Q: Why is Cisco expanding in India and China?
A: Cisco Systems is planning major investment in China and India as it
focuses its attention on the world’s two fastest-growing major economies. The
US firm intends to step up procurement from Chinese suppliers, develop its
product research capacity and launch several joint ventures. It has also made
a similar pledge to ramp up its presence in India, where it plans to triple
its workforce by 2012. Cisco said it was committed to “truly globalising” its
business. China and India are key battlegrounds for global technology firms,
because of their massive domestic markets and the attractive low-cost
manufacturing locations they offer. Cisco has been in China since 1994 and
claims to have invested an estimated US$8.5 bln there in the past five years.
Q: China’s steel output is up?
A: China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) forecasted that China’s crude steel
output in 2007 would reach 480 million tons, up 14% compared with the
previous year. Luo Bingsheng, executive vice chairman of the CISA, said
China’s crude steel output in the first nine months stood at 363 mln tons, up
17.61%, and pig iron output increased by 15.68% to 346 mln tons. Driven by
increasing international steel prices, China’s steel export amounted to 49.5
mln tons in the same period, up 73.2%, of which crude steel accounted for
more than 40% of the total. Meanwhile, international shipping prices for iron
ore have increased significantly, such as spot-contract commission for
delivery from Brazil to China which has rocketed to US$88.3 per ton.
Comparing with the commission on long-term contracts which is usually below
US$20, such an increase is “unusual and unreasonable”, CISA said. China’s
iron ore transporting volume takes up 46% of the world’s total, far exceeding
its shipping capability, which has only 30 bulk carriers for now, or 4% of
the world’s total, Luo said.
Q: What are they talking about at the transport meeting in Singapore?
A: Mostly about open skies. Singapore is hosting the 13th Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Transport Ministers Meeting that was opened
yesterday by premier Lee Hsien Loong. One of the key issues is the opening up
of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore air route, a sector that has been dominated by
Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA). Indeed, it is one of
the worlds most expensive sectors, with a return ticket for the 35-minute
flight costing some US$300. Few other city pairs are as costly (passengers
flying London-Paris and Melbourne-Sydney have far greater choice of fares).
Malaysia and Singapore are in the midst of opening up their skies to allow
budget carriers such as AirAsia and Tiger Airways a piece of the action. MAS
is crying foul but SIA says bring it on. The increased deregulation that is
forthcoming is likely to stimulate and significantly change the competitive
dynamics of the KUL-SIN route. AirAsia is the main beneficiary of this move
as the LCC has been dreaming about flying to Changi since it first flew in
September 2001. MAS stands to lose the most because it currently generates
over 10% of its revenue from this sector. Not so for SIA, with less than 5%.
The opening up of this market could reasonably reduce fares, at least 30-35%
to begin with. Some ticket prices during peak hours could potentially go even
as low as 50%, from what passengers are paying now. But as with many
accords between Malaysia and Singapore, the devil is in the details. The
ASEAN plan is to free access between ASEAN capitals (10 cities) by 2008. When
it happens, open skies presents both an opportunity and a challenge for the
regions carriers. While a strong airline such as SIA is able to take
advantage of operating more services, weaker carriers face the potential for
increased and stiffer competition in their home markets. ASEAN wants a Single
Aviation Market by 2015. The flight path leading up to that could be very
No significant events
答：大部分是关于开放领空。新加坡正在举办第13届东南亚国家联盟（东盟）交通部长会议，昨天，新加坡总理李显龙主持了会议开幕式。会议主题之一为开放吉隆坡至新加坡航线，该航线一直由马来西亚航空（马航）和新加坡航空（新航）所控制。事实上，这是全球最贵的航线之一，整个航程仅为35分钟，但是往返机票高达300美元。如此昂贵的城际航线不多（往返伦敦至巴黎以及墨尔本至悉尼的乘客有更多票价选择）。马来西亚和新加坡正着手开放各自领空，以便AirAsia和Tiger Airways等廉价航空公司能参与进来。马航高呼不公平，新航乐观其成。即将实施的进一步开放市场的措施可能会刺激及显著改变吉隆坡至新加坡航线的竞争动力。AirAsia 是主要的受益者，因为这间廉价航空公司自2001年9月首飞以来一直梦想能飞往樟宜机场。马航受影响最严重，因为其目前超过10%的收入来自这条航线，而新航不足5%。这条航线的开放将导致票价合理降低，一开始至少降低30-35%。高峰时段的某些票价甚至有可能较现价低50%。但是与马来西亚和新加坡签订的许多协议一样，细节才是关键。东盟计划于2008年之前开放东盟各成员国首都（10个城市）之间的航线。届时将为区内的航空公司带来机遇和挑战。新航等实力雄厚的航空公司可透过经营更多服务获利，但是实力薄弱的航空公司可能会在本土市场面临更激烈的竞争。东盟希望在2015年之前建立单一航空市场。要实现这个目标并不容易。