TRADE BRIEFS

TRADE BRIEFS

CARIBBEAN GROUP SUMMIT

EXPECTED TO DRAW 500PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago - The first-ever summit of the Association of Caribbean States, which opens here Thursday is expected to be attended by more than 500 delegates and observers, Foreign Minister Gordon Draper said.

The two-day conference of the 25-member grouping launched in July last year will focus on the issues of trade, transportation, and tourism. Preliminary meetings for the summit were scheduled to begin Monday at the Hilton Hotel where the summit will also be held.

At least seven Latin American presidents, including Cuban President Fidel Castro, are expected to attend. Other government heads who have confirmed their attendance include those of the 14-member Caribbean Community.

Prime Minister Patrick Manning of Trinidad and Tobago will open the summit on Thursday.

TAIWAN CABINET PASSES

PLAN FAVORING INVESTORS

HONG KONG - A plan to open certain industries in Taiwan to foreign investors has been passed by the Cabinet, the Hong Kong Standard reported Friday.

The plan is part of Taiwan's bid to join the World Trade Organization by the end of the year, Kyodo News Service quoted the English-language daily as saying.

"The changes are being made to liberalize Taiwan's market so it can join the WTO," Wu Chi, director at the Economics Ministry's Investment Commission, was quoted by the daily as saying.

Industries that had been previously banned to overseas investors will now be listed as "restricted." A restricted classification indicates foreign companies must apply for permission and gain approval before investment plans can proceed.

The affected industries include oil refining, rail transport and power generation, it said.

AMOCO FABRICS BUYS

PLANT IN CENTRAL MEXICO

MEXICO CITY - Amoco Fabrics and Fibers de Mexico has purchased a plant in central Mexico that produce textiles fibers, company officials announced.

Amoco Fabrics and Fibers de Mexico, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Amoco Fabrics and Fibers, signed an accord on Aug. 10 for the purchase of the Bemis Craftil and Nitram facility in the city of Matehuala.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The Matehuala facility is located a few hours south of the industrial city of Monterrey and manufactures burlap and textile fibers for industrial uses. Some 950 persons are employed at the plant and are not expected to be affected by the sale.

Amoco Fabrics and Fibers, headquartered in Atlanta, operates eight plants in the United States and two in Canada.

THREE CHINESE BANKS

POST 1ST-HALF LOSSES

BEIJING - Three of China's four big specialized banks posted losses in the first half of the year, with only Bank of China in the black, the Development Research Center under the State Council said recently in a report.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the main urban retail bank, lost more than 6 billion yuan ($723 million) in the half. Only its branches in Beijing, Shanghai and southern Guangdong province made money, the report said.

It gave no details of the other two loss-making state-owned specialized banks, People's Construction Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China.

TECHNOLOGY IMPORT DEALS

RISE IN VALUE IN CHINA

BEIJING - China said it signed 160 contracts on technology imports with a total value of $2.26 billion in the first six months of this year, a 9.6 percent drop in number but 39 percent rise in value.

The technology imported was mainly for the energy, iron and steel,

machinery and chemical industries.

The country agreed to 102 deals on technology exports with a total value of $1.33 billion, up 45 percent in number and 136 percent in value terms.

Key export projects included subway cars and an electrified railway for Iran, cement production equipment and technology with daily capacity of 2,000 metric tons to Pakistan, and a float glass production line to Indonesia.