Trade resumption

TEHRAN: Almost 10 years after an EU ban rocked the industry, Iran’s pistachio suppliers are looking forward to a bumper year and hoping to consolidate their position as the top exporter of one of the world’s choicest nuts. Iran offers the perfect environment for the pistachio tree and along with carpets and saffron the nut is one of the country’s most iconic exports. It is also of considerable economic importance as the third largest foreign currency earning export and accounts for some 50 per cent of Iran’s total agricultural exports. — AFP

B’desh to hold fair

AGARTALA: Bangladesh is planning to hold a mega trade fair in Tripura of India in March next year to boost business with India’s northeastern region. “Dhaka has taken a decision to boost trade and business with the region due to its close proximity,” Shaikh Qamrul Hasan, first secretary (commercial) of the Bangladesh deputy high commission in Kolkata, said. — HNS

Economic assessment

TOKYO: The Japanese government is expected to downgrade its monthly assessment of the domestic economy for the first time in 23 months. The assessment will say the overall economy is ‘recovering, although there are signs of weakness in consumer spending’ or ‘slowly recovering.’ It will be a slight downgrade from the economy was ‘recovering’, as stated in October. — AFP

Mahathir legacy ends

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has declared an end to the economic legacy and grandiose projects of his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad, in the latest salvo of their year-long feud. Leaders of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) threw their support behind Abdullah and rebuffed 81-year-old Mahathir during the party’s annual gathering last week. — AFP

Ban on alcohol ads

Bangkok: The hip-pocket of Bangkok’s entertainment industry, alongside its reputation as a hard drinking party town is taking another knock as the new government imposes further restrictions aimed at forcing Thais to cut back on drinking.

Starting in two weeks, the government will sharply limit alcohol advertising and raise the drinking age to 20 in a crackdown that has raised anxiety levels in the advertising, tourism and hospitality sectors. The regulations are the latest moves in a social order campaign, which was started by deposed premier, who imposed a closing time of 1:00 am on bars, limited the times when alcohol could be sold and tried to curb drug use. — AFP

Dr Sharma off to Laos

KATHMANDU: Dr Shankar P Sharma, former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC) is leaving for Laos on November 20. He is invited as a keynote speaker on the Regional Economic Development Strategy at an international conference on Local and Regional Economic Development to overcome poverty in Asia, states a press release. The international conference is being organised on November 22-24 in Laos. He is scheduled to speak on the lessons learnt from the regional development strategy and challenges, and interventions needed for regional development. More than 100 participants, including ministers and high level government officials from different countries are attending the meet, organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, GTZ, SDC, IFAD and ILO. — HNS

ADBL workshop ends

KALAIYA: Agriculture Development Bank Ltd (ADBL), regional training centre organised an orientation workshop at Kalaiya on Saturday.

Yogeswor Pant, general manager at the ADBL, on the occasion, also inaugurated a new branch office of the bank at Kalaiya. The workshop was aimed at giving basic information to its staff about various aspects of changes taking place in banking sector including dealings with clients in competitive financial markets, the ways of dealings among various staff and developing modern banking culture. — RSS