Association of Southeast Asian Nations

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. Hwy-Chang Moon's picture

Drivers of Korean Startups’ FDI: Government Support or Regulations?

The Korean government has been well-known for the significant support it gives to startups pursuant to its “Creative Economy” policy, which aims to stimulate economic growth through innovation and job creation. Ironically, given this strong backing, there have been an increasing number of Korean startups investing abroad to bypass the strict regulations of their home country. Although Korean startups have advanced technology, they are hamstrung by burdensome government regulations.

MNCs in the News-2018-11-30

China moving to improve the business environment for foreign companies, especially in Free Trade Zones (FTZs). China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announces that it will permit foreign banks in China to apply for approval for a quota increase in their medium to long-term foreign debt for 2019. Per Donald Trump, the United States may take a bite out of Apple products coming from China which previously have escaped a special 10 percent tariffs on Chinese goods. China’ Huawei finds Kiwis not so soft after New Zealand’s intelligence agency blocks it supplying 5G mobile network equipment to the major domestic telecom provider. Maldives’ new finance minister criticizes true price of Chinese projects, which has led to the Maldives returning to an “India First” policy. Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries ordered by South Korea’s Supreme Court to pay USD $365,500 in damages to two groups of South Koreans for forced wartime labor. In post-Carlos Ghosn arrest meeting, France suggests to Japanese official “the head of the Renault-Nissan alliance should be from the French automaker.” European firms with business in South Korea push Seoul to upgrade the country’s business regulations to reach international standards. At the 6th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Connectivity Forum, South Korea’s secretary-general of the ASEAN-Korea Centre states Korea is looking to improve relations with ASEAN countries especially in infrastructure area.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

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.

Mr. Naoyuki Haraoka's picture

The Implications of the China-US Trade War Given the Growing Importance of Japanese Subsidiaries to Japanese MNCs

The latest Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) Statistical Survey on Japanese overseas subsidiaries published on September 26 revealed their sales, facility and equipment investment, and employment all achieved significantly high growth.

MNCs in the News-2018-10-05

Regulations promulgated pursuant to China’s 2017 cybersecurity law will give Chinese police expansive authority to examine corporate information systems. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and other bodies reported that Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows experienced a drop in 2017 for the first time since 2002. Apple and Amazon vehemently reject Bloomberg story that their servers were penetrated by hardware corrupted by Chinese intelligence operatives. Plans for Japan’s SoftBank to build the world’s largest solar farm in Saudi Arabia may be burning up, though the firm insists the project is moving forward. Japan’s Mitsubishi partners with various state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on USD $31 billion LNG project in western Canada. South Korea’s Hyundai Development Company (HDC), in a joint venture (JV) with India’s Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCC), wins $300 million road project in India. Spurred by South Korea government policies and Indonesia incentives as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Agreement, Hyundai Motor Group plans major car manufacturing plant in Indonesia.

MNCs in the News-2018-04-13

Observers believe China’s financial sector liberalization will draw in foreign investors and help internationalize the renminbi. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) expects outward foreign direct investment (FDI) to show good growth for the first quarter of 2018. China “insures” insurance sector will have new openings for foreign investors. Chinese outward FDI in the United States (US) showed massive drop from 2016 to 2017 for various political and economic reasons. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in 2017 jumps with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) a favored place for Chinese M&A. Troubled Takata says its acquisition by Key Safety Systems has been completed and the deal has received antitrust and bankruptcy court approvals in several countries. Ghana’s Finance Minister says African countries looking to Japan, among other Asian countries, to tap into abundant investment resources to fund Africa’s development needs. The Chinese government’s latest list of subsidy eligible electric vehicles continues to exclude South Korean battery firms. GM Korea has deadline of April 20th to submit restructuring plans for South Korean operations to government bodies. Malaysia’s Digital Free Trade Zone forecasted to attract over USD $200 million through investments on infrastructure, systems, and equipment over next three years. IHH Healthcare Bhd suggests it would spend up to USD $1.3 billion to acquire India’s Fortis Healthcare Ltd even though India’s fraud commission is investigating the company.

MNCs in the News-2018-01-12

China moving to make Free Trade Zones (FTZs) freer. China punishes Marriott over survey that lists Hong Kong, Macao, and Tibet as independent countries. Apple’s iCloud darkens as it transfers the service to a Chinese company that will operate it and keep all data in China. French Finance Minister welcomes Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in France provided it is not “looting.” President Donald Trump’s pressure seems to have driven Toyota and Mazda to select Alabama for USD $1.6 billion production facility. NEC acquires Northgate Public Services for USD $640 million following the British government’s promotion of digitalization. South Korea’s state-operated Korean Development Bank sets price floor on sale of struggling construction firm Daewoo Engineering & Construction. Hyundai invests in Singapore’s Grab in effort to expand in Southeast Asia and reduce reliance on the tumultuous China market. Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance to reevaluate investment attraction programs after no companies applied in 2017. Jakarta and Freeport-McMoRan seek to resolve by June a host of operational issues that plague the future of Grasberg mine. Nissan shortlists Thailand as possible location for Asia-Pacific EV manufacturing facility due to Thai investment incentives. Thai Minister says Chinese investment into country’s rubber plantations must be carefully considered and not impact local farmers. Johor Sultan invests USD $100 million in Sri Lanka’s first pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. New policy decree by Hanoi allows foreign enterprises to provide logistics services in Vietnam. Several of Vietnam’s efforts to divest state-owned enterprises at the end of 2017 did not catch much investor attention.

MNCs in the News-2017-12-15

China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) announces plan to ease requirements for foreign banks wanting to conduct yuan trading. Government restrictions put brakes on the progress of foreign autonomous vehicle development in China. Wisconsin to power it up to meet future Foxconn plant’s electricity needs. Economist Intelligence Unit finds that the United Kingdom’s attractiveness to Chinese investors dropped severely from 2015 to this year. Japan and the EU conclude talks on a free trade deal, however investment dispute settlement issues remain unresolved. Toshiba and Western Digital end legal battle over flash memory unit sale, though antitrust screening in big global markets could obstruct the unit’s sale. Samsung and LG expanding employment and investment in Vietnam in the wake of Hanoi’s efforts to attract foreign companies. Hyundai Motor Co. sets up JV in Indonesia in wake of South Korean President Moon’s New South Policy. Indonesia’s Gunung Steel Group and China’s Shenwu Technology Corp to build USD $3 billion steel plant in line with Jakarta’s goal to increase country’s steel production capacity. Singapore’s APRIL Group lodges case against Indonesian government through its Indonesian unit RAPP. Thai Beverage only foreign firm to bid for large share in Vietnam’s state-owned brewing company Sabeco. Jacobs Douwe Egberts to buyout Malaysia’s OldTown with deal conditional upon approval from Malaysian antitrust authorities. BRG Group and Sumitomo Corporation to finalize plans for USD $4 billion smart city in Hanoi as local government pledges to create favorable conditions for its execution.

MNCs in the News-2017-12-08

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang promises significantly better environment for foreign investors. Lego pieces together blocks of winning copyright case in China. Sinopec USA fires up lawsuit against Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman describes Sinopec USA lawsuit against PDVSA as a normal commercial dispute and cautions against blowing things out of proportion. Nissan files charges in international arbitration court against Indian government for reneging on promised tax breaks. Melco vowed to build headquarters in Japan if it were to be approved casino license following country’s recent legalization of casinos. Improving Sino-Korean political relations giving hope to LG Display that its planned Chinese production facility will finally be approved by Seoul. SK Engineering & Construction to build and run hydropower plant in Pakistan, the first such project for a South Korean company in the country, before returning control to Islamabad. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group expected to invest at least USD $1.8 billion in PT Bank Danamon Indonesia and will work closely to meet Jakarta’s regulatory requirements. Jakarta to buy Rio Tinto’s 40 percent stake in Freeport-McMoRan operated Grasberg mine as part of its efforts to gain control of country’s natural resources. Bangkok considering new non-tariff barriers to EVs in anticipation of increased imports of Chinese EVs resulting from ASEAN-China FTA. Thailand’s CT Bright has joined with China’s HNA Group to set up an investment fund for Thailand’s EEC. Kuala Lumpur making new efforts to promote investment in automation and smart manufacturing. Malaysia’s Prime Minister calls on foreign businesses to renew investment in the country. Hanoi grants investment certificate to Sumitomo Corporation for USD $2.58 billion thermal power plant in Vietnam’s Van Phong Economic Zone.

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