|TOURISM IN ASIA IS BOOMING|
Tourism rates in Asia are on the rise as the region emerges from its recent economic troubles. Tourism has reached record
highs in many countries and prospects for the industry are optimistic for this year and beyond.
STARBUCKS EXPANDS TO HONG KONG
SEATTLE, WA - USA -- By the end of this year, Starbucks Coffee International will open five coffee stores/cafes in its 13th international location -- Hong Kong -- through a joint venture with Maxim's Caterers Ltd. (of Hong Kong).
Maxim's Caterers is Hong Kong's leading catering company, founded in 1956. Maxim's has nearly 300 outlets including Chinese, western and Japanese restaurants, fast food outlets and cakes shops throughout Hong Kong.
Starbucks had previously expanded its business into Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Malaysia, China, Kuwait, South Korea and Lebanon.
PARIS, France -- During the 15 year period 1983 - 1998, there has been a 4% increase of women in the French workforce. Women now represent 45% of all workers. Moreover, women are more prevalent in growing work categories (including white collar and executive jobs), according to a report by the Employment Ministry.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- While the Brazilian government denies plans for privatization of their state-run
oil company, Petrobras, the National Privatization Council approved the sale of 31.72% of Petrobras stock --
aimed primarily at small investors. This sale represents 18.5% of the company's capital and will yield about
US$4.5 billion for the Brazilian government.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- The garment industry in Cambodia is booming at the expense of its workers. As such, nearly 1000 demonstrators marched through Phnom Penh this month demanding that the goverment change the appalling work conditions and increase wages. One worker claimed she earned just US$30/month for a 91 hour work week.
The garment sector is Cambodia's fastest growing industry, employing over 100,000 people -- mostly young women. Estimated earnings in 1999 totalled about US$600 million with the US accounting for 70% of exports.
The same low labor costs which have caused unrest among workers, have attracted some of the largest and most prestigious
western clothing manufacturers to contract out production there, including US fashion retailer Gap, Italian sports label
Lotto and cigarette spin-off Camel Trophy.
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