Asia & Austral-Asia

China Reopens Plans to Build the World’s Longest Undersea Tunnel

Two decades ago, China started looking into building an undersea channel to connect the northern city of Dalian to the southern city of Yantai. Currently, a bay jutting inland from the East China Sea toward Beijing lies between these two cities. The tunnel will connect the Dalian and Yantai directly, subtracting about 800 miles from …

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Could We See an End to China’s Dominance of Rare Earth Metals?

Rare earth metals are a group of elements found with moderate abundance in the core of the earth. There are 17 rare metals, 15 in a group called lanthanides plus yttrium and scandium. These elements are essential in many manufactured products, including catalytic converters for automobiles, certain petroleum refining equipment, television sets, cell phones, portable …

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Shipping Index Reaches Highest Gain Since 2011 on the Back of Rising Chinese Demand

The Baltic Dry Index keeps track of the costs of overseas shipping of bulk dry goods. A rising index indicates growth in the market, as prices go up when demand is high. Conversely, a lowering index means overseas shipping trade is down. This quarter looks to be the best gain in the overseas shipping industry …

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New Honda Plant Outside Tokyo is Prototype for Auto Manufacturing Facilities of the Future

Honda is preparing to open their first new auto manufacturing facility in 23 years. The plant is located just north of Tokyo in the rolling green hills of Yorii. It is one of the most technologically advanced auto manufacturing facilities in the world, making use of new automation technologies that can be used as a …

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Workers Strike at Chittagong Port, Crippling Bangladesh Trade and Killing at Least Half a Dozen People

Bangladesh, a major manufacturing hub of the garment industry supplying much of Europe, Asia, and North America with clothing, has been hit by a nationwide dock workers strike. Apparently, the workers were promised wage increases, but the money never came. The worst of the strike is centralized at Chittagong Port. Workers are also complaining about …

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World’s Second Largest DRAM Manufacturer Loses Up to Half Its Production in Chinese Factory Fire

SK Hynix is the world’s second largest supplier of DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips, claiming about 20 percent of global market shares in the industry. These chips are necessary to store data in computers, as well as mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and notebook computers. Hynix is a South Korean based company …

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Yet Another Bangladesh Factory Tragedy Spurs Worldwide Anger, Leading to Job Loses in the Country

The latest tragedy in Bangladesh’s dilapidated, poorly constructed, improperly maintained factories involved a clothing supplier, Tung Hai Sweaters, located in the capital city of Dhaka. Though the workers were not in the building at the time of the fire, a manager’s meeting led to the deaths of eight executives including the owner of the factory, …

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Bangladesh Faces Worldwide Criticism for Factory Collapse, Poor Working Conditions

The European Union, the United States, and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) have all responded with outrage at the poor working conditions, shoddy construction standards, and general incompetence of Bangladeshi authorities which led to the factory collapse that killed over 400 garment manufacturing workers last month. Until now, Bangladesh has enjoyed free access to European …

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China’s 4th Offer Still Unacceptable to Government Procurement Agreement Members

The biggest challenges that government procurement agencies face at any level are corruption and discrimination. On a global level, transparency and fairness standards are even harder to agree upon. The World Trade Organization created the first Agreement on Government Procurement in 1981 to make a set of globally accepted rules for international procurement.

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