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MNCs in the News-2017-08-11

Beijing’s actions to curb overseas foreign direct investment (FDI) by private firms coupled with other factors generate uncertainty among potential Western investment targets. American credit/debit card companies Visa and MasterCard move to gain access to China market, but licensing uncertainties remain. Nissan to sell battery subsidiary to Chinese private equity firm, following recent Chinese government policy changes on purchase of batteries for electric vehicles. Facing pressure to invest in US, Toyota and Mazda plan USD $1.6 billion partnership to establish US based electric vehicle production plant. SK Engineering & Construction Co. announces deal to upgrade Iranian oil plant, reflecting Teheran’s bid to bring in foreign companies to boost its oil industry. Daewoo Engineering & Construction and Samsung Engineering win mega construction projects in Oman. Vale Indonesia experiencing difficulties finding nickel smelter partners for new investments after rule change. Indonesian President courting China for investment but concurrently preparing the military for potential confrontation. EXIM Thailand plans to open new branches in Cambodia and Laos to support outward FDI by Thai firms. China and Malaysia launch USD $13 billion rail project connecting peninsular Malaysia's East and West. Mitsubishi’s CEO tells Vietnamese Prime Minster it plans to produce electric vehicles in Vietnam. Long Son Petrochemical Co Ltd announces Hyundai Engineering and Construction won building contract for petrochemical plant in Vietnam.

MNCs in the News-2017-04-07

China’s State Council creates seven new free trade zones bringing the total number in the country to 11. China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) pushes foreign businesses to support its efforts to limit capital outflows from China. Prior to Donald Trump-Xi Jinping meeting, Chinese parliamentarian links the quality of the meeting to Google’s prospects for entering China. European Union regulators approve China National Chemical Corporations (ChemChina)’s massive acquisition of Syngenta while requiring some significant divestitures. Trump administration considers some dramatic steps to keep Westinghouse’s nuclear business out of Chinese hands. Sibanye Gold Ltd.’s proposed investment in Stillwater mining may not be golden because of American concerns over strategic materials access. Iran-Japan Investment Treaty enters into force on April 26 and may spur Japanese energy investment in Iran. Japanese foreign acquisitions hit a new record of almost USD $100 billion in fiscal year 2016, but performance is dubious. South Korea’s installation of the THAAD system continues to affect adversely Sino-Korean economic relations and Korean businesses. The fallout between China and South Korea over THAAD contributes to South Korean car manufacturers reducing production in their Chinese factories. Consortium of Chinese and Indonesian companies signs contract launching the construction phase of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train project. Afghan President Ghani encourages Indonesian investors to invest in Afghanistan and stresses the security of foreign investors as a top government priority. Tier-one American aerospace manufacturer may invest in Malaysia stimulating business for small and medium enterprises and creating high-income jobs. India and Malaysia sign investment deals with a value of USD $36 billion. Belgium plans to ramp up green energy investment in Vietnam.

MNCs in the News-2016-12-23

American firms fret that Trump’s stances on China trade and Taiwan may lead China to retaliate against them. Chinese firm drops contract with Korean software and platform provider due to sensitivities about Korea’s decision to deploy the THAAD system. Foreign decision makers strongly distrust Chinese state-owned enterprises where merger and acquisition deals are concerned. China retorts those critics arguing One Belt, One Road is a massive dumping scheme do not understand the idea of a double circulation economy. Japan is moving to force foreign pharmaceutical product prices to undergo annual reviews. Softbank pledges $1 billion investment in United States (US) as a partial fulfillment of a commitment made to US president-elect Trump. Russia, Japan, and many private companies strike new deals leading to cooperation possibilities in new areas. Japanese firms still intrigued by opportunities in the United Kingdom (UK) despite Brexit. The UK and Japan glow about a major nuclear cooperation agreement. The European Commission has fined Sony Corp., Panasonic Corp., and Sanyo Electric Co. regarding rechargeable lithium-ion battery price fixing. Investment in South Korea’s free economic zones is soaring but below prior highs. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. wins two orders including one from Iran’s state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, the latter’s first post sanction order. Indonesia and Google fail to come to a settlement about Google’s alleged tax underpayments. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha orders mine operated by Australian gold miner Kingsgate subsidiary Akara Resources to shut down for health and environmental reasons. Vietnam’s inward FDI hits new low for the year.

MNCs in the News-2016-08-19

China’s Foreign Ministry downplays worries about its cybersecurity law. Apple launches numerous initiatives to enhancing its operating environment in China. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) asserts its rights to review Didi Chuxing-Uber Technologies China merger for potential antitrust issues. Second Australian rejection of a major Chinese investment this year spurs MOFCOM to warn Australia of consequences and to call upon the latter to create a better investment environment. Iran courts increased Chinese investment and prods China for greater involvement in the latter’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) scheme. Korea’s Ministry of Environment will conduct a major investigation to find out if other foreign carmakers falsified emissions and noise level test data. Seoul’s Central District Prosecutors’ Office grills second Volkswagen Korea executive over allegations the company illegal changed car parts to pass emission tests. Korea’s Fair Trade Commission concludes that Google Korea’s preloaded apps and subsidies for search ads did not restrict market competition. Korea is moving to deal with map data requests from global companies. The Malaysian government continues to support the Iskandar Malaysia economic corridor, with foreign investment representing 40 percent of the money committed to the project. Vietnam’s realized inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) flows fall far below committed IFDI.

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-2016-07-01

At the Annual Meeting of Champions, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stresses the value of foreign direct investment (FDI) and China’s plans to create a better environment for them. Some fret Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will complicate LinkedIn’s position in China. China’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) reports that China’s state-owned enterprises are increasing their outward activities. Huawei still plans to go forward with multi-billion dollar U.K. investment despite Brexit. Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail bid to open next year and likely will feature strong competition between Chinese and Japanese firms. Coming into effect of Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement opens up new opportunities for European law firms to set up joint ventures (JVs) with Korean ones. End of sanctions and high-level summits create opportunities for Doosan heavy Industries & Construction in seawater desalination sector in Iran. Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to help American firms explore opportunities in Indonesia’s mining and infrastructure sectors. BKPM Chairman Franky Sibarani does not see Brexit affecting British investment in Indonesia. Registered FDI in Vietnam continues to show impressive growth with strong increases in FDI flowing into the manufacturing and processing sectors. Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training works to create a better environment for education investing in Vietnam.

MNCs in the News-2015-12-11

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.

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-2015-11-06

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promises better environment for German firms in China while seeking greater contributions from them at home and abroad. China announces, albeit with caveats, it will expand negative list system from coastal to interior areas. China’s four free trade zones (FTZs) experience boom in newly registered entities. China’s National Development and Reform Commission moves to draft clearer antitrust guidelines. China promises special operation to protect Disney trademark. Google and other blocks tech firms continue to seek opportunities in China. United States Trade Representative Michael Froman emphasizes TPP’s digital rules are not just about China. China’s China National Nuclear Corp. glows about possible mega nuclear deals with Argentina. HKND plans to move forward with its massive Nicaragua canal plan next year. Takata loses its best client and faces other US penalties for its deceptive actions. Japanese government lobbies Malaysia to go with Japanese high-speed rail option. Korea lobbies foreign firms to set up in Korea as a strategic base to access other countries with whom Korea has free-trade agreements. Volkswagen’s emission data scandal does not dent German car sales in Korea, but its sales plummet. Korea’s Trade Minister promises better environment for foreign business while business representatives press Korea to work harder. Korean Fair Trade Commission investigates Siemen’s Korea healthcare division for unfair trade practices. Korea firms work to secure major expressway project in Myanmar. Indonesia touts its plan to make things better for things in its special economic zones. Indonesia and India work to build cooperation in renewable energy which should provide new investment and trade opportunities. Malaysian officials stress the flexibilities the government won in TPP negotiations and the gains to be had for Malaysian companies. Malaysia’s Prime Minister emphasizes Malaysia’s strong place as a center for Islamic finance. Kedah state government in Malaysia encourages more investment from and cooperation with Qingdao.

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.

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