China-ASEAN Monitor: Thailand, Hong Kong sign five MoUs to boost economic cooperation

Photo Credit: The Nation


Economy, Investment and Trade


Thailand, Hong Kong sign five MoUs to boost economic cooperation
(29 November 2019) Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam co-chaired the inaugural Thai-Hong Kong summit last week and witnessed the inking of five memoranda of understanding on strengthening economic relations between Thai and Hong Kong agencies. The summit also featured bilateral discussions which focused on several areas including trade whereby both countries agreed to aim for over US$20 billion in trade by next year, efforts towards a Thailand-Hong Kong free trade agreement, the updating of private sector investment protections, cooperation among private sectors to exchange technologies and facilities, capital market cooperation, and the startup ecosystem cooperation through cooperative research and knowledge sharing.
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Singapore, Guangxi organisations ink MoUs to bolster ties
(2 December 2019) Companies and organisations from Singapore and China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region inked six memoranda of understanding during a forum held in Singapore this week. While the contents of the agreements were not disclosed, a Singaporean media outlet says that DBS Bank and government solutions provider CrimsonLogic were among the Singaporean entities which inked MoUs. In addressing the forum, Singapore Business Federation head Teo Siong Seng highlighted Singapore’s role as a launchpad for Chinese firms to do business globally as he touted the over 7,000 Chinese firms presently established in Singapore.
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Telcom operator China Unicom enters Cambodian market as part of BRI
(2 December 2019) China’s largest telecommunications operator China Unicom officially opened its Cambodian subsidiary this week as part of plans to expand along the Belt and Road. According to the company, they will invest in Cambodia’s infrastructure by first developing optical telecommunication pathways to bring higher quality cloud-based networks and telecommunications services to local and foreign enterprises. There were 12.5 million internet users and 19.16 million registered SIM cards in Cambodia in 2018.
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Chinese investment in Vietnam reaches US$2.28 billion in 11 months
(3 December 2019) Vietnam received US$2.28 billion in investment pledges from China from January to November this year — almost twice the amount it saw during the same period in 2018. With this, China accounted for 15.5% of Vietnam’s total registered FDI during the 11 months, making it the country’s second-largest investor behind only South Korea which poured in US$2.91 billion. Total registered FDI in Vietnam during the same period fell by 7% year-on-year to US$14.7 billion.
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Cambodia’s rice exports to China yet to reach 2018 quota
(27 November 2019) Cambodia has yet to meet its 2018 300,000 tonnes rice export quota to China — a hurdle that it must clear before the new 2019 quota of 400,000 tonnes can take effect. The country exported 184,844 tonnes of milled rice to China in the first ten months of this year — representing 40% of its total rice exports and a 5% increase from the same period last year. According to local industry players, they are hoping for an order from China’s largest food processor Cofco, which has yet to place an order the 2019-2020 period.
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