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Investment News and Commentary from Emerging Markets in Asia - China, India and ASEAN

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2point6billion.com discusses business and investment news rising from the geopolitical relations of China and India, and the interactions these two countries have with the rest of emerging Asia.

Monthly Archives: February 2008

ASEAN average per capita GDP more than triple that of China’s – Singapore emerges as regional financial center

According to statistics issued yesterday by the Japanese External Trade Organization (Jetro) , the combined per capita income of ASEAN countries Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam for 2007 was US$7,533, against just US$2,459 for China. This represents a rise from US$6,830 for 2006, an extraordinary increase for a diverse total population also larger than China’s at @1.6 billion people against 1.2 billion for the PRC.

This reflects the continuing growth rate and prosperity in the region, with major consequences for FDI throughout Asia. The regions diversity is also displayed, with tiny Brunei and Singapore leading the way in incomes, far beyond their Asian counterparts, over US$32,000 a head. At the opposite end of the scale however, Burma, Cambodia , Laos, Vietnam and India all recorded average per capita income of less than US$1000 per annum, although all showed significant growth rates as well. Of those closest to China’s level of GDP income, Thailand exceeded it and Indonesia was close behind China.

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Posted in Foreign Trade | 10 Comments

No. of patents filed in 2007 (WIPO)

Numbers: (5456,686)

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Singapore to fund India’s first privately owned airport in West Bengal for $2.5 billion.

Singapore-based Changi airports has signed an agreement with Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd. (BAPL) to invest $2.5 billion or Rs 10,000 crore to develop India’s first privately owned airport. The Durgapur Aerotropolis (airport city), India’s first, will be situated in the Durgapur-Asansol region of Bardhaman district in West Bengal an East India state.

The project will involve setting up of a Greenfield Airport, industrial park, logistics hub, IT park with a supporting infrastructure like housing, tourism, healthcare and social interchange facilities. While the airport will be developed over approximately 300 hectares, the supporting industrial and social infrastructure will be developed over approximately 650 hectares. The airport is expected to be functional in next 2.5 – 3 years and would have the ability to handle A-320 aircrafts.

The plan is part of a bigger idea to set up a health city and a sea port in addition to the airport. Last year, West Bengals Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, said the Planning Commission was conducting a feasibility study with regard to the setting up of a sea port on the Shanghai model in West Bengal. Continue reading

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Bangladesh loosing jute monopoly to India & China

While Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma & Sri Lanka seem to be taking advantage of the opportunities spilling over from India and China, Bangladesh on India’s north east and China’s south west corners seems to be loosing its main export – finished jute products.

A report by Bangladesh’s Daily star says that Bangladesh is loosing millions in jute exports because it exports the raw material to India and China who process it (mostly into bags (gunny sacks)) and later re-export as value added goods.

“Export price of raw jute is around Tk 13,000 a tonne, but its price becomes Tk 35,000 if it is a finished goods (sacks),” Salim Reza, vice chairman of Bangladesh Jute Exporters’ Association, told The Daily Star.

According to official data, during the July-December period this fiscal (2007-08), Bangladesh exported raw jute worth US$82 million, a 13.18 percent increase from the US$72 million exports during the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

While Bangladesh’s jute goods export has declined by about US$2 million to US$166 million in the first half (till December) of the current fiscal year compared to the same period of the last fiscal year.

India, China and Pakistan have become major buyers of Bangladeshi raw jute in the recent time, exporters said.

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Number of mobile subscribers added in January (millions)

Numbers: (8.42,8.77)

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India, China Leading Global Path In Small Car Automotive Design – Recyclable cars a new economic model for global auto industry

Both China and India are leading the way forward for global vehicle trends as Tata’s Nano has stunned the U.S. car manufacturing market in it’s simplicity and low cost. The increasing rising of gas prices is having three effects, both of which China and India have long foreseen the need for smaller cars, a fundamentally different financial production model than the current one used for auto manufacture, and the trend ultimately to electric powered clean emission vehicles. Continue reading

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Will China lose its cost advantage to Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka?

A tailor displays fabrics in Beijing’s Cental Business District.

Alarm bells are definitely ringing in boardrooms across China.

Eating into exporters’ profit margins, producer prices jumped 6.1 percent last month to a three-year high.Meanwhile, labour wages last year rose 20 percent and the yuan has appreciated more than nine percent against the US dollar in the past 14 months.

This has meant that more exporters face bankruptcy unless they lift prices to salvage their disappearing margins, which is just what most plan to do.

According to a survey by brokerage and research firm CLSA, 80 percent of Chinese exporters intend to raise prices this year in response to higher raw material costs.
“The appreciation of the renminbi (yuan) against the US dollar is a secondary factor driving these price hikes,” Shanghai-based CLSA economist Andy Rothman said in the survey.

read more here: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hEgIChMQQp2ctk9tdgiuG7uYkBww

Does this mean that China is finally moving up the value added chain?, will it create more opportunity in the area for Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Burma in the low cost manufacturing space? Or will this erode China’s edge as a low cost manufacturer the world depended on for cheap goods, giving rise to India’s dominance as a quality supplier?

Posted in Foreign Trade | 2 Comments

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