E UROPE A ID CO-OPERATION OFFICE New Business Opportunities for EU Companies in Pakistan European Commission Asia-Invest Programme anchorrestaurantsupply.com China's Parliament Adopts Enterprise Income Tax Law. China's parliament, the National People's Congress, adopted the enterprise income tax law Friday morning with 2, votes for and 37 against, and 22 abstentions, a key signal of a phase-in end of superior treatments to foreign investors for two decades.
And according to present trends, many are likely to miss vital targets, including those for infant mortality, HIV prevalence, and access to water and sanitation in urban areas. Even more worrying, some countries are at risk of failing to reach even two thirds of the targets. However, there has been progress on some of the MDGs, with the region on target to halve poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, and eliminate gender disparities at all levels of education.
Asia is, of course, a vast and diverse region that includes five of the world's seven most populous countries - China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. By sheer weight of numbers — these five alone account for more than two thirds of all the world's people living on less than a dollar a day. They are also home to wide disparities in poverty and social indicators.
Other countries in the region, such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Timor-Leste and parts of Central Asia have only recently started to recover from decades of war and civil strife. Their progress toward achieving the MDGs and poverty reduction is as weak, if no worse, than many sub-Saharan countries. At the World Summit, leaders of member states of the United Nations resolved to adopt, by , and carry out comprehensive national development strategies that aim to achieve the MDGs by As part of this tripartite partnership, a series of regional forums is being organized this week to provide a platform for the sharing of information on MDG progress, provide the knowledge and skills to participants, and enhance partnerships among key stakeholders.
The first such forum — focusing on South Asia - was held in Nepal last October. Attending will be policymakers and senior officials from national and local authorities, private sector representatives, civil society players, academics, and the media.
Two more workshops are planned for later in the year — one in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, April, and a meeting covering the Pacific around May or June. From http: Pursuing SME innovation to promote more energy efficient industry solutions; Working harder on making common practice best practice including improving knowledge amongst SMEs of the business assistance programs available to them; Reducing transaction costs and red tape imposed by governments; Encouraging the use of e-commerce and online transactions with government.
Fran Bailey said today. A solid patent policy provides crucial investment protection while also opening-up intellectual property resources for broad implementation across the industry. Today, it is difficult to develop technical standards without implicating patents. On the other hand, we have to take into account the interests of end-users.
Therefore a balance must be found. We believe that this policy will encourage industry to share its intellectual property with implementers of standards on a reasonable basis knowing that their interests will be protected. In this way we enable International Standards to be used to successfully disseminate innovation, with a clear set of guidelines regarding the disclosure of and commitment to license the use of patented technologies.
It is an excellent example of the co-operation between the three WSC partners. Industry has been seeking a common approach to patents from the world's leading standards developers. I am pleased that the increased collaboration between the World Standards Cooperation partners has led to the development of this common policy which will ultimately benefit end-users and industry.
It allows for companies' innovative technologies to be included in standards as long as such intellectual property is made available under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions. The Agreement will serve as a platform to strengthen the collaboration and partnership between the two organisations through the exchange of information, research studies as well as participation at working-level meetings. A delegation heads' meeting which was initially scheduled for Tuesday afternoon was canceled because of DPRK's boycott, Russian representative Alexander Losyukov said Tuesday evening at his hotel.
The stalemate over the frozen funds came a day after the U. Glaser said the 25 million U. Liu said the ongoing six-party talks had made "a good start" on Monday and created favorable conditions for further progress on implementing further steps in the six-party talks. Top U. ROK's senior diplomat Lim Sung Nam confirmed Tuesday night that the issue of frozen funds could end up with satisfaction though the process is somewhat complex.
Hill hoped the talks would explore "what's the meaning of the disablement, how to disable and what to disable. Security Council unanimously voted Saturday to impose new sanctions against Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium — a move intended to show Tehran that defiance will leave it increasingly isolated. The moderately tougher sanctions include banning Iranian arms exports, and freezing the assets of 28 people and organizations involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs.
About a third of those are linked to the Revolutionary Guard, an elite military corps. The United States is "very pleased by the strength of this resolution" after two years of diplomacy, said R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary for political affairs at the State Department. In December, the member Security Council ordered all countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs.
It also ordered a freeze on assets of 10 key Iranian companies and 12 individuals related to those programs. The U. Raising tensions, Iran detained 15 British sailors and marines Friday in what it said were Iranian territorial waters near Iraq.
The British sailors and marines had been on a mission to search for smugglers in Iraqi waters. The six world powers that drafted the new resolution spent Friday trying to overcome objections from several council members, reflecting concerns that anything short of consensus would weaken efforts to rein in Iran's nuclear defiance.
There were several minor concessions but no changes to the key sanctions agreed upon last week by the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.
The new sanctions — already a compromise between the stronger measures favored by the United States and the Europeans and the softer approach advocated by Russian and China — are considered modest. The ban on exports is among the harshest measures, but many of Iran's arms sales may not be affected because they are illicitly sent to militant groups like Lebanon's Hezbollah and Shiite militias in Iraq.
Still, world powers hoped that approving the resolution quickly and unanimously would signal that Iran will face stricter sanctions each time it ignores a Security Council deadline to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to produce nuclear energy or nuclear weapons.
Iran responded to the first set of sanctions in December by expanding enrichment. Tehran has offered to provide guarantees that its nuclear program won't be diverted toward weapons, as the U. Iranian leaders kept up their defiant rhetoric in the days leading up to the vote, with Ahmadinejad calling the Security Council illegitimate and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggesting Iran would pursue nuclear activities outside international regulations if faced with more sanctions.
The new resolution calls for voluntary restrictions on travel by the individuals subject to sanctions, on arms sales to Iran, and on new financial assistance or loans to the Iranian government.
It asks the International Atomic Energy Agency to report back in 60 days on whether Iran has suspended enrichment and warns Iran could face further measures if it does not. But it also says all sanctions will be suspended if Iran halts enrichment and makes clear that Tehran can still accept a package of economic incentives and political rewards offered last year if it complies with the council's demands.
After the latest resolution met with surprising resistance from several elected Security Council members, a reference was inserted to a past resolution from the IAEA calling for the Middle East to be free of weapons of mass destruction.
Indonesia and Qatar had wanted the council to make that appeal outright, but that would have had implications for Israel, a U. To Formulate Policies to Support Agricultural Insurance China is to formulate supportive policies to push forward agricultural insurance and encourage insurance companies to provide better services in rural areas, said sources with the China Insurance Regulatory Commission CIRC. Last year, the state insurance watchdog received 47 suggestions from representatives of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, and 41 proposals from deputies to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body.
Agricultural insurance drew most attention from these representatives and deputies. They believed China should strengthen the role of agricultural insurance as a social stabilizer and encourage commercial insurance companies to join hand with the government in building the rural cooperative medical care system.
Their proposals also included boosting the development of agricultural insurance market, developing liability insurance in environmental protection and catering sectors, and establishing a medical malpractice insurance system.
These regions contributed 78 percent of last year's total premium income from agricultural insurance, which was million yuan There were agricultural insurance products on the market last year, covering farmers' household properties and planting and breeding industries.
According to the annual legislative plan released on Tuesday by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress NPC , the top legislature, the proposed law on correction of illegal acts is among the 20 draft laws or amendments to be discussed this year. Listed in NPC's annual legislative plan since , the draft law was put aside for two years because of disagreements, and the standing committee said there are still "lots of disagreements" this year. Law experts have described the law as "a concrete step to protect human rights as endowed by the Constitution".
Laojiao, an administrative measure adopted in , empowers the police to sentence a person guilty of such minor offenses as petty theft and prostitution, to a maximum of four years' incarceration. Under the practice, a judicial review by a court can only take place after punishment is imposed. Ying Songnian, a law expert and NPC deputy, said that flaws with laojiao lie in its implementation procedure because there is no strict legal boundary in deciding the length of detention.
Wang Gongyi, vice-director of the Institute of Justice Research affiliated to the Ministry of Justice, said that the current laojiao practice contradicts several items in the Constitution, the Criminal Procedure Law, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights a United Nations human rights treaty China signed in They all require that decisions to detain someone go through judicial system first.
According to Wang, a drafter of the law, the debate still centers on whether it takes an administrative procedure or a judicial one to detain minor offenders.
The Ministry of Public Security proposes to maintain the current practice, with a judicial review coming after the administrative enforcement. But the Supreme People's Court favors the judicial procedure, which requires all detentions to be imposed only after a court's decision.
Some experts, including Wang, take the middle road. They propose to grant a defense right to all minor offenders before incarceration. Those who demand a review should not be incarcerated before a court's decision. Despite the arguments, Wang said the new law is more correction-oriented and lenient. According to it, the current "re-education centers" will be renamed as "correctional centers", with all bars and gates removed and made more school-like. The incarceration period will also be shortened to less than 18 months, depending on the offense.
Figures from the justice ministry show that about , people have served their terms in laojiao institutions. Wang emphasized that the practice has contributed to the country's penal system for decades as it eases the burden imposed on the prison system. Jiang said the drafts included laws on labor contract, employment promotion, mediation and arbitration of labor conflicts.
Critics have said that China has witnessed much faster progress in economic sector than in the social and political areas. This is also the last full session of the Tenth NPC within its five year term. The lawmakers will also examine and approve reports on the implementation of the national economic and social development plan for and the national economic and social development program for , review and approve reports on the implementation of central and local budgets for and on draft central and local budgets for They will also debate two important law drafts -- the draft property rights law and the draft corporate income tax law.
High on the agenda of the full session also include discussion over the draft decision on the number of deputies electable to the Eleventh NPC and issues related to the election, and two draft provisions on the election of NPC deputies from the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao. A total of 2, NPC deputies are expected to attend the annual session, 2, of whom had registered by Sunday.
Comprising 30 articles in six chapters, the regulation requires local governments at all levels to set up minimal, unified and efficient departments with reasonable numbers of staff. The establishment of departments should be based on comprehensive consideration of responsibilities and ensure coordinated efforts in carrying out policies and decisions. Departments with similar or identical duties should be unified by negotiation, and the final decision should be made by local governments if any disputes occur.
Meanwhile, the regulation limits the authorized size of local governments to within local financial resources, and bans the establishment of additional departments or recruitment of more staff.
Legal responsibilities and penalties for overstaffing are clarified in the regulation, said an official with the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council. To enforce the regulation, it requires improved management and supervision, and stipulates penalties for officials who set up, unite, cancel or rename government departments without authorization.
It also calls for more efforts to publicize the regulation among officials and government employees. The regulation will be effective from May 1. The regulation, issued last month by the State Council, China's cabinet, requires that handicapped people make up no less than 1.
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