Thursday, April 21, 2011

Taiwan’s Emerging Economy and its Currency the New Taiwan Dollar

Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, is an island located in East Asia in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of communist mainland China. The name Taiwan is also commonly used to refer to the Republic of China, which has almost all of its territory located on the island.

Historically, the Republic of China’s governance included mainland China until the communist takeover in 1949 left the ruling Kuomintang or KMT in charge only of Taiwan and some small islands. The mainland based People’s Republic of China still does not recognize Taiwan and claims its territory.

Taiwan was governed under the KMT after 1928, although a multi-party democratic system evolved in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The country’s constitution was established in late 1947. Taiwan’s head of state is the President and the country has a single house legislature known as the Legislative Yuan.

Most of the country’s population adheres to a combination of religions, including ancient Chinese polytheism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, although a minority of Christians and Muslims are represented.

Taiwan has little ethnic diversity, with the largest ethnic group consisting of Han (98%) that can be further broken down into Hoklo (70%), Hakla (14%) and Mainland Chinese (14%). An additional 2% are native Taiwanese.  make up just over 28% of the population as of the 2000 census. The national language of the country is Filipino that is based on the Tagalog language.  

Other ethnic groups present include the Cebuano (13%), Ilocano (9%), Bisaya/Binisaya (7.6%), Hiligaynon (7.5%), Bikol (6%) and Waray (3.4%), with the additional 25.3% being classified as Other.

Economic Overview of Taiwan

Taiwan is known as one of the Asian Tigers and has a developed capitalist economy that is predominantly market-based. The economy ranked 24th worldwide in 2010 in terms of its nominal GDP of $427.0 billion. The country also ranked 19th worldwide in 2010 in terms of purchasing power parity or PPP GDP that was then at $810.5 billion, and it showed an impressive annualized GDP growth of 10.5% in 2010.

Roughly 69.2% of the country’s GDP is produced by its services sector, with 29.2% from industry, and only 1.6% coming from agriculture as of 2009. Particularly important areas of industrial activity within the Taiwanese economy include: the manufacture of electronics, IT, arms, machinery, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, iron, steel, vehicles, cement and communications products, as well as food processing.

Inflation in Taiwan has recently been well below that seen in most industrialized nations, with its level measured at -0.87% in 2009. Furthermore, the unemployment rate among the Taiwanese population of roughly 23.1 million people in 2010 was measured at just 4.73% in late 2010.

Although Taiwan saw a reduction in growth in 2008 and 2009 during the global economic crisis, the country recovered well from this slowdown and continues to show considerable economic strength near the top of the more mature emerging markets countries.

The Taiwanese Currency – The New Taiwan Dollar

The currency used in Taiwan is known as the New Taiwan Dollar, and its ISO 4217 code is TWD. Each Dollar is further divided into 100 cents. The currency has been in use under that name as legal tender in Taiwan since 1949, when it replaced the depreciated Old Taiwanese Dollar in an attempt to quell hyperinflation that had troubled the country.

In terms of the Taiwanese currency’s availability to business loans, many online brokers do not yet accommodate offering the New Taiwan Dollar. Nevertheless, the currency is actively traded among the exotic currencies but tough to acquire small business loans using it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquake dents Japan economy

Japan's economy grew by nearly four per cent last year, its best performance in two decades.But the earthquake which hit the country on Friday is likely have a major detrimental effect on the country's finances.
Al Jazeera's Azhar Sukri reports.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wall Street Dirty Little Secret

Wall Street Dirty Little Secret

Description: Wall Street is a very dangerous place. And in many ways, it is simply a glorified casino that is designed to enrich investment bankers while stripping you of your hard-earned wealth. In this special 90 minute online and interactive presentation, economist and best-selling author Jerry Robinson is joined by Barry James Dyke. Barry is a seasoned financial advisor and has authored an important book entitled: The Pirates of Manhattan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

U.S. Trade Deficit Jumps 15.1% In January, Even As Exports Set Record

U.S. Trade Deficit Jumps 15.1% In January, Even As Exports Set Record

The U.S. trade deficit widened an unexpectedly large 15.1% in January, to $46.3 billion from a revised $40.3 billion in December, according to the Commerce Department's monthly statement on the U.S.'s trade balance.

The rise far out-stripped expectations for a January trade deficit of $41.5 billion. The increase was due to increased imports of petroleum products, automotive vehicles and parts, consumer goods, and capital goods, which reached a record monthly level, according to the statement.

Both U.S. exports of goods, at $120.5 billion, and services, at $47.5 billion, actually set monthly records, for a combined increase of 2.7% from December, a fact obscured by the surprisingly large deficit. It wasn't enough, however, to overcome the 5.2% increase in imports.

"The administration is focused on jumpstarting exports and helping U.S. businesses grow and create jobs through efforts like the National Export Initiative and tax credits for business investment," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. "We've now seen private-sector job growth for 12 straight months, and increasing U.S. exports plays a key role in that. We are committed to putting the necessary tools in the hands of America's businesses to help them out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world and get the U.S. economy firing on all cylinders again."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Senior Economist on Food: We Could Certainly See Social Unrest in Parts of the Developed World

Senior Economist on Food: We Could Certainly See Social Unrest in Parts of the Developed World besides the middle east and north Africa ....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Federal Reserve is Laundering Money

The Federal Reserve is Laundering Money

What Makes Gas Prices Soar? More Than Just Oil

It's one of the biggest unknowns in the petroleum industry. Just how do gas station owners decide how much you pay at the pump? A gas station owner near Atlanta offers some answers. (March 8)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Outlook for Fixed Income in 2011

What is The Outlook for Fixed Income in 2011 ?
within the fixed income space where do you see the greatest value for investors and what strategies do you suggest ?
what are the possible downside risks in fixed income ?
Doug Forsyth managing director and portfolio manager at AllianzGI Capital answers

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bernanke Defends QE2 Amid Rising Food-Gas Prices, High Unemployment, Inflation, Uncertainty

END FED: Bernanke Defends QE2 Amid Rising Food-Gas Prices, High Unemployment, Inflation, Uncertainty
QE2 101: How more money will stoke inflation

The new round of quantitative easing announce last week, dubbed 'QE2' by economist wonks, will generate higher inflation, everyone agrees. But how?

By Stefan Karlsson, Guest blogger / November 8, 2010

It is generally assumed, and rightly so, that the new round of "quantitative easing" will generate higher inflation in the United States. But it is rarely explained just why it will do so. After all, QE2 will not be conducted by dropping dollar bills from helicopters.

Well, there are essentially three mechanisms by which it happens: higher money supply, lower money demand and lower supply of goods and services.

1) Regarding money supply, it should be noted that by lowering interest rates, QE2 will boost demand for loans. Higher demand for loans will in a fractional reserve banking system generate a higher money supply. Given a certain level of money demand and supply of goods and services, a higher money supply will result in higher price inflation.

2) Regarding money demand, higher inflationary expectations will cause people to be less willing to hold money (as its real value is expected to drop), thus reducing money demand. And lower money demand has a very similar effect on prices as a higher money supply.

It should be noted though in this context that to the extent that QE2 lowers nominal interest rates, this will increase money demand as the opportunity cost of holding money drops.

So the net effect of Fed bond purchases on money demand depends on to what extent it raised inflationary expectations more than it lowers nominal interest rates.

And it seems that the increase in inflationary expectations is this time somewhat bigger than the drop in nominal yields.

As of this writing, the nominal 5-year yield has dropped 21 basis points since August 31 (from 1.33% to 1.12%) while the inflation indexed 5-year yield has dropped 72 basis (from 0.14% to -0.58%) points since August 31, implying that inflationary expectations has increased 51 basis points (from 1.19% to 1.70%) during that period.

Thus, QE2 has likely reduced money demand somewhat.

3) Regarding the issue of reduced supply of goods and services, it should be noted that to the extent that QE2 reduces the value of the dollar and to the extent that companies adjust prices, it will raise import and export prices, causing a reduction in the inflow of foreign goods and services and increase in the outflow, reducing the supply of goods and services available to Americans.

A lower supply of goods and services will given certain levels of money supply and demand increase the dollar price of goods and services.

In conclusion we can clearly see that by a combination of a higher money supply, a reduction in money demand and a reduced domestic supply of goods and services, QE2 will clearly increase price inflation. The only uncertainty is just how big this effect will be.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Unemployment Dips to 8.9 Pct., 192K Jobs Added

Employers in February hired at the fastest pace in almost a year and the unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent _ a nearly two-year low. (March 4) provides real statistics.
The real number is 20%+
These numbers are only counts those receiving benefits - when that runs out - you fall off the stats.

Financial Armageddon Coming Soon (2011)

Financial Armageddon Coming Soon (2011) What is the world moving toward quickly? What is coming in 2011? What do many financial experts agree on? What is happening to the U.S.?

Wanna fix the problem? Stop issuing debt as money!! End the Federal Reserve and destroy the financial tyrant. End the Fed and dismantle the international banking cartel thus ending the financial terrorism. Demand an audit of the Federal Reserve!!! The proof is in the books or lack thereof!
Amazing....They think the American people are to held responsible for the trillions swindled away by the banksters. And, all the while money is just made up out of the sky. Let it fall. The leaders of the country are to blame along with the greedy oligarchs. Hilarious that they can even find the audacity to utter the suggestion that the American people are responsible for the money they were robbed of.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Goldman Sachs Insider Trading: Yahoo Tech Ticker Mar 2. 2011

Rajat Gupta Former Goldman Sachs Dir. allegedly told Pal of Buffett's Goldman investment , he was charged for Insider Trading , the game is rigged

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Geithner on Mortgage Finance Reform

Mar. 1 2011 | Treasury Secretary gives his opening statement to the House Financial Services Committee on "Mortgage Finance Reform: An Examination of the Obama Administration's Report to Congress."

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wall Street Getting Away With Financial Murder

MSNBC—Feb. 28--From the Dylan Ratigan Show. Banks getting away with financial murder.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Irish Voters Prepare to Ditch Government on Bank Crisis

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) - Irish voters go to the polls today with anger over the collapse of the economy and the cost of rescuing banks expected to result in the biggest shift of political power in the country's history.

it is going to take bold action against the banksters to rid themselves(Irish) of their slavery. Let's hope more go the way of Iceland. I just think that the banksters will have something up their sleeve..I'm always hearing more and more of a one world currency, that's something the whole world should be fighting against.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dollar Armageddon Ahead?

Feb. 25 2011 | Why the dollar is about to crash, with Damon Vickers, Nine Points Capital Management founder, and "The Day After Dollar Crash" author.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jobless Claims Fall for Week of February 19th 2011

Jobless Claims Fall for Week of February 19th 2011

Less people filed for unemployment than economists expected last week. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 391,000 individuals claimed benefits during the week of February 19th. Economists, on average expected 405,000 filings.

The unemployment measure has been volatile in past weeks, likely fluctuating due to severe winter weather throughout the country. Checking in on the 4-week average for better perspective, there appears to be a downtrend occurring, which suggests an improving job market.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

100,000 Protest for Union Rights in Wisconsin

AlJazeeraEnglish--February 20, 2011--Budget problems are forcing state governors across the US to propose drastic measures to balance the books. In the state of Wisconsin, roughly 100,000 people turned up for a fifth straight day of protests. Public sector workers accuse the state's Republican governor of using the crisis as a reason to attack their union rights. Roger Wilkison reports.

None of these public sector employees could figure out that it was in large part the private sector manufacturing jobs that payed thier wages. As those jobs where being destroyed by the tens of millions the public sector didn't think for one minute that the financing for thier wages was being shipped out of the country. The only thing they could see was what foreign made crap was on sale at Walmart? Class War 101, divide and conquer

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wisconsin Budget Battle

Feb. 18 2011 | Protests roll in Wisconsin, with Zac Schultz, WMTV reporter; Robert Reich, UC Berkeley; and Rep. Scott Suder, (R-WI).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Initial Jobless Claims Higher Than Expected

410,000 people filed for unemployment benefits during the week of February 12th. That's an uptick from the prior week's 383,000 filings, which was the lowest level in 2.5 years. Economists were spot-on in their projection of the latest claim number. Analysts attribute the latest rise to winter weather, which delayed the filing and processing of many claims.

The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 9.8%.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

World Bank: Global Food Prices at Dangerous Levels

The World Bank says that global food prices are at dangerous levels with food prices hiking security issues.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Economic Data Reports: February 15th, 2010

U.S. January Import Prices are up 1.5% for the month of January. That number is up from December's revised increase of 1.2%. Inflation worries continue to be in the realm of food and energy where price rates increases are in the mid-teens. Higher energy and food costs particularly pressure consumer spending.

The February Empire State Factory Index also yielded a rise for the month of January. The index came in at 15.4, up from the prior month's 11.92. Analysts were expecting a reading of 15 even. A jump in new orders is a sign of further improvement in the economy.

Also out early this morning, retail sales which rose by 0.3% in January. A dip from February's revised 0.5% rise. The gain in January sales is attributed to higher gasoline prices. Economists on average expected a rise of 0.5% for the first month of 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Worst of the Global Financial Crisis Yet to Come

Feb. 13 2011 | With inflation set to rise further, Martin Hennecke, associate director at Tyche, recommends investing in commodities such as gold and silver. He talks to CNBC's Bernard Lo and Oriel Morrison.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Obama Takes Scalpel to Budget, Avoiding Pain

President Barack Obama's $3.5 trillion-plus budget plan will likely be ignored by resurgent Republicans intent on cutting tens of billions of dollars from the president's old budget. (Feb. 13)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bernanke Opening Statement

Feb. 9 2011 | Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke takes questions on the economy and inflation.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

End of Japan Deflationary Environment is Near

Feb. 7 2011 | Robert Parker, senior advisor at Credit Suisse, says prospects of a weaker yen and low price-to-book ratios for Japanese corporates will benefit the country's equity market this year. He tells CNBC's Martin Soong & Saijal Patel that he's forecasting positive inflation in Japan by mid-year.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Jobs, Ads and Mubaraks Pay Raise - Bloomberg TV

Bloomberg TV's Dominic Chu and Adam Johnson go under the radar to talk about the stories you may not have heard today.Jobs, Ads and Mubaraks Pay Raise - Bloomberg TV

Fractals, Fibonacci and socionomics

In the 1930s Ralph Nelson Elliott identified repeating patterns in stock market, which he termed "waves". Robert R. Prechter Jr. linked the psychological basis of waves to humans` unconscious impulse to herd and observed that social mood governs not only finance but also areas as diverse as popular culture, economic production, electoral politics and war. He has proposed a new field called socionomics - the science of history and social prediction.
Wojtek Luciejewski,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Unemployment Falls to 9.0%, Only 36K New Jobs

The unemployment rate dropped sharply last month to 9 percent, the lowest level in nearly two years. But the economy generated only 36,000 net new jobs, the fewest in four months. (Feb. 4)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Inflation Threat to Markets

Feb. 3 2011 |Discussing how big a threat inflation poses to the markets, with CNBC's Courtney Reagan; Peter Boockvar, Miller Tabak; Alan Valdes, DME Securities; and Peter Costa, Empire Executions.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ADP Report Points to Positive Job News

Payroll processor ADP reported that private companies added 187,000 jobs in January, more than economists expected. (Feb. 2)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Insight From JPMorgan Leaders

Jan. 28 2011 | Discussing why economic optimism is justified, with Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan chairman/CEO and Mary Erdoes, JPMorgan Private Bank.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Food Inflation Sparking Unrest worldwide

Jan. 28 2011 | Philippa Malmgren, president of Principalis Asset Management told CNBC that inflation played an important part in the political uprising in North Africa. "First you have to price them out of food and then this happens, so we should expect this across many countries," she said.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011 Davos Forum Kicks Off

The 2011 Davos Forum kicks off. This year's theme is Shared Norms For New Reality.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How Severe Is Europe's Intertwined Debt Crisis?

Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on the ongoing fallout from Europe's debt crisis, which has led to political woes and bank bailouts among other problems. His update is park of his ongoing series on Making Sen$e of financial news.

It's a big problem for the banks that took the loans they knew they never should have made. These people are not idiots, they knew they were making choices that would end their companies. This is what bothers me about the media, they set up their story to make it seem like they're are defending the people, but then they always end it with some words like that, "a big problem for us all". How is a private company's bad loans my problem?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Interview with Rainer Brüderle, German Economics Minister

The German Economy : How can it continue to prosper? In the interview: the German Economics Minister, Rainer Brüderle.

German industry out sourced to cheap labour eastern europe and industrialist maximized their profits. German workers were forced into lower wages. the birth rate has collapsed because life in Germany is too competitive. the rich have become super rich at the expense of workers. in 50 years there will be no Germans workers left. germany will be a country only in name.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Niall Ferguson : Post-American World a New Dark Age ?

Historian Niall Ferguson fears a post-American world would bear close resemblance to the Dark Ages that followed the decline of the Roman Empire. He foresees chaos across the Middle East and the rise of China as the next superpower. "A world without a strong America is a dangerous world," he exclaims.
I normally like Niall but I don't think that it will be a new dark age.When Rome collapsed it was the dark ages in Europe only, a dark age for only about 8% of the world whereas in the rest of the world we couldn't care about Europe.

Niall Ferguson, David Gergen, and Mort Zuckerman discuss how America's global standing will be affected by the continuing financial crisis. This program was recorded in collaboration with the 2010 Aspen Ideas Festival, on July 8, 2010.

Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is a resident faculty member of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies.

He is also a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.Yes we are headed for a new dark age and deceptive history professors/ globalist minded finacial advisors. are helping things along nicely.I could tell this man has an agenda from the start.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

China-U.S. Sign-In 6 Trade Agreements

In Houston, China and the U.S. sign in about $600 million in trade deals; one day in advance of the Chinese President's visit to the U.S.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What is Money and the Money Supply?

Different Ideas on what money is instead of thinking about M1 M2 and M3.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Glenn Beck - The China Syndrome

think outside of the box, the chinese made the box

Though I often think that I'm glad that Beck is saying what he's saying on TV, I always suffix that thought with "HE IS A LITTLE LATE TO THE PARTY". To understand China you need to understand the culture which has endured 6500 years despite what the politics of the day might be.The family, education, and hard work (to severely simplify some tenets of Chinese culture) are engrained from birth. Beck thinks China advanced overnight - those who are aware knew the US was to be displaced 30 years ago.
It's the Wall Street, stupid. The German's are into the stock market for a quick profit and speculate like the Americans. The Germans are really have both of their feet on the ground focusing doing the finest work. Japan was the same way before they got seduced by Wall Street which crashed them until today. China are now realized what's their problem. They started to look at the German's and Japanese and study hard.All the 1% richest Chinese connected to the political power local or cenral. The rich gap in China is bigger than that of the US. China certainly outdone the American in such way. And they are way more greedy than the Americans. Many intelligent Chinese are very very worry about the future of China. They see China economy is empty from the inside out.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Foreclosures Hit Record

Jan. 13 2011 | Home foreclosures are topping 1 million for the first time ever in 2010, with Nishu Sood, HIS Analysis.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Delta Smelt & Undocumented Farm Workers: How Federal Policy Is Failing CA's Central Valley

California's Central Valley is a 450 mile long stretch of flat and fertile land that produces much of the food that we enjoy every day. But the people in small towns like Mendota (the cantaloupe capital of the world) are suffering these days, in part due to two federal policies.

In order to protect a threatened fish species called the Delta Smelt, much of the water that used to be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farms on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley is now allowed to flow into the ocean. The result is predictable: hundreds of thousands of acres of farm land lies fallow and tens of thousands of jobs have been lost. In Mendota, the unemployment rate is over 40% and food lines are the norm.

But people going hungry in a region dominated by agriculture is only one of the contradictions in the Central Valley.

Nearly all the valley's farm workers are immigrants from Mexico and Central America, and many of them are undocumented. These people are crucial to the valley's economy, but they're breaking the law according to the federal government.

To learn more about the Central Valley and its discontents, we spoke to Robert Silva, mayor of Mendota; Kim Sullivan, a small business owner who makes gear drives for irrigation pumps; Maria Angel, a cafe owner and GED instructor; and Chris Collins, who recently authored a special Fresno Bee series about illegal immigration called "In Denial".
Approximately 8 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Portugal Bailout Inevitable

Jan. 11 2011 | Portugal says it is doing all it can to avoid external aid, but the country is "just a small economy in the massive sea of the euro zone", Piers Curran, head of trading at Amplify Trading told CNBC. "Portugal will inevitably have to ask for a bailout because the bond yields will not allow them to continue to fund their deficit," he said.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Portugal Under Pressure

Jan. 10 2011 | Portugal is under pressure to seek EU/IMF Aid, with CNBC's Guy Johnson.

2011 The Year of Financial Defense - Victor Adair

Victor Adair with a look ahead at 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

American Companies Are Hiring but Overseas!!

This is Jack DeAngelis! Please Subscribe To My Channel! Go To My Website To Request Your FREE Copy Of "The International Forecaster" Newsletter! Get ready for The Collector's Coach on Blogtalk Radio!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Market Meltdown

Market Meltdown : Jim Cramer loses his temper on the air in 2007 as the U.S. financial system crumbled, specifically the fixed income markets on Wall Street. He had much to say about Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke as well as Bill Poole who is apparently shameful.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Obama on Jobs

Jan. 7 2011 | President Obama delivers remarks on the monthly employment report from Thompson Creek Manufacturing in Landover, MD.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top-10 Economic Predictions for 2011

IHS Chief Economist, Nariman Behravesh releases his top-10 economic predecitions for 2011.

There are numerous scenarios under which the commodities can rise way faster than inflation. For example companies can decide to sacrifice margins in order to retain sales levels. The result will be low inflation, despite rising commodity prices. I'm sure you can think of other scenarios....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Seoul Claims Commercial Electric Bus Service A World First

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Seoul, South Korea is claiming a world first with a fully-electric commercial bus route introduced in the city last month. The eco-friendly buses are running on a Seoul mountain circular route but more routes are planned.

t looks like an ordinary commuter bus but city officials in Seoul, South Korea are proclaiming it as part of a system that can found be nowhere else in the world - a commercial electric bus service.

Spokesperson Cho Yoonjin says it's a great achievement.

[Choo Yoonjin, Seoul Metropolitan Government]:
"Other cities around the world have developed electric buses but most of these buses were used for purpose of the events. However, the city of Seoul has developed these electric buses for commercial operation and we believe that this is the first time in the world to have these electric buses to go into operation for commercial use."

The city has introduced five electric buses operating on three routes around Namsan Mountain in central Seoul.

The buses may look no different to their diesel driven counterparts, but they're engines are powered by clean, high-capacity lithium-ion batteries.

Their bodies are made of a strong but lightweight carbon-fibre composite, and the vehicles can travel about 80 kilometers - or fifty miles - on a single charge, a process which takes about 30 minutes.

They can also collect and reuse the energy generated by their brakes when running downhill.

Bus driver Yoo-Tae Soo says there's room for improvement, but he's enthusiastic about the idea.

[Yoo Tae-Soo, Electric Bus Driver]:
"Recharging is a little bit frequent for the length of the route and the time it takes to recharge should be improved. However, this is very positive when it comes to the eco-friendly concept."

And for passengers, there's little difference in the commuting experience.

[Cho Hyun-Hee, Passenger]:
"I'm still not quite familiar with the electric bus, but I don't' feel much difference compared to a regular bus in terms of feeling comfortable to ride it."

Seoul transportation officials say they plan to replace half the city's diesel-driven buses with electric versions by 2020...a gradual move away from fossil fuels with a strategy they say is sure to catch on around the world.

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