Photo credit: The National Interest
Economy, Investment and Trade
Philippines and Fujian look to boost economic relations
(22 September 2018) The Philippines is looking to improve its economic ties with the Chinese province of Fujian. During a business networking conference organized by the Fujian government, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez urged businesses from Fujian to expand operations in the Philippines, as the Philippines’ macroeconomic fundamentals are strong and the government is initiating reforms to help companies to do business. Filipino and Chinese firms inked 15 cooperation and joint-venture agreements during the conference and those agreements cover industry, agriculture, tourism and real estate. Fujian governor Tan Dengjie said the Philippines is a crucial investment point for Fujian. China and the Philippines’ bilateral relations have improved under Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and in 2017, China was billed as the Philippines’s top trading partner, fourth- largest export market and top import supplier. Philippine exports to China grew by 25.81 per cent, from US$6.37 billion in 2016 to US$8.02 billion in 2017.
China and Singapore sign seven agreements on arts, entrepreneurship and intellectual property
(20 September 2018) China and Singapore sealed seven bilateral cooperation agreements on arts, entrepreneurship, intellectual property and research during the 14th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) co-chaired by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng. Several parties signed and exchanged six Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) and one Strategic Framework Agreement during the event on 20 September 2018. Some of the initiatives under the agreements are the replication of Tianjin Eco-city government-to-government project; exchanges and cooperation between artists and art groups from China and Singapore; establishment of a National University of Singapore research institute in Chongqing; and collaboration in industries such as advanced manufacturing, biomedicine and nanotechnology applications.
Malaysia and China’s bilateral trade increases 10.5 per cent in 2017
(25 September 2018) Bilateral trade between Malaysia and China was at US$96 billion in 2017, which is an increase of 10.5 per cent compared to the previous year, according to Sabah Director of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) A. Rashid Mohd Zain. It also accounts for 18.7 per cent of accumulated trade between China and ASEAN. A. Rashid disclosed that high-quality Malaysian products and goods are highly sought after by the Chinese market. The Chinese government is encouraging reputable companies from Malaysia to develop two-way investment. With the escalating trade war between China and the United States, China is keen to work with ASEAN member states including Malaysia to protect global free trade.
First continuous beam block construction for China-Laos Railway completed on the Mekong River
(22 September 2018) The concrete casting for the first block of the Luang Prabang Bridge, which is part of the China-Laos Railway, was completed on 17 September 2018. CPC party secretary of the China Railway No.8 Engineering Group (CREC-8)’s railway project department Yan Haiyong said that the 1.46 km railway bridge, is an integral part of the railway project. He said the beam block is built on a stringent technical standard. The length of the block is 12 metres, and it consumes a concrete volume of 266 cubic metres. The China-Laos Railways is the CREC-8’s first foreign railway project and also the first to connect with China’s railway network. The project is 414 km long and is set to be completed by December 2021.