Foreign business news in brief

China the top Asian business destination 


SINGAPORE: China was the top destination for business trips in the Asia-Pacific region in 2002, reflecting the country’s meteoric rise as an economic power, according to the findings of a survey released yesterday.  

In a December poll of 5,479 people in 13 regional economies by MasterCard International, 21% listed China as the top business destination, followed by the United States with 20%. In third place was Hong Kong with 12% of the vote, while Singapore shared fourth place with Australia at 10%, MasterCard’s Asian Lifestyles survey showed. 

“The rise of China as the most visited destination of business travel is entirely consistent with the growing importance of the China market as a destination for both the region’s exports and investment,” said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, MasterCard’s economic advisor. – AFP 


GlaxoSmithKline faces 20 billion yen tax hit 


LONDON: GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the world’s second biggest drug maker, is facing an additional tax demand of 20 billion yen (US$171mil) from the Japanese authorities, but said it had the funds to cover the amount. 

“Like most companies, tax disputes do arise from time to time, but we believe that we are adequately covered to deal with them,” said Glaxo spokesman Martin Sutton. He added that Glaxo was talking to but disagreed with Japanese officials who said the firm had not declared large profits related to stock deals. – Reuters 


Japan non-financial firms see 71% profit rise  


TOKYO: Listed non-financial companies are likely to post a 71% rise in group profit on average for the current business year ending this month, mainly on streamlining efforts such as personnel cuts, according to survey findings compiled by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. – AFX  

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