As Channel News Asia reports, the Republic is Asia Pacific's second-most popular destination, with 11.81 million international visitors in 2015, according to a MasterCard index.
Bangkok clinched the top spot with 21.9 million visitors and Tokyo narrowly came in third behind Singapore with 11.76 million visitors.
The annual Asia Pacific Destinations Index ranks 167 destinations from 22 countries in the region - including island resorts as well as towns and cities - by their total number of international overnight arrivals, cross-border spending and the total number of nights spent at each destination, MasterCard said in a news release on Wednesday (Jan 27).
The study showed that the highest number of tourists coming to Singapore were from Indonesia (16.1 per cent), China (13.9 per cent) and India (7.3 per cent).
As TODAY reports, Singapore retained its status for a 10th consecutive year as the easiest country in which to do business, while emerging markets such as China and India moved up the rankings, according to the World Bank.
The World Bank’s annual Doing Business report ranks 189 countries based on 11 indicators such as the ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity and obtaining credit.
The 30 best performers stand out because they have rules that allow “efficient and transparent functioning of businesses and markets”, not because they have little regulation, the Washington-based development lender said in the latest report.
Contributing to Singapore’s high scores was its “high-quality judicial processes”.
“Resolving a commercial dispute through the Singapore District Court takes just 150 days, the shortest time recorded worldwide, and costs 25.8 per cent of the value of the claim.
Efficient dispute resolution is paired with good institutions (such as specialised courts), effective case management and sophisticated court automation tools,” the report said.
As Xinhuanet reports, China and Thailand agreed to speed up cooperation on a joint railway project, in an effort to ensure an early start within the year.
During Li's Thai visit last December, he signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to jointly develop a medium-speed railway connecting northeast Thailand's Nong Khai province, the capital of Bangkok and eastern Rayong province. The railway will also be a section of the planned railway running through southern China, Laos and Thailand.
"The railway will promote the two countries' economic development and facilitate trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between China, Thailand and the Indo-China Peninsula," Li noted.
He also voiced support for China's Belt and Road initiative and agreed to promote bilateral cooperation within the framework in the spirit of open and transparent.
According to Wang, the two countries also agreed to start a Lantsang-Mekong cooperation mechanism aimed to help countries along the river realize common development through complementary cooperation.
Pramudwinai said Thailand was willing to strengthen cooperation on water resources, drought control and disaster relief under the framework of the Lantsang-Mekong cooperation mechanism.
They also discussed relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
As the South China Morning Post reports, Hong Kong is the best place in the world for expats to advance their careers, but it ranks behind Singapore and Taiwan as a place to live and work, according to a survey.
The poll, conducted by the research firm YouGov and commissioned by HSBC, sought views from more than 21,000 expatriates from 198 countries over three months earlier this year. They were asked how they felt about the country or territory they were working in.
Hong Kong emerged as a great career choice, with more than two-thirds of expats questioned declaring that “Hong Kong is a good place for career progression”. The average salary of Hong Kong expats questioned was more than US$176,000 per year, about US$70,000 above the global average.
Yet other factors, such as quality of life and ease of raising a family, held the city back. Overall it finished 11th, ranking behind Singapore in first place and Taiwan in eighth.
Singapore beat Hong Kong in all three main categories: economics, experience and family. Some 80 per cent of expats in the Lion City reported feeling confident about its economy, while 60 per cent said their children were healthier.
Mainland China, meanwhile, ranked 27th in the survey,- putting it behind Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. New Zealand and Sweden took second and third places respectively, with Bahrain and Germany rounding out the top five.
As DBS Treasures reports, stabilisation but not normalisation has been our theme from the start of July - our response to the stock market turmoil in China of the past 1-2 months.
And it remains at the core of how we see Chinese equities. So rather than restate my views as published a few weeks ago, it may be worth addressing directly the questions I have received over recent days in response to the huge 8.5% decline on Monday.
Continue to read here ...
As Ecns.cn reports, the Australian government officially announced on Wednesday that the country will become a founding member of the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with a contribution of 930 million AU dollars (718 million U.S. dollars) as paid-in capital to the bank. Australia will be the sixth largest shareholder, said the statement.
The statement noted that there is an estimated infrastructure financing gap of around 8 trillion U.S. dollars in the Asian region over the current decade. "The AIIB will be part of the solution to closing this gap," it said.
The two ministers said in the statement that joining the AIIB presents Australia with great opportunities to work with Australia's neighbors and with its largest trading partner, China, to drive economic growth and jobs.
They noted that the AIIB will work closely with the private sector, paving the way for Australian businesses to take advantage of the growth in infrastructure in the region.
As for the governance of the AIIB, the statement said it will be based on best practice, ensuring that all members will be directly involved in the direction and decision making of the bank in an open and transparent manner.
As Ecns.cn reports, that the latest data released by China UnionPay indicates that the UnionPay cards international transactions reached 11.8 trillion yuan (about 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2015, while the number of VISA is 1.75 trillion U.S. dollar over the same period, meaning that China Unionpay has become the world's largest bank card clearing organization.
Currently, UnionPay cards can be used in 150 countries and regions outside China. It is accepted by more than 26 million merchants in the world. About 1.8 million ATMs have been installed worldwide. The total number of UnionPay cards issued is more than 5 billion. 40 foreign countries and regions have issued the card.
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