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China lowers 2015 growth target to 'around 7pc' BEIJING: China lowered its 2015 economic growth target to "around seven percent", the government said Thursday, as authorities attempt to set the world's second-largest economy on a more sustainable expansion path.The goal announced by Premier Li Keqiang comes after China's economy expanded 7.4 percent in 2014, the slowest pace in 24 years. Last year's target was "about 7.5 percent".China also lowered its target for annual inflation to "around three percent", according to the text of a "work report" Li was to give to the opening of the annual National People's Congress, the country's communist-controlled legislature.The lowering of the economic growth target was widely expected by economists and reflects the reality of a multi-year slowdown in the Asian giant that has seen it come off annual double-digit expansions that characterised its decades-long ascension."Over the past year, the international and domestic environments faced by China in its development have been complicated and ...

Obama calls injured ambassador after South Korea attack WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday called a former aide and now US ambassador in Seoul to wish him well following a blade attack in the South Korean capital."The President called US Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Mark Lippert, to tell him that he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him the very best for a speedy recovery," said Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman.Copyright AFP ...

Australia PM suggests MH370 search could be scaled back SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday expressed hope missing Flight MH370 will be found, but suggested the search may be scaled back as he marked one year since it vanished.The Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board. No trace has been found despite a massive surface and underwater hunt."I do reassure the families of our hope and expectation that the ...

EU, Cuba in 'frank' talks to normalize relations HAVANA: The European Union and Cuba held a third round of "frank" talks on Wednesday aimed at normalizing relations, as Havana and Washington work through their own historic rapprochement.The two-day session in Havana, part of a dialogue that began 11 months ago, is aimed at tackling sensitive human rights issues and finalizing an agreement "on political dialogue and cooperation," meant to turn the page on a decade of estrangement.The talks are being led by European ...

Obama to enjoin new generation in Selma address SELMA: President Barack Obama will call for a new generation of Americans to take up the torch kindled by civil rights leaders 50 years ago in Selma, Alabama, when he visits the historic town Saturday.America's first black president will stand at the famed Edmund Pettus Bridge, accompanied by wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia, to argue that events half a century ago are not confined to history, a White House official said.On March 7, ...

China says 2015 defence budget to grow 10.1pc, 5-year low BEIJING: China's national defence budget will grow 10.1 percent in 2015, the lowest increase in five years, the government said Thursday as it stressed the ruling Communist Party's "absolute leadership" over the army.Beijing plans to raise its military spending to 886.9 billion yuan ($141.4 billion), according to a budget report to be submitted to the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), the Communist-controlled legislature. Last year's increase was 12.2 percent, official data showed.China ...

Jittery Brazil hikes rates once more BRASÍLIA: Brazil's central bank raised its key interest rate to 12.75 percent Wednesday, as Latin America's largest economy fights to keep a lid on inflation despite a slowing economy.The increase, the fourth in a row, was largely anticipated by analysts polled by the central bank."In assessing the macroeconomic scenario and the outlook for inflation, the Copom (the bank's monetary policy committee) decided unanimously to raise the rate by 0.5 percentage points, to 12.75 percent," it ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $16.137 bln