Sino-Pak FTA talk

ISLAMABAD: The first round of negotiations between Pakistan and China on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) will be held in the Chinese city of Urumqi from Monday. Shahid Bashir, joint secretary in the commerce ministry will lead an inter-ministerial Pakistani delegation to the two-day long talks. The Chinese delegation will be led by Assistant Minister Yi Xiaozhun. — HNS

ONGC enters 51st year

NEW DELHI: India’s exploration major Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) marked 50 years of its operations on Saturday by celebrating its entry into the coveted Fortune 500 list but hamstrung by bureaucratic functioning in realizing its full potential that can help the country achieve energy security. The largest Indian company in terms of market capitalisation that has doubled its turnover from $5 billion to $10 billion in three years, has set an ambitious target of $50 billion in revenues over the next five year. — HNS

Car import policy row

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade minister says she wants a controversial car import permit scheme abolished — a surprising about-face after defending it stoutly amid allegations the policy was misused to benefit a few well-connected businesses. “To me, the entire system should be abolished,” Rafidah Aziz, the international trade and industry minister, said. — AP

MS wins patent ruling

NEW YORK: Microsoft has won a ruling from the US patent office saying that the software giant filed for patents on key technology used in the iPod five months before Apple. Apple intends to appeal against the decision. However, if unsuccessful Steve Jobs’s company may be forced to pay royalties to Microsoft on every sale. Since the machine and its variants account for 75 per cent of all MP3 players sold in the US (Apple has shipped 21.8 million iPods since October 2001), the potential financial liability is significant. — The Guardian