Politics

Lawson to launch Thai business

Source: 
The Japan Times Online

Lawson Inc. is in final stages of negotiations on setting up a joint venture with the Saha Pathanapibul group, a major Thai retailer, to open convenience stores in the Southeast Asian nation, according to sources.

The plan is part of the major convenience store chain's strategy to expand its businesses in Southeast Asia, where demand is expected to increase in line with rapid economic growth.

Chinese firms wave the flag to cash in on Japan tension

Source: 
The Malaysian Insider

Chinese internet giant Baidu and companies across the country are tapping a frenzy of nationalist sentiment, launching patriotic promotional campaigns as thousands take to the streets to protest against the Japanese government's purchase last week of some disputed islands from a private owner, islands China claims as its own.

Be it to drive traffic to websites or garner customer loyalty, companies have rushed to wave the Chinese flag to try to cash in on the worst anti-Japan protests in decades surrounding the islands, called the Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China.

Xiaomi ties up with Taiwan's Foxconn to assemble smartphones in India

Source: 
Jakarta Globe

China's Xiaomi has joined forces with Taiwan-based tech giant Foxconn to start assembling phones in India, seeking to cut costs and grab a bigger slice of the world’s third-largest smartphone market.

The factory, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, is a fillip for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has championed a campaign to turn India into a manufacturing powerhouse to boost economic growth and create much-needed employment.

Japan's electronics unions to demand wage hikes in this year‘s labor talks

Source: 
The Japan Times Online

An umbrella body of labour unions at Japanese major electronics makers is set to demand pay increases during the 2016 shunto annual labour-management talks, said Shoji Arino, leader of the body.

At a regular conference of the Japanese Electrical, Electronic & Information Union in Yokohama on Monday, Arino said that further wage improvements are necessary to continue the current virtuous economic circle and maintain workers' living standards.

Japan to triple duty-free shops number in local tourist spots

Source: 
The Japan Times Online

The Japanese government plans to triple the number of duty-free shops in local tourist spots around the country to 20,000 by 2020 to try to lure more foreign tourists. It will also move up its 2020 goal of expanding farm and fishery exports to JPY1 trillion (USD8.09 billion), government sources said Wednesday.

Indonesia's plan to drop luxury sales tax could see prices drop for consumers

Source: 
Jakarta Globe

Retailers are seeing room to slash prices following a government plan to cut Indonesia's luxury sales tax on furniture, home appliances and electronic products, amid slowing demand and mounting pressure from a weakening rupiah.

Indonesia, where household consumption accounts for more than 50 percent of the economy, saw its weakest growth in five years between January and March this year, with the economy growing by 4.7 percent.

Woolworths's Masters accused of deception in battle of the big box hardware chains

Source: 
The Sydney Morning Herald Online

Woolworths' struggling hardware chain Masters has been accused of deception after it walked away from a deal to build a store in Bendigo to pursue another site in the regional Victorian town that it knew Wesfarmers' Bunnings chain was circling.

The Supreme Court stoush, which began on Monday, could see Woolworths managing director Grant O'Brien – who was head of the Masters roll out at the time - take to the stand to give evidence about the deal. The founder of Danks hardware chain Graeme Danks will also take to the witness box to explain his role in the transaction.

New fashion labels from Asia rapidly emerge on global stage

Source: 
CNBC

New fashion labels from Asia are rapidly emerging on the global stage as governments in the region bet on creative industries as new growth drivers.

"Asia is rising with a lot of young fashion talents and compared to overseas designers, they have a lot more support from the government," Singaporean designer Sabrina Goh told CNBC. "It's a good advantage compared to other regions like the U.S."

Australian womenswear chain Seduce survives wind-up bid by landlord giant GPT

Source: 
The Sydney Morning Herald Online

Womenswear chain Seduce has survived a bid to wind it up by landlord giant GPT.

GPT subsidiary Melbourne Central Custodian sought to wind up Seduce one month ago in the NSW Supreme Court, claiming the fashion chain owed rent for its long-standing store in Melbourne Central. The money has now been paid. A spokesman for GPT said the company had "been in discussions with the retailer and all outstanding matters have now been resolved".

China to curb visits to Hong Kong by Shenzhen residents, says NPC deputy

Source: 
CNBC

China will limit visits by residents of the city of Shenzhen to neighbouring Hong Kong, a politician and media said on Sunday, following recent tension in the former British colony over growing numbers of mainland visitors.

Hong Kong has seen a groundswell of discontent over the number of mainland Chinese visiting the crowded city where frustration with what many residents see as attempts by Beijing to restrict democracy erupted in protests last year.

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