October 15, 2022

TAIPEI -- Today, saying "I am Taiwanese" is a statement of honour and an expression of pride, President Tsai Ing-wen has said in her Double Tenth National Day address to the nation.

She directly addressed the differences existing between what she calls "the two sides of the strait", differences, she said, which stemmed from historical factors "as well as from our divergent experiences in democratic development".

"I want to make clear to the Beijing authorities that armed confrontation is absolutely not an option for our two sides," she said.


July 12, 2022


AUSTRALIA is one of the fastest-recovering international markets for Vietnam Airlines, which is rapidly increasing frequencies to key markets across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States . . .


SYDNEY -- Vietnam Airlines has increased its flight frequencies out of Sydney and Melbourne to meet increasing post-COVID travel demand.

 Improved connections for onwards journeys from Vietnam to Europe will also be offered as the airline increases frequencies into Europe for the Northern summer.

 From July, the Vietnamese flag carrier is scheduling seven flights weekly out of Sydney and four from Melbourne.

 "We are about to resume for the northern summer five direct weekly services between Sydney and Ho Chi Minh as well as four from Melbourne, in addition to two direct weekly return services between Sydney and Hanoi. 

"This reflects our strong commitment to the Australian market," Truong Tran Ngoc Hung, deputy director of marketing and sales for Vietnam Airlines, told ATI. 

 Hung said VN had also adjusted its schedule to improve connections from Europe into Australia.  "We are flying 4 days a week to London, 3 days to Paris and 5 days to Frankfurt," he said.

Addressing agents and industry partners at a Rediscover Vietnam forum in Sydney, he said: "These frequency increases and improved connection times will hopefully encourage you to consider Vietnam Airlines as a partner in getting your clients to Europe.

 "Our frequency increases to many locations show a solid market recovery now, and that is in part due to the agents and partners here with us tonight."  

November 30, 2021

HONG KONG -- While Asia dominates car battery production, China dominates the supply chain in terms of EV battery components, according to the global financial group, Natixis.

"Most EV battery components are currently produced by the three Asian battery powerhouses (China, South Korea and Japan), but China's leading role in the "underneath" components is more obvious than EV battery supply." Natixis says.

The report says that while competition between China and Japan was neck-and-neck for some years, the gap has widened in China's favour since 2014, with China's market share of EV battery components surging from 43% in 2014 to 60% in 2020.

May 6, 2021

THE Greater Bay Area is a business-to-business arrangement that already exists, says Hong Kong's Edward Yau. GBA already accounts for US$1.7 trillion of China's gross domestic product, roughly the size of Australia's total GDP, he says -- and a number expected to reach US$4.6 trillion by 2030 . . .

HONG KONG's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau, has offered a "special ticket" to Australian companies to "ride the fast lane of growth" -- the Hong Kong-Macau-Greater Bay initiative.

Yau says the Greater Bay Area (GBA) promises huge potential in coming years as its 11 cities grow their collective economic strength.

In terms of land area, the nine cities plus Hong Kong and Macau constitute only 1% of the terrain of the Mainland, he says. But GBA is already home to 5% of China's population  --  and it accounts for 12% of China's GDP and 37% of its national trade.

May 6, 2021

DATA centres have become a major world industry, and Hong Kong and the GBA are strategically-placed to help meet growing demand through the region in a market described by AirTrunk's Robin Khuda as "fantastic" . . . 

HAVING recently launched its first facility in Hong Kong, the Sydney-based data centre operator and owner, AirTrunk, is already starting to weigh up expansion opportunities.

Robin Khuda, founder and chief executive officer of AirTrunk, says that, despite a difficult year in 2020, its first data centre in Hong Kong was completed in record time.

May 6, 2021

INVESTHK in 2015 assisted the offshore development arm of the University of Wollongong (UOW Global Enterprises) into Hong Kong, where it purchased a university college and is now building its second campus. UOW courses are also being delivered into mainland China through UOW twinning arrangements in Beijing, Tianjin and Zhengzhou, with UOW considering expansion of its physical presence into the GBA Mainland . . .

January 6, 2021

THE second-round effects of the crisis will be profound, with rising unemployment rates, part of the corporate fabric lost, and significantly higher levels of public and private debt, says BBVA . . .

PARIS -- Beyond the human tragedy of COVID-19, 2020 has left the world with a long list of economic consequences for the future - but they are not all negative, says BBVA Bank. "The most obvious consequence is the severe recession, with global GDP expected to decrease by more than 2.5%, which is a bigger decrease than that of the 2009 financial crisis (-1.7%)," BBVA says in a new report. 

"We know that this decline is temporary and is not a response to cumulative imbalances of inflation or debt, as is the case with normal recessions," the report says.        

"This should mean we are able to quickly return to how the situation was previously."

January 6, 2021

Standard & Poor's is predicting continuation of a crackdown on shadow banking in China in 2021. The government has moved to take control of Sichuan Trust Co, which reportedly faces an estimated RMB20-30 billion of losses from its trust products under management . . .

HONG KONG -- China's move to take control of Sichuan Trust Co. Ltd. signals a growing assertiveness with the sector, according to global ratings agency Standard and Poor's. Chinese officials said the entity was plagued with governance issues, resulting in a swath of defaulted trust products, but S&P Global Ratings believes the authorities' action on Sichuan Trust demonstrates China's intention to continue its crackdown on trust entities specifically, and China's shadow bank sector generally, in 2021.

January 6, 2021

THAILAND has announced a raft of new investment rules focussing on digital innovation and genomic medicine. It is also promoting investment into 20 rural SEZs for businesses in 14 target groups . . .

BANGKOK -- Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI) has approved new measures to help accelerate investment and to promote adoption of digital technologies. Lawyers Baker & McKenzie summarise the new incentives as follows:

1. Large investment projects: The BOI offers a corporate income tax reduction of 50% for a period of five years from the expiry of the normal corporate income tax exemption period (which is normally 3-8 years from the time the promoted project first generates income).

A key condition is that there must be an actual investment of at least THB 1 billion within 12 months after being issued with the BOI promotion certificate.

Applications are accepted from January 4, 2021 until the last business day of 2021.

2. Digital upgrade: Additional incentives, including three years of corporate income tax exemption from the time the promoted project first generates income, will be granted to existing companies in order to promote the use of digital technology to improve efficiencies, increase competitiveness and stimulate domestic demand.

January 6, 2021

WHILE stabilisation of markets seems to be within reach with the introduction of new COVID-19 vaccines and new leadership in the US, investors should expect the process to be gradual and long, Manulife Investment Management says in its regional outlook for the year ahead . . .

HONG KONG -- Structural changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will take time to reverse, Manulife Investment Management says in its assessment of the year ahead.

August 23, 2020

Australian exports of food and agricultural products to China rose 8% in value terms in the 2019/20 season, reaching the highest level in the history of the China-Australia trading relationship.

August 18, 2020

In a video address to two US-based think tanks, the Hudson Institute and the Centre for American Progress (CAP), Taiwan's President, Tsai Ing-wen, has reiterated her four principles for management of cross-strait relations, mooted a Free Trade Agreement with the United States, and called on  the international community to speak out and act against the demise of Hong Kong's freedoms. This is an edited transcript . . .

TAIPEI - People say that the second term is supposed to be easier than the first. They must be people who have not experienced the year 2020 like we have.

We are gathered at a time when billions around the world are reeling from the unprecedented effects of COVID-19. When over half a million people have lost their lives and millions more have been sickened.

There is tremendous economic uncertainty around the world, with soaring unemployment and disruptions to global trade.

While Taiwan has fared relatively well in the current pandemic, we are not immune to its aftershocks. We are also worried about its broader political implications across the region.

When the rest of the world has been distracted in responding to one of the most significant crises in recent history, we have seen a growing effort to pose ever more challenging threats to free and democratic societies.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Hong Kong.

January 23, 2020

The United States, now joined by others, wants to reform the WTO's appeal system to correct what have been termed 'egrarious errors'. Has there been over-reach?

January 23, 2020

The issue of trust may greatly impede any restoration of normalisation, perhaps for decades . . .

January 23, 2020

THAILAND is planning to spend US$43 billion over five years to embrace the new technologies inherent in Industry 4.0.

November 26, 2019

Regulatory compliance and institutional-grade security are being built into digital asset solutions developed jointly out of Singapore and Switzerland.