Archive for August 3rd, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rio Tinto: Who wants to be an Internal Affair?

JR doesn’t know which law in his country, or in China, or elsewhere, specifies the crimes of hubris. And he can’t ask the Western lawyer who referred to such crimes, because the expert had asked the Christian Science Monitor to keep his name out of print. But some experts quoted in the CSM’s article of July 30 concede that China’s judicial system makes the charges and the evidence against Rio Tinto’s employees and other suspects arrested in July virtually unknowable.

The CSM’s headline asks if China’s detention of employees will scare off foreign firms. The following paragraphs don’t keep asking this question but suggest that lacking rule of law may frustrate Western companies desperate to gain a foothold in the world’s fastest-growing major economy nearly eight years after it joined the World Trade Organization.

China is Australia’s biggest trade partner, worth $53bn in 2008. Of this, $14bn came from iron ore exports, powered by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, according to the BBC.

But you can’t eliminate the risk of becoming one of China’s internal affairs, when doing business inside the country.


» Iron Ore Negotiations remain Stalled, Steelmakers demand Controls on Importers, Steelguru/Bloomberg, Aug. 3
» Negotiations with Foreign Suppliers Unfinished, July 18

Monday, August 3, 2009

NATO Secretary Generals

NATO Secretary Generals usually have very funny accents.

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