Economy

Thai tourists travel through Bhutan during a special off-season discount period offered this year.  (Courtesy of Adventure Planet Travels)

Bhutan weighs value of tourist income against disruption

THIMPHU -- Bhutan, the small Himalayan kingdom often described as the world's last unspoiled travel destination, is considering the easing of regulations that limit visitor numbers. But it is divided over whether the costs of this liberalization coul...

  • High growth in Asia-Pacific of high net worth individuals

    SINGAPORE -- The wealth held by high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in emerging Asia is predicted to grow at about 12.3% annually from 2013 to 2016, and at about 8.4% for their counterparts in more mature Asian economies, according to the Asia-Pacific...

  • Resignations could be turning point in Abe's economic drive

    TOKYO -- The resignation on Monday of two ministers in the Japanese cabinet over money scandals is a major political setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Not only have these scandals broken at a crucial time for Abe's efforts to rejuvenate the ...

  • China's GDP growth falls to five and a half year low

    BEIJING -- China's National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday the country's gross domestic product rose 7.3% on the year for three months through September, the slowest growth since the first quarter of 2009. Inflation-adjusted economic growth sl...

  • China's third quarter economic growth slows to 7.3%

    BEIJING (Kyodo) -- China's economy grew 7.3 percent in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday, the slowest pace since the peak of the global financial crisis in 2009. It is yet another sign ...

  • BOJ maintains most regional assessments despite tax-hike impact

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Bank of Japan maintained on Monday most of its regional economic assessments, downgrading only one of nine regions, saying the Japanese economy has been recovering moderately, despite some weakness following the consumption tax i...

  • India embarks on LED energy-saving plan

    NEW DELHI -- LED lamps use much less energy than conventional lighting, but they cost a lot more to buy. So the Indian government has embarked on an ambitious plan to essentially pay people to replace their old bulbs with LED lamps. The plan is b...

  • Japan pushes rice to snare a bigger share of global market

    TOKYO -- Exports of high quality Japanese rice are increasing to meet the surging global demand. Shipment figures for 2013 had exports at a record high of over 3,000 tons. If both private and public stakeholders work to overcome current barriers,...

  • Slowing housing development drags on China's growth

    SHANGHAI -- China's gross domestic product likely grew at a slower pace in the July-September quarter, as homebuilders slammed the brakes on their activity amid plummeting home sales. The quarterly GDP figure is due to be released by the National...

  • Signs of bubble collapse appearing in emerging Asia

    TOKYO -- The imminent normalization of U.S. monetary policy may spell bad news for investors. How bad? According to a recent report by the International Monetary Fund, the shift could see market players lose 8%, or $3.8 trillion, on their bond portfo...

  • Widodo reviewing fuel price hike plans

    JAKARTA -- Joko Widodo will tread carefully in cutting Indonesia's expensive fuel subsidies after his Oct. 20 inauguration as the country's next president, according to a leading member of his transition team. "We will calculate in detail the polit...

  • Weaker yen could start pulling small companies under

    TOKYO -- The yen's overall decline suddenly has the Japanese government fretting. The currency's weakness is about to take a big bite out of small and medium-size companies. Even Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the maestro of the weak yen, has begun s...

  • Crude oil's plunge offsetting negatives of softer yen in Japan

    TOKYO -- The recent tumble in crude oil is driving down gasoline and petrochemical prices in Japan, helping ease the negative impact of the yen's decline. The spot price for Dubai crude, a benchmark for Asian markets, has dropped nearly 30% from ...

  • Lawmakers eye allowing 'eligible' Japanese to use casinos

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A nonpartisan group of lawmakers seeking to lift Japan's ban on the casino business to boost tourism to the country agreed Thursday that casinos should be open to Japanese as well as foreigners -- but only Japanese who meet certain c...

  • Islamic State damaging Turkey trade

    HABUR, Turkey -- Turkey's trade with Arabic nations is suffering because of the expansion of the Islamic State. Intensifying battles and the worsening law and order situation are making key land transportation routes too dangerous to drive through. ...

  • Japan to market nursing products to Southeast Asia

    TOKYO -- Japan's health ministry plans to organize a program for officials from Southeast Asia to tour health care facilities here and see equipment and food for elderly care. It will do so as part of its plan to market Japanese style nursing-care se...

  • Chinese price growth slows on chilled housing market

    BEIJING -- China's consumer price index edged up 1.6% on the year in September, marking the slowest rise in 56 months, government statistics released Wednesday showed. The January-September average increase comes to 2.1%, far below the government...

  • Indonesia rubber woes highlight infrastructure deficits

    JAKARTA -- Amid a sustained fall in global rubber prices, the head of Indonesia's main rubber producers' group has warned that the industry faces decline unless President-elect Joko Widodo takes urgent action to improve the country's infrastructure. ...

  • Ex-Fed chief Bernanke looks back on crisis, ahead to future

    NEW YORK -- Ben Bernanke, who stepped down after eight years as head of the U.S. Federal Reserve in January, tells a story that captures in a nutshell the strange anonymity of his challenging tenure as the world's most powerful central banker. On...

  • Will Japan's consumer spending rise again?

    Tokyo -- Consumer spending in Japan has continued to be sluggish since the consumption tax rise in April. The government will decide by the end of this year whether to raise the tax again in October 2015. However, is spending strong enough to overcom...