June 9, 2017

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has issued a  “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order with a particular focus on as steel, iron, aluminum and cement.
The Administration has given all Federal Government agencies that have procurement programmes until September to report to Secretary of Commerce, Ross Wilbur, on how they will implement the Order.
However, “existing rights or obligations under international agreements” will not be affected by the latest Order, which was issued on April 18.
President Trump told workers at Snap-On Tools in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that “everyone in my Administration will be expected to enforce every last Buy American provision on behalf of the American worker, and we are going to investigate every single trade deal that undermines these provisions”.
The President also said that “for the first time ever, we are going to crack down on foreign bidders that used dumped steel and other subsidised goods to take contracts from American manufacturers”.
Trump’s latest Executive Order reinforces his previous Orders addressing infrastructure, trade enforcement, and trade deficits.

June 9, 2017

THE Jakarta election is a precursor to how race and religion may play a role in Indonesia’s upcoming 2019 Presidential campaign . . .

THE defeat of Basuki Tjajaja Purnama (Ahok) as Governor of Jakarta could have wider implications for Indonesia — beyond the politics of the capital itself.
Victory went to former Education Minister, Anies Baswedan, and his running mate, businessman Sandiaga Uno, on their pro-Islamic platform.
Ahok’s loss could affect the sometimes tenuous hold of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on the country’s Presidency, because it will embolden his opponents in coming months.
More immediately, ethnic Chinese in Indonesia are alarmed by the anti-Chinese sentiment whipped up during the campaign by pro-Islamic politicians.
Ahok’s defeat reveals a deep fissure in Indonesian politics, according to Charlotte Setijad, Visiting Fellow in the Indonesia Studies Programme at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.
Writing in the latest issue of Perspective, published by ISEAS, Setijadi says it cannot be denied that the political and societal commotion surrounding the Jakarta election has revealed the deep rifts that exist in society, as well as the shifting ground of Islamist politics in Indonesia.
“These have important implications for national politics and the 2019 Presidential election,” she wrote (before the result of the election was known).
“Not having Ahok as an ally at the leadership of the capital city would weaken the President’s hold on power. This is particularly true in the context of the struggle for dominance between elite players Jokowi-Megawati, Prabowo Subianto and SBY.

May 12, 2017

CHINA HAS a track record of making rapid change. Within a decade or two, the world’s most populous country has become its biggest market for passenger cars, its biggest e-commerce market, its biggest exporter -- and its biggest source of carbon emissions.

So it should come as no surprise that China has now assumed a leadership position in green-investment.

China is ploughing billions into clean energy, promoting the use of electric vehicles, investing in low-emissions infrastructure for its fast-growing cities, and widening the options for green financing.

Efforts to decarbonise and green China’s economy permeate the very fabric of its economic endeavours: while they aim to tackle pollution and climate change, they also dovetail with Beijing’s goal of taking the economy up the value chain, boosting home-grown high-tech industries and the high-end jobs that come with them, and paving the way for more sustainable, balanced and ecologically-aware economic expansion.

April 20, 2017

THE Trump Administration will be taking a hard line in the negotiation and monitoring of agreements with both its trading partners and the World Trade Organisation . . . 

March 29, 2017

IN what is known as the China-Australia Year of Tourism, plans are in hand to bring 1.4 million Chinese tourists to Australia, with 750,000 Australians to visit China . . . 

March 29, 2017

Vietnam Airlines has launched direct flights from Sydney to Hanoi, with direct connections to Europe, along with its new Premium Economy class . . . 

March 24, 2017

BEIJING — In what is seen as a “first” in China, the Nanjing Intermediate People’s Court has handed down a decision recognising and enforcing a civil judgment made by the Singapore High Court, based on the principle of reciprocity.

March 24, 2017

BY 2035, says Brett King, robots will outnumber humans. And today’s robot is different. Rather than being programmed, it operates on artificial intelligence.

March 9, 2017

The move by a new U.S. President to rewrite the punitive Dodd Frank legislation is needed, says former IIF Managing Director, Charles Dallara. Compliance costs for financial institutions are, in many cases, “virtually unmanageable” . . .

March 9, 2017

On the issue of trade with China, President Trump will need to be careful – and so will the Chinese stewardship, says Charles Dallara . . .

TRADE is one big area that could cause great damage to both the U.S. and global economies if not well-managed by the new U.S. Adminisration, says Charles Dallara.
Pointing to what has already transpired, such as the axing of the U.S.-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Dallara believes Trump may yet revise some of his earlier ideas on trade agreements.
“President Trump needs to be especially careful,” he warns.

February 21, 2017

BREAKING the ice. U.S. President Donald Trump describes his first phone call with China’s President Xi as a “very, very good conversation”, and that they are in the process of ‘getting along very well” . . . 

February 9, 2017

HONG KONG – Hong Kong and Shenzhen are to jointly develop a 97-acre site at Lok Ma Chau, on the Hong Kong-China border, into an innovation and technology park focussing on robotics, biopharmaceuticals, smart cities and fintech.

January 30, 2017

POLITICAL risks in emerging countries are higher than ever, driven by social discontent and heightened security concerns, says credit insurer Coface, in as assessment of the outlook for 2017 . . .

January 30, 2017

THE Chinese Government implemented new restrictions on outbound investments and further tightened capital outflow from China at the end of 2016 and seems likely to formalise these . . 

December 6, 2016

FROM self-drive cars to fintech and so much in-between, including biomed, data storage and robotics, Singapore has set the pace in the testing and commercialising of new technologies . . .

November 30, 2016

VICTOR FUNG, one of Asia's best-known internationalists, says the economy has stopped responding to monetary stimulus, and that it is time to go back to fundamentals to stimulate manufacturing and cross-border trade. Expanded aggregate demand has to come from the developing economies . . .