India’s FDI Reforms, ASEAN-Hong Kong-China FTA – China Outbound

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Our weekly round up of other news affecting foreign investors throughout Asia.


The ASEAN-Hong Kong-China Free Trade Agreement

The ASEAN-Hong Kong-China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) came into effect on June 11 for Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand. The remaining ASEAN member states will complete the ratification process later this year. The deal will increase economic cooperation, reduce taxes, and increase investment between regional markets and Hong Kong.


Latest FDI Reforms in India Benefit Single Brand Retail, Contract Manufacturers, Coal Mining

India announced a slew of changes to its existing foreign direct investment (FDI) norms. These include new norms for single-brand retail, coal mining, contract manufacturing, and digital media.

The FDI reforms will remove market access barriers for foreign firms; in the last five years, the government has undertaken more than 30 such sector reforms.


Russia’s Azur Air to Provide Direct Service between Krasnodar and China’s Hainan Island

Russia’s regional Azur Air will launch a direct international route between Krasnodar and the Chinese resort of Sanya, commencing late October, with weekly flights operating on Sundays, the press service of the Krasnodar airport announced on Monday.

This is of interest to foreign investors as Beijing has established a pilot free trade zone on Hainan that will service free trade into and with Vietnam. China has a free trade arrangement with Vietnam via its FTA with ASEAN, while Russian businesses can take advantage of the Eurasian Economic Union FTA with Vietnam.


Russia to Upgrade Mongolian Rail Links between Russia and China

Russia’s State Rail operator RZD will modernize Mongolia’s rail network to develop the country’s transit potential. Russian president Vladimir Putin made an announcement to the effect during his visit to Ulaan Baatar ahead of the Far Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The two countries have also agreed to set up a Joint Investment Fund.


Government Incentives for SMEs in Vietnam – Two New Circulars

SMEs play a major role in Vietnam’s economy and account for 98 percent of all enterprises with approximately 40 percent of GDP. The government recently issued two regulations to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): Circular No 06/2019/TT/BKHDT on the network of consultants for SMEs and Circular No 05/2019/TT/BKHDT on subsidies for training courses for women-owned SMEs.

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China Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in DalianBeijingShanghaiGuangzhouShenzhen, and Hong Kong. Readers may write to for more support on doing business in China.