JCK Magazine

Photographs by Ted Morrison
 
Wouldn’t you much rather be forever in blue gems?
(Above, clockwise from far left) Cross earrings in 18k gold with Sleeping Beauty turquoise, blue sapphires, and diamonds, $14,210, Wendy Yue, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 852-2142-8188, wendyyue.com; Sprinkles ring…

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Kenting tourism needs a boost 墾丁中國客減 旅遊業促釋利多

Following the presidential election, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the Hengchun Peninsula has fallen by about 20 percent. Tourism business owners hope that the government will propose strategies for stimulating the tourism industry, such as offering a new batch of tourism consumer subsidies, so as to perk up Taiwanese people’s enthusiasm for tourism.

Pingtung Hotel Commercial Trade Association chairman Chang Jung-nan says that Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China were the main sources of visitors to Pingtung, but they fell to 10 percent of total visitors after the general election. Now, following the Lunar New Year, there are only domestic tourists left. This makes business owners rather anxious, and they hope the authorities will issue citizens’ travel vouchers, directly providing real subsidies to tourism businesses, which would be a shot in the arm for tourism.

Chang says that Taiwan’s regulations regarding visas for overseas visitors are complicated, and this is an inconvenience for many backpackers who would like to visit Taiwan. Chang suggests that in future the government should think about relaxing visa requirements, as this would help develop the Southeast Asian market.

An experienced independent travelers’ tour guide surnamed Han says that one possibility would be to reshuffle the cards to take in fewer Chinese visitors on package tours, since higher-quality independent travelers would bring more tangible benefits to Taiwan’s economy.

Chang Chi-kuang, general manager of the Howard Beach Resort Kenting, says he hopes the government will once again offer travel vouchers. Chang says this would lead to overall upgrading not only of legal hotels and guesthouses, but also related transport, catering and services, thus reinvigorating domestic tourism.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. batch n.

波;批 (bo1; pi1)

例: A new batch of radios has just arrived at our warehouse.

(一批新的收音機已經送達我們的倉庫。)

2. perk up v. phr.

帶動;活絡;振興 (dai4 dong4; huo2 luo4; zhen4 xing1)

例: A cup of coffee might perk you up a bit.

(喝杯咖啡也許可以幫你活絡精神。)

3. a shot in the arm phr.

強心劑 (qiang2 xin1 ji4)

例: Archie’s invention has given the company a shot in the arm.

(阿奇的新發明為公司注了一劑強心劑。)

The Chateau Beach Resort says that, thanks to an increase in Taiwanese tourists, business volume has grown slightly in the first quarter. The resort says it will invite disc jockeys from abroad for the coming spring music festival season, in the hope that this will attract fans of European and American music.

(Liberty Times, translated by Julian Clegg)

總統大選過後,恆春半島中國遊客減少兩成左右,觀光業者盼望政府提出刺激觀光業的策略,再推一波旅遊消費補助,帶動國人旅遊風氣。

屏東縣旅館商業同業公會理事長張榮南說,屏東觀光客來源大多為香港、新加坡、馬來西亞及中國,大選後驟減為一成;春節過後,只剩國內旅客,讓業者憂心忡忡,盼發行國人旅遊消費券,直接對旅館業者實質補助,是刺激旅遊觀光的強心劑。

張榮南表示,台灣對於外籍旅客的簽證規定繁瑣,許多想來台觀光的背包客感到不便,政府未來應該思考簽證放寬,有助於開發東南亞市場。

資深自由行導遊老韓說,或許可以重洗牌,少一點一條龍的中國團客,素質高的自由行觀光客對台灣經濟才有幫助。

墾丁福華飯店總經理張積光指出,期盼政府再推旅遊消費補助,不僅能帶動合法飯店民宿業,相關交通、餐飲、服務業將全面提昇,重振國內旅遊。

夏都沙灘酒店表示,因為台灣客旅遊增加,第一季業績還微幅成長,接下來的春天音樂季也將邀請國際DJ舉辦活動,希望吸引歐美音樂愛好者到訪。

(自由時報記者蔡宗憲)

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China Tells Foreign Firms to Brace for Bigger Competitors

Scouring China’s annual gathering of leaders for clues about business prospects, foreign companies got a clear message: Brace for bigger, stronger local competitors.

Reform of the nation’s $18 trillion state sector will focus on making companies “bigger and better” with mergers and acquisitions pivotal, said the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission Saturday. That plan to create national champions is undermining the confidence of European companies to put more investment in China, said Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.

The meeting of parliament that ends Wednesday has seen few advances on President Xi Jinping’s past vow to deliver the biggest market opening in two decades. Foreign companies — already with marginal access in industries from finance to telecoms — are now up against mercantilist moves including a “Made in China” initiative and periodic attacks from state entities including China Central Television, which Tuesday aired an annual program renowned for spearing foreign brands.

“The state champions will become particularly important as the economy slows and smaller firms get absorbed by bigger ones,” said Andrew Collier, an independent analyst in Hong Kong and former president of Bank of China International USA. “Western firms are going to have to fight tooth and nail against the pro-China attitude that has permeated the upper echelons of the Chinese leadership.”

Foreign Investment

Foreign investment played a pivotal role driving China’s rise as a manufacturing powerhouse since it opened to the world in the late 1970s. That was fortified by accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, which opened its domestic market to greater competition and helped power a decade of double-digit growth. Service industries were either excluded from the WTO agreement or opened only fractionally.

“In the early 1980s China accepted that it needed foreign investment to make its manufacturing sector internationally competitive,” said James Laurenceson, deputy director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology in Sydney. “That instinct proved correct. The jury is still out regarding whether it has reached the same conclusion for services.”

As growth slid to a 25-year low in 2015, services made up more than half the economy for the first time. Yet large swaths of such industries, from finance to logistics, are walled off to foreign companies or offer only limited access. Foreign ownership of the booming telecommunications industry is less than 1 percent, Bloomberg Intelligence estimates, while law firms from abroad are prohibited from practicing domestic law.

Past Optimism

Optimism rode high among European businesses when Xi in late 2013 vowed the biggest expansion of economic freedoms since the 1990s, said Wuttke. Free-trade zones opened in Shanghai and other cities subsequently added to the excitement, he said.

While there’s still plenty of optimism around prospects for per capita consumption, which is seen on the same upward trajectory as Japan in the 1960s and South Korea in the 1970s, foreign businesses are less confident they’ll get to profit from that spending surge.

“There’s still a long stretch of strong growth possibly in the system unless policy mistakes devalues that opportunity,” said Wuttke. “The question is: Are we going to witness this and benefit or are we going to be outside the glass door and just see it unfolding?”

China also is shifting up the value-added ladder into industries where foreign firms are now dominant. Xi’s “Made in China 2025” blueprint envisions global competitiveness within a decade in 10 industries from machine tools and robots to advanced railway equipment and medical devices.

A stronger emphasis on national security, increasing domestic competition, and Chinese companies catching up on research and development with foreign rivals indicate the golden days for foreign companies in China are over, said Zhu Ning, a professor of finance at the Beijing campus of the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance.

“Their market share may very likely diminish over time despite quickly growing overall revenues and profits,” he said.

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Immigration And Trade – Part One

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By Ronald Sanders

TRADE has become an issue in the political party primaries of the US Presidential elections that holds lessons for the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

I note first that, as far as I am aware, trade has never been an issue in the general elections of the 15 member countries of CARICOM, even though from time to time CARICOM itself has been raised on the political hustings. On the occasions when CARICOM has been the subject of general election discourse, the focus has been on immigration when some politicians have sought to gain political visibility by climbing on the back of anti-immigrant sentiment.

Interestingly in the current US political debate – if what transpires in the Republican camp can be dignified by that description – both immigration and trade have emerged as issues.

At the extreme is Donald Trump who is now leading in the Republican Party primaries. On immigration, Trump wants to build a wall to stop Mexicans from entering the US; he wants an all-out ban on all Muslims entering the country; he blames other immigrants for “low wages” in the US (as if they pay themselves) and for taking jobs from Americans (even though the Americans do not want such jobs, mostly manual labour). And, of course, he blames immigrants for crime in the US, claiming that they are, among other things “rapists”. The fact that the vast majority of criminals in prison are US born and grown does not temper Trump’s vitriolic assertions.

As happens when any untruth is persistently repeated and goes largely unchallenged by the media that helps to spread it, Trump’s untruths on immigration have become fact in the minds of his supporters whose numbers, unfortunately, seem to be growing. In the course of all this – and in the remarks he makes at his rallies – Trump is feeding an insurgent racism in the underbelly of the US, particularly among Ku-Klux-Klan activists and nazi-types. In throwing out protestors from his rallies and encouraging their manhandling – one a young, black woman unarmed and alone – Trump has declared that he would himself like “to punch them in the face”.

Thankfully, in the Caribbean, even among the worst of the politicians who have played to the anti-immigrant lobby, the situation never quite reached the depths to which Trump has sunk. But, it is worth noting that, curiously, the convulsions concerning immigration in the Caribbean have been directed by Caribbean people to Caribbean people. It seems that immigration of others (North Americans and Europeans), including taking jobs, is more acceptable; it is immigration amongst Caribbean people that is most unpalatable.

Let’s stick a pin on inter-Caribbean migration for a moment. We will return to it. For now, let us consider the outbursts on trade that have flowed from Donald Trump.

He blames trade with Mexico, China, Japan, India and Vietnam for the loss of jobs in the US. In this regard, he intends to “tear-up” the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – the main arrangement for trade and investment with Mexico. It appears to have conveniently escaped him that Canada (the US’ single largest trading partner) is also party to NAFTA, and that tearing-up the agreement will adversely affect trade with Canada as well. It also seems to have eluded his attention that NAFTA is a legally binding agreement with arbitration provisions. Further, since it is an agreement that exists under the umbrella of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, that international body for setting trade rules might have something to say about it.

Trump seems to believe that trade should be a one-way street for the US, and that if he closes or reduces trade with the countries he has listed, they won’t retaliate by buying less US goods and services. It also seems to have missed him completely that no country is compelling Americans to buy its goods and services, and no country is forcing US companies to locate outside the US. US consumers buy goods and services from other countries because they cost less, and US companies locate in other countries because costs of production are cheaper, including labour and talent.

The fortress into which Trump wants to makes the US against trade and immigration (two things that have built the US economy) will quickly become a prison. Instead of keeping out imports and immigrants, it will keep in expensive goods and services as well as confine Americans. Additionally, it would set off a global trade war. And, as history, has taught, all wars of violence start from an economic base.

Sadly, on the other side of the political divide in the party political primaries, Bernie Sanders of the Democratic Party also blames trade for loss of jobs. He too wants to tear-up NAFTA and all other trade agreements, including the Free Trade Agreement with Central American countries and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All of them, he says, have cost thousands of Americans to lose their jobs.

There is, of course, evidence that factories have been closed and jobs have been lost in mid-western states of the US because of their lack of capacity to compete against production of similar goods from other countries with cheaper labour costs and lower tax rates. But, the jobs – real or potential – that have been lost in the vast majority of countries of the world that import from the US are far greater than losses in the US. The problem in the US is that, despite its great resources, it made very little provision for replacing inefficient companies that could not cope with competition, and it did not invest in retraining workers that were displaced. Even re-generation of towns and infrastructure for transportation was neglected.

So, both Trump and Sanders have escalated a one-sided argument on trade for their political purposes – designed to lure both disaffected and supremacist Americans into blaming trade with selected foreign countries for their view of that they have “to make America great again”. Incidentally, India and Vietnam are not among the top 15 of the US trading partners; they rank well below Britain and Germany for instance. Why Trump blames them is consistent with his unfortunate racial and religious profiling.

Sensibly, Hillary Clinton has not descended into these arguments which cannot stand up to factual analysis.
Next week: The parallels with CARICOM

(The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and Massey College, University of Toronto). Responses and previous commentaries: www.sirronaldsanders.com

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Global Pharmaceutical Excipient Market to Reach US$ 7,415.2 Mn by 2021, Persistence Market Research

NEW YORK, March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —

According to a latest market report published by Persistence Market Research, titled “Global Market Study on Pharmaceutical Excipients: Increased Drug Demand in Emerging Asia Pacific Market to Fuel Demand Multi-Functional Excipients“, revenue from the global pharmaceutical excipients market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period 2015 – 2021.

In the report, the global pharmaceutical excipients market is analyzed on the basis of chemistry type (i.e. source of origin), application type, functionality, and region. Based on chemistry type, the overall market has been segmented into plant-based, animal-based, mineral-based and synthetically derived excipients. Based on functionality, the market has been segmented into binders (binders, coatings, and fillers), glidents, diluents, disintegrants, and others (solvents, co-solvents, anti-microbial agents, lubricants, colorants, emulsifiers, and humectants). By application type, the market has been segmented into oral, topical, parenteral formulations, and others, which includes suppositories, intra-muscular, and ophthalmic preparations. In the overall market, oral solid dosage formulations are expected to witness increased uptake owing to the ease of consumption by patients globally. Accordingly, oral application type segment is expected to witness value increase from US$ 3,327.8 Mn in 2015 to US$ 5,094.2 Mn by the end of 2021.

View Sample Report: http://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/samples/4421

 The prime drivers of the market include rising demand for sustained-release and controlled-release formulations, especially in oral applications, and increased demand for generics. Sustained and extended release formulations are gaining popularity as they help in maintaining patient-safety through reduced number of medicine dosages, but having increased drug efficacy. Apart from these factors, increase in the incidence of chronic diseases across regions has been spurring demand for essential drugs, which is expected to fuel demand for excipients over the forecast period.

Frequent physical audits of excipients manufacturing facilities by officials from regulatory agencies lead to the imposition of substantial operating cost burdens on excipient manufacturers, thus hampering revenue growth for excipients over the forecast period. Other market deterrents include long gestation period before a novel excipient is formally accepted in the industry. However, the situation is expected to improve over the next few years, with individual economies formulating their own good manufacturing and good distribution practice guidelines in collaboration with the International Pharmaceutical Excipient Council.

Based on regions, the market has been divided into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the MEA. Developed pharmaceutical markets such as the U.S. and EU are expected to emerge as the main sourcing markets, while economies such as India, China, and Brazil are expected to emerge as the main supplying countries for raw materials such as cellulose, starch, lactose, etc.

Request Full TOC: http://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/toc/4421

Formalization of good manufacturing practices for excipients is an urgent need in the global excipients market, in order to cater to rising demand for higher purity excipients in applications such as parenteral forms. According to various trade associations and regulatory agencies, global acceptance of excipients by drug manufacturers is a relatively lengthy process, which takes around seven to 10 years. This factor is expected to prolong the revenue conversion period for excipients manufacturers.

This report assesses trends by chemistry type, application type, functionalities and regions to offer analytical insights about the potential demand emerging for particular pharmaceutical excipients in specific regions. North America is estimated to dominate the pharmaceutical excipients market accounting for a maximum revenue share of the overall market by the end of 2015. By 2021 end, North America and Europe markets are expected to account for over three-fifth share of the global pharmaceutical excipients market revenue. In terms of market share by value, North America is estimated to retain its dominant position, registering a CAGR of 6.9% over the forecast period.

Browse through the full Global Pharmaceutical Excipients Market Report at http://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/market-research/pharmaceutical-excipients-market.asp

 Some key companies covered in this report include BASF SE, Evonik Industries AG, Innophos Holdings Inc., The Lubrizol Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, Wacker Chemie AG, and Ashland Inc. These companies are primarily focused on enhancing their product portfolio through research and development and the introduction of innovative and cost-effective advanced manufacturing procedures such as co-processing of existing excipients in order to gain higher market share and to strengthen their respective positions in the global market.

The global pharmaceutical excipients market is segmented as follows:

By Source of Origin 

By Application Type 

By Functionality 

By Region 

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