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News from China
Garment business dresses up China-Arabian trade
19th July 2018

 Tian Guifen, 56, has no idea where Arabia is, but knows the robes she weaves will be delivered and worn there.

 
Tian, from Fucheng County in Hebei Province, works for Huaxing, one of the largest Muslim robe production and export companies in north China.
 
The company exports its products to over 20 countries in West Asia and North Africa, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. In 2017, company sales hit nearly 160 million yuan (US$24 million).
 
"I'm proud that products made in China go global, and we are making products for the whole world," Tian said.
 
New business opportunities created by China's Belt and Road Initiative have brought a pressing need for more workers. Over 2,600 impoverished people like Tian became employed and were lifted out of poverty.
 
Company manager Wang Shengli said they planned to explore the Southeast Asian market, and further invest 10 million yuan on building 80 more factories in the next two years, covering all local poor villages.
 
China is a major producer of Arabic clothing. In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, more than 90 percent of garments are from China.
 
At the eighth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum held earlier this month, China announced a "future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development" with the Arab world by setting up free trade zones and signing trade agreements.
 
In China's southern trade hub of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, Adel Alhakimi assists his Saudi Arabian client in placing an order of over 6,000 Arabic-style dresses.
 
Having lived in the city for almost 20 years, the 48-year-old Yemeni manages a China-Arab trade consulting company, which searches for goods and partners for businesses in the Arabian countries.
 
The number of employees at his company increased from two in 2004 to around a dozen now.
 
After graduating from university in China in the late 1990s, Alhakimi stayed in the country in hopes of building his career in China-Arabian trade.
 
Last year, China-Arabian trade totaled around US$191.4 billion, five times the amount in 2004.
 
Apart from infrastructure construction and energy cooperation, China's opening-up has also benefited other sectors, including the fashion and garment industry.
 
Alhakimi regularly visits the Guangzhou Liuhua garment wholesale market, which has over 1,000 shops with signs written in multiple languages.
 
"The products sold here are diverse, cheap and customizable. They attract many Middle East business people, especially during the Canton Fair," he said.
 
The Liyuan garment shop, one of Alhakimi's favorites, hangs hundreds of Middle East style dresses on the wall.
 
Xu Peili, the shop owner, says she mainly supplies customers in the Middle East and Africa, and her factory manufactures up to 120,000 items of clothing per month. She is changing the garment material and design to better meet the needs and trends of Arab customers and is trying to add Chinese elements, such as embroidery, to her dresses.
 
Alhakimi backs her idea. "China's economy is developing quickly, and there are many business opportunities. Arab countries' demand for Chinese goods and investments is increasing," he said.
Source: Shanghai Daily, July 19, 2018
Ascentage Pharma raises US$150m in bid to introduce new cancer drugs
18th July 2018

 

 
Suzhou-headquartered Ascentage Pharma said it has raised US$150 million in series C funding for its pipeline of innovative cancer drugs as Chinese drug developers move to turn lab works into new drug launches in the world’s largest pharmaceutical market. 
 
The new financing will be used to fund its R&D and manufacturing facilities as well as new hiring at a time when the Chinese government is urging the introduction of innovative treatments for severe diseases prevalent in China, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, by encouraging startups in the pharmaceutical industry. 
 
Ascentage plans to build their team up to 300 members in the coming six months, and reach 400 by the end of next year. 
 
“With this financing, we are well positioned to achieve key data milestones as we continue to advance our growing pipeline of novel small molecule candidates,” said chairman and chief executive officer Yang Dajun. 
 
The latest round takes the total amount of capital raised by Ascentage to date to US$240 million, and was led by existing investors YuanMing Prudence Fund and Oriza Seed Venture Capital, as well as new investor Teng Yue Partners. 
 
ArrowMark Partners, HDY International Investment, CTS Capital and CCB International also participated.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, July 18, 2018
Ascentage Pharma raises US$150m in bid to introduce new cancer drugs
18th July 2018

 

 
Suzhou-headquartered Ascentage Pharma said it has raised US$150 million in series C funding for its pipeline of innovative cancer drugs as Chinese drug developers move to turn lab works into new drug launches in the world’s largest pharmaceutical market. 
 
The new financing will be used to fund its R&D and manufacturing facilities as well as new hiring at a time when the Chinese government is urging the introduction of innovative treatments for severe diseases prevalent in China, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, by encouraging startups in the pharmaceutical industry. 
 
Ascentage plans to build their team up to 300 members in the coming six months, and reach 400 by the end of next year. 
 
“With this financing, we are well positioned to achieve key data milestones as we continue to advance our growing pipeline of novel small molecule candidates,” said chairman and chief executive officer Yang Dajun. 
 
The latest round takes the total amount of capital raised by Ascentage to date to US$240 million, and was led by existing investors YuanMing Prudence Fund and Oriza Seed Venture Capital, as well as new investor Teng Yue Partners. 
 
ArrowMark Partners, HDY International Investment, CTS Capital and CCB International also participated.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, July 18, 2018
IMF maintains global growth forecasts, warns of escalating trade tensions
17th July 2018

 

 
The International Monetary Fund on Monday kept its growth forecasts for the global economy unchanged for this year and next year, but warned of escalating trade tensions that could derail the global recovery.
 
In its updated World Economic Outlook report released on Monday, the IMF said global economic growth is projected to reach 3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, in line with its previous forecasts in April.
 
"But the expansion is becoming less even, and risks to the outlook are mounting. The rate of expansion appears to have peaked in some major economies and growth has become less synchronized," the report said.
 
The IMF downgraded its growth forecast of advanced economies in 2018 to 2.4 percent, 0.1 percentage points lower than its April forecast, while maintaining an unchanged forecast of 2.2 percent growth in those economies for 2019.
 
Growth in emerging markets and developing economies is projected to strengthen to 4.9 percent in 2018 before reaching 5.1 percent in 2019, unchanged from previous forecasts.
 
The IMF said the balance of risks "has shifted further to the downside," amid rising trade tensions among the United States and its trading partners.
 
"The recently announced and anticipated tariff increases by the United States and retaliatory measures by trading partners have increased the likelihood of escalating and sustained trade actions," the report said.
 
"These could derail the recovery and depress medium-term growth prospects, both through their direct impact on resource allocation and productivity and by raising uncertainty and taking a toll on investment," the Washington-based international lender warned.
 
"Our modeling suggests that if current trade policy threats are realized and business confidence falls as a result, global output could be about 0.5 percent below current projections by 2020," IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said at a press conference.
 
"As the focus of global retaliation, the United States finds a relatively high share of its exports taxed in global markets in such a broader trade conflict, and it is therefore especially vulnerable," he said.
 
The report came after the Trump administration unilaterally imposed high tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products, provoking strong opposition from the domestic business community and retaliatory measures from U.S. trading partners.
 
"The risk that current trade tensions escalate further — with adverse effects on confidence, asset prices, and investment — is the greatest near-term threat to global growth," Obstfeld warned, adding that "countries must resist inward-looking thinking."
 
"Avoiding protectionist measures and finding a cooperative solution that promotes continued growth in goods and services trade remain essential to preserve the global expansion," the report said.
Source: Shanghai Daily,July 17, 2018

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