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China officially approves three new free trade zones BEIJING: China's government approved on Tuesday the formation of three new free trade zones (FTZ) in the city of Tianjin, southeastern Fujian province, and southern Guangdong province, the official Xinhua news agency reported.The three new free trade zones along China's eastern coast, mooted for several months but officially given the green light on Tuesday, will copy the model of the Shanghai FTZ established in 2013 as a testing ground for looser rules governing currency conversions and foreign direct investment.The Shanghai FTZ has been considered a success by the country's leadership and will be expanded as well, according to state-owned China Central Television's nightly broadcast on Tuesday.President Xi Jinping has talked up the FTZ scheme in recent weeks as a tool to spur investment in technological research and innovation as the country's economic engine cools off.China's government has officially forecast national GDP growth in 2015 to fall to 7 percent.Copyright Reuters, ...

Japan PM Abe set for one-week US tour TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will embark on a week-long US tour next month as the two former enemies prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.In addition to talks in Washington, Abe will tour Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles during the April 26-May 3 trip, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday.Abe will become the first Japanese leader to address a joint session of the US Congress, ...
Fire breaks out at India's parliament complex NEW DELHI: A blaze which erupted Sunday at India's national parliament brought firefighters rushing to the historic building in the centre of New Delhi.Smoke was seen billowing from above the red sandstone boundary wall of the parliamentary complex as police tried to clear the streets around the building.Some 30 officers and 11 fire trucks were fighting the blaze which a top officer said started at 2.21 pm (0851 GMT) and was contained about 20 minutes ...
1,000 detained in India over exam cheating: police NEW DELHI: Police have detained more than 1,000 people in eastern India over a cheating scandal that saw relatives scale the walls of a school exam centre to help students, a senior officer said Sunday.Images last week showed dozens of people clinging to the windows of a four-storey building to pass cheat sheets in the state of Bihar, where more than 1.4 million teenagers are sitting their school-leaving exams.Other images broadcast on local television showed ...
India's unseasonable rains pose risk to crops, inflation: minister NEW DELHI: India's unseasonable rainfall has damaged some crops and could stoke food price inflation and some shortages, though surplus stocks of foodgrains would help the country cope comfortably, the finance minister said."The damage to the crops and its consequential effects would be there. It could impact on inflation. It could impact on certain (food) shortages," Arun Jaitley told television channel CNN-IBN on Saturday."But then since we've surplus as far as the foodgrains are concerned, ...
Iran says nuclear talks to resume Wednesday TEHRAN: Nuclear talks between Iran and world powers have broken off and will resume on Wednesday, according to Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi."Right now more consultation and coordination is needed," he was quoted as saying Friday by Iranian media who reported that the negotiating team was returning to Tehran."Negotiations will resume Wednesday," Araghchi said, without naming the venue. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...
Iran FM sees progress in nuclear talks TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday that nuclear talks in Switzerland with US Secretary of State John Kerry were making progress although "a lot of work" remains."We are advancing very well but there's still a lot of work to be done," he told Iran's state news agency IRNA in the Swiss city of Lausanne on the fourth day of negotiations.His assessment echoed that of Kerry, who said the talks were facing "tough ...


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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 $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln