China-ASEAN Monitor: Thailand’s largest mobile operator partners up with Huawei for 5G
Photo Credit: Bangkok Post
Economy, Investment and Trade
Thailand’s largest mobile operator partners up with Huawei for 5G
(28 September 2019) Thailand’s largest mobile operator Advanced Info Service (AIS) announced recently that it has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s Huawei to adopt the technology giant’s 5G technologies. The announcement comes shortly after AIS competitor True Corporation announced that it has partnered with China Mobile for 5G development. Thai digital economy minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta also said last week that the government aims to roll out 5G adoption next year as they look to advance new technologies such as big data and cloud services.
Vietnam to begin export of milk to China
(26 September 2019) Five Vietnamese companies — Vinamilk, TH True Milk, Moc Chau Milk, NutiFood and Hanoimilk — have obtained permits to export dairy products to China and will begin this month for the first time ever. China is set to import 39.43 million tonnes of dairy products this year, with local production only able to meet 75% of the Chinese market’s demand. Vietnam is, therefore, well-positioned to meet this demand as local dairy output is expected to reach one million tonnes in 2020 and double that by 2030. Vietnamese dairy exports are expected to reach US$300 million in 2020.
Myanmar traders encouraged to use renminbi, kyat at Chinese border
(1 October 2019) Myanmar’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) urged local traders to utilise the kyat or renminbi, instead of a third currency such as the dollar, when trading at the Chinese border to help “eliminate currency exchange risks and facilitate business between buyer and seller.” The UMFCCI’s remarks were made during an event organized by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the first Chinese-funded commercial bank in Myanmar. According to the Myanmar government, Myanmar-China trade totalled US$9.6 billion from October 2018 to July 2019.
Alibaba supercharges sale of Malaysian birds’ nests during Malaysia Week
(27 September 2019) Malaysia sold 80,000 bottles of birds’ nests during a ten-minute live-streaming session hosted by the Alibaba Group during the platform’s annual Malaysia Week campaign to promote Malaysian products to Chinese consumers. Other notable sessions also yielded sales of 30,000 packs of wafer biscuits and 20,000 durian pie biscuits, among other products. A total of 800 products from 100 local brands were promoted during the campaign, double the number of brands promoted last year. A Malaysian store was also launched on Alibaba’s domestic industrial goods wholesale platform 1688.com.
China has become the Philippines’ largest foreign investor
(30 September 2019) China has become the Philippines’ top foreign investor in the last two years, with investments in 19 of the 75 cluster projects under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure programme. According to trade undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman, Chinese investment in the Philippines totalled US$962.6 million last year — 96% of which went to manufacturing, 2% to real estate, 1% to electricity supply, and 1% to accommodation and food service. All this was achieved, argued Filipino officials, despite ongoing maritime disputes between the countries.