Archive for ‘Trade’


Chengdu runs 1,000 cargo trains to Europe in 2017 – Xinhua |

A cargo train loaded with 41 containers of electronic products departed from Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, for the Netherlands on Wednesday.It brings the total number of cargo trains from Chengdu to Europe to 1,000 this year, and 1,700 since the city launched the service in 2013.The city has rail routes to 14 European countries.”Rail freight is one of the fields where the Sino-European cooperation has made very important progress and will continue to do so in the future,” said Filippo Nicosia, Italy Consul General in Chongqing.In 2018, at least 1,000 cargo trains are expected to run from Chengdu to Europe.Demand for rail cargo between China and Europe, an alternative to slower and riskier sea freight and much costlier air cargo, has exploded in recent years.About 35 Chinese cities run cargo trains to Europe.

Source: Chengdu runs 1,000 cargo trains to Europe in 2017 – Xinhua |


‘Follow one-China policy’: Beijing warns India over Taiwan delegation | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

China has lodged a strong complaint with India over a rare visit by a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation, warning New Delhi to follow one-China policy and refrain from any official contacts with Taipei.

Sharply criticising the visit, foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shung said Beijing had lodged a “solemn representation” with New Delhi to not have any official contact with Taiwan.

Beijing has always opposed any kind of official contact between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic ties with China, he said.

Why Trump can’t ‘haggle’ over the one-China policy

Geng spoke against any proposal to upgrade India-Taiwan ties, and warned India to be strict about following the one-China policy and be “prudent” about its ties with Taiwan.India has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The de facto Indian embassy in Taipei is called the India-Taipei Association and the Taiwanese maintain the Taipei Economic Cultural Center in New Delhi.

A three-member parliamentary delegation from Taiwan arrived in India on Monday for a three-day visit. The leader of the delegation, Kuan Bi-Ling, said Taiwan is “totally independent”.

“It (the one-China policy) is a de facto reality…We suffered a lot because of the one-China policy. We have crafted a pragmatic approach in our diplomatic engagement with major countries, including India, despite these difficulties,” Kuan told the Indian media.Hosting an official delegation from Taiwan appears to be a shift in Indian policy. In May last year, India had reportedly backtracked from sending representatives to the swearing-in ceremony of then Taiwanese president-elect Tsai Ing-wen. The visit of the Taiwanese delegation is a possible sign that both countries are attempting to increase political engagement without New Delhi moving away from the one-China policy.No country is exempt from one-China principle, says Beijing

In September 2015, before she became Taiwan’s first woman president, Tsai had spoken about India being in focus for her country to strengthen ties.“Asean and India are poised to become two of the world’s largest economic bodies. Strengthening our overall relations is a natural choice for Taiwan as we diversify our economic and trade ties. In the future, we will form a new task force to actively pursue this policy objective,” Tsai had said in a key speech at the time.

The New Southbound Policy Office, which directly functions under the president, will focus on strengthening all-round ties with Asean and South Asia, particularly India, Taiwanese diplomats had then told the Hindustan Times.

Earlier on Wednesday, nationalistic tabloid Global Times said India is playing with fire and will suffer if it challenges the one-China policy and increases engagement with Taiwan.

How a snub of the one-China policy almost led Beijing and US into war in the 1990s

“At a time when new US President Donald Trump has put the brakes on challenging China over the Taiwan question, agreeing to change course and respecting the one-China policy, India stands out as a provocateur,” it said. “Some Indians view the Taiwan question as an Achilles’ heel of the mainland. India has long wanted to use the Taiwan question, the South China Sea and Dalai Lama issues as bargaining chips in dealing with China,” writer Yu Ning wrote in an opinion piece for the newspaper.

“By challenging China over the Taiwan question, India is playing with fire,” Yu wrote.

The newspaper blamed Tsai for inciting India.“Tsai is exploiting India’s vigilance and strategic suspicions against China. The pro-independence leader came up with the ”new southbound policy” to ramp up trade and economic interactions in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Oceania, in which India is considered “not one of the, but the most” important country…Tsai hopes to put pressure on the mainland by tying India and Taiwan closer.”

Source: ‘Follow one-China policy’: Beijing warns India over Taiwan delegation | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post


Theresa May promises ‘golden era’ in UK-Chinese relations – BBC News

Theresa May has promised to work for a “golden era” in the UK’s relations with China, as the country’s vice-premier visits London for talks.

Ma Kai‘s trip follows Mrs May’s decision after coming to power to delay approval of the part-Chinese-financed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.

The project was given the go-ahead, after China warned that “mutual trust” was needed between the countries.

Mr Ma is meeting Chancellor Philip Hammond to discuss investing in the UK.

Speaking before the eighth UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue got under way, Mrs May said: “I’m determined that as we leave the European Union, we build a truly global Britain that is open for business.”

As we take the next step in this golden era of relations between the UK and China, I am excited about the opportunities for expanding trade and investment between our two countries.”

‘Mutual benefits’

There will be an announcement that the Chinese contractor CITIC Construction is to invest £200m in the first phase of the £1.7bn London Royal Albert Docks project, headed by the Chinese developer ABP.

Philip Hammond promises ‘constructive’ US talks

And the UK will in turn invest up to £40m in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank based in Beijing, for a fund to help developing countries to prepare infrastructure programmes.

Mr Hammond, who is hosting the Chinese delegation at London’s Lancaster House, said: “The mutual benefits are clear. China is the world’s second-largest economy. UK exports to China have grown rapidly and Britain is home to more Chinese investment than any other European country.”

US President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to apply 45% tariff barriers to Chinese imports in an effort to protect free trade.

Mr Hammond told the BBC: “Britain’s always believed that the best way long-term to protect and promote prosperity is free markets and free trade.”

President Trump has just been elected by the American people. He will want to consult with his advisers, talk to officials and I’m sure we will have a very constructive dialogue, as we do with the Chinese, with the new American administration.”

He added: “It’s about getting the right balance in the global trading system, so that we can have the benefits of open markets, while being properly and appropriately protected.”

One of Mrs May’s first acts on becoming prime minister during the summer was to order a review of the project to build Hinkley Point C, in Somerset, part-financed by China.

Writing in the Financial Times in August, Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, said: “If Britain’s openness is a condition for bilateral co-operation, then mutual trust is the very foundation on which this is built.”

Right now, the China-UK relationship is at a crucial historical juncture. Mutual trust should be treasured even more.”

The UK government approved Hinkley Point C in September, saying it had imposed “significant new safeguards” to protect national security.

Source: Theresa May promises ‘golden era’ in UK-Chinese relations – BBC News


First train from China to Iran stimulates Silk Road revival – Xinhua |

First cargo train from China to Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday, indicating a milestone in reviving the “Silk Road,” which has opened a new chapter of win-win cooperation between China and Iran.

English: the Silk Road in Central Asia

English: the Silk Road in Central Asia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

silk road

The train, also referred to as Silk Road train, has passed through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Iran, travelling a distance of 10,399 kilometers. It had left Yiwu city in east China’s Zhejiang Province on January 28.

This train was carrying dozens of cargo containers, according to the deputy of Iran’s Road and Urbanism Minister, Mohsen Pour-Aqaei, who made a welcome speech after the arrival of the cargo train at Tehran Train Station on Monday.

As known to all, ancient Silk Road trade route had served as an important bridge for East-West trade and brought a close link between the Chinese and Persian civilizations.

The “Belt and Road” initiative was raised by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, which refers to the New Silk Road Economic Belt, linking China with Europe through Central and Western Asia, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, connecting China with Southeast Asian countries, Africa and Europe.

“To revive the Silk Road Economic Belt, the launch of the train is an important move, since about 700 kilometers of trip has been done per day,” said Pour-Aqaei, who was present at the welcome ceremony of the train in Tehran’s Railway Station.

“Compared to the sea voyage of the cargo ships from China’s Shanghai city to Iran’s Bandar Abbas port city, the travel time of the train was 30 days shorter,” he said.

Pour-Aqaei, also the Managing Director of Iran’s Railway Company, added that according to the plan, there would be one such a trip from China to Iran every month.

The travel of cargo train from China to Iran is part of a Chinese initiative to revive the ancient Silk Road used by the traders to commute between Europe and East Asia.

Tehran will not be the final destination of these kinds of trains from China, the Iranian deputy minister said, adding that in the future, the train will reach Europe.

This will benefit Iran as the transit course for the cargo trains from the east Asia to Europe, he said.

Chinese ambassador to Iran Pang Sen told Xinhua that as one of the cooperation projects after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Iran, the cargo train is playing a important role to promote construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Meanwhile, the railway line from Yiwu to Tehran provides the two countries an express and efficient cargo trade transportation method, Pang said, adding that the countries along the railway line will furthur upgrade rail technology with the aim to make its transportation ability faster and better.

Source: First train from China to Iran stimulates Silk Road revival – Xinhua |


LIVE: PM Modi arrives in UK – The Hindu

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Air India aircraft made touchdown this morning at 10 a.m. in Heathrow for his long-awaited bilateral level visit to the United Kingdom — his first since becoming Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart David Cameron with their delegations during talks at 10, Downing Street in London on Thursday. Photo: PMO

He was met at the airport by Hugo Swire, Minister of State for the Foreign Office, and Priti Patel, Minister for Employment and Diaspora Champion in the David Cameron government. His visit carries expectations for agreements and partnerships worth billions of dollars across defence, security, finance and sectors like education, research and health.

Mr. Modi is accompanied by a high power business delegation that included Cyrus P. Mistry, chairman, Tata Sons, Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Enterprises Limited and N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and managing director of Tata Consultancy Services.

Mr. Modi will be greeted by a Guard of Honour at Westminster,which will be followed by delegation level talks at 10 Downing Street with Mr. Cameron. The two Prime Ministers will address a joint press conference after which Mr. Modi will deliver his speech in parliament. He will also garland the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square. The evening will see important agreements between the two country delegations finalised at Guildhall, City of London. Mr. Modi will stay the night at the Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers.

The pomp and ceremony attached to the visit is expected to include a special tricolour flypast by the Red Arrows Royal Air Force (RAF) Aerobatic Team over the Buckingham Palace before the Prime Minister sits down for lunch with Queen Elizabeth II ahead of his mega diaspora address at the iconic Wembley Stadium in north London.

Source: LIVE: PM Modi arrives in UK – The Hindu


The Brics Are Harming Each Other’s Trade, and India Is Largely to Blame – India Real Time – WSJ

Like most families, the Brics bloc isn’t as happy as it looks from the outside.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, whose leaders begin a two-day summit today in Russia, are responsible for a growing share of the world’s trade-distorting policies but an even larger portion of trade-liberalizing ones, a new report finds.

However, the temporary nature of some of the market-opening measures means that overall these countries are still discriminating significantly against their trade partners—many of which are fellow emerging markets.

The finding, documented by the Global Trade Alert project of the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research, highlights some of the awkward contradictions in the effort to unite the Brics.

“On the one hand, the Brics have sought to bolster trade between themselves with more generous credit lines for exporters and the like,” writes the report’s author, Simon Evenett, a professor of economics at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. “On the other hand, the Brics are responsible for a third of the instances of the harm to each other’s commercial interests. This cannot make sense.”

Global Trade Alert monitors trade-distorting moves such as tariffs, investment restrictions, “buy local” requirements for public procurement and export-promotion tools such as tax incentives and trade finance. GTA says its dataset includes more than 4,500 trade-related policies enacted globally since the financial crisis, more than double the number tracked by the World Trade Organization.

The GTA database documents three major spikes in protectionism since 2008. Over that period, the Brics governments have implemented a total of 1,451 policies that favor domestic commercial interests over foreign ones, or 32% of such measures world-wide. The Brics countries have since unwound just a fifth of these, suggesting that protectionist walls weren’t raised merely as temporary crisis-fighting measures. The Brics account for 17% of world trade.

Within the bloc, India stands out as an offender. According to GTA, the country is second only to the European Union both in the number of discriminatory measures imposed since November 2008—452 against the EU’s 604—and in the number of product categories affected by such measures—1,174 against the EU’s 1,220, both out of a possible 1,229.

Rich-country protectionism is still alive and kicking, the report shows. Of the 2,733 economic policies that harmed at least one Brics member, a fifth came from a member of the G-7 group of nations—the U.S., Canada, Japan, Germany, France, U.K. and Italy—or Australia. Nearly a third, however, came from fellow Brics nations.

All told, a greater share of G-7 policies were discriminatory, but the Brics’ protectionism affected a broader range of products. China was the most-common victim, with 2,153 foreign measures hitting its commercial interests.

The Brics also account for an increasing share of reforms world-wide to lower obstacles to foreign firms and investors, the report finds. But 28% of these liberalizations have already lapsed, compared to the global average of 15%.

Some economists say developing countries, in order to kick-start industrialization, need to shield and nurture local firms until they’re ready to compete on world markets. But Mr. Evenett argues that condoning “special and differential treatment” for poor countries doesn’t straightforwardly protect them against rich countries’ discrimination—it also provides cover for developing countries to step on other developing countries’ toes. China is the only one of the Brics whose exports haven’t stagnated over the past four years.

Hence, “a less selective approach to tackling crisis-era protectionism would seem to be in order,” Mr. Evenett writes. “The frequency with which Brics commercial interests are harmed by beggar-thy-neighbor interests ought to make the Brics champions of the monitoring of protectionism by international organizations.”

via The Brics Are Harming Each Other’s Trade, and India Is Largely to Blame – India Real Time – WSJ.


World’s longest train journey reaches its final destination in Madrid – Xinhua |

The train, named “Yixinou” arrives in Madrid Abronigal railway station in Madrid, Spain, on Dec. 9, 2014. Madrid was the final destination on Tuesday for a train which has set the record for the longest train journey in history: 13,052 kilometers between the Chinese city of Yiwu and the Spanish capital. (Xinhua/Xie Haining)

MADRID, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Madrid was the final destination on Tuesday for a train which has set the record for the longest train journey in history; 13,052 kilometers between the Chinese city of Yiwu and the Spanish capital.

The train which arrived in Madrid at 11a.m. local time (1000GMT), departed from Yiwu on November 18th with 40 wagons, carrying 1,400 tons of cargo, consisting of stationary, craft products and products for the Christmas market and it will return to China filled with luxury Spanish produce such as cured ham, olive oil and wine.

The results of this first historic journey which will then be evaluated with the aim of opening a regular two-way rail link between China and Spain, which could commence operations in early 2015.

Two major advantages of rail travel are that the goods were transported much faster than would otherwise be possible by boat, arriving in Spain in half of the time a cargo vessel would need to cross from China to Spain, while the train produces 62 percent less carbon dioxide contamination less than a lorry making the same journey by road.

The marathon journey crossed China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France, before arriving in Spain with 30 of the wagons it had originally set out with.

The 13,052 kilometers between Madrid and Yiwu is a greater distance than that between the north and south pole, although the distance was not covered using the same crew, nor the same engine.

The engine was changed approximately every 800 kilometers, while the crew changes with each country the train traversed. Meanwhile special stops were necessary at the frontier cities of Dostyk (Kazakhstan), Brest (Belarus) and Irun (Spain) in order to deal with the different railway gauges encountered along the route.

A host of dignitaries, such as Spain’s Public Works Minister Ana Pastor, the Mayor of Madrid Ana Botella, as well as the Director of Business at the Chinese Embassy in Madrid Mr. Huang Yazhong, and the Director of Commerce for the Government of Zhejiang Province Mr. Zhang Shuming.

Mr. Huang said the journey showed the great importance China gave to strengthening relations with Europe, while thanking all of the authorities which had helped to make such a historic trajectory possible, while Mrs Botella commented that the 13,053 of railway which had made the historic feat possible was like a “new silk road for the 21st century, except that now the commerce will travel in both directions.

via World’s longest train journey reaches its final destination in Madrid – Xinhua |


Visas for travel: Common sense comes to India | The Economist

RED TAPE is the bane of frequent business travellers. Many places in the world require arduous and expensive visa applications for even the most routine travel. I have two passports just so I can juggle concurrent applications when necessary. But the best policy, for business travellers and tourists alike, is a less-restrictive visa regime. The Schengen Area has proven a huge boon to European travellers; this blog has long supported making it easier for people to travel abroad.

Now there’s some good news. India, a nation notorious for bureaucracy and red tape—not to mention the long queues outside its diplomatic missions of people hoping to visit the country (see picture above of India House in London)—has dramatically loosened its visa policies. Travellers from 43 nations, including Germany, Japan, Russia and America, will now be able to receive visas upon arrival. There are, unfortunately, some restrictions:

You have to apply online four days in advance, pay a $60 fee, and upload a passport photo and a scan of your passport.

It only works for the international airports in nine cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Goa.

It is valid for 30 days, and you can only get two per year.

Narendra Modi‘s government has referred to the changes as being for a “tourist visa”. But the announcement makes clear the visa can be used for a “casual business visit”, and many Gulliver readers may decide that’s good enough for them.

The new policy is far from perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction and one that travellers should applaud. It will “send out a clear message that India is serious about making travel to the country easy,” Mahesh Sharma, the country’s tourism minister, said in a statement. That’s an encouraging attitude. If Mr Modi’s government can pull off more changes along these lines, travellers—and the Indian economy—should benefit greatly.

via Visas for travel: Common sense comes to India | The Economist.


Obama-Modi Meeting Offers Chance to Reset U.S.-India Ties – Businessweek

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meetings in Washington give the two leaders to chance to reinvigorate an economic relationship that both see crucial to growth and security.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The two days of talks, which began with a private dinner for Modi at the White House last night, are pivotal, U.S. officials said ahead of the summit. In addition to Obama’s sessions with Modi, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry will host today a luncheon for the Indian leader.

This is the first time Obama and Modi have met, and it also is Modi’s first visit to the U.S. since he was denied a visa in 2005 over anti-Muslim riots in his state of Gujarat three years earlier. Modi won a landslide election win in May, and the U.S. is seeking to repair relations while India is wooing foreign investors to revive its economy.

“The U.S. is eagerly trying to move forward with Modi in order to put the past behind them,” Milan Vaishnav, an associate in the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, said in a phone interview. “The two sides have a foundation in terms of a bilateral government-to-government relationship and a people-to-people relationship to build on. In terms of a leader-to-leader relationship, this is almost like starting anew.”

via Obama-Modi Meeting Offers Chance to Reset U.S.-India Ties – Businessweek.


Fake Trade Documents Sneak Money in and Out of China – Businessweek

Companies have “faked, forged, and illegally reused” trade documents to sneak $10 billion of hot money in and out of China since April of this year, a Chinese official announced yesterday.

Fake China Trade Disguises at Least $10 Billion of Hot Money Flows

A multi-month investigation into China’s dodgy export and import numbers has revealed the latest invoicing scams, said Wu Ruilin, a deputy head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, at a press briefing in Beijing on Thursday, reported China Daily today.

Much of the financial funny business was carried out through the port of Qingdao, where a commodity financing scandal was unearthed earlier, he added. The fraudulent trades have “increased pressure from hot money inflows and provided an illegal channel for criminals to move funds,” Wu said, adding that they had also distorted trade data.

China’s long-standing problem with false invoicing got an added level of official scrutiny after unusually high export numbers early last year. Companies have long inflated export numbers to disguise capital inflows, often aiming to benefit from China’s appreciating currency or to invest in property when that market was still hot. Exaggerating imports has been used to spirit money out of China, by contrast.

The practices of China’s banks will now be in the spotlight, as they have failed in “verifying the authenticity of the deals, which helped increase the fraudulent activities,” China Daily reported Wu as saying. All told, the foreign exchange regulator found 967 separate illicit foreign-exchange transactions through August, and imposed 180 million yuan (almost $30 million) in fines. The investigation now covers 24 provinces and cities across China.

via Fake Trade Documents Sneak Money in and Out of China – Businessweek.

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