Posts Tagged ‘China’

China-Russia trade volume surges in 2018

Putin and Xi Jinping have cemented not only trade ties but found common ground on political issues as well [PPIO]

Trade between BRICS allies China and Russia has increased about 30 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, Chinese officials said.

The uptick in exchange between the two economic giants will take their trade to $100 billion in 2018, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters on Thursday.

Gao said that this year’s trade volume would surpass last year’s which was $84 billion – a 21 per cent rise over 2016.

In the past few years, multi-sector ties have been strengthened between China and Russia.

Last week, Russian oil giant Gazprom said that the Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline is 75 per cent complete and runs over 1,600 kilometers.

In May 2014, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping singed a landmark $400 billion gas deal under which Gazprom will supply the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) 38 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas every year for 30 years.

The project will strengthen Russian-Chinese energy cooperation, and defines the main terms of the natural gas supply from Russia to China through the East-Route, including the cross-border section of the gas pipeline across the Amur River (the Heilongjiang River in China) near Blagoveshchensk (capital of the Amur region in the Russian Far East) and China’s border city of Heihe.

The pipeline has geopolitical and strategic value as it means Russia’s energy export targets are now eastward, and China can wean itself off the polluting coal as an energy supply.

The deal has brought both countries, BRICS members, closer and has been a massive boost to Sino-Russian ties even as Russia struggles with EU and US sanctions over Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Gao said that both countries are likely to benefit from the fifth China-Russia Expo in July and the China International Import Expo in November.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

China to ease foreign investors’ access to markets

Premier of the State Council of China Li Keqiang has been the main proponent of Made in China 2025 [PPIO]

China is ready to facilitate the ease of foreign investors doing business on the mainland by significantly reducing restrictions and cutting red tape.

Spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Yan Pengcheng told reporters on Wednesday that the government wants to open up and facilitate investment opportunities in finance, infrastructure, transportation and the automobile industries, to name a few.

On the other hand, the NDRC is also drafting a “negative list” of industries which will not be open for foreign investment.

Yan also said that foreign and local investors will be on par when they bid for investments as part of the Made in China 2025 manufacturing sector campaign.

This campaign was was introduced by Premier Li Keqiang in 2015 as part of a strategy to transform the Chinese economy into one that is self-sufficient and competitive with global industrial nations such as the US and Germany, for example.

The NDRC announcement comes a week after the Ministry of Commerce said that FDI in China has been steadily growing in Q1 of 2018.

Total FDI during this period grew by 0.5 per cent to 227.54 billion yuan, or $36 billion, with a focus on technology industries.

Year on year, the increase has been 0.4 per cent.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

China to expand renewable energy development

China will account for more than one-third of the world’s use of renewable energy by 2040 [By Kenueone [CC0 or CC0], via Wikimedia Commons]

With the US opting out of the Paris Accords on Climate Change, many have turned their focus to China to spearhead efforts to curb green house emissions and move from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

The potential for growth in the latter in China is usge says a British Petroleum Energy Outlook report for 2018.

The report says that not only is reliance on coal as a major energy source declining in China – forecast to fall from 62 per cent consumption in 2016 to 36 per cent in 2040 – but it will also account for 31 per cent of the earth’s renewable energy consumption by the same year.

The UN has commended China for leveraging decreased manufacturing costs and increased investment to boost trade in renewable trade products.

In addition to curbing the use of vehicles and applying stricter pollution controls to construction sites and those that use coal as an energy source, the government is fast-tracking the manufacturing of “green” cars.

In 2017, nearly 800,000 such “green” vehicles were sold on the Chinese market.

“New energy vehicle production jumped 53.8 per cent to 794,000 units last year, up 53.8 per cent from the previous year,” the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said.

This comes as the Chinese government seeks to adopt a two-tier approach to environmental safety and boost its automotive industry.

Beijing is also going to reclaim forests that have been transformed to agricultural lands

The New Development Bank (NDB) launched by the BRICS countries has been part and parcel of the bloc’s drive toward clean and renewable energy.

In July 2016, it issued its first bonds worldwide to raise funds for clean energy projects in member states.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

Xi: Build the navy to a world-class force

Chinese naval vessels have participated in several exercises in the South China Sea and in drills with the Russian navy [Courtesy: Russian Ministry of Defence]

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for the navy to “unwaveringly accelerate its modernization” to become a world-class force.

“The task of building a strong navy has never been as urgent as it is today,” he said.

Xi was touring the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the South China Sea on Thursday.

Speaking from China’s sole aircraft carrier Liaoning, Xi said that the navy guarantees the “rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” as a parade of some 76 aircraft flew overhead.

The country’s first aircraft carrier, the Soviet-built Liaoning, was bought in 1998 and refitted in China.

The Liaoning was put into commission in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy in 2012.

Xi watched as the J-15 Shenyang (or Flying Shark) fighter jet took off and landed on the Liaoning.

The carrier-based J-15 has a maximum speed of 2,550 kph and a range of 3,500 kilometers.

It has been used in a number of live-fire exercises with the Liaoning in the South China Sea.

More than 48 naval vessels carrying some 10,000 men at arms were also included in the parade.

Maritime disputes between China on the one hand and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan on the other have caused tensions in the region and often led to a war of words between Beijing and Washington.

Beijing claims 90 per cent of the South China Sea, a maritime region believed to hold a wealth of untapped oil and gas reserves and through which roughly $4.5 trillion of ship-borne trade passes every year.

Beijing has long accused Washington of meddling in the South China Sea. The US conducts periodic air and naval patrols near the disputed islands that have angered Beijing.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

FDI in China steadily growing – report

China has enacted 36 sets of conditions for its companies to invest abroad in a bid to curb bad investments and cut debt [PPIO]

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that foreign direct investment (FDI) in China has been steadily growing in Q1 of 2018.

Total FDI during this period grew by 0.5 per cent to 227.54 billion yuan, or $36 billion, with a focus on technology industries.

Year on year, the increase has been 0.4 per cent.

In the high-tech manufacturing sector, FDI has grown by 66 per cent, mostly from overseas investors, said Gao Feng, spokesman with the Ministry of Commerce.

Meanwhile, China continues to invest overseas to the tune of at least $180 billion in 2016 and is expected to be one of the worlds’s largest investors by 2020.

But in 2017, the Chinese government enacted a new set of rules and regulations meant to tighten control on capital leaving the country in a bit to ensure that waht was being invested overseas was in sound assets.

Chinese FDI in the US, for example, fell to US$29 billion in 2017, from US$46 billion in 2016.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

Zambia turns to tourism as economic stimulus

Early morning on the Zambezi River, a popular tourist destination [Preuss]

The Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) is hosting more than 60 international buyers and media this week ahead of the Zambia Travel Expo (ZATEX) from April 12 to 14 in Lusaka.

There are three familiarisation tours which feature a trip to a game reserve, but the one common feature is that all three tours include a visit to Livingstone, the Zambian city closest to the Victoria Falls.

“No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight,” David Livingstone wrote on November 12, 1855 when he first saw the falls that locals called “the smoke that thunders”.

The ZTA is more ambitious and has buyers from Africa, America and Asia as it believes that the tourism gems of Zambia should have a wider exposure, while at the same time stimulating the local economy.

A survey by Travelzoo, a popular US-based travel portal, showed a record high (more than 60 per cent) number of Chinese respondents who plan to travel in-depth in 2018 and want to visit Africa this year.

“In-depth travels” is a term used by travel websites in China to describe the type of trips that involve more unconventional journeys beyond the typical tourist experience.

For the very first time, Africa moved up to first place as the top in-depth travel destination Chinese travelers hope to visit in 2018, dethroning the ever-popular Japan and Australia.

According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said that China’s tourists have had the world’s strongest purchasing power since 2012.

Most Chinese tourists traveled to Asian and European countries, accounting for 75 percent of overseas tourists in those countries, but there is now renewed focus on African destinations.

This shows that BRICS countries are a key tourism market for the Zambian tourism industry.

In the meantime, Chinese firms are building a new terminal building at Lusaka airport, which will open in January 2019.

The BRICS Post regular contributor Helmo Preuss was hosted by the Zambia Tourism Agency in Lusaka, Zambia

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