Photo Credit: Reuters
Economy, Investment and Trade
Infrastructure drives China to be Indonesia’s second top investor
(1 February 2018) China became Indonesia’s second-biggest source of foreign direct investment in 2017. According to data released by Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), China overtook Japan on the Southeast Asian country’s investor list following aggressive moves in Indonesia’s downstream industries. Additionally, Jakarta and Beijing have also agreed to jointly develop infrastructure project that is specifically designated for Belt and Road Investment, which will further swell up China’s investments into Indonesia. Investment from Japan, who slipped to third place, decreased by 7 percent last year to US$5 billion. Throughout 2017, Indonesia received US$32.34 billion (Rp 430.5 trillion) in FDI excluding investments in the banking and oil and gas sectors, while Singapore remained the largest source of investment into Southeast Asia’s largest economy last year.
More Cambodia trade centres to be established in China
(1 February 2018) Cambodia announced its plans to build a Cambodian cultural village in Beijing and more trade centres in different Chinese provinces following a rise in Cambodian exports to China, which grew 18 percent year-on-year during the first 11 months of 2017. Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak said that Cambodia will continue to boosts investment and spur information for the benefit of Chinese businesses and investors that are interested in prospecting opportunities in Cambodia. As of February 2017, China had spent US$4.2 billion in development assistance in Cambodia.
Development and cooperation key focus to Laos-China Belt and Road Cooperation forum
(2 February 2018) A two-day forum focusing on development and cooperation between Laos and China was held as a result of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Laos in November 2017. The Laos – China Belt and Road Cooperation Forum, which commenced on 2 February, was jointly organized by the Commission for Propaganda and Training of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, China’s Xinhua News Agency, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Lao Chinese Chamber of Commerce. President of China’s Xinhua News Agency Cai Mingzhao said that the visit by President Xi in 2017 was a significant milestone in strengthening the bilateral friendship and enhancing the strategic cooperative partnership between the two neighbouring countries. In the forum, both sides agreed to jointly build China-Laos economic corridor, fostering new seeds and mapping out new blueprint.
China skies to be more accessible by Malaysian airlines
(2 February 2018) Negotiations are underway for Malaysian airline companies to expand and open up more air routes in China. Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) is eyeing the second-tier cities of China by providing flights to Wuhan in the central, Nanjing in the east and Fuzhou in the south. Malaysia’s Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lain said that Malaysia’s low-cost carrier Air Asia also aims to increase its flight frequency to the ancient city of Xian from four days per week to daily. In addition, Liow have also urged the International Civil Aviation Organisation to equally grant the technical cooperation fund for human resources development.
Singapore and China deepens defence cooperation
(5 February 2018) Singapore and China armies will step up bilateral defence cooperation to further strengthen army cooperation through the conduct of Exercise Cooperation as well as navy cooperation. Additionally, both ministers have also discussed regional security issues and have agreed on the need to have an open and inclusive security architectures. During the official defence visit in Singapore, Chinese Minister of National Defence General Chang Wanquan also conveyed his appreciation to Singapore for their significant role as the ASEAN-China country coordinator.