Photo Credit: CGTN.com
Economy, Investment and Trade
China and ASEAN launch joint science laboratory program to enhance sci-tech cooperation
(12 April 2018) China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and ASEAN have launched a joint laboratory program to strengthen innovation cooperation between the country and the bloc. China’s Science and Technology Minister Wang Zhigang said the joint laboratories program will include the China-Indonesia high-temperature gas reactors laboratory, China-Thailand rail system joint research centre, China-Laos new and renewable energy laboratory, and China-Myanmar radar and satellite communications laboratory. To date, China has collaborated with 158 countries and regions in science and technology projects and engaged with more than 200 sci-tech international organisations.
China overtakes United States as top export market for Vietnam
(18 April 2018) For 15 years, United States were the top buyers of Vietnamese goods but a recent International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) data shows that it has been overtaken by China in 2017. Vietnam’s exports to China jumped about 15 times to US$50.6 billion in the decade through 2017, compared with a quadruple increase to the United States to US$46.5 billion. Vietnam has depended on the United States to offset its reliance on China but with the United States turning to trade protectionist policies, China is taking advantage of the United States’ inward-looking stance by conducting more trade in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia and China sign five contracts worth US$23.3billion
(14 April 2018) Five projects valued at US$23.3 billion have been signed by Indonesia and China as part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The contracts were signed by companies from both countries in Beijing on 13 April 2018. The projects are the US$2 billion hydropower plant in Kayan, North Kalimantan, a US$700 million contract to develop facilities to convert coal to dimethyl-ether, a US$1.6 billion joint venture to build a power plant in Bali, US$1.2 billion to develop a steel smelter and a US$17.8 billion joint venture to build a hydropower plant on the Kayan river.
Chinese firms sign letters of intent to invest in the Philippines
(10 April 2018) Several Chinese firms have signed letter of intent to invest in Philippines in sectors including energy, tourism, infrastructure, agriculture and health. This development may create more than 10,000 jobs and if the companies’ plans materialise, they will generate US$9.5 billion in new investments. On 10 April 2018, The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was in Hainan, China to witness the signing of the letters of by Chinese companies that are keen on exploring business opportunities in the Philippines.
China dominates the Philippines’ import market in February
(11 April 2018) The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has announced that China was the country’s largest source of imports in February 2018. According to a report published by PSA, import bills from the top 10 countries for imports for February amounted to US$6.08 billion or 78.7 percent share. China was the country’s biggest source with 19.9 percent share in February 2018 and their import payments to the Philippines stood at US$1.54 billion. It was an increase of 57.7 percent from US$977.17 million in February 2017.