July 12th, 2012
03:51 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – With China now the world’s second largest economy and increasing its influence all the time, it’s no surprise that Mandarin is becoming the language to master.

Just look at the case of the American lawyer who left his job, upped sticks and moved his family to Western China to study the language, the recent launch of the New York Times’ Chinese language site, or even Bloomberg’s ranking of Confucius’ tongue as top business language, excluding English – they all point to the importance of communicating with this economic superpower on its terms. FULL POST

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December 9th, 2011
03:28 AM GMT
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(CNN) – If the Chinese economy is slowing down, why is the country buying so much copper?

China has posted a weaker economic growth of 9.1% in the third quarter, in line with the "soft landing" of the white-hot economy Beijing touts.

Also, China missed its expected oil consumption targets according to a report by Platts, an energy consultancy.

According to the report, the estimated oil demand for the third quarter of the year has been this year's lowest, at 8.99 million barrels a day. A decrease compared with 9.33 million during the first three months of this year.
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November 23rd, 2011
05:04 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - Global economic uncertainty is bringing some good news for U.S. exporters, as traders in Latin America have seen a reduction in buys from China in favor of closer-to-home suppliers.

"There are signals of an economic slowdown," Mario Nigrinis, Principal Economist at BBVA Bank Hong Kong told CNN, "we expect a slight deceleration."

Mexico, the largest Latin American importers of Chinese goods with US$46 billion in 2010, has seen purchase growth rates diminish, from 20.5% year-on-year in the first half of 2011, to 18.5% in the third quarter, to 13% in August, according to data compiled by BBVA.

Brazil followed a similar path, with growth rates contracting from 37% in the first half of this year to 26% in the third quarter.
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November 20th, 2011
11:42 PM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - As mainland Chinese discover expensive wines and luxury cars from the west, so too grows the demand for illegal drugs such as cocaine.

And this booming trade uses Hong Kong as a conduit between Latin American producers and the burgeoning mainland China market. On September 18, local police arrested eight individuals, one of them a U.S. citizen, in connection with a 567-kilogram seizure worth around US$77 million in the local market.

“Historically, Hong Kong has been the center of drug trafficking in this region,” said Simon Young, Director of the Center for Comparative Law at the University of Hong Kong.

Amounts found by authorities have been increasingly large in the territory over the last years. A recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes said they expect consumption in Mainland China to continue its rise.
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October 18th, 2011
07:57 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – Colombia’s free trade agreement with the U.S. creates opportunities for Chinese businesses getting squeezed out of the North American market by the ongoing trade disputes between the world’s two largest economies.

For China, this is the opportunity to get goods relabeled as Colombian and enter the U.S. with zero tariffs. And as businessmen think about the new possibilities, many are rushing to rewrite business plans.

“The Chinese have their eyes on Colombia because it is the bridge they need to reach the U.S.,” José Antonio Mutis, Colombian Consul General in Hong Kong, told CNN.

There are still few details on how a final product can be considered South American. For now, officials only have a rough idea.

“With around 35 to 40% of the value of a product added in Colombia, it may be considered Colombian and enter the U.S. tax free,” an official at the trade office of the Colombian Embassy in China told CNN.
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September 29th, 2011
02:41 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - Chile and Venezuela, two countries in the opposite of the South American political spectrum, have something in common: both are interested in the Chinese yuan, or renminbi.

With the growing clout of the world’s second largest economy and the slow but constant strengthening of its currency, the yuan is an increasingly attractive choice for reserve currency. While there currently are restrictions in its transactions, the two South American countries lead the flight from the U.S. dollar in the region.

In its latest monetary policy report, the Chilean central bank introduced a new item in its balance sheet with the appearance of $91 million of the country's reserves in yuan. It's a first exploratory step, according to high-level officials from the country. "It's about 0.3% of the international reserves," bank officials said in an e-mail to CNN. Still, plans are afoot in Chile to increase its Chinese currency holdings, bank officials said. FULL POST

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