MNCs in the News*

February 15th, 2016
Shanghai Zhangjiang National Innovation Zone allows new possibilities for foreign pharmaceutical companies to focus on their core competencies. Sharp’s acceptance of a buyout bid from Foxxconn suggests Japan really may start to welcome more foreign direct investment (FDI). Japan’s Mitsubishi willing to do all work in Australia to win major Australian next generation submarine contract. Gaeseong Industrial Complex falls victim to tit-for-tat between South and North Korea over the latter’s missile and nuclear tests. Daewoo Engineering & Construction wins project commissioned by Indian state-run enterprise at a time of a special strategic partnership between India and South Korea. Indonesia to undertake major FDI liberalization. Indonesian filmmakers cheer opening of the film industry and cinema sector to foreign investment. Indonesian government plans to provide legal guarantee to PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) for Indonesia’s high-speed rail project. Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) touts the successes of its new investment promotion policy and cluster-promotion scheme. Thailand’s Commerce Ministry aims to bolster the overseas investment capabilities of Thai small- and medium-enterprises. Malaysia sees greater Chinese inward FDI in the future. European Chamber of Commerce expresses its hopes for legal and policy changes during the next Filipino presidency.
February 6th, 2016
Shanghai’s Jiading People’s Court imposed fines and jail terms on OSI China for 2014 safety scandal. China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine orders Volkswagen to recall defective cars. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) shows no meaningful adverse impact from Chinese efforts to control capital outflows. China rejects media reports that the China-Indonesia high-speed railway project connecting Jakarta with Bandung has been suspended. COSCO looks to win bids for port contracts in Cyprus. Yahoo Japan besieged by criticism about its efforts to deal with the sale of illegal ivory on its website. Japan and Iran conclude investment pact. Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) fines Lotte founder and Lotte subsidiaries for false and incomplete reporting of ownership stakes and structures. Korea Water Resources Corporation to partner with Asian Development Bank to limit water waste and improve resource management. Indonesia’s Telekomunikasi blocks Netflix. Indonesia moves to remove barriers hindering infrastructure projects. Indonesia religious group calls for additional study of Jakarta-Bandung high speed rail. Japanese investors encourage Thailand to join the TPP, saying it will have positive investment effects. Vietnam’s Foreign Investment Agency reports positive figures in January for investment growth and disbursements.
January 28th, 2016
China’s inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) falls in December 2015, though its FDI totals for 2015 show growth. The American Chamber of Commerce in China Business Climate Survey shows significant numbers of companies still favor China despite having many concerns and notable profit pressures. Guizhou concludes USD $280 million semiconductor joint venture with Qualcomm. Saudi Aramco looks to increase its investment footprint in China especially in the refinery sector. Iran and Egypt court greater Chinese investment, economic cooperation, and tourism during Xi Jinping’s Middle East tour. Egypt TEDA Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Development Company will soon begin work to expand the China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone. Wanda Group to invest in USD $10 billion industrial park in northern India. US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) orders new recall of Takata air bags. South Korean environmental ministry will bring criminal case against Audi Volkswagen Korea managing director. Foreign governments challenge South Korea over the terms of legislation governing the operations of foreign law firms in Korea. Amnesty charges firms like Samsung and Sony do not do enough to ensure the minerals they use are not produced with child labor. Thailand secures pledge of reduced interest rate from China for joint Thai-Chinese medium-speed rail project. Deloitte pushes Singapore to improve its tax regime for treasury centers and headquarters to fend off competition from neighboring countries.
January 21st, 2016
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announces that China’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) hit $126.27 billion in 2015. Apple works to promote zero waste and solar energy programs at its China suppliers. In 2015, Apple was the largest foreign service sector tax payer in Shanghai while Shanghai Volkswagen was the largest foreign industrial sector tax payer. GAC Group becomes strategic investor in Uber. China’s outward M&A in 2015 hits record. Beijing Kunlun buys stake in gay dating ap Grindr. Japanese firms win construction deals in Myanmar’s Thilawa special economic zone. Woori Bank becomes first Korean bank to arrange Sharia-law compliant financial transaction with an Islamic bank. Indonesia and Russia pursue improvements in their investment, trade, and other forms of economic cooperation. Indonesia National Human Rights Commission calls for Japan to be attentive to possible human rights violations regarding a Japanese supported thermal power plant project. Foreign investment into Thailand in 2015 drops dramatically. Thai Industrial Association head frets that Transpacific Partnership will led to investment diversion as well as intensifying competitive pressure for Thai goods. THAI breaks tradition on bringing foreigners into managerial ranks. State-owned Vietnam Airlines welcomes investment from Japan’s ANA Holdings. Ho Chi Minh City orders Uber to pay taxes due immediately. Pressures for Vietnamese SOE reform through foreign partnerships increase, but the process proves challenging
January 10th, 2016
China’s inward foreign direct investment in 2015 hits record levels. China plays hard with Mister Softee. Uber Technologies hails local partners to build up its presence in China and win favor with local governments. Japanese firm becomes first foreign firm to obtain permission to sell automobile insurance in Myanmar. Korean construction firms witness dramatic drop in overseas construction contracts. Indonesia does not necessarily subscribe to Netflix’s planned entry into the country. New Thailand-Singapore double taxation treaty has important implications for Thai investment in Singapore. Singaporean health care players stand ready to exploit a more favorable environment in China’s health care sector. FDI flows into Vietnam hit record in 2015. Vietnam’s State Bank of Vietnam publishes rules about foreign financial institutions planning to establish non-banking financial companies
January 5th, 2016
China’s Central Economic Work Conference promises to “‘give equal treatment to domestic and foreign companies.’” China’s National People’s Congress approves counter terrorism law that worries foreign businesses and governments. China’s State Council issues guideline designed to enhance IPR protection. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issues a draft of its first “Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights” for public comment. China’s NDRC fines eight international sea freight shipping companies for price fixing. China’s People’s Bank of China suspends three foreign banks from certain kinds of foreign currency activities. Analysts expect Chinese outward investments to reach new heights in 2016. China’s nuclear power firms hope Hinkley Point project will be a stepping stone to new deals abroad. China and Pakistan finalize financing agreement for massive Thar Coalfield development project. Iraqi Prime Minister courts Chinese investment and railway cooperation during his first visit to China. Japan competes vigorously against China in battle to sell high-speed rail overseas. Inward FDI into Korea hits new high in 2015. At the end of December, Korea announced it would impose a Google tax on foreign companies. Hyundai Development Company wins $85.4 million bridge and road construction contract in Vietnam. Samsung Engineering lands another major engineering contract from Mexico’s PEMEX. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community is expected to boost franchise businesses in Indonesia. Indonesia is hopeful that a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the European Union (EU) will boost EU IFDI. Indonesian will increase incentives to boost investment in oil refineries. Thailand expects IFDI to meet its targets in 2016. China and Thailand hold ceremony to launch joint rail project, though disagreements exist which may delay the project’s start date. Malaysia touts the benefits of its Principal Hub scheme. Chinese group negotiating with Malaysian firms in order to position itself for a bid on Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail. Experts feel recent free trade agreements will boost investment in Vietnam. Vietnam expects US FDI flows into Vietnam to increase significantly, though obstacles remain.
December 21st, 2015
Inward FDI in China continues to show growth year-over-year. European Chamber of Commerce in China President questions China’s interest in attracting foreign investment. Chinese NGO files a lawsuit against VW for its emissions testing cheating fraud. At the 2nd World Internet Conference (WIC), China’s President Xi Jinping promises to protect foreign companies’ legal rights. At the WIC, the Cyberspace Administration of China announces “China will manage cyberspace according to the rule of law, while providing more room for development based on the market” while President Xi stresses cyber sovereignty and the avoidance of internet hegemony. China shifts “Ten-Year Review of the World Summit on the Information Society” in a direction more to its liking. Microsoft partners with Chinese company to create joint venture that will allow it to sell Windows 10 to government market. AstraZeneca to increase investment in China. Chinese outward FDI for the first 11 months of 2011 exceeded $104 billion. Sinopec to build a fuel station on Woody Island in the South China Sea. Australia’s Defense Department strongly criticizes anxieties about the security implications of a long-term lease of a port in northern city of Darwin to a Chinese firm. Chinese state-owned enterprises purchase significant Australian infrastructure assets. Japan provides massive concessional loan to support India’s construction of its first bullet train. French government pledges not to interfere in Nissan. Japan looks to win Singapore-Malaysia bullet train project. Korean government will create industrial complexes in China and Vietnam and business centers around the world to help Korean firms expand abroad. Changes in Korean cloud market draw substantial foreign investor interest. South Korea gives China Everbright Bank permission to set up a branch in Seoul. Indonesian think tank calls for government to move against Freeport Indonesia contract extension.
December 13th, 2015
Cisco says it will give its source code to no one while seeking a “win-win” arrangement with China. Chinese media report that Google has set up a shell company in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) official says that the government will work to facilitate greater outward investment by Chinese firms. Chinese nuclear firms radiate over opportunities presented by China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative. Taiwan struggles to set policy regarding mainland Chinese investment in its chip sector. Chinese firms look to expand abroad to escape limits on their ability to test and sell GMO crops at home. Following the China-Africa summit, Chinese firm wins new railway deals with Kenya. Japan to sign major high-speed rail contract with India. Japanese firms will participate in Brazil urban rail projects. Korean Finance Ministry will create a major fund to support Korean businesses in China. Samsung Engineering scores major petrochemical project awards from Petronas. Nestle acknowledges some working in its Thai seafood supply chain are treated like modern-day slaves. Former Malaysian (Sabah) Chief Minister believes government can create the conditions facilitating a Chinese firm building a bridge connecting Labuan and Sabah. China Railway Engineering Corp. makes investment in Malaysia to lay a possible foundation for bidding on a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
December 7th, 2015
China’s General Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine announces recall of more than 10,000 Mercedes cars due to airbag defects. China moves to develop “Made in China” drugs. China’s rising overseas economic presence reflected in its negotiations with Djibouti to build a logistics hub. Top Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) leader highlights potential for further Chinese investment in Africa. At the latest China-Africa Cooperation Summit, Xi Jinping oversees expansion of Chinese economic cooperation with South Africa and other African countries. Ambitious $50 billion Nicaragua canal plan delayed by at least one year, intensifying doubts about its viability. Sino-Russian joint venture (JV) set up to build rail equipment for Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail line. Xiamen University to invest in campus in Malaysia that will support the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. Bank of China facing $50,000/day fine under US District Court contempt order. Nissan moves to limit French government and Renault interference in Nissan-Renault alliance. Japan agrees to provide funding to Indonesia for various mass transit and power projects. Japanese firm lands power deals with Botswana. British firms eager to exploit public-private partnership opportunities in Thailand. Thai Prime Minister emphasizes need for Thai-China railway to move forward. Indonesian government seems reluctant to start early negotiations with Freeport-McMoRan about the Grasberg mine. Vietnam reports significant increase in foreign direct investment inflows up to November 2015.
November 27th, 2015
Google Play app store ready to play in China. Chinese investment in the American financial sector dwarfs American investment in the Chinese financial sector. U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meeting reportedly yields agreement on the protection of trade secrets and opens Chinese market further to certain types of American firms. Payoff of GlaxoSmithKline’s measures to recover from its 2014 China bribery scandal remain unclear. MOFCOM touts China’s opportunities to Japanese firms and hopes they will invest in “emerging sectors.” Premier Li Keqiang says China will invest $1 trillion overseas in the next five years. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) and contract work continues to record impressive results. Chinese firm private firm outward FDI (OFDI) shows impressive growth. Chinese OFDI in Africa, though, collapses. China promises $10 billion in infrastructure loans to Association of Southeast Asian Nation countries. Chinese train company motoring along in Malaysia. China National Corporation for Overseas Economic Cooperation fires up over Mexican energy sector investment. Chinese companies power up nuclear energy cooperation with Argentina. Japan opens its purse strings to win more infrastructure deals and counter China. Japan expresses its displeasure to Indonesia about Indonesia’s awarding of a high-speed rail contract to China. Japanese public private fund steps forward to finance Texas high-speed rail. Indonesia will act to revise its negative investment list to exclude e-commerce companies.

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