Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Government supports the fight against trade in conflict diamonds

The Government is contributing SEK 3 million to the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI). The aim of the DDI is to remedy problems linked to the diamond-producing countries in Africa, problems to do with the poverty and unsafe environment that working in diamond mines may entail.

The DDI is related to the 'Kimberley process' that works to hinder international trade in conflict diamonds. The Kimberley process is holding its annual meeting this year on 5-8 November in Brussels under the chair of the EU. Just over 300 delegates from some 70 countries are expected to attend the meeting, as well as representatives of the diamond industry, stakeholder organisations and international organisations.

"The Kimberley process and the DDI are important initiatives. They affect our trade with Africa and are linked to development aspects within trade, security and the environment, in line with Swedish policy for global development," says Minister for Trade Ewa Björling.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Shuangliou National Forest Recreation Area

Shuangliou National Forest Recreation Area is situated at the confluence of the two major headwaters of the Fonggang River in Pingtung County. Ranging in elevation from 150 to 650 meters above sea level, the area has a tropical climate and is well endowed with natural attractions, such as waterfalls, valleys, and rivers weaving through the dense reforested woods. Shuangliou is home to several species of bird, including the Formosan blue magpie, common kingfisher, and Muller's barbet. The Formosan ash, planted by the Forestry Bureau, blankets the landscape in green as far as the eye can see. A major landmark at the recreation area is the Shuangliou Waterfall. The river current is slow and the water clear, making it suitable for swimming.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mutual fund

Mutual funds permit investors to acquire a pro-rata share of a diversified portfolio of securities. Part of the popularity of mutual funds is their ability to offer small investors some of the advantages otherwise limited to large investors: diversification of the portfolio and professional portfolio management. An investment in a mutual fund is actually the purchase of shares in a fund. The shares are purchased at a public offering price, which is the net asset value of a share in the fund at the time of purchase, plus, in some cases, a sales charge or commission. It should be noted that a common trust plan is a mutual fund.

Mutual funds and common trusts are usually open-end investment companies because they stand ready to sell the public as large a volume of shares as it wishes to buy. Whatever volume of money is drawn in is invested according to the formula or policy of the particular fund. When investors wish to cash in their shares, the fund sells a part of its portfolio to raise the money. It then pays off the investor on the basis of the value of its assets at the date of liquidation. In effect, you buy $1,000 worth of shares in the fund and, when you sell your interest, you receive your proportionate share of the value of the fund's assets at the time of the sale. Therefore, you may realize a gain or a loss on your original investment.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Foreign Direct Investment In Infrastructure In Developing Countries:

Since the mid-1980s, governments around the world have pursued policies to encourage private sector participation in the financing and delivery of infrastructure services. The natural monopoly characteristics of infrastructure utilities mean, however, that the privatization of these industries risks the creation of private-sector monopolies. Therefore, governments need to develop strong regulatory capabilities to police the revenues and costs of the privatized utility firms, while, at the same time, establishing regulatory credibility among investors. This provides an empirical examination of the relationship between the quality of the regulatory framework and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in infrastructure in middle and lower income developing countries during the period 1990 to 2002.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Macduff Marine Aquarium nets top award

Macduff Marine Aquarium has shown once again that it deserves its reputation as one of the top visitor attractions in the north-east of Scotland, by netting a prestigious national tourism award. Macduff Marine Aquarium has shown once again that it deserves its reputation as one of the top visitor attractions in the north-east of Scotland, by netting a prestigious national tourism award.
The aquarium scooped the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions' Best Visitor Experience 2008 award at a recent awards ceremony held at Dunblane Hydro in Perthshire.This is the first time the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) has offered the award, which was sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia.Many top attractions, including three based in Edinburgh, were judged on the kind of experience they offer to visitors and how the attraction monitors and improves its service.

The top prize is a free place on the Scottish Enterprise Tourism Executive Seminar at the Schindlerhof Hotel and Conference Centre in Nurnberg, Germany in January 2009. Claire Matthews, Macduff Marine Aquarium's education and marketing officer, collected the award in front of a large crowd of industry specialists.She said: “We are thrilled to have won this best visitor experience award, especially as the other contenders were of such high quality and located in the capital.”Witek Mojsiewicz, aquarium manager, was delighted with the award and praised his hard-working staff for all their efforts.“To have won this award is a real accolade for the aquarium,” he said. “Our staff work extremely hard to ensure that our visitors have a fun but also educational experience at the aquarium and they show great enthusiasm and passion for what they do.”

He added: “This award is a confirmation that we are achieving the standards for which we strive and we are over the moon to have been recognised in this way.”Macduff Marine Aquarium is owned by Aberdeenshire Council and features the marine life of the Moray Firth in a variety of fascinating displays, including a 5m deep circular kelp reef exhibit, which is the only one of its kind in the UK.Richard Stroud, chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee was delighted to hear about the award and congratulated staff at the aquarium on their success.

“This is a fantastic achievement for Macduff Aquarium,” he said. “I would like to congratulate the hard-working and dedicated staff who have helped secure this prestigious accolade.“The award recognises a high standard of customer service and visitor experience which staff at all of Aberdeenshire Council’s facilities provide to our residents.”The aquarium opened a new jellyfish display earlier this year and leads the way in exhibiting Scottish deep-water invertebrates that are not shown in any other aquarium in Britain.The aquarium operates an education programme and is a big hit with schools as well as the general public, attracting around 50,000 visitors per year.