23 Apr '11, 1am

Venezuela quits Andean Community - Straits Times

CARACAS - VENEZUELA said on Friday it formally left the Andean Community of Nations, a customs union that includes Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The foreign ministry said it will maintain trade relations with its South American partners 'under other rules and principles.' Venezuela, led by anti-US firebrand Hugo Chavez, said in 2006 it would leave the Andean trade group because of a disagreement over free-trade agreements with the United States signed by pact members Peru and Colombia. In recent weeks, Caracas signed trade agreements with Bolivia and Ecuador to promote 'joint investments' and 'fair trade'. But some Venezuelan business leaders fear that withdrawing from the Andean Community will make imports more expensive and lead to shortages of some goods. Venezuela is awaiting approval from Paraguay to join Mercosur, another South American trade bloc that include...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Money/Story/STIS...

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Malay community urged to focus on broader issue

straitstimes.com 22 Apr '11, 3pm

DR YAACOB Ibrahim has urged the Malay community not to focus only on the People's Action Party's two new Malay candidates ...