News in review Friday, September 27 to Thursday, October 3
Updated: 2013-10-04 09:19
Friday - September 27
China to enter trade-in-services talks
China will soon join the negotiations for an agreement on trade in services - the sale and delivery of an intangible product, such as tourism, financial services and telecommunications services - a Ministry of Commerce spokesman said.
"Consensus has been reached at home on joining the talks. It won't be long before China participates in the negotiations, and ministers from China and the United States have already consulted each other on the issue," Yao Jian said on Thursday during a news briefing. But he added it's hard to say when the pact can be reached.
The Trade in Services Agreement was led by the United States and the European Union, along with more than two dozen economies. The talks were launched last year to break the stalemate in the World Trade Organization talks.
Christie's holds first auction on mainland
The top lot was a ruby and diamond necklace that sold for 18 million yuan ($2.94 million). Picasso's Seated Man, sought by five Chinese bidders, fetched 9.6 million yuan.
The scene was Christie's first auction on the Chinese mainland on Thursday night that earned 153 million yuan without buyer's premiums. The Picasso was the first work by the artist ever auctioned on the Chinese mainland.
In an additional charity sale, Cai Guoqiang's gunpowder drawing, Homeland, which he created a day before the auction, sold for 15 million yuan, which will go to support the Quanzhou Museum of Contemporary Art in his hometown in Fujian province.
Christie's received its license to operate independently on the mainland in April. (Photo 1)
Monday - September 30
Shanghai launches 11-square-mile free trade zone
Shanghai launched its free trade zone as a model for economic reform and to upgrade the world's second-biggest economy.
The move seeks to free up the overloaded administrative approval system and introduce measures to encourage innovation and internationalization. Restrictions on foreign investment will be eased inside the area and interest rates will be set by markets.
Shanghai's top leader Han Zheng attended the inaugural ceremony of the pilot free trade zone on Sunday. Thirty-six companies were given licenses to operate in the zone, which covers more than 28 square kilometers (11 square miles).Enterprises will no longer need to seek government approval for many of the things they want to do in the zone. A fast-track channel has also been established to lure financial institutions. (Photo 2)
Expertise from overseas to be recruited
China plans to post the "help wanted" sign to recruit people from overseas with skills most in demand.
Liu Yanguo, deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, said his authority is identifying shortages in the domestic labor market. China especially needs people with expertise in management, technology and science, Liu said.
The list is scheduled for release next year. How and where it will be published are still under discussion, Liu added.
Wang Huiyao, director-general of the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing think tank, welcomed the move. "It's important to have such a list. It can improve the effectiveness of recruitment from abroad," he said.