January 6, 2021

THE second-round effects of the crisis will be profound, with rising unemployment rates, part of the corporate fabric lost, and significantly higher levels of public and private debt, says BBVA . . .

PARIS -- Beyond the human tragedy of COVID-19, 2020 has left the world with a long list of economic consequences for the future - but they are not all negative, says BBVA Bank. "The most obvious consequence is the severe recession, with global GDP expected to decrease by more than 2.5%, which is a bigger decrease than that of the 2009 financial crisis (-1.7%)," BBVA says in a new report. 

"We know that this decline is temporary and is not a response to cumulative imbalances of inflation or debt, as is the case with normal recessions," the report says.        

"This should mean we are able to quickly return to how the situation was previously."

January 6, 2021

Standard & Poor's is predicting continuation of a crackdown on shadow banking in China in 2021. The government has moved to take control of Sichuan Trust Co, which reportedly faces an estimated RMB20-30 billion of losses from its trust products under management . . .

HONG KONG -- China's move to take control of Sichuan Trust Co. Ltd. signals a growing assertiveness with the sector, according to global ratings agency Standard and Poor's. Chinese officials said the entity was plagued with governance issues, resulting in a swath of defaulted trust products, but S&P Global Ratings believes the authorities' action on Sichuan Trust demonstrates China's intention to continue its crackdown on trust entities specifically, and China's shadow bank sector generally, in 2021.

January 6, 2021

THAILAND has announced a raft of new investment rules focussing on digital innovation and genomic medicine. It is also promoting investment into 20 rural SEZs for businesses in 14 target groups . . .

BANGKOK -- Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI) has approved new measures to help accelerate investment and to promote adoption of digital technologies. Lawyers Baker & McKenzie summarise the new incentives as follows:

1. Large investment projects: The BOI offers a corporate income tax reduction of 50% for a period of five years from the expiry of the normal corporate income tax exemption period (which is normally 3-8 years from the time the promoted project first generates income).

A key condition is that there must be an actual investment of at least THB 1 billion within 12 months after being issued with the BOI promotion certificate.

Applications are accepted from January 4, 2021 until the last business day of 2021.

2. Digital upgrade: Additional incentives, including three years of corporate income tax exemption from the time the promoted project first generates income, will be granted to existing companies in order to promote the use of digital technology to improve efficiencies, increase competitiveness and stimulate domestic demand.

January 6, 2021

WHILE stabilisation of markets seems to be within reach with the introduction of new COVID-19 vaccines and new leadership in the US, investors should expect the process to be gradual and long, Manulife Investment Management says in its regional outlook for the year ahead . . .

HONG KONG -- Structural changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will take time to reverse, Manulife Investment Management says in its assessment of the year ahead.

August 23, 2020

Australian exports of food and agricultural products to China rose 8% in value terms in the 2019/20 season, reaching the highest level in the history of the China-Australia trading relationship.

August 18, 2020

In a video address to two US-based think tanks, the Hudson Institute and the Centre for American Progress (CAP), Taiwan's President, Tsai Ing-wen, has reiterated her four principles for management of cross-strait relations, mooted a Free Trade Agreement with the United States, and called on  the international community to speak out and act against the demise of Hong Kong's freedoms. This is an edited transcript . . .

TAIPEI - People say that the second term is supposed to be easier than the first. They must be people who have not experienced the year 2020 like we have.

We are gathered at a time when billions around the world are reeling from the unprecedented effects of COVID-19. When over half a million people have lost their lives and millions more have been sickened.

There is tremendous economic uncertainty around the world, with soaring unemployment and disruptions to global trade.

While Taiwan has fared relatively well in the current pandemic, we are not immune to its aftershocks. We are also worried about its broader political implications across the region.

When the rest of the world has been distracted in responding to one of the most significant crises in recent history, we have seen a growing effort to pose ever more challenging threats to free and democratic societies.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Hong Kong.

January 23, 2020

The United States, now joined by others, wants to reform the WTO's appeal system to correct what have been termed 'egrarious errors'. Has there been over-reach?

January 23, 2020

The issue of trust may greatly impede any restoration of normalisation, perhaps for decades . . .

January 23, 2020

THAILAND is planning to spend US$43 billion over five years to embrace the new technologies inherent in Industry 4.0.

November 26, 2019

Regulatory compliance and institutional-grade security are being built into digital asset solutions developed jointly out of Singapore and Switzerland.

November 26, 2019

The long-awaited fourth industrial revolution, i4.0, has arrived. There are 16 "lighthouse" companies worldwide, implementing advanced manufacturing and AI-driven technology at scale -- and seeing significant gains.

November 26, 2019

Asia-to-Asia supply chains will emerge, driven by rising consumption, maturing domestic supply chains and uncertainties in global trade . . .

November 25, 2019

EXPECT the unexpected. It is the timing, the sheer suddenness of the violence and civil disobedience, that is spooking business in trouble-spots across the world today. Who, less than six months ago, could have foreseen the streets of flames, teargas, terror, bitterness and sorrow that epitomise Hong Kong today ...

September 25, 2019

HONG KONG - As the trade dispute between the United States and Mainland China continues and the world economy beings to slow, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has made a further downward revision to its forecast for Hong Kong's export performance in 2019, saying th

September 2, 2019

HERE is a flashback to the forgotten past of Southeast Asia, a confirmation that trade is what has always driven the inter-relationship of nations -- and that the shadow of China has always been there . . . 

February 25, 2019

BROWSING - Barry Whalen

He who controls the past controls the future.
He who controls the present controls the past.
 - George Orwell.

ALL the evidence is that the Party is fully committed to continuing the current line of 'socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era'. Within the foreseeable future, there will be no deviation from Deng Xiaoping's line that the Party's power has to be maintained for at least a hundred years . . .
GEORGE ORWELL's masterpiece "1984" is banned in China, and it's not hard to understand why. "Big Brother" and the classic quote "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" has an eerie resonance in Beijing's corridors of power.
Orwell holds up a mirror to China's reverence for its Communist past as a determinant of its future, and highlights not only the absurdities of the Marxist-Leninist class struggle, but the way it has been consigned to the dustbin of history.
History is an important tool for the Communist Party of China (CPC) to use in legitimising its hold on power.
To the Chinese, the past determines the present, and probably everything you want to know about  the "restored" China you can find in Dutch Sinologist Hendrik Schulte Nordholt's weighty analysis, China and the Barbarians : Resisting the Western World Order (Leiden University Press, 2018).