MANILA, February 26, 2005 (STAR) By Sandy Araneta  -  Nine international flights to Hong Kong International Airport were diverted to Manila yesterday morning due to heavy fog and low visibility.

Dino Guerta, of the first shift Personnel Gate Planning and Flight Information Unit, said that those diverted were Cathay Pacific flight CX-138 from Sydney, Australia with 146 passengers, cargo flight CX-051 from Pudong, China, Polar Air cargo flight PO-265 from Dubai, Qantas Airways flight QF-083 from Melbourne, Australia with 205 passengers, Cathay Pacific flight CX-889 from Toronto, Canada with 156 passengers, Cathay Pacific flight CX-829 from Vancouver with 156 passengers, cargo flight CX-068 from Dubai, Cathay Pacific flight CX-748 from Johannesberg, South Africa with 237 passengers and Cathay Pacific flight CX-260 from Paris, France with 257 passengers.

Thick fog at Hong Kong’s airport delayed 23 flights and forced 23 arriving planes to divert to neighboring airports including the Philippines, Taiwan and other parts of the region.

The foggy conditions were created by a humid maritime airstream that swept into southern China, reducing visibility to less than 200 meters, the Hong Kong Observatory said.

The weather also delayed 23 departing flights, but by late morning, the fog had lifted and planes were able to land.

Thick fog and heavy smog also delayed the arrival of a US Navy aircraft carrier and battle fleet – the USS Kitty Hawk. Carrying more than 5,000 sailors, the vessel is due in Hong Kong for a short shore-leave stop-over.

All ferries to China were cancelled, said the Hong Kong’s Marine Department, which governs shipping movements in Hong Kong’s famous harbor. However, the city’s port, the world’s busiest, was still open and no marine collisions had been reported. — With AFP

QC Chamber of Commerce is Asia-Pacific’s most outstanding business chamber By Perseus Echeminada The Philippine Star 02/26/2005

For promoting small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and for its strong ties with Quezon City government, the Quezon City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCCI) has won the most outstanding chamber award in the Asia-Pacific region during the 20th confederation of Asia-Pacific Chamber of Commerce and Industry held in New Delhi, India recently.

Nathan Zulueta, QCCCI chairman who received the award last Feb. 17, said the QCCCI, which represented the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), has bested local chambers from Japan, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, India, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and other Asia-Pacific countries.

"Our strong ties with the Quezon City government under the administration of Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and strong advocacy for SMEs were among the factors that made the chamber won the most coveted award," Zulueta told The STAR in a telephone interview.

Zulueta said the QCCCI delegation will personally present to Belmonte the trophy on Monday. The city government will also pay tribute to the QCCCI which hold the distinction as the most outstanding chamber hall of fame awardee of the PCCI. The QCCCI has been officially declared by the city government as the official link to the more than 50,000 business firms in various parts of the city.

Zulueta said among the policy being pursued by Belmonte aside from its official linkup with QCCCI is the constant dialogue with the business community to determine problems encountered by traders and how the city government can be more effective in deliverating basic services of the business sector.

"The business friendly atmosphere and

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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