ExxonMobil China Project
Again, Beijing has announced that it is open for business. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised equal treatment for all just one day after ExxonMobil signed a massive deal for a project in southern China. Li made these comments when he met with ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods in Beijing last week to discuss a US$10 billion investment plan in Guangdong. Evidently, more companies are opening their minds to the possibility of operating in China. For instance, German chemical giant BASF is building a plant in Zhanjiang that is expected to employ around 2,000 staff.
Companies Protest Trade War
The Trump administration is prepared to place import tariffs on all Chinese products entering the country. Though a US$200 round of duties is expected to be announced soon, US President Donald Trump has revealed that an additional US$267 billion may be subsequently targeted “on short notice.” Hundreds of company and industry representatives are protesting the trade war, and how the next round of duties could affect their operations.
China-US Trade Surplus Widens
China’s trade surplus with the US rose to a record in August, even though the country’s export growth slowed slightly due to the ongoing trade war. The surplus rose to US$31.05 billion in August – up from US$28.09 billion the month before. The announcement of these figures added to tensions in China’s relationship with the US. Even though US tariffs targeted US$50 billion of Chinese exports in August, the country’s exports to the US still accelerated and grew 13.2% YoY.
Venture Capital Funding Booms
For the first time, during Q2 2018, Chinese companies outpaced their American counterparts inventure-capital funding. During the period, Chinese companies recorded US$30.9 billion in venture-capital investment, whereas North America saw US$27.2 billion. “While corporate venture capital has been a major driver of growth in venture as an asset class globally, now here has that been more evident than Asia, where Alibaba, Baidu, JD.com, and Tencent have followed the lead of SoftBank, creating massive ecosystems of venture investments under their umbrellas,” commented a member of a team of analysts led by Heath Terry.
Tunisia BRI Projects
Tunisia took the first steps of joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the hopes of diversifying trade and investment. At the recent 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed presided over the signing of deals between Tunisian and Chinese partners, marking the nation’s first real steps to create a “solid partnership” with the BRI. The deals include projects to turn Tunisia’s southern port of Zarzis into an economic and trade hub, build a bridge connecting Djerba, Tunisia’s main tourism island, to Djorf in the mineral-rich Medenine region and construct a140 km railway connecting the coastal region of Gabes to Zarzis.