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News from China
China's MOC spokesperson talks on economic, trade consultation with US
5th December 2018
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday that the latest meeting between presidents of China and the United States on economic and trade issues was "very successful."
"We are confident about the implementation [of the consensus from the meeting]," the spokesperson said.
"In 90 days, economic and trade teams of both sides will actively push forward the consultation following clear schedule and roadmap," the spokesperson said.
China will start with implementing the specific aspects of the newly-reached consensus as soon as possible, according to the spokesperson.
Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump held a meeting at a working dinner in Buenos Aires, reaching important consensus and agreeing not to impose new additional tariffs.
They also instructed the economic teams of the two sides to step up negotiations toward the removal of all additional tariffs and reach a concrete agreement that would lead to win-win results.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 5, 2018
Global ad market forecast downgraded
4th December 2018

 WPP's media investment arm GroupM has slightly downgraded its growth forecast for the global advertising market to 3.6 percent in 2019, from the previous 3.9 percent, citing an overall sluggish macroeconomic situation and potential repercussions brought by the global trade tensions.

It also lowered its estimate for China's advertising spending growth in 2019 from 6.6 percent to 5.5 percent, citing the outlook of China’s macro economy and the overall media market, according to GroupM's "This Year, Next Year" media forecast which is released twice a year.
China remains the largest contributor in terms of advertising expenditure growth, but 2019 will be its sixth successive year with single-digit ad growth and will mark its lowest growth rate yet recorded, according to GroupM Futures Director Adam Smith. 
Globally, it estimates 4.3 percent annual growth this year with total ad spending seen at US$543.7 billion, down from its midyear prediction of 4.5 percent which it claims to be consistent with a macro outlook that remains firm, but fraying into 2019. It also cited other major macroeconomic concerns such as tighter budgets, pricey oil and trade wars. 
Digital media investment will rise 12.6 percent in 2018 and 9.7 percent in 2019, with the digital ad share of advertising investment rising from 39 percent this year to 42 percent in 2019. 
The total amount of new investment is anticipated to reach US$19 billion instead of the US$23 billion earlier predicted, with the US dollar's appreciation also suppressing growth. 
China's total media spending would reach 641.7 billion yuan (US$92.7 billion) next year, which is second only to the USA, and has doubled since 2010. 
China’s advertising intensity peaked at 0.78 percent of GDP in 2006 and has trended, sometimes fitfully, down to a prospective 0.67 percent in 2019.
China's Internet ad expenditure would remain the biggest contributor of all media types and is set to make up two thirds of the total market, more than doubling TV's share. 
Internet and out-of-home would be the only two sectors to see annual growth as more advertisers appreciate the increasing importance of out-of-home advertising formats in integrated marketing, and pushing up price levels due to limited inventory. 
But their growth pace overall also dwindled from earlier years, with the annual increase of Internet spending expected to sit at 11.5 percent in 2019 compared to 15.1 percent a year ago. 
WPP's data consultancy Kantar’s joint venture in China is also observing a more conservative stance among international clients due to the trade tensions. 
"Worldwide advertising investment grows slowly but marketing has never moved faster, with the proliferation of the automation process and a more mobile tendency for talent, and the gap between the cost of failure and the value of success grows wider," commented GroupM CEO Kelly Clark.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 4, 2018
Chinese market impresses Irish investment chief
3rd December 2018

 Andrew Vogelaar, the recently appointed global head of growth markets at IDA Ireland, is impressed at how fast Chinese companies are moving toward the highest level of technological development.

During his travels in China on behalf of the state-sponsored agency for inward foreign direct investment, he said he had made exciting discoveries that had increased his interest and confidence in the country. The recently concluded China International Import Expo further reinforced his belief.
During an interview with Shanghai Daily, Vogelaar shared his views about the opportunities and challenges presented to investors interested in Ireland, a nation strong in technology, and with unparalleled agriculture and natural resource sectors.
Q: Shanghai has just hosted the first China International Import Expo. What have you taken from the event?
A: Heather Humphreys, our Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, attended the China International Import Expo. She was very impressed by this big event. It showed how open China is. For Irish companies, they were also very excited about winning many contracts from this market during the CIIE.
I think the main thing about CIIE was to show how much potential China has. Irish companies traditionally exported to other European countries and to the US. However, now we have started to export more to China, including infant baby formula, medical devices, pharmaceutical products and many other kinds of products. All of them are very strong businesses for Irish companies in China.
Q: What are the opportunities you saw during your trip to China?
A: The technology industry in Ireland is quite strong. Irish technology companies hope to have more cooperation opportunities with Chinese companies, developing the technology industry together.
Since Ireland is a small country with fewer than five million people, we try to concentrate on a few areas rather than develop everything. The environment and sites are very natural in Ireland, so we are very good in the food industry, especially in the baby formula section, and ingredients sector.
In the meantime, we are an export-oriented country since we export goods and services which take over 80 percent of what we produce. Sino-Ireland’s two-way trade is estimated to have reached 15 billion euros (US$17 billion) in 2017.
So, it’s very exciting to see that China is opening up, and it is also important for Irish companies to see it. Our government tries to help these Irish companies, not only to sell products, but to establish, operate and grow in China, being partners with Chinese companies.
Q: Could you give examples?
A: Yes, I can give you examples of some projects which are going on the other way around. In the past year or two, there has been significant investment from Chinese companies into Ireland. For example, WuXi Biologics decided to invest 325 million euros in Ireland to set up a research and manufacturing operation, which is the largest greenfield investment by a Chinese life sciences company into Europe ever. It was fantastic to see that they chose Ireland.
Apart from that, Huawei has three operations in Ireland, and the travel technology company TravelSky also recently invested in Ireland. We are also the global operation center for the aircraft leasing business. Four of the top five Chinese banks are managing their global aircraft leasing operations in Ireland, like Bank of China.
So, trade between China and Ireland is growing strong. Last year was a record year, and I believe this year will be stronger. This is a “both win” situation.
Q: Talking about “both win,” what about Irish investment in China?
A: Irish companies traditionally have been the food companies. We have very strong Irish food brands, such as Kerry and Glanbia. The infant formula sector has been growing extremely strong. Depending on statistics, 13 or 14 percent of Ireland’s infant formula production is exported from Ireland to China.
Irish products in China are always seen as quality and safe products with a good reputation, not only for food, but also for some pharmaceutical products, and that’s why WuXi Biologics came to Ireland.
Also, because we have been doing those businesses for a long time, we have a rich history in areas like food, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and technology. In this case, I believe it will be natural for those advanced Irish companies which are doing export business with China to invest in China.
At the same time, along with the partnerships between Ireland and China that have been built up, we will see more China companies invest in Ireland as well. It is a two-way development.
Q: How else can Ireland facilitate investment and trade?
A: Ireland is also strong in the financial sector to support cross-border deals. In general, the international financial services sector in Ireland can be divided into five broad business areas — banking and payments, insurance and reinsurance, funds and asset management, aircraft leasing and financial technology.
The growth and development of international financial services has been one of the highlights of Ireland’s economic development over 40 years. Because of Brexit, more banks and financial companies are coming to Ireland to continue servicing EU customers. Now, the sector employs approximately 40,000 people and there are more than 400 significant institutions operating in the country. It is worth mentioning that Bank of China set up its Dublin branch as part of its European expansion strategy in June of 2017. Other organizations like Citigroup, JP Morgan, Fidelity also invested in Ireland, and keep expanding its EU business here.
Additionally, we have a very strong financial technology sector comprising both multinational and Irish indigenous companies. We are especially strong in cyber security, payments, risk modeling, data and analytics and blockchain technology. Companies such as MasterCard, PayPal, Citi, First Data, Deloitte and AON have established research hubs in Ireland.
Q: How about the transport sector in Ireland?
A: Ireland is located between North America and Europe which gives us an advantage in terms of serving both markets. We are very well connected with the US, the UK and continental Europe by air and sea. It is very convenient for people and products to move from Ireland to the rest of the world. Especially, flight connections between London and Dublin are among the busiest in the world. That is why many international companies who want to do business with the UK or in the UK choose to set up their offices in Dublin, because we have a good business environment, government support, also a very easy and fast way to get to the UK.
I use medical devices companies and pharmaceutical companies as an example. There are many big Pharma and MedTech companies in Ireland. Sometimes the drugs or products are needed to be delivered in an emergency, even within 24 hours. Since we want to do our best in pharmaceuticals and other advanced industries, we have to think about how to promote our transport system at home and abroad. Though many years’ experience and development, the Irish transport system is very developed nowadays. In Europe, we can deliver products within a day, that’s typically by air freight. We also have very good transport links abroad.
Q: Does it mean it will take a much longer time for products to reach China?
A: Not really, for example, Ireland has many large multinational companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, who manufacture a wide range of products in Ireland to serve the global market, including China. When Johnson & Johnson assessed to set up their contact lens plant in Europe, they looked at a lot of locations but finally chose Ireland. It was because they figured out that they can get their products quicker from Ireland than from the most parts of England and Europe. Additionally, we have direct flight connections with China now through Hong Kong and Beijing. It makes business between China and Ireland easier and faster. Transport costs are also lower in this case.
For the past four or five years, Ireland has been the strongest economy in Europe. The growth is between 6 and 8 percent. By Chinese standards, that’s not huge, but for major developed economies, that’s quite big.
Ireland also offers the most favorable tax system in Europe for investors, 12.5 percent corporate tax, 6.25 percent knowledge development box and 25 percent tax credit for research and development. Ireland has 79 double tax agreements with other countries, including China.
Ireland is delighted to work with China and welcome Chinese investment.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 3, 2018
China's manufacturing PMI edges down in November
30th November 2018

 BEIJING - The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 50 this month, down from 50.2 in October, official data showed Friday.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
The purchasing managers' index for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 53.4 in November, down from 53.9 in October, the National Bureau of Statistics says
Source: China Daily, November 30, 2018

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