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Jan 14, 2011
via Reuters Investigates

Vietnam’s Capitalist Roaders

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A woman dressed in the traditional Vietnamese “ao dai”costume serves tea to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (front R) during the opening ceremony of the 11th Party Congress in Hanoi January 12, 2011

Vietnam’s ruling communists  opened an eight-day party congress on Wednesday with a candid  admission the fast-growing economy had become unstable, as  delegates began the process of reshuffling leaders and  charting new policies. 
   As leaders sang the national anthem to begin the  five-yearly event, streets in the chilly capital Hanoi were  festooned with red and yellow banners, some bearing the iconic  hammer and sickle. Propaganda posters bore the smiling  likeness of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh or of proud,  uniformed workers. 
   The economic backdrop is less festive. Inflation surged to  a 22-month high in December, the government is struggling to  bring down a hefty fiscal deficit, the currency has been  depreciating for three years and the trade deficit remains  stubbornly high.  

Dec 10, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

China’s rebalancing act puts consumer to the fore

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Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, now has 189 stories in China, according to its website. Soon it will have many more.  The U.S. chain has announced plans to open a series of “compact hypermarkets”, using a bare-bones model developed in Latin America, the Financial Times said.

Wal-Mart stores are a bit different than the one’s you might find in, say, Little Rock Arkansas. They sell live toads and turtles for one thing, The Economist reported. But they also sell the appliances, gadgets, and housewares that Wal-Mart stores merchandise everywhere.

Nov 14, 2010

APEC leaders set to back free trade plans

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Asia-Pacific leaders were set on Sunday to embrace plans for balanced growth and free trade in the world’s fastest growing economic region, but signs of discord resurfaced over how best to ensure global recovery.

A vague agreement two days earlier among G20 advanced and emerging countries gave little sense of a united approach to preventing further economic crises, the threat of which was underscored by the likelihood that Ireland will have to seek emergency funding because of debt concerns.

Nov 14, 2010

APEC leaders set to back growth, free trade plans

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Asia-Pacific leaders were
set on Sunday to embrace plans for balanced growth and free trade
in the world’s fastest growing economic region, but signs of
discord resurfaced over how best to ensure global recovery.

A vague agreement two days earlier among G20 advanced and
emerging countries gave little sense of a united approach to
preventing further economic crises, the threat of which was
underscored by the likelihood that Ireland will have to seek
emergency funding because of debt concerns.

Nov 13, 2010

IMF’s Strauss-Kahn says Ireland can manage well

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Saturday that Ireland can manage its fiscal affairs well, and the Fund has had no request for aid.

“I have not been in contact with Ireland,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Yokohama, Japan. “So far I have not had a request, and I think Ireland can manage well…”

Nov 12, 2010
via MacroScope

APEC’s robots stealing the show

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A guide at the “Japanese Experience” exhibition talks to Miim, the Karaoke pal robot, on the sidelines of the APEC meetings in Yokohama, Japan on Nov. 10. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

    Miim is one of the more popular delegates at the APEC meetings in Yokohama Japan. She sings. She dances. She tosses her shoulder length hair. She may not be able to spout an alphabet soup of APEC acronyms like the other Asia-Pacific delegates. But she’s still pretty lively. For a robot.

Nov 11, 2010

Asia-Pacific ministers extend freeze on trade barriers

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Asia-Pacific ministers on Thursday agreed to extend a freeze on trade barriers and pledged to work toward creating a vast free trade area in the world’s fastest growing region.

But a Group of 20 (G20) summit of major economies in neighboring South Korea — beset by deep divisions over currencies, monetary policy and global trade imbalances — is towering over the meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo.

Nov 9, 2010

APEC pondering vast FTA, while pounding protectionism

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Free trade is the big issue in Yokohama this week, 150 years after U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry’s “black ships” arrived in the port city and forced Japan to open up to the rest of the world.

Foreign and trade ministers from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum begin talks on Wednesday about taking steps toward creating a vast, and even legally binding, free trade area.

Nov 8, 2010
via MacroScope

APEC’S always in fashion

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One of the most closely guarded secrets at the APEC summit in Japan’s port city of Yokohama this weekend is not what the Asia-Pacific leaders might say about currencies and global imbalances. No, that’s all going to be thrashed out at the G20 meeting Thursday and Friday in Seoul. The big topic of speculation here at the Pacifico Yokohama Convention Center is what the leaders will wear when they gather for the annual class photo that concludes the meetings.

U.S. President George W. Bush (L) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin wear Chilean ponchos at APEC meeting  in Santiago in 2004. REUTERS

Oct 26, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Inside the Pirates’ Web

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Reuters trade correspondent in Washington Doug Palmer had an unusual assignment: buy a fake Louis Vuitton handbag on the Internet, and take it to a LVMH store for a comparison test, before handing it over to U.S. authorities.

    What was startling was how easy it was to find websites selling a dazzling array of stuff online. This is the new face of
piracy and its costing businesses billions.   No need to skulk around back alleys or some pirate’s rental van to browse through footwear, watches, DVDs and whatnot. Just pick out your LV shoulder tote from a virtual catalog on a website based in China. It looks and feels like the real thing at a fraction of the price.

    • About Bill

      "I am the Reuters Enterprise Editor for Asia, which means I oversee investigative, narrative, and other types of "long-form" journalism projects. I've been a correspondent, bureau chief and editor for Reuters in Asia for the past 24 years. I am the author of "Reporting Indonesia", a book published in 2008 about modern Indonesian history."
      Joined Reuters:
      1986
      Languages:
      Bahasa Indonesa, Melayu, Hindi
      Awards:
      Award of excellence, new book on media in asia, Asia publishers convention 2009
    • More from Bill

      Publications:
      Reporting Indonesia: The Jakarta Post Story
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