Africa

Seifudein Adem, Ph.D. has joined the Wong MNC Center as a Term Research Fellow

Dr. Seifudein Adem has joined the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations as a Term Research Fellow for the period January-July 2018. He previously was Associate Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University in New York from 2006-2016. For more information, please see http://www.mnccenter.org/research-fellows.

Dr. Amitendu Palit's picture

EODB Rankings Augur Well for BRI Investments

The recently released World Bank Ease of Doing Business (EODB) rankings have interesting findings relating to some of the countries involved in China’s Belt-and-Road (BRI) infrastructure project. One of the major groups of countries to have improved EODB rankings since last year is Central Asia. Kazakhstan (+1.06), Azerbaijan (+3.12), Uzbekistan (+4.46), Ukraine (+1.90), Kyrgyz Republic (+0.54) and Tajikistan (0.93) have all moved up the EODB ladder.

Wong MNC Center "The Political Economy of China's Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), Africa, and the Middle East" Conference a Big Success

On November 18 and 19, 2017, the "Political Economy of China's Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), Africa, and the Middle East" conference was held in Shanghai, China. The conference, orchestrated and co-sponsored by the Mr. & Mrs. S.H.

MNCs in the News-2017-05-26

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) reports the country will significantly reduce its negative list for inward foreign direct investment (FDI). China counters German criticisms of its market access by saying it will open its auto sector and that Germany had profited substantially from China’s past opening. China’s new cybersecurity law is sparking foreign companies to move to comply and deterring foreign company hardware/software sales. From January through April, China’s non-financial outward FDI drops significantly versus the same period last year. Japanese firms cooperate with US counterparts to develop missile defense radar. Japanese firms not enthused about China’s OBOR and see better business opportunities flowing from other initiatives. Japanese multinational firms that have invested heavily in Africa are worried about the continent’s prolonged economic slump. The leader of Korean SK Group leave for Beijing to meet with Chinese officials to normalize relations after his country’s installation of THAAD. K-Sure signs USD $3 billion deal to finance clean fuels project in Kuwait. Geely buys 49.9 percent of troubled Malaysian carmaker Proton. Malaysian Prime Minister says government programs make Malaysia’s FDI inflows for this year surpass last year’s. Vietnam plans to set up three special economic zones to boost foreign investment. Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister reiterates country’s dedication to welcoming foreign investors.

MNCs in the News-2016-09-02

China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee adopts amendments that allow for the permanent suspension of four foreign investment related laws in the Fujian, Guangdong, Shanghai, and Tianjin Free Trade Zones (FTZ). China has decided to allow for the creation of six new provincial FTZs as well as one municipal level FTZ, with each place expected to play to its features and comparative advantages. The European Chamber of Commerce in China asserts China’s market barriers are politically unsustainable. China’s Ministry of Commerce confirms to reporters that it is investigating the proposed Didi-Uber merger. British Prime Minister Theresa May confirms she would have her National Security Council examine the potential security implications of China’s participation in the massive Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project. Japan pledges USD $30 billion investment in Africa at the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development. Japanese trading firms find electrifying power project opportunities in Africa. Korean free economic zones are not achieving the anticipated results. Indonesian state-owned enterprises seek funding from multiple sources to fund the country’s massive infrastructure plans. Vietnam and Cuba aim to boost bilateral investment flows.

MNCs in the News-2016-01-08

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

MNCs in the News-2015-12-04

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.

MNCs in the News-2015-11-27

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.

MNCs in the News-2015-10-16

Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into China grew 7.1 percent in September over the prior year. China’s National Development Reform Commission expects to produce first draft of antirust guidelines for the automobile sector by the end of October. China’s State Administration of Taxation moves forward with plan to deal with tax avoidance issues such as transfer pricing. Google reported activates Google Maps and Google Earth on and moves servers to the Chinese mainland. IBM to allow China to view its security codes in a clean room to assuage Chinese concerns about foreign technology. Chinese OFDI continues to show strength, especially along One Belt, One Road. Russian subnational units court Chinese investment. Dakang New Zealand pulls out of massive dairy investment in New Zealand blaming regulatory obstacles. Chinese anticorruption authorities move against Sam Pa as part of investigation of Su Shulin and Sinopec. Japan works with Iran to bolster its investment opportunities in the country. Korea’s Trade-Investment Promotion Agency holds job fair to help young Korean jobseekers land positions with foreign companies in Korea and abroad. Starbucks Coffee Korea brews up a new mix of programs to give back to the community in Korea. Korean firms score well in winning packages to build a massive oil refinery in Kuwait. Freeport favors IPO divestment method to satiate Indonesian government requirements for ownership stake reallocation.

MNCs in the News-2015-06-05

KFC seeks to roast those making false charges against it. China’s proposed law for controlling nonprofits has potentially severe negative ramifications for foreign business associations. European Chamber of Commerce in China challenges the draft National Security Law and its potential negative implications for China. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is drafting guidelines pertaining to the abuse of intellectual property rights (IPR). China’s State Administration of Taxation acts to create supportive tax treaty environment for Chinese firms overseas. China National Cereals, Oils, and Foodstuffs Corp. (COFCO) states it will commit resources and manpower to support China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI). Korea Fair Trade Commission looks into questionable sales practices by Volkswagen Korea. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) disrupts Korean government initiative to build closer investment, trade, and business links with the Middle East. Indonesia’s Investment Promotion Board gives greater attention to Japanese foreign direct investment. Vietnam moves to give United Overseas Bank a license to open a wholly foreign owned foreign bank.

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