Asia is the world's largest continent. During the last two decades, the average
economic growth rate amongst the Asian countries was generally above the global
average economic growth rate. The Directors believe the Asian economies,
particularly the PRC economy, will continue to grow in the future.
Since the last decade, Vietnam has undergone significant economic growth. In
2002, Vietnam's gross domestic products grew at approximately seven per cent.,
being the second highest amongst the Asian countries behind the PRC. The
economy of Vietnam grew by approximately 6.9 per cent. in the first quarter of
2003, and is expected to continue to grow by approximately seven per cent. to
approximately 7.5 per cent. for the entire year. The Directors anticipate that
with the implementation of the Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Trade Agreement in
December 2001 and the anticipated full implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade
Areas agreement, the economy of Vietnam will continue to grow as a result of
increasing domestic demands and increasing export competitiveness to the U.S.
and ASEAN countries.
Apart from Vietnam, the PRC also experienced rapid economic growth in 2002 at a
rate of approximately eight per cent. The Directors believe that the PRC's
accession to the WTO is expected to result in continuous development of the PRC