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Canadian prime minister to visit S. Korea this week

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit South Korea this week for a summit with President Park Geun-hye on boosting bilateral cooperation in trade and other areas, the presidential office said Sunday. The Canadian leader is scheduled to arrive in South Korea on Monday for a two-day official visit, his fourth trip to Seoul since December 2009.

Hong Kong forecasts fastest economic growth in three years

Hong Kong's economy is expected to expand at its fastest pace in three years in 2014, the government said Wednesday, while slashing public welfare spending as it cautioned over global economic headwinds and projected a narrowing budget surplus. Financial Secretary John Tsang forecast growth of between three and four percent, up from 2.9 percent in 2013, as he announced a 40 percent cut in welfare spending even as the government struggles to quell popular discontent over the city's high living costs and widening wealth gap.

Hong Kong replaced as APEC host over protest fears: media report

Planned summer demonstrations by democracy activists were behind China's decision to snub Hong Kong in favour of Beijing as host of a key Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) finance ministers' meeting, a media report said. Democracy activists from the "Occupy Central" group have threatened to flood the streets of Hong Kong's business district with thousands of protesters to try to force officials to guarantee electoral reform.

High-profile ministerial meeting moved from Hong Kong to Beijing

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A high-profile meeting of Asian-Pacific finance ministers has been moved out of Hong Kong on instructions from central Chinese authorities in Beijing, a measure that could prove embarrassing to the city's promotion of itself as a global hub. The city government said on Tuesday that the 21-nation APEC Finance Ministers' Meeting (FMM), scheduled from September 10 to 12, would now be held at a later date in Beijing.

No quick rebound this time, as clouds gather over Thai economy

By Orathai Sriring and Alex Richardson BANGKOK (Reuters) - Any comfort investors in Thailand draw from what happened four years ago, when economic growth, the stock market and foreign investment all surged despite deadly unrest in Bangkok, may be sorely misplaced. The latest bout of political strife will delay major government spending projects, and damage a lucrative tourism industry. And, even if Thailand's politics calm down, its economy will remain handicapped by weak private investment and rising household debt.

Asia Pacific wine trade loses $1 bn a year to red tape

Red tape is costing the Asia Pacific's wine industry $1.0 billion a year, APEC said Friday, as it vowed to simplify the procedures to take advantage of growing demand in the region. A complex web of non-tariff barriers such as multiple export certificates and unnecessary testing is hampering the industry's growth, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping said in a statement.

Chinese oil companies interested in investing in Mexico, ambassador says

Mexico City, Jan 8 (EFE).- Chinese oil companies have expressed interest in investing in Mexico in the wake of the energy industry reforms implemented last month, Mexican Ambassador to China Julian Ventura said. "Official approaches have been made in different sectors, not just energy, to see what the Mexican legal framework is and what the opportunities are in the different sectors that have been identified as priority ones," the diplomat told Mexican media outlets.

Chinese oil companies interested in investing in Mexico, ambassador says

Mexico City, Jan 8 (EFE).- Chinese oil companies have expressed interest in investing in Mexico in the wake of the energy industry reforms implemented last month, Mexican Ambassador to China Julian Ventura said. "Official approaches have been made in different sectors, not just energy, to see what the Mexican legal framework is and what the opportunities are in the different sectors that have been identified as priority ones," the diplomat told Mexican media outlets.

Abe 'not welcome' by Chinese people

China on Monday said that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was "not welcome" by the Chinese people after he visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine. Abe "has fully exposed his hypocrisy by saying that he pays attention to the development of the relationship with China and is hoping to carry out dialogue with Chinese leaders," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. "In fact, Abe himself closes a door of dialogue with Chinese leaders," he added at a regular briefing. "The Chinese people do not welcome him."

Japan, Russia to promote cooperation in energy-saving, investment

Japan and Russia agreed Wednesday to promote cooperation in areas such as energy-saving, renewable energy and advanced medicine, according to Japanese officials. In a meeting with Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev in Moscow, Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi expressed Japan's willingness to boost investment in Russia amid a slowdown in the country's economy, the officials said.
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