Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Sunday, July 14, 2002


>> Dana Matlin has joined Kaiser Permanente Hawaii as its labor relations consultant. She is responsible for negotiating and administering three collective bargaining agreements and providing regional support. Matlin most recently served as human resources consultant with McDonald's Restaurant of Hawaii Inc.

>> Gordon R. Hilton has joined the Hawaii Medical Association as senior vice president and chief information officer. He is responsible for management of all information systems, new technology applications and the enterprise-wide network. He has a background in information technology operations, health care and high tech.

>> Maui Ocean Center has hired Molly Elmo and Lori Mellenbruch onto its sales team. Elmo most recently worked at the Island Marine Institute. She will be working with hotels and activity companies and designing new sales promotions. Mellenbruch spent the past 16 years at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, 13 of them in group sales. She will organize groups and events. 


>>Pamela Zimmerman, an associate professor of English as a second language, was named assistant dean of the English Foundations Program at Hawaii Pacific University. She will be responsible for helping faculty curriculum development. She has been an associate at HPU for 10 years and served as ESL director at the former Hawaii Loa College for seven years.


>>The National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii has elected Terrence George president. He is senior program officer of Consuelo Foundation. Other officers elected include Mike Masuda as vice president, Blake Anzai as treasurer and Leland Chang as secretary. Board directors are John Au, Alvin Cecil, Lloyd Kaneshige, Marylou Mauliola, Judy Mikami, Roland Ng, Sue Sowders and Alfred Zimmerman. Honorary board members include Rep. Nestor Garcia, Sharon Hayashi, Peter Hsieh, Senator Matthew M. Matsunaga, David Meuh and Alton Ohira.

>> Lori Ann C. Lum was reelected chair of the Hawaii Community Development Authority. The HCDA also reelected James Kometami as vice chair and Christine Camp as the authority's secretary. Lum was first appointed to HCDA in 1996 and has served as authority chair since 1999. Kometami and Camp were appointed to the authority in 2001.


>>Dr. Marjorie Mau was named Medical Professional of the Year by the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii. The Kidney Foundation also honored Dr. Roland Ng as Medical Professional of the Decade. And Lorena Diego received the Humanitarian of the Year award for donating her kidney to a stranger. Dr. Whitney Limm and nurses Catherine Bailey and Donna Pacheco were also recognized for their transplant skills.

>> Attorney General Earl Anzai has named Marie Laderta winner of the state's Sustained Superior Performance award. Laderta is supervising deputy attorney general of the Tort Litigation Division. She was recognized as part of the state's Incentive and Service Awards Program.



Hong Kong passes Tokyo as most expensive city

LONDON >> Hong Kong has taken over from Tokyo as the world's most expensive city, London is the costliest capital in the European Union, and New York has the highest prices of any city in North America, according to an annual survey.

In other results in the report, from Mercer Human Resource Consulting, released last week, Buenos Aires took the biggest plunge, falling from 23 to 133 after the country's economic crisis and devaluation.

More surprising, the second costliest city was Moscow, with Tokyo third. "You don't always see a match between the quality of life and the cost of living," said John Murphy, the company's global marketing manager, based in Windsor, outside London. In Mercer's quality-of-life survey, done in March, Moscow came in 150th.

Harare, the capital of troubled Zimbabwe, became Africa's most expensive city, rising from 130 to 26. Johannesburg in South Africa replaced Blantyre in Malawi as the cheapest city among 144 for which calculations were done worldwide.

With Japanese help, China will export cars

TOKYO >> In what may be the first big step toward China's emergence as a major source of automobiles, Honda Motor of Japan announced last week that it would build the first car plant there dedicated to exports.

The new plant will be able to turn out as many as 50,000 vehicles a year, starting in 2004, the company said. Hiroyuki Yoshino, Honda's president, said the quality of cars built at the plant would match those made in Japan, but that production costs in China would be 20 percent lower.

The announcement comes at a time when all of Japan's five largest automakers have recently unveiled ambitious plans to expand production in China and serve the rapidly growing domestic market there, augmenting or replacing cars they now ship from Japan.

Philippine GDP grew in second quarter

MANILA >> The Philippine economy may have expanded as much as 4 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, lifted by a rebound in exports, Economic Planning Secretary Dante Canlas said.

Canlas forecast growth of between 3.8 percent and 4 percent in the second quarter, putting the Philippines on course to meet its 2002 target of 4 percent to 4.5 percent growth. In the first quarter, the economy grew 3.8 percent.

"We are confident of our growth forecast," Canlas said. "Given the global recovery, there has been strong growth in exports, especially of electronic goods."

China June production rises 12.4 percent

Beijing >> China's factory production grew 12.4 percent in June, driven by rising exports as well as government spending.

Production climbed to 278 billion yuan ($33.5 billion) from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That followed a 12.9 percent gain in May, which was the biggest rise since December 1996.

The pickup in production suggests the government will meet its 7 percent economic growth target this year, the fastest in Asia. China needs to keep growth at that level to generate jobs for the millions who join the labor force each year.

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