China-ASEAN Monitor


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Economy, Investment and Trade

Trade between Vietnam and China to reach US$100billion in 2018
(21 January 2018) Experts are predicting that bilateral trade between Vietnam and China will reach a record high of US$100 billion in 2018. This comes after two-way trade in 2017 surpassed trade in 2016 by US$21.8 billion. The number of products which reached export earnings over US$1 billion increased to 13, seven more than in 2016 and included seafood, rice rubber and footwear.
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Cambodia to ensure sanitary and phytosanitary standards for exports to China
(23 January 2018) Cambodia will form a working group to to check sanitary and phytosanitary measures for Cambodian goods for export to China. The working group will be made up of representatives of Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Agriculture who will cooperate with officials from China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. Cambodian Director General of the General Directorate of Agriculture Hean Vanhan said, “We are prioritising the monitoring of sanitary and phytosanitary standards because, after tariffs, they are the biggest barriers we face to expand our exports”.
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Myanmar’s bilateral trade with China surpasses US$7 billion
(22 January 2018) According to the Ministry of Commerce, bilateral trade between Myanmar and China hit US$7.4 billion in the first eight months of Myanmar’s fiscal year (April to November 2017). Exports to China stood at US$3.4 billion and included products such as rice, peas, sesame seeds, corns, fruits and vegetable, dried tea leaves, rubber and minerals. In the previous fiscal year from 2016 to 2017, total bilateral trade between the two countries stood at US$10.8 billion.
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Quasi-sovereign Chinese fund to raise US$3 billion for Belt & Road
(23 January 2018) The China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund (CAF), backed by the Export-Import Bank of China, is currently pitching the fund to prospective investors. CAF original aim to to raise US$1 billion, mainly from Chinese state-owned enterprises, has now tripled. It is unclear whether state-owned enterprises would face capital-control obstacles in investing in the fund, given that CAF was set up under the direction of China’s State Council. A unit of state-owned construction and engineering company China Gezhouba Group said in late 2017 that it would invest US$150 million of the US$1 billion that CAF was seeking back then.
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Foreign Affairs

China warns US that it will take “necessary measures” if provoked in South China Sea
(21 January 2018) A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that China would take “necessary measures” to safeguard the country’s sovereignty. This came after a US guided missile destroyer came within 12 nautical miles of Huangyan Island in the South China Sea. Chinese Ministry of Defense also chimed in and added that the US should not “cause trouble out of nothing.” An Gang, a senior research fellow at the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank, said that this will not be the last of the provocations from the US. He added that China and ASEAN countries have agreed to use negotiations to solve problems, so the US and other non-regional forces no longer have an excuse to get involved in the South China Sea.
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