Category: Asia-Pacific Trade Insights
The Asia-Pacific Circle publishes timely Asia-Pacific Insights and Thought Leadership, in good business intelligence. This page regroups the thinking of the Circle’s contributors related to global and Asia-Pacific Trade. From local pro-business or interventionist policies to free trade negotiations and leadership – not to forget our China-United States trade insights – our experts’ Asia-Pacific Trade Insights connect the dots.
Are you looking for a big picture approach to regional developments? From Financial Markets to trade diplomacy and geopolitics, The Asia-Pacific Circle connects the dots in good business intelligence. [Read out Asia-Pacific Insights and Thought Leadership].
Read our Asia-Pacific Trade Insights:
In this Asia-Pacific Insight, Daniel de Blocq van Scheltinga comments on trade war developments and on their negative economic impacts. Making a case for constructive competition rather than zero-sum game results, he writes that while peril is to be expected, some might be more patient than others.
In this Asia-Pacific Insight, André Chieng analyses China-US relations from an economic and diplomatic perspective. While in the current trade war China could appear to be in a weak position, the debate is more subtle than it looks. "Chinese strategists have however understood that the timing is not favorable to them", Chieng write, and in the end, Beijing's policy mainly consists in "allowing Trump to claim victory and abandoning some ground to preserve the essential".
In this Asia-Pacific Insight, Bryan Mercurio and Stephen Nagy discuss US-China relations by looking at future trade deals between the two countries. "China and the US are likely to reach an agreement to end their trade war soon", they write, "but any deal reached between them will be superficial, difficult to enforce and out of step with the norms of the international trading system".
In this Insight, M&A specialist Daniel de Blocq van Scheltinga comments on the development of the Greater Bay Area project. Although it has been around for some time, what the Greater Bay Area really is about remains unclair for many. although "it took a few years for the world to become familiar with the Belt and Road Initiative", the author writes, "it will not take as long for the world to be impressed by the Greater Bay Area as it witnesses the area's transformation into a vibrant, prosperous, and green world-class city cluster".
In this insight, Vivien Massot explores the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from the perspective of India. He explains that for a variety of strategic; political, infrastructural and transparency reasons, the initiative faces a certain reluctance from India. Now more than ever, Massot Concludes, India is still seeking to preserve its natural sphere of influence (South Asia, Indian Ocean) but does not have sufficient financial resources to be able to counter Chinese trade integration projects.
In this Asia-Pacific Insight, Fabien Pacory explores the impact and influence of Free Trade Zones in China's Belt and Road Initiative. Free Trade Zones have more than a role to play in Beijing's strategy, he explains. In various countries, these zones serve various purposes, starting with an economic laboratory role and a pro-reform role which eventually help making the initiative stronger and stronger. There is a genuine strategy here, Pacory explains. The question is: which one?
In this Asia-Pacific insight, HEC Eurasia Institute Founder and Honorary Chairman Jacques Gravereau analyses recent trends relating to the debt generated as a result of the heavily discussed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Whilst the BRI is probably China's most strategic undertaking, the question of its medium and long-term impacts on the partnering countries deserves to be explored. In reality, Jacques Gravereau writes, the issue is not just black or white. At the end of the day, China is not just taking over the world: it bears the cost of significant business mistakes and it learns. By imprudently developing its BRI project, Beijing is indeed likely to create political misconceptions …
In this interview, we talk about Asia-Pacific trends with Nicolas Michaux, the Managing Director of the Hong Kong office of Fidinam. As a fiscal adviser to entrepreneurs and corporate executives, Nicolas explores several developments. First, he discusses the increasing interest for Vietnam as a business destination contrasting with China in many ways. Second, he elaborates on the various international initiatives which have recently been put into place as a means to curb fiscal evasion and explains their impact when it comes to doing business in the region. Keep reading for more.
In this Asia-Pacific Insight originally published in the South China Morning Post, Philippe Bonnet and Antoine Martin comment on the recent of an EU-Asia Connectivity strategic policy proposal by the European Commission. Whilst building ties between Asia and Europe make a lot of sense from a business cooperation perspective, they write, trying to create connectivity "the European way" - i.e. by imposing a rules-based mindset to Asia - is a rather surprising idea. A change in mindsets would be interesting, however...
In this Insight, Soo-Hyun Lee (Asan Institute, Seoul) discusses developments in South Korea's trade and investment climate. Borrowing the blue pill - red pill image from The Matrix, he places South Korea's approach to liberal policies into the broader and more global context of political and economic alliances with the West, and particularly the United States. The blue pill, on the one hand, equals safety and stability. The red pill, on the other hand, would bring some public interest and independence, provided of course that the country departs from its current ways. The question overall comes as follows: could South Korea follow a different roadmap in the future?
In this insight, Paul Clerc-Renaud analyses the so-called Trade War which has opposed China and the United States since the arrival to power of President Trump. He comments on the various progress made by the Chinese over the past few years, provides a summary of the recent trade sanctions put into place by Washington and Beijing, and considers why the tensions have arisen. Technological progress, he concludes, is at the root of the problem, and chances are that Beijing's 'Made in China 2025' are the actual reason why the U.S. is so embarrassed with China's development.
Telecom talk, with Alain Lejeune (TLC Communications, BlackBerry Mobile Division): In this Chinese markets insight, Alain Lejeune explores past, current and future developments in China's Telecoms market. From the rise of a market to the development of a truly globalized telecommunication industry strategically supported under the "Made in China 2025" efforts, Mr Lejeune tells a fascinating industrial story built around innovation, forward-looking anticipation, daring business models and far-reaching investments. In case you wondered what global (and Chinese) telecoms are about, this insight is a must read. Would you like more business trends and tips from regional Asia-Pacific experts? Read our latest Asia-Pacific Insights!
Asia-Pacific Insights: Japan - EU relations | The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA) represents an important opportunity from a business and trade leadership perspective. On the business side of things, Japan and the European Union are historical trading partners. Hence, the Economic Partnership Agreement represents a significant opportunity for both countries to keep progressing... together. On the trade diplomacy perspective, the JEEPA also sends an important leadership signal. Global free trade dynamics have been altered and sided away since late 2016 and the arrival to power of President Trump. The withdrawal of the United States from the TPP agreement, indeed, had slowed the trade dynamics globally. With the JEEPA, however
Japan - Europe free trade insights: The Japan EU free trade agreement (JEEPA) is a fairly comprehensive agreement which answers the most pressing issues in international trade and investment regulation. From a facilitation perspective, the agreement contains the typical provisions on the market. Note, for instance, that the scope of application is very broad and tends to prohibit "any duty or charge of any kind". Otherwise, the agreement facilitates trade in services, trade in financial services, investment and e-commerce whilst ensuring fair competition and intellectual property rights preservation. At the same time, the agreement does not only open free trade, it also preserves some regulatory room to Japan and the …
Asia-Pacific Trade Insights: Expert Soo-Hyun Lee (Asan Institute, Seoul) comments on the impact of the expiration of the South Korean Corporate Restructuring Promotion Act. While the act has helped major companies restructure in times of economic duress for the past twenty years, it has expired in late June 2018, thus leaving South Korea's giants without a much-needed support. Asking what ought to be the Korean Government’s economic role (i.e. letting things happen or supporting businesses in difficult times), Soo-Hyun Lee writes that Seoul cannot let go of the Act. Keep reading for more.
Asia-Pacific Insight: Soo-Hyun Lee (Asan Institute, Seoul) discusses the recent interventionist policies of the governments of South Korea and Japan. From banks to shipyards and technology industries, Japan and Korea have stepped into the business realm at multiple occasions in the name of the public interest. Yet, questions remain as to what are the consequences of these policies on the two countries' domestic investment climates. From an international legal point of view, Lee concludes, the legitimacy of a government intervention ultimately depends on procedural fairness. South Korea and Japan need to proceed with care: without procedural fairness, public interventions can easily shift matters of public interest into bad business and investment climates.
US - China Trade Insights: Antoine Martin and Professor Bryan Mercurio (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) discuss China - United States relations in light of recent trade developments. With the announcement of new tariffs against Chinese steel and Aluminum, President Trump has forced President Xi to react. This analysis of the'trade war' developments leads to the conclusion that the political game is changing. On the one hand, the U.S. is turning nationalistic and protectionist, even if it harms itself in the process. On the other, China is reversing the usual rhetoric and positioning itself as the god international citizen who plays by the rules. Keep reading for more.
Trade Research: Protectionism has become a trendy word recently and appears to be on the rise in various parts of the world. Starting with the United States. In reality, complex negotiations have eroded trade leadership at the WTO level and the trade policy dynamics in Washington and Brussels seem significantly compromised
Asia-Pacific Insights; Protectionism, elections, territorial stakes, foreign policy has become an increasingly relevant theme lately. In 2017, in fact, the global political economy as we know it will change. Foreign policies will be altered
China - US Relations: Antoine Martin analyzes Mr Trump's TPP and Trade policy, arguing that the 'America Great Again' idea will sooner than later give China a significant leadership role
We are living in troubled times. The British are paving their way out of the EU (trying, anyway), the major agreements which were once expected to foster growth between the United States, Europe, the Asia Pacific or Canada are seriously compromised. Trade has shifted from policy goal to political incorrectness. Let's face it
Globalization has become a major topic over the last decades and years. The issue is broad, ranging from policymaking to legal and financial, not to forget politics and politicisation.
Asia-Pacific Insight: The steel industry is one of China's most significant industries, but it lives difficult times at the moment. In fact, steel overcapacity in China is not just a reality, it has become a source of diplomatic troubles. In this China insight, Antoine Martin comments on the Agreement reached by the United States and China on the matter. He concludes that little change is to be expected. Beijing has little margin of maneuver on the topic, hence overcapacity is likely to remain a burden in China-US relations.
Asia-Pacific Trade Insights: Antoine Martin comments on recent regional developments pertaining to trade negotiations in a tense APEC, TPP and FTAAP context
Whether or not China should be considered as a market economy country is a polemical topic at the moment. On the one hand, Beijing claims that it has made significant efforts to open its economy to world markets since its accession to the WTO. On the other hand, the major competing countries such as the United States or the European Union complain that such effort are not significant enough and argue that China should not be considered a market economy. In this China business insight, Antoine Martin comments on recent EU and US talks regarding the issue.
Two years after Bali, the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference is taking place in Nairobi from December 15th to December 18th. Yet, the Conference’s Goals are not seen as ambitious and, despite the long known failure of the Doha Round negotiations, some of its remains seem to persist. For better or worse
Part of the political economy challenges ahead is the evolution of trade liberalization negotiations in the Asia-Pacific region. In a comment dated June 2014, Jayant Menon (Lead Economist at the Asian Development Bank’s Office of Regional Economic Integration) actually presented a rather interesting snapshot of Asia-Pacific trade negotiations