TRADE BRIEFS

TRADE BRIEFS

UKRAINE, MACEDONIA GET

COUNCIL OF EUROPE NODSTRASBOURG, France - The Council of Europe said Thursday it had accepted applications for membership from Ukraine and Macedonia, taking the organization's membership to 38.

It said the applications were endorsed by the executive council of ministers, and the two countries would on Nov. 9 officially join the organization, which monitors human rights and democracy in Europe.

Ukraine applied for membership in 1992, and Macedonia in 1993. The council's parliamentary assembly passed their application last month.

PT TELKOM TO SIGN

INTERNATIONAL DEALS

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesia's PT Telkom's decision to sign several pending contracts with international operators has lifted the uncertainty shrouding the firm ahead of its multiple stock listing next month, analysts said Thursday.

Ministry Secretary-General Jonathan Parapak said the contracts would be signed today, ending months of speculation that the deals had run into trouble after the government announced the winners in June.

The government had selected five consortia for the joint operations contracts to lay and operate about 2 million phone lines over a 15-year period starting in January.

Each of the consortia is comprised of local companies and cooperatives in addition to foreign telecommunications companies such as Singapore Telecom, France Cables et Radio, Malaysia Telecom, Australia's Telstra, NTT of Japan and US West International.

HEINZ BUYS FOOD FIRM

IN NEW ZEALAND

PITTSBURGH - H.J. Heinz Co. said Thursday its New Zealand affiliate, Wattie's Ltd., has acquired the Craigs brand of jams and dressings from Kraft General Foods New Zealand Ltd.

Financial terms of the transaction were not announced.

Craigs, which Pittsburgh-based Heinz said is New Zealand's leading supplier of single-serve products, also packs marmalades, canned beans, mayonnaise and sauces. The Craigs brand had annual sales of about $19 million.

Wattie's will incorporate the Craigs business into its J Wattie Foods Ltd. unit in Hastings. J Wattie Foods currently markets a line of jams under its Oak brand.

CELLSTAR FORMS VENTURE

TO SERVE MALAYSIA

DALLAS - CellStar Corp. Thursday announced the formation of a joint venture to enter into the wholesale and retail distribution of cellular telephones, pagers, and other wireless personal communications devices in Malaysia through its subsidiary, CellStar Pacific Pte Ltd. Singapore.

The venture was created through the purchase of a minority interest in Amtel, an established Motorola distributor in Kuala Lumpur, with cellular revenue currently running at a $36 million annual rate.

The joint venture, known as CellStar Amtel Sdn Bhd will distribute cellular telephones, accessories and other wireless products throughout the market in Malaysia, representing a population estimated at 19 million.

BEIJING SURVEY SHOWS

FOREIGN FIRMS PREFERRED

BEIJING - Municipal figures show 51 percent of all job applicants in the city favor foreign-funded firms over Chinese companies.

Among all employers in Beijing, foreign-funded enterprises account for 44 percent, state-owned enterprises 25 percent and collective, privately owned and joint stock 31 percent.

Statistics show 79 percent of job applicants have academic or professional titles. Among them, 74 percent can use computers and 43 percent have held administrative jobs.