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Asia Briefing publishes articles, magazines, and guides on doing business in Asia.
It has been produced by Dezan Shira and Associates since 1999.
The President of the Philippines has approved the final amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA), or Republic Act No. 11595. The bill reduces the minimum paid-up capital requirements for foreign retail enterprises, removes the requirement for a certificate of pre-qualification to the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), and lowers the investment requirements for each store owned by a foreign enterprise. These measures are aimed at attracting greater foreign investment in the retail sector, which before the pandemic, accounted for 23% of the total services industry with a total gross value of US$ 20 billion. Full recovery of the Philippines consumer and retail sector is expected to occur in 2022, with growth also predicted in 2023.
China’s President Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting yesterday (Tuesday, January 25) of the ‘China Plus Central Asia’ grouping, to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between them. The meeting took place as the region becomes more important in terms of China’s Belt and Road Initiative strategy and Asian security issues and specifically Afghanistan. Attending with Xi were the Heads of State from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The group has targeted US$70 billion in China-Central Asian trade by 2030, with specific opportunities for increased exports to China and tourism development.
An interesting initiative emanating from China's recent Foreign Ministerial visits to East Africa, Maldives and Sri Lanka has been the proposed 'China-Indian Ocean Council' - a potential collection of Indian Ocean countries who would form a collective discussion bloc not unlike the Cooperation Between China & Eastern European Countries (CEEC) which was established in 2012.
Indonesia’s Parliament has passed the Capital City Bill into law meaning the construction of the country’s new capital can begin, ahead of the planned relocation from Jakarta starting in early 2024 to East Kalimantan province. Indonesia’s new capital, which was first announced in 2019, is estimated to cost over US$35 billion to construct. The government has also just announced the name ‘Nusantara’ - meaning archipelago – to be the new capital’s name.
China’s strict zero-COVID policy has led to several instances of port closures over the past year, exacerbating the crisis in global supply chains. But issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic in logistics chains around the world are also to blame. The ongoing supply chain crisis has led to rising costs of raw materials and shipping containers, which is impacting manufacturers and end-consumers alike. Sustained disruption in global supply chains is likely to impact China’s imports and exports in 2022, but the government is prepared for this outcome.
We provide insights into opportunities for investing in India’s digital infrastructure – both physical and soft components. We also discuss the notable trends driving growth and demand as India fastens its pace of digitization, supported by government policies, increased network connectivity, a large consumer base, and rapid business expansion.
Mutual trade between Kazakhstan and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries – Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia reached US$23.4 billion for the eleven months January to November 2021, a 30.5% increase compared to the same period in 2020, according to data released by Kazakhstan’s Statistics Committee. Of this, Kazakhstan exports reached US$6.9 billion – an increase of 35.3%), while EAEU imports into Kazakhstan reached US$16.5 billion accounts for import – an increase of 25.7%.
The Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mikhail Bocharnikov said at a press conference yesterday (January 25) that bilateral trade between the two countries had reached US$2.9 billion for the January-November period of 2021, indicating that the likely bilateral trade volume once December was included would be over US$3 billion. This is an increase of about 10% over the 2020 figures, indicating an upturn after Covid.
One of the outcomes of Iranian President Raisi's recent visit to Moscow has been an immediate commitment to increase Caspian Sea trade shipping, with Ro-Ro vessels to ply Iranian agricultural trade between the Anzali and Lagan Ports, which will in turn boost the use of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).
In this edition, we look at the Asian trade impact from EU-Russia sanctions, China’s digital yuan, getting cash-flow revenues from the BRI, Russia-Iran trade, Philippines’ export incentives, Chinese cryptominers impact Siberia’s energy resources, and global Belt and Road news.
The Philippines has approved the final amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, which aims to ease foreign investments in the retail sector.
We discuss the issue using a case study and with references to existing laws and regulations.
We provide insights into opportunities for investing in India's digital infrastructure – both physical and soft components – and government spending plans.
Vietnam Briefing offers a basic understanding of the Vietnamese New Year or Tet including customary practices that businesses should be aware of.