News

Sri Lanka and Taiwan Face Slower Economic Growth

Kate Pound DawsonMegan Larson

Sri Lanka has reported slower gross domestic product growth for the first three months of 2005 following December's tsunami, and Taiwan's economy also continues to move sluggishly.

Sri Lanka's Central Bank says the country's economy grew at a slower rate of 4.8 percent in the first quarter of the year. That was the quarter following December's Indian Ocean tsunami, which in Sri Lanka killed 31,000 people and devastated long stretches of coastline. Growth was down from 6.4 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2004.

The agriculture sector was hit particularly hard by the tsunami. Fishing revenue plummeted 77 percent, and plantation crops, including rubber, tea and coconut also suffered.

Despite the slow start to the year, the bank expects total 2005 economic growth to be nearly even with 2004's 5.5 percent expansion.

In Taiwan, an index of leading economic indicators rose eight-tenths of one percent in May following a drop of about one and a half percent in April. Taiwan's Council for Economic Planning and Development, which compiles the index, says the slight rise indicates the island's economy continues to shift to slower growth.

Thomas Yeh, vice chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, says the high price of oil has contributed to weak exports and an overall softening of the economy. He says the government is taking steps to stimulate growth.

"We need to take some action to boost the economy by increasing infrastructure investment. I think the second half of the year we will put all of our efforts to implement all kinds of the budget(s) and to boost domestic demand," Mr. Yeh says.

Government plans to boost the economy include a $30 dollar investment in new construction, $6 billion in small-business loans and preferential mortgages for first-time homebuyers.

McDonald's has some new competition in China. Burger King, another U.S. hamburger chain, has opened its first outlet in mainland China. In addition to its regular menu of burgers and French fries, the Shanghai Burger King also will offer burgers seasoned with a spicy sauce that is a specialty of southwestern China.

However, Burger King has some catching up to do. McDonald's has more than six hundred restaurants in China, and has plans for more

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs