China-ASEAN Monitor: Singapore-Sichuan trade grew 42.8% in 2018 despite global uncertainties
Photo Credit: Straits Times
Economy, Investment and Trade
Singapore-Sichuan trade grew 42.8% in 2018 despite global uncertainties
(4 September 2019) Trade between China’s Sichuan province and Singapore saw year-on-year growth of 50.3% in the first half of 2019 and 42.8% in 2018 (with trade in 2018 amounting to US$1.44 billion), according to the 20th Singapore-Sichuan Trade and Investment Committee. Furthermore, Singapore remains the province’s top foreign investor with cumulative investments in over 600 projects totalling US$6.93 billion in 2018. The figure was further boosted with the signing of 17 agreements in areas such as medical technology, transport and logistics during the committee’s recent meeting on September 4.
Manila banks on Chinese capital to expand domestic manufacturing base
(4 September 2019) Filipino trade secretary Ramon M. Lopez reaffirmed his department’s commitment to “aggressively promote” greater trade with China in line with the Philippines’ Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy. The Philippines hopes to utilize Chinese capital to propel its domestic manufacturing. Lopez’s comments were made in response to recently-published government data which showed that while the country’s investment inflows from China grew 69.2% on the year in the first quarter of 2019, Chinese investment accounted for only 1.6% of the country’s foreign inflows during the quarter — trailing behind the Netherlands, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and the US.
(Photo credit: Phone World)
Brunei, China joint venture produces qualified petrochemical product
(11 September 2019) China-Brunei joint petrochemical venture Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd announced on September 7 that its new Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) facility’s atmospheric and vacuum distillation unit has successfully produced qualified petrochemical products, thus bringing the new industrial park a step closer to being fully operational. The PMB facility will be developed in two phases costing US$3.45 billion and US$12 billion respectively. The project is expected to raise Brunei’s GDP by US$1.33 billion in its first year and create over 1,600 jobs.
Thailand government warns local durian producers of future competition from China
(7 September 2019) Thailand’s durian farmers should work to raise the quality of their produce and brace themselves for future competition from Chinese durian producers, said Thailand’s Nanning-based trade promotion head Wandala Rattanapanich. Wandala’s remarks were made after a private company in southern Hainan revealed that it has successfully produced durians from 20 Sanno durian seedlings imported from Malaysia. Nevertheless, Hainanese fruit experts believe that it will be awhile before they will be able to produce enough for domestic consumption or export. Currently, 80% of fresh durians in the Chinese market are imported from Thailand.
Savills lists large factories moving from China to Vietnam
(7 September 2019) Savills Vietnam published this week a list of manufacturers that is says have either shifted from China to Vietnam or are considering doing so to avoid tariffs resulting from the US-China trade war. According to the list, those who have completed their relocation include South Korean aerospace manufacturer Hanwha Aero Engines, Japanese automotive parts manufacturer Yokowo, and Hong Kong garment and textile producer Huafu Industrial. Meanwhile, companies who are still considering a move include Foxconn, Lenovo, Nintendo, Sharp, Kyocera and Oasis. Besides the trade war, free trade agreements including the CPTPP and the EVFTA have attracted investments into Vietnam.