Saudi Arabia

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.

MNCs in the News-2016-12-09

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have reduced the number of sectors on its foreign investment catalog restricted and prohibited lists by more than 30 percent. China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has denied there are restrictions on foreign firms' crossborder profit transfers. The NDRC has imposed a more than $17 million fine on Medtronic for violating China’s anti-monopoly laws. China’s national cybersecurity standards body, The Technical Committee 260, ignores foreign company pleas about its technical standards for operating systems, microprocessors, and office software. China’s concerns about capital flight and money laundering led it to strengthen its review of overseas deals exceeding USD $10 billion and in an overseas entity unrelated to the investor’s core business. China launches $22 billion fund to support overseas investments by Chinese companies. Chinese investment in Europe soars over 2015 totals. Softbank owner Masayoshi Son promises Donald Trump he will make a massive investment in the US. South Korea’s largest steel pipe producer buys two oil country tubular goods (OCTG) related facilitates in the US to escape possible US trade barriers. Indonesia’s Ambassador to Singapore encourages greater investment from Singapore, Indonesia’s largest foreign investor. Chinese investment in Indonesia soars, helping with infrastructure development, but raising some concerns. Chinese delegation from Zhejiang province to travel to Indonesia to assess the political risk environment in the country. Foreign companies in Thailand ask Prime Minister to update its laws pertaining to foreign workers. Official Thai delegation to China hopes to attract more investment, reinforce the relationship, and increase cooperation on China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected the notion he was trading the country’s sovereignty for foreign investment. Vietnam’s FDI inflows reach record highs and Vietnam promises steps to attract more investment.

MNCs in the News-2016-10-14

China’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) for the first nine months of 2016 grows a modest 4.2 percent year-over-year (YOY). China takes various steps to ease process for inward FDI, but foreign observers reserve judgement. Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration imposes several million dollars in fines on Shanghai Husi and OSI Group’s China office for distributing reprocessed and expired meat. GlaxoSmithKline has been moving over the past two years to enhance its R&D capabilities in China and to take other steps to enhance its ability to serve Chinese patients. Chinese outward FDI in the US hits a record in 2015, spurring increased sensitivity. Chinese President Xi Jinping promises Portuguese Prime Minister his country will encourage more investment in Portugal. Alibaba plans to help Thailand with small business development, e-commerce, and e-payments. Chongqing actively engages with China’s One Belt, One Road scheme giving it all kinds of new export and logistics opportunities. Fujitsu plans to downside in the UK and denies the move relates to Brexit, though there are doubts. Japan’s SoftBank partners with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to create massive tech investment fund. Korean construction firm Doosan wins approximately billion dollar power plant project in Saudi Arabia. Korea Electric Power Corporation wins more than $35 billion coal-fired thermal plant contract in South Africa, the country’s first independent power project. Investors enthused about Indonesia infrastructure opportunities, but worry about requirement they be paid in rupiah. Malaysia welcomes investment in the biomass industry and announces major new investment by Korean petroleum refiner. Samsung’s massive global Galaxy7 smartphone recall may have an adverse impact on Vietnam’s growth rate. Ho Chi Minh City see big drop in investment in industrial parks and export processing zones as it pushes investment in tech rather than labor-intensive sectors.

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-2016-05-27

At the 8th Strategic and Economic Dialogue talks, the US will press China to improve its business and investment climate. China say it will propose a global investment code at the upcoming G20 summit in Hangzhou. Tsinghua Unigroup’s leadership is unconcerned about the possibilities the new Taiwan leadership may review two of its investments in Taiwanese testing and packaging chip companies. Chinese bidding consortium goes to Malaysia to tout its advantages for the Singapore-Malaysia high-speed rail project. Indian Finance Minister plans to pursue vigorous implementation of a Japan high-speed rail project linking Ahmedabad and Mumbai when he visits Japan at the end of this month. Japanese firms want the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union. South Korean cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait leads to accelerate of SK Gas Ltd.’s liquid petroleum gas-based gas chemistry business. Frustrated with a stalled legal case, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has decided to pull out of a major Nigerian oil exploration and development project. Indonesia is working hard to finalize all the regulations (new and revised) in its 12 economic policy packages. Global rating agencies seem to like Indonesia’s investment quality. Thailand is pushing Food Innopolis, a food cluster designed to enhance the value of the country’s crops. Vietnam’s inward FDI for the first five months of 2016 grows strongly over the comparable period in 2015. Foreign investors can enter the theater industry in Vietnam.

MNCs in the News-2016-03-25

China announces a recall affecting BMW Mini Coopers. Chinese M&A and outward M&A deal values hit record amounts for the year to date. Leading Chinese brands are earning an increasing amount of their revenues from overseas. China Railway Group Limited to invest billions of dollars in an integrated office complex in Kuala Lumpur and will set up its regional headquarters there. China’s Railway No. 3 Engineering Group and SinoFortone Group conclude MOU with Scotland that has the potential for US $14 billion in infrastructure projects. Japan’s Inpex multibillion dollar LNG project in Indonesia may undergo a dramatic transformation due to a Presidential decision to move the project onshore. Korean prosecutors raid Volkswagen’s vehicle inspection center to probe emissions equipment on the German’s company’s new cars. Korea’s GS Engineering and Construction wins US $1.26 billion contract for world’s largest rolling stock and bus base in Singapore. A Korean consortium including Daewoo Engineering and Construction and Hanwha Engineering Construction have won a $18-20 billion housing project in Saudi Arabia. Korean firms will invest in Russian Far East for “fishy reasons.” At the BOAO Forum for Asia, Indonesia Vice President Jusuf Kalla says his country needs to improve its regulatory efficiency. Indonesia aims to secure a 30 percent increase in FDI from China in 2016. Thai Deputy Prime Minister courts South Korean investment. Vietnam grants Samsung Electronics Vietnam permission to establish a USD $300 million research and development project in Hanoi.

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