Saudi Arabia

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-2017-07-07

Speakers at event in Beijing argue greater market openness in China might facilitate greater Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States (US). Iranian, Chinese, and French, public and private firms, sign massive USD $4.8 billion deal to develop Iran’s South Pars (SP11) gas field. US considers applying economic sanctions on Chinese companies that do business with North Korea even if such activities are not prohibited by the United Nations Security Council. Japan and EU agree to broad outlines of new free trade agreement against the backdrop of US protectionist turn. China’s growing labor shortages, flowing from government policies, among other things, provide Japanese robotic manufacturing companies with investment opportunities. Hyundai Heavy Industries signs memorandum of understanding with state owned Saudi Aramco for engine plant in Saudi Arabia. Joint Korean and US Chambers of Commerce business summit results in Korean firms investing USD $12.8 billion in US. PT Freeport’s contract extension yet to be decided by Jakarta contrary to some media reports. Tender for Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail attracts strong global interest from potential bidders. Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance issues Request for Proposal for firms interested in developing the Bandar Malaysia project. Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discuss enhancing defense, cyber security and trade ties between both countries. Vietnam to cooperate with Saudi Arabia in renewable energy projects, reflecting country’s bid to increase electricity from renewable energy sources. Real estate FDI second most popular sector for foreign investment in Vietnam because of economic growth and new government policies.

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-2017-05-19

Almost five dozen global business groups send letter to top Chinese officials asking China to postpone the implementation of its cybersecurity law. Foreign pharmaceutical companies seek new ways to get high off China’s pharmaceutical policy reforms. Several American senators scream that Ant Financial’s takeover of MoneyGram is a national security threat. Joint strategic and security concerns over China’s Belt and Road initiative drive Japan and India to engage in new economic partnership. China’s economic retaliation against South Korea following South Korea’s adoption of THAAD missile system decreases after the installation of a new Korean government. Daewoo E&C and Hanwha E&C partner with Saudi Arabian government to develop new Saudi Arabian city. Wanda Group Chairman meets with Malaysia’s Prime Minister and considers investment exceeding USD $10 billion in Bandar Malaysia development. Malaysia’s troubled carmaker Proton seeks to sell up to 51 percent stake to foreign investor. Survey shows that despite government encouragement to go overseas smaller Singapore businesses emphasize local investments. Vietnam’s President welcomes Chinese hi-tech investment as Hanoi pursues a green economy and economic growth. Transfer pricing continues to be a serious problem with foreign investment in Vietnam.

MNCs in the News-2017-05-12

Germany’s top financial regulator generically welcomes Chinese investment in Germany’s financial sector. Tokyo and Beijing discuss bilateral economic relations and cooperation, as Japan fears potential spillover of China’s economic problems. India’s Finance Minister invites Japanese companies and financial institutions to engage in India’s “Made in India” initiative. POSCO and SeAH Steel join growing list of Korean multinationals joining American Chamber of Commerce Korea. Malaysian federal government’s support increases Johor’s appeal as a foreign direct investment (FDI) destination. Failure of Chinese bailout deal fuels speculation about future of Chinese investments in Malaysia. Formosa accelerates investment in USD $11.03 billion integrated steel mill project in Vietnam. Vietnam’s Prime Minister meets with Hong Kong delegation to promote infrastructure investment in Vietnam.

MNCs in the News-2017-04-14

China announces draft rule that would require certain firms to obtain permission to transfer data out of China. Apple promotes the adoption by yet more of its China suppliers of renewable energy. A Chinese think tank and corporate collaborator release a report showing that Chinese firms have been substantially boosting their investment in the manufacturing sector. Potential seen for greater Chinese involvement in ambitious American infrastructure programs. China and Myanmar agree to open oil pipeline linking Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu port to Yunnan, China. Likely opposition from Japanese and US government may drive Toshiba to reject highest bid from Taiwan’s China-connected Hon Hai. Korean companies participate in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 project and, accordingly, will get special support from the Saudi government. Foreign firms pour money into South Korea’s IT, fashion, and entertainment startups to profit from Korea’s cultural power. News reports reveal Malaysia Korea Partners funneled money to the leadership in Pyongyang for decades, violating UN sanctions. China’s Alibaba Group and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) jointly establish Digital Free Trade Zone. Cheaper labor, less stringent legal structure, and better intellectual property right protections spur Italian corporate pivot from China into Vietnam. Local officials in Can Tho court French investment in various sectors including agriculture.

MNCs in the News-2017-03-17

Foreign companies change “government” relations practices in China to adjust to the newfound role of the Communist Party. Boeing will work with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd., a Chinese state-owned enterprise, to construct a Boeing 737 completion center near Shanghai. During his visit to China, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman signs agreements with a potential value in the tens of billions of dollars, many relating to the construction of petrochemical facilities in China. The head of the People’s Bank of China decries irrational investments in defending the government’s recent imposition of capital controls. Japan and Saudi Arabia agree to study the value of special economic zones as a means to attract Japanese companies to Saudi Arabia. Toshiba’s financial woes, relating to its troubled American Westinghouse unit, are raising all kinds of national security, job, and financial issues for the Japanese and American governments. Japan may use various economic laws to ensure Toshiba’s memory chip unit is not sold to a bidder that may represent a national security risk. Myanmar authorities give KB Kookmin Bank permission to establish a cooperative microfinance venture in the country. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. wins a USD $408 million deal to upgrade an existing Indonesian power plant. Indonesia runs major investment promotion event in Singapore. Indonesia Tourism Ministry courts Singaporean investment in North Sumatra airport and other infrastructure.

MNCs in the News-2017-03-03

China’s elderly care needs create space for foreign investors. China’s efforts to control capital flight are leading to increased bureaucratic review and deal delays. Japan’s Takata Corp. enters into a settlement pursuant to which it accepted a felony charge and will create two compensation funds worth USD $1 billion. Nissan Motor Co. faces fines relating to worker injuries at its Mississippi and Tennessee auto factories. Despite the threat of Chinese sanctions, Lotte Group exchanges land with the Korean government that the latter wants for its THAAD missile system deployment. In the face of US President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs on goods imported from Mexico, LG Electronics announced plans for a home appliance plant in Tennessee that will produce for the US market. Freeport McMoran and Indonesia battle it out with some optimistic a settlement will be reached and others fretting about adverse political and economic consequences for Indonesia. Saudi Arabia and Indonesia strike numerous deals following King Salman’s visit to the latter, though Indonesia hopes for tens of billions of dollars more.

MNCs in the News-2017-02-24

Capital outflow limits and consumer sector investment liberalization measures affect both the volume and sectoral distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into China. Chinese restrictions on capital outflows are affecting how sellers perceive Chinese investors. Members of the US Congress are looking to empower the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US to scrutinize Chinese investors more rigorously. The European Commission launches an investigation of planned Chinese high-speed railway project connecting Hungary and Serbia. Uncertainties surrounding Trump Administration policies are making Japanese firms, with the exception of auto firms, cautious about investing in the US. Suzuki Motor Corporation obtains incentives that will cause it to expand its investment in Pakistan. Lotte is explicitly warned by China not to meet the South Korean government’s demand for land for its THAAD system. South Korea’s SKC Ltd. and Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals- Mitsui Chemicals & SKC Polyurethanes Inc. (MCNS) will set up a facility in India to produce polyurethanes. Freeport-McMoRan threatens to sue the Indonesian government if they do not resolve their dispute over Freeport’s obligations. Indonesia solicits Saudi investment, especially in non-oil and non-gas sectors.

Dr. Manochehr Dorraj's picture

China’s Expanding Investment in Renewable Energy Development in the Middle East and North Africa

China is the number one producer of and investor in renewable energy globally. Illustrating this, it has over 500 solar panel manufacturing companies, including the world’s top three solar panel producers. Its capabilities have allowed it to take a leading role in renewable energy investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The latter’s interest in renewables seems surprising given that MENA countries are primarily known for their massive oil and gas reserves and reliance on fossil fuel as a major source of domestic energy and export earnings.

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