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REGIONSASIA-PACIFIC


THE AGREEMENT FEATURES INVESTMENT PROMOTION PROVISIONS TO FOSTER INTRA-REGIONAL INVESTMENT


RCEPbloc couldrivalEU


The RegionalComprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) signed on November 15 is set to challenge the EU as the world’s largest investment bloc, as it promises to foster integration among 15 Asia-Pacific countries representing a third of the global population and output. Intra-RCEP cross-border invest-


ment (investment into a member country by a company belonging to another member country) generated 14,000 greenfield projects between 2003 and September 2020, accord- ing to figures from investment monitor fDi Markets. That is higher than any other trade and invest- ment bloc except for the EU, with 37,991 intra-European projects announced since 2003, according to fDi Markets figures. Investment value estimates offer


another perspective, though, as from this perspective the RCEP bloc already exceeds the EU as the largest investment area in the world, fDi Markets figures show. RCEP is a very diverse bloc bring-


ing together 15 countries at very different stages of economic develop- ment, from Japan and South Korea all the way to Laos and Cambodia. “This diversity between


advanced economies and less devel- oped economies creates a huge complementarity in the region, and complementarity generates oppor- tunities,” James Zhan, senior direc- tor for investment and enterprise at Unctad, tells fDi. “Besides, there are specific provi-


sions to support the least developed countries (Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar). They will benefit a lot.” Japanese companies have histor-


ically been the main source of greenfield investment in the region, followed by their peers in South Korea, Singapore and China, whose companies have been increasing their footprint in the region in the past years, according to fDi Markets figures. However, China has been the


66


India takes a bite of Apple


A total of 16 electronics manufacturers have announced investment plans in India under the country’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, according to a government press release in October. Running for a period of five


years, the scheme extends an incentive of 4–6% on incremental sales of mobile phones and electronics components to eligible Indian and international companies. Approved international mobile


phone companies include Samsung and three contract manufacturers for Apple — Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron. The Indian government expects


the companies approved under this scheme to bring additional investments in electronics manufacturing to the tune of Rs110,000m($1.49bn). Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s


The treaty includes 15 countries in Asia-Pacific


largest recipient of intra-regional foreign investment, with Vietnam and Thailand following at distance, fDi Markets figures show. Expectations are for the deal to


add $200bn annually to the global economy by 2030, also by fostering intra-RCEP investment. The agreement has a specific


article dedicated to investment promotion that urges the member country to promote and increase awareness of the region as an investment area through: “encour- aging investments among the parties”; “organising joint invest- ment promotion activities between or among parties”; “promoting business-matching events”; “organ- ising and supporting the organisa- tion of various briefings and semi- nars on investment opportunities and on investment laws, regula- tions, and policies”; “and conduct- ing information exchanges on other issues of mutual concern relating to investment promotion”. “Many of such measures can


already be found in existing regional agreements like Asean. They have also been promoted in UNCTAD’s Global Menu for Investment Facilitation over the past years,” Mr Zhan adds.■ JACOPODETTONI


union minister forcommunications, electronics and IT, said at the BengaluruTechSummit onNovember 19 that around nine of Apple’s 11 componentmakers have shifted their units from China to India.■ SETHO’FARRELL


EurasianIPAs needstronger businessties


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has called on Eurasian investment promotion agencies (IPAs) to enhance their private- sector links and their govern- ments to grant themmore insti- tutional independence. The Organisation’s recent report


on investment promotion in the region also suggests the industry- wide shift towards digitisation presents an opportunity for Eurasian IPAs to domore with their limited budgets. Reduced demand for energy and


its other primary exports, coupled with its perception as a frontier market, makes Eurasia particularly vulnerable to the economic fallout fromCovid-19.■ DANIELLEMYLES


www.fDiIntelligence.com December 2020/January 2021


$200BN


EXPECTEDVALUE-ADDOF THERCEPAGREEMENTTO THEGLOBALECONOMY


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