US money in P’pines

MANILA: US investors are planning to invest up to three billion dollars in the Philippines this year as the economy continues to strengthen, media reports said on Sunday. The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) said that investors from the United States would be putting up to three billion dollars of investments in the country’s infrastructure, manufacturing and information technology sectors, the Philippines Daily Inquirer said. —AFP

Thai economy slows

BANGKOK: Thailand’s economic growth could slow to its worst rate in five years as investor confidence sags and exports are hit by a strong baht. The Bank of Thailand did not release key economic indicators as expected last week, saying the figures were delayed due to a new accounting system, but analysts don’t need the bank to tell them the signs are not good. The sudden resignation of finance minister Pridiyathorn Devakula on Wednesday and the government’s apparent struggle to find a successor only deepened uncertainties. —AFP

Brazil, Japan trade ties

SAO PAULO: A project between Brazil and Japan to help supply Brazilian ethanol made from sugarcane to the Japanese market could cost US$8 billion, Brazil’s largest newspaper reported. The money would be used to take minority stakes in 40 ethanol distilleries across Latin America’s largest nation, ensuring Japan with a stable supply as it prepares to mandate an obligatory mix of ethanol in gasoline, the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported Saturdar.—AP

NATTA hails new bill

KATHMANDU: Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) has hailed a proposal for a new bill banning general strikes like bandh by all political parties. The new bill also has a provision that compensation to victims should be paid by concerned parties or organisers. NATTA meeting held today stated that such a move will send a positive message to tourists and others. —HNS

Iraqi industry’s hope

BAGHDAD: despite the raging violence, and creating lucrative openings for entrepreneurs brave enough to do do business here, a top US official insists. Paul Brinkley, the Pentagon’s deputy under secretary for business, has been touring Iraq for the past week with some 45 US business executives. —AFP

Cuba in Rio Group

GEORGETOWN: The Rio Group summit, attended by only eight Latin American presidents, debated whether to admit Cuba to this club of 19 countries of the region, before ending Saturday. To shore up the group and give it a permanent presence, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet wanted to create standing working groups on energy agriculture and climate change.—AFP