Wednesday, June 30, 2010

China scraps export rebates on 406 products

The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday that the scrapping of export tax rebates on some steel products does not signal any change in China's foreign trade policy and would not cause a sharp fall in China's exports.

Just this past Tuesday the Ministry of Finance said China would drop export tax rebates on 406 goods beginning July 15. The items included some steel products and non-ferrous metals, as well as some plastic, rubber and glass products.

The move aims to discourage exports of high-polluting and high-energy-consuming products and to reduce emissions. It is also part of the country's efforts to accelerate its economic restructuring, the MOC said.

The tax cut might weigh on the profitability of some companies in the short term, but it will not dent the strength of China's export recovery in the long run, as it affects just one percent of the country's total exports.

The removal of the rebate would also contribute to the healthy long-term growth of China's exports, the ministry said.

Source: Xinhuanet

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pirates and Captain killed in gun battles

The crew of a Libyan cargo ship hijacked by pirates in February yesterday regained control of the vessel after a bloody onboard battle. And in the Gulf of Aden, when Somalian forces stormed a hijacked Panamanian ship, pirates refused to surrender and killed its captain.

Reports suggest between five and nine pirates were killed as the crew of the Libyan-owned Rim fought the pirates. The European Naval Force, EU Navfor, said one crew member was seriously injured during the incident, which happened off Somalia’s coastline. The Navfor warship, SPS Victoria, tasked to give medical assistance, launched its helicopter, but as it approached the Rim, a second vessel controlled by pirates changed course to intercept.

EU Navfor said: “Confusing reports that the ship had been attacked again came prior to the helicopter reaching the scene. But it was quickly established that the crew were in control of the vessel."

It added: “There were, however, pirates in the vicinity who were attempting to impede the EU Navfor operation by utilising another hijacked merchant vessel, Daisy. “As SPS Victoria’s helicopter approached the Daisy, it changed course – no warning shots were fired.” The drama in the Gulf of Aden began In the early hours of yesterday when pirates hijacked the 15,000-tonne Panama-flagged general cargo ship QSM Dubai (pictured above), which has a multinational crew of 24.

A force of soldiers from Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region later stormed the vessel and captured seven pirates after a brief gun battle."Our troops stormed the Panama-flagged vessel and engaged the pirates. There was brief fighting before they defeated them," said Said Mohamed Raage, Puntland Minister of Ports and Marine Transport. "We arrested seven pirates after they killed the captain of the ship." And more pirates, armed with machine guns, failed to capture a containership off the coast of Somalia yesterday.

Report issued on IFW mailshot 3rd June 2010