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Do you know the secret to free website traffic? Insider knowledge. Share from cover. Share from page:. Flag as Inappropriate Cancel. Delete template? Are you sure you want to delete your template? Cancel Delete. Cancel Overwrite Save. Terms of service. BAe, by contrast is keen to break into the market The missile is politically sen- sitive because British minis- ters have been trying to gain access to the US missile mar- ket, to mirror the open pro- curement policy of the UK.
However, last December the US refused to buy BAe's short range dogfight missile for its Navy jets, and there is pres- sure for retaliation. Arming Euro fighter with a US weapon could also inhibit export prospects, because the US would have a veto over the reexport of its primary weap- ons system. The move is in response to concerns that member states are backsliding on their single market obligations, focusing instead on preparations for economic and monetary anion.
He 1 b keen to focus on Ger- many and France - same of the worst compilers with sin- gle market legislation. Ho win present his proposals to European beads of govern- ment at the Amsterdam sum- mit in June In Finland, Anstrla, Italy, Germany and Greece, more than 10 per cent of EU direc- tives aimed at ensuring the free movement of goods and services have not been put on the national statute books. Only Denmark and the Nether- lands come dose to meeting their obligations.
Some members are using national standards fa areas such as safety and the environ- ment to protect domestic man- ufacturers from foreign compe- tition. Germany, for example, refuses entry to Spanish baby foods because they contain high levels of pestldde. MfUfmma woato. SPD leaders also indicated at the weekend that resistance within the party to cuts in the highest rate of income tax might soften if the over- all package was seen as creating jobs.
But govern- ment plans to finance cuts through higher value added tax, and to levy income tax on hitherto exempt Sunday, night and holiday working, remain sticking points. That has increased pres- sure on Mr Kohl to assert his leadership and make clear whether he will fight' the election. In his inter- view.
Mr Kohl said imple- menting reform was funda- mental to Germany's future and he was determined to make his contribution. Employment and immigration in Germany have become sensitive issues, particularly for youth groups. A meeting of government leaders tomorrow to thrash wKi mr out the shape of the pro- posed new post law comes which are expected to culmi- af ter a series of disruptive nate in a demonstration protests at the weekend by today in Bonn.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Post has warned that the shape of the new regulatory struc- ture could have a significant impact on the value of the company before 25 per cent of it is sold around A leaked position paper points out that Deutsche Post is saddled with pension liabilities dating from its time as a public authority and that it risks being exposed to competition without proper consider- ation being given to the impact of its legal obliga- tions to provide postal ser- vices across Germany.
It fears market entrants will cream off the most lucrative services, for instance in big conurbations. It is not clear whether agreement will be reached tomorrow on the new post law to replace regulations which expire this year. While still calling for the secession of the north of the country from the rest of the Italian state, Mr Umberto Bossi. This emotive image was backed up by much fiery rhetoric about the rich industrial north being held back by a corrupt govern- ment In Rome.
No government for the foreseeable future would contemplate the creation of an independent Padania by mutual agreement Mr Bossi knows this full well, but he wants to keep the secession issue alive without burning all bis bridges with Rome.
He is also aware that the secession issue will become explosive only if or when Italy is excluded from the core of countries forming the planned European single currency. However, having set up a provisional government and declared the formal indepen- dence of Padania last Sep- tember at a ceremony in Venice, he risks losing credi- bility if his project remains purely symbolic. Preparations are under way to stage an indepen- dence referendum on April The League also has to decide whether to forge alli- ances in local elections this spring.
If it stands alone, it will see its Influence drasti- cally reduced and will almost certainly lose key cities such as Milan, which it currently controls. The League will also come under pressure from a new political movement formed over the weekend to defend the interests of the rich northeast - Friuli and the Veneto. Headed by promi- nent businessmen such as Mr Mario Cararro, former head of the Veneto industri- alist association, and local politicians including Mr Massimo Cacciari, the char- ismatic philosopher mayor of Venice, the Northeast party could also be a threat to all the other main parties.
Emirates A window seat wherever you sit, Wadi yomdt ufec-off. From lif comfort of jw wl on jour own ponul iblru. The jewellery and perfume shops, luxury cars, and ubiq- uitous portable phones all give the impression of a state - politically outside but geographically cocooned by the European Union - far removed from the difficulties faced by its neighbours.
Mr Marc Fomd Molne, the 1 outgoing prime minister, cites the traditional impor- tance to the economy of smuggling - a skill sub- verted to a good cause dur- ing the second world war, when his father helped organise a network for the Allies to help Polish soldiers escape from occupied France.
Since that time, as so often throughout its year his- tory, Andorra has deftly shifted with the times. In its constitution, only approved in and which created a democratic parliament for the first time, it chose to retain its unique system of co-princes - the bishop of the nearby Spanish town of Urgel. NifedrajacnpUtt 3. Fai « Repre- sented m Frankfort by J. Waher Brand. Wilhelm J. Calm A. Bell, Chairman, and Akn C. Deputy Chairman. London and F.
Gennany Advertamg Ltd. K canard. Responsible Editor. Manviglh, 42 Rue La Bosk. Primer S. Editor Richard Lambert. ISSN Andorra has long been ori- ented to the south more than the north, reflecting both easier physical access and the corresponding domi- nance of Catalan culture.
The boom it experienced The tiny Pyrenean state finds it is no longer isolated from the problems of the outside world, writes Andrew Jack from the s was initially fuelled by sales to the Span- iards of goods not available to them under the Franco regime, or which were too expensive as a result of heavy tariffs - impositions from which Andorran trad- ers were exempt.
In theory, a customs treaty with Brussels signed in should have waived tariffs on industrial goods. Yet the outlook is gloomy. With the nearest airports three hours' drive away and the local roads in. It has suffered from the economic downturn affecting both France and Spain in the past few years. It is now also threatened by the growth in the number of low-priced hypermarkets across the bor- ders.
As spending has fallen, shops have closed and import tax revenue has declined. The five local banks, shielded from foreign compe- tition at least until the end of this year, have continued to prosper, partly on the back of tax exiles and dis- creet deposits from Span- iards who want to place their savings out of reach of tax inspectors.
Some even admit that they may even have to break a taboo and introduce new taxes. They also hope for more assistance from Brus- sels. S O The Fmania! The strike committee of the militant transport feder- ation Fedatxans.
The organisation rejected an outline pact reached ear- lier between the government and the National Road Transport Committee, group- ing other representative bod- ies in the sector. The government has offered to meet one of the main demands - lower diesel prices - by allowing trans- port co-operatives to buy fuel direct from oil compa- nies.
But this scheme has sparked a further dispute with a threat by petrol sta- tion owners to stage their own strike over the loss of business. In addition, the govern- ment has offered assistance for drivers seeking voluntary retirement. Officials said road traffic flowed more freely in most of Spain yesterday, including the French and Spanish bor- ders. Northern regions have suffered the most because of the strike, which has caused production stoppages at numerous factories Includ- ing car and commercial vehicle plants.
Opel, Renault, Citroen, Volkswagen -Seat. Mercedes-Benz and Nissan are among the manufactur- ers hit over the last few days by blocked supplies. Fedatrans claims to repre- sent almost 50, self-em- ployed drivers In various regional bodies, but this fig- ure is dismissed as grossly exaggerated by other organi- sations in the sector. Lead- os of Fedatrans.
Wdfensohn, the World Bank president, blamin g corruption in Ukraine for low levels of foreign investment. He attacked the coddling of local companies involved in agriculture and energy, where the , government retains a wide unofficial remit are , these areas sacred cows? This was interpreted as an attack on his prime minis ter. MrPavlo Lazarenko, who has close ties with businesses in both sectors.
Their: relationship has been strained In recent months. Mr Kuchma won office in promising to tackle coiTuption, but no cases have been, brought to trial. Leaders of the Zajedno Together coalition told a rally in Belgrade on Saturday night that the next battle would be to end state control.
Some - ' demonstrators expressed their disapproval by. Zajedno plans a street party on Friday when the new opposffion-dominated Belgrade city assembly meets for the first time. Mr Djindjic is expected to become mayor. Guy Dinmore, Belgrade New round of talks in Israel Israeli and Palestinian negotiators yesterday began a new- round of talks near Jerusalem. Overseeing the meetings. Negotiators are also trying to build. Mr Yitzhak Mondecai, Israel's defence.
Jerusalem Editorial comment. Page 17 Zimbabwe raises tariffs Prospects for an agreement on a new International Monetary Fund programme far Zimbabwe received a 7. Capital goods which previously attracted daties of zero per cent will now be zero rated, while the tariff an spares and partly processed inputs is cut from the zero per cent range to aflat 15 per cent Intermediate goods ; and consumables, previously zoo per cent will noW- pay per cent.
Duisenberg pictured left j of the Netherlands as a. T have to. Duisenberg would make an ' absolutely first class European Central Bank. He refused to comment on reports that France. His predecessor, Mr Carlo. In New York last Friday, however, important participants in the row publicly declared an end to their confrontation. By any standards, the accord is an impressive one. The agreement will open up the bulk of the global market for telephone and satellite services to foreign competition — from next year for the main industria- lised countries, with almost all the others committed to following within a few years.
According to Ms Charlene Barshefsky, acting US trade representative, the pact will give US and other foreign companies access to nearly per cent of the world's 20 biggest telecom markets, compared with 17 per cent now. Services covered by the agreement include interna- tional and domestic tele- phone operations, fax and data transmission, private leased circuit services, satel- lite communications, mobile telephony and paging.
In many countries forelgn- owned companies will be able to build their own facili- ties to compete with estab- lished operators, as well as to enter the resale business with guaranteed intercon- nection rights. Foreign companies ; will also be able to take signifi- cant stakes in domestic tele- coms companies up to per cent in all or some ser- vices in the most important world markets.
These rules commit signa- tories to establishing inde- pendent regulatory bodies, guaranteeing interconnec- tion with existing networks at fair prices, forbidding cross-subsidisation and other anti-competitive practices, and guaranteeing transpar- ency in government regula- tion and licensing decisi o ns The benefits to the tele- coms industry a n d to busi- ness and consumers more generally are commensu- rate!
Quality and choice of services will be immeasurably improved. Even now, as the 21st century approaches, more than half the world's population has never made a telephone calL Finally, the accord has helped to strengthen the multilateral system by show- ing that the WTO can suc- cessfully forge international pacts, even in complex and difficult sectors, without a comprehensive and even lon- ger trade round. This augurs well for agree- ment next month on elimi- nating tariffs on information technology IT products, including telecoms equip- ment.
The US said on Saturday it would continue to press for better market-opening pledges before the WTO agreement takes effect next January 1. In less than three years' time, negotia- tors will be back again for a new round of talks on ser- vices - and telecoms will be high on the agenda, once again. Although the company regretted that not every country had gone for enough in opening markets, it believed "the US negotiating tram went above and beyond to ensure that the interests of US industry were under- stood and reflected in this agreement" It went on: "These Efforts are an important step in bringing accounting rates, an anachronistic system cre- ated in a monopoly era - down to cost, which will mean lower prices for cort s inner s worldwide.
Mr Larry Stone. Canada and Mexico have liberalised their market, though neither conceded to US pressure far foreign majority shareholding. Mexico raised its foreign equity Ikrat to 48 per cent and Canada to Some, such as Malaysia and India, currently allow mom foreign investment than they have guaranteed in the WTO. The delight of US industry groups at her role in the con- clusion of the global tele- communications pact in Geneva at the weekend can only help her. C learly the US did not get all it wanted.
KDD has applied to the US for such licences. Then, offers had covered about 60 per cent of global telecommunications reve- nues. The package agreed on Saturday encom- passes about 95 per cent. HHonors points can be exchanged for stays at HHonors hotels all over the world. Once you're a member you'll receive your personal HHonors account number Just give us that account number when you make your reservations and we'll automatically keep track of your points.
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The deficit is the second largest in the world after that of the US. As a result of the slow- down in exports, the central h ank estimated that GDP grew by 6. These items accounted for nearly 40 per cent of total South Korean exports. Total exports rose 4. Sluggish global demand and a weak yen against the dol- lar contributed to the export slowdown.
The cold war climate on the Korean peninsula chilled further after a prominent North Korean defector, Mr Lee Han-yong, was shot and seriously wounded near Seoul and South Korea blamed Pyongyang. Althougb he fled to South Korea in Mr Lee's exis- tence was not made known until last year when he con- tacted newspapers to report that his aunt, believed to be the first wife of the North Korean leader, had defected to the west from Moscow, where she had been living in exile for more than a decade.
Although the report received wide publicity. South Korean officials l ater acknowledged it was probably false. The latest events are expected to improve chances that the South Korean secret police, which has wielded strong political influence, will retain new domestic sur- veillance powers. The new powers were con- tained in legislation that was forced through parliament in late December, but the law was recently resubmitted to parliament for possible amendment after President Kim bowed to public pro- tests over its passage.
With prosecutors suddenly ending a three-week probe into what has been described as one of the nation's biggest corruption cases, the govern- ment has gone on the offen- sive against the opposition in what is a presidential election year. Mr Kim Hyon-chol, the president's son, plans to file a libel suit today against the main opposition party for alleging he was involved in the Hanbo loan scandal The allegations had threatened to weaken Mr Kim's control of the ruling party and his ability to choose a successor to his mandated one-term presidency.
Prosecutors said yesterday they would question Mr Kim Hyon-chol in connection with the loan scandal Fight over US foreign affairs budget increase By Mark Suzman in Washington A battle is brewing on Capitol Hill over President BUI Clinton's proposals to raise substantially the for- eign affairs budget for the first time in nearly a decade. The administration has called for a 6.
Mrs Madeleine Albright embarks upon her first for- eign trip as US secretary of state, which is aimed at bol- stering US influence with European and Asian leaders. Although the Clinton administration has been reluctant to take a stand on foreign affairs spending - an issue that docs not enjoy widespread public support - Mr Robert Rubin, the trea- sury secretary, has joined the efforts to secure the higher allocations.
A hastily organised meet- ing Of minis ters or deputy ministers from the mem- ber alliance, arranged to coincide with her maiden visit to Nato headquarters, will be among the high points of an eight-nation tour of Europe and Asia. US officials said Nato enlargement was the pri- mary focus of the European leg of her journey.
Speaking to reporters trav- elling with her on her offi- cial jet, Mrs Albright Mrs Madeleine Albright, US secretary of state, and Italian leaders made no progress yesterday on rows over Iran. Libya and Cuba bat were in broad agreement on Nato expansion plans, Renter reports from Rome.
The two governments agreed that a Nato summit to decide new members in July should go forward regardless of whether the alliance completes a charter with Russia defining a new special relationshop, officials said. We have lots of work to do before July. But the secretary of state, who will also visit Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing after stops in five west European capi- tals, will need to tread a careful line if unity in the western camp is to be main- tained.
France, while committed to Nato enlargement, has placed even greater empha- sis than the US on the need to soothe Russian concerns and avoid triggering an anti- western backlash in Moscow. But she also made plain she would give short shrift to anti-US sentiment in France or anywhere else. Mrs Albright has com- plained several times that whatever it does in the world, the US is blamed - either for intervening too much, or else for failing to act as a leader.
She has also made clear that she will err on the side of activism. Even with allies, however, Mrs Albright will need to tread carefully. Although she has pledged to give high priority to promoting reli- gions freedom, she will seek to minimise the damage to US-German ties from the State Department's recent criticism of the treatment of Scientologists in Germany.
In London, too, she will devote part of her time to bilateral issues, including Northern Ireland. The new secretary of state is due to discuss the Issue when she meets Mr John Major, the British prime minister, though a separate meeting with the Northern Ireland secretary. Sir Patrick Mayhew, had to be cancelled due to scheduling difficul- ties. How- ever, Mr Rffidnd pledged to maintain pressure. Mr Tung said. After his first official faUcs with Mr Tung,.
He said Mr. Tung had indicated. By Cfive Cookson in Seattle The average human lifespan could be extended by at least 20 years if people cut their calory intake by 30 per cent, a leading researcher into ageing told the American Association for the Advance- ment of Science meeting in Seattle.
Dr George Roth gave the latest results of a long-term study on monkeys in his lab- oratory at the National Insti- tute on Ageing. This Is con- firming the findings of earlier experiments with rats and mice - that "caloric restriction" slows down the ageing process. If the effect works for monkeys, then it probably applies to humans too, Dr Roth said.
Half eat as much as they want and the other half are restricted to a diet containing 30 per cent fewer calories. Since these animals nor- mally live for 30 to 40 years, it is too soon to draw any direct conclusion about their lifespan. But Dr Roth said the monkeys on a low calo- rie diet were ageing more slowly, on the basis of bio- chemical markers in their blood and the fact that their average body temperature is almost one degree centigrade below normal - showing a lowered metabolic rate.
One find- ing is that the restricted cal- orie monkeys learn more quickly than fully fed ani- mals of the same age. Another approach to age- ing focuses on the destruc- tion of cells by oxidation. All living creatures pro- duce natural anti-oxidant enzymes to fight this pro- cess. Professor William Orr of Southern Methodist Univer- sity, Dallas, told the meeting that he had extended the life of fruit flies by a third to about two months through, genetic engineering.
The insects were given extra genes for two anti -oxidant enzymes, superoxide dismu- tase and catalase. By Clive Cookson Governments and corporations must begin to take account of the services provided free to humanity by nature, which are worth many thousands of billions of dollars a year, a panel of US scientists and economists said yesterday. Professor Jane Lubchenco. Economists are only just beginning to devise ways of valuing natural resources and services. For example.
Professor Paul Ehrlich, the Stanford University ecolo- gist, said natural biological pest control systems alone were worth 4 per cent of world GNP. Prof Ehrlich gave the Seat- tle audience a local example of the consequences of fail- ing to consider ecosystem services. This winter's disas- trous mudslides in the Pacific Northwest were due to over-harvesting of timber, he said.
The US Forest Ser- vice should include the value of standing forests as natural flood controls in cal- culating fees for tree felling. The World Bank is begin- ning to think about natural capital in its planning of big development projects, Prof Neal said. Decision this week on mandatory forest measures By Leyte Boulton, Environment Correspondent An international panel of negotiators will decide In New York by the end of this week whether the world should have an international forestry conven- tion.
This would build on a plethora of voluntary initiatives to promote more sustainable for- estry. They opted instead for a non- binding set of forestry principles. Existing voluntary initiatives range from western-led schemes to certify imported timber as pro- duced in an environmentally friendly maimer to a Inter- national Timber Trade Organisa- tion TITO agreement to promote sustainable management of tropi- cal forests in developing coun- tries.
Ironically, the world's best known environmental pressure groups oppose the convention along with the US, which has been criticised by the same groups for failing to ratify the biodiversity convention launched at Rio. The European Union, and some big logging nations, including Canada, Finland. Sweden and Malaysia, support the convention. The International Institute far Environment and Development, a London-based think tank, argued , that unsustainable forestry could j be ended at a stroke if best prac- tice became universal practice.
But he gave little sign of a shift to his position.. Mr Rifkind cited growing international interest , in. Mr Tong has accused Hong. It threw the London Metal Exchange and the world's copper markets into turmoil, with accusations of market manipulation and unfair dealing.
Since Its complex struc- ture has been known to only a few insiders. Panorama's six-month investigation reveals new evidence about the rela- tionship between Mr Hamanaka and Winchester, the company at the centre of the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into the Sumitomo affair. At the heart of tonight's programme are revelations from Winchester's internal documents on RADR and related matters. One shows RADR to have been a vast cobweb of almost inter-related trades.
The documents also reveal that the deal, struck on June 2-J The Winchester papers include details of another huge options transac- tion. The deal never pro- ceeded. The unfairness of the pricing should have been obvious to Mr Hamanaka, said Mr Fitzgerald. A fax from Mr Vincent to Mr Haman- aka dated September 7 provides power- ful evidence of an intention to make money by manipulating the copper price. It had been put together with the assistance of Credit Lyonnais Rouse, the London-based trading division of the state-owned French hank.
CLR earned normal commissions on the huge trades it cleared for Winches- ter and Sumitomo. It also charged for the credit lines It provided. This was to prove its most lucrative source of profit This arrangement unknown to the LME at the time but disclosed to the Securities and Futures Authority, gave CLR a 20 per cent share of any profits or losses Winchester made.
The arrangement not only hand- somely boosted CLR's profits, it also contributed to the near-quadrupling of the pay of its two top executives. CLR declined to he interviewed for Panorama. After the investigation, CLR denied. Authorities in Britain, the US and Japan are also looking for the defini- tive answer to a central question: why did Mr Hamanaka enter into a deal that was so biased against his employer?
The ans wer may not emerge from Mr ' Hamanaka's trial, because the charges are narrowly drawn. Winchester's full-time representative in Tokyo. The mystery of the Codelco connection Winchester Commodities Group also played a key role in the curious case of Codelco. The Chilean state copper company, tike Sumitomo, found itself a party to trades with Winchester which appear to have been done at unfavourable prices.
Chilean investigators focused on a series of trades on January 4 with an unknown buyer. Codelco was anx- ious to discover who was on the other side of the deals. Winches- ter was asked by UK regulators in mid-February whether it had been involved. Winchester replied that it had never traded with Codelco. Bnt shortly afterwards. Codelco found a fax in Davila's office which showed that Win- chester had been on the other side of the deal.
We have good grounds to believe he could have obtained higher prices that day for that volume. The Merrill traders made clear to Mr Davila that they were in a position to buy as much copper as he wanted to sell. But Mr Davila then decided to sell instead to Winchester at lower prices. The fax shows that the first two Winchester deals involved 25, tonnes each. In another unexplained trans- action the same morning, Win- chester sold Two senior Winchester directors met on Jan- uary 16 to discuss putting their back office paperwork in order as soon as passible.
The trade with Codelco had been done without any formal client agreements being in place, a technical breach of SFA rules. In their, view, the initial. Thanks to continuing good demand for our products, a regionally balanced presence and the efficiency enhancement measures initiated in previous years, we succeeded in again slightly improving the results. Group Results Improved Once Again Against this -background, most of our divisions asserted them- selves well.
The business trend during rhe year under report was marked by a decline in sales in the first quarter which, however, was steadily made up in the fol- lowing quarters. Total sales of DM Parallel to this, profit after tax rose to DM million. Investments Considerably Increased Wirhin the framework of the further expansion, investments in property, plant and equipment increased consider- ably. They amounced ro DM million in the Group. The focus was on the construction of new plants and the expansion of capacities.
In general, the Degussa Group is financed solidly. We have further strengthened the customer-orientation of re- search and development through From the income Statement Group Consolidated DM millions Sates New Group Structure As of October 1, , our eleven decentral divisions and affiliates with profit responsibility are assigned, in line with strate- gic aspects, to the three Segments of Chemical Products, Health and Nutrition as well as Precious Metals and Banking.
Overall, we expect the positive ' trend to continue in ; with further increases in. If applicable, 2 such date which is calculated by reference to the I date of this nonce in accordance with any applicable terms, if any. With the number of Tory MPs level with combined opposition forces, Mr Blair needs all nine Ulster Union- ists to support Labour, and for at least one Conservative to fail to turn up or rebel.
Ministers denied seeking a deal with unionists. How- ever, Mr Hogg was expected to use his speech to signal support for moves to lift the ban on certified BSE-free herds - a move certain to benefit Northern Ireland first because of its advanced cattle-training system. Once slaughtering under the selective coll gets under- way, probably by the end of February, the commitments the UK made under the Flor- ence Agreement will have been met and the UK can press for a lifting of the ban.
Short Brothers, the Northern Ireland aerospace offshoot of Bombardier of Canada, will this week announce that new manufacturing con- tracts will allow ft to create more jobs than it lost last year after the collapse of Fokker of the Netherlands, one of its most important customers. Fokkert bankruptcy led to the loss of 1, jobs at Shorts. The company said earlier this year that it hoped to restore of those when it began work on a seat Jet for Bombardier.
The aircraft will be a larger ver- sion of Bombardier's seat Canadair regional jet. Zt is believed the remain- der of the Shorts jobs will be to work on another Bombar- dier aircraft, details of which will be announced this week. It is not dear bow long it will take for the posts to be filled. Shorts executives were hoping last year that a buyer would be found for Fokker. Although Bombardier was Initially seen as a likely buyer, the Canadian group said it was not interested.
The receivers of tbe Dutch company held talks with Samsung of South Korea but these were also unsuccess- ful. Dutch Investors are hop- ing to launch a rescue of Fokker, backed by Singapore capital. In November, however. Shorts said it could not afford to wait for a buyer and stopped making wings for Fokker.
It is not dear what compo- nents Shorts will make for the Bombardier aircraft. However, the Canadian group regards Bombardier as its centre of excellence In several areas, including com- posite materials and tbe pro- duction of nacelles, the tubes surrounding aircraft engines. Bombardier, which makes snowmobiles and trains, only entered the aerospace business a decade ago. The authors. Mr Bay Barrell and Mr Nigel Pain, two economists at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, daim that France received more inward investment than the UK in the period to in spite of its relatively high tax rates and regulated labour mar- ket In their view this argues against official UK claims that low taxes and labour costs have been the most important factors attracting attracting companies to the UK.
The authors believe the desire to avoid European trade barriers may be a more important factor driving inward investment decisions than liberal markets. Jcwn" V tpund. I think it is a credible party and should be part of the peace talks. Sinn Fein's presi- dent, in Belfast. He said later he thought the Sinn Fein leader was ready to call a new ceasefire if he thought his party BoNyaftonnortB "Sinn.
Video rental experienced its second successive year of growth in , according to the British Video Associa- tion. Brtweheort, the Scottish historical epic directed by Mel Gibson which swept the hoard at last year's Oscars, was the most frequently rented video of the year.
Seven, the thriller starring Brad Pitt and Gwynneth Paltrow, was in second place; followed by tbe Bruce Willis action movie. Die Hand With A Vengeance. Some 79m videos were purchased during toe year, according to the BVA. The visit came a few days after toe murder by a sniper Of a British soldier in south Armagh.
Asked to comment on the killing, Mr Gilman said he did not condone vio- lence. Only Mr James Moran, a Democratic con- gressman, offered an unsoli- cited condemnation The Irish government's clear irritation with some members of the delegation surfaced when, on Irish radio, Mr Prionsias de Rossa, leader of Democratic Left, a partner in Mr Bruton's three-party coalition.
Manufacturing sector pay settlements continue to remain stable, averaging averaged 3. In the services sector, pay awards rose slightly in the same period to a average of 3. A third of manufacturers said that pay deals were being kept low because of an inability to raise prices while just over a quarter of them said low profits were restraining pay increases rises and 20 per cent mentioned said that a low rise in the cost of living was a reason for the modest level of pay deals.
Robert Taylor Textile giants lumber into uncertain old age A little more than 25 years ago, one in 50 Britons worked In the textiles and clothing industry, the largest and most concentrated of its kind in the world. The decline since then has been spectacular a stream of bankruptcies, plant closures and redundancies. Yet the sector has dung on. On the stock market, though, it has been nearly annihilated.
Textiles and ninthing companies were the worst performing sector last year and now account for less than 0. This is because some com- panies have ceased to exist while the largest of toe sur- vivors have performed badly for a long time. Although a handful of companies have managed to buck the declin- ing trend, they tend to be small, privately-owned and nimble.
Profit margins of about 5 per cent of sales may not look too bad. But the return on capital of the major quoted companies has been running at bdow 6 per cent on average - less than toe return on gilts [government- backed bonds] which carry no risk. There are two factors which help to explain why the former giants are strug- gling. These days the European textile industry is dominated by small, private businesses. Tbe feet that Britain retains a large number of sizeable quoted companies is an anomaly.
Many are relics of its industrial past, unwilling to steer a new course. In textiles and clothing, labour can account for up to 30 per cent of costs. There is no hope of closing this gap through economies of scale since the industry requires very little capital To flourish in the UK, pro- ducers need to play to differ- ent strengths - and their key advantage is proximity to their market Moreover, UK manufactur- ers are better placed than those elsewhere to keep track of toe nation's tastes in fashion, casual wear and working clothes.
They can flian benefit from toe coun- try's strong tradition of good design schools which each year turn out a new crop of talent. Add these advantages together and the blueprint for success is a firm concen- trating on producing small runs, quickly, with an inherent design premium, of these factors, design comes first, be it as Speedo swim- wear, a Burberry mac or a cashmere jumper. Court- aulds Textiles, for Instance, has gained leverage in price negotiations by boosting its own size.
The company,. Others have moved their production sites offshore, , heading for low-cost zones on the European fringes. I This cuts costs but not to the level of competitors! J Textiles offer no certain- ties to the private investor. Some of the smaller, more innovative companies look interesting. But it is harder to be enthusiastic about the large, household name busi- nesses. QM Scottish salmon fanners are being wanted that it would not be in their lane-term interest to press for punitive import duties an Norwegian salmon if Norway loses toe anti-dumping case between itself and toe UK, which toe European Commission is , i n v e stigating.
The Commission is exam- ining allegations by the Scottish salmon industry that Norwegian producers sold fish at below the cost of production between August and July Although Norway is not a member of the EU, it accepts its Internal market legisla- tion. The complaint stemmed from a sharp drop in salmon prices on the EU market caused, toe Scottish salmon producers say, by Norway fl j ir np to g nitlmmi.
The Euro- pean Commission will not pronounce on the dispute until May. PIA flies to 43 countries in 4 continents with a total number of 85 international and domestic destmations. There ate approximately PIA departures per day.
But there is more to PIA than its extensive network and frequency of flights. There is the experience of over four decades of operations starting with the wonderful work-horse the DC-3 ro tbe present generation of wide-bodied aircraft. A recent piece of evidence, says Taketomi, is a change in how financial markets operate.
Tradi- tionally. Japanese share prices have performed more or less in harmony, within a predictable divergence from the index. The same thing has happened to bond yields. Traditionally, businesses in the same sector paid about the same to raise debt Yet during the past few weeks, sharp differences have emerged between the yields paid by strong and weak banks, leading one hap- less institution to call a press conference to deny rumours that it was about to go bust Before the mids financial crisis, strong banks would usu- ally bail out weak affiliates or partners, if only because their credit ratings would fall if they were seen to abandon friends.
Yet no fewer seven financial institutions have been allowed by their main banks to collapse dur- ing the past year. It was a social earthquake, with wide ramifications for the shape of a formerly cosy landscape. We paid our way. We even bailed out other banks on the ministry's guidance," com- plained Hanwa branch man- ager in a newspaper interview last week.
There is some evidence that this toughness is spreading beyond finance into the real world. But how far will it go? More companies are rewarding staff for performance rather than mere seniority, and at the same time focusing on profits rather than sales growth and employ- ment Minoru Makihara. Just as Mitsubishi is valuing performers more highly, so peo- ple are increasingly choosing to stand out from the crowd.
But Hubertus von Grunberg does not court pop- ularity in his drive to enthuse corporate Germany with Anglo- Saxon-style capitalism. Von Griinberg is chairman of Hanover-based Continental, the world's fourth biggest tyre pro- ducer and one-time sleepy giant which he has transformed over the past six years, helped by a programme of plant closures and redundancies. As a result, von Griinberg has gained renown for his remorseless efforts to raise profits and shareholder value. However, von Grftnberg's methods have started to please investors.
The company's net income more than doubled between and to DM Part of his strategy is to pub- lish internal league tables of fac- tory performance so that sites can compete. In one such inter- nal competition, a Continental plant in Dublin was bested by a production site at Traiskirehen. The Irish factory was closed down last year, with the loss of jobs. A smiling yet deeply serious year-old. T hate the tough words. But we are trying to apply inter- nally the same principles of the free market economy that the company is subject to globally.
I say to our people: 'Hey folks, this is a struggle to survive'. Since von Grunberg joined Continental in Of the com- pany's tyre production for west- ern Europe, only 1 per cent came from low-cost plants outside the main developed countries in Today the figure is 25 per cent By it should be 40 per cent More plants in its main Euro- pean production areas could close.
Given his raw-toothed business ideas, von Grfinberg's background appears unlikely. Until the age of 28 he was a university physicist gaining a PhD in relativity studies. He did not imagine he would be a captain of industry. And straight away he was hooked. You had a chance of chang in g things by yourself. It seemed you could speak out, without being old. In this part of the company - accounting for slightly more than a quarter of sales - Continental makes products that include elec- tronically controlled air springs for vehicle suspension, plus spe- cialist transmission systems for factory machinery.
He glows when discussing ideas for futuris- tic, ultra-safe vehicles which would brake automatically when road conditions became danger- ous. But von GrQnberg says Ger- many has a lot to learn from the UK's efforts during the past 15 years in reducing labour market regulations and curbing trade union power.
He says such changes have given Britain a cru- cial competitive advantage by lowering wage costs. It is a les- son. There is nothing else the Czechs have over the Austrians. He says Europe would be unwise to pro- ceed with further economic inte- gration without the UK. A growing number of Tokyo girls have made a similarly col- ourful statement of individuality by dyeing their hair brown. Yet there are revealing limits to the extent to which individuals and companies want to stand out from the crowd.
The fashion for dyed hair has declined recently. Shizuka Kudo, a form er ly brunette teen pop idol, unleashed a conservative back- lash recently by reverting to black. Few resisted, except for one poor schoolgirl who was told that she could not dye her hair black again because dyed hair- was against a school rule that she had already broken once. Another example of Japanese personal ambivalence about breaking out is the response to Hideo Nomo, the baseball player who quit the austere world of the domestic game to become -star pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodg- ers last year.
Most Japanese admire Nomo for d oing so well in the US. Taizo Nishimuro, president of Toshiba, was asked lasfctjweek why he does not increase - profit margins by making massive job cuts like hi s US competitor. Jack Welch, chairman of General Elec- tric. Nishimuro replied that it was his duty to maintain employ- meat That is why Japan has man- aged to keep its jobless rate down to per cent, even after the deepest economic slowdown in 60 years, a performance for which it recently won praise from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In another example of the caring convoy approach, the gap between rich and poor hardly changed during that downturn. The weaker and stronger non-sinkers are being more clearly differentiated. But the bulk of society has managed to keep its communal qualities. What does that mean? It means Scotland would get its own parliament in E dinb urgh, instead of being governed by the UK parliament in London. Would Scotland become a separate country with its own government army, navy and embassies round the world?
Independence would mean Scotland leav- ing the UK altogether. So what power would be transferred to the Scot- tish parliament? It would control the things currently run by the Scottish Office, such as education, local govern- ment, health, the Scottish legal system, inward investment and agriculture. But Westminster would keep control of macro-economic policy, for- eign affair s and defence.
If these things are already run from Scotland, why do the Scots want a parliament as well? Political control of the Scottish Office has been In the hands of the Conservative party since The Tories only get about a quarter of the vote in Scotland, yet they have often implemented poli- cies which the majority of Scots voted against, like the poll tax.
What do people in Scotland think about that? The latest opinion poll in Scotland showed 40 per cent wanted devolution. Also, 31 per cent wanted independence, and 27 per cent the status quo. So yon could say devolution was a compromise between two opposites.
He believes a Scottish parliament would. The Scottish National party would exploit the problems and say Scotland would be better off independent Scotland could claim independence if a majority voted for the SNP. What would Scotland and England quarrel about? Labour says the Scottish parliament would receive an annual allocation from the Treasury just as the Scottish Office does now.
But identifiable public spending in Scotland Is 25 per cent higher per head than it is in England. Once Scotland got its own parliament, it would become obvious how much more Scotland was getting. But I thought the Scottish parliament was going to raise its own revenue. What's that? It would not be popular and would not give the parliament much extra spending power. Labour would probably not get an overall major- ity but it could rule in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
Surely a Labour government in London is not going- to quarrel with a Labour-led Scottish par- liament? Or it might want to change the devolu- tion settlement altogether. Is there something else wrong with it? The Tories, and some Labour MPs. These MPs would be able to vote on. James Buxton T he unreliability of offi- cial statistics is an occu- pational hazard for economists and policy makers. To the embarrassment of both, subsequent revisions of data on everything from popula- tion growth to credit card use have undermined conventional wisdom about existing economic conditions.
Worries about the suspect data have been largely confined to the academic world and the various points at which It connects with policy makers. But in the US. The suspicion is growing that some of the data that underlie the most basic assumptions about American economic performance in the past few years are seri- ously misleading.
The most politically sensitive of these in recent months has been the consumer price index. Critics had long argued that this main measure of consumer price inflation was not giving a true picture of cost of living increases.
Two months ago they received powerful endorsement from an independent panel of economists appointed by the Senate. The report was politically explosive. The income side has problem the overstatement, action that. Its authors recommended the offi- cial data be changed to reflect the overstatement, action that would save the US government tens of billions of dollars a year. But the Bos kin report's impli- cations for US economic perfor- mance in the recent past were just as significant.
The real com- ponent of nominal growth in the past 20 years had been much higher than thought, and, there- fore, real output and productiv- ity had grown much faster. That argument reinforced another claim by many US econ- omists that other statistics are understating real productivity improvements. According to the official fig- ures, the US has experienced a remarkable productivity sclero- sis in the s. It grew steadily for most of the s and early s at a little more than l per cent a year In real terms but appears to have declined sharply since then.
Between and , it averaged only 0. Since it has advanced at an annual rate of only 0. In the s, compa- nies strived to cut costs by streamlining and downsizing. At the same time the information technology revolution, it is argued, has significantly improved productivity levels in manufacturing and service sec- tors.
But measured productivity growth is slowing down sharply. Which is true? Part of the answer may lie in. Smrot: Popartmont of tabor. Cocnm me m. If the error has been in the figures for the past 10 years or so, it might explain the apparent decline in productivity that has occurred at roughly the same time. If that is so.
The chart offers an alternative explanation. It arises from the difference In the two principal ways of measuring economic activity. The overall level of activity can be measured by adding up all the output pro-, duced in the economy or all the income generated in producing that output The Labor Depart- ment's Bureau of Labor Statis- tics, which compiles the CPI data and the productivity figures, uses the product - rather than the income - side of the national accounts to estimate total eco- nomic activity and its deriva- tives such as productivity growth.
The problem with this approach is that the data on the product side are usually much less complete than those on the income side. It is diffi cult to attain accurate measurements of service sector output The full data do not generally become available until several years after the first estimates of output - then the figures are usually revised upward.
That is what appears to have ' happened to the productivity data in the past ' few years. Incomplete figures may have understated output. Using the income-side data instead, the productivity figure is much higher, in line with the longer term trend of LI per cent growth. The income side has problems, too; non-wage income is hard to measure. And the productivity figure is not just a measure of output The denominator in the productivity equation is the total number of hours worked, a fig ure some economists believe has been under -rep orte d in the past few years because of the expan- sion of part-time working: If the correct-hours-worked figure is higher, then output per hour productivity will be lower.
But other statistics tend to support the - claim that the income-measured. As Presi- dent Bill Clinton's Council' of Economic advisers pointed' out In its annual report to the -Con- gress last week,- the unemploy- ment rate suggests' real produc- tivity improvements. The fact that the jobless rate has contin- ued. Federal Reserve chairman, also endorses the view, that the US economy is performing mudi better than the official statistics suggest On both the CPI and the productivity biases, ha has argued that the statistics are not to be trusted.
Do you aim to dis- criminate between urgent and impor- tant tasks? If the answer is yes, the chances are that you are one of the millions of people who have studied time managnmnyit M nrifl of the best known, yet least applied, general management disciplines. Better time management can also make a difference to a com- pany's bottom line, claim the consultants. Although such extravagant Claims may invite scepticism, the subject wins enthusiastic endorsements from converts.
One early example was Charles Schwab, who founded Bethlehem Steel in When he sought guidance on time management, he was simply told to write a list of tasks to be done and tackle them in order of priority. Today, a manager would be unlikely to get away with such succinct advice. Anyone contem- plating Httip management train- ing is confronted with a be wild er- ingly complex array of courses, products and techniques.
One reason why the subject is becoming more complicated is new technology. In addition to the traditional paper-based organising systems such as Filo- fax, managers can now choose from large numbers of software- based planners. These promise to help schedule meetings, monitor projects, set goals and priorities and keep track of telephone numbers and addresses.
They can automati- cally enter regular appointments, make reminders and sort out lists of tasks by priority, project or person in charge. But even companies that sell electronic systems admit they have disadvantages in certain cir- cumstances.
For one thing, it is often quicker to jot something down than wait fbr the computer to boot up, says TMI, a Danish tirap manageme nt company. For another, software planners often seem out of place in meet- ings. Several companies offer hybrid systems that use both paper and electronics. TMI has collaborated with Psion, the maker of palmtop organisers, to design a time man- agement package. The uptake of electronic plan- ners has been relatively slow.
Over half the respondents who took part In an Institute of Man- agement study of time manage- ment which was published two years ago did not use electronic diaries. Just 11 per cent described them as very helpftiL But the survey found that some of those who spurn electronic planners have found huge bene- fits from other technologies.
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