China-ASEAN Monitor: Malaysian durian exports to China have resumed to almost 80%
Economy, Investment and Trade
Malaysia’s durian exports to China have resumed to almost 80%
(10 June 2020) Malaysian durian exports to China have resumed to almost 80% since supply chains were disrupted in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Malaysia Food Farmers Association. Durian exports to China in the first quarter of 2020 totalled US$22 million, equivalent to the previous quarter. Sales of Malaysian durians in China increased ten-fold near the end of March 2020 following promotions by Chinese e-commerce fresh fruit platform FreshHema. However, despite the popularity of Malaysian durians in China, Malaysia only holds about 10% of the market share, with their exports popular in the cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Guangdong and Beijing. China imported a total of US$1.7 billion worth of durians in 2019.
Indonesia in talks with US government over relocation of companies from China
(9 June 2020) Indonesia is in talks with the US government over the possible relocation of US companies from China, as businesses worldwide look to diversify their supply chains in the wake of COVID-19. The Indonesian government is offering slots to US businesses in industrial parks, including the Kendal industrial park in Central Java and Brebes industrial park. According to Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, around 20 companies have shown an interest in relocating to Indonesia. The country, however, is expected to struggle to compete with its Southeast Asian neighbours in attracting relocating manufacturers however due to issues such as land permits and labour regulations.
China sends testing kits and protective equipment to Indonesia
(6 June 2020) Indonesia received hundreds of thousands of health equipment from China, including 100,000 testing kits, 70,000 personal protective equipment, and 1.3 million masks on 5 June. Chinese President Xi Jinping had pledged to support Indonesia mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic during a phone call with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. The packages were sent out gradually since May, and were donated to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) which will distribute them to hospitals and health facilities nationwide.
China donates fourth batch of medical supplies to Myanmar to assist fight against COVID-19
(9 June 2020) The Chinese government has donated the fourth batch of medical supplies to Myanmar to assist in combating COVID-19. The supplies were handed over to the Myanmar side on 8 June 2020, and included disposable masks, N95 masks, goggles and personal protective equipment (PPEs). The Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar noted that 8 June is the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Myanmar, and that China is willing to strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation with Myanmar.
Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement expected to be signed by end-2020
10 June 2020) The third round of negotiations between Cambodia and China over a free trade agreement have resolved all remaining issues in the agreement text and approved in principle with regard to market access to goods and services, according to Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce. The 10 working groups involved will seek the approval of each nation’s leaders with regards to the agreement text and the request for opening market access as well as other chapters in order to have the deal signed by the end of 2020. The implementation of the agreement is projected to increase Cambodian exports by 20% per year, as well as increase investments into the country.