Feb. 28 – The Swedish car brand Volvo recently announced that it will invest over US$10 billion in the emerging Chinese market and build up more factories to reach a higher sales target in the next five years.
As a foreign brand acquired by the Chinese auto company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group last year, Volvo did not present a very desirable sales record in 2010. Under new ownership, the company is hoping to raise the total sales in China from last year’s 39,000 to 200,000 vehicles by 2015. It also disclosed the plan to increase the amount of dealerships from the current 106 to 220 in next five years. Continue reading
Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Feb. 25 – North Korea may have a few things, but one of the more implausible – unless you happen to be a raving Leninist – is fashion style. Yet that is just what Pyongyang’s traffic police girls have become. Having traveled to Pyongyang numerous times on business (China Briefing even produced a North Korea special investment issue in pre-George Bush days, available here), the charabanc journey from Pyongyang’s Sunan Airport to downtown Pyongyang is remarkable for one thing – a distinct lack of traffic. Yet towards the city center, empty highways are policed by attractive, crisply-uniformed traffic girls, who, whistle poised, complete pirouettes worthy of Svetlana Zhakarova mixed with a tinge of British naval fashion circa Admiral Nelson. Continue reading
Feb. 25 – After a statement in November to warn of an imminent China attack on India, the Indian Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said on Tuesday again that the Indian government should be highly aware of the risk of an external aggression and get prepared for it.
Singh, the man who used to be the nation’s defense minister and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh State, said the government needs to assure its people that India is safe in the face of a potential invasion from China and Pakistan. Continue reading
Op-Ed Commentary: Teja Yenamandra
Feb. 24 – Recent weeks have seen a wave of desire for more accountable, more helpful or simply better governance begin to surface. Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt resulted in regime change. Protests in Bahrain and Libya, despite the escalation of violence by government security forces, rage on. Even in tightly-controlled China, a grass-roots movement calling for more assistance for the disaffected parts of society were organized by local leaders. In the long-term, it remains unclear how geopolitics will be shaped by recent happenstance. In the short-term, domestic politics for authoritarian nations are becoming a little bit more uncertain, and in the process, a little bit more interesting.
And North Korea is a perfect example of this trend. Continue reading
Feb. 23 – Mergers and acquisitions in India and China’s mining and metals sectors will continue to rise in 2011, after the number of deals grew by 89 percent in 2010, according to Ernst & Young LLP.
“The majors out of India and China will lead the deals,” Michael Lynch-Bell, head of mining and metals at Ernest & Young, said in an interview. “The Indians are desperate. They are about 10 years behind China. They are really looking for coal and iron ore supply for the next 10 years.” Continue reading
Feb. 22 – London-based energy giant BP is making one of the largest-ever foreign direct investments in India to date in a joint venture with Reliance Industries to explore deep water oil and natural gas resources. BP said on Monday it will pay Reliance Industries US$7.2 billion and performance payments of up to US$1.8 billion if the tie-up leads to the development of commercial discoveries.
“This partnership combines the skills of both companies and will be focused on finding more hydrocarbons in the deep water blocks of India,” Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, said in a statement. BP will take a 30 percent stake in 23 oil and gas blocks and form a 50:50 joint venture with Reliance for the sourcing and marketing of gas, the companies said. Continue reading
Feb. 22 – The BRIC countries will all be represented among the top five global grocery markets by 2015, according to the latest research by IGD.
The food and grocery market analysis firm projects that China will be first, the United States second, India third, Russia fourth, and Brazil the fifth largest markets by 2015.
Furthermore, 2012 is predicted to be the year that China overtakes the United States as the world’s largest grocery market, worth US$1.41 trillion alone. Continue reading