China in Asia: Mar. 17

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Mar. 17 – Here is how China has been reported across the region over the past week.

GFSI : Shanghai 35th, Mumbai 49th
The Global Financial Centers Index, which measures the performances of the world’s financial centers, has just released its latest six monthly report. The report, which is compiled from analysis by the independent ZYen Group from surveys of financial professionals worldwide, concentrates on external competitiveness indicators. It takes into consideration – asset management, banking, Government and regulation, insurgence and professional services. (

Vietnam Protests Chinese Tours to Spratlys
Vietnam is protesting against China’s decision to allow Hainan’s Zhou Jiang International Tourism to open a tour to Phu Lam Island in Hoang Sa or the Paracel archipelago. Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung told Vietnam News: “This act seriously infringes upon Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty and is unbeneficial to bilateral negotiation to seek a fundamental and durable solution to the sea issues between the two parties.” (Vietnam Briefing)

More Issues in the South China Seas
In another controversial move, China has recently dispatched a state-of-the-art patrol ship to the South China Sea – possibly in response to the signing of the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law and the recent altercation with a U.S. surveillance vessel. The Philippines believe the move to be a show of intimidation in the region following the island country’s claim on the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal.
(Communist Tax Lawyer)

Government to Relax FII Restrictions on FDI Capped Sectors
The Indian Government is considering proposals to scrap the cap mechanism by which foreign institutional investors are restricted in certain industries from investing in Initial public offerings, according to the Economic Times. The proposal, put forward by the Dept. of Industrial Policy & Promotion will be studied by various secretariats before being presented to parliament. The move would lift the uncertainty over whether FDI applications in sectors such as retail, auto, aviation and telecoms will require permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). (India Briefing)

Asia’s Plummeting Interest Rates
Asian banks have recently been cutting interest rates more frequently to increase liquidity and boost consumer purchases. South Korea which is in recession has seen the steepest cut in interest rates in Asia. The Korean Central bank cut interest rates from five percent at the end of 2007 to two percent last month, the largest jump in a decade. India and China have similarly, drastically cut interest rates in the past few months. While India’s Reserve bank of India cut the repo rate by 2.75 percent since end 2007, China’s People’s Bank cut rates by 2.16 percent during the same period. (

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