Voice of America : Economy (43)

Coffee Rivals Square Off in Italy Ahead of Starbucks Invasion

Two of Italy's biggest coffee houses are reinforcing their brands with flagship cafes in Milan near the spot where U.S. rival Starbucks is set to begin operations next year. Lavazza opens its first flagship cafe in the coffee-obsessed city on Tuesday, not far from the renovated 19th century palazzo ...

Economy Minister: Mexico Sees 'Elephants in the Room' in NAFTA Talks

Mexico's economy minister said on Monday a successful retool of the North American Free Trade Agreement would hinge on two or three complex areas that he called "elephants in the room," just days before the next round of treaty talks in Canada. Speaking at an event in Mexico City, Ildefonso Guajardo ...

US Trade Envoy says WTO Dispute Settlement 'Deficient'

The WTO dispute settlement system is "deficient" and has often ruled in favor of free trade that overlooks details of a trade agreement, U.S. trade envoy Robert Lighthizer said on Monday. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Lighthizer, a trade lawyer, made clear that the ...

Peru's PM: New Cabinet to Revive Slumping Public Investments

Peru's prime minister said on Monday that the country's new Cabinet will focus on reviving public investments as it seeks to mend fences with the opposition party that forced President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski to form a new government. Congress ousted the former Cabinet last week following a dispute ...

Federal Reserve Expected to Hold US Interest Rates Steady

U.S. central bank leaders are expected to hold the key interest rate steady this week, but they may begin trimming a huge bond-buying program that was intended to boost economic growth. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak with reporters about those decisions Wednesday afternoon, ...

Activists in Dakar Demand End to Colonial-era Currency

Protesters gathered in several West African capitals Saturday to demand their countries abandon the CFA franc in favor of a common African currency. Passions over the issue have been reignited since Senegal arrested and expelled an activist for burning a CFA bill at a rally last month. The ...

Activists in Dakar Demand End to Colonial-Era Currency

Protesters gathered in several West African capitals Saturday to demand their countries abandon the CFA franc in favor of a common African currency. It Is not a new debate, but passions have been reignited since Senegal arrested and expelled an activist for burning a CFA bill at a rally last month. ...

Sources: Google Offers to Display Rival Sites Via Auction

Alphabet unit Google has offered to display rival comparison shopping sites via an auction as part of an EU compliance order following a landmark fine for favoring its own service, four people familiar with the matter said on Monday. The proposal, submitted to the European Commission on August 29 ...

Harvey Recovery Czar Faces Limits to 'Future-proofing' Texas

The man tasked with overseeing Texas' Hurricane Harvey rebuilding efforts sees his job as "future-proofing'' before the next disaster, but he isn't empowered on his own to reshape flood-prone Houston or the state's vulnerable coastline, which has been walloped by three major hurricanes since 2006. ...

Irma's Damage a Reminder of Florida Economy's Vulnerability

Florida's economy has long thrived on one import above all: People.   Until Irma struck this month, the state was adding nearly 1,000 residents a day - 333,471 in the past year, akin to absorbing a city the size of St. Louis or Pittsburgh. Every jobseeker, retiree or new birth, along with billions ...

Brazil's Odebrecht Quits Argentine Subway Construction Project

Scandal-hit Brazilian construction company Odebrecht said on Sunday it has sold its 33 percent stake in a massive subway project in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires, but vowed to keep working in the country. Odebrecht is involved in a sprawling corruption saga and has already paid $3.5 billion ...

China Builds an ‘Orlando’ Aside its ‘Vegas’ and ‘New York’

Just a stone’s throw across a narrow waterway from the world’s largest gambling hub Macau, a former oyster farming island is being transformed into China’s newest tourism haven. Dubbed by some as China’s answer to Florida’s Orlando — a global tourist magnet with its ...

For Muslim Relief Workers, Faith & Charity Form an Inextricable Bond

When Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Coast, the Islamic Circle of North America arranged shelter. After it passed, they provided relief. Its volunteers — made up of immigrant and nonimmigrant, Muslim and non-Muslims — has opened minds and hearts wherever they go, to their shared desire to ...

For Muslim Relief Workers, Faith and Charity Form Inextricable Bond

When Hurricane Irma battered the Florida Coast, volunteers of the Islamic Circle of North America arranged shelter. After it passed, they provided relief — from flood-damaged homes in Naples to uprooted tree trunk clearings in Cooper City, Florida. Abdulrauf Khan, a Pakistani immigrant and ...

In Times of Disaster, Why Businesses React the Way They Do

During natural disasters, why do some companies open their doors to the community while other take advantage of its members? Tina Trinh explores the reasons why businesses react the way they do and the cost to their public image.

Cashless Dreams Feature Motorbike Bankers, E-wallets in Vietnam

Think of it as motorbike banking. For Vietnamese who live far from a retail bank branch, VietinBank scrambles scooters so its officers can meet clients where they live, tablet in hand. There’s also the strategy of DongA Bank, which decks out a van with four ATMs and parks it near factories to ...

In Times of Disaster, Why Businesses React the Way They Do

During natural disasters, why do some companies open their doors to the community while others take advantage of its members? Tina Trinh explores the reasons why businesses react the way they do and the cost to their public image.

China Bitcoin Exchange to End Trading; Currency Value Falls

One of China’s biggest bitcoin exchanges says it will end trading after news reports that regulators have ordered all Chinese exchanges to close caused the price of the digital currency to plunge.   BTC China said on its website it will “stop all trading business” Sept. 30. The ...

Leverage in Cambodia Key Question for US, EU

Radio Free Asia has joined the ranks of media outlets shuttered under the now almost blanket smothering of an independent press in Cambodia, as U.S. and European diplomatic efforts have failed, so far, to halt the county's descent into authoritarianism ahead of elections next year. The closure of ...

Research Points to Ecological Costs of 'Unethical' Chocolate

Your afternoon chocolate bar may be fueling climate change, destroying protected forests and threatening elephants, chimpanzees and hippos in West Africa, research suggests. Well-known brands, such as Mars and Nestle, are buying through global traders cocoa that is grown illegally in dwindling ...

Commerce's Ross: US Wants NAFTA 5-year Sunset Provision

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that the United States was seeking to add a five-year sunset provision to the North American Free Trade Agreement to provide a regular, "systematic re-examination" of the trade pact. Ross told a forum hosted by Politico that both he and U.S. Trade ...

Brazilians Toil for Gold in Illegal Amazon Mines

Informal mining in Brazil is seen by many as a scourge polluting the Amazon rainforest, poisoning indigenous tribes and robbing the nation of its wealth. For others it is a way of life. Brazilian garimpos, or wildcat mines, are operated by small crews of men, often caked in red-brown mud and working ...

Irma Pushes Florida's Poor Closer to the Edge of Ruin

Larry and Elida Dimas didn't have much to begin with, and Hurricane Irma left them with even less. The storm peeled open the roof of the old mobile home where they live with their 18-year-old twins, and it destroyed another one they rented to migrant workers in Immokalee, one of Florida's poorest ...

Venezuela's New Plan to Beat Hunger: Breed Rabbits

Venezuela's government this week urged citizens to see rabbits as more than "cute pets" as it defended a plan to breed and eat them even as the opposition says this would do nothing to end chronic food shortages. The "Rabbit Plan" is an effort by the government of President Nicolas Maduro to boost ...

Harvey Charities Raise More Than $350M in Less Than 3 Weeks

More than 50 local and national charities have raised more than $350 million in the nearly three weeks since Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast, and the disparate groups are trying to decide on priorities while some storm victims still await help. Distrust of large charities such as ...

Immigrants, Refugees Revive Depressed Neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio

The Northland area of Columbus, Ohio was booming in the 1960s and 70s. About 65 square kilometers, the area was a shopping and dining destination. Its centerpiece was the Northland Mall on Morse Road. “You couldn’t get a parking space at the mall at Christmas time,” Dave ...

Hurricanes Boost Inflation & Scramble Some US Job Markets

The two recent hurricanes that hit the United States raised inflation and puzzled analysts tracking job losses in Texas and Florida. Experts say the impact on the huge economy is "limited." Thursday's report from the Labor Department says overall unemployment claims declined 14,000 over the past ...

Immigrants and Refugees Revive Depressed Neighborhood

A large influx of immigrants and refugees certainly helps boost the population of a region. But they can also have social and economic impacts. The northern part of Columbus, Ohio - an abandoned wasteland in the early 2000s - has been revitalized thanks to the new Americans. VOA’s June Soh ...

Thriving Black Market Could Mitigate North Korea Sanctions Impact

Illicit evasion and a thriving black market continue to mitigate the impact of sanctions intended to deprive North Korea of billions of dollars in revenue and needed components for its nuclear program. The latest round of United Nations sanctions imposed on North Korea this week for conducting its ...

Musk Now Targets October to Unveil Tesla Semi Truck

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said the electric carmaker is tentatively scheduled to unveil its planned semi-truck in late October, about a month later than the billionaire had earlier estimated. “Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne,” Musk ...

Discrepancies in Cambodian Sand Exports Spark Fraud Allegations

An environmental group is highlighting discrepancies in Cambodian government data on exports of silica sand to Taiwan, in what the group's founder suggests may be a case of tax avoidance and economic fraud. Exports of another type of sand to Singapore were investigated after the same group exposed ...

Trump Blocks Chinese Takeover of US Computer Chip Company

President Donald Trump has blocked the acquisition of a U.S. computer chip manufacturer by a Chinese company, calling it a threat to national security. The Chinese-owned Canyon Bridge Fund has sought to take over Oregon-based Lattice Semiconductor Corp. The U.S. Treasury Department, acting under ...

Workers on Seasonal US Visas Tell Panel of Abuses

As Congress looks into ways to fix the immigration system, often with the goal of safeguarding job opportunities for U.S. workers, at least one immigration organization argues that current federal regulations fail to protect foreign visa holders from job misrepresentation, recruitment fees, ...

Pittsburgh to Be Site of America's Largest Urban Farm

Pittsburgh, once a dynamo of heavy industry, will soon become home to the United States' largest urban farm, part of what advocates say is a trend to transform former manufacturing cities into green gardens. The Hilltop Urban Farm will open in 2019, consisting of 23 acres of farmland where ...

Cameroon Forest People: Land Rights Abuses Threaten Survival

Leaders of Cameroon's indigenous forest peoples say their survival is at risk if they are further deprived of access to the lands that are the source of their livelihoods. Speaking in Cameroon's capital, Yaoundé, indigenous representatives said they had experienced increasingly serious violations ...

Gambia Turns to Private Maritime Policing

Gambia is negotiating deals with three private companies to crack down on rampant illegal fishing in its territorial waters, a senior official with the fisheries ministry told Reuters. Made possible by poor monitoring capacity and, in some cases, corrupt local officials, illegal fishing costs West ...

After IMF Meeting, Ukraine PM Says Committed to Reforms

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman on Wednesday said the government was committed to implementing reforms backed by the International Monetary Fund, following a meeting with IMF first deputy managing director David Lipton. Ukraine has so far received $8.4 billion from the IMF, helping ...

Tanzania Demands More from Mining Companies

Tanzania's government has been cracking down on irregularities in the mining sector, most recently confiscating diamonds worth $15 million from British company Petra Diamonds, accusing it of devaluing exports. And in July, the government demanded gold miner Acacia pay $190 billion in what it ...

Amazon Plans Mega-Warehouse for Mexico Growth Spurt

Amazon.com Inc. is preparing to open a 1 million square-foot warehouse near Mexico City, sources familiar with the project said, part of an effort to boost its presence in Mexico's nascent e-commerce industry. The new warehouse is slated to be built in the Tepotzotlan municipality about 25 miles ...

iPhone X Shipping Delay May Dampen Apple's Holiday Quarter

Apple Inc's highly anticipated iPhone X features a slew of innovations but delayed availability could hurt holiday-quarter sales. The much-hyped event on Tuesday unveiled three new phones, an advanced watch that can take calls and a new Apple TV, but die-hard fans will not be able to get their hands ...

Trump Spurs Congress to Overhaul US Taxes

President Donald Trump is spurring Congress to move quickly to overhaul the country's complex tax code, but he has yet to produce a plan. Trump, in a pair of Twitter comments Wednesday, took on the role of White House cheerleader for tax changes, telling lawmakers that with the devastation caused by ...

Conservative Aceh Shows Limits of Saudi Investment in Indonesia

It could have been game, set and match for Saudi cultural expansion into Aceh, Indonesia's westernmost province, after it was wrecked by a 2004 tsunami that caused devastation across the region. Saudi Arabia immediately sent aid to the region which, in the face of such disaster, might have been ...

Brazil Police Detain JBS CEO Batista on Suspicion of Insider Trading

Brazil's federal police detained JBS SA Chief Executive Officer Wesley Batista on Wednesday, as an investigation escalated into the role played by him and his younger brother in suspected insider trading ahead of a plea bargain deal with prosecutors. The brothers' lawyer, Pierpaolo Bottini, and JBS ...