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Investment, Trade and Economy
Singapore gets a boost from Chinese tourists
Singapore saw a record high number of tourists visiting the country in 2016. This was in large part due to a surge in Chinese tourists as the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) efforts in digital marketing in China began to yield results. STB’s chief executive, Lionel Yeo, cited the example of their partnership with online leisure travel company Tuniu which in 2016 saw a growth of 52% Singapore-only packages over 2015. However, China still trailed behind Indonesia in the total number of tourist arrivals to Singapore with 2.86 million visitors compared to Indonesia’s 2.89 million. Overall, Singapore’s tourism receipts rose by an estimated 13.9% to 24.8 billion Singapore dollars (USD 17.5 billion).
Source: Nikkei Asia Review (14 February 2017)
Xiaomi begins manufacturing in Indonesia to comply with local content rules
Xiaomi began manufacturing in its Batam, Indonesia phone assembly facility to ensure that it obtains the necessary approval to sell its Redmi 4A in the country. Since January all foreign smartphone makers must prove that 4G LTE phones sold in the archipelago are made up of least 30 percent “local content.” This is inclusive of assembly, packaging, design, and even software and R&D investments. The phone, priced at about US$113, will be sold through Xiaomi’s local retail partner Erafone beginning at the end of February. A launch event was held in Jakarta with senior Xiaomi executives and the Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia, Xie Feng. The ambassador said that the initialisation of Xiaomi’s Indonesian version represents a new stage in China-Indonesia cooperation, namely a transition from traditional trade and project contracting to investment, technological transfer, personnel training and joint production.
Source: China Daily (11 February 2017)
Source: Tech in Asia (10 February 2017)
Laos, Thailand, China, Vietnam sign MoU to cooperate on tourism
Officials from 11 provinces in China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam have signed an MoU to work together on tourism related matters in the region. The cooperation covers a wide range of issues from advertising, cross border facilities to tourism infrastructure development which includes tourism route connectivity, human resource development, and integration facilitation for international tourists. The MoU on the mechanism of the cooperation was signed last Saturday at the conclusion of a half-day meeting held in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone in Bokeo province.
Source: Vietnam News (14 February 2017)
Indonesia high speed rail projects facing obstacles, could derail Chinese financing
Land acquisition, due to increasing cost of land and anti-Chinese sentiment, is proving to be a major obstacle in Indonesia’s development of its USD 5 billion high-speed rail project. A consortium of Chinese and Indonesian companies, known as Kereta Cepat Indonesia China, will build and run the project. The consortium includes state-owned Indonesian builders such as Wijaya Karya as well as a subsidiary of state-owned China Railway Group. The venture is to bear 25% of the project’s cost, with China financing the rest. China made funding conditional on Indonesia securing all of the land needed for the railway. At the end of January, only 85% of the property was in hand. However, the agreement has not been put down in writing as of yet meaning that the companies involved are footing the bill for now.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review (15 February 2017)