Shinzo Abe

MNCs in the News-2019-07-12

Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into China continue to grow, especially in the high-tech sector. Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) official states that Inward FDI (IFDI) is not leaving China en masse and that China will “protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors.” Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) to Europe and North America over the first six months of 2019 shows a noticeable decrease over the same period the prior year. Despite a spying incident and Poland’s President saying he was opposed to Chinese OFDI (COFDI) in strategic infrastructure, Poland’s Foreign Minister told visiting Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi Poland is open to COFDI. Korea reacts strongly to Japanese media report in which a senior member of Japan’s Liberal Democratic party charged dual-use chemicals exported to South Korea ended up in the North. Japan is surprised at Seoul’s strong response to it instituting tighter controls on the export of certain chemicals to South Korea and Seoul making the issue a World Trade Organization (WTO) issue. Japan moving towards a formal WTO case regarding Seoul’s provision of subsidies to South Korean shipbuilders. Hyundai Engineering and Construction signs a $2.7 billion contract with Saudi Aramco for two projects relating to a massive oil and gas refining complex.

MNCs in the News-2019-04-26

United States (US) Trade Representative (USTR) criticizes China’s intellectual property (IP) protections and calls for stronger IP safeguards. China pledges the journey along its Belt and Road (BRI) will only get better. Survey shows new European Union (EU) foreign direct investment (FDI) screening laws make Chinese companies feel the EU is discriminating against them. United Kingdom (UK) reportedly dials into China’s Huawei participating in its 5G network activities. Eager to keep Italy from moving too close to Beijing, Japan calls for deeper economic (and military) cooperation during top leader summit. Korea charged up about lack of level playing field relating to electric vehicle subsidies. Korean petrochemical firms will be hit by the upcoming end to the US policy of granting waivers to countries importing Iranian crude oil.

MNCs in the News-2019-04-19

Chinese firms producing and using coal not energized by institutional investor promises to divest trillions of dollars in the fossil fuels sector. China moves to bring vigor and vim to the elderly nursing home sector through measures to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI). Chinese anti-competition authorities dial in to Ericsson for potential antimonopoly practices in licensing patents. China creates international tax cooperation mechanism under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) called the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism (BRITACOM). Energy Foundation China President contends China’s BRI will spark “transition to a sustainable energy future”! Japan woos Eastern and Central Europe away from BRI even while expressing support for latter. Leaked emails reveal Tokyo last spring put the brakes on any potential Renault-Nissan merger. Korean President visits Hyundai Engineering Co.’s mega $30 billion Kiyanly plant in Turkmenistan and vows to support Korean companies working with the latter. South Korea’s finance minister announces Seoul will prepare for inter-Korean economic projects in case there is an easing of sanctions on Pyongyang.

MNCs in the News-2019-04-12

Recent report forecasts massive increase in China’s inbound mergers and acquisitions (M&As) between 2020 and 2029. Pursuant to its trade negotiations with the United States (US), China considers eliminating entrance barriers to its cloud computing market like requiring overseas companies to form joint ventures (JVs) with Chinese firms. Chinese and European Union (EU) leaders commit to conclude a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) by next year. At the summit of Central and Eastern European countries and China in Dubrovnik, Greece announces it will join China’s 16+1 Initiative. Following the EU and United Kingdom’s delay of Brexit by six months, Tokyo pledged to continue to lobby against a no-deal Brexit and to monitor developments. Regarding the Carlos Ghosn case, France stressed to Japan that it respects the sovereignty of Japan’s judicial system and also would provide consular protection to Ghosn. Korean companies lobby their government to deal with the EU’s growing pressure on South Korea to ratify key International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions

MNC in the News-2019-02-01

A German Chamber of Commerce in China (AHK) survey makes clear German companies are concerned by China’s slow progress in resolving persistent problems facing foreign direct investment (FDI). European Commission considering taking action to prevent EU businesses from using 5G mobile networks provided by any country or company suspected of using its equipment for spying or sabotage. In 2018, Chinese firms were the biggest buyers of overseas mining assets, especially minerals needed for clean energy technologies and electric car batteries. French President Emmanuel Macron tells Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he is worried about Carlos Ghosn’s jail conditions and suggests Tokyo intervene in the selection of Nissan’s new chairman. Japanese lawmakers call for Japanese government to take a stronger stance against South Korea on historical disputes pertaining to Japanese companies. Seoul will focus on attracting foreign companies with high-end technologies by offering better incentives and fewer regulations. Rising trade barriers and a poor local economic situation are pushing an increasing number of Korean manufacturers abroad.

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.

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-2018-03-23

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.

MNCs in the News-2017-11-24

Skype loses Apple app store connection in China due to government regulation. Illegal overtime at Apple supplier Foxconn plant in Henan stopped. Chinese official reports Chinese firms employed more than 1.3 million people abroad in 2016. According to Chinese railway authorities, China has 20 overseas railway projects right now with investment around $15 billion. Bad press on Uber’s data theft cover-up may push SoftBank to renegotiate the terms of USD $10 billion investment deal due to impending legal action. Air bag maker Takata finalizes agreement to sell assets to Chinese owned Key Safety Systems to obtain cash needed to cover court imposed penalties. US trade commission’s proposed import tariffs on washing machines may lead Samsung and LG to reassess whether building new US factories would still be beneficial. South Korea’s SK Group sells used car affiliate to Australia’s Carsales Holdings in face of government barriers to further expansion. Indonesian government looking for more than USD $800 million in private foreign investment to develop tourism near Lake Toba. Real Estate Indonesia invites Japanese developers to engage in housing projects after Japan’s Prime Minister reaffirmed his country’s commitment to increasing investment in Indonesia. DHL to invest over USD $350 million to develop its IT services in Malaysia, contributing to Kuala Lumpur’s national digital transformation agenda. Nestlé selects Malaysia for global procurement hub investment as Malaysian Minister announces Kuala Lumpur strives to position the country as a preferred investment destination. Jardine Matheson and Fraser and Neave seek to increase stakes in Vinamilk as Vietnam continues to divest in its state-owned industries, albeit cautiously. Hanoi cooperating with World Bank to create new regulations to increase FDI in Vietnam as country seeks to diversify FDI sources.

MNCs in the News-2017-06-09

At the 5th Global CEO Roundtable Summit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang states that his government will move in several areas to improve the environment for foreign businesses. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) dismisses European Union (EU) Chamber of Commerce in China criticisms of China’s investment environment while opining China still welcomes European investment. ZTE Nigeria denies it is abusing expatriate quota limits and touts its employment practices in the country. Nomura Holding Inc. acquires Venezuelan state oil bonds for USD $100 million provoking strong denunciations by the political opposition. Western Digital abandons plans for a majority share in Toshiba chip division while trying to use the International Court of Arbitration to block Toshiba’s creation of a separate memory chip subsidiary. Hyundai Motors joins smart car partnership with Baidu to foster better Korean-Sino relations. Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries establishes joint venture with Zvezda Shipbuilding to service Russian state-owned enterprise ship needs. Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia seeks support from Indonesian Vice President to implement Jakarta-Bandung bullet train project. United States President invites Thai Prime Minister to visit White House in July to discuss investment and other issues. Sale of Petronas’ 49% share in offshore gas block advances to second round despite political opposition. International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa urges Malaysians to adopt rational attitude towards its local equity ownership policy. IE Singapore signs memorandum of understanding with Myanmar Investment Commission. Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Party Committee welcomes more US investment. Vietnamese Prime Minister promises to improve business environment of his country to attract more Japanese investment.

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