Shanghai unveils measures to optimize business environment

Shanghai has announced a series of reform measures aimed at improving its business environment to maintain stable economic growth.

The measures cover 25 main areas such as business startups, applications for construction permits and electricity serv

ice, according to a working conference held by the municipal government on Feb 11.

Shanghai cannot simply rely on favorable policies to achieve development, let alone low-cost compe

tition, said Li Qiang, Party chief of Shanghai, adding that a better business environment is the strong impetus.

This year, Shanghai will promote collecting and sharing of public data as well as easy

access to governmental services for enterprises and citizens, according to local government authorities.

According to a World Bank report on the ease of doing business released in October last

year, China advanced to a global ranking of 46 among 190 economies in 2018, up from 78 in the previous year.

Shanghai recorded an overall economic growth of 6.6 percent last year, with its GDP per capit

a exceeding $20,000. The city expects to attain a growth rate of 6 percent to 6.5 percent this year.

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Imax shatters Chinese New Year opening box office record

Imax box offices set a new record over the Chinese New Year period starting on Feb 5, grossing 217 million yuan ($32.3 million) across its 599 theaters in China.

Imax Corporation and Imax China said in a news release on Feb 11 that the results were driven by the

strong performances of three local-language films – The Wandering Earth, Crazy Alien and Peg

asus. The sales figures marked Imax China’s best Chinese New Year performance ever, up 40 percent year-on-year.

The Wandering Earth, China’s first big-budget sci-fi film, led the pack by grossing more than

185 million yuan in Imax theaters to become the highest grossing local-language film in Imax hi

story, surpassing Mojin: The Lost Legend. Imax screenings accounted for more than 9 percent of the film’s gross ov

erall takings. The film also set new Imax records for the biggest opening week, surpassing Avengers: Infinity War, as

well as the biggest single day and best three-day performance for a local-language title.

“We are very pleased with these record-breaking Chinese New Year results, which are particularly significant when com

pared to 2018’s record performance that was up 80 percent over the previous year,” said Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond.

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Meanwhile, mobile payment is no longer confined to res

 of major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Smaller cities and even townships are capturing the fastest growth, findings from both payment providers showed.

According to Alipay, the quickest expansion rate in per capita overseas spending was logged in

Zhoushan, a port city in East China’s Zhejiang province, which surged 55 percent year-on-year. It wa

s followed by 50 percent in Weifang, Shandong province, and 44 percent in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province.

In contrast, the growth rate in relatively affluent Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou r

eached 27 percent, 30 percent and 24 percent respectively, although they accounted for the greatest outbound spending by volume.

These trends “really highlight how mobile payment is taking root in China’s outbound t

ourism market”, said Chen Jiayi, Alipay’s head of business operation on cross-border business.

WeChat also saw a notable surge in the use of mobile payment in lower-tier cities, with over 40 percent transactions ma

de by residents who work in bigger cities but returned to hometowns for the weeklong annual gathering.

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WTO should play bigger role in global governancetate Coun

reign Minister Wang Yi has called for the World Trade Organization to play bigger role in global governance.

Wang made the statement at the 18th session of the consultations of the coordinators for the China-France Stra

tegic Dialogue with Philippe Etienne, foreign policy advisor to the president of France, in Paris on Thursday.

Wang highlighted China’s position in upholding multilateralism and the rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at the core.

Noting China supports for the reform of the WTO to increase its authority and efficiency, Wang said the core value and b

asic principles of the WTO as well as the direction of trade liberalization should remain unchanged.

The WTO reform should follow the practice of decision-making by consensus, and c

annot be dictated by a few, nor decided by an exclusive small group of Members, he noted.

Wang called for safeguarding the special and differential treatment for developing members in the

WTO reform, saying France should objectively treat China as a developing country.

Priority should be given to the resolution of the issue of Appellate Body member appointment blockage, he said.

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China remains top trade supplier of Algeria in books draws visit

ALGIERS — China consolidated its position as the largest trade supplier of Algeria in 2018, according to a report by Algerian Customs on Saturday.

Algeria imported from China goods and services worth $7.85 billion in 2018, represe

nting 17 percent of the total import of the North African nation, the report said.

China has remained the top exporter to Algeria for the past six years, it added.

France is the second largest exporter to Algeria with $4.78 billion, followed by Italy ($3.65 billion), Spain ($3.53 billion) and Germany ($3.18 billion).

However, Algeria witnessed a 53.73-percent decline in its trade deficit to $5.03 billion in 2018, against $10.87 billion in 2017, said the report.

The decrease in trade deficit is the result of improved oil prices combined with the policy of

restricting import adopted since the beginning of 2017 by the Algerian government, the report said.

According to the report, the country’s exports amounted to $41.16 billion in 2018, up 16.98 percent from 2019.

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In addition, Wisconsin has seen a tightening labor market in t

the last few years, with the unemployment rate steadily registering 3 percent or lower in nin

e months, which made it difficult for companies to look for workers, let alone skilled ones or engineers.

Kurt Bauer, president and CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, s

aid that the association has about 3,800 members, half of which are m

anufacturing companies. Around 80 percent of the members have seen a labor shortage in one way or another.

Ian Robertson, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison college of Engineering, said the college has 800 gr

aduates every year. They have about 6,000 job opportunities to choose from, most of which are outside of the state.

To meet the demand for engineers, the college plans to expand their enrollment from around 4,500 t

o 5,200 in the next few years. But after graduation, how many of the students will be hired by Foxconn is hard to say.

Robertson said many companies in need of engineers tend to build long-term relationships wit

h the university by establishing labs and offering internships. “Foxconn is just one of them,” he said.

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Junking INF will destroy global arms control

  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that the US is suspending its com

pliance of the Intermediate-Range Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia on Saturday and will start a 180-day pr

ocedure to completely withdraw from the arms control accord. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin said

Russia will also suspend participation in the INF treaty. “They say that they are doing research and testing [new w

eapons] and we will do the same thing,” Putin said during a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

  Although Washington claimed it would return to compliance of the treaty if Russia verifiab

ly destroys a cruise missile system which the US said was a violation of the treaty, analysts believe such a

turnaround would not happen. Two months ago when the US threatened to pull out of the treaty, it began to bury the accord.

  Scrapping the treaty would be the beginning of the collapse of the global arms control system. It’s highly likely a new arms race will start.

  The arms control agreements reached between the US and the Soviet Union during th

e latter period of the Cold War not only curbed the arms race to a certain extent, but also produced a politi

cal effect that appeased the people. The US withdrawal from the treaty will lead to a grim outlook for the 21st century.

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They are ordinary, hardworking Chinese people, who hav

  g far away from their hometowns and chasing their dreams in big cities such as Beijing and Shang

mbitions and diligence also shaped China’s economic miracle today.

  Those who stick to their posts also help ease the shortage of labor during the holiday.

  Some online service provider platforms have already adjusted their services and info

rmed consumers about the shortage of workers, according to industry news site ccn.com.cn.

  During Spring Festival, the prices of the top 10 services,

such as house cleaning services, have been raised by an average of 3 to 23 percent, the report said.

  Authorities have also vowed to stabilize prices, which might be volatile due to changes in supply and demand.

  ”Relevant departments and enterprises have been fully prepared to ensure abundant

supply during the festival and to stabilize prices,” Wang Bin, deputy director of the Department of

Market Operations under the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, told a press briefing on Tuesday.

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France “Yellow Vest” protests continue for 12th straight we

  For the 12th straight weekend of protests, thousands of “Yellow Vest” protesters marched in Paris and other French citi

es on Saturday in relatively calm rallies, but some sporadic incidents led to 30 arrests in the French capital.

  As previous demonstrations, discontent people chanted the national anth

em and anti-President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership slogans. Some of them

had put plasters and others wore eye patches to pay tribute to those wounded in the months-long protests.

  At the front of the fresh street action, Jerome Rodrigues who lost one of his eyes after being hit by a flash-ball last wee

k, headed the rally in the French capital to say “Stop” to “Violence of State, Macron guilty”, as read in some banners.

  The French Interior Ministry said Saturday’s protests, coordinated via social media against Macron’s lead

ership, drew 58,600 participants nationwide. The turnout was down from a week ago when 69,000 people took part.

  In Paris, 10,500 people were gathered compared with 4,000 on Jan. 26.

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Stomach cancer signs and symptomsrs, speak to a gastr

Early stage stomach cancer rarely causes symptoms, making early detection very d

ifficult. Stomach cancer may present vague gastrointestinal symptoms or may m

imic other conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastritis or a peptic ulcer.

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer can include: a sense of fullness after ea

ting small amounts, discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomi

ting and/or bloating after meals, loss of appetite and/or unexplained weight loss, indigestion, heartburn or diffi

culty swallowing, vomiting blood or blood in the stool, and weakness and fatigue.

Most of these symptoms may be caused by things other than stomach cancer. However, don’t ignore your symptoms. If yo

u see blood or if you have these symptoms for more than two or three weeks, especially if they are getting wor

se, you should see a gastroenterologist or your family doctor for further investigation.

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