Photo credit: AFP
Economy, Investment and Trade
Indonesia seeks US$60 billion investment for Belt and Road infrastructure projects
(7 December 2018) Indonesia is “currently in the discussion stages” with China concerning electricity, energy and infrastructure projects in Sumatra, Sulawesi, Bali and Kalimantan. According to the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, the projects, which will include power plants and industrial parks with manufacturing facilities, is worth as much as US$60 billion. The ministry expects the projects to not only boost Indonesia’s participation in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative but also help realize the country’s vision to be the global maritime fulcrum.
US-China trade war could significantly benefit Vietnam
(12 December 2018) Vietnam is poised to capture some of China’s global market share in labor-intensive manufacturing, according to a study on manufacturing destinations in emerging Asia. Vietnam was ranked first in the study which covered six other countries namely Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and China. The analysis found that Vietnam has one of the largest labour forces in Southeast Asia — almost 13 million more than the Philippines and more than double than that in Malaysia. Further, production workers in Vietnam are paid an average of US$216 a month, less than half of what workers in China are paid. Vietnam’s government-subsidized electricity is also one of the region’s cheapest at US$0.07 per kilowatt hour, compared to US$0.10 per kilowatt hour in Indonesia and US$0.19 per kilowatt hour in the Philippines.
Myanmar-China border trade in focus
(7 December 2018) The early implementation of a border trade cooperation zone and the promotion of border trade and investment were discussed during a meeting between Myanmar’s commerce minister U Than Myint and Yunnan Province’s party secretary Chen Hao at a recent meeting. According to the commerce ministry, there are four major border trading points between Myanmar and China, i.e. the Muse, Lwejel, Kanpite Tee and Chin Shwehaw border trading points. These four border trade centres recorded a trade volume of US$3.3 billion between April and September this year, with the Muse alone accounting for US$3 billion. Further, Myanmar’s exports to China were valued at US$2.4 billion while imports were valued at US$900 million.
China-Vietnam border fair records US$695 million in transactions
(8 December 2018) The five-day 18th China-Vietnam Border Trade Fair held in China’s Yunnan Province concluded with a transaction volume of US$695 million — a 18.2% increase than that recorded in 2016 when the fair was also held in Hekou. The fair featured some 1,220 Chinese and Vietnamese vendors showcasing everything from electronics to agricultural products and furniture. The fair, which has been held since 2001 in either China’s Hekou or Vietnam’s Lao Cai, also attracted exhibitors from other countries including South Korea, Afghanistan, Egypt, Indonesia and Thailand.
China to assist Kazakh agro exports to Southeast Asia
(11 December 2018) Kazakhstan and China will create joint ventures to export Kazakh agricultural products to Southeast Asia through China. The announcement was made by Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, who further added that Kazakh exports which are not required for China could be shipped to Southeast Asia. Kazakhstan is one of many countries cooperating economically, politically and culturally to revive the Silk Road trade.