Export Foods To China


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(CNN) — U.S. health officials said Wednesday they have found a contaminant in a blood-thinning drug produced by Baxter Healthcare Corp. that has been linked to more than a dozen deaths in the United States.

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The drug can keep potentially life-threatening blood clots from forming in the veins, arteries, and lungs.

In early February, the Food and Drug Administration launched an investigation and then a recall of some forms of the product.

The scrutiny began after a spike in reports of health problems associated with heparin, a drug made by Baxter from pig intestines at plants in China and Wisconsin.

Though the cause of the problems has not been determined, FDA investigators found “a heparin-like compound — that is not heparin — present in some of the active pharmaceutical ingredients” in both facilities, said Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The contaminant, which made up 5 percent to 20 percent of each sample tested, “reacts like heparin in some of the conventional tests used for heparin,” which explains why it was not picked up, she told reporters in a conference call.

No causal link between the contaminant and the adverse events has been established yet, Woodcock said.

She added that it was not clear whether the contaminant was added accidentally, as part of the processing or deliberately.

It also was not clear whether the contaminant was introduced in the company’s plant in Wisconsin or the one in China, Woodcock said.

Though she said the exact structure of the contaminant has not been identified, “it is similar to heparin glycans.” Glycans are polysaccharides, a complex class of carbohydrate.

She added it was unclear whether other heparin products used outside the United States might also contain the product.

Later this week, the agency will release recommendations on how manufacturers and regulators can screen for the contaminant, she said.

Last year, pet food made in China was found to be tainted with an ingredient that replaced more expensive protein and that initial tests did not identify as a contaminant. Asked if the heparin contamination could be a similar case, Woodcock said, “It’s possible.”

Doctors have used the blood-thinner for 60 years with “no history of any problems whatsoever,” said the FDA commissioner, Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach.

Its intravenous use can keep potentially life-threatening blood clots from forming in the veins, arteries and lungs.

Von Eschenbach said it would be “disingenuous” to expect the agency would be able to inspect “every institution in every case.”

Over the last fiscal year, the agency reported having inspected more than 1,000 foreign plants, a record.

Since the agency issued its report that 19 deaths had been linked to the drug since January 1, 2007, it has received word of another 27 deaths, “but many of those do not fit our definition of this type of event,” Woodcock said.

In all, the FDA has received 785 heparin-linked reports of adverse events — including difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating and plummeting blood pressure that can lead to life-threatening shock.

“They’re continuing to come in fairly rapidly because there has been a lot of reporting of this,” she said.

In a written statement, Baxter said its tests have suggested “that the root cause may be associated with the crude heparin, sourced from China, or from the subsequent processing of that product before it reaches Baxter.”

Meanwhile, Scientific Protein Laboratories LLC, which supplies the company with the active pharmaceutical ingredients, issued a statement saying it is working with the FDA, Baxter and outside experts to identify the cause of the adverse events.

“Thus far, no conclusions have been reached about the root cause,” it said.

“It is premature to conclude that the heparin active pharmaceutical ingredient sourced from China and provided by SPL to Baxter is responsible for these adverse events.”

It said that its voluntary recall of suspect product was being made as a precaution. 

CNN

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By Shapi Shacinda

LUSAKA, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Zambia will export 150,000 tonnes of white maize to a neighbouring country, agriculture and co-operatives minister Ben Kapita said on Friday.

Kapita, who declined to name the country where maize would be exported, said the planned export by the state-run Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would bring the total national exports this year to 450,000 tonnes.

“I have clinched a very good deal and I have allowed the FRA to export another 150,000 tonnes of maize to a country within the Southern African Development Community,” Kapita told Reuters in an interview.

He said the FRA finalised the export deal this week.

Kapita said total maize exports by the FRA this year would be 300,000 tonnes. Further exports by farmers, millers and grain traders of 50,000 tonnes each would push the total to 450,000 tonnes, he said.

Kapita said Zambia would only keep 250,000 tonnes white maize in strategic reserves.

He said the fresh maize exports had been prompted by lack of storage capacity and also to enable the FRA to repay bank loans it received to purchase maize from farmers, transporters and rented storage facilities.

Kapita also said most of the grain silos had been destroyed following years of neglect and the country did not therefore have enough storage facilities.

“Instead of letting the maize go to waste due to heavy rains, I decided it is better to export it. I also want the FRA to repay the loans, including the 35 billion (Zambian) kwacha ($9.2 million), which I gave them recently to pay some of the farmers,” Kapita said.

Kapita said Zambia had also donated 10,000 tonnes white maize to the World Food Programme (WFP) for relief operations in the southern Africa region.

“We have given the WFP 10,000 tonnes maize for relief operations and that does not include 2,000 tonnes which we donated directly to Swaziland,” he added.

The minister said Zambia was currently negotiating with the Chinese to repair dilapidated grain silos as the country started to increase its maize production capacity.

“Right now a team from the FRA is in China to negotiate the repair of silos. We want to build our capacity as most the silos have not been repaired since the 1980s,” Kapita said, but he gave no further details.

Kapita told Reuters in June that the southern African country of 11.5 million people planned to raise maize output to 4.2 million tonnes within the next three years from 1.3 million tonnes in 2007.

Zambia has revamped its agriculture sector under plans to diversify the economy and has become a net maize exporter after facing severe maize deficits in the early 2000s.

The country has in the last few years been providing subsidised pesticides and seed to small scale farmers in a bid to encourage them to grow more maize. (Reporting by Shapi Shacinda, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

Source: The Guardian

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Li Changchun (R), member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, shakes hands with Zambia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Kabinga Pande, also vice president of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), in Beijing, China, Nov. 14, 2007.  (Xinhua Photo)

Li Changchun (R), member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, shakes hands with Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kabinga Pande, also vice president of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), in Beijing, China, Nov. 14, 2007.  (Xinhua Photo)

 

    BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) — Senior CPC leader Li Changchun met with Kabinga Pande, vice president of Zambia’s Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), on Wednesday, calling on the two sides to step up bilateral ties.

    Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC), highlighted the development of China’s relations with Zambia since the two nations forged diplomatic relations 43 years ago. He said that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two nations had set an example for ties between China and other African nations.

    The two countries have shared a solid historical and social foundation to boost ties, Li said, noting that the two sides maintained frequent high-level exchange, expanded their political mutual trust and had forged close coordination on many international issues in recent years.

    He expressed his appreciation to Zambia’s long-term adherence to the one-China policy, saying that the CPC valued its ties with MMD and would make concerted efforts with the MMD side to boost bilateral cooperation.

    “I hope the cooperation will serve not only to increase mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and two parties, but also to help boost bilateral relations,” the CPC leader said.

    Pande, also Zambia’s Foreign Minister and a special envoy of Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, extended his congratulations on the successful convening of the 17th National Congress of the CPC. He said he hoped to fortify the friendly relations between the two countries.

    He reiterated that Zambia would continue to stick to the one-China policy.

    Pande arrived here on Sunday as a guest of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

    In addition to Beijing, he will also visit China’s economic powerhouse Shanghai and Nanchang in Jiangxi Province. While in the central province he will study China’s rural development and poverty alleviation, an official with the department said.

Editor: Jiang Yuxia

 

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-11/14/content_7075319.htm

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KARRATHA, Australia (AP) — For nearly three decades, Chinese peasants have left their villages for crowded dormitories and sweaty assembly lines, churning out goods for world markets. Now, China is turning the tables.

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Robert Yu, president of Chinese car maker ZhongXing Automobile Auto, presents models in Tijuana, Mexico.

Here in the Australian Outback, Shane Padley toils in the scorching heat, 2,000 miles from his home, to build an extension to a liquefied natural gas plant that feeds China’s ravenous hunger for energy.

At night, the 34-year-old carpenter sleeps in a tin dwelling known as a “donga,” the size of a shipping container and divided into four rooms, each barely big enough for a bed. There are few other places for Padley to live in this boomtown.

Duct-taped to the wall is a snapshot of the blonde girlfriend he left behind and worries he may lose. But, he says, “I can make nearly double what I’d be making back home in the Sydney area.”

The reason: China.

For years, China’s booming economy touched daily life in the West most visibly through the “made-in-China” label on everything from clothes to computers. But now, economic growth is giving rise to something more that can’t be measured just by widgets and gadgets — a shift in China’s balance of power with the rest of the world.

China’s reach now extends from the Australian desert through the Sahara to the Amazonian jungle — and it’s those regions supplying goods for China, not just the other way around. China has stepped up its political and diplomatic presence, most notably in Africa, where it is funneling billions of dollars in aid. And it is increasingly shaping the lifestyle of people around the world, as the United States did before it, right down to the Mandarin-language courses being taught in schools from Argentina to Virginia.

China, like the United States, is also learning that global power cuts both ways. The backlash over tainted toothpaste and toxic pet food has been severe, as has the criticism over China’s support for regimes such as Sudan’s.

To understand why China’s influence is increasingly pushing past its borders, just do the math.

When 1.3 billion people want something, the world feels it. And when those people in ever increasing numbers are joining a swelling middle class eager for a richer lifestyle, the world feels it even more.If China’s growth continues, its consumer market will be the world’s second largest by 2015. The Chinese already eat 32 percent of the world’s rice, build with 47 percent of its cement and smoke one out of every three cigarettes.

China’s desire for expensive hardwood to turn into top-quality floorboards for its luxury skyscrapers has penetrated deep into the Amazon jungle. For example, in the isolated community of Novo Progresso, or New Progress in Portuguese, one of the biggest sawmills was started by the mayor with financing from Chinese investors.

China accounts for 30 percent of the wood exported from logging operations in remote towns across Brazil’s rain forest, where trucks carry the finished product hundreds of miles along muddy roads to river ports, said Luiz Carlos Tremonte, who heads an influential wood industry association. Many Chinese purchasers now travel to Brazil to clinch deals, and are almost always accompanied at business meetings by friends or relatives of Chinese descent who live there.

“Ten years ago no one knew about China in Brazil; then the demand just exploded and they’re buying a lot,” Tremonte said. “This wood is great for floors, and they love it there.”

The Bovespa stock index in Brazil has climbed more than 300 percent since 2002, riding the China wave.

China is buying coal mining equipment from Poland and drilling for oil and gas in Ethiopia and Nigeria. It has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Zambia’s copper industry. It is the world’s biggest market for mobile phones, headed for 520 million handsets this year. The list goes on.

Along with looking to other countries for goods for its people, China is also going far and wide in search of markets for its products.

In war-torn Liberia, where electricity is hard to come by, Chinese-made Tiger generators keep the local economy humming. Costlier Western brands, favored by aid agencies and diplomats, are beyond the reach of small business owners such as Mohammed Kiawu, 30, who runs a phone stall in the capital, Monrovia.

A used Tiger generator costs around $50, he said over the steady beat of his generator. “But even $250 is not enough to buy a used American or European generator. They are not meant for people like myself.”

The Chinese generators are more prone to break down, Kiawu said. When the starter cable snapped on one, he replaced it with twine. But by making items for ordinary people, he predicted, China “will take control of the heart of the common people of Africa soon.”

China is having to make up for decades of economic stagnation after the communist takeover in 1949.

When Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping began dabbling in economic reforms in 1978, farmers were scraping by. By 2005, income had increased sixfold after adjusting for inflation to $400 a year for those in the countryside and $1,275 for urban Chinese, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

“The Chinese don’t want war — the Chinese just want to trade their way to power,” said David Zweig, a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “In the past, if a state wanted to expand, it had to take territory. You don’t need to grab colonies any more. You just need to have competitive goods to trade.”

If China stays on the same economic track, it would become the world’s largest economy in 2027, surpassing the United States, according to projections by Goldman, Sachs & Co., a Wall Street investment bank. And unlike Japan, which rose in the 1980s only to fade again, China still has a huge pool of workers to tap and an emerging middle class that is just starting to reach critical mass. Many development economists believe China still has 20 years of fairly high growth ahead.

But the transition to a larger presence on the global stage comes with growing pains, for China and the rest of the world.

As Beijing plays an ever bigger role in the developing world, some Western countries fear it could undermine efforts to promote democracy. In its attempt to secure markets and win allies, China is stepping up development aid to Africa and Asia. Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged last year to double Chinese aid to Africa between 2006 and 2009, promising $3 billion in loans, $2 billion in export credits and a $5 billion fund to encourage Chinese investment in Africa. China has also promised Cambodia a $600 million aid package and agreed to loan $500 million to the Philippines for a rail project.

But China also extends aid to states such as Myanmar, Zimbabwe and Sudan whose human rights records have lost them the support of the West. Actress Mia Farrow has labeled next year’s Beijing Olympics — a point of pride for China — the “genocide Olympics” because of China’s support for Sudan, at a time when the West seeks to punish it for its military actions in Darfur. China buys two-thirds of Sudan’s oil output.

“In some ways, it will be integrating us into a new international order in which democracy as we’ve known it or the right to open organized political activity is no longer considered the norm,” said James Mann, author of “The China Fantasy,” a book about China and the West.

China is also facing some of the unease that powers before it have encountered. In Africa and Asia, some complain that massive China-funded infrastructure projects involve mostly Chinese workers and companies, rather than create jobs and wealth for the local population. And Moeletsi Mbeki, a political commentator and brother of South African President Thabo Mbeki, likens the trade of African resources for Chinese manufactured goods to former colonial arrangements.

“This equation is not sustainable,” Mbeki said at a recent meeting of the African Development Bank in Shanghai. “Africa needs to preserve its natural resources to use in the future for its own industrialization.”

The backlash is also coming on the consumer front, with Chinese goods earning a dubious reputation for quality. In the United States, there is a furor over the standard of Chinese imports. In Bolivia, vendors peel off or paint over any indication that their wares were “Hecho en China,” Spanish for “Made in China.”

A woman selling bicycles in El Alto, a poor city outside the capital, La Paz, insisted they were made in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan or even India. With some prodding, she acknowledged the truth. “They’re all Chinese,” she said, declining to give her name lest it hurt her business. “But if I say they’re Chinese, they don’t sell.”

Even those who benefit from China’s growth express some wariness. Aerospace giant Boeing expects China to be the largest market for commercial air travel outside the United States in the next 20 years, buying more than $100 billion worth of commercial aircraft, U.S. trade envoy Karan Bhatia said in a recent speech.

“Right now, we’re hiring every week,” noted Connie Kelliher, a union leader. “Things couldn’t be better.”

Yet Boeing workers remain wary of China’s ambitions to build its own planes. next year China plans to test-fly a locally made midsize jet seating 78 to 85 passengers. It has also announced plans to roll out a 150-seat plane by 2020.

“It’s kind of a double-edged sword,” Kelliher said. “You want the business and we want to get the airplane sales to them, but there’s the real concern of giving away so much technology that they start building their own.”

That’s what happened to Western and Japanese automakers, which made inroads in the Chinese market only to see their designs copied and technologies stolen. Already, China’s vehicle manufacturers are venturing overseas, exporting 325,000 units last year — mostly low-priced trucks and buses to Asia, Africa and Latin America.

“We’re taking a bigger piece of the pie,” said Yamilet Guevara, a sales manager for Cinascar Automotriz, which has opened 20 showrooms in Venezuela in the past 18 months, offering cars from six Chinese makers. “They ask by name now. It’s no longer just the Chinese car. It’s the Tiggo, the QQ.”

China’s biggest car company, Chery Automobile Co., just announced a deal with the Chrysler Group to jointly produce and export cars to Western Europe and the United States within 2-1/2 years.

Given the speed of China’s ascent, it’s perhaps not surprising that China itself is trying to calm some of the fears. Its slogan for the Beijing Olympics: “Peacefully Rising China.”

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By BRIAN HATYOKA

SOUTHERN Africa Development Community (SADC) member states are working on modalities for the establishment of a single currency unit for the region by 2018, deputy executive secretary, Joao Caholo, has said.

Mr Caholo said that SADC had already created a Macroeconomic Surveillance and Performance Unit at the secretariat in Botswana to facilitate for among other things, the creation of a monetary union.Speaking in an interview in Lusaka over the weekend, Mr Caholo said that SADC member states were also working on reducing the inflation levels for the SADC region to single digit.

He said the committee of central banks was monitoring the region’s direction towards single digit inflation. Meanwhile, SADC director of infrastructure development, Remmy Makumbe, has said that the provision of quality infrastructure is key to sustaining growth in trade and business in the Southern African region. sadcmap.jpg

Mr Makumbe who is based at the SADC secretariat in Botswana said that improved infrastructure was important to facilitate the handling of imports and exports among member states.

Speaking in Lusaka when he featured on ZNBC TV’s SADC special program earlier in the week, Mr Makumbe said that the challenge that SADC member states faced was to attract additional investments to support infrastructure development.

“Infrastructure development is one of the key challenges that we have in the region and we are putting up measures to attract investment in this area,” he said.Mr Makumbe said that there was need to strengthen the Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the provision of infrastructure. “PPP is key to infrastructure development hence we are encouraging a lot of players to participate in the sector,” he said.He noted that Zambia was one such country in the region that had put up measures to boost infrastructure development and cited the development of the Kafue Lower Hydro power plant as one of the facilities aimed at mitigating the impact.

Mr Makumbe said that SADC member states were developing a framework that would support infrastructure development in various sectors of the economies.

At the same meeting, Transport and Communications Permanent Secretary, Peter Tembo, said that Zambia would ensure the implementation of SADC programmes.

Retired Brigadier General Tembo also said that Zambia had many trading partners by the fact that the country was landlocked. “The fact that Zambia is a landlocked country is a blessing to us because some countries have fewer neighbors hence they have fewer trading partners,” he said.

Zambia is hosting the SADC Heads of States and Government Summit in Lusaka this week.

http://www.times.co.zm/news/viewnews.cgi?category=11&id=1186984762
 

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br-01-2.jpgZambian small scale farmers can start creating co-operatives in readiness for a totally new market in Asia. On August 16th last year the National Bureau of Statistics and the National Development and Reform Commission announced that they had confirmed with the World Bank that China’s national per capita national income had reached US$1,740. 

Their disposable income per capita of urban residents increased 11.3% compared with the same period of the previous year, after deducting the price increasing factors, the real increase rate was 8.6%. The expenditure per capita increased 9.9%, and a real increase of 7.2%. Of which, the services expenditure increased 8.6%. 

This means that the Chinese economy is moving from an agricultural type we have always known it to be into an industrialized phase. With shrinkage of the grain harvesting area, with the loss of irrigation water, with desert expansion, with the conversion of cropland to non-farm uses, with the shift to higher-value crops and the loss of farm labor to the coastal provinces – China faces an uncertain food security future. 

In the North China Plain, for instance, which produces half of China’s wheat, water tables are falling by 3 to 10 feet per year, and China will soon be, for the first time in its history, dependent upon the outside world to feed itself. And that’s where the co-operative farmers from the Zambian Enterprise could come in and reap “GOLD” by aligning themselves with the future crop needs China will soon itself with.

But why co-operatives? It is because these (co-operatives) have the capacity to mobilize both the human and financial resources needed and work with the Chinese Embassy in Lusaka using an organized front while at the same time finding sister co-operative organizations in China to operate as export centers for them.

There are two kinds of China, the New China and the old China. The New China is highly industrialized, highly technical and highly cutting edge but it still relies on the Old china for food supplies. Old China is co-operative based and partnering with Old China would reap the highest benefits in a symbiotic fashion.  

Incidentally, nearly all of China’s foods can be raised in Zambia. For instance their favorite meat is pork, they eat a lot of ducks, regular hens from villages and whole food fish similar to what can be harvested in Lake Tanganyika, rice from Western and Luapula provinces and corn from Southern province. 

Cargo freight could start picking up food exports to China as early as next year from Lusaka via Dubai into Xian in readiness for Beijing Cuisine the following day.  China is a huge market and with 1.3 billion mouths to feed not even the Zambian Enterprise can feed all of them but therein lays a huge opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs … thanks a trillion. 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr. 

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle 

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