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Words in the News
 
Friday 15 August 2003
 
China Platinum
 
Shanghai at night China has allowed the Shanghai gold exchange to start trading in platinum. The aim is to stop the smuggling of the precious metal. For now, it is not necessary to pay the normal seventeen percent value added tax on platinum. China is the world's biggest market for platinum jewellery. This report from Francis Markus:
 
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China's fashion conscious urban young are developing a growing appetite for the cool white look of platinum jewellery.

The country now accounts for fifty-five percent of the world market and the consumption is increasing fast so it is hardly surprising that there is rampant smuggling of the precious metal which comes mostly from countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Russia.

To try to regulate the market, the Chinese authorities have this week allowed Shanghai's gold exchange to start trading in platinum too. As an encouragement, all transactions, for now at least, are free of the normal seventeen percent value added tax.

The move comes at a strategic time for the industry with high demand from couples who plan to get married in the popular wedding month of October, but the platinum producers also have their eye on China's vast market in the longer term for another key, if less romantic, use of the metal in car catalytic converters to cut exhaust emissions.
 
 
Listen Listen to the words
 
fashion conscious
 
believing it's important to have or wear the latest things
 
growing appetite for
 
wanting more and more of
 
platinum
 
valuable silvery-grey metal, often used for making jewellery
 
consumption
 
buying and using things
 
rampant smuggling
 
fast increasing practice of illegally bringing goods into a country
 
regulate
 
to control through rules or laws
 
transactions
 
business deals, usually involving buying and selling something
 
strategic
 
helping to achieve something, or gain advantage over others
 
catalytic converters
 
device fitted to car to reduce the amount of poisonous gas coming from the engine
 
exhaust emissions
 
poisonous gases from a car engine that leave through a pipe (the exhaust pipe) at the back of the car
 
 
 
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