Australia

MNCs-2017-12-29

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China’s service sector shows strong performance in 2017 with observers recommending various improvements to draw in more. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is concerned about surges in mobile chips and may launch an investigation. The China Banking Regulatory Commission has published draft rules that would make it easier for foreign banks to enter China and expand their businesses there. NDRC minister says China is considering passing legislation that would improve supervision of outward FDI (OFDI) and clarify the limits that exist. Japan’s Sumitomo among foreign bidders for Indian Railways’ first global tender. Japan’s Kubota to join USD $92 million project to improve water supply infrastructure in Yangon following local government order. LG Display receives green light from Seoul to build USD $4.5 billion OLED production plant in Guangzhou. South Korea’s state-owned Korea Gas Corporation finally collects return on its 2010 investment into Australia’s liquefied natural gas sector. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group posed to gain approval from Jakarta to purchase 73.8 percent of Bank Danamon Indonesia. Major foreign motorbike companies to build production and assembly plants in Thailand as government investment packages continue to proliferate. UK firms looking to bid on light rail transit and construction projects from Malaysian government. Japan surpasses South Korea to become largest investor in Vietnam in 2017 as Hanoi attracts more foreign money for infrastructure investment.

MNCs in the News-2017-11-24

Skype loses Apple app store connection in China due to government regulation. Illegal overtime at Apple supplier Foxconn plant in Henan stopped. Chinese official reports Chinese firms employed more than 1.3 million people abroad in 2016. According to Chinese railway authorities, China has 20 overseas railway projects right now with investment around $15 billion. Bad press on Uber’s data theft cover-up may push SoftBank to renegotiate the terms of USD $10 billion investment deal due to impending legal action. Air bag maker Takata finalizes agreement to sell assets to Chinese owned Key Safety Systems to obtain cash needed to cover court imposed penalties. US trade commission’s proposed import tariffs on washing machines may lead Samsung and LG to reassess whether building new US factories would still be beneficial. South Korea’s SK Group sells used car affiliate to Australia’s Carsales Holdings in face of government barriers to further expansion. Indonesian government looking for more than USD $800 million in private foreign investment to develop tourism near Lake Toba. Real Estate Indonesia invites Japanese developers to engage in housing projects after Japan’s Prime Minister reaffirmed his country’s commitment to increasing investment in Indonesia. DHL to invest over USD $350 million to develop its IT services in Malaysia, contributing to Kuala Lumpur’s national digital transformation agenda. Nestlé selects Malaysia for global procurement hub investment as Malaysian Minister announces Kuala Lumpur strives to position the country as a preferred investment destination. Jardine Matheson and Fraser and Neave seek to increase stakes in Vinamilk as Vietnam continues to divest in its state-owned industries, albeit cautiously. Hanoi cooperating with World Bank to create new regulations to increase FDI in Vietnam as country seeks to diversify FDI sources.

MNCs in the News-2017-10-20

At 19th Party Congress, China promises greater market openness for foreign investors, but foreign businesses and governments cautious. Top China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) official says foreign banks may get more latitude in entering and operating in China’s banking sector. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) plummeted 41.9 percent over the first nine months of 2016 year-over-year. In the first three quarters of 2016, Chinese outward merger and acquisitions activity drops significantly in both deal volume and size. Toyota and Mazda seek USD $1 billion incentive package from US states bidding for their joint car factory. SoftBank Group struggling to carry out US investments after several of its deals have been caught up in the CFIUS review process. US Department of Justice demands Kobe Steel release all information related to it falsified steel and metal data. SK-Sinopec JV to expand its Wuhan Petrochemical plant mirroring success of SK Innovation’s China Insider strategy. Korean battery manufacturers finding backdoors into the Chinese market despite Chinese government’s preferential treatment of domestic firms. Indonesia works to attract private investment despite bad atmosphere created by problems with Freeport-McMoran. Freeport-McMoRan facing labor union protests over anticipated layoffs. New US-Thai joint committee formed to increase bilateral investment following Thai Prime Minister’s recent US visit. Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industries leads trade mission to Europe to attract German investment. MITI reports a decline in investments this year. Vietnamese government begins implementing its divestment plan for Dung Quat Oil Refinery, attracts foreign investors. Foreign brewers eagerly awaiting Vietnamese government’s divestment plans for country’s largest domestic brewer Sabeco.

MNCs in the News-2017-08-04

Donald Trump administration contemplates using Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act to challenge China’s technology transfer and intellectual property right protection practices. Foreign businesses increasingly fret about the burdens to be flowing from China’s rejection of non-approved virtual private networks (VPNs) and other data controls/restrictions. China’s Ministry of Finance issues a guideline to limit risk of overseas investments by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Foxconn Technology Group announces major planned investment in the United States (US) to do R&D work relating to self-driving vehicles perhaps due to Trump’s efforts to bring more manufacturing to the US. Workers at Nissan’s Mississippi factory vote on whether to join the United Auto Workers. Japan’s JFE Holdings Inc. considers further investment into India’s JSW Steel Ltd as a way to profit from increased steel demand potentially flowing from Indian Prime Minister Modi’s economic plans. South Korean firms struggle in the Middle East due to government indifference and rising political tensions. South Korea’s LA Cable & System signs USD $195 million contract with Qatar’s state owned utilities firm. Jakarta focuses on simplifying investment application process for foreign firms seeking investment licenses. Indonesia’s government will start taking bids in September for construction of six massive geothermal power plants. Thailand and Australia discuss revising the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement to increase investment and trade. Indian Oil Corp Ltd in talks with partners to search for cheaper location for Pacific Northwest LNG terminal after recent withdrawal of Petronas. South Korea’s Lotte signs Eco-Smart city development contract with Vietnam’s People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s Prime Minister confirms that creation of Vietnam’s first three special economic zones would enjoy special rules to attract greater investment.

MNCs in the News-2017-06-16

American and other trade unions shake and flip over potential risks to McDonald’s workers after the firm sells its self-owned China stores to Citic and Carlyle Group. United States (US) moving to strengthen review processes to encompass Chinese investment through mechanisms that are not yet subject to Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review processes. Responding to news that US is striving to tighten the CFIUS review process, China calls on the US to avoiding politicizing “commercial takeovers.” Canyon Bridge files for third time for CFIUS review of its deal with Lattice Semiconductor. Thailand’s government may loosen licensing requirements for Chinese engineers working on Thai-Sino railway to the consternation of local engineer associations. Japan’s Maritime Air Systems and Technologies (MAST) show offers Tokyo venue to boost military sales with Southeast Asia. Japanese firms carefully evaluate business relations and assets in Qatar following country’s crisis. China blacklists 24 South Korean companies following continued anger over THAAD system. Daewoo Engineering and Lotte Engineering & Construction each sign MOU with Laos’s Petroleum Trading Lao Public Co for infrastructure projects. Indonesian government invites Chinese investors to participate in railway construction project in Bali. CAT Telecom infrastructure development plans continue to drive Thailand to be Greater Mekong Subregion’s digital hub. Lawsuit alleges money misappropriated from Malaysian state fund was used to finance USD $2.2 billion acquisition of US energy firm. Malaysian Minister announces that Malaysian companies will continue to invest in Indonesia. Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister encourages businesses from both countries to foster their investment partnership. Vietnam has come up with a new decree to deal with transfer pricing by multinational corporations.

MNCs in the News-2017-06-02

China’s Global Times touts that China remains a popular investment destination for foreign investors. China delays the implementation of a cybersecurity law rule on cross-border data movement for 18 months. Surging Chinese investment in Malaysia is oriented towards the construction sector and creates many, albeit low-skilled, jobs. Qatar may force Japanese companies out of investments in Qatar Petroleum projects. Japanese corporations increasingly partnering with South Korean firms in establishing overseas projects. Hyundai Engineering wins USD $890 million power plant deal in Malaysia. Samsung Heavy Industries snares multi-billion dollar LNG facility construction contract off Mozambique. Jakarta plans to ease business for investors operating in special economic zones. Malaysia and China to organize meetings on construction of three new ports and Bandar Malaysia project. Survey shows this year’s Japanese investment in Malaysia may rise by at least 30 percent. Vietnamese lawmakers call for public private partnerships to attract investment in railway sector. Vietnam’s Prime Minister says time is ripe for American companies to further engage in economic restructuring of his country

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.

MNCs in the News-2017-03-10

European Chamber of Commerce in Beijing highlights China’s 2025 Plan as possibly violating China’s World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments. China’s re-imposition of capital controls becomes a hot issue at China’s 2017 National People Congress meeting. Facing seemingly severe constraints on their ability to access/use yuan, Chinese corporate executives are complaining about the impact of such limits on their ability to do deals. In the face of possible increased American trade barriers, Great Wall Motor Co. ponders building its first factory in the United States (U.S.). Wanfeng Auto Holding Group looks to the U.S. for deals to jump potential tariff and other barriers in the U.S. Toyota Motor Corp. may wait until economic fallout of Brexit becomes clearer until it decides whether or not to produce the next generation Auris in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Honda announces plans to invest $150 million in transmission facilities in Georgia and Ohio in the US. Chinese sanctions against South Korea because of the latter’s deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system hit Korean companies inside and outside China. Korea’s Trade Minister meets with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to seek ways to boost investment and other forms of cooperation. Indonesia explores new levels of investment cooperation with Japan. Indonesia welcomes small amount of investment from Saudi Arabia flowing from visit of Saudi king, but does not receive large amounts expected.

MNCs in the News-2017-02-10

China’s goal of shifting to a more consumption, service, and higher-valued added economy is reflected in subnational level data. China remains optimistic about Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017, but plans to guide it to and sees it encountering many challenges. Syngenta believes the ChemChina-Syngenta acquisition will close in second quarter of 2017 despite remaining regulatory hurdles. China halts major Lotte construction projects in northeastern China in apparent punishment for South Korea’s embrace of THAAD. Prior to Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s early February meeting with US President Donald Trump, Sharp Corp. announced it would build a liquid crystal display panel plant in the US. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son touts his progress in fulfilling his job creation promise to U.S. President Donald Trump. Chinese forthcoming revised anti-monopoly guidelines worry South Korean firms which fear they might be used against it. In the face of political pressures, Samsung Electronics will build its first home appliance plant in the US despite fears about the price competitiveness of US production. Moody’s Investor Service upgrades its credit outlook for Indonesia with positive implications for Indonesia’s ability to attract FDI. Indonesian aviation regulatory burdens cause Tigerair to cease its flights to Bali island.

MNCs in the News-2017-01-27

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology sooths foreign firms over upcoming restrictions on VPN providers. Trump administration trade officials back a tougher line towards Chinese semiconductor investment and greater support for home firms. China stresses how Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US promotes manufacturing there and creates jobs. Hon Hai is considering a USD $7 billion investment in a joint flat panel project in the US with Pennsylvania a leading contender. In the wake of growing anxieties over Chinese investment, Australia moves to prepare review of strategic infrastructure. Apparently incentivized by Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other anti-trade statement, Toyota talks up $600 million investment plan. Toshiba’s troubles in the UK may force it to take on new partners and get United Kingdom (UK) government financing. Domestic and international political uncertainties seem to be driving a slowdown in inward FDI flows into Indonesia. Chinese outward FDI to Indonesia has been exploding, but it is uncertain if it will continue given uncertainties there plus anti-Chinese sentiments.

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