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China's Xi congratulates new chairman of Taiwan's ruling party TAIPEI/SHANGHAI: China's President Xi Jinping on Saturday welcomed the election of Eric Chu as chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang party, the Xinhua news agency reported, which quoted Xi saying he hoped Taiwan-China relations would continue to move forward.Taiwan and China have been at odds since the end of China's civil war when the Kuomintang fled to the island leaving the Communists running the mainland. But business ties across the Taiwan Straits have increased since China-friendly Ma Ying-jeou took power in 2008.Xi hoped the two sides could work together to create a favourable situation for peaceful cross-strait relations and work against the common political basis for Taiwan independence, Xinhua quoted him as saying.The two sides have always agreed upon "one China," which refers to the idea that there is only one state called China, even though there are two governments, one on the mainland and one in Taiwan. And Beijing would ...

Sri Lanka scraps ban on foreigners visiting northern former war zone COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has lifted a ban on foreign travelers visiting the former war zone in the north of the country, its defence ministry said on Friday, as the new government promotes reconciliation with ethnic minority Tamils after a 26-year war. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government imposed a travel ban on Oct. 15, weeks after the United Nations began a probe into alleged war crimes in the final phase of the civil war between the ...
India's Modi committed to achieving budget deficit goal NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday he was committed to meeting this year's budget deficit target, welcoming a cut in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India on the back of falling inflation.In a speech, Modi said his government would cut wasteful spending, streamline the payment of welfare benefits and raise investment in roads and railways to boost economic growth in Asia's third-largest economy.Modi's comments signalled his assent to RBI ...
Kerry, Iran's Zarif set for Paris nuclear talks PARIS: US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Jawad Zarif will meet for talks in Paris on Friday on Iran's nuclear policy, Iranian and U.S. sources said."Minister Zarif and Secretary Kerry are highly likely to meet this afternoon in Paris," an Iranian diplomatic source told Reuters. Kerry is in the French capital to honour the 17 victims killed in last week's shooting in France, and Zarif is due to meet French ...
Cricket hero Ranatunga vows Sri Lanka ports clean-up COLOMBO: World Cup winning cricket skipper Arjuna Ranatunga began work Friday as Sri Lanka's ports and shipping minister after being appointed to new President Maithripala Sirisena's cabinet.The 51-year-old Ranatunga, dubbed Captain Cool after winning the 1996 World Cup, vowed to end a culture of backhanders that has given the island's ports an unenviable reputation as a hotbed of corruption."I have a big responsibility to clean up this place," the portly Ranatunga said on his first ...
India court grants Italian marine 3 more months at home NEW DELHI: India's top court Wednesday allowed an Italian marine detained for the 2012 killing of two fishermen another three months at home to recover from heart surgery amid a diplomatic row over the case.India's Supreme Court had originally refused to extend Massimiliano Latorre's leave after allowing him to spend four months in Italy to recover from cerebral ischaemia -- a restricted blood supply that can lead to a stroke.Latorre was due to return to ...
Sri Lanka's former president Rajapakse faces graft complaint COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Marxist opposition party has filed a corruption complaint against former president Mahinda Rajapakse and his family and asked the anti-graft body to prevent them leaving the country, a spokesman said Wednesday.The JVP, or People's Liberation Front, has lodged the complaint against Rajapakse, his legislator son Namal and two brothers - Basil and Gotabhaya - who held powerful positions in the former president's administration that was ousted after last week's elections.The election was ...


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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 $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln