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Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1630, Aug. 1

SEOUL -- South Korea's export fell in double figures last month, keeping a downward trend for the 10th successive month on soft global demand for locally made products, especially semiconductors and oil products, government data showed Tuesday.

Export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy, diminished 16.5 percent over the year to 50.33 billion U.S. dollars in July, continuing to fall since October last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Import tumbled 25.4 percent from a year earlier to 48.71 billion dollars in July. (South Korea-Export)

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NEW DELHI -- At least 17 workers were killed and three others injured Tuesday after a crane collapsed at a road construction site in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, officials said.

The incident occurred near Shahapur in Thane district, about 71 km northeast of Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra, and India's National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were rushed to the spot. (India-Crane Collapse-Death)

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ISLAMABAD -- Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, called for an upgrading of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to promote a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.

He made the remarks on Monday while attending the Decade of CPEC celebration event in the Pakistani capital, during which he read President Xi's congratulatory letter and delivered a speech.

In his congratulatory letter, President Xi fully recognized the positive achievements and great significance of the construction of CPEC, which provided strategic guidance for the development of the corridor and the practical cooperation between China and Pakistan, He said. (Pakistan-China-CPEC)

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SYDNEY -- The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday announced its decision to keep the cash rate target steady at 4.1 percent, which marked a second pause since July.

Interest rates in Australia have risen by 4 percentage points since May last year. The last change occurred in June with 25 basis points added to the cash rate target to hit 4.1 percent.

After a board meeting on monetary policy, RBA Governor Philip Lowe noted in a statement that the higher interest rates are working to establish a more sustainable balance between supply and demand in the economy and will continue to do so. (Australia-Central Bank-Cash Rate)

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YANGON -- Myanmar's State Administration Council on Tuesday granted pardons to over 7,000 prisoners and reduced sentences for former State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and former president U Win Myint, according to the council's orders.

Six years of sentences for Suu Kyi and four years of sentences for U Win Myint were also reduced, the council said. (Myanmar-Aung San Suu Kyi-Pardon)

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HANOI -- Vietnam posted an estimated foreign trade value of 374.23 billion U.S. dollars in the first seven months of this year, down 13.9 percent year on year, with a trade surplus of 15.23 billion dollars, local media reported on Tuesday, citing the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Specifically, the export revenue stood at 194.73 billion dollars, down 10.6 percent, while the import revenue decreased 17.1 percent year on year to 179.5 billion dollars, the local newspaper Vietnam News reported.

The United States remained Vietnam's biggest importer with turnovers of 52.4 billion dollars, and China was its largest exporter with turnovers of 58.6 billion dollars over the period, according to the office. (Vietnam-Foreign Trade)