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Singapore's Lee was 'old friend' to China: Xi BEIJING: China's President Xi Jinping praised Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew as an "old friend of the Chinese people" on Monday, after his death aged 91.Xi said Lee, who was ethnically Chinese, was "widely respected by the international community as a strategist and a statesman" and expressed "sincere condolences" to his relatives.Lee met China's leaders multiple times and his model of political control allied to economic growth was seen as an example to China's Communist party as it embarked on reforms.Lee was the "founder, pioneer and promoter of China-Singapore relations", Xi said in a message sent to Singapore President Tony Tan, China's foreign ministry said on its website.Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said separately that Lee, who dominated Singaporean politics for more than half a century, was "a strategist boasting oriental values and international vision".Hong added that Lee was "a uniquely influential statesman in Asia" who made "historic contributions" to ...

Indonesia leader eyes investment, defence on Japan trip TOKYO: Indonesian President Joko Widodo will arrive in Tokyo late on Sunday, kicking off a week-long tour of Japan and China aimed at attracting investment and boosting defence co-operation."We want to develop (infrastructure) with particular focus on electric power plants, railways and express ways. I would like to ask Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for co-operation on this issue," Widodo said in footage aired by Japan's public broadcaster NHK.Widodo, who took office in October, will be ...
China state media tells US to stop 'kibitzing' BEIJING: Chinese state media turned to Yiddish on Saturday in the war of words over territorial disputes, criticising the United States as a "kibitzer" for what it called meddling in the South China Sea issue.A commentary published in English by the official Xinhua news agency was headlined "America the Kibitzer" -- which refers to an onlooker who gives unwanted advice -- in this case regarding the South China Sea.China claims almost all of the South ...
Putin calls for currency union with ex-Soviet allies ASTANA: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called for a single currency with the Kremlin's closest ex-Soviet allies despite fraying ties in the region which is struggling with the fallout from Moscow's economic crisis.Putin urged closer integration for his flagship Eurasian Economic Union -- which also includes Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia -- as Moscow scrambles to limit the damage from Western sanctions over Ukraine and tumbling oil prices. "We think the time has come to ...
Afghan leaders head to Washington ahead of fighting season KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah travel this weekend to Washington where they are expected to focus on reconciliation with the Taliban as the annual "fighting season" begins.Diplomatic efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table have gained pace recently, even as security forces have launched offensives against the insurgent group without NATO assistance for the first time since 2002.Ghani and Abdullah leave Saturday for an official four-day trip ...
Former Australian leader Malcolm Fraser dead at 84 SYDNEY: Former conservative prime minister Malcolm Fraser, who came to power in 1975 after Australia's greatest constitutional crisis, died on Friday after a short illness at the age of 84.His death came just five months after the demise of Gough Whitlam, the man Fraser replaced after the Labor figure became Australia's only prime minister to be sacked."It is with deep sadness that we inform you that after a brief illness John Malcolm Fraser died peacefully ...
North Korea to convene rare parliament session in April SEOUL: North Korea announced Friday it will convene a rare parliamentary session next month, which analysts said would likely rubber-stamp policies outlined by leader Kim Jong-Un in a bid to resolve chronic food shortages in the country."The 3rd session of the 13th Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK (North Korea) will be convened in Pyongyang on April 9," state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.It gave no other details, including on the session's agenda.The Supreme ...

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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