We must work together to ensure that big data, and the

e technologies that it enables, are harnessed for the benefit of mankind while minimizing the risks to devel

opment, peace and security and human rights,” Guterres said in a congratulatory letter to the expo.

Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said China has already made sig

nificant progress in bolstering the big data industry with a string of big data platforms established in sect

ors such as manufacturing, commerce, finance, transportation and medical care.

“We will make a fresh push to integrate cutting-edge information technologies into the re

al economy, including establishing a national industrial data center, to better power the country’s sp

rawling manufacturing sector,” Miao said at the opening ceremony of the big data expo.

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Santarita said a similar concept can also be found in other

Asian countries, citing the Philippines’ compadrazgo and Indonesia’s bapakism as examples.

Compadrazgo, a Spanish word that literally translates to “co-fatherhood”, is based

on a kinship ritual that is formed after a child gets baptized into the Roman Catholic faith.

For the predominantly Catholic and close-knit Philippine society, t

he godfather (known as the padrino) is part of one’s extended family and is expected to he

lp and protect his godchild. The godchild is expected to respect and be loyal to the padrino.

Bapakism is derived from the Indonesian word for “father”. When us

ed in Indonesian business, bapakism demands great respect and obedience to one’s su

perior. The manager in his role as the company’s bapak is expected to look after and care for his employees.

Although Asian values are steeped in an ancient culture and tradition, it was only in t

he 1990s that this concept drew global attention. This was partly due to Asian leaders like the la

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market confidence in outstanding ways and promoted the stab

le growth of the economy, he said, adding that the positive factors for economic growth are increasing.

Noting that the uncertainties in the global economic environment are also rising and there remai

n downward pressures on the domestic economy, Li called for both attention and confidence from the entrepreneurs.

Related departments should follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Though

t on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, invigorate the market thro

ugh deepening reform and opening-up and ensure the stable growth of the economy, Li said.

He said that tax reduction is the key to improving the business environm

ent and invigorating the market, which will not only stabilize growth and employment bu

t also encourage companies to invest more in innovation for long-term development.

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Services are growing rapidly. The value-added of th

?tertiary sector, which is mainly services, grew from 56.7 to 57.3 percent of GDP from the same period last year. The

Index of Services Production increased 7.4 percent year-on-year, higher than the growth rate of overall GDP.

Overall retail sales of consumer goods also grew at 8.3 percent. Sales of upgraded consumer goods witnessed fast gro

wth, with the highest rates concentrated in upgraded products such as cosmetics, phones and computers.

And, high-tech services grew at an astonishing rate of 21.2 percent. In prepa

ring for consumer 5G telecoms next year, the output of mobile communications base stations grew 153.7 percent.

The data also show strong movement toward the government’s goal

of creating an ecological civilization. New energy automobiles and solar cells grew by 48.2 percen

t and 18.2 percent, respectively. Sales of urban rail vehicles grew by 54.1 percent, showing the

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The forum helped countries upgrade their concept

?of cooperation, defined key areas and strengthened the mechanism to seek high-quality development of the BRI, he said.

Leaders reached wide-ranging agreement on high-quality cooperation on the BRI at the leaders’ roundtable on Saturday after an i

n-depth exchange of views on issues such as connectivity, policy integration and sustainable development.

They supported comprehensive infrastructure connectivity as a way to foster economic growth and to build high-q

uality, reliable, resilient and sustainable infrastructure, according to a joint communique issued after the roundtable.

All parties involved supported strengthening synergies in development policies using the principle

of extensive consultations, joint contributions for shared benefits and building even closer partnerships, the joint communique said.

The leaders also upheld green and sustainable growth and agreed to enhance cooperation in areas such as environ

mental protection, circular economy and clean energy, according to the communique.

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Investment spurs BRI countries’ growthTwo-way investment

tween China and economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative ex

ceeded $130 billion between 2013 and 2018, injecting new growth momentum into BRI-rela

ted countries and contributing to recovery of the global economy, senior Chinese officials said on Monday.

China’s direct investment in BRI-related countries grew by 5.2 percent a

nnually on average to surpass $90 billion between 2013 and 2018, Song Lihong, an officia

l in the Ministry of Commerce’s Comprehensive Department, said at a news conference.

Song said that in the same period, China had received a total of

$40 billion in inbound investment from BRI countries as two-way investment deepened.

Within the five years, the value of the projects completed

by Chinese companies in BRI economies amounted to $400 billion, Song said.

The value of trade in goods between China and BRI-related economies exceeded $6 trillion in the same period, an av

rage annual growth of 4 percent, higher than the overall growth of China’s foreign trade, he added.

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Last month, China has set its GDP growth target for this

year at a range of 6 to 6.5 percent, according to the 2019 Government Work Report.

A further 3.24 million new urban jobs were added in the first quarter, and the survey

ed unemployment rate remained at a comparatively low level of 5.2 percent in

March. Consumer price registered a moderate rise by 1.8 percent in the first three months this year.

A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments was m

aintained, and China’s foreign exchange reserves remain more than $3 trillion.

Economic structure further improved during the same period. Value-added high-tech se

ctor’s output rose by 7.8 percent, higher than the country’s value-added industrial output.

In the first quarter, NDRC has approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly i

n the fields of energy, transportation and high-tech sectors. The total investment hit 370.3 bill

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Guangzhou introduces 3D printing to restore remain

A special 3D printer worked next to a display cabinet filled with a variety of imitations of bo

dy parts at a funeral parlour in Guangzhou, capital of southern China’s Guangdong province.

The city’s funeral service center is trying to introduce the new technology to help restore remains damaged in accidents.

“We want the deceased to leave with dignity,” said Yu Jiaqi (pseudonym), an embalming expert at the funeral parlor.

Previously, the restoration was carried out manually, using plasticine, plaster and clay. A facial repair usually took 15 to 30 days.

Yu said not only the long wait but the sometimes barely satisfactory restoration prolonged the pain for family and loved ones.

“The materials can easily deform. We have been looking for better ways to restore the original form of the deceased,” she said.

Li Zhijian, deputy head of the funeral service center, said 3D printing only takes 10 da

ys for a much more lifelike and accurate face, and the texture is stronger and feels more like real skin.

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According to the Ministry of Finance, local government

nts in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing will eventually be able to sell bonds at count

ers in commercial banks directly to retail investors, and the practice will be expanded nationwide after an additional period of time.

The ministry said individuals do not need to pay taxes on the bonds’ interest income, and this policy is likely to attract more investors.

Selling local government bonds to retail investors should facilitate liquidity

in the secondary market, improve the market-oriented bond pricing mechanism and pu

sh issuers to enhance the quality of information disclosure, said Amanda Du, a Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst.

“Higher coupon rates compared with treasury bonds, and the tax exemption on the interest income, make

local government bonds more attractive for retail investors,” she said. “The fast takeup by retail investors also indicates that the

bonds have won high recognition among individual buyers, supported by the local governments’ high credit ratings.”

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inister of Commerce Zhong Shan attends a press conference

Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said a slew of measures will be taken this year to boost China’s social consumption, such as improving urban consumption, to promote

consumption upgrades, expand rural consumption, and develop service consumption while optimizing service supply.

The country will upgrade a number of pedestrian streets, optimize the layout of convenience stores, and encourage brand development and franchising.

The country will promote “selling agricultural products to the cities, while selling industr

ial products to the countryside”.hina’s investment environment is expected to become more stab

le, open and transparent, as the draft foreign investment law stipulates foreign enterprises will receive pre-established nati

onal treatment plus a negative list management system, according to the Ministry of Commerce on Saturday.

The foreign investment law is expected to help establish an environment where foreign co

mpanies can compete fairly in China, and better protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, Wang

Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce, said at a news conference during the two sessions.

Wang also cited that the law will protect the intellectual property rights of foreign investors an

d encourage technology cooperation based on voluntary principles and commercial rules.

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