Trade Policy

Exports make up around 70 per cent of Taiwan’s economy, with the island best known for manufacturing consumer electronics, machinery and petrochemical goods. Photo: EPA-EFE
In new omen of recession, export-led Taiwan signals weakening global demand

Taiwan’s National Development Council said its ‘overall monitoring indicator’ fell to its lowest level in more than two years, as the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) warned of a global economic downturn.

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China is trying to pull in foreign investors who are increasingly finding it to be a less attractive place to put their money, despite abundant opportunities. 
Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen
‘Highly investible’ China woos foreigners but withholds what they want most

Geopolitical tensions, zero-Covid restrictions and political uncertainties serve to make the world’s second-largest economy less attractive, but China is pressing on with its charm offensive.

28 Sep 2022 - 11:04AM
Chinese shoppers are increasingly turning to second-hand goods to save money during a time of economic difficulties. Photo: Shutterstock
China’s booming second-hand market shows how ‘newness’ is losing its shine

Hundreds of millions of China’s second-hand e-commerce shoppers are finding that the market for used goods is heavily saturated after decades of consumption-fuelled economic growth.

27 Sep 2022 - 10:28AM
An outspoken former finance minister says China has never used “ideologicalised industrial subsidies” to give itself an edge in global trade. Photo: Xinhua
‘Ideologicalised’ industrial subsidies ‘bound to fail’, China’s Lou Jiwei warns

Government adviser accuses US of trade protectionism as it tries to reshore manufacturing and boost hi-tech competitiveness with China.

26 Sep 2022 - 11:17PM
Entities from China’s Xinjiang region exported a 10-month high of US$56.8 million worth of goods to the US in August despite the Uygur Forced Labour Prevention Act having come into effect at the end of June. Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen
How are Xinjiang goods still reaching the US 2 months into ‘forced labour’ law?

Entities from China’s Xinjiang region exported a 10-month high of US$56.8 million worth of goods to the US in August despite the Uygur Forced Labour Prevention Act having come into effect at the end of June.

25 Sep 2022 - 11:00PM
SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won wants Seoul to do more so South Korea can survive decoupling between the US and China. Photo: SK Group. Photo: EPA-EFE
‘The world is decoupling’: South Korea’s SK Group braces for a new era

SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won says the company has made plans for a number of scenarios as US-China rivalry intensifies, including a military clash over Taiwan.

24 Sep 2022 - 11:30AM
A “jump in commodity prices” and Chinese demand for raw materials has seen the value of trade between China and Indonesia increase sharply this year. Photo: EPA-EFE
China’s trade with Indonesia surges almost 30 per cent in first 8 months

Trade between China and Indonesia rose 28.6 per cent in the first eight months of the year, underpinned by a ‘jump in commodity prices’ and Chinese demand for raw materials amid a trade dispute with Australia.

23 Sep 2022 - 6:30PM
A liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier is seen in South Korea, which dominates the global production of advanced and expensive gas-transport vessels. Photo: Getty Images
South Korean shipbuilders urged to adapt as China’s tech improves

While China holds a commanding lead in total container vessels produced, South Korea still has an edge in making more advanced and expensive carriers for liquefied natural gas - for now.

27 Sep 2022 - 2:04PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with President Xi Jinping at last week’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Central Asia’s Uzbekistan. Photo: Reuters
China cosies up with Central Asian ‘stans’ as tensions rise with the West

New investments and agreements illustrate how deals between China and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia are being increasingly prioritised following President Xi Jinping’s visit.

22 Sep 2022 - 9:17AM
Europe is looking to establish Western-friendly semiconductor supply chains to prevent disruptions from Chinese military tensions with Taiwan. Photo: TSMC
Europe eyes new chip supply chains as Taiwan tensions risk ‘choking’ supply

Amid tensions between Taiwan and mainland China, Europe is looking to establish Western-friendly semiconductor supply chains with the help of Taiwanese chip making giants, experts say.

22 Sep 2022 - 12:23AM
Taiwan’s export orders grew by 2 per cent year on year in August, with consumer electronics leading the way. Photo: Bloomberg
Taiwan’s export orders buoyed by tech products, but demand seen waning

Taiwan’s export orders in August reached US$54.59 billion, growing 2 per cent year on year, but analysts say the outlook is mixed as geopolitical tensions and high inflation weigh on global consumption.

21 Sep 2022 - 8:15PM
The EU Chamber of Commerce in China is calling for more dialogue between Brussels and Beijing to de-escalate geopolitical tensions. Photo: AFP
‘Ideology is trumping the economy’, EU chamber in China warns foreign firms

The EU Chamber of Commerce in China does not expect the Chinese border to fully reopen until the second half of 2023, and says ‘China is losing the allure that it used to have’.

21 Sep 2022 - 8:51AM
The volume of Russian LNG exports to China rose by 28.5 per cent in the first eight months year on year. Photo: Reuters
Resale trend grows as China ships unwanted LNG, but still buys more Russian gas

China’s imports of Russian gas surged in the first eight months of the year and LNG exports jumped, amid reports the world’s No 2 economy has been reselling more excess LNG to the international market.

21 Sep 2022 - 7:30AM
Cracks in China’s property market have investors, businesses and authorities all hoping that the new-energy sector will serve as a viable engine for economic growth. Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen
As China’s new-energy push accelerates, can it be a stable economic engine?

Amid China’s economic downturn and regulatory uncertainties, the new-energy industry remains a bright spot, attracting abundant capital and creating lucrative business opportunities.

19 Sep 2022 - 11:04AM
China’s manufacturers cut jobs for the fifth straight month to reduce costs in August. Photo: AFP
China’s shrinking factory activity spells trouble for migrant workers

Coronavirus controls, market turmoil stoked by the Ukraine war and sluggish global demand are challenging manufacturers in China’s southern export hub Dongguan.

18 Sep 2022 - 12:00PM
Chinese and Australian foreign ministers met in July for the first time in three years, on the sidelines of a Group of 20 meeting in Bali, after the election of a Labor government in Australia. Photo: AFP
Australian firms seek ‘practical ways’ to boost China trade, economic ties

Australian business representatives are keen to explore ‘practical ways in which they can support bilateral business engagement’ with China amid strained relations between Beijing and Canberra that have lasted for over two years.

17 Sep 2022 - 5:23AM
The European Commission has been asked to create a supply-chain agreement with Taiwan to ensure a steady supply of essential computer chips. Photo: Shutterstock
EU leaders seek to strengthen Taiwan’s ‘silicon shield’ amid China tensions

The European Parliament overwhelmingly passes a resolution calling for a supply-chain agreement with Taiwan, as European businesses worry about stable access to the island’s advanced semiconductors.

16 Sep 2022 - 8:30PM
Cooperation on climate change had been one of the few bright spots in the relationship between China and the US until recently. Photo: Xinhua
US-China clean energy decoupling ‘nearly impossible’ and ‘counterproductive’

Clean energy collaboration between China and the US has manageable risks, but decoupling will slow deployment of technology desperately needed for the world’s energy transition, a new study says.

16 Sep 2022 - 2:38AM
China is also seeking greater trade and economic cooperation with Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, through the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to link economies into a China-centred trading network. Photo: EPA-EFE/
China eyes sunny Central Asia for green energy, natural gas deals

President Xi Jinping vows during his trip to Kazakhstan that China will use its Belt and Road Initiative to expand green-energy infrastructure there, but natural gas deals might come first.

21 Sep 2022 - 9:23AM
The Port of Shanghai – the world’s largest container port – resumed operations on Thursday having been forced to shut down for two days because of Typhoon Muifa. Photo: EPA-EFE
‘Plummeting’ demand sees China-US shipping rates tumble despite typhoon delays

China’s Port of Shanghai and Ningbo-Zhoushan Port were forced to shut down this week due to Typhoon Muifa, but the cost of sending a 40-foot container to the west coast of the United States has still dropped by 10 per cent.

15 Sep 2022 - 5:35PM