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Posts Tagged ‘Singapore’

Military spending in South-East Asia

March 23, 2012 Comments off

economist.com

THE tiny island-state of Singapore, home to just over 5m people, has a well-deserved reputation as a quiet, clean-cut hub for banking, lawyering and golf. Yet beyond the fairways it bristles with weapons.

According to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Singapore is now the fifth-largest arms importer in the world, bested only by some obvious behemoths—China, India and Pakistan—plus South Korea. Singapore accounts for 4% of the world’s total spending on arms imports. Its defence spending per head beats every country bar America, Israel and Kuwait. This year $9.7 billion, or 24% of the national budget, will go on defence.

These are striking figures, but then Singapore has been one of the Read more…

RBS says CNY has the potential to become global reserve currency

March 18, 2011 Comments off

finchannel.com

The FINANCIAL — The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (RBS) believes Chinese Renminbi (CNY) can potentially become a world reserve currency comparable to the USD.

This is one of the findings in the newly released research report ‘CNH Market Guide: A precursor to internationalisation of the Chinese Renminbi’, the most comprehensive research yet to look at the offshore CNY market in Hong Kong, also known as the CNH market.

The combination of growth in the offshore CNY market and the sheer size of the Chinese economy will support the Chinese government’s ambition to internationalise its currency, according to RBS.

“China now holds 30% of the world’s USD9trn foreign reserves. The other 70% which does not belong to the People’s Republic of China (PBOC) could potentially be held in CNY. As China’s share Read more…

Birds vanishing in the Philippines

January 28, 2011 Comments off

By Cecil Morella (AFP)

CANDABA, Philippines — The number of birds flying south to important wintering grounds in the Philippines has fallen sharply this year, with experts saying the dramatic demise of wetlands and hunting are to blame.

Despite some harsh, cold weather across the Eurasian landmass, some waterbirds that usually migrate in huge flocks to the tropical islands have been completely absent, said Philippine-based Danish ornithologist Arne Jensen.

“The flyway populations of several waterbird species are in constant and dramatic decline,” Jensen, who advises the Philippine government on species conservation, told AFP.

“Hence the urgent need to establish real and well-managed, hunting-free waterbird sanctuaries along the migratory flyways.”

Candaba, a swamp two hours’ drive north of Manila that has long been used as a pit stop by hundreds of species as they fly staggering distances between the Arctic Circle and Australia, appears emblematic of the downfall.

Jensen said that bird watchers routinely counted 100,000 ducks at Candaba in the 1980s as they stopped there for a rest while traversing the East Asian-Australasian flyway.

But volunteers recorded just Read more…