This year there is an underlying sense of uncertainty during the Chinese New Year celebrations due to worries about the strength of China’s economy. Sales of consumer goods have been slowing and companies such as Apple, Caterpillar and Nvidia have reported a sharp drop in Chinese demand. Exports and imports have contracted and GDP growth, at 6.6 per cent, is at its lowest level in 28 years. This weakening performance was foreshadowed by the stock market last year – the Shanghai Composite Index fell by 25 per cent, the worst performing in the world. In the face of this pessimism, Vice President Wang Qishan used the platform of the World Economic Forum to try to boost confidence. He said that people should not be alarmed by the slower growth rate – after all it is still higher than most countries in the world – and that China is pursuing a path of sustainable growth. This assurance was echoed by Zhang Yansheng, a chief research fellow with the China Centre … [Read more...] about Will Year of Pig bring economic boost for China?
caption President Donald Trump and Rep. Kevin Brady. source Jonathan Ernst/Reuters More than 100 House Republicans wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to rethink his proposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. They join a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers urging the president to change his mind on the tariffs. House Republicans are stepping up their campaign to stop or alter President Donald Trump’s most recent economic policy announcement: broad-based tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel. More than 100 House Republicans sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday urging him to soften the blow of the recently announced tariffs, which are taxes on imports, and instead target China directly with trade action. “We support your resolve to address distortions caused by China’s unfair practices, and we are committed to acting with you and our trading partners on meaningful and … [Read more...] about Republicans are going all out to try to stop Trump’s new economic policy
China has rolled out two new long-term visa schemes to encourage foreigners to live in the country in a bid to strengthen its economic development. The country has typically been strict about its immigration policies, but sees new opportunity through visa programs as a top-down way to make China more attractive to foreign investors. It also released a list of 22 new policies to attract foreign investment in the new year. China has rolled out two new long-term visa schemes to encourage foreigners to live in the country in a bid to strengthen its economic development. China’s Ministry of Public Security announced last week that it would begin offering longer-term visas for foreigners of ethnic Chinese descent that would allow them to stay in the country for up to five years. These visas would be issued to ethnic Chinese people who live overseas, who need to visit family or conduct business among other things, … [Read more...] about China is offering long-term visas to select foreigners to boost its economy
Firms across Wall Street are forecasting a pick-up in M&A activity this year. Many of them – most recently Morgan Stanley – cite the positive benefits of tax reform as helping to catalyze deals. It could be a boon for the longevity of the market’s current rally, given the historical importance of corporate consolidation. Lost amid the shuffle of the seemingly unstoppable stock market has been a slowdown in corporate mergers. The pace of M&A activity weakened in the fourth quarter of 2017, while full-year deal volume lagged what was seen in 2016, according to Morgan Stanley. The firm notes that this happened despite strong global economic growth and high cash balances, which should theoretically embolden corporations to be active. And it’s an unfortunate development, considering the consolidation of companies has long been a boon for the market and a signal of strength. But fear not, says … [Read more...] about Wall Street thinks tax reform will give a huge boost to one crucial area of the market
After nearly two years in power, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and her government face a crucial year ahead. Apart from significant political problems -- resolving the troubles in violence-torn Rakhine state and reviving the stalled peace process -- the government needs to show dramatically improved performance on the economic front. With elections scheduled for three years from now, a significant boost to economic development and job creation will be essential to restore confidence in the civilian administration led by the National League for Democracy (NLD).Government insiders, though, remain enthusiastic about the economic prospects for the future, with Finance Minister Kyaw Win predicting strong growth in the next few months. He likened the economy to an airplane on the runway about to take off.But seasoned business observers like Maung Maung Lay, the vice-president of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), fear such optimism … [Read more...] about Myanmar confident of economic take-off this year