Africa

MNCs in the News-2019-09-13

Despite the United States (US)-China trade war, renowned economist highlights that US firms continue to remain in China because of the attractiveness of China as well as limits associated with the alternatives. During a meeting with a Japanese business delegation, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang welcomes more Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) in China. Although it decreased compared to 2017, Chinese outward FDI in 2018 was the second highest globally after Japan. China is moving to expand “internet plus healthcare” cooperation with BRI countries generally and BRI countries specifically. Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating whether BMW’s Japan subsidiary abused its market power to punish dealers that failed to meet sales quotas. Japan’s trade minister notes South Korea’s filing of a World Trade Organization (WTO) complaint will not affect Japan’s export control measures and that it will decide later if it wants consultations. Korean employer and business groups express worries about government plan to ratify parts of International Labor Organization (ILO) convention which they fear will make Korean labor unions more powerful. Head of LG Chem opines that his company’s lawsuit against SK Innovation in the US does not undermine the national interest.

MNCs in the News-2019-08-30

China’s plan to apply its social-credit system to foreign companies is raising concerns about possible abuses. China’s State Council announces it will establish pilot free trade zones (FTZs) in Shandong, Jiangsu, Guangxi Zhuang, Yunnan, Hebei, and Heilongjiang. United States (US) companies likely to stay in China despite trade war, a problematic regulatory environment, and US President Donald Trump’s call for them to leave. Although frictions over maritime issues remain unsettled, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposes joint oil & gas development in Reed Bank area to visiting Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte. Japan is paying more attention to tax shifting activities by high-tech companies and has recently forced Facebook to pay more in taxes for some questionable tax shifting activities. After the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), Japan and 53 African countries signed the Yokohama declaration which stressed “‘quality infrastructure investment.’” South Korea’s new policy for network fees has led to frictions with Facebook and service problems that led to fines which Facebook fought successfully in court. The Korea Startup Forum, the Korea Internet Corporations Association, and local and foreign content providers have called upon the South Korean government “to completely overhaul its network fee calculation structure.”

Mr. Naoyuki Haraoka's picture

ASEAN is No “Plan B” for US-China Trade War Disruption of Japanese MNC GVCs

A quarter of Japanese manufacturing is done overseas with the subsidiaries of Japanese multinational corporations (MNCs) venturing overseas to extend global value chains (GVCs) that begin in Japan. Under the resulting structure, the majority of Japanese manufacturing exports head towards overseas subsidiaries with capital ties to headquarters in Japan.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

Belt and Road Forum II, Part III-Quality Quashes Quantity? Quackery!

Many observers viewed the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) as a time for China to make amends, at least verbally, for the shortcomings of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has been associated with inter alia corruption, excessive debt burdens, environmental damage, opacity, and the displacement of local labor.

MNCs in the News-2019-06-28

President Donald Trump’s tough stance on intellectual property rights (IPR) violations seems to be driving China to treat foreign IPR more respectfully. At the Osaka G20 Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping announces several measures China will undertake to open its market further to foreign direct investment (FDI) and improve IPR protection. This past week witnessed the creation of the Belt and Road Economic Information Partnership (BREIP). Two major BRI projects in Africa end. At the Osaka G20 summit, participating countries embrace Japan’s international principles for quality infrastructure. Japan tells two leading candidates for the British Prime Ministership it does not want a “no deal Brexit.” As part of its downstream growth and diversification strategy, Saudi Aramco and its affiliates have signed a dozen accords with South Korean companies covering sectors areas like shipbuilding, engine manufacturing, and petrochemicals. A consortium involving Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KNHP) and KEPCO Plant Service & Engineering (KPS) signs a five-year maintenance service deal for the Barakah nuclear power plant, but fails to garner responsibilities for maintenance services, nuclear scientists, and engineers.

Dr. Amitendu Palit's picture

BRI and FOIP: Politicizing Investments

The Asia-Pacific Region (APR) is experiencing a surge of connectivity initiatives. China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is now accompanied by the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). There is also the upcoming Asia-Africa Growth Corridor being promoted by Japan and India.

Executive Director Jean-Marc F. Blanchard presents paper at 2018-09-21 Workshop on China's Maritime Silk Road Initiative, Africa, and Middle East

On September 21, 2018, the Mr. & Mr. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporation (Wong MNC Center) and the University of Nottingham, Ningbo jointly held a workshop on China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRSI), Africa, and the Middle East.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

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.

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.

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