Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Dr. Amitendu Palit's picture

Will RCEP Promote Investments in the Asia-Pacific?

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being looked upon as the most promising framework for regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR) after the United States (US) decided to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Negotiated by sixteen countries—the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand, RCEP is not as ambitious as the TPP.

Japan Economic Foundation Executive Managing Director Naoyuki Haraoka delivers keynote address at the “New Developments for Japanese and Chinese Firms” Conference.

At opening of the “New Developments for Japanese and Chinese Firms” conference, Mr. Naoyuki Haraoka, Executive Managing Director of the Japan Economic Foundation (JEF), delivered a keynote address entitled “Japanese FDI in Asia and Asian FDI in Japan.” Mr. Haraoka began his speech by providing background on JEF’s origins and its evolving areas of research.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

China’s Maritime Silk Roads Initiative and Southeast Asia: Rough Sailing through the South China Seas?

As our readership knows, one of China’s signature foreign policy initiatives is the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), a key part of its larger One Belt, One Road (OBOR) scheme.

MNCs in the News-2016-07-22

Inward FDI into China grew slowly over the first six months of 2016 year-over-year. The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s unfavorable ruling against China’s South China Sea claims sparks protests and boycott calls against American “icons” in China to the chagrin of the Chinese government. A Chinese consortium’s effort to buy the entire Opera Software company falls apart reportedly due to a failure to get sufficient Chinese government approvals. Japanese official travels to Singapore to tout the advantages of Japan high speed rail system for the Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail project. South Korea’s Fair Trust Commission watchdog relaunches investigation into Google Inc.’s requirement that smartphone makers using its Android operating system preload its search engine. Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) is conducting a roadshow in Guangzhou to tout the country’s improving investment environment. Indonesia is working to help investors surmount problems that hinder them from realizing their investments and has developed special initiatives. The Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is working on getting more companies to participate in its principle hub scheme. Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister calls on his country to be more selective in its FDI attraction efforts and to work on getting better FDI.

MNCs in the News-2016-06-17

China’s inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) shows a slight decline in May year-over-year (YOY), though the figures for the first five months of 2016 showed a moderate increase (YOY). Chinese Premier Li Keqiang tells German officials and executives that China plans to improve the investment environment for them as well as others. In China, German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for independent judiciary and level playing field for foreign firms. XpressWest unilaterally terminates its contract with China Railway International for the construction of a high-speed railway linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles. China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) resubmits its Syngenta deal to the Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S. for national security review. South Korean investigators descend on Lotte Group in connection with allegations of a slush fund. Korea and Azerbaijan agree to expand economic cooperation in areas like investment and infrastructure. South Korea plans to reform government-run energy companies to improve their financial soundness and operating efficiency. Indonesia and Japanese oil giant Inpex reach a deal on the multi-billion dollar Masela onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant which may bring more new opportunities for Japanese business to invest in Indonesia. Japanese firms look very favorably upon Vietnam as an investment destination.

MNCs in the News-2016-01-15

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

MNCs in the News-2015-12-18

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.

MNCs in the News-2015-10-30

On the eve of her trip to China, German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces pressure to push German business interests. Chinese and American negotiators begin another round of BIT negotiations. The City of Beijing moves to implement new rules opening the capital’s service sector to foreign investors. Tianjin orders ConocoPhillips to pay compensation to 21 fishermen who sued the firm for losses suffered as a result of the 2011 Bohai Bay oil spill. Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Germany (CHKD) survey indicates Chinese firms in Germany still optimistic. Mexico’s Jalisco state signs a deal with China Communications Construction Company that could lead to the development of a 500-hectare industrial park in Jalisco. Chinese investment in New Zealand farmland provokes backlash and a heated debate. Korea achieves its highest ever ranking in the World Bank’s business friendly countries' assessment. The World Economic Forum scores Korea poorly in terms of labor market efficiency. The Korea Electric Power Corporation lands Korea’s first big alternative energy project in the Middle East. Malaysian official encourages Malaysian firms to grasp Halal foods opportunities. Malaysia leaps ahead of Indonesia as an Islamic finance hub. Responding to business complaints, Indonesia eliminates rules requiring companies to hire 10 Indonesian workers for every foreign one. Thailand’s position as a business friendly country slips three places in latest World Bank study. Vietnam’s FDI, concentrated in the processing and manufacturing sectors, soars year-over-year. Vietnam shows major drop in World Bank’s business friendly country rankings, though change may be a result of report methodology changes.

MNCs in the News-2015-08-28

China dials up new leadership at its telecommunications giants. Tsinghua Unigroup attempts to chip away at opposition to its purchase of Micron Technology. China investors see stable investment returns on offer in the UK. China’s Yunnan province pushes infrastructure construction to support the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) and other initiatives. Alibaba given 6-month extension to operate in Taiwan while Taiwan appellate body review its case. Japan strives to strengthen its medical and pharmaceutical firms. Japan and Mekong River nations adopt “Mekong Industrial Development Vision.” Japan and China competition to build high-speed railway in Indonesia reaches its final stages. Korea touts its advantages and pursues new policies in order to double inward foreign direct investment (FDI). Korea orders recalls of select Ferrari cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and Volvo trucks due to various defects. Toyota puts the brakes on Prius production in Thailand due to tariff dispute. Foreign business leaders in Thailand believe Erawan Shrine bombing will not influence FDI inflows. Investors express complain about the vagueness of Vietnam’s new foreign investment guide.

MNCs in the News-2015-07-24

China’s utilized foreign direct investment (FDI) in first six months of 2015 increases significantly over the same period in 2014. Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) expects solid FDI inflow results for 2015. China’s move to create incentives for traditional gas-powered hybrids may open opportunities for foreign car companies in China. Chinese outward FDI is on a path to exceed inward FDI. Tsinghua Unicom’s pursuit of Micron raises all kinds of anxieties. Chinese FDI dominates Myanmar investment scene. U.S. Federal Reserve Bank requires China Construction Bank to shape up it anti-money laundering rules. China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank of China promises to help Kenya realize new gains. Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials apologizes for use of slave laborers during Second World War and reports suggest it may offer compensation. Japan Tobacco International faces opposition in Taiwan to massive plan investment proposal. Indonesia remains Southeast Asia’s premier FDI destination, but faces challenges in reaching 2015 targets. Thailand attracts more investment projects in July, but value of investment falls

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