International News: Asia

This edition focuses on Asia.

Ceramic Society of Japan Announces Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Ceramic Society of Japan (CSJ) will be held at the Ohkubo campus of Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, on March 21-23, 2001. The scientific program will cover structural ceramics, electroceramics, glass, raw materials, processing, bioceramics, materials analysis, cements, porcelain enamel, whitewares and education. The annual banquet and the Ceramographic Award Exhibition will also be part of the meeting.

For more information, contact CSJ at or visit

Nasdaq Opens Branch in India

The U.S.-based Nasdaq stock market, which specializes in technology stocks, has opened its first branch in India. The new Nasdaq office is in the southern city of Bangalore, the country’s information technology hub.

The vice chairman of Nasdaq, Alfred Berkley, said the new branch would open a window for Indian companies to access global funds. This is the fourth Nasdaq office outside the U.S., after London, Tokyo and Brazil.

Source: BBC World Service newsroom (

Tosoh Renames Nippon Silica Glass USA

Japan-based Tosoh Corp. has changed the name of Nippon Silica Glass USA, Inc. to TOSOH SGM, USA Inc., effective January 1, 2001. Located in Bound Brook, N.J., TOSOH SGM, USA Inc. will continue to be the sales and distribution channel for silica glass materials, zirconia powders and advanced ceramic products and materials in the U.S. for Tosoh Corp. As part of the quartz group unification process, Tosoh aims to further enhance its worldwide silica glass material line of business by bringing about a more efficient utilization of resources through the sharing of information and technology, as well as research and development and marketing efforts.

This renaming strategically follows the recent name change of quartz material producer NSG Yamaguchi Co., Ltd., to TOSOH SGM Corp., as well as the transfer of silica glass sales assignments from Nippon Silica Glass Co., Ltd., to the Tosoh Quartz Division. In addition, Tosoh recently unified all Tosoh-affiliated quartz fabrication companies throughout the world under the name “TOSOH Quartz.” For more information, visit

China WTO Talks Expected by March

Beijing’s chief World Trade Organization negotiator, Long Yongtu, said it was unlikely the next round of WTO talks would be held in February. He said that China wants to wait until all parties in the new Bush administration are ready before the two sides meet again. But he denied an Australian news report saying China may delay WTO entry until as late as next year.

“Given the atmosphere and progress in Geneva in the last talks, I still believe we can get in the WTO this year,” he said. “Which month is not important.”

After talks in January in Geneva, the next round of meetings was planned to take place at the end of February or in early March.

“If we are to meet, I prefer to have a good meeting. But because of the changing of new administration in the U.S., they may have new adjustments. We want to wait until all the parties are ready. It will be in March but we will not press for a date.”


India’s Industrial Growth Slows

Industrial growth in India slumped to 5.7% during the first nine months of the current financial year (April-December 2000), compared to the 6.4% growth achieved during the same period of the previous year. According to quick estimates of index of industrial production, the industrial growth for December 2000 also dropped, coming in at only 3.4% compared to the 8.1% growth achieved during December 1999.

However, mining and related industries remain strong, with the mining sector showing 4.1% growth during April-December 2000, compared to just 0.5% in the same period in 1999.


Vietnam’s Building Sector Remains Strong

Speaking at a recent conference in Hanoi, Nguyen Manh Kiem, minister of construction, said Vietnam’s building materials production grew 17.5% over the past 10 years, an increase of 5.5% over the average growth rate of the national industrial production. He added that it was noteworthy that the production value of cement, ceramic tile, sanitaryware and construction glass accounted for 84% of total construction materials production in the 1990-2000 period, compared to 75% reported in the 1991-1995 period.

Kiem said the country now has 32,450 companies producing construction materials, including 486 owned by the state, which make up 70% of the sector’s total production and 85% of aggregate tax payments.

Over the past 10 years, the population of urban areas has risen from 18% in 1990 to 20% in 1995 and 23.5% last year to 18 million.


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