China’s exports, imports pick up pace in September

China’s customs figures showed exports grew 8.1 percent and imports expanded 18.7 percent in September.(Chinatopix via AP)
Updated 13 October 2017
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China’s exports, imports pick up pace in September

BEIJING: China’s exports and imports surged in September, officials data showed Friday, providing President Xi Jinping a boost as he prepares to accept a second term as Communist Party chief this month.
Customs figures showed exports grew 8.1 percent and imports expanded 18.7 percent in September.
That compares with a 5.5 percent rise in exports and a 13.3 percent jump in imports seen the month before.
However, while the imports reading beat forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, exports fell slightly short.
The September trade surplus reached $28.5 billion (SR106.87 billion), compared to $47 billion in August.
“Today’s figures suggest that not only has strong foreign demand continued to prop up manufacturing activity in China but domestic demand remains resilient too,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, China Economist at Capital Economics wrote in a note.
But Evans-Pritchard said the figures were skewed because there were more working days last month compared with last year’s period, as the nearly week-long Mid-Autumn Festival holiday was held in September 2016.
It was the latest positive economic news for China after the International Monetary Fund’s released a report this week raising the country’s growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018 to 6.8 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.
However, analysts have repeatedly warned that China’s growing debt mountain still poses risks to its economy.
Xi is expected to secure a second five-year term as general secretary of the Communist Party during its twice-a-decade congress, which opens on Wednesday.


Iran anti-money laundering law faces challenge as deadline looms

Updated 18 August 2018
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Iran anti-money laundering law faces challenge as deadline looms

  • Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force
  • Foreign businesses say legislation that includes FATF guidelines is essential if they are to increase investment

DUBAI: A top Iranian constitutional body has demanded changes to anti-money laundering measures passed by parliament, state-run media said on Saturday, as Tehran nears a deadline to pass legislation to help it attract investment while facing USsanctions.
Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental organization which underpins regimes combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. It hopes it will be removed from a blacklist that makes some foreign investors reluctant to deal with it.
In June, FATF said Iran had until October to complete the reforms or face consequences that could further deter investors from the country, which has already been hit by the return of US sanctions. {nL5N1UY39D]
Hard-liners in parliament have opposed legislation aimed at moving toward compliance with FATF standards, arguing it could hamper Iranian financial support for allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which the United States has classified as a terrorist organization.
The Guardian Council, which vets legislation passed by parliament for compliance with the constitution, objected to four items in the anti-money laundering amendments and returned the measure to parliament, spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei was quoted by the judiciary’s news agency Mizan as saying.
Kadkhodaei did not give details of the four items, according to Mizan.
Earlier this month, the Guardian Council approved legal amendments on combating the funding of terrorism.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in June parliament should pass legislation to combat money laundering according to its own criteria.
Foreign businesses say legislation that includes FATF guidelines is essential if they are to increase investment.