Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's blog

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Belt and Road Forum, II, part I-Cleaning Up the House

At the recent Belt and Road Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed China would adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption regarding its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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Dialing In or Head in the Clouds? China’s Prospective Opening of its ICT Sector

There are many sectors in China that are closed or highly-restricted as far as foreign direct investment (FDI) is concerned. Drivers of this include political nationalism, a desire to protect domestic firms, and concerns about economic independence.

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Chump Change? The risks of Banking on financial sector opening in China

China has long assured others of its intent to open up its financial sector. While it has never been entirely clear what this means, many have expected China not just to let in more foreign companies, but also to let them hold greater ownership stakes in their China operations and conduct more lines of business.

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Charged up about the Political Meaning of Tesla in China: Time to Apply the Brakes?

In 2017, it was revealed American electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla had concluded an agreement with Shanghai to build a manufacturing complex in Shanghai that, per Tesla CEO Elon Musk, will be extremely advanced and produce cars customized for the China market.

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Asia-Pacific Region (APR) Countries Turning Anti-Social against Internet Giants

For the past few years, internet giants such as America’s Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, Japan’s Rakuten, and South Korea’s Naver have been facing an increasingly turbulent operating environment in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR). Many of the challenges they face are widely known.

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Europe and Chinese Foreign Direct Investment: Screening the Screen

Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) is not a particularly new story as far as European Union (EU) countries are concerned.

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Japan’s Infrastructure Competition with China and its Implications for Southeast Asian Businesses

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s late October 2018 visit to China and the 10th Mekong Japan summit that preceded this trip focused renewed spotlight on Japan-China cooperation and competition.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race? Pondering the Japanese Corporate Reaction to Brexit

In 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU). “Brexit” fueled considerable anxieties in the Japanese business world, which is the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK. This was hardly shocking given the latter’s extensive involvement in the UK.

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Dirty Foreign Direct Investment? Chinese Outward FDI and Pollution Pathologies

In the 1970s, Tokyo adopted a conscious strategy to encourage outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) by Japanese firms as a way to mitigate the poisonous pollution flowing from Japan’s economic miracle.

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Vietnam, Special Economic Zones, and the “Problem” of Chinese FDI

To spur economic development, Vietnam has been, among other strategies, moving to establish special economic zones (SEZs). As elsewhere, these SEZs offer special privileges like long-term leases up to 99 years, tax breaks for companies and workers, and discounts on water and other service charges. In Vietnam’s case, SEZs recently have become a lightning rod for public protest rather than a cause to celebrate Hanoi’s economic acumen.

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