Xinhua world economic news summary at 0900 GMT, Jan. 3

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BUENOS AIRES -- The tourist season is "good" despite restrictions due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, said Argentine Tourism Minister Matias Lammens on Saturday, though he urged extreme care to avoid a resurgence of infections.

An enormous effort was made to have a season of summer tourism and "Argentines have the right to rest after such a difficult year, but the only thing that we cannot relax is to maintain vigilant against COVID-19," said the minister in an interview with state news agency Telam. (Argentina-COVID-19-Tourism)

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ULAN BATOR -- The Mongolian central bank's purchase of precious metals hit an all-time high in 2020, the bank said Saturday.

The Bank of Mongolia purchased a total of 23 tons of precious metals, most of them gold, from legal entities and individuals in 2020, up 7.8 tons from the previous year. (Mongolia-Precious Metal)

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LONDON -- As a part of wider government actions to end period poverty, the British government has announced that from Jan. 1, 2021, value-added tax (VAT) no longer applies to women's sanitary products.

The move "honours a government commitment to scrap the tax and is part of a wider strategy to make sanitary products affordable and available for all women", including the rollout of free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals, said the British Treasury in a statement. (UK-Tampon Tax)

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ADDIS ABABA -- As trading under AfCFTA commenced on Friday, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Vera Songwe, has called for close cooperation between the private and public sector for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to deliver its promises.

Songwe has hailed the role of AfCFTA in boosting investment, innovation and ultimately growth and prosperity for Africa. (AfCFTA-Trade) Enditem

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