Archive | September, 2011

World Trade Center Spotlight: Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan which is two-thirds mountainous with a population of 23 million. Mandarin Chinese is the  majority language. It is a very old culture and its people have lived there for 12,000-15,000 years. It is a multi-party democracy and has a GDP of $430 billion.  Its natural resources are coal, natural gas, limestone, marble and asbestos. Major agricultural products include pork, rice, fruit, vegetables, sugarcane, poultry, shrimp and eel.  Services make up 67.1% of the GDP. Industry (31.3% of GDP) types include: electronics, chemicals and petrochemicals, basic metals, machinery, textiles, transport equipment, plastics and machinery.  “Taiwan has developed into a major international trading power with $496 billion in two-way trade (2008).  Taiwan is prosperous and stable. The economy grew by 10.88% in 2010 (U.S. Department of State).  Taiwan’s trade with the world reached US$526.4 billion in 2010 (TAITRA).

Taipei World Trade Center is located in the Xinyi District in Taiwan. It is a four-in-one complex that includes the Exhibition Hall, International Convention Center, International Trade Building and the Grand Hyatt Taipei.

Website: www.twtc.com  

Mission:  Show the World! See the World!  A single modern venue that combines exhibition space, conference facilities, offices, and hotel accommodation for international business.

Background:  Founded in January 1986 by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. (TAITRA Taiwan’s foremost trade promotion organization)

Exports: In 2010, $274.6 billion: electronics, flat panels, optical, photographic, measuring and medical instruments, information and communications products, textile products, basic metals, plastic and rubber products (the electronics sector being the most important). Major markets are P.R.C. and Hong Kong ($114.8 billion), U.S. ($31.5 billion) and Japan ($14.5 billion).

Imports: In 2010, $251.4 billion: electronics, machinery, crude petroleum, precision instruments, organic chemicals, and metals. Main import partners include: Japan (20.77%); China (14.01%) US (10.49%) South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Services:  “TWTC combines every possible service that brings together a vast consulting service on trade-related issues, trading partners, suppliers and markets.”

Trade Mart:  Provides a meeting place for international buyers and sellers.  It has the most extensive range of products under one roof in Asia.  There is over 6,300 square meters in the TWTC Exhibition Hall that includes the :

  • Import Mart is a special area in the TWTC Exhibition Hall reserved for international enterprises and foreign government trade units.  It is especially useful for businesses looking to expand into Asia nd there are currently 25 countries represented.
  • Export Mart contains 920 showrooms where one can view products, meet with representatives and conduct business negotiations.
Events:  See the website for the many exhibitions and trade shows.
Contact Information:
Taipei World Trade Center
http://www.twtc.com 
NO.5 Hsin-Yi Rd., Sec 5, Taipei, Taiwan, 11011, R.O.C.
886-2-27255200 ext 2261
twtc@taitra.org.t                                                                                         
 
Taipei at night.  The Taipei 101 is a 101 floor skyscraper…the second tallest building in the world.
 
 

 I would love to see the treasures in this museum which has one of the largest collections of Chinese artifacts in the world ( over 600,000).

Taipei is also known for its night markets including the famous Shilin Night Market and Ximending.   Night shopping…Cool!     

Trade News: DEC Conference, China Issues, Haitian Exports & More

From Global Reach (U.S. Census): Explore Exporting at the National District Export Council Conference November 2-5, 2011. Experts in all facets of exporting from getting started, to identifying foreign markets, to finding buyers and financing export transactions, will provide the latest information to help you leverage the competitive advantage U.S. businesses have for producing high-quality, innovate goods and services.

From DOC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Issues its 8 Millionth Patent. It took 75 years to get to patent 1 million in August 1911, yet just six years to get from patent 7 million to today’s 8 millionth patent. “This kind of innovation is a driver of our nation’s economic growth and job creation,” said Director David Kappos.

From Silk Road Intl: Endangered Species: Chinese Middle Managers. Most Chinese factories have the one or two guys that started the company with 10 years of experience and then a bunch of line workers and college grads all with either no education or training and/or only a couple years of practical work experience.  This phenomenon means that there are limited numbers of people that have both actual production-floor experience AND managerial experience.

From Tradeology (ITA): In promoting U.S. trade interests, it can be easy to forget about the other side of the coin: imports and their importance as inputs to U.S. manufacturers and exporters. Early last year the Census Bureau started to include state-level merchandise import data with their monthly data release, which is now also available on their TradeStats Express platform.

Again, from Tradeology: Haiti Uses a Bit of MAGIC to Energize their Textile Industry. Despite seemingly overwhelming odds, Haiti continues its road to recovery. This struggling nation is slowly rebuilding after the devastating earthquake in 2010. The Haitian textile and apparel industry is the country’s largest manufacturing sector, and employs more than 28,000 workers, and apparel constitutes more than 80 percent of all Haitian exports to the United States.

From Euromonitor, a related article: Will Asia Lose its Crown as the Apparel Sourcing Destination of Choice?  Asia Pacific is currently the world’s number one destination for apparel manufacturers. However, in recent years the region experienced a number of issues that caused significant problems for apparel companies.

From Intl. Economic Law & Policy: Chinese Land Purchases: Not Just in Africa Anymore. A Chinese tycoon plans to buy a vast tract of Icelandic land for a $100m tourism project which critics fear could give Beijing a strategic foothold in the North Atlantic.

From Importers & Exporters: China Sourcing Fairs October 2011. Global Sources is organizing a number of China Sourcing Fairs in Hong Kong, from 20-23 October, 2011

Trade News: Corruption in India, U.S. Food Aid, Ethical Fashion Show

From ITCSD: Farm Subsidies: Ballooning US Food Aid Pushes Total Support to New High. Domestic food aid payments in the US have doubled between 2002 and 2009, new figures show, pushing total farm subsidy levels to a record high of US$114 billion. Nine-tenths are classified as green box payments. Spending on domestic food aid has grown in recent years, analysts say, as the economic downturn has pushed thousands more US citizens into poverty.  At US$78 billion, domestic food aid accounts for three-quarters of all US green box spending, with food stamps accounting for 70 percent of these payments.

From Silk Road Intl.  Sometimes Contracts are Not Enough. When doing business in China, sometimes contracts just don’t work. Sometimes you not only don’t get what you ordered, but you’re left with no viable options for exit or resolution.  Even ”if you can’t do it, just return my money and we’ll call it good” gets you nothing.  This is rarely ever successful.  First, Chinese style: no due diligence or contracts, only relationships/connections (Guanxi).  Second, Western Style: no Guanxi, only due diligence. Third, the best of both worlds: lots of research and probably as many dinners.

India's on going corruption is costing them a lot

From Euromonitor: Corruption Impacts India’s Business and Political Environment. An increasing number of corruption scandals since the late 2000s have damaged the government’s credibility, caused major loss in tax revenues, led to social unrest and widened income inequality.  India ranked 87th place out of 178 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in 2010 (by comparison, New Zealand was ranked #1 best). Corruption significantly impacts India’s business environment and poses a threat to sustained economic growth:

  • Pervasive corruption reduces competition and efficiency in the Indian economy.
  • Corruption raises the cost of doing business and adds to the problem of regulatory uncertainty, thus affecting foreign direct investment (FDI).
  • Significant tax revenues have been lost due to corruption.
  • India’s efforts to reduce poverty will be hampered as public funds are embezzled and diverted from social spending such as on healthcare and education.
  • Rising corruption has led to social discontent amongst the middle-class and a volatile political environment.

From the flip side of bad ethics, via World Fair Trade Org:  Ethical Fashion Forum’s 2011 Source Expo. The Source Expo is the only fashion industry trade show dedicated to manufacturers, fabric and textile suppliers and cooperatives working to high ethical standards.

In a related article also from WFTO: The 8th Paris Ethical Fashion Show. The Paris Ethical Fashion Show is bringing together designers from all over the world who all share the same goal: designing cutting-edge fashion that strives for a better world, a world which respects humankind, the environment, and multiculturalism.


                                                                                

World Trade Center Spotlight: St. Louis, Missouri

The only time I have flown in a helicopter is over St. Louis. I walked around the river front and went into the Gateway Arch, as well as going to the vineyards in nearby Hermannm, Missouri.  The Norton wine there is amazing. I am looking forward to attending a week long training in St. Louis this fall. (I have forgiven the St. Louis Rams for beating our Tennessee Titans in Superbowl XXXIV…almost.) St. Louis is a major port on the Mississippi River and the gateway to the west thus the huge Gateway Arch. Its economy relies on service, manufacturing and tourism. It is home to nine Fortune 500 companies.

The World Trade Center St. Louis serves not only the St. Louis metropolitan region, but also the state of Missouri and Southern Illinois markets excluding Kansas City. It is certified in the top 10% of the 300 World Trade Centers globally and has assisted regional businesses in achieveing almost a quarter of a million dollars in new international business.

World Trade Center St. Louis

Website:  www.worldtradecenter-stl.com


Leadership:
 Tim J. Nowak, Executive Director;  See Mr. Nowak’s interview with Small Business Monthly. His experience is in business development, domestic and international sales, and management. Stella Sheegan, Director, Programs & Training,

Mission:  To develop a comprehensive international agenda for the region by bringing together the human expertise and the government resources for international business growth.

Background:  Established in 1993.

Exports: Missouri’s largest merchandise export category is transportation equipment ($3.0 billion in 2010).  Other top merchansdise exports are chemical manufactures ($2.7 billion), machinery manufactures ($1.4 billion), processed foods ($1.3 billion) and electrical equipment, appliances and parts ($662 million).

According to the ITA: one fifth of all manufacturing workers in Missouri depend on exports for their jobs.  4,710 companies exported goods in 2008. 85% were small-medium-sized companies. Major sources of foreign investment in Missoui include the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and France.

Missouri’s export shipments of merchandise totaled $12.9 billion  in 2010. Canada was the largest market with $4.0 billion which was 31% of the states’s total merchandise exports. Markets following were: Mexico ($1.3 billion), China ( $987 billion), Korea ($655 million) and Japan ( $596 million).

Services:  Trade Education, Market  Intelligence Reports, Networking & Connectivities, Customized Research, Referrals, Sales Contacts, etc.  There are trade resources such as a Trade Tool Kit, International Resource Database,  a Trade News and International Business Headlines Report, and  “Trade Ties” Business Networks.

Events:

9/23  Growing Global 2011 – Tables of Ten

9/26-29  Missouri DED Trade Mission to China

Contact Information:

World Trade Center Saint Louis
121 S. Meramec, Suite 1111
St. Louis, Missouri  USA  63105
www.worldtradecenter-stl.com
 
 
 Great views from the sky over St. Louis…
                                    
 
        And the fabulous tasting Norton Grape.

Trade News: On Being Single and Other Necessary Vices

From U.S. Census: Facts for Features — Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 18-24, 2011. “National Singles Week” was started by the Buckeye Singles Council in Ohio in the 1980s to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society. A few interesting numbers about us singles:

  • 99.6 million: Number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2010 – 43.6 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.
  • 61%: Percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older who had never been married. Another 23.8 percent were divorced, and 14.4 percent were widowed.
  • 88: Number of unmarried men 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States
  • 31.4 million: Number of people who live alone. They comprised 27 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.
  • 6.5 million: Number of unmarried-partner households in 2009. Of this number, 581,300 were same-sex households.
  • 11.7 million: Number of single parents living with their children in 2010. Of these, 9.9 million were single mothers and 1.8 million were single fathers.

From Intl. Econ. Law blog: The U.S. – Clove Cigarettes Panel Report. In 2009 America banned cigarettes with fruit, confectionery, or clove flavours, arguing that these encouraged young people to smoke. While flavours such as toffee and strawberry were banned, menthol flavoured cigarettes remained on the market.  Indonesia – accounting for nearly 100 percent of the US clove cigarette market – argued that this partial ban discriminated against its products vis a vis like-products as “virtually all menthol cigarettes sold in the US are produced domestically.” All other flavoured cigarettes are also produced abroad.

From the ITCSD: WTO Disputes Roundup: Rulings Issued on Spirits. Sugar and palm are frequently used to produce non-traditional spirits such as brandy, whiskey, tequila, and gin. As these drinks are advertised accordingly, the EU and US had argued that foreign spirits with the same name, even if produced from different feed-stock, were in direct competition with their local counterparts – making them ‘like’ in the eyes of WTO law.

From Euromonitor: I Can See You! Smartphone Use Drives Boom in the Use of Geolocation Software. In 1984 George Orwell’s dystopian science-fiction novel, one of the main technologies used by the totalitarian government of Oceania to monitor its population was the “telescreen,” a two-way television that allowed the viewer to simultaneously watch and be watched. This gave rise to one of the most quoted phrases in literature: “Big Brother is watching you.”  A combination of smartphones and the global positioning system have now made tracking, sometimes called “geotagging” or “geolocation,” an everyday technology.

Trade News: Global Economic Woes Result from Debt Crisis

From OECD (also appeared in the WSJ): Our Economic Woes Need a Long-Term Fix. Short-term emergency actions will only bring short-term relief. The world economic outlook has weakened. Growth is losing steam in many of the advanced economies and uncertainty has reached new highs. Public and private debts are holding back investment and consumption. Financial markets have become increasingly turbulent. The rating agencies have overreacted to compensate for their role in the crisis which adds to the downward pressure. Governments are caught in a vicious cycle. They are being forced by markets to take short-term, reactive policy measures on an almost weekly basis. But it’s never enough for the markets. A good article worth reading. It provides many implications resulting from the recent down grade.  

From MSU Global Edge: U.S. Debt Downgraded: Does This Affect Your Business? This is the first time that the U.S. economy has been downgraded since it first received a credit rating in 1917. Only 15 other countries still hold the perfect triple-A rating.  More on the same story from CNN money.

From Euromonitor: The US Debt Crisis and Downgraded Credit Rating has Global Implications. US treasuries are no longer risk free assets. As the world’s largest economy, biggest importer of goods and the US dollar being the world’s reserve currency, the downgrade has far reaching implications for the global economy.  The most immediate impact of the US debt crisis has been a loss of investor confidence and liquidity of global financial markets.  As the world’s largest consumer of crude oil in 2010, the US downgrade had an immediate impact on crude oil prices. The US downgrade came at a time when the US economy was slowing and consumer confidence continues to be below pre-crisis levels of 2007. The US downgrade is likely to worsen the EU debt situation. A good article worth reading. It also provides many implications resulting from the recent down grade.  

From MSU Global Edge: The Euro of the Future: Because of the debt crisis in Europe, many countries were left unable to fulfill the convergence criteria to have the Euro as a currency, leading to many problems throughout Europe. It wasn’t just the current crisis that brought about these issues, they have been rooted in the Euro ever since it was created. So what exactly are a few of these issues and how can they be solved?

From Euromonitor: Recession: Shifting Consumer Responses. Euromonitor International explores the latest news within consumer themes including the newest thrift news, shifting consumer loyalty and downsizing and to what extent consumers are trading up or back to normal.

The Official 9-11 Memorial Opens Today at the Original WTC Site

The official 911 Memorial opens today.

In August 2006, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began heavy construction on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.  The Memorial is be located at the World Trade Center site on the former location of the Twin Towers destroyed during the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The official Mission statement of the non-profit that built and manages the Memorial is to:

  • Remember and honor the thousands of innocent men, women, and children murdered by terrorists in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.
  • Respect this place made sacred through tragic loss.
  • Recognize the endurance of those who survived, the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and the compassion of all who supported us in our darkest hours.
  • May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance.

Noteworthy links to other 911 Memorials for those interested in honoring and remembering the day include:

  • CNN September 11, A Memorial. CNN.com established a special website as a record of those who died. The site was archived in August 2004.
  • Wiki. Memorials and services for the September 11 attacks. The first memorials to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks began to take shape online, as hundreds of webmasters posted their own thoughts.
  • Tear of Grief. To the Struggle Against World Terrorism (also known as the Tear of Grief and the Tear Drop Memorial) is a 10-story-high sculpture by Zurab Tsereteli that was given to the United States as an official gift from the Russian government as a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks.
  • Tribute In Light. The Tribute in Light is an art installation of 88 searchlights placed next to the site of the World Trade Center to create two vertical columns of light in remembrance of the September 11 attacks. It is produced annually by The Municipal Art Society of New York.
  • The Rising. The Rising is a memorial located in the Kensico Dam Plaza of Valhalla, Westchester County, New York, created by architect Frederic Schwartz.

Trade News: The State of the Farm Reflects the State of the Nation

All references are from ERS/USDA: Farm Income and Costs.  The Farm Income and Costs briefing room provides indicators of economic performance for the U.S. farm sector and major crop and livestock farm groups. Farm balance sheet estimates are used by USDA and other public and private sector clients to form a perspective about the financial health of the U.S. agricultural economy.  A plethora of data and reports on Farm Income and Costs: everything from milk to minks are charted and analyzed.  

Farm Balance Sheet. Estimates of farm business balance sheets are presented for the United States and individual states. The balance sheet includes component accounts for assets, debt, and equity, where equity equals assets minus debt, 1960 to the present.

Farm Household Economics and Well-Being. The well-being of farm operator households is not equivalent to the financial performance of the farm sector or of farm businesses. Nearly all farms (97 percent in 2009) are family farms. About 40 percent of farms have more than one operator, but three-quarters of these are operated by a husband-wife team.  Data and reports that look at the family farm (versus corporate owned and operated) farms are presented.  

Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data. USDA has summarized the latest U.S. agricultural trade statistics using the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade. This offers the latest forecast of value and volume of U.S. farm exports, by commodity and region, as well as the agricultural trade balance for the coming year. Keeps readers abreast of how U.S. agricultural trade stacks up in a global market.

Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies. Agricultural production is sensitive to changes in energy prices. A number of factors can affect energy prices faced by U.S. farmers and ranchers, including developments in the oil and natural gas markets, and energy taxes or subsidies.  Climate change policies could also affect energy prices. Download the entire report. 

On the Doorstep of the Information Age: Recent Adoption of Precision Agriculture. The adoption of precision agriculture, which encompasses a suite of farm-level information technologies, can improve the efficiency of input use and reduce environmental harm from the overapplication of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. Yield monitoring is now used on over 40 percent of U.S. grain crop acres.

2011 Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program Conference. The RIDGE Program encourages new and innovative research on food assistance and nutrition issues and broadens the participation of social science scholars in this important research area. This year’s RIDGE Conference will be held on September 23, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Trade News: Rising Food Prices Creates Food Insecurity

From ERS/USDA: Rising Food Prices and Declining Food Security: Evidence From Afghanistan. The composition of the Afghan diet is similar to that of populations in other developing countries. Over 80 percent of total calories come from grains, oils, and fats, with the majority of calories (54 percent) coming from wheat. On average, Afghan households spend over 60 percent of their budgets on food, making them particularly vulnerable to declines in purchasing power brought on by increases in food prices.

Food Security in the United States. In 2010, 85.5 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the entire year, and 14.5 percent of households were food insecure at least some time during that year.  Detailed surveys for further research in U.S. Food Security.

Also available for download: Household Food Security in the United States in 2010.

Food Spending Adjustments During Recessionary Times. During the 2007-09 recession, Americans of all income levels tightened their belts, primarily by eating out less.  Real expenditures by middle-income households fell the most for both food at home (6.4 percent) and food away from home (20.8 percent).

Food CPI and Expenditures: CPI for Food Forecasts. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food is probably the most widely used indicator of changes in retail food prices. ERS regularly updates food price forecasts for the short-term period. In 2011, the CPI for all food is projected to increase 3 to 4 percent.  Forecasts look at expected changes through 2012.

Why Another Food Commodity Price Spike? In 2002, world food commodity prices began increasing, reversing a 20-year downward trend. In early 2007, price increases accelerated and by June 2008, the monthly food commodity price index compiled by the International Monetary Fund was up 130 percent from January 2002.  Food prices jumped in 2010-11, the second price spike within 3 years. Longer term financial, agricultural, and demographic trends, exacerbated by short-term production shortfalls, set up conditions for the increases. By April 2011, the monthly index had risen 60 percent over the preceding 2 years.

Datamyne Editorial on the reasons underlying Food Price Increases: Food Prices: Why So High?  Long-term trends driving up food prices include global growth in population, per capita incomes (which boosts consumption of meat), and bio-fuel production coupled with declines in the US dollar and agricultural productivity. Shorter-term forces are also at work such as Mother Nature and government trade policies.  Since 2002, the four basic crops – wheat, rice, corn, and soybeans – have had bigger price swings than all food commodities as a whole. In the period between June 2010 and March 2011, the four-crop index rose 70%

Happy Labor Day, Labour Day & International Workers’ Day

Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September.

The first Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, in Boston, by the Central Labor Union of New York, the nation’s first integrated major trade union.  It became a federal holiday in 1894, when following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.

The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties. Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, water sports, and public art events. Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer recess. Similarly, some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for parties before returning to school.

In U.S. sports, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons. NCAA teams usually play their first games the week before Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day.

Labor Day 2010 TV Spot produced by the AFL-CIO. Short and sweet.

Labour Day Labour Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

International Workers’ Day (also known as May Day) is a celebration of the international labour movement and left-wing movements. It commonly sees organized street demonstrations and marches by working people and their labour unions throughout most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries. It is also celebrated unofficially in many other countries.

Trade News: China Trade Issues, Trade Surplus & Retail Growth

From International Trade News: China-U.S. Trade Issues. U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past three decades. The rapid pace of economic integration between China and the United States, while benefiting both sides overall, has made the trade relationship increasingly complex. Some points explored are: 

  • China’s purchases of U.S. Treasury securities -nearly $1.2 trillion at the end of 2010- help keep U.S. interest rates relatively low.
  • Policymakers are concerned that China’s large holdings of U.S. government debt may give it leverage over the United States.
  • Many U.S. production facilities have relocated to China, resulting in the loss of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
  • China’s refusal to allow its currency to appreciate to market levels, its mixed record on implementing WTO obligations, its relatively poor record on protecting intellectual property rights, and more.

More on China from Business Week: 3 Reasons Why The U.S. Should Quit Worrying About China’s Trade Surplus. Three points are outlined.

  1. Surpluses don’t last forever. China’s currency is now at less than 6.42 to the dollar, a new high for the RMB. Exports are strong, but as the currency’s value rises, those products become more expensive.
  2. The value added reality check. A full 88.5% of US consumer spending is spent on goods and services made in the US, while China gets only 2.7% of American consumer dollars.
  3. The demand side in the US, when domestic demand increases, so do purchases of imported products. The US economy doesn’t look so hot at the moment, so to the extent to which a drop in aggregate demand will translate to lower China imports to the US.

From Euromonitor. In 2011 – It’s China vs. Japan in Asia’s Retail Scene. 2010 saw China overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy, and not surprisingly, China emerged with the biggest increase in representation in the Retail Asia-Pacific top 500 rankings, taking 124 of the 500 positions. The 124 Chinese retailers listed posted an amazing 14.5% growth in retail sales from 2009-2010, and accounted for US$139 Billion in total sales. 2010 also saw a Chinese retailer break through the Japan stronghold in the top 10 list.

Also from Euromonitor: Coca-Cola to Invest US$4 Billion in China.  This new investment is expected to be spent on new infrastructure, partnerships, brand building and sustainability programs. Coca-Cola recorded 26% growth (compared to PepsiCo’s 13%) in retail value sales of soft drinks in China in 2010.

Trade News: China Sources for Electronics & HK Logistics Hub

We at WTD, added a new news source, Global Sources, to our batch of important folks to keep tabs on.  A few noteworthy items we ran across included:

  • Larger, widescreen LCD monitors top trends. Suppliers of LCD monitors in China are highlighting larger, widescreen models. More than half of many makers’ output now constitutes 19 inch and bigger screens. Such units represent approximately 70 percent of Weihai Daewoo Electronics yield, while they are 50 percent at Maxpac Guangzhou and Viewg Sci-Tech.
  • Lighter, more powerful units keep laptop line dynamic. The rising popularity of tablet PCs is driving China suppliers of laptops to enhance their selections with emphasis on high performance in a compact and lightweight form factor. The first trend applies particularly to gaming or multimedia variants.
  • Cognitive learning drives R&D for infant toys. Many companies are now tapping into cognitive learning because most releases already develop hand-and-eye coordination, grip, crawling and walking, and stimulate the sense of sight, hearing and smell.
Keeping with the China focus, here’s a post that appeared 3PLWire.  Hong Kong – Leading Global Logistics Hub. Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading logistics hubs. Its strategic location makes it both the Heart of Asia – half the world’s population are within a five hour flight, and China’s Gateway – providing access into and out of the world’s second largest economy and fasting growing consumer market. Some key facts related in the article include:
  • For the last 15 years, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has been the world’s busiest airport for international cargo. In 2010, HKIA handled 4.1 million tons of cargo, enabling Hong Kong to overtake Memphis USA to become the world’s largest cargo airport.
  • Ranking number 3 in container ports worldwide, Hong Kong’s nine container terminals are all privately owned and operated with a total of 24 berths. Being served by 80 international shipping lines, providing 450 container-liner services per week to more than 500 destinations worldwide, Hong Kong is a major trans-shipment hub.
  • Firmly reinforcing its position as a leading regional centre of excellence for logistics industry skills and talent development, Hong Kong is home to 60 educational and vocational training institutions, offering more than 1,000 programs and courses related to logistics and shipping.