China-ASEAN Monitor: Chinese 5G chips manufacturer Zodiac to invest US$360 million in Malaysia
TRADE, ECONOMY, AND INVESTMENT
Chinese 5G chips manufacturer Zodiac to invest US$360 million in Malaysia
(24 August 2020) Chinese tech company Zodiac (China) Applied Science and Technology Research Centre Ltd is looking at an initial investment of US$360 million (RM1.5 billion) as part of a larger plan to set up a manufacturing base for developing 5G chips and encapsulation technology in Malaysia. The company is looking to build its second production facility on a 500-acre parcel of land in Malaysia. Its first facility, located in Quanzhou, Fujian, China has been operational since 2018. Malaysia was chosen for its strategic location, well-developed infrastructure, and sound financial ecosystem. The investment into the country is expected to enhance the company’s international competitiveness, production costs, and overall efficiency.
State-owned Bio Farma collaborating on COVID-19 vaccine with China’s Sinovac
(24 August 2020) Indonesian state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma is collaborating on a vaccine with China’s Sinovac Biotech and a company from the UAE. Bio Farma announced on 21 August that it had signed an agreement with Sinovac. Under the agreement, the Indonesian government will import 50 million doses of vaccine from Sinovac from November 2020 to March 2021. Priority will also be given to Bio Farma for further supply until the end of 2021. In July 2020, Bio Farma started Indonesian trials for Sinovac’s vaccines, seeking 1,600 participants. If successful, Bio Farma will start manufacturing the vaccine locally under a license provided by Sinovac. Indonesia’s pharmaceutical market grew to US$6 billion (88.4 trillion rupiah) in 2019, up from US$4.5 billion (65.9 trillion rupiah) in 2016.
Singaporean travellers to China required to take COVID-19 test five days prior to flight
(25 August 2020) Singaporean travellers to China will be required to take a COVID-19 test within five days of their flight, from 28 August onwards. They will also be required to declare that they have not had a fever at or above 37.3 degrees Celsius, or respiratory symptoms, and have not been in contact with patients with fever or respiratory symptoms, within the last 14 days. These details were announced by the Chinese Embassy in Singapore on its website on 21 August. In June 2020, both Singapore and China announced a green lane agreement that would allow travel between both countries without passengers having to be quarantined. The travellers must instead take a COVID-19 swab test 48 hours before departure and after they land.
Myanmar officials see good potential for export of packaged goods to China
(25 August 2020) Officials from Myanmar’s embassy in China said that there is good potential for the export of packaged goods from Myanmar to sell in the Chinese market. Market research conducted by various chambers of commerce, companies, and businesses in China found that billions of dollars worth of packaged goods from ASEAN countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines have already entered the Chinese market. According to the officials, some of Myanmar’s food products already have high quality standards and good packaging and therefore, could do well in China. The officials stated that packaged goods from Myanmar will be promoted online, in trade events, and during meetings between Chinese and Myanmar entrepreneurs.
Thai-China joint venture CP Foton hope to gain third place in Thai auto market share in three to five years
(21 August 2020) Thai-China joint venture CP Foton recently unveiled a new lineup of commercial vehicles for sale, and hope to attain third place in market share in the next three to five years. CP Foton is a joint venture between Thailand’s conglomerate CP Group and China’s Beiqi Foton Motor, and aims to sell 450 vehicles before the end of 2020. Toyota Motor holds the top share in commercial vehicles sold in Thailand with a 35% market share. The joint venture also plans to build an assembly plant in Thailand in the next two to three years, whereby vehicles manufactured by the assembly plant will be exported throughout the region.