SEOUL, Nov 11 - South Korean duty free shops and discount chains got a boost from Beijing's six-day special holiday for a regional summit as Chinese tourists visited the country for a shopping spree, industry data showed Tuesday.

Lotte Duty Free, the country's biggest duty free shop operator, saw sales at its Seoul branches soar 70 percent on-year in the Nov. 1-9 period.

"Weekend sales surged as Chinese shoppers visited during the APEC holiday. The trend is likely to continue into next year's Chinese New Year holiday," said a company official.

China is hosting this year's annual regional summit and has declared Nov. 7-12 as a special holiday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

No. 2 player Shilla Duty Free said its sales from Nov. 7-9 surged roughly 60 percent from the previous year.

Discount chains and convenience stores also benefited from an inflow of Chinese shoppers.

Lotte Mart's Seoul Station branch, which is a popular destination for foreign tourists due to its central location, saw sales grow 7.8 percent on Nov. 7-8, with sales of cooked food and health products leading the gain.

Convenience store chain CU saw sales at its branches in Myeongdong, a key shopping district, grow 8.4 percent, according to the data.

BEIJING, Nov 11 - The 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting kicked off here Tuesday morning.

Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted and addressed the meeting at the Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in northern suburb of Beijing.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of APEC, which has been the top-level and most representative cooperation mechanism that covers wide range of areas in the Asia-Pacific.

The meeting is expected to make four achievements, including the launch of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) process; a statement on the 25th anniversary of the APEC; promotion of innovation, reforms and growth to seek new momentum for long-term development of the Asia-Pacific; a blueprint to lay a solid foundation for all-round connectivity in the Asia-Pacific.

BANGKOK, Nov 10 -- The Ministry of Tourism & Sports is promoting Thainess to woo foreign tourists and this is part of its campaigns to raise the number of Chinese visitors to 5-5.5 million next year.

BANGKOK, Nov 10 - Thai tourists are expected to take the North and the Northeast by storm to experience cold weather and more than Bt48 billion will change hands in the region in the fourth quarter of this year, according to Kasikorn Research Center.

BANGKOK, Nov 11 -- Thailand's Ministry of Finance will present its inheritance tax bill to the cabinet on Wednesday, a bill seeking a 10 per cent tax on inherited assets worth more than Bt50 million.

It will also propose measures to prevent tax evasion.

BEIJING, Nov 10 -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Papua New Guinean counterpart Peter O'Neill plan to double their nations' bilateral trade by 2017. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 13:40

Thailand, China boost bilateral relations

BEIJING, Nov 10 – Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang vowed to implement a comprehensive to their bilateral relations.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 - Malaysia's world number one shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who failed a doping test, Sunday thanked his supporter for standing by him in facing a difficult time.

He also reiterated that he had never used a banned substance as a shortcut to achieve numerous successes as an athlete.

"There are so many unanswered questions and I hope to clear my name soon.I never cheated nor will I ever rely on banned substances," he said in his Facebook.

Chong Wei failed a random doping test at the Badminton World Chamionship in Copenhagen in August where he was the runners-up in the men's singles and on Friday, his Sample B also tested positive for the banned substance dexamethosene at the Oslo University Hospital in Norway.

Meanwhile, National Sports Institute (ISN) Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz urged all quarters not to make any further comments until the Badminton World Federation's hearing into the case.

"To comment any further would be highly inappropriate and disrespectful to the federation's procedures and may undermine our athlete's prospects at the hearing.

"I fully understand and respect the public's desire to be informed but ask to strike a proper balance between that need, and the critical need to preserve the integrity of our ongoing detailed investigations into the matter.This is of paramount importance," Ramlan said in a statement posted in ISN's Facebook today.

He said it was also important for the public to respect the athlete's privacy in facing such a massive challenge to his good name and reputation.

Ramlan also urged all quarters not directly put the blame on the institute for its failure in overseeing Chong Wei's medication.

"We do not feel compelled to dignify such negative, irresponsible and unproductive murmurings by according any response to them at this time. We would much rather concentrate our efforts to continue assisting our athlete in this terribly difficult time for him," he said.

"We would do well to support the athlete who has given us a lot of joy with his exploits through the years. It's best that we stand by him and wait patiently for this process to be completed, at which point most if not all questions will be answered," Ramlan added.

This was revealed by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) deputy president Datuk Norza Zakaria at a media conference yesterday.

He said that he has received the official result from the BWF, a day before.

Chong Wei could face a maximum two-years suspension by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) if he fails in his appeal to BWF.

SEOUL, Nov. 10 -  South Korea will contribute more than 300 billion won (US$274.3 million) to international organizations next year, nearly unchanged from a year earlier, the finance ministry said Monday.

According to the Ministry of Finance and Strategy, the Seoul government has earmarked 305.9 billion won for international contributions, up slightly from 300.4 billion won for this year and 304.6 billion won last year.

The exact amount of the contribution is subject to change depending on foreign exchange rates, the ministry added.

South Korea will donate 38 billion won to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), a member of the World Bank Group, with its share likely rising to 1.63 percent in 2016 from 1.39 percent in 2014.

The International Development Association (IDA), another World Bank Group subsidiary, will be given 142.7 billion won to support the development of low-income countries, the ministry said.

It will also bankroll projects of the African Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and raise the country's voting power in the international agencies, the ministry said.

The South Korean government has submitted a 376 trillion won budget for fiscal 2015, up 5.7 percent from 2014's 356 trillion won.

BANGKOK, Nov 10 -- Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) on Sunday auctioned more than 500 items of seized drug assets worth more than Bt100 million baht. 

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