Eastern Economic Corridor

MNCs in the News-2018-06-29

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) unveils new nationwide negative list which opens about 17 more sectors and reduces various restrictions. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and NDRC released a revamped negative list for foreign direct investment (FDI) in China’s free trade zones (FTZs) that has some better features than nationwide negative list. United States apparently to go with enhanced Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review process rather than establish mechanisms that specifically focused on restraining Chinese FDI. Nissan picks Thailand as first export market for new hybrid cars which may lead to local production if results and investment incentives are attractive. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation signs memorandum with Thailand’s governmental agency that the latter hopes will boost FDI. Samsung’s managing leaders recently convened to discuss a growing “China problem” as company confronts various political and regulatory problems. Taiwan’s GlobalWafers intends to follow through on USD $450 million Korean production facility amid increased Sino-US trade tensions. Malaysian government optimistic that investors’ confidence will be restored partly due to Prime Minister Mahathir’ effort to court FDI. Survey reveals Japanese companies interested in setting up manufacturing bases in Malaysia and are looking to invest in new sectors.

MNCs in the News-2018-06-01

China’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) shows growth with especially impressive growth in high-tech areas like medical equipment manufacturing. Slew of political factors conspiring to dampen Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) to the United States (US). European parliament pushing increased reviews of FDI, partly due to surge of Chinese OFDI in Europe. China’s first report on central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) corporate social responsibility (CSR) argues their efforts go unnoticed and that they are doing a good job in environmental protection. Japanese contractors blindsided by Malaysia’s decision to scrap planned USD $14.8 billion high-speed rail link from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Government representatives of China, Japan and Thailand announce intentions to pursue business collaboration in Eastern Economic Corridor. General Motors’ $7 billion rescue plan for South Korean plants in jeopardy because of threat of Trump tariffs on foreign cars and car parts. Hanwha Q CELLS Korea signs memorandum of understanding with Whitfield County government to construct solar module production facility. Mahathir announces reconsideration of terms of USD $14 billion rail deal involving Chinese partners to prioritize reducing country’s ballooning national debt. Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas to become second-largest partner in Canadian liquefied natural gas export project by buying 25 percent stake.

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-2018-03-02

Apple stores key for accessing Chinese users iCloud data in China raising human rights and privacy concerns. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) opposition causes Xcerra to terminate sale to Chinese investment fund. Chinese automakers not braking on their overseas expansion despite legal and regulatory issues facing outward foreign direct investment (FDI). Shanghai government takes over CEFC China Energy. Toyota to build next generation of Auris model cars in England despite worries about effect of Brexit. Kubota Corp. to spend over USD $3.1 billion on three new US production plants in a bid to mitigate foreign exchange risks and jump market barriers. Mounting pressure in the US to impose trade restrictions on various Korean-made products cause Samsung Electronics to consider more US based production facilities. Kumho Tire under pressure to find new majority shareholder given opposition to Chinese investment in a firm that operates defense businesses. Foreign investors charged up about investment opportunities in Indonesian electric vehicle battery sector because of the country's backward energy infrastructure and battery technology. Indonesia's BIBU plans to work with foreign partners/investors to build a new airport in Bali subject to Ministry of Transportation approval. Russia proposes joint innovation fund with Thailand to increase investment in technology. Najib Razak announces Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil and gas conglomerate Aramco will invest USD $7 billion into Malaysia before March 31. Vietnam approves Vietcombank's sale of a 10 percent stake to foreign investors as Hanoi rolls back restrictions on foreign investment in the sector.

MNCs in the News-2018-02-23

China to use mechanism of internationalization including inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in mixed ownership reform to enhance ability of state-owned enterprises. For 2018, Guizhou aims for $150 billion in investment money from outside the province including small and medium-sized enterprises from foreign countries. Chinese outward FDI in January 2018 jumps over same period a year earlier. Chinese government constraints on outward FDI become even tighter. Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata receives US court approval for its bankruptcy exit plan. Japanese steelmaker JFE Holdings concerned Trump's protectionist rhetoric could impede own investment plans to build US based plant. Korea Expressway Corporation signs MoU for Indian highway construction following agreement between Korean and Indian government to support USD $10 billion in Indian infrastructure. GM proposes investing USD $2.8 billion in its Korean operations, but calls for government assistance to maintain its remaining plants. Russian diversified energy holding company Inter Rao seeking to develop Indonesia's Bandar Kayangan Global Hub. Finance Minister says Indonesia to revise tax incentives to attract more investment. Thailand's government approaches Japanese robotics maker and other engineering manufacturers to build facilities along its EEC. Manila Water Company acquires 18.72 percent stake in Thailand's Eastern Water to enter Thailand's EEC. Thailand's Superblock Pcl plans to invest USD $1.76 billion to build wind farms in Vietnam in sync with Hanoi's renewables policy.

MNCs in the News-2018-02-09

Following the Mercedes-Benz Dalai Lama ad incident, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs asks foreign firms to follow "basic ground rules." China Banking Regulatory Commission promises steps to make it easier for foreign banks to do renminbi business in China. Google China works to win friends by searching for information about Chinese overseas investment opportunities and overseas brand successes. China's capital control have adversely impacted some Chinese investing in the technology sector in the United States. Nissan to invest USD $9.5 billion in China with JV partner Dongfeng Group as carmaker strives to exploit China's production quotas for EVs. MGM Resorts plans to set up integrated resort in Japan's Osaka Prefecture because it plans to establish tourism facilities. Hyundai finally on track to receive Chinese government subsidy for EVs after switching to Chinese battery manufacturers. Seoul Semiconductor files suit against Mouser Electronics for dispensing products that infringe upon patent held by it. Indonesia's investment board cites "frequent and abrupt changes in regulations" as major cause of foreign investor wariness when investing in Indonesia. UAE business delegation met with Indonesia's Industry Minister for preliminary talks for producing compressed natural gas in Indonesia. Thailand's parliament approves USD $45 billion EEC project to stimulate country's underdeveloped east. Nissan working with alliance partner Mitsubishi and Bangkok to produce electric cars and batteries in Thailand for export abroad. Malaysia expects more Chinese investment in real estate, manufacturing and logistics industries as Belt and Road Initiative funds find their way into the country. State run Saudi Aramco and Malaysia's state-owned Petronas are raising USD $8 billion to begin construction on planned Malaysia refinery and petrochemical complex. Edge Glass Joint Stock Company begins construction of USD $220 million Vietnam glass factory encouraged by favorable local government measures. US tax reforms causes Vietnam to worry about future foreign investment prospects.

MNCs in the News-2018-01-08

Chinese drug approval authorities likely to approve several blockbuster foreign drugs in 2018. Hyundai Motor Group faces declining sales growth in 2018 in large part due to political and economic challenges in China. China State-Owned Assets Supervision and Advisory Commission (SASAC) to issue new guidelines to improve behavior of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in various areas. United States (US) Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) concerns leads China’s Ant Financial and US MoneyGram to terminate the former’s acquisition of the latter. Japan’s Toshiba Corp sells floundering US nuclear business Westinghouse, which went bankrupt after regulations and other factors stalled many of its projects, to Canada’s Brookfield. US legal process for Takata Corp.’s US unit coming to completion, which should allow company to make payouts to claimants who suffered from Takata’s faulty airbags. Korea urges US policy makers to reconsider the US International Trade Commission's recommended special tariff on imported Korean washers. Lotte Group struggling to shed its politically troubled Chinese hypermarket chain after talks with Thai conglomerate failed to produce agreeable sale price. Indonesia’s state-owned energy company Pentamina took back control of Indonesia’s largest oil and gas block helping Jakarta to expand its control over domestic energy production. Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board launches several measures to spur 10 to 14 percent year on year growth in FDI. Thailand’s Board of Investment expects FDI into its EEC to continue to grow as new EEC policies are implemented and foreign companies become familiar with EEC requirements. Chinese FDI into Malaysia is expected to move out of infrastructure and property development and into new sectors due to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Japanese Ambassador touts that Japanese firms have a good chance to win Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project. Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has set a new deadline for long delayed Chinese-funded Cat Linh rail project

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.

MNCs in the News-2017-12-01

German business association warns Chinese Communist Party request that foreign firms set up party cells may have adverse consequences. Chinese government advisor suggests Shanghai will create free-trade port represents that addresses the failings of the previous Shanghai Free Trade Zone initiative. Shanghai body asks IKEA to consider a new round of dresser and chest recalls. China’s National Development and Reform Commission promulgates list of penalties that Beijing may impose on firms that engage in illegal outward foreign direct investment (FDI) and related activities. Japanese Court to hear Toshiba Western Digital dispute on sale of flash memory division. SoftBank Group to invest USD $2.5 billion in India’s Flipkart as India’s anti-trust commission approves deal. Seoul and London sign memorandum of understanding easing approval process for Korea’s KEPCO to acquire Britain’s NuGen. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and POSCO Daewoo Corp. win Uzbekistan power plant deal. Jakarta has not finalized plans yet for Freeport deal as parties continue to disagree about mine’s valuation. Indonesia’s state-owned utility company Pembangkitan Kawa Bali and Abu Dhabi Future Energy agree to build world’s largest floating photovoltaic power plant. Bangkok approves USD $22.6 billion infrastructure investment in Eastern Economic Corridor, paving the way for more foreign investment projects. Thai firm will build massive power plant in Myanmar despite international outrage over Myanmar’s abuse of Rohingya. Malaysia’s central bank approves larger China’s HNA Group ownership stake in Germany’s Deutsche Bank subsidiary despite initial concerns. Foreign brewing companies eagerly await sale of Vietnam’s state-owned brewer Sabeco. Foreign M&As of Vietnamese business entities rising as Hanoi increases foreign ownership limits and privatizes state-owned enterprises.

MNCs in the News-2017-10-27

Shanghai Customs touts 18,000 firms registered in Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) since its creation in 2013. State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission head stresses that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will play a “leading role” going forward. Toyota claims reduced investment and production at Trump targeted planned Mexican plant not due to politics. Toyota calls for more clarity regarding Brexit plans before deciding to finalize its planned plant in Britain. South Korea’s minister of trade met with Saudi Arabian counterpart to discuss Korea’s planned bid for two nuclear reactors. Korea Development Bank planning to sell stake in Daewoo Engineering and Construction, prompting bids from various notable firms. Airbus planning on partnering with Indonesian state-owned aerospace company Dirgantara Indonesia to build maintenance facility in Indonesia. Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper requests legal certainty for Indonesian investment regarding environmental regulations. Thai Airways International granted permission by the government to enter into joint investment project with Airbus. Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order approves guidelines for land development in the country’s EEC. Belt and Road Property Development Forum 2018 to draw USD $1.5 billion investments from Malaysia to China. Malaysian minister says no investment deal was finalized during Malaysian government delegation visit to the US. Korean companies shifting investment away from China’s politically difficult market into Vietnam. Southern Vietnam province continues to attract Japanese investment as local People’s Committee aims to ease business concerns.

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