1 US TRADE WAR COULD COST GLOBAL ECONOMY $430 BILLION, IMF WARNS WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      2 US PLANS G7 TALKS ON CHINA WWW.NHK.OR.JP PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      3 GOOGLE HIT WITH RECORD EU FINE OVER SHOPPING SERVICE WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      4 TURQUOISE HILL ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER 2018 PRODUCTION AND COMPLETION OF SHAFT 5 WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      5 DEVELOPMENT OF BILL ON CIVIL SERVANT CODE OF CONDUCT FINALIZED WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      6 CRUDE OIL EXPORTS GENERATED 94.3 BILLION WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      7 MONGOLIAN PRESIDENT SUMMONS IRREGULAR PARLIAMENTARY SESSION WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/18      8 JEFF BEZOS IS NOW WORTH MORE THAN BILL GATES AND LARRY PAGE COMBINED WWW.CNN.COM PUBLISHED:2018/07/17      9 APARTMENT COMPLEX FOR YOUNG FAMILIES UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN ERDENET WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/17      10 NUM GRADUATES INVITED TO WORK FOR TOSHIBA CORPORATION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/07/17      ГЕРМАНЫ “ЧИНГИС ХААН” ХАМТЛАГ ИРЭХ ОНД МОНГОЛД ТОГЛОЛТОО ХИЙНЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     АНУ, ОХУ ХҮЙТЭРСЭН ХАРИЛЦААНДАА ЦЭГ ТАВИЛАА WWW.UBINFO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     ХУДАЛДААНЫ ДАЙН ХЯТАДЫН КОМПАНИУДАД НӨЛӨӨЛЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.NEWS.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     МОНГОЛД 92 ОРНЫ 9.6 МЯНГАН ГАДААДЫН ИРГЭН АЖИЛЛАЖ БАЙНА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     ГАДААД ХУДАЛДААНЫ НИЙТ БАРАА ЭРГЭЛТ 6,3 ТЭРБУМ АМ.ДОЛЛАРТ ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     ЕВРОПЫН ХОЛБОО ЯПОН УЛСТАЙ ЧӨЛӨӨТ ХУДАЛДААНЫ ГЭРЭЭ БАЙГУУЛАВ WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     АЖ ҮЙЛДВЭРЖИЛТИЙН ЭРЧ СУЛАРЧЭЭ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     МӨНГӨНИЙ НИЙЛҮҮЛЭЛТ 3.8 ИХ НАЯД ТӨГРӨГӨӨР НЭМЭГДЖЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/18     ОЛОН УЛСЫН ИННОВАЦИЙН ИНДЕКСЭЭР МОНГОЛ УЛС 53-Т ЖАГСЧЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/17     ШАДАР САЙД НҮБ-ЫН ӨНДӨР ТҮВШНИЙ УУЛЗАЛТАД ОРОЛЦОЖ БАЙНА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/07/17    

Events

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NEWS

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The five countries with the best reputations www.bbc.com

What we believe about a place can often be more powerful than the hard facts. A country's reputation can influence everything from foreign policy to foreign investment ­– to whether or not people want to visit or live there.
One recent study by the Reputation Institute, a consultant and advisory firm specializing in reputation, sought to quantify the idea of the most well-thought-of countries. They measured 16 different factors ­– including being a beautiful and safe place to visit, and having friendly and welcoming residents, progressive policies and an effective government – via an online survey with more than 48,000 residents in the G8 countries, representing the world’s eight leading industrialized nations. The 55 countries rated as part of the survey include those with the largest GDPs, largest populations, and countries with relevant events.
To find out if the reputation matched up to the facts, we talked to residents and expats living in the top five reputable countries.

Sweden
Newly ranked as the most reputable country in the world (knocking out Canada), Sweden hits all the marks of being safe, welcoming and beautiful, according to its residents. The county is also unique in Western Europe, having been spared from much of the impact of World War II and remaining neutral today.

"Swedes seem to be happy with this independent status, while at the same time being one of the most welcoming countries for refugees in all of Europe," said Dr Ernest Adams, an American-born British citizen who lives in Sweden part time as a consultant and a senior lecturer at Uppsala University. "This is a virtue they have had for a long time – they saved almost all of Denmark's Jews during the war."
Most expats live in Stockholm where the business and government hubs are located. English is commonly spoken, though some expats initially feel that residents can be standoffish.
"But after being here a while, you begin to realise that people like to keep themselves to themselves and they afford that respect to others too, for better or worse," said Kat Trigarszky, current resident and author of an An English Mamma in Stockholm. "It's quite usual not to know your neighbours at all well."
Entertainment and luxury items can be quite expensive in the city (VAT is 25%, and residents regularly complain about the high price of alcohol, which averages around 130 krona a cocktail). Still, many Swedes cook at home, and save on car costs by using the country's vast and affordable public transportation network.

Canada
Despite dropping to second on the list, Canadians speak more positively than ever about their home country, especially as the government continues an "arms wide open" approach to Syrian refugees.
"There's a national concern to ensure that those who have suffered so much can rebuild the lives they deserve," said Jeremy Arnold, a native and frequent Quora author on life in Canada. "The average Canadian is defined by their zeal to see our inclusive and communal way of life protected. We love seeing the videos of Syrian immigrants enjoying their first Canada Day."

Canada also scores high for being one of the world’s safest countries. That doesn't mean it's without its problems. "It isn't a utopia. We have crime. We have gangs," Arnold explained. "But we also have a strong social safety net and a shared commitment to values like mutual respect and joyful multiculturalism."
Almost all Canadian residents live in cities that are within 100 miles of the US border, making it especially easy for American expats to come and go. "We also have fairly open visa policies for member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations," Arnold said. Vancouver and Toronto are perennial favourite expat spots, but many choose to live near friends and family or where previous generations of a country's expats have settled.
While both Vancouver and Toronto are expensive cities relative to world prices, Canada in general is relatively affordable compared to many other developed countries. Even the big cities can be navigated affordably by living a little further away from main amenities, said Arnold.

Switzerland
While natural beauty may be a matter of luck, factors like friendly residents and progressive policies come down to a country's wealth and culture, both of which Switzerland has in spades, explained Jason Li, who lived in Switzerland for three years and now lives in Canberra, Australia.
"It’s needless to say that Switzerland is a wealthy country. It has a long tradition of organized hospitality ever since the days of the grand tours of the English aristocracy and Thomas Cook’s first organized tours of the country in 1841," he said. "Twenty percent of Swiss residents are expats, and tourism is a significant industry, so those who work in hospitality and tourism are accustomed to dealing with foreigners."

While many expats end up in business centres like Geneva, Basel and Zurich, Li found himself partial to Lausanne, located in 60km east of Geneva.
"Unlike Zurich or Geneva, it is university town that is not dominated by industry," said Li. "Students from UNIL [Université de Lausanne] and EPFL [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] provide the energy and thrust, and it has one of the best nightlife scenes in Switzerland."
Despite Zurich being consistently ranked as one of the world's most expensive countries, residents who enjoy a Swiss salary find it manageable, since there is rent control and universal healthcare.

Australia
The land down under is loved by residents for its feelings of safety, security and peacefulness, driven in some part by the country's stance on firearms.
"Australia banned guns few decades back, which means that gun violence is minimal," said Ganesh Krishnan, originally from India who currently lives in Melbourne. "Here in Melbourne we can be assured that we can walk free of fear anytime, night or day, on the streets."

Retired US Navy sailor Pedro Vasquez feels similarly from his three years stationed in Canberra, praising the illegality of firearms. "This is very important to me because as someone that values life, I do not want to put mine at risk," he said. "I also like that Australians care so much about the environment and about animal welfare. Of course, it helps that Australians are such a friendly bunch."
Melbourne has been ranked as one of the world's most liveable cities, largely due to its extensive public transportation system that covers the city and much of the suburbs. Family-friendly Perth and economic hub Sydney also typically top the list of cities that attract expats from around the world.
The country tends to be very affordable to live, with universal and high-quality health care and government-funded tertiary education.
Norway
As a safe and scenic country, Norway more than lives up to its reputation according to residents.
"The prejudices about Norway are all true: the people are beautiful, gender equality is anchored in daily life and the natural scenery is breathtaking," said Barbara Schwendtner, an Oslo resident from Austria, and a guide for Your Local Cousin, a travel startup that matches travellers with locals. Norway is also a rich country, and is both investing oil money in development and saving in funds for future generations.

Expats also fit in here easily; residents don't really distinguish between locals and those who've moved from abroad. Most residents choose to live in Oslo, which is not a very big city, so activities usually congregate around the city centre.
No matter where they live, Norwegians spend plenty of time in the fresh air. "Norwegians are crazy about the outdoors!" Schwendtner said."They love to be outside, go cross-country skiing in winter and hiking in summer. The activity level of the population is extremely high, with gym memberships often offered to employees."
That love for the outdoors can be a good thing, especially as other activities can be quite expensive. "While one can dine out several times a week in other countries, the same lifestyle is certainly not recommended in Norway," Schwendtner said. "Naturally, people try to find leisure activities for less money, such as training or enjoying nature."

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Stay away from stocks for the next 3 months, warns Goldman www.rt.com

Analysts from the Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs have downgraded their prediction for US and European stocks for the next three months. They expect a reversal of investor positioning and say further growth requires a better economic environment.

Goldman expects the S&P 500 and the STOXX Europe 600 to contract about 10 percent over the period.

"Given equities remain expensive and earnings growth is poor, in our view equities are now just at the upper end of their 'fat and flat' range," said the analysts.

The downgrade follows a recent rally in risk assets, driven by both light positioning into the Brexit vote and a search for yield, according to the bank.

“Our risk appetite indicator is near neutral levels and its positive momentum has faded, suggesting positioning will give less support and we will need better macro fundamentals or stimulus to keep the risk rally going. But market expectations are already dovish, and growth pick-up should take time,” they added.

Goldman Sachs is downgrading stocks to 'underweight' for the next three months, but keeping a 'neutral' position in the next year, staying 'overweight' in cash.

On Friday, the S&P 500 touched an all-time high of 2,177.09. This happens at a time, when the US economy grew 1.2 percent in the first half of the year, well below the predicted 2.5-2.6 percent growth.

According to Jeffrey Gundlach, the CEO of DoubleLine Capital, this means the market has become overly complacent.

“The artist Christopher Wool has a word painting, 'Sell the house, sell the car, sell the kids.' That's exactly how I feel sell everything. Nothing here looks good. The stock markets should be down massively but investors seem to have been hypnotized that nothing can go wrong,” Gundlach told CNBC on Friday. His DoubleLine Capital is keeping money in gold and gold miner assets, the traditional safe haven for investors.

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What Russia's U.S. Experts Say About The 2016 Election www.themoscowtimes.com

In 1967, at the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union established a new think tank to study the enemy. Its experts reported directly to the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and, on occasion, directly to the Kremlin. For 24 years, the Institute for American and Canadian Studies had a monopoly on such expert advice.

Today, while the Institute continues to play an important role in Russia’s foreign policy community, the field of American political expertisehas become a broad school. With standalone university courses, independent experts and university professors, there are now multiple sources of expertise on the enemy. Of course, few of the most independent are reflected on the country's television screens.

With the U.S. presidential election in its final stretch, The Moscow Times decided to poll some of Russia's top U.S. experts with a view to get the Moscow perspective on a presidential election that promises to be the most consequential in decades. As many of them noted, it is also an election in which Russia appears to have a clear vested interest.

Who will win the election?

Pavel Sharikov, head of the center of applied research at the Academy of Science's Institute for American and Canadian Studies — Russia's oldest U.S. research outfit.

As has been the case since I started observing U.S. elections in 2000, it's really hard to say anything before November. The victory of an experienced politician like Clinton still seems more probable, but Trump's campaign style is very aggressive. He might have a few aces up his sleeve. Already, Clinton almost lost several times to Bernie Sanders — a politician who is basically considered to be a Communist by American standards — so her chances of winning are not entirely persuasive.

Dmitry Suslov, professor of American Politics at Moscow's Higher School of Economics

Hillary Clinton will win, I predict. Election results in the United States are usually determined by swing states, and independent voters who are more or less moderate and centrist. For these kinds of people, Donald Trump is just too radical. He succeeded in winning the Republican nomination because of his extreme and populist viewpoints. But, given the choice between him and Hillary Clinton, the conventional moderate American voter would vote for continuity and stability, rather than the kind of revolution that Trump brings with him.

Mikhail Troitskiy, professor of international relations at MGIMO, expert on American foreign policy.

I would certainly bet on Clinton's victory. But I wouldn't put all my money on Hillary becoming the next president. We will see what unfolds between now and November; see which issues pop up. For the moment, however, Clinton does have a better chance of winning than Trump.

Alexei Sushentsov, program director at the Valdai Discussion Club and head of the Foreign Policy Advisory Group:

I think Trump has a better sense of the zeitgeist in the American majority right now. That said, I think the Clinton campaign has better organization and greater capacity to get out the vote in decisive states. So, I think in the end Clinton will win.

This has been a very unorthodox election. How do you explain it to Russians?

Dmitry Suslov:

The American political system is in a process of unstoppable change, and both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are proof of this. Together, they showed that the American public is generally not okay with globalization. Today, people are basically saying 'We don't want that kind of tomorrow, so give us back our comfortable yesterday.' Trump is exploiting those feelings.

The election of 2024 will most likely be decisive in terms of American domestic politics. Clinton is the white knight of the Washington elite, and the Trump and Sanders phenomena show the American people are becoming increasingly opposed to it. A Clinton victory will not stop the overall changes happening in the American electorate.

Alexey Sushentsov:

The American elite has lost touch with the electorate. People have fewer economic opportunities, and this provokes all kind of conflicts in American society. Domestic and international security has once again become an important issue driving the election.

Mikhail Troitskiy:

The U.S. is engaged in an overdue experiment in populist politics. What Trump is doing is a very shrewdly timed attempt to harness populism — in this case, anger at the impact of globalization on American society and economy — and to marry it with the democratic ideal of one person, one vote.

He has succeeded in doing this because he comes from outside the political class, and can therefore afford to shrug off political correctness. He can afford to appeal to racial divides, ethnic tensions, and pent-up angers existing in American society.

But given demographic changes taking place within the American electorate, I think this is the last time someone can play with these kinds of populist political tactics. Trump is betting on the white majority — of whom I guess less than 50 percent have college degrees — and it might be someone's last chance to run on a divisive, sexist, ethno-centric platform in America. The demographics are shifting away from the white majority.

Pavel Sharikov:

For many years, American politics was very logical and explainable. Even with the really bad decisions, there was a certain logic at play. Trump, on the other hand, addresses those Americans who deeply want to hear 'Make America Great Again.' It's basically an economic platform aimed at job creation.

And yet I still cannot understand his motivations. He's a businessman. Unlike in Russia, you don't go into politics to make money. In Russia, certain politicians manage to use their powers to benefit their business, and thus make big money. Maybe I'm an idealist, but its a different system in America.

What would a Hillary Clinton victory mean for Russia?

Dmitry Suslov:

A Clinton victory would be very bad for U.S.-Russia relations. Under her administration, American foreign policy will become even more ideological and even more anti-Russian. This is not the end of the world, because this kind of foreign policy will become less and less supported by the American public. A fundamental change, a revolutionary change in American foreign policy is unavoidable. Either in 2020 or 2024, the U.S. will put an end to the foreign policy consensus first established by Harry Truman in the 1940s [about the United States maintaining an active leadership role in world affairs]. This will be good for Russia.

Mikhail Troitskiy:

I think we have a better shot working with her. Trump is unpredictable, and it is better to stick with the 'known evil,' so to speak. Russia would have a chance of engaging in some substantive negotiations with a Clinton administration. Basically, with any new administration — or at least a predictable one — there is a chance to try some blank-slate negotiations.

Pavel Sharikov:

There's a weird relationship between Russian politicians and American parties. The general thinking is that Russian politicians work well with American Democrats. But if we look at the history of the Cold War, it started under a Democratic president, Harry Truman. The first arms control treaty signed with a Democrat was in 2009, with Obama. All previous arms control treaties were signed with Republican presidents. The Republican party — I'm talking about the GOP of the 1970s, with Kissinger and realpolitik — they were always very pragmatic. They had few ideological components.

Under President Hillary Clinton, bilateral relations are not likely to improve. But there are very few opportunities for relations to get worse. There are rumors about potential members of her cabinet and administration that would be promising for Russia — names like Bill Burns, the head of the Carnegie Endowment and a former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. He's very smart, and well respected in Moscow. But then there are others, for example [Obama's former Ambassador to Russia] Michael McFaul, who is still blamed in Russia for the general deterioration of bilateral relations.

And whatever happens, Hillary Clinton and Putin will never understand each other. Issues such as LGBT rights and other social policies, for example, seem unacceptable to the Russian government.

What would a Trump presidency mean for Russia?

Dmitry Suslov:

The majority of problems in U.S.-Russia relations are driven not by bilateral relations, but the fundamental difference in the way international order is understood.

If Trump prevails, the overwhelming majority of these problems will disappear by themselves. Trump will most likely be indifferent toward Russian policies in the neighborhood, and will likely not engage in democracy promotion and regime change.

On the other hand, Trump is the embodiment of unpredictability. George W. Bush also turned out to be completely different than we expected. For example, he campaigned against Clinton's liberal foreign policy, but after 9/11 he turned out to be much more ideological and interventionist than Clinton. A similar thing could happen with Trump.

Mikhail Troitskiy:

From what we are hearing, Trump is Russia's favored candidate. He talks about reneging on NATO commitments, recognizing Crimea as part of Russia, he seems pro-Russia and wants to do business with Russia, and so on. But I would advise Putin to be cautious with Trump. He is extremely unpredictable, and we don't know who, for example, his national security advisor might be. What if he goes for someone really hawkish to prove to the bureaucracy he's a mainstream guy? In that case, we might get a policy even more adversarial toward Russia than Clinton’s.

Pavel Sharikov:

Trump is controversial when it comes to Russia. Here he is perceived as a good dealer who will try to work with Putin, so this makes him a better option than anyone else. But he is hard to understand. The litmus test for Russian politicians is what each candidate says about Russia's actions in Ukraine — whether they were aggressive or defensive, basically.

Trump has said both things. But recently, he's been very positive about Russia and Putin. Naturally enough, Russian politicians and pundits are gravitating toward him.

 
 
 
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Talkh Chikher intends to export its products www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Talkh Chikher Co.Ltd. (MSE:TSK) presented to the public its financial report for the first half of 2016, on August 1. The Company leaders noted that the main focus of 2016 has been the excellence of quality and hygiene standards, and that the Company renewed packages of its products.

The management team is maintaining the ISO 9001:2000 quality system in their operations, and has launched a campaign to adopt the ISE 14000 (HACCP) system. Major investment and developments are being conducted for extension of factory, overhaul storage, and the commissioning of a certified laboratory.

Although the net profit has been reduced in the first half of this year due to the general decline in the economy, the scope of sales has expanded, having increased the local distributions by twofold. The management team has also been working on exporting its products.

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China 'warning' over Hinkley Point delay claims www.bbc.com

China will not tolerate "unwanted accusations" about its investments in the UK after the delay of the Hinkley nuclear power project, the country's state-run news agency has said.
Xinhua said it could not understand the "suspicious approach that comes from nowhere to Chinese investment".
It follows reports suggesting the UK PM has national security concerns about China's role in the project.
Officially the Chinese government said it hoped for a speedy resolution.
French company EDF, which is financing most of the £18bn project, approved its investment last week - but in a surprise move the UK government then said it wanted until early autumn to review the scheme.
China is expected to fund one third of the project.
Hinkley Point: What is it and why is it important?
On Saturday, former business secretary Sir Vince Cable said then home secretary Theresa May had been unhappy with what she saw as the government's "gung-ho" approach to doing deals with Beijing when they were in the coalition cabinet together.
Nick Timothy, Mrs May's chief of staff and a long-time adviser, has also previously expressed criticisms of the Hinkley deal.
Writing on the Conservativehome website, he said MI5 believes that Chinese intelligence services "continue to work against UK interests at home and abroad".
'Horns of a dilemma'
Xinhua said the delay "not only draws queries from the international community about its openness towards foreign investment, but also adds uncertainties to the 'Golden Era' of China-UK ties".
It went on: "Giving green light to a 24-billion-U.S.-dollar project can never be an easy decision, and China fully understands and respects British government's requirement for more time to ponder. However, what China cannot understand is the 'suspicious approach' that comes from nowhere to Chinese investment in making the postponement."
The news agency said China could "wait for a rational British government to make responsible decisions, but can not tolerate any unwanted accusation against its sincere and benign willingness for win-win cooperation".
Carrie Gracie, the BBC's China editor, said the Chinese government "is on the horns of a dilemma".
"It is frustrated by the uncertainty over its future in the UK's nuclear energy industry and it is angered by suggestions that the reason for the delay may be the prime minister's reported concerns about the national security implications of a Chinese role in critical infrastructure," she said.
"But Beijing does not want to feed any such fears by overreacting. Its official statement on Hinkley Point delay was bland... but it masks a very real dismay in Beijing that the so called golden era it cultivated with the previous British government might now be at an end."
Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokeswoman said: "Of course with the role that China has to play on world affairs, on the global economy, on a whole range of international issues, we are going to continue to seek a strong relationship with China."

 
 
 
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Nigerian man arrested in global, $60 million scam www.cnn.com

A Nigerian man alleged to be the mastermind behind an international crime ring that swindled individuals and companies out of $60 million has been arrested.
According to a statement by Interpol, the man, known only as 'Mike,' ran an international criminal network that hacked the email accounts of small and medium-sized businesses across the globe.
Once the scammers had control of the accounts, they sent fake payment requests to the company's partners and then diverted the funds to accounts they controlled.
One victim was conned into paying $15.4 million, Interpol said.

SAVINGS RATES BY SAVINGS RATES BY
In another scam, the ring would hack an executive's email account, and then send a wire fund transfer request to the company employee authorized to handle them. The funds were then paid into the criminal's bank account, Interpol said.
A 38-year-old person was also arrested by the Nigerian authorities.
Both individuals are facing charges including hacking, conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretenses.
The arrest was a joint operation between Interpol and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The businesses affected were in countries including Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Romania, South Africa, Thailand and the U.S., the statement said.

The alleged mastermind headed a network of at least 40 individuals across Nigeria, Malaysia and South Africa who provided the malware and helped carry out the scams, Interpol said. The gang also had money-laundering contacts in China, Europe and the U.S. who provided bank accounts to receive the illicit cash.
Following his June arrest in southern Nigeria's Port Harcourt, a forensic examination of devices seized by the EFCC showed Mike had been involved in a range of criminal activities including romance scams.

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Nippon Express, Alibaba to team up in China-bound shipping www.asia.nikkei.com

TOKYO -- Nippon Express will work with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding to ship Japanese goods to China for around 30% less than current prevailing rates.

The Japanese shipper will transport goods from companies doing business on Alibaba's TMall.com platform to China, while an Alibaba affiliate will handle home delivery. Goods can either be flown across the sea when ordered or shipped by surface in advance and stored in warehouses.

Nippon Express is Japan's largest business-to-business and international shipper, enabling it to hold down costs by purchasing space on ships and aircraft in bulk. In teaming up with TMall, which controls 60% of China's online retail market, the shipper aims to handle half of all online purchases headed there from Japan.

Currently, Japan Post ships 90% of online purchases traveling to China via airmail with its express-mail service. But a fee hike of around 30% in June to 1,400 yen ($13.68) for packages up to 500 grams has raised headwinds to the service's use. Nippon Express will keep fees for similar items around 1,000 yen, aiming to pick up customers put off by the increase. Both services take four to six days for delivery in China.

Nippon Express and Alibaba will also take on the complex business of dealing with customs for companies on TMall. China updated rules on cross-border e-commerce in April and now requires such information as what is being shipped, prices and logistics to be submitted electronically. Nippon Express will be the first Japanese logistics company to create a digital link with Alibaba allowing this data to be combined and submitted in one neat package.

China's cross-border e-commerce retail market is expected to grow roughly twelvefold from 2014 levels to $245 billion in 2020, according to U.S. professional services company Accenture.

A number of Japanese companies are competing to offer better and cheaper shipping options to China, creating new chances for even smaller businesses here to access that enormous market. Yamato Holdings inked a partnership in April with companies including JD.com, TMall's smaller rival, to offer international shipping and home delivery. ANA Holdings plans to offer a service handling everything from customs procedures to delivery starting in September.

Such Japanese products as cosmetics and household goods have gained a sterling reputation for safety and quality in China. Consumers there are on track to buy 2.33 trillion yen ($22.8 billion) in goods from Japan online in 2019, according to the Japanese trade ministry. This is roughly triple the 2015 level.

E-commerce is growing more important to Japanese companies as a source of continuous demand from China. This stands in contrast to consumption by Chinese tourists in Japan, who have been spending less per capita of late.

(Nikkei)

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Toyota ready to remake itself as IT transforms autos www.asia.nikkei.com

TOKYO -- Huge changes sweeping the auto industry -- from the development of driverless cars to the ride-sharing boom -- are forcing carmakers to compete not only against themselves but, increasingly, with tech companies.

Even a giant like Toyota Motor is feeling the heat. The Japanese automaker has been in talks with Google, the U.S. search powerhouse, on and off for about five years now. They are said to be discussing data terminals to be fitted in Toyota cars, among other things.

"They want data but we can't let them cross that line," a Toyota official said. A 21st-century version of the titanic tie-up seen between Toyota and General Motors of the U.S. back in the early 1980s has yet to materialize.

Connectivity is key

The increasingly overlapping interests of the auto and information technology industries is a reflection of the structural changes occurring in carmaking.

"In addition to driving, turning and stopping, 'connecting' will be [a basic] function" of an automobile, Toyota President Akio Toyoda has been quoted as saying. With semiconductors becoming ever more advanced and cheaper to produce, efforts to use them as a data-gathering tool for cars are in full swing. For Google, which wants to create new services by collecting a huge assortment of information, the idea of accessing the vast data provided by Toyota cars is attractive.

"If we had data on the status of windshield wipers on all vehicles, we could understand detailed weather conditions in different places," said a Toyota employee while sifting through information collected by sensors that come standard in its passenger vehicles in Japan and the U.S. Another employee mentioned how a sensor has picked up a long line forming at a recently opened shop. That kind of data collection, if applied to tens of millions of Toyota cars across the world, could spur the creation of countless new businesses.

"In five or 10 years, we may end up being a different company," said Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada. As a company that started out as a maker of textile machines about 90 years ago, Toyota knows a thing or two about change.

Toyota has propelled itself to the top of the automaking pyramid with the help of what are essentially low-tech techniques, such as the kaizen strategy of continuous improvement, and the suriawase method of integration and coordination among parts from different manufacturers. But it may have to radically transform itself if it wants to thrive in the new era.

Toyota is not wasting any time trying to adapt. Last November, it set up a fund with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and others to invest in new technologies. Two months later, it launched a subsidiary in Silicon Valley to study artificial intelligence because it "couldn't find the necessary talent in Japan," Uchiyamada explained. Toyota's go-it-alone mentality is fading fast, it seems.

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Uber to sell China business to taxi app rival Didi www.rt.com

US taxi service Uber has sold its business in China to the dominant ride-hailing service in the country Didi Chuxing. The $35 billion deal will end heated competition between the two firms.

Under the terms of the merger, Didi will make a $1 billion investment in San Francisco-based Uber which operates globally outside China. Uber China's investors will get a 20 percent stake in the new company, AFP cited Didi statement.

Didi CEO Cheng Wei said the two companies "have learned a great deal from each other over the past two years in China’s burgeoning new economy."

“Uber and Didi Chuxing are investing billions of dollars in China, and both companies have yet to turn a profit there,” Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of Uber, wrote in a blog post obtained by Bloomberg. “Getting to profitability is the only way to build a sustainable business that can best serve Chinese riders, drivers and cities over the long-term,” he added.

Uber has been struggling to gain a foothold in China. The company said it was losing more than $1 billion a year in the country.

Didi and Uber China have been in a battle to attract global investment. In June, Didi closed a $7.3 billion financing round that included investment from the US technology giant Apple and the world’s largest e-commerce platform Alibaba.

Uber raised $3.5 billion from the investment arm of Saudi Arabia as part of a financing round of more than $5 billion.

Didi Chuxing, previously known as Didi Kuaidi, works with more than 14 million drivers in about 400 Chinese cities, and has 300 million users who place 11 million ride orders a day. According to the company, which claims to have 87 percent of the Chinese market, it completed 1.4 billion rides in 2015.

Didi has already agreed to work with other online taxi services, including US’s Lyft, India’s Ola and Southeast Asia’s Grab.

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China Tells Sri Lanka: We Want Our Money, Not Your Empty Airport www.forbes.com

Sri Lanka has a debt problem. After more than a decade of taking out huge loans to build large-scale infrastructure — most of which hasn’t yet produced adequate returns — the country is now struggling to make payments, and is looking for another way out.

A potential exit strategy was to offer China debt for equity swaps, which Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe recently proposed to China’s Ambassador Yi Xianliang. China was offered varying degrees of control over some of Sri Lanka’s biggest infrastructure projects, including Mattala International Airport and portions of the Hambantota deep sea port, and Sri Lanka would receive some debt relief.

China’s response to this offer was publicized earlier today in Colombo’s Sunday Times: We’re not interested. The Chinese ambassador replied that “it was not possible according to China’s laws.”

However, China was clear that it extends its “fullest cooperation” and that such deals should be conducted via investors on proper commercial terms.

This point is key: while China’s government will not swap debt for equity they will help clear the road for Chinese companies to take over key projects in Sri Lanka. IZP, a Chinese informational technology company, has been put forward as a potential purchaser of Mattala International Airport, while COSCO is looking into expanding operations at the Hambantota deep sea port.

The problem, both for Sri Lanka and for any would-be investor, is that many of the large projects in question are losing money fast, and may ultimately prove to be economically unsustainable — at least without a massive amount of additional investment, more infrastructure, and a miracle or two. With just two flights per day, Mattala International is more than likely the most underused international airport on the planet and the Hambantota port is also running at severe under-capacity, while the brand new and fully modern highways that run through this region are mostly devoid of vehicles.

However, not all hope is lost for these projects — yet. Although China declined a debt for equity swap, their participation in Sri Lanka’s infrastructure development is more than likely just getting started. Colombo Port City has been green-lighted once again and just last week China requested 15,000 acres of land in Hambantota for the building of a massive, million worker special economic zone. The latter seems to run flush with the original Hambantota idea:

“If you’re going to have a bulk port you need to have industry around the bulk port to take advantage of it,” said Deshal de Mel, a senior economist at Hayleys Plc in Colombo. “That is where the whole idea comes from; that we’ll have industry coming in to kind of match up to the port. So the shipping port can still be made to work if they can get the right industries to invest in it.”

Sri Lanka’s debt situation is severe. The country is currently in $58.3 billion deep to foreign financiers, and 95.4% of all government revenue is currently going towards paying back its loans. This means that out of every hundred dollars the government brings in only $4.60 is going towards essentials like education and public services.

Beyond China, Sri Lanka has called for proposals from investors worldwide who may interested in taking on their Hambantota projects, just in case you’re looking for a challenge.

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