Tuesday November 16, 2021
Politics and finance set the scene this week as we take a first look at new Asia investment figures courtesy of Asia Investment Research, sure to become a leading analytical voice.
Elsewhere, its Chinese politics as the country steers itself for an effective senior leadership to cater for ambitious growth goals over the next decade. A bit of a U-turn from London is also interesting, the country having been a fierce critic until recently, while China-Russia trade is booming.
We also look at Bangladesh, both an Asian and BRI darling with a Government committed to sustainable growth. Even Afghanistan seems to be settling down, with the country under the watchful eyes of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
A re-evaluation of China’s role may just be on the horizon as concerns Western attitudes once hawks soften under hard realization of what is being accomplished and what has just been political noise.
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The Asian region topped all other global areas except for China with US$7.4 billion of disclosed investment amounts. Singapore led these with over US$3 billion while Hong Kong saw over US$2 billion. Activity was concentrated in China inbound real estate and logistics, both in purchases as well as in funds designed to acquire these assets. Singapore’s GLP remained very active in both. There were also various small consumer tech investments.
Nearly 350 members and alternate members of the CCP Central Committee gathered in Beijing between November 8-10 to review the Resolution on Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the CPC’s 100 Years of Endeavors, which has been touted as being of “historical significance” and is only the third such resolution since the CCP’s foundation 100 years ago. The 20th National Congress of the Party, which will be held in Beijing in the second half of next year, is expected to rubber-stamp the Sixth Plenum’s deliberations.
More Chinese political consolidation can be expected as the Politburo candidates will shortly be chosen for the 20th Party Congress, which starts from October next year. That will appoint China’s most senior leaders for the coming five years and possibly longer. They will, in effect, be some of the most powerful men in the world, and will ultimately be responsible for driving China into the 2030s. So, who are these people?
The British Government issued a formal response (November 14) to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s request into Xinjiang. When such reports are published the Government has 60 days to provide a reply, either accepting or rejecting the recommendations put before them. This mechanism acts as a bellwether concerning current thinking towards policy on stated subjects. The British Government refused to declare the situation in Xinjiang as genocide and rejected a call for a ban on cotton imports from Xinjiang or sanctions on all goods and companies associated with the region.
Russo-Chinese trade turnover from January to October 2021 grew by 30.9 percent year-on-year, reaching US$115.66 billion, China’s General Customs Administration reported on Sunday. That indicates a predicted 2021 total trade turnover of about US$140 billion for the year. Chinese exports to Russia increased 30.6 percent, to about US$52.9 billion in value during the first 10 months of 2021, while Chinese imports of Russian goods and services to China grew by 31.2 percent, to US$62.76 billion.
Bangladesh’s ability to attract and invest capital into its infrastructure needs has massively increased during the past two-three years, with global investors looking at the country as a solid investment destination. The country sits between ASEAN and the India-centric SAARC, provides Himalayan and China access, which together with a welcoming foreign investment regime are seeing the country develop as a South Asian supply chain hub. Bangladesh is where South-East Asia meets the Himalayas and the Indian subcontinent. Collectively, these are markets of over two billion people. Bangladesh is becoming an ASEAN+1.
The construction work of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is resuming on the Afghanistan section. It is a regional connectivity project for supplying gas from Turkmenistan to India’s Punjab to fulfill regional demand, and is a significant initiative proposed by the Asian Development Bank and currently involving four regional countries. In part, it acts as a bridge between South Asia and Central Asia.
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