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Foreign Ministry condemns killing of British aid worker in Kaduna

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Condemnation

Abuja, April 23, 2019The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the killing of a British aid worker, Miss Faye Mooney, a staff member of a non-governmental aid agency known as ““Mercy Corps”.

The ministry made the condemnation in a statement issued by its Acting Spokesman, Friday Akpan, on Tuesday in Abuja, describing the killing as “painful and sad.

Akpan said  the aid worker was among two persons killed and three kidnapped on April 19 at a recreational resort in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs commiserates with the family of the deceased and the High Commission of the United Kingdom in Abuja for the unfortunate incident.

“It calls on relevant Nigerian security agencies to investigate and bring the perpetrators to book.

“”The Ministry also wishes to assure foreign nationals working in Nigeria that the Federal Government is committed to guarantee their safety by ensuring the security of lives and property,” he said.

 

 

Economy

More integrated bonded areas approved in China to stabilise foreign trade

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China has recently approved some new integrated bonded areas in an effort to stabilise foreign trade.

Since May this year, a total of 16 integrated bonded areas had been intensively approved by the authorities, according to Xinhua-run Shanghai Securities News on Thursday, after sorting out information released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

“As a special customs supervision area with the highest opening level, most preferential policies, the most complete functions and the most simplified procedures in China, the integrated bonded area is of important significance to the country’s efforts to stabilise foreign investment and foreign trade this year.

‘’For example, Ningbo, a costal city in east China’s Zhejiang Province, is one of the top five cities in China in terms of the exports.

Ningbo Meishan bonded area, Ningbo Export Processing Zone (NEPZ), and Cixi Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) have recently been approved as Meishan integrated bonded area, Beilungang integrated bonded area and Qianwan integrated bonded area,” the report says.

Deputy director Ningbo Customs, Sun Xiangyang, during an online interview held by the GAC on Wednesday, said they would take the opportunity of the transformation and upgrading of the special customs supervision areas into the integrated bonded areas to give full play to the role of the integrated bonded areas in coordinating the international and domestic markets, actively deepen the improvement of processes and systems, and support development of the e-commerce companies.

He said in some regions, the bonded logistics parks have been upgraded to become integrated bonded areas.

For instance, Guangzhou Bonded Logistics Park was integrated and optimised into Guangzhou Huangpu integrated bonded area; Xiamen Xiangyu Bonded Logistics Park was upgraded to the first integrated bonded area in Xiamen, a city in southeast China’s Fujian Province.

Xiangyang, said, in addition to the integrated bonded areas recently approved on China’s eastern coast, some integrated bonded areas in central and western regions, such as Luoyang, Jinggangshan and Guanzhong, had also been approved recently.

According to customs statistics, the import and export value of special customs areas, including the integrated bonded areas, amount to 1.18 trillion yuan, bucking the decline trend and representing an increase of 2.1 per cent in the first quarter.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Phuket hotels to fully open for Thai visitors as foreign travelers reduce

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Most hotels in Thailand’s Phuket will fully open for Thai visitors as fewer foreign guests are expected to arrive amid the COVID-19 outbreak, said a leading hotelier on Thursday.

The hotels in beachfront and seaside areas of the tourist island in southern Thailand will be fully serviceable for Thais by the middle of this month with anti-pandemic measures in place, according to Kongsak Khuphongsakorn, president of the Thai Hotels Association Southern Chapter.

Phuket has eased up lockdown measures and allowed road travel in and out of the island, and most hotels have prepared to serve guests, particularly the Thais, who are largely expected to arrive between June and September, Kongsak said.

He said many hotels in Phuket will offer a steep cut in room rates for Thai guests in response to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which plans to promote domestic tourism nationwide.

The TAT has set the Safety and Health Administration Criteria for all hotels and tourist facilities to strictly follow to stem the pandemic.

Phuket has welcomed some 14 million visitors yearly, among whom about five millions are Thais.

Foreign visitors are not expected to visit Phuket or Thailand for several months due to the pandemic, as visitors from the high-risk areas will be subject to a 14-day self quarantine once arriving in Thailand.

(XINHUA)

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Interview: Syrian deputy FM says China’s legislation on national security brooks no foreign interference

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Syria respects China‘s right to legislate to safeguard national security, which brooks no foreign interference, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has said.

In an interview with Xinhua Wednesday, Mekdad voiced his country’s support for China‘s national security legislation for its Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

Last week, Chinese lawmakers voted overwhelmingly at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress, the top legislature, to approve a decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security.

In response, the U.S. authorities have threatened to cancel their special trade treatment for Hong Kong. The threats are considered by the Syrian government as interference in China‘s internal affairs, Mekdad said.

“Each country has the right to legislate for itself and China is not an exception,” he said, adding that no other country has the right to interfere with the legislation enacted by the Chinese government.

Mekdad said Syria “strongly supports the decisions” made by the Chinese legislature, noting that it is the right of the Chinese people and their representatives.

Stressing that Hong Kong is “part and parcel of China,” he said the Syrian government respects the one-China principle and fully supports the efforts of the Chinese government to protect the interests and security of the Chinese people and of China as a country.

Mekdad said the Chinese government has done a “great job” by doing its best to not only end the colonization in Hong Kong, but also maintain security in the special administrative region.

China is following a correct policy of “reintegrating all parts of China into the homeland,” he said. “In Syria, we believe in one China.”

The deputy foreign minister said he thinks that the overwhelming majority of the people in Hong Kong support the legislation on national security, noting that China will succeed in its efforts to stay united.

Mekdad also voiced his belief that China has always been a defender of world peace and security.

China, as an active member of the United Nations Security Council, has played an important and decisive role in maintaining world peace and security, he said.

(XINHUA)

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S.Korea’s foreign reserves rise to 407.3 bln USD in May

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South Korea‘s foreign reserves rose for two straight months in May as the weak U.S. dollar raised the conversion value of non-dollar assets, central bank data showed Wednesday.

Foreign reserves amounted to 407.3 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of May, up 3.33 billion dollars from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). It increased by 3.77 billion dollars in April.

The expansion came as the dollar weakness lifted the conversion value of non-dollar assets.

The country’s foreign reserves were composed of 365.71 billion dollars of securities, 30.01 billion dollars of deposits, 4.79 billion dollars of gold bullion, 2.8 billion dollars of special drawing rights (SDR) and 3.99 billion dollars of IMF positions.

South Korea was the world‘s ninth-largest holder of foreign reserves as of end-April, unchanged from the previous month.

(XINHUA)

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“G7+” still lacks representation: Russian foreign ministry

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Holding an expanded session of the Group of Seven (G7) is right in principle, but the format still lacks representation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Any global affair could not be a success without China‘s participation, the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova told RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia agrees with the comments made by United States President Donald Trump that the G7 is “a very outdated group of countries,” which does not properly represent “what’s going on in the world,” she said.

Zakharova also praised the Group of 20 as an effective and well-established format, which includes both the G7 and BRICS countries.

She made the remarks after Trump said Saturday that leaders of Russia, South Korea, Australia and India should be invited to this year’s G7 summit.

(XINHUA)

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Indonesian security forces nab rebel for allegedly shooting dead foreigner in Papua

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Indonesian security forces have arrested a separatist who allegedly shot dead a New Zealand citizen who worked for the mining company PT Freeport Indonesia in the country’s easternmost province of Papua recently, a police officer said on Tuesday.

The rebel with an initial of TW was one of the 10 attackers of PT Freeport Indonesia which operates the Grasberg mining field, the largest gold mining and the second largest copper mining sites in the world.

The incident which occurred on March 30 also left two other employees of the firm injured.

The Provincial Police’s Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw said that TW, a member of the separatist group which the government called a criminal armed group, was nabbed on Friday in the province’s city of Timika.

During the arrest, Waterpauw said, the security forces seized scores of ammunitions, according to local media.

PT Freeport Indonesia has been frequently targeted by separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM), leaving scores of casualties.

The Papua-based OPM, which has been seeking an independence through guerrilla wars since decades ago, also targeted soldiers, police personnel and civilians.

(XINHUA)

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Spain receives no foreign tourists in April over COVID-19 lockdown: report

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Spain did not receive any foreign tourists or any income from tourism in April due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, according to data from the Spanish Statistical Office (INE) on Monday.

In a monthly report, the INE said this follows a drop of 64 percent in the number of international tourist arrivals in March, as the country closed to foreign visitors from March 15.

Meanwhile, the fact that travel restrictions remained in place throughout May means that the month that has just finished will also end with zero tourists from abroad and zero income from the sector.

By contrast, Spain welcomed 7.2 million tourists from abroad in April 2019, with each tourist spending an average of 990 euros (1,100 United States dollars) to generate a total income of 7,095 million euros during the month.

Spain welcomed around 84 million foreign tourists in 2019, with the sector creating around 12 percent of the country’s GDP.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said a week ago that Spain will end its quarantine restrictions to allow foreign tourists to return to the country in July. (1 euro = 1.11 United States dollars)

(XINHUA)

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S.Korea’s institutional investment in foreign securities falls in Q1

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South Korea’s institutional investment in foreign securities fell in the first quarter due to financial volatility caused by the COVID-19 outbreak across the world, central bank data showed Monday.

Outstanding foreign securities, owned by local financial institutions, stood at 317.8 billion United States dollars as of the end of March, down 9.6 billion dollars, or 2.9 percent, from three months earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It came as the coronavirus pandemic increased volatility in the global financial market.

Domestic asset managers reduced their holdings of foreign securities by 7.3 billion dollars, while the ownership by insurers and securities firms declined by 2.3 billion dollars and 10 million dollars each.

The holdings of foreign stocks and bonds diminished by 5.2 billion dollars and 4.9 billion dollars respectively during the first quarter, but the ownership of Korean Paper grew by 0.5 billion dollars.

The Korean Paper is a foreign currency-denominated bond sold overseas by local institutions or companies.

(XINHUA)

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Cambodia’s famed Angkor sees 65 pct drop in foreign visitors in 5 months

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Cambodia’s famed Angkor Archeological Park received 386,093 foreign tourists during the first five months of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, down 65 percent over the same period last year, said a statement on Monday.

The ancient park earned gross revenue of 18.02 million United States dollars from ticket sales during the January-May period this year, down 64 percent over the same period last year, said the state-owned Angkor Enterprise’s statement.

The park attracted 1,776 foreigners and earned 72,037 United States dollars from ticket sales in May, down 98.7 percent and 98.8 percent respectively compared to the same month last year.

Situated in northwest Siem Reap province, the Angkor Archeological Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992, is one of the kingdom’s most popular tourist destinations.

The remarkable decline in foreign tourists to the park was due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the country to impose entry restrictions for all foreign travelers since late March to stem the virus spread.

According to the Ministry of Health, the Southeast Asian country has recorded a total of 125 confirmed cases of the virus to date, with 123 patients cured.

(XINHUA)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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