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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


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


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


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.

Oct 18, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Mongolia’s El Dorado stirs shareholder battle


In Mongolia’s South Gobi desert lies Oyu Tolgoi, touted as having the world’s largest untapped copper and gold deposits. Little wonder then that this “El Dorado” has become a boardroom battleground between the relatively unknown Ivanhoe Mines and its biggest shareholder, the giant Australian mining company, Rio Tinto.  

Our attempts to get near this mine or elicit any comment from Ivanhoe were about as fruitless as the Spanish conquistadors attempts to find the legendary “El Dorado”, or “Lost City of Gold” in the 16th century. Twice Ivanhoe stopped our reporters from visiting the mine with delegations from the investment community, saying reporters were not  allowed to mingle with bankers on visits to the mine. We don’t know why that would be. We mingle with them pretty often in other contexts and usually find each other’s company amusing and mutually informative.

Oct 1, 2010
via Reuters Investigates

Singapore Swing: Nanny state loosens up to attract wealth



Some assignments are tough in this business. Getting embedded in a U.S. tank in an Iraqi desert. Gulping tear gas during a  riot. Spending hours at an APEC conference desperately seeking news in the snooze-fest.

This one was fairly enjoyable to tell you the truth. Reuters Singapore Bureau Chief Raju Gopalkrishnan set out to tell the tale of how Singapore, the Southeast Asian city better known for things like banning chewing gum and canning juveniles, has been undergoing something of a transformation of late. From “nanny state” to Singapore swing.

Jul 26, 2010

Investors find some reassurance in Europe’s bank tests

SINGAPORE/PARIS, July 26 (Reuters) – Investors in Asia took
some reassurance that European banks had passed “stress tests”
on their ability to deal with a debt crisis, which has been a
cloud over the global economic recovery.

But scepticism remained about the credibility of the tests
because they showed a combined capital shortfall of the 91
banks put under the microscope that was much smaller than

    • 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:
      Bahasa Indonesa, Melayu, Hindi
      Award of excellence, new book on media in asia, Asia publishers convention 2009
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