Monday, September 12, 2005

HK's Disney Opens

Disney opens its first theme park in China

Agence France-Presse

HONG KONG -- Disney officially opened its newest theme park in Hong Kong by Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong Monday, marking its first step into the lucrative China market.

Some 2,500 dignitaries and guests were on hand, including Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang, Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner and company president Robert Iger.

The ceremony opening the three-billion US dollar park kicked off with a traditional Chinese lion dance in the forecourt of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

The Hong Kong government, which chipped in 1.8 billion Hong Kong dollars of the construction cost and owns a half-share of equity in the project, is hoping the park will spur local tourism and bring in more than 100 billion dollars over the next 40 years.

RP Exports


China gives Philippine exports a lift

By Francisco Alcuaz Jr. Bloomberg News
MANILA Philippine exports grew in July at the fastest pace in six months as overseas sales of electronics revived and shipments to China increased threefold.
Shipments to China climbed to $567.6 million from $188.9 million, the National Statistics Office said Friday in Manila, bringing them into the range of the Philippines' two biggest markets: Japan at $598.1 million and the United States at $567.6 million. Sales to Japan were flat. Shipments to the United States dropped 23 percent.
Overseas sales rose 11.4 percent to $3.46 billion, the Statistics Office said. That compares with 1 percent increases in May and June and was the biggest gain since January's 15.2 percent rise.
Rising exports may help President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's government improve growth in a country where a third of the population lives on less than 60 U.S. cents a day and where more revenue is needed to curb debt that swallows a third of state spending on interest payments alone. Exports make up two-fifths of the $85 billion Philippine economy.
"This may help put us back on track as far as the economy is concerned," said Emma Pante, an economist at Rizal Commercial Banking in Manila. "We're benefiting from demand China cannot meet."
But the recovery in exports growth may be "shaky" because it is not based on improved competitiveness, Pante said.
Arroyo's government says growth may slow this year to less than its minimum 5.3 percent target, from 6.1 percent in 2004, in part because higher prices of crude oil have raised local energy prices, damping demand for some products and services. The Philippines imports almost all of its fuel. The Asian Development Bank cut its 2005 growth estimate for the Philippines last week to 4.7 percent from 5 percent.
Electronics exports rose 14 percent to $2.29 billion. That followed declines in the previous two months and a 1 percent increase in the first six.
Arthur Young, president of the chip maker PSi Technologies, estimated that Philippine electronic exports will grow 7 percent this year, driven by worldwide demand for mobile phones, flat-screen televisions, iPod-like music devices and new versions of video game consoles. Philippine companies make chips that go into these products.
" I don't see killer applications in the market today, but there are a lot of new products like the new Xbox and PlayStation," Young said. "There are new opportunities for driving growth. The second half will be better than the first."
Young said first-half growth had been dragged down by Toshiba's transfer to China of its local notebook operation, which produced two million computers a year.
Growth may also falter if rising crude oil prices slows world economies, Young said.