yet, but this is what is being said about this mainstream novel, However Long the Night. It is a romantic tale with a major dose of suspense, a tense love triangle, buried family secrets, corporate shenanigans and a historical background.

The main character, Cid Milan, is a successful award-winning Miami Architect and real estate developer who suddenly finds out that his success has been built on lies told by his dying father twenty-five years ago that have done irreparable damage to the lives of people once dear to him.

His dilemma is: what should he do? So he does the elegant thing to do: he returns to the land he abandoned in search of the woman he left behind and the son he never knew. In the process, he learns an invaluable lesson about love, forgiveness and redemption.

“The work is indeed a masterpiece of entertainment…” — says Gary Sorkin, Pacific in his Book Review.

“The suspense grabs the reader from the beginning and holds it to the end…If you like a good romantic mystery, you will enjoy this book.” — Readers Favorite

“David Pereda has done it again… ” — The Laurel of Asheville

David Pereda enjoys writing thrillers and mainstream novels. Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, David had a successful international career with Booz-Allen and Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Qatar. “What I learned then,” says David, “has helped me enrich my novels with exotic places and distinctive characters.”

A member of MENSA, David is the regional director of Florida Writers Association’s Western North Carolina division and the founder of AWE (Asheville Writing Enthusiasts).

He lives with his family in Asheville, North Carolina, and teaches creative writing and ESL at the A-B Tech Community College. Havana: Twin Powers — the third novel in his mystery-thriller Havana series — is scheduled for publication next year.

For more information, please visit David’s website at: www.davidpereda.com.

However Long the Night is available through Eternal Press, www.eternalpress.biz, www.amazon.com, www.fictionwise.com, Ingram and Taylor, LSI and in selected bookstores.

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Feb 29

China Watch Blog reports that in the life of an ordinary person, he or she has 40-hour work weeks, two-hour commutes, carpools, school conferences, commitments: who has time to eat healthy foods and exercise?

And who can afford pricey organic, fresh foods anyway? You can, according to Randy Wright, MD and his co-author David Tabatsky. They spell it out in practical terms in The Wright Choice: Your Family’s Prescription for Healthy Eating, Modern Fitness and Saving Money (Intouch Media Health Network).

“We all know we should make healthier choices,” Dr. Wright explains. “But we don’t necessarily make it a priority. Sometimes it feels like we can’t make it our first choice. Staying fit and eating well seems to fall through the cracks.”

Moms and dads with hectic schedules are the norm right now; this pragmatic guide to good health is written especially for them. “We want to help them achieve their goal of staying fit without sacrificing work and personal goals.”

The secret is locked inside our brains, Dr. Wright says. “I wanted to explore the psychology of why we think about being healthier but don’t actually do it. To succeed, we have to completely change the way we think about food and the role exercise plays in our lives.

Then you’re open for an ‘ah-ha’ moment: just as you shouldn’t start planning for retirement a mere five years before you stop working, you shouldn’t start living healthy only when something goes wrong.”

Dr. Wright’s long medical career is the background for the guide’s comprehensive overview on healthy living. From an explanation of fats and how they affect our bodies to a fascinating account of why Americans just can’t seem to put down the Twinkies, the truth about food is revealed and medical myths debunked.

The financial advantages of physical fitness are outlined, and an affordable easy-to-follow fitness routine to use at home is included. “The rules we’ve developed work as personal mantras,” Dr. Wright continues. “Protecting your family and your own health are goals that should be taken to heart.”

Making The Wright Choice even more compelling are the testimonials included by Dr. Wright and his co-author. Ordinary people have found success in their health, diets and pocketbooks by following Dr. Wright’s simple regimen, including tasty, easy recipes.

The Wright Choice: Your Family’s Prescription for Healthy Eating, Modern Fitness and Saving Money is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.

Dr. Randy Wright is Director of the Neurovascular Institute at Conroe Regional Medical Center as well as Medical Director for the Health South Rehabilitation Hospital’s stroke unit in the Woodlands, TX.

David Tabatsky is co-author of Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book: 101 Stories of Courage, Support & Love.

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Feb 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that Shenzhen officials intend this year to attract 1,800 professionals from overseas, including expats and Chinese nationals living abroad, which would bring the total number of professionals from overseas in Shenzhen to 24,000, Shenzhen’s human resources and social security bureau said.

Professionals

To reach that goal, city officials will increase policies to help expats to work in the city and provide subsidies to help overseas Chinese professionals and students return to China and work in Shenzhen. To attract high-end professionals and research teams, the city will organize recruitment fairs overseas and utilize liaison and recruitment offices in the United States, Europe and Japan.

“We will use the national 1,000 Expat Experts Recruitment Plan to attract professionals to work in the city’s key fields and industries,” bureau chief Wang Min said.

Professionals at various levels will be eligible for cash and housing subsidies from the Shenzhen government.

The policies will give priority to professionals working in emerging industries and science, education, public health and sports, bureau members said.

Under an ambitious five-year Peacock Plan initiated last year, Shenzhen aims to attract 50 research teams and 10,000 high-end professionals to enhance its capability for independent innovation in pillar and emerging industries.

Two expats were accredited as high-end professionals under the Peacock Plan last year. Jeffrey S. Lehman, chancellor and founding dean of Beijing University School of Transnational Law, and Richard Jackson, president of Shenzhen Development Bank, received Level A accreditations from the city government. Each received a housing subsidy of 1.5 million yuan (US$240,000). A total of 61 professionals were accredited at three levels and received subsidies of different amounts.

The city attracted nine research teams and 1,747 professionals from overseas last year.

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Feb 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that Shanghai will continue to work on expanding financing channels for cash-tight small firms and on a program to let more market players to participate in margin trading.

Members of the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s board of directors discussed new initiatives this year at a recent working meeting, the bourse said in a statement reported by Shanghai Daily.

The exchange will work out a trial program to allow small firms to issue corporate bonds to selected investors on the bourse.

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Feb 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that Shenzhen’s GDP will rank 11th in the world in 2025, according to a research report by McKinsey & Company, a global management consultancy.

View of Shenzhen from bridging linking Hong Kong to Huanggang checkpoint

In addition to GDP, the report also predicts the top 25 cities in the world for 2025 in another six categories: per capita GDP, GDP growth rate, population, child population, household number and the number of households with a yearly income of over US$20,000.

The company released the report, “The City 600,” at the International Conference on Urban Development and Innovation, which concluded in Shenzhen on Friday, according to GZNews.com.

Shenzhen ranks sixth in terms of GDP growth rate and 21st in terms of the number of households with a yearly income of over US$20,000. Shenzhen is not in the top 25 in per capita GDP or child population.

Jonathan Woetzel, a Shanghai-based director with McKinsey & Company, said the per capita GDP is often high in comparatively small cities such as Macao and Doha. Meanwhile, the child population is to some degree decided by a government’s policy on population control.

However, Woetzel said Shenzhen, along with many other Chinese cities, has the potential to become a global metropolis by 2025.

“It is a major challenge for China to raise its efficiency and per capita GDP. We hope Shenzhen can achieve it,” said Woetzel.

Woetzel added that urbanization is the biggest factor in the global economic growth and the development of China’s cities has a large impact on the global economy.

In terms of GDP in 2025, New York and Tokyo come in the first two places, which are followed by Shanghai and London.

There will be more than 100 Chinese cities in the top 600, according to the report. By 2025, the top 600 cities in the world will contribute to more than 60 percent of the global GDP.

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Feb 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that the export growth of China’s electronic products slowed markedly last year to 11.9 percent, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced on Monday.

The total export value last year reached 661.2 billion U.S. dollars, up 11.9 percent year-on-year. However, the growth rate was 17.4 percentage points lower than that of the previous year, the MIIT data showed.

The export value of electronic products accounted for nearly 35 percent of the nation’s total export value in 2011, according to the data. Computers and cell phones were the top two categories of exported electronic products.

In 2011, computer and mobile phone exports increased by 11.1 percent and 34.3 percent, respectively, to 105.88 billion U.S. dollars and 62.76 billion U.S. dollars, the data showed.

Meanwhile, the MIIT also announced that the country’s imports of electronic devices hit a new high of 468 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 11 percent year-on-year. However, the growth rate saw a sharp decrease of 23 percentage points in comparison with that of 2010.

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Feb 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that the popularity of smartphones and mobile devices, as well as the rising impact of social media, has shifted how ordinary readers have access to news stories.

Consumers’ attention is drawn towards all kinds of colorful applications on touch phones and tablets. How will traditional media ride on the waves of technological reform? Is the booming of social media a blessing or rather a misfortune for newspaper and magazine publishers?

Top media and advertising executives joined a recent Circle A salon to talk about what they’ve done to cope with the shift of reading habits, how they’re building new channels to reach more readers and how they’re riding on the new trend to make their stories more influential.

Circle A was initiated by AdChina in 2010, aimed at bringing together media, advertising and new media companies in an open platform to exchange views. Shanghai Daily is the co-host of the inaugural Circle A in Shanghai this month.

Philip Kuai says: We all know that Sina launched a successful promotion for its Weibo service several years ago. But it’s a company with huge capital and human resources. How do you promote your mobile applications with limited budgets and resources?

Jane Yu: We didn’t do any big-scale market promotions during the initial stage of iWeekly.

First we invited some “opinion leaders” to use the application and got some recommendations from them. Then we were featured by Apple in its App Store, which was a key step for us.

Apple will feature some valuable applications in every catalog and you should seize the opportunity to be recommended in the feature list.

Benjamin Wei: There are some methods like posting in forums or application recommendation websites. But the key thing is the app’s quality. If it’s really fascinating, it will get recommendations and be featured naturally.

Philip Kuai: The boom in mobile Internet and the smartphones and tablets has offered many new channels to distribute one’s content. Readers are getting so many choices, and to catch readers’ attention there has to be a very good convergence of high quality content and user experience.

I would like to hear how each of you are thinking about expanding new platforms and how to better combine new media platforms with existing content. How do you balance inputs on your own new media platform and social media platforms?

Daphne Wu: Social media platforms such as Sina Weibo has helped us to get our news stories delivered to a very large audience and wider than we have expected.

They have opened up many new channels to get our voices heard and our ideas communicated, but what matters for us content producers most is the agenda-setting process, the ability to produce high quality news stories with social impact.

A content producer is like a curator, and mobile applications provide a better way to present our stories and ideas. The most essential thing is to have our own platform in the mobile Internet sector and to keep our readers because readers are our core value.

We have to make sure our intellectual property rights don’t get infringed and at the same time get our stories presented through various new channels.

Jack Gao: In the Internet era, good news quality itself is the best advertising for publishers. However, digitalized media content and the digital way of selling will become the mainstream in the long run.

We have to keep in mind that running media in the digital age requires us to adapt to new consumer habits. Merely moving the newspaper stories to an iPad version won’t do much benefit because the digital editing process and publication procedures have changed completely.

There have been arguments whether those with high quality content or those with an excellent interactive experience on mobile devices could dominate the market. From the current experience, only by combining those two can one become a successful media company.

Courtesy of Shanghai Daily

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