Myanmar

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

China’s Maritime Silk Roads Initiative and Southeast Asia: Rough Sailing through the South China Seas?

As our readership knows, one of China’s signature foreign policy initiatives is the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), a key part of its larger One Belt, One Road (OBOR) scheme.

MNCs in the News-2016-07-08

Apple struggles to ensure China does not turn into a lemon. Walmart workers in China take widespread action against the company’s new working hours system. British Trade Ministry touts that losing pounds is good for Chinese investors. China Road and Bridge Co. wins first state project awarded to a Chinese company since new government came to power in Myanmar. Chinese banks work to bolster risk management and compliance abilities as they expand overseas. Japanese financial firms licensed in London forced to consider whether they should relocate elsewhere in the European Union (EU). After massacre in Dhaka, Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. suspends all but critical travel to Bangladesh. South Korea begins investigation of Ford Motor’s Explorer for possible leakage of exhaust fumes inside the vehicle. GM Korea is under the microscope in Korea because of repeated bribery/corruption scandals and selling inferior quality cars. The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges the government to take action to allow for full implementation of its policy packages. Contemporary Korean investment in Vietnam represents a third wave of Korean investment in the country.

MNCs in the News-2016-04-22

China’s Ministry of Commerce underscores reasons to be optimistic about inward foreign direct investment flows into China. China experiences a massive creation of foreign-funded enterprises between 2011 and 2015. China’s National Development and Reform Commission will test a “negative list” approach in Fujian, Guangdong, Shanghai, and Tianjin. The American Chamber of Commerce in China expresses concern about China’s policies and what it sees as a lack of serious commitment to reform. In testimony before Congress, Apple denies that it had provided iPhone source code to China. Chinese anti-trust investigators now seem to be turning their attention to Korean firms after targeting German and Japanese firms. China’s Chinese outward foreign direct investment (COFDI) and M&A deals show significant growth in the first quarter of 2016. EY forecasts strong Chinese outward FDI growth averaging 10 percent partly because of the One Belt, One Road program. South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission reports it succeeded in getting Apple to revise the problematic Authorized Service Agreement it had concluded with six Korean repair service providers. Government data indicates the Korea-China Free Trade Agreement is stimulating COFDI into Korea. Indonesia’s President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will visit four European countries to promote European investment in Indonesia. Denmark concludes Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesia involving capital and technology in exchange for land. Experts call for Vietnam to be more selective in granting tax incentives to foreign investors and encourage it to strengthen its FDI management capabilities. Myanmar grants a license to Vietnam’s military-run Telecommunications Group (Viettel) to build a multi-billion dollar telecommunications network.

MNCs in the News-2016-04-08

China fails to submit new negative list proposal to US. Chinese firms are pouring money overseas driven by a depreciating currency among other factors. The Washington Post calls for a new approach to Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) that takes into account non-traditional risks. ZTE replaces three top executives in reaction to US sanctions and warns of possible further penalties. China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group wins bid to build a US $300 million international cargo hub and airport in Bolivia. Korea Electric Power Corp. wins its first overseas solar power plant contract. Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board warns it will annul the investment permits of foreign companies that are avoiding their tax obligations. Indonesia and France work to expand the possibilities for French infrastructure investment in Indonesia. Thailand’s United Power of Asia Plc has signed an agreement with Myanmar’s state utility to construct a gas-fired power plant in the Dawei special economic zone. Russia and the US are competing for investment opportunities in Vietnam. Vietnam moves to increase its harvest of investment, especially FDI, in the agricultural area. Vietnamese representatives court investors from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao at a seminar in Hong Kong.

MNCs in the News-2016-03-18

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman voices confidence China will remain attractive to foreign investors and promises new efforts. China’s State Power Investment Corp. buys Taralga Wind Farm project for nearly $230 million. Former Turkish energy minister expects China to bid aggressively during the bidding process for Turkey’s third nuclear power plant. China’s Three Gorges International Corp. will bid on Brazil’s Tapajos hydroelectric dam project. Japan’s Toshiba reveals that US Justice Department and US Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the accounting practices of its US units. Political infighting in Indonesia results in postponement of major oil bloc development by Japan’s Inpex. Japanese firm partners with government controlled Indian private venture on major wind power project across seven Indian states. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ will become the first Japanese lender to provide Islamic compliant financing through an overseas branch. Influx of Japanese businesses into Myanmar’s Thilawa special economic zone drives drives Myanmar’s CB Bank to open a branch there. Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ecuador linked to its plans to build EV charging infrastructure operation systems in the country. The Korea Rural Community Corporation is expected to secure a government of Gujarat (India) contract for the construction of the Kalpasar sea wall project. Indonesia aims to bring more European investment into the country. The President of the European Association for Business and Commerce called upon the Thai government to embrace a number of changes in order to draw more investment.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

The Other “New Normal” or Chinese OFDI on the Rocks?

For some judging the current state of Chinese outward foreign direct investment (COFDI) negativity is the “new normal.” Rejected in Myanmar due to domestic politics, whipsawed in Sri Lanka by shifts in administrations, and hamstrung by the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) national security review process, China In

MNCs in the News-2016-01-15

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announces that China’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) hit $126.27 billion in 2015. Apple works to promote zero waste and solar energy programs at its China suppliers. In 2015, Apple was the largest foreign service sector tax payer in Shanghai while Shanghai Volkswagen was the largest foreign industrial sector tax payer. GAC Group becomes strategic investor in Uber. China’s outward M&A in 2015 hits record. Beijing Kunlun buys stake in gay dating ap Grindr. Japanese firms win construction deals in Myanmar’s Thilawa special economic zone. Woori Bank becomes first Korean bank to arrange Sharia-law compliant financial transaction with an Islamic bank. Indonesia and Russia pursue improvements in their investment, trade, and other forms of economic cooperation. Indonesia National Human Rights Commission calls for Japan to be attentive to possible human rights violations regarding a Japanese supported thermal power plant project. Foreign investment into Thailand in 2015 drops dramatically. Thai Industrial Association head frets that Transpacific Partnership will led to investment diversion as well as intensifying competitive pressure for Thai goods. THAI breaks tradition on bringing foreigners into managerial ranks. State-owned Vietnam Airlines welcomes investment from Japan’s ANA Holdings. Ho Chi Minh City orders Uber to pay taxes due immediately. Pressures for Vietnamese SOE reform through foreign partnerships increase, but the process proves challenging

MNCs in the News-2016-01-08

China’s inward foreign direct investment in 2015 hits record levels. China plays hard with Mister Softee. Uber Technologies hails local partners to build up its presence in China and win favor with local governments. Japanese firm becomes first foreign firm to obtain permission to sell automobile insurance in Myanmar. Korean construction firms witness dramatic drop in overseas construction contracts. Indonesia does not necessarily subscribe to Netflix’s planned entry into the country. New Thailand-Singapore double taxation treaty has important implications for Thai investment in Singapore. Singaporean health care players stand ready to exploit a more favorable environment in China’s health care sector. FDI flows into Vietnam hit record in 2015. Vietnam’s State Bank of Vietnam publishes rules about foreign financial institutions planning to establish non-banking financial companies

MNCs in the News-2015-10-23

China announces plan to role out a Negative List in various regions over the next two years. Apple powers up its renewable energy initiatives in China. GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty tells official Chinese media that his company has put in place systems to ensure no bribes are paid to doctors. Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.K. leads to promise of massive Chinese investment in the Hinkley nuclear power plant. Alibaba reaches out to U.S. Trade Representative Office to highlight its efforts to fight the sale of counterfeit goods on its websites. Indonesia expresses confidence that realized investment for 2015 will exceed government goals. Falling investment in labor intensive sectors in Indonesian prompts investment authorities to press government to liberalize tax allowance policies. Thai firms, including medium-sized enterprises, increasingly engage in outward investment, especially in neighboring countries. Malaysian MPs call for legislation similar to Singapore’s that would allow for the government to punish companies associated with massively polluting Indonesia forest fires

MNCs in the News-2015-10-02

Chinese government agencies stress to foreign businesses that they will do more to create a supportive investment environment. China investigates Schindler for possible bribery. Non-governmental organization calls attention to alleged mistreatment of workers at Apple supplier. China’s Ministry of Commerce fines Bombardier and CSR Nanjing Puzhen, for creating a joint venture prior to obtaining necessary approvals. MOFCOM hits Microsoft and its Xbox game console partner Shanghai Oriental Pearl Media for minor violation of antitrust rules. Private and high-tech Chinese firms achieve a newfound high profile in the business delegation accompanying Chinese President Xi Jinping on his state visit to the US. Unisplendor takes 15 percent stake in Western Digital. Indonesia leaning towards China for Jakarta-Bandung medium-speed rail, but keeps the door open for Japan. Foreign investment in Indonesia’s commodity sectors like mining stagnates. At the 13th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention, Indonesia calls for Chinese investment in value added manufacturing, infrastructure, and downstream activities. The European Association for Business and Commerce says European firms still see Thailand remains an attractive destination for investment. Singapore’s state-linked infrastructure firm Sembcorp will join with Bangladesh to build a power plant. Vietnamese industrial parks prove successful in drawing in foreign investment. Vietnam becomes a leading investor in Cambodia.

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