BRI

Dr. Amitendu Palit's picture

Investments and Connectivity: Digital Capacity Matters

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and upcoming regional connectivity plans like the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) should stimulate foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in countries getting connected and developing new industrial and other capacities. These investments, among other factors, would be driven by local and national capacities to do business across cyberspace. Discussions on connectivity often overlook this vital element as they focus on land and sea links.

MNCs in the News-2018-06-15

Investigation reveals Foxconn factory in China supplying Amazon products has serious problems regarding labor conditions. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) for first five month of 2018 shows impressive growth over 2017. China’s SF Motors drives ahead in effort to build electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Indiana (United States). Fears about potential Chinese dominance lead Vietnam to protest their government’s special economic zones plan. Japanese firms making own deals with American states that “go their own way” in pursuing investment opportunities. Mexico’s Economy Minister visiting Japan as country seeks to diversify investment and exports amid NAFTA talks impasse. Korean firm announces $1.7 billion investment plan for liquefied natural gas infrastructure in Philippines following President Duterte’s recent Seoul visit. South Korean construction companies forming task forces and planning investments in North Korea following US and North Korea summit. Mahathir set to “woo investors and offer business deals” during recent Japan visit. Malaysian state Perak to cooperate with EU to strengthen investment cooperation.

MNCs in the News-2018-06-08

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announces two new negative lists will be put forth by end of June. China’s State Administration of Market Regulation probes foreign chipmakers because of concerns about rising memory chip prices. In response to charges regarding the debt burdens on participant countries flowing from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s MOFCOM denies forcing projects on anyone and touts the benefits of its BRI. Development of controversial Chinese development around Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port progresses with selection of planning consultancy. British government and Hitachi agree to begin full-scale negotiations on potential construction of nuclear power plant in Wales after settling on cost sharing. Japan to offer generous loan terms to more businesses in order to reach 2020 target of USD $2.5 billion in infrastructure exports. Philippines authorities in midst of processing four letters of intent from South Korean firms representing potential $4.4 billion in energy investment. Suspicious payments of $2 billion by previous Najib government to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau under investigation by Malaysian authorities. Indian federal investigators have filed criminal charges against AirAsia India, partly owned by Malaysia’s AirAsia, for “conspiracy” involving bribes to policymakers to change regulations.

MNCs in the News-2018-05-18

Gap struggles to find its way with respect to T-shirt sold in China featuring criticized map. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) shows large overseas investment results since 2013. Chinese lithium firm moves forward on deal to take major stake in Chilean lithium producer despite potential government opposition. Seizing opportunities created by China’s BRI, Wu Yi plans to construct an approximately $100 million industrial park in Kenya. First jointly built container port involving public and private sectors of both Japan and Vietnam opens in Vietnam’s Haiphong. Chinese officials increase visits to Japanese corporations to court greater investment. Chinese workers at South Korea’s Lotte Mart affiliate in Beijing stage sit-ins to protest Lotte’s decision to back out of Chinese market. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister pledges to work with South Korean firms to boost incoming investment. Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad vowed to reassess all large infrastructure projects with Singapore. Mitsui and Mitsubishi Estate partner with Malaysia’s Sime Darby Property to build and manage industrial facilities with development cost of $133 million

MNCs in the News-2018-05-11

Apple denies taking a bite out of its customers. Official Chinese data indicate that Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) grew healthily in the 1st quarter of 2018. China Three Gorges charges up to take full control of Portugal’s EDP which is drawing political scrutiny. Chinese investment in Malaysia big election issue. British government proposes USD $18.2 billion in loans for Hitachi’s Wales nuclear plant. Uniqlo to enter Indian market in fall 2019 as Indian government initiatives attract foreign retailers to the country. General Motors to move Asia-Pacific headquarters to South Korea to show Seoul commitment to its revitalized Korean operations. Elliot seeking legal action against Korean government for USD $670 million it claims to have lost from merger of two Samsung affiliates. Mahathir says Malaysia may renegotiate some deals with China following his coalition’s victory.

MNCs in the News-2018-04-27

Foreign car makers hope China will speed up the auto reform parts that they desire. Puma hopping to consider other production venues if United States (US) imposes tariffs on shoes and apparel made in China. India does not offer support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting. Toyota to sell Chinese partner’s electric vehicle in China to pave way for introducing own models next year. Itochu pulling out of Turkish nuclear power plant project due to surge in safety-related costs. General Motors reaches last minute deal with labor union and South Korean government to save Korean operations. State-owned Korea National Oil Corporation looking to sell Canadian Harvest oil field to repay debts incurred by its Canadian subsidiary. Opponent of incumbent Malaysian Prime Minister vows to reconsider Chinese contracts if elected. KWAP may consider stake in IAG if Prudential cannot met Malaysian central bank mandate that foreign insurers reduce ownership stakes to 70 percent.

MNCs in the News-2018-04-20

China to roll out new negative lists for free-trade zones (FTZs) and other parts of the country during the first half of 2018. Foreign and publicly-listed on foreign exchanges Chinese firms move to accommodate Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s desire for greater say. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) touts that Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) grew while Chinese outward FDI in irrational areas has collapsed. Chinese investors pour money into American bio-tech firms for a variety of financial, political, and social policy reasons. Indonesia to rely on loans from Japanese government and public-private partnership schemes to fund USD $4.5 billion railway project. Honda experiencing complications with its CR-V recall plan in China as sales continue to drop. Seoul offers to give American carmaker General Motors USD $470 million to continue its Korean operations as bankruptcy looms. Multinational companies operating in South Korea increasingly under government scrutiny for malpractice. AIIB very interested in financing Malaysian infrastructure projects following a meeting between the AIIB President and Malaysia’s Prime Minister. Japan’s Nichirei Corp acquires 40 percent stake in Malaysia’s state-owned Cold Chain Network which facilitates the latter’s effort to address government development objectives.

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.

Executive Director Jean-Marc F. Blanchard to speak at UNIDO New Silk Road Economic Belt event on April 18, 2018

On April 18, 2018, Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations (Wong MNC Center), will speak at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) conference on "Fostering Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) in the New Silk Road Economic Belt: Leveraging potentials of Industrial parks, Zones, and Cities." Dr.

MNCs in the News-2018-03-23

US companies dilute proposed legislation that might have dampened their exports to/sales in China of technology. 2018 China Enterprise Cross-Border M&A Special Report shows decline in both the number and volume of Chinese merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in 2017. China’s crackdown on CEFC Energy throws into uncertainty a proposed mega investment in Russia’s Rosneft. Japanese may loosen regulations on foreign direct investment (FDI) in Japanese broadcasters. Toshiba chip sale deal awaits regulatory approval from China. South Korea company wins multi-billion bridge building contract in Turkey. South Korea and Russian companies lay foundation for cooperation in building transportation and other infrastructure for Korean peninsula and elsewhere. Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry to sue American mining company Freeport McMoRan for massive environmental damages. Indonesian official embark on road show to bring more private FDI into the country’s underfunded infrastructure projects. Thai government alarms by announcing intention to change the country’s Foreign Business Act. Malaysia finalizes deal bringing USD $7 billion of Saudi FDI into the Pengerang Integrated Complex. UAE company will pour more than USD $1 billion to develop offshore Malaysian gas site. Vietnam’s State Audit Office slaps back taxes bill on just privatized former state-owned enterprises (SOE) Sabeco. Vietnam aims to divest major portion of PetroVietnam Gas to garner strategic investment and massive amounts of funds.

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