Middle East

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.

Dr. Manochehr Dorraj's picture

Headways and Headwinds Facing China’s Economic Diplomacy in the Middle East

China’s impressive success in rapidly expanding its investment and ties with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the last two decades is a significant, yet under-investigated subject. What factors contribute to China’s success?

MNCs in the News-2016-04-01

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang emphasizes China’s willingness to work harder to create a favorable environment for foreign investors. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stresses that the country’s planned rules on Internet domain names will not affect companies’ “normal operations.” China will set up its first overseas permanent military base in Djibouti. China’s Railway Rolling Stock Corp. aims to win large amounts of business in the developed world. In the face of US Senatorial concerns, Syngenta AG insists a China National Chemical Corp. takeover would not raise security issues. Japan may finance a multi-billion dollar deep-sea port project in Patimban, Indonesia. JR Tokai and its American partner Texas Central Partners (TCP) are going to ask the US Federal Railroad Administration to set new rules allowing an ultrahigh-speed to be built to Japanese bullet train specifications. Mercedes-Benz Korea not rolling along as far as the Korean government is concerned. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion probes if Korean companies should relocate from the shuttered Kaesong Industrial Complex to Vietnam. Korean businesses and association, in collaboration with the government, will establish a public-private consultative council to boost overseas Korean construction business. Thai Democrats challenge financing model for Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed train line. Vietnamese inward foreign direct investment for the first quarter of 2016 surges over the comparable period a year earlier.

MNCs in the News-2016-01-22

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.

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

Dr. Manochehr Dorraj's picture

China’s Strategy in the Middle East: High Profile Economics, Low Profile Politics

China has created two of the largest sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) in the world and has declared the Arab World is going to be one of its SWFs’ major investment destinations.

Dr. Manochehr Dorraj's picture

The Return of the Middle East to its Asian Home? The Expanding Middle East-Asia Nexus and its Ramifications, part I

“The Asianization” of the Middle East, fostered by expanding trade, energy, immigration, military and political ties between Asia—most notably, China, Japan, South Korea, India and the region—foretells a political realignment in which the Asian powers are filling the vacuum created by diminishing US and European influence. The most significant indicator of this trend is China’s expanding energy-related trade and investment links with the region, complemented by substantial increases in bilateral trade, military and political ties.

MNCs in the News-2015-05-15

Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) into China continues to impress. China softens move to eliminate preferences given to foreign investors. Tim Cook launches new environmental initiative during visit to China. Cisco CEO John Chambers highlights how politics is affecting his firm’s business and the operations of other IT companies. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner describes the censorship of the firm’s Chinese-language website as essential but “very painful.” China’s freeing of prices in the electricity sector have potential to open new investment and sales opportunities for foreign firms. China’s investment in Africa increases, drawing praise from Kenyan local leaders. Political and economic factors spur increased Chinese investment in Israel. China’s investment lenses focus on Latin America’s “liberal” economies. Korea’s POSCO Energy negotiating joint investment fund with Korea’s National Pension Service that would support overseas power plant investments. Korea’s Daewoo International working with various Saudi government partners on building a car manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia. Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board promises to smooth South Korean investment in Indonesia.