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Chan: China needs better anti-piracy measures, food safety

Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan has called for better food safety and a tougher stance on piracy in China. The 58-year-old actor, one of the few Asian stars who have managed to break into Western film markets, said China's poor food safety record could become "a joke that lasts a hundred years". "Every time I'm in China, they (foreigners) will joke about it and ask me 'Can this be eaten? This can't be eaten?' "Even when I go to the US, they'd sit beside me and say 'You can relax and eat it, these are our things'," Chan told Chinese reporters after a meeting of China's top political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's arts sub-group . Chan also expressed concern that the piracy situation in China was getting worse, and believed tougher enforcement could make things better. "The enforcement in China is too lax," he said. "I brought a group of Chinese directors to Zhuhai (a Chinese city). A policeman came over and warned us that smoking is not allowed there. But everyone continued to smoke, including my manager." Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Jeweller unveils gold replica of Messi’s foot

A pure gold replica of Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi's left foot has been unveiled in Tokyo. The foot, which is valued at eye watering $5.25 million, would cost you an arm and a leg. It was created by Japanese jeweller Ginza Tanaka to commemorate the footballer's achievements. Ginza Tanaka held a special launch event in Tokyo with the help of Messi's brother Rodrigo (pictured). The Golden Foot, which commemorates Messi's world-record 91 goals in 2012 record fourth Ballon d'Or win, will be on display at various Ginza Tanaka stores in Japan through June. Messi's brother Rodrigo, who attended a news conference for the unveiling of the gold foot on Wednesday, said: "It's exceptional. You can see each line in the foot. It's an impressive piece of work." The jeweller said he cast Messi's foot in Spain at the end of 2012. Part of the proceeds of the sale will go to Messi's foundation, which in turn will go to support children in areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit Japan in March 2011. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Africa’s most talked about golf hole

Asia Outlook talks to Pete Richardson corporate sales manager at Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resort, a unique, world-class resort that is home to the world famous Extreme 19th. By Ian Armitage Golf tourism is very popular in South Africa and it is easy to see why. This is an almost perfect golfing country - ideal weather, wonderful scenery and a population obsessed by sports and the outdoors. Add in Gary Player - one of the world's all-time great champions - as a national sporting hero, and it is little wonder that South Africans and tourists alike flock to play on some of the world's best and most affordable courses. There is even the option to mix it up a little - golf, spa and safari. This is exactly what Limpopo-based Legend Lodges, Hotels & Resort has to offer. Pete Richardson, the firm's corporate sales manager, also looks after PR. He says Legend offers "something different". And why doubt him? Legend is regular winner at the prestigious World Travel Awards. "We're a unique, world-class resort situated in the African bush and boast a world first signature golf course, a unique 10-hole tribute golf course, the world famous Extreme 19th, and a host of other facilities and activities," says Mr Richardson. "We like to think we are something that is a little bit different." The Extreme 19th is the world's longest and highest par 3, played from the top of a mountain. The only way to the tee box is by helicopter and you play to a green

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Standard Chartered posts 10th year of record profit

Standard Chartered has posted net profit of $4.79 billion for 2012 despite being hit with a multi-million-dollar fine over a US sanctions probe. It is the tenth straight year that the London-based firm has recorded a profit. The figure compared to a $4.75 billion net profit in 2011, the Asia-focused lender said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. In a statement the bank's chairman Sir John Peace said, "We know that we will be held to our brand promise, Here for Good, and continue to work hard to embed this commitment in everything we do. "We are not pretending we will get everything right, but Here for Good means we will try to do the right thing." The bank said although income rose eight percent to $19.07 billion, profit was hit by the $667 million it was forced to pay US authorities last year to settle charges it violated US sanctions covering Iran and three other countries. "The $667 million settlements dented our profit growth and damaged our reputation," group chief executive Peter Sands said in a statement. Image: Standard Chartered Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Cathay Pacific orders three Boeing 747-8

Hong Kong-based international passenger and cargo airline Cathay Pacific Airways has ordered three Boeing 747-8 Freighter cargo aircraft in a deal worth $1 billion.

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Bank of Japan nominee vows to conquer deflation

The government's nominee to lead the Bank of Japan has vowed to do "everything possible" to conquer long-running deflation. He also said the Bank of Japan had not bought enough assets and should buy longer-term government bonds. He blamed previous central bankers for failing to solve the deflation problem. "I will clarify my stance that we will do everything possible to get rid of deflation," Haruhiko Kuroda told a parliamentary committee on Monday. He promised aggressive steps to raise inflation to two percent. The news sent Japanese shares higher. "If I am approved as Bank of Japan governor, I believe it will be my most important duty to ensure the price stability goal is reached as soon as possible," Mr Kuroda said. The central bank raised its inflation target to two percent last month. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Investment profile: Nigeria

Nigeria is Africa's foremost business destination. By Ian Armitage Over the past decade Africa has been the second-fastest growing economy in the world, with GDP accelerating more than five percent a year on average, according to the World Bank. And even as the global economy has slowed in recent months, growth in Africa has largely remained on track, with the World Bank predicting the continent could be on the brink of an economic takeoff much like China 30 years ago. So what's driving it? Africa's natural resources are a big factor; so too is the continent's rising consumer class. According to the McKinsey Institute, household consumption is now higher in Africa than India or Russia, and it is expected to grow – it estimates that the number of African households with discretionary income is expected to jump by more than 50 percent to almost 130 million by 2020. "Africa is increasingly being taken more seriously as an investment and business destination, but in many sectors, a window of opportunity does still remain open for establishing an early mover advantage," says Ajen Sita, Africa Managing Partner at Ernst & Young. "However, competition is intensifying and that window is closing. "For companies and investors looking for long-term sustainable growth, we are in no doubt that the time to act on the Africa opportunity is now. Now is the time to invest in understanding markets, identifying partners, developing opportunities, configuring industries, building brands and establishing local credibility." Investors have taken note. Oil-rich Nigeria has been a preferred destination –

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Chinese manufacturing slows in Feb

Manufacturing activity in China expanded at its slowest rate in five months in February, official data showed Friday. The purchasing managers' index (PMI) was 50.1 in February, the lowest since September when it stood at 49.8, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP). The figure was seasonally adjusted, they said, to mitigate volatility led by the week-long Chinese New Year holiday that fell in the middle of the month. PMI is a widely watched barometer of the health of China's economy, with a reading above 50 indicating expansion while anything below points to contraction. Image: © Liangzijunlf | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Asia has the most billionaires says Hurun

There are more billionaires in Asia than any other continent according to a survey by China-based wealth magazine the Hurun Report. Asia was way in front with 608 billionaires, according to the luxury magazine publisher, with North America second on 440 and Europe in third with 324. Among individual countries, the US and China dominated with 408 and 317 citizens respectively on the list, followed by Russia, Germany and India. Huruan ranked Mexican telecoms kingpin Carlos Slim as the Richest Man on the Planet with a personal fortune of $66 billion. US investor Warren Buffett and Spain's Amancio Ortega were second and third in the Hurun Report list, which estimated the total wealth of the world's dollar billionaires at $5.5 trillion. "This past year has seen a rebound in the wealth of the private sector," Hurun said, adding the net assets of the 10 richest people on the list rose $250 million a day. Image: © Getty Copyright is owned by Asia Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Benitez slams Chelsea fans in post-match rant

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has slammed the club's board and the fans who have called for his dismissal at a press conference after the Blues' victory over Middlesborough on Wednesday night. Benitez criticised the decision to give him the 'interim manager' title and hit back at the fans who have called for his exit since he arrived at Stamford Bridge. "Chelsea gave me the title of interim manager, which is a massive mistake. I am the manager," he told BBC Radio 5 Live after Chelsea's win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside set up an FA Cup quarter final clash with Manchester United. He also hit out at the Chelsea faithful, saying: "The fans are not helping us. At the end of the season I will leave. They don't have to waste time with me." Benitez has been the focus of protests from the Chelsea fans who have not taken to him, the animosity dating back to his time with Blues rivals Liverpool. The manner with which previous manager and Chelsea legend Roberto Di Matteo was ousted did not help his situation and left him needing to win over the supporters - an endeavour that has proven largely insurmountable. Reports earlier this week suggested he had been involved in a heated confrontation with Chelsea players, rumours both he and John Terry have spuriously denied. But this latest outburst seems to indicate that his time in west London is swiftly coming to an end and the merry-go-round of Blues bosses is set to continue this summer. Image: ©

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