Vietnam’s WTO entry

HANOI: Vietnam, which has failed to clinch accords to enter the WTO by its self-imposed deadline of December, will not set a new target date, a top leader was quoted as saying. “Now we think that we will not set a date. When we meet appropriate conditions, we will join as soon as possible," deputy prime minister Vu Khoan said. Vietnam is under no formal pressure to join the WTO by the time the global trade body holds its next ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December but Hanoi had until recently held that date as target.— AFP

Japan not to hike tax

TOKYO: Japan needs to resolve its decade-long deflation before considering an increase in the consumption tax. Hidenao Nakagawa, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council, said reducing bloated budgets and battling deflation should come before any talk of tax hikes. — AP

‘Open your market’

BRUSSELS: EU trade chief Peter Mandelson urged China to open its markets to EU goods and quell piracy and counterfeiting. “In Europe we need to open our markets open to fair trade from China, but that also means China opening its markets more to European exports, and of course to enforce intellectual property rights,” Mandelson said. — AP

Oil firms plan merger

TOKYO: Japan’s number one oil company Inpex and its rival Teikoku Oil said on Saturday they would merge next year in a bid to compete in the world’s oil exploration market. The two companies said in a joint statement that their boards separately had agreed the merger plan at meetings earlier in the day. — AFP

Airbus eyes Asia

KUALA LUMPUR: The Airbus superjumbo A380 makes its maiden test flight out of Europe this week with a three-nation tour of Asia-Pacific, a core market for the European jet maker as it seeks to woo more airlines in the region. But the trip is already off to an inauspicious start even before it begins. — AP