China-ASEAN Monitor: The Philippines, Chinese firms ink US$1.1 billion business deals
Photo Credit: Business Mirror
Economy, Investment and Trade
The Philippines, Chinese firms ink US$1.1 billion business deals
(17 September 2019) Filipino and Chinese firms inked nine agreements worth a combined US$1.1 billion on September 16 during the PH-China (Chongqing) Trade and Investment Forum held in Pasay City. The largest deal was a US$1 billion agreement between Davao-based Eng Sent Food Products and Chongqing Hongjiu Fruit. Other notable agreements included a memorandum of understanding between Hyundai Motor Group, Beijing Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Asia Resources; and several agreements between private automobile companies in both countries. Merchandise trade between both countries rose by nearly 21% from US$25.48 billion in 2017 to US$30.83 billion in 2018.
Singapore, Chongqing deepen cooperation with international data link
(11 September 2019) Around 30 agreements were inked between public and private Singaporean and Chongqing entities on September 11 during Chongqing party secretary Chen Min’er’s recent visit to Singapore. Most notably, Chen witnessed the launch of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) International Data Channel — a dedicated link to strengthen digital connectivity between Singapore and western China by providing enhanced network reliability and lower latency. The new 260Gbps data link is powered by a tie-up between Singapore’s Singtel and Starhub, and China’s big three telcos, and is China’s first international data link.
Royal Brunei Airlines to reinstate daily direct flights to Beijing
(13 September 2019) Royal Brunei Airlines announced recently that its first flight to Beijing is scheduled to take off on October 27. The airline will operate flights to Beijing four times a week, with plans to increase this to a daily flight beginning 14 January 2020. According to the airline, it will also be one of the first few international airlines to operate out of the new Beijing Daxing International Airport, as it adds to its existing flights to Shanghai, Hangzhou and other key cities. China remains Brunei’s top source of foreign visitors.
Vietnamese car imports from China fell 87% y-o-y in 2018
(15 September 2019) Vietnam’s car imports from China saw an 87% drop from 11,800 in 2017 to 1,565 in 2018, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade. Furthermore, only 900 cars were imported during the first eight months of 2019. The significant fall in imports from China was due to the 0% import tariffs it now benefits from with regards to intra-ASEAN imports of vehicles with less than nine seats. As such, ASEAN accounted for 88.8% of Vietnam’s car imports last year, while China accounted for only 1.9% of the sum.
Vietnamese agricultural and aquatic exports see 7.2% y-o-y dip due to lower Chinese demand
(14 September 2019) Vietnam’s export revenue from agricultural and aquatic products saw a 7.2% year-on-year dip during the first eight months of 2019, reaching only US$16.6 billion. According to Vietnam’s import-export head, this is largely due to declining demand from its top export market China, who has also tightened regulations on such imports. For instance, as part of China’s internal restructuring, the General Administration of Customs of China became the sole administrative body responsible for imports and exports as of June 1, thus raising the barriers to trade.