Why are Foreign Mining Companies Retreating from China?

March 7, 2013 Asia Pacific Memo 0

In the 1990s, China opened up the country’s vast mineral resources to international investment. Over the past decade, it has reformulated its mining legislation to attract foreign companies into the Chinese mining sector with the hope of speeding up its modernization. Between 2001 and 2004 the number of foreign mining projects quickly increased from 150 to 279. But by 2010, this number had declined to 92. International firms continue to feel stymied by an inconsistent and convoluted mining policy and their inability to create relationships of trust with local mining stakeholders. […]

North Korea

Post-socialism, North Korean Style: With State Economy in Ruins, Workers Look Elsewhere for Employment

February 14, 2013 Asia Pacific Memo 0

North Korea is often described as the “world’s last Stalinist state,” but this is misleading. While the facade of a Stalinist economy remains visible in Pyongyang, the nation’s capital, the socialist regime has long become an empty shell. The North Korean economy is now dominated by legal, semi-legal, and entirely illegal private enterprises that provide employment for workers who have failed to make ends meet in the formal economy. As such, it more closely resembles a post-socialist Eastern European economy than a Stalinist one. […]


Upcoming Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement – Lessons Learned from Korea

November 22, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #192 – Canada and Japan are set to begin negotiations to develop an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on November 26th, 2012. Canada hasn’t completed a preferential trade agreement with any of its Asia Pacific partners, and Japan has yet to finalize an EPA with a G8 country. As negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Korea have entered their seventh year and as regional competitors, like Australia, are forging new trade partnerships in Asia, Canada feels pressured to assert itself in the region. If Canada can learn from the stalled Korean negotiations, the Canada-Japan EPA can become the platform to accomplish such a task. […]

No Picture

Tourism Businesses in Asia must be Socially Responsible

September 25, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo # 176 – The World Tourism Organization predicts there will be 1.8 billion tourism arrivals around the world in 2030. Arrivals to Asia and the Pacific is expected to reach 535 million by 2030. This robust prediction indicates growth of tourism businesses, ultimately exerting greater pressure on local environments through resource consumption or pollution. To be sustainable, the region’s tourism businesses should accept wider responsibility of their surrounding environment and not simply exist for profit. […]

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Exporting “Tough on Crime” Policy to Thailand: Harper’s Recent Visit

April 12, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #148 – Human smuggling and terrorism – not trade – played centre stage in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Thailand in March. Although the Thai government was eager to solicit more interest in trade during a visit that marked the 50th anniversary of Canada-Thailand relations, it was left with $7 million (CDN) for an anti-crime program and an “exploratory” talk on free trade. […]

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Through Taiwan is the Shortest Route between Japan and China

July 19, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #98 – Joint ventures between Taiwanese and Japanese firms in China survive longer than companies formed only with Japanese capital. Research shows that Japanese firms have a better chance of success in China through alliances with their Taiwanese partners. The survival rate (which measures firms or joint ventures started in the 1990s up to the year 2005) in China has been around 68 per cent when Japanese companies entered the market alone. But the rate is 10 per cent higher if they worked with Taiwanese corporations. Taiwan can play a critical role in trilateral relations and create a win-win-win environment. […]

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Hu Jintao’s Promise to Business: Can He Deliver?

February 3, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #53 – Two weeks ago, fourteen of the world’s most powerful CEOs converged on Washington for a brief 45 minute opportunity to engage Chinese President Hu Jintao (Google was noticeably absent). Of the many issues raised, one has been China’s renewed commitment to the protection of U.S. corporate interests in the Mainland. President Hu voiced support for reform, opening-up, transparency, as well as a fair and just investment climate. Hu then highlighted intellectual property (IP) and government procurement as areas where foreign firms have equal treatment to their Chinese counterparts. […]

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Chinese Consumers: The Driving Force of Global Change

January 20, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #49 – Thanks to President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington this week, US-China trade tensions are again front page news. There are bright spots: Seattle-based Starbucks recently announced plans to triple its number of stores in China to 1,500 by 2015. And the chain plans to use its outlets there to push more consumer products, including instant coffee. […]