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Asia Business: The Week Ahead - 2002-08-12


An American hotel giant and Taiwanese chipmakers look to Mainland China for new opportunities. Hotel group, Ramada International, a division of the U.S. Marriott corporation, plans a broad expansion in China. It will open 10 new hotels annually over the next decade to serve a growing number of business travelers and tourists.

It will sell the four-star hotels as franchises to local operators. Ramada also hopes to open both three and five star hotels across China to appeal to a greater range of clients.

In June, Ramada signed a deal with Air China, allowing its 500,000 frequent flyer-club members to accumulate points by staying at Ramada hotels.

Taiwanese chipmakers have a new opportunity to boost their earnings by cutting their costs. Starting Monday, they are allowed to invest in plants in Mainland China after the government in Taipei lifted a ban on doing so. This could be good news for Taiwanese computer companies, which suffered from weak sales in the month of July.

In Japan, the government is considering an $8 billion tax cut to boost corporate competitiveness.

In an interview with Fuji TV, Economy Minister Heizo Takenaka says lowering companies' tax burdens is key to achieving this goal. He says a combination of spending cuts and tax increases in future years will finance the rate cut.

Japan's corporate tax rate is almost 41-percent, compared to 10 to 15 percent in other parts of Asia.

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