President Xi on the road to Bali
President Xi Jinping sets off today for the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum summit in Bali, Indonesia. Separately, Xi will have bilateral discussions with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on issues including economic development, defence and security, and maritime and fisheries matters. Beijing said Xi has no plans to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the Apec summit, as ties remain strained over territorial disputes in the East China Sea.
Counting the costs of illicit cigarette trade
Illicit trade has been in the spotlight recently, with law enforcement officials making multimillion-dollar seizures of drugs, contraband cigarettes, endangered species, and counterfeit goods. Cross-border criminal syndicates are often behind the illicit cigarette trade, with Hong Kong one of the worst affected areas. It's a cause of violent crime and economic losses, say visiting experts who will brief business and community leaders on the problem during an American Chamber of Commerce event.
Legco targeting 80,000 polluting vehicles
Legco's environmental affairs panel convenes a special meeting to discuss ageing commercial vehicles. Last month the government proposed beefed-up subsidies to get fleet operators to phase out pre-Euro IV commercial diesel vehicles. The scheme, described by Undersecretary for the Environment Christine Loh Kung-wai as the "biggest of its kind in the world", aims to phase out more than 80,000 commercial diesel vehicles, excluding franchised buses, in three stages, depending on their emissions standards.
Asia's economic outlook to get a tweak
The Asian Development Bank will update its latest economic outlook on emerging Asian economies in a presentation at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong. The ADB's Outlook 2013 report, issued in April, estimated that economic growth in the Asia Pacific region would pick up to 6.6 per cent this year, compared with 6 per cent in 2012, and reach 6.7 per cent in 2014. Leading regional economies were settling into a pattern of moderate, sustainable growth, founded on new opportunities nearer to home, including domestic consumption and intra-regional trade, the report said.
US-Japan alliance on agenda for Tokyo visit
US Secretary of State John Kerry visits Tokyo with US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel for talks about strengthening the US-Japan alliance, including a US$950 million Pentagon deal to modernise Japan's fleet of four airborne warning and control system (AWACS) planes, bolstering electronic systems used to identify other aircraft. Warmer defence ties between the US and Japan have rankled China, which is locked in a number of territorial disputes with Japan.