Editor’s note: Outlook is CNN's in-depth look at business climates around the world. To August 12, 2012, we’re focusing on Singapore.
Singapore (CNN ) – At less than 700 square kilometers and fewer than 6 million people, the city-state of Singapore may be one of Asia’s smallest countries, yet its economic influence far outstrips its size. Next week, CNN will be focusing on Singapore for a special week of coverage in this blog and on TV.
The country is a global hub for exports, a financial capital and an increasingly popular tourism destination. Its GDP per capita, nearly $50,000, is one of the world’s highest, on par with the most developed countries in Europe.
That’s quite an achievement for what was a poor, undeveloped British colony just 50 years ago. The per capita GDP in 1961 was just $1,136. Author Michael Schuman writes in his book “The Miracle,” that “Singapore’s transformation from down-and-out tropical outpost to vibrant metropolis of international stature is one of the great tales of the [Asian Economic] Miracle.”
China gate-crashed the monetary policy party on Thursday.
Within a single hour, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank both made scheduled and much anticipated moves to pump more money into their financial systems. The unexpected guest was China. FULL POST
Hong Kong (CNN) – No research report in Hong Kong draws as many eyes and as much water cooler chatter as CLSA's Feng Shui Index, a pun-filled financial prophecy based on Chinese astrology.
Prepared by Philip Chow, CLSA's full-time transport analyst and part-time Feng Shui master, the report says to keep watch for a watershed moment in this Year of the Dragon. FULL POST
Hong Kong (CNN) – Billionaire Warren Buffett is giving China the old song and dance routine. Literally.
He’s recorded a video for this year’s Spring Festival gala which will be aired online for the Chinese New Year, according to a report from state news agency Xinhua.
Wang Pingjiu, a production executive from China Network Television says Buffett sings and plays the guitar in the video, but did not disclose what song is involved.
“We all know that Buffett is good at investment, but few knew he also did well in singing," Wang was quoted as saying.
Hong Kong, China (CNN) – A nearly 9-hour flight delay turned into a standoff at Hong Kong airport Wednesday, with passengers refusing to leave the plane for 5-hours until the airline agreed to higher compensation.
The incident underscores just how high tensions can rise in modern air travel with passengers and airlines jockeying it out in a low-frill, high-fee world. There is no global standard for passenger compensation in the case of airline delays and wide gulf can exist between passenger expectations and airline offers.
When Hong Kong Airlines flight 752 from Singapore arrived at 530 a.m. Wednesday morning, the airline says 80 passengers refused to get off. The travelers, mainly members of package tours from mainland China, demanded the airline increase the original compensation offer of $50 per passenger.
If you’ve always dreamed of seeing Tokyo’s cherry blossoms or Kyoto’s famous temples, or even the Anime maid cafes of Akihabara, the Japanese government wants to help turn your hopes into reality.
In order to boost visitor numbers in the wake of its recent disasters, Japan’s official tourism agency hopes to provide free flights for 10,000 foreigners to travel to the country. FULL POST
Hong Kong (CNN) – Antonia Murray, 17, spends nearly every waking hour in the company of an Apple device. She has an iPad, an iPod Touch, a Macbook and a Mac desktop. Among her peers at Hong Kong’s Island School, she’s no outlier though. She’s just an ordinary member of the Apple generation.
"I don't think I could last a day of school without my iPad. I'd be so bored” Murray says.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) – The hunt for heat is part of the lure of many Asian cuisines. China has its addictive, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorn. Thailand has the "do I dare" burn of the bird's eye chili.
In Cambodia, heat comes in the form of a Kampot peppercorn, tiny but bursting with spice and an additional depth that ranges from citrus to nutty.
Grown in the Kampot province in Southern Cambodia, this special pepper reached its hey-day in the mid-20th century, when chefs in Europe prized its unique strength and flavor.
The pepper disappeared off the world stage though in the 1970s, when the destructive Khmer Rouge regime isolated Cambodia from the outside world. Farmers neglected their pepper fields and exports from Cambodia were cut off. FULL POST
(CNN) – Japan's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner is finally about to be delivered - three years late.
ANA should have taken delivery of the high-tech aircraft in May 2008, before a series of technical problems led to repeated delays.
But this is not the first time the Dreamliner has touched down in Japan.
Back in July, it landed amid much fanfare at Tokyo's Haneda airport during a week-long test run. It was greeted by reporters, fans and All Nippon Airways staff carrying a “Welcome to Japan” banner. A ripple of applause even broke out as the pilots stepped off the plane, emblazoned with the ANA’s blue and white logo. FULL POST
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