Category Archives: BUSINESS

Trump’s trade war wreaks havoc on the global economy

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on a range of issues during an event devoted to 'America's farmers and ranchers' in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, US, 23 May 2019 (Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria).

Author: Editorial Board, ANU

Perhaps surprisingly, all the analysis suggests that the fortunes of the US economy are little affected by the policies of a particular administration. The institutional bulwarks that overwhelmingly shape US economic policy dominate the influence of particular presidencies. At least that was until the advent of President Donald Trump.

Mr Trump now blames everyone but himself for the ominous signs of recession and disruption that now beset the United States. The truth is that Mr Trump has entirely by himself visited the gathering economic storm upon his country and upon the world. It is the reckless pursuit of the trade war with China and arbitrary actions that defy established rules and economic logic — the most recent of which was to declare China a currency manipulator — that have spooked US and global financial markets and encouraged the global flight to cash.

Mr Trump and his administration are alone responsible for the assault on the multilateral economic institutions and rules that have provided the foundations for global growth and political openness for over seven decades. The strength of the North American economy, including its technological vibrancy, the growth of Europe and the lifting of hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, most notably in Asia, have all depended in crucial ways on that system — and still they do. The free flow of trade, investment, and ideas has supported the emergence of a growing middle class around the world. Despite Mr Trump’s assault on the multilateral order, the rest of the world, and particularly Asia, has a vital interest that it remains strong and continues to deliver economic and political security among nations big and small.

The return to unilateralism and disregard for established processes affect investor confidence and drag down trade and growth. The IMF …continue reading


Luxury apartments planned for historic art deco building

Real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan Residential is planning a large-scale, luxury apartment project for the former Tokyo Service Center building in central Tokyo.

The Mita 1 Chome Project will include a 14-storey, 45.5 meter tall apartment building with as many as 900 apartments. Construction is scheduled to start in 2020 with completion tentatively planned for 2024.

The current art deco building was built in 1929 as the Ministry of Communications and Transportation Postal Life Insurance Building. There are plans to preserve a portion of this building and incorporate it into the new design.

Mitsui acquired the 26,000 sqm site in early 2018 for an estimated 85.03 billion Yen (approx. 803 million USD at the time). Given the potentially extraordinary price paid for the land and the investment required to develop the site, it seems likely that these 900 apartments, if offered for sale, would easily be priced well above 100 million Yen each.


Mita 1 Chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Source: The Kensetsu Shimbun, July 25, 2019.

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The post Luxury apartments planned for historic art deco building appeared first on JAPAN PROPERTY CENTRAL.

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Trade war fractures Asian global value chains

A worker drives a forklift past sacks of polyester-making chemicals, waiting to be shipped, at Hengli Petrochemical complex at Changxing island in Dalian, Liaoning province, China (REUTERS/Chen Aizhu).

Author: Jayant Menon, ADB

On 24 August, US President Donald Trump announced an increase from 25 to 30 per cent for the existing tariffs on US$250 billion of Chinese imports from 1 October and new 15 per cent tariffs on US$300 billion of Chinese imports from 1 September. In doing so, Trump has reneged on his 13 August decision to delay until mid-December the imposition of new tariffs, then set at 10 per cent, given the admission for the first time that they may ‘have an impact on US consumers’. Hopes that this signalled a possible end to the trade war have been dashed.

While it is never too late (or too early) to end a trade war, there are some impacts that may be irreversible.

Once it became clear that the dispute was more than transitory, investment started being diverted away from China and mainly into Southeast Asia. Investments into and from the United States have also been affected following China’s retaliatory tariffs. There are significant costs associated with this restructuring. The move itself incurs fixed costs, some of which will be sunk. There is also the potential increase in variable costs associated with shifting production simply to avoid tariffs. While the former is one-off, the latter is an ongoing increase in production costs. Taken together, these costs will be substantial.

But how can a 25 per cent tariff justify such a costly move? The fact that it is taking place suggests at least two factors are at play, which may have been missed or misunderstood.

The first relates to the difference between nominal and effective tariff rates, which crucially depends on the share of value added by US and Chinese producers. This distinction is particularly important given the prevalence of Chinese (and US) exports …continue reading

Take a look at just about any science fiction film. They don’t use dollars, they use some universal currency that can be transferred at the click of a button. Today we’re seeing the emergence of digital currency. What are Bitcoins and are they the future. That’s one conversation taking place in Asia… now.

What are Bitcoins and are they the future?

Take a look at just about any science fiction film. They don’t use dollars, they use some universal currency that can be transferred at the click of a button. Today we’re seeing the emergence of digital currency. What are Bitcoins and are they the future. That’s one conversation taking place in Asia… now.

Saturday | April 11, 2015

I love traveling. I’ve been all across Asia and it’s my mission during the winter to vacate the cold and take refuge in Southeast Asia. But the thing I hate most about traveling is dealing with money.

I’m not talking about the expense of traveling, I’m talking about having to deal with switching currencies when crossing borders. 

Dollars to won to yen to pesos to… you get the idea.

What I loved about science fiction was this notion of a universal currency embraced by the world community. We’re a long way off from that; however we are seeing the emergence of various digital currencies.

The most famous of which is the bitcoin.

Joining me via Skype on this week’s Asia Now podcast is Chris Williams, Meetup organizer for the Seoul Bitcoin Center. We discuss what bitcoins are, their history, the controversy behind them, and where things might lead in the future.

After the podcast, please let me know what you think about bitcoins. Are they the currency of the future or just a fad?

Keep up with news from the region by following Asia News Weekly on Facebook or Twitter. You can also send an email to the show with your comments, questions, and feedback. Just drop a line to

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Source: ACCJ Journal


Outlook Positive, but Weaker

By Brandi Goode

The 26th Foreign Chambers in Japan Business Confidence Survey was conducted over 10 days at the end of October. About 300 responses were received, of which the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s members accounted for some 30 percent.

Forty percent of the respondents are from North America, and 60 percent from Europe. Most participating companies are involved in service industries or sales and trading, and have been in Japan for over 20 years.

Overall, foreign firms remain bullish about Japan’s economy, although they are less positive than in the previous two surveys. When asked about the economic forecast for the country over the next 12 months, growth was projected, but at a much lower level than in the previous survey in spring 2014. The index is now +.42, compared with +.70 in the spring.

Sales and trading businesses lost significant confidence, with the fall index (+.25) coming in more than 50 percent lower than the spring projection (+.63). Some 55 percent of respondents in this industry category projected “no change” or “some decline” in their operations over the next year.

The reported performance of companies surveyed continued to improve, but at a lower rate than …continue reading