Economy & Trade
The State Council, China’s cabinet, has elevated 12 high-tech zones to national high-tech development zone status.
National-level high-tech zones concentrate high-tech industries in regional clusters and are popular investment destinations.
In addition to concentrating high-tech infrastructure and talent, national-level zones benefit from special government incentives, such as lower tax rates.
By I-Ting Shelly Lin
On February 28, the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong released the 2018-2019 Budget, confirming the government’s new fiscal policy and budget strategies for the coming financial year. Hong Kong authorities say the budget’s primary goals are to create a more diversified economy, invest for the future, and address the needs of the people.
The budget featured four main themes: “a diversified economy”, “caring and sharing”, “enhancing livability”, and “manpower training”. Critics, however, point to the insufficient attention given to quality of life issues, such as housing affordability and income inequality, and the overall effort to transform the city’s economy. Many observers have said the budget lacked ambition.
By Alexander Chipman Koty
The Chinese government announced its GDP growth target and policy priorities for 2018 at the annual Two Sessions meetings, China’s largest political event of the year.
This year’s Two Sessions meetings were overshadowed by October’s 19th Party Congress, where President Xi Jinping outlined a policy roadmap all the way to 2050, as well as the more recent announcement that the party plans to scrap presidential term limits.
These events precipitated debate over China’s long-term direction and the path the country will take going forward. However, the Two Sessions – while often broad and opaque – offer businesspeople a glimpse of how the government will carry out its plans in the immediate term, as well as how they fit into the larger economic picture.
There has been much hand wringing in the Western media concerning the decision by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party to abolish the two-term limit for the President and Vice-President. However, like much in Chinese politics, it could easily have been predicted.
The four main issues that will have prompted the change are easily understood: Continue reading…
By Mark Preen
In 1978, China launched a policy of “reform and opening-up”, which catalyzed the economic development of modern day China. Leading the way in the implementation of this policy was South China’s Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.
Today, the PRD is one of China’s most open and dynamic regions. The PRD is known as “The Factory of the World” and in 2016 the combined GDP of the 11 cities in the region was RMB 9.35 trillion (US$1.38 trillion). This accounted for 12 percent of China’s economy that year, even though the region only accounts for five percent of the country’s population. If the region were a country, it would be the fifth largest economy in Asia.
Despite its success, the Chinese government will not allow the PRD to rest on its laurels. As the region faces increasing competition from countries such as India and Vietnam for low-cost manufacturing, the PRD must become even more open and innovative by taking a leading role in China’s next stage of economic development.
By Vincent Bonhaume and Thibaut Minot
French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to China this January ushered in a wave of optimism for China-France relations, as the two countries look to strengthen economic ties in 2018 and beyond. The president’s trip was aimed at boosting confidence and economic cooperation between China and France, with the ambitious plan for the French delegation to re-equalize the trade balance, which is currently unfavorable for France.
The Chinese market, the biggest in the world for many products and services, is attracting the attention of French multinationals even though access remains complicated for foreign companies. While encouraging French companies to come sell in China, Emmanuel Macron took advantage of his visit to lobby for fairer competition standards in this market.
Macron’s state visit to China has resulted in significant contract signings for major French groups such as Airbus and Areva, as well as new partnerships in the sectors of culture and art. Concrete results such as these demonstrate Macron’s ambition to better leverage Sino-French relations by adopting a more pragmatic and business-focused approach to diplomacy, and his desire to boost French exports through this strategic partnership.
By Dezan Shira & Associates
Cross-border trade at Manzhouli, the Chinese city right at the borders of Russia and Mongolia, has exceeded RMB 200 million (US$30.5 million) this year, including about 45,000 tonnes of cargo. This brings the total turnover of its border trade zone to RMB 300 million since it started trial operation in June 2016.
Manzhouli, which is part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, also issued about 28,000 border resident identity cards and 113,000 visitor cards in 2017, according to officials within the zone’s administration committee. Most of those visitors were Russian traders, both buying and selling goods.
By Juan Rojas
In his most recent visit to China in September, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto emphasized the need to continue promoting trade and new investments between both countries. This goal was illustrated by the signing of a cooperation agreement between Mexico and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
The visit marked the seventh time that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Nieto have held bilateral meetings since 2013, when both leaders agreed to grant the status of the Sino-Mexican relationship as a “comprehensive strategic partnership”.
However, despite the fact that Mexico is China’s largest commercial partner in Latin America, and China is Mexico’s second largest trading partner in the world, both countries have not yet deciphered how to take full advantage of its potential.