The ongoing Trade War between the US and China

On the 3rd of April, The US President Donald Trump revealed a list of more than 1,300 Chinese exports products that he said he wants to put a 25% tariffs on. The tariffs are intended to punish Beijing for restricting US investment in China and also on allegation of stealing American companies’ intellectual property. This would affect about $50 billion worth of Chinese exports.

The day following the Trump announcement, China struck back, with its own list of US exports products that it was planning to hit with 25 percent tariffs too. The proposed package could affect more than 100 American-made products, including top US agricultural export to China. This would cover about $50 billion worth of US exports.

Straight after the China announcement, Trump directed his trade team to identify more tariffs to add $100 billion worth of goods, clearly intending to escalate even further after seeing Beijing’s readiness to match his initial tariffs.

Early May, President Donald Trump sent his top economic advisors to Beijing for talks to prevent a possible trade war with China. The senior economic advisors met with Chinese officials to discuss the two countries’ trade disagreements. The US wants China to import more American goods and want them to stop forcing American companies to hand over their prized intellectual property if they want to do business in China.

Some of the US tariffs will be applied as of 6 July, and the White House is expected to announce restrictions on investments by Chinese companies in the United States by the 30th June. Trump has said that if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest U.S. tariffs increase, the US will “meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods.” He added that he has “an excellent relationship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping and they “will continue working together on many issues.”

The global stock markets have weakened both the dollar and the Chinese yuan on Tuesday following Trump’s announcement that after all legal processes are complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced, Shanghai stocks plunged to two-year lows.


Source: South China Morning

Ethiopia privatises seven state-owned enterprises

The Ethiopian government has accepted bids worth $121 million for their state-owned enterprises, this includes the best airline in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines and telecom. The Privatisation and Public Enterprise Supervising Agency has accepted an 860 million birr bid from MIDROC Ethiopia for one of the country’s biggest farms, Upper Awash Agro-Industry Enterprise.


Another company that won the bids is Horizon Plantation PLC, National Mining Corporation and Saudi Star Agricultural Development who won bids for four other firms for a combined 463 million birr ($26.7 million).

Last year, the government sold its last remaining breweries Bedele, Harar and Meta Abo to Heineken and Diageo for a combined $388.3 million.


Source: (Africa News)

Public lecture on BRICS at the University of Limpopo

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has partnered with the University of Limpopo for this morning’s public lecture on South Africa’s hosting of the 10th BRICS Summit.

Taking place under the theme: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration, Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”, the lecture was presented by Prof Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director-General for Asia and Middle East at DIRCO and BRICS Sherpa.

Addressing students, Sooklal said: “Today, it is important that people know about BRICS because the people are at the forefront of BRICS. The organisation is focused on advancing the economy and the domestic interest of South Africa including the SADC region.”

Prof. Sooklal was joined by Mr Kenneth da Nobrega, Sous Sherpa for the Republic of Brazil and Mr Pavel Knyazev, Sous Sherpa for the Russian Federation. The meeting of the BRICS Sherpas will take place 24-26 April 2018 at the Mabula Lodge in Bela Bela, Limpopo.

Image: Embassy of Russia


[WATCH] Selection and election: How China chooses its leaders

China has developed a unique system of choosing its leaders, eschewing Western models for a process based on merit and broad support. Scholar Zhang Weiwei argues that while the system of “selection and election” is not perfect, it is a match for alternative models and has delivered for the Chinese people.

Copy & video: China Global Television Network



China ranks No 2 in internet talents among BRICS countries

Wang Keju in Wuzhen
Displayed with permission from China Daily

China ranks second in the number of internet talents after India among the BRICS countries, according to a report released at the 4th World Internet Conference on Monday.

The 2017 Internet Talent Development Report, complied by the National Academy of Innovation Strategy in Beijing, shows that the number of internet talents in China accounts for 27% among the five countries, while India takes up 52.2%, almost as twice large as China.

The number of internet talents is distributed unevenly worldwide, said Ni Guangnan, a researcher at the Institute of Computing Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“Chinese IT talents are highly competitive in innovation ability, diligence and other aspects, but enterprises at present are facing the pressure of a lack of talents,” he said.

In China, the major eight enterprises such as Huawei, Tencent, China Mobile have a total demand of about 169,000 internet talents this year. However, the major eight universities including Peking University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University can only provide about 14,900.

The report also shows that emerging internet startups are in a fierce contest with established internet companies for these talents.

Startups offer higher salaries to attract talents than the three major internet companies – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT). The average salary in some new companies, including DiDi and Meituan, is higher than BAT by 21%, according to the report.

Startups offer higher salaries to attract talents than the three major internet companies – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT). The technical employers with one to three years’ work experience in some new companies, including DiDi and Meituan, earn higher salaries than employees of BAT by 21%, according to the report.

“In a world where the boundaries between the internet and traditional industry are blurring, companies need the best talent to keep on top of the game,” said Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group.

– China Daily

Naspers Video Entertainment announces leadership appointments

Naspers’s Video Entertainment business today announced new appointments to its leadership team.

Calvo Mawela has been appointed CEO of MultiChoice South Africa. In this new role Mawela will be responsible for MultiChoice SA and DStv Media Sales in South Africa. Mark Rayner, current CEO of MultiChoice SA, becomes Chief Operating Officer for MultiChoice South Africa.

Mawela will focus on strategic developments in the pay television industry, while Rayner will focus on ensuring product and operational excellence that will give DStv customers the best entertainment experience.

In addition the company announced the following appointments:

  • Yolisa Phahle, current CEO of M-Net, will step into the role of CEO of General Entertainment
  • Fahmeeda Cassim Surtee has been appointed as CEO of DStv Media Sales in South Africa, with Chris Hitchings continuing as overall CEO of DStv Media Sales
  • Gideon Khobane will continue to head up SuperSport as CEO

“This is a strong leadership team who can to take us into our next phase of growth,” says Imtiaz Patel, Video Entertainment Chief Executive. “While the pay television business faces technological shifts, regulatory and competitor challenges, the core focus remains delivering the best local and international content to our customers, anytime, anywhere on any device.”

“Calvo and Mark are an impressive team who will steer MultiChoice South Africa into the future. Their combination of strategic and operational skill and experience complement each other. Calvo is well-positioned to drive strategy and growth in our South African operations. He has a rich and varied experience in broadcasting and a proven track record in managing complex issues in South Africa and the rest of the continent.”

Mawela, currently executive in charge of regulatory affairs and policy for Video Entertainment, began his career at Sentech where he was responsible for commissioning transmitter sites. He has held senior positions at ICASA, where he was responsible for technical regulations relating to the broadcasting industry, Orbicom and MWEB.

Mawela led the planning team on the digital broadcasting plan for South Africa and served as a planning expert to the International Telecommunications Union. He also served as a councillor on the Minister of Communications’ advisory body for digital migration and is a registered professional engineer and a member of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Mark has proven himself to be able to get the best out of the business operationally,” Patel said. “His focus will be to deliver the best experience to customers in the best possible way, making sure we achieve our business objectives, including financial and customer satisfaction targets, and drive efficiencies.”

Yolisa has over 30 years experience in the entertainment industry, she joined the company in 2005 and has been leading M-Net since 2014. She started her career as a musician and member of Soul II Soul, performed with Duran Duran, has worked as a producer and BBC executive.  Under her leadership, Mzansi Magic was launched and our other local channels which include Africa Magic, Maisha Magic East, Maisha Magic Bongo as well as Zambezi Magic have seen an increased focus in our commitment to African storytelling. In her new role, she will continue to ensure that our customers have access to world class local and international entertainment.

Fahmeeda Cassim Surtee is currently Group Sales and Marketing Director for DStv Media Sales and has been involved in the media industry for more than 24 years. She started her career as sports journalist and advertising consultant at City Press newspaper before joining the MultiChoice Group in 1998 where she has been leading key strategic projects to commercialise digital properties and next generation products.

Cassim Surtee holds a variety of qualifications in media management, strategic marketing, business management and journalism and of her many achievements, she has been a Woman of the Year nominee, has co-authored a book on branding and set up a foundation for women in sport in South Africa.

These leadership appointments are effective immediately.

Hong Kong remains a preferred business hotspot 20 years later

Stephen Ng
Displayed with permission from China Daily

Two decades into the reunification with the country, Hong Kong is still very much the destination of choice to do business and start a business, and the regional services hub to procure professional and financial services, despite the economic and political challenges we have faced during the interim.

Over the past 20 years we have witnessed many ups and downs and with each cycle we emerged stronger, leaner and more experienced. There is no denying that we perhaps have been over-obsessed with political issues in recent years. This has cost us valuable time in upgrading and sharpening our competitive edge, while our neighbours have progressed rapidly.

Despite lagging behind on a few areas such as innovation and technology, the economic and political challenges over the years have made us smarter and more sophisticated in doing business. I believe Hong Kong is going through another cycle, as the economy adapts to technological, economic and social changes. At times it feels excruciatingly challenging but we are not alone. Economies around the world all face similar challenges in one way or another. However, this downtime gives us a window to take stock of how we can hone our strengths and, more importantly, address our weaknesses.

Take Hong Kong’s investment property sector for example: Both landlords and tenants have become much more sophisticated and they have worked together to enhance the value of their properties. It applies across the retail, office as well as hotel sectors. Furthermore, landlords and tenants have applied their Hong Kong expertise to enter the Chinese mainland market and there have been many success stories.

We are also hearing many success stories about how young startups are embracing technology for disruptive innovation and to explore new business opportunities. The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce has been helping our members better understand, and be equipped to succeed in the digital era. Besides organising regular seminars, we work closely with various organisations in Hong Kong and around the world to give our members a first-hand look at what other businesses are doing. For example, our visit to Barcelona, the world’s leading smart city, showed our members the multi-dimensional advantages a smart city has. We are also actively looking into topics such as fintech, reg-tech (regulatory technology), internet of things and artificial intelligence, and how businesses, as well as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, can use these tools to improve our lives, environment and competitiveness.

Looking ahead, we need to seize the opportunities that the Belt and Road Initiative opens up. Closer to home, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area initiative will foster closer technological and economic cooperation between Hong Kong and neighbouring cities, and help enhance our competitiveness. Opportunities like these rarely come along, and we are in the perfect place to capture a slice of this huge potential.

To put it in perspective, if the Greater Bay Area were a country, it would already have the 10th largest GDP in the world. It is in the same league as India and Brazil among the BRICS countries and much larger than Russia and South Africa. Compared to other countries, it is also much more concentrated, and is right on our doorstep. The initiative presents a unique opportunity for Hong Kong, and if we seize this opportunity, we will secure a much brighter future for our future generations.

To maximise Hong Kong’s potential, we need to be united as a community and an economy. We need to take our can-do spirit further, and be a valuable partner in the far-sighted national initiatives of the Belt and Road and Greater Bay Area. We in the business community are ready to grasp these opportunities.

– Repubhub/China Daily

Chinese Vitality: A Driving Force of the World Economy

This infographic is courtesy of Beijing Review. To read the full article, click here.