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ijab as she stood in the center of a room, surrounded by families desperate to hear words of reassurance. They were tired, worried and m
any were grieving loved ones presumed killed in the hail of bullets fired by a man who singled them out for their beliefs.
Even before she said a word, Ardern’s simple decision to cover
her hair served to show families she respected them and wanted to ease their pain.
”People were quite surprised. I saw people’s faces when she was wearing the hijab — th
ere were smiles on their faces,” said Ahmed Khan, a survivor of the attack who lost his uncle at the Al Noor mosque.
Ali Akil, a member of Syrian Solidarity New Zealand who came to Christc
hurch to support the community, said wearing the hjiab was “a symbolic thing.”
”It’s saying I respect you, what you believe, and I’m here to help,” he said. “I’m very impressed.”
BEIJING — China has made solid progress in alleviating the financing
problems of small and micro firms, a senior official said Friday.
Outstanding loans to such businesses amounted to 33.49 trillion yuan ($5 trillion) by the end of 2018, accounting for 23.
81 percent of the total outstanding loans, Zhu Shumin, vice chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said in a statement.
In particular, outstanding inclusive loans to small and micro firms reached 9.36 trillion yuan
, growing 21.79 percent from the beginning of the year, 9.2 percentage points faster than the total loans.
The number of borrowers increased 4.55 million from the beginning of 2018 to 17.23 million, Zhu said.
Meanwhile, efforts have been made to cut financing costs, with the average interest rate of newly
issued inclusive loans to small and micro firms in the fourth quarter of 2018 down 0.8 percentage points from the first quarter.
billion cu m of gas shipment last year, a
year-on-year increase of 31.7 percent, it has only 26 gas stora
ge sites with just 8 billion cu m in storage as of 2018, contributing 3 percent of the country’s total gas consumption.
Analysts believe insufficient infrastructure, including underground gas storage an
d natural gas pipelines, is standing in the way of a more open and liberalized domestic gas sector in the country.
Li Li, research director at energy consulting company ICIS China, also suggested that the government should encourage the construction of gas storage ta
nks to prevent future gas shortages during cold snaps, considering the country’s high dependence on oil and gas imports.
To ensure sufficient gas supply, the country’s national oil majors are also ramping up loc
al oil and gas output, adding thousands of wells at oil basins, shale rocks and deepwater fields nationwide.
Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, China’s major dairy maker based in Inner Mo
ngolia, said high-end dairy products tailored to local preferences will be a leading future tren
d in China’s dairy industry, to meet the increasingly diversified demand from quality-conscious consumers.
The dairy maker said it has witnessed remarkable growth in sales of its yogurt, low-temperature milk and cheese produ
cts in the past few years. Products with high added value in terms of flavor, nutrition, packaging and convenience are fav
ored by Chinese consumers, spurred by growing incomes and purchasing power, the company found.
For example, the popularity of Tetra Pak’s eight-sided packaging, which is easy to hold, and boxed dairy products that c
an be consumed directly from the pack, show the demand for more convenient products from consumers.
have expanded. Now, bakeries, cinemas, convenience stores, gyms are all channels that dairy makers are try
ing to access,” said Yu Xubo, chairman of the board of directors of Mengniu, and president of COFCO Group, China’s largest food trader.
“We have also found that the purchase of fresh dairy products is increasing in major
cities among middle to higher-income earners,” said Yu, who is also a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress.
This year, Mengniu said it plans to establish specific cold chain logistics cha
nnels and strengthen its ability to produce and transfer fresh dairy products.
Meanwhile, the dairy maker has developed some niche products. It has introduced sports milk with a high protein
content tailored to those who work out often, and milk that acts as a meal substitute, both of which have seen high
er-than-expected sales, driven by new and more diversified demand from consumers, the company said.