WITH the online share of China’s retail market up 11-fold in six years, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s is warning that China’s large department stores face the prospect of credit rating downgrades . .
THE Postman is ringing twice (with apologies to Jack Nicholson). As its traditional business model, based on letter deliveries, begins to fade into history, Australia Post is embracing the opportunities created by a strategic decision 10 years ago to enter a logistics joint venture with China Post.
Fulfillment of e-commerce business — the ability to consolidate orders and deliver parcels quickly to any consumer — is one of the hottest games in town today. And with China emerging as the world’s biggest e-commerce market, China Post and Australia Post are well-positioned to win further market share, both in China and in broader Asia. Both entities are committed to further investments in their venture.
Australia Post has also established alliances with Alibaba and China UnionPay to open the door for Australian exporters to some 180 million active online consumers in China . . .
THE Perth-based education and management training company, AAMC Training Group, has stepped up its presence in four Asian countries – India, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore — following success in clinching a three-year MOU with India’s Gujarat Knowledge Society and the signing an agreement with the Government of Gujarat.
THE devil is in the detail. Lawyer Jim Harrowell, Chairman of the Australia China Business Council, says the focus of the China-Australia FTA in terms of services seems to be on the Shanghai Free Trade Zone – and no-one yet knows just what the benefits will be. But he says farmers and more broadly regional Australia should benefit . . .
NEW Chinese e-commerce platforms are significantly lowering the barriers to entry for global brands – and beginning to edge out the middleman. For niche producers, an estimated 300 Chinese online consumers offer a
market for what, in many cases, can now be direct sales . . .
CORPORATIONS don’t want their offshore managers acting as silos – they need to be globally intelligent and able to enhance stakeholder value . . .
THERE is early evidence that emerging markets corporate borrowers are refinancing from the US dollar into euro, now seen as the weak currency and the low interest rate currency, says ANZ Chief Economist, Warren Hogan. Most Asian borrowers are not hedged, he says . . .
DESPERATE to conclude its Trans Pacific Partnership trade negotiations as it watches China driving a conclusion to its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with ASEAN and six other Asian countries, Washington finally seems willing to renew Presidential authority for fast-tracking of international trade agreements . . .
THERE is a new level of sophistication in audit and review of transfer pricing documentation with tax authorities in Asia challenging multinational corporations in the courts . . .
TAIWAN is offering generous tax breaks for both investors and foreign workers in its new Free Trade Pilot Zones, which will nurture a range of existing and emerging industries in five sectors. The Zones are geographically positioned to link with nearby Science Parks or Industrial Parks to boost exports through a new business model . . .
SINGAPORE’s 2015 Budget shows prudence and far-sightedness as the island state sets parameters for its next 50 years . . .
NEW competitors are using disruptive technology to attract customers by rendering banks and their networks irrelevant, says Brett King, founder of the mobile banking application, Moven. Fintech, he says, has created a paradigm shift – “it is not about whether banks have the best possible products, best network or the best rates – it is about delivering services in real time”. He warns that Asia is not investing enough in fintech: Hong Kong, for example, has invested less than US$100 million out of US$100 billion already committed worldwide . . .
DIGITISATION is rewriting the rules of how banks compete, according to McKinsey. “Incumbents who fail to grasp this risk damaging franchises built over generations,” says a new report . . .
ENERGY efficiency savings in 11 member International Energy Agency countries in 2011 were greater than the combined crude oil consumption of the EU and Asia (excluding China). The IEA says investment worldwide in 2012 in energy efficiency is estimated at up to US$360 billion . . .
CHINA has stolen a march on other potential customers by locking in a Free Trade Agreement with Australia, with food security uppermost in
Chinese leaders’ minds, says leading Australian academic, Kerry Brown . . .
EDUCATORS in Asia needs to shape what is taught in the classroom to suit the context of today’s environment, says Indian industrialist and co-founder of Infosys, Narayana Murthy . . .