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Asean Affairs  29 April 2011

Guangxi to become Asean gateway

By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     29 April 2011

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Guangxi province in China, bordering Vietnam, is positioning itself to attract more investors from Southeast Asian nations, and to expand its products to Asean markets.

The province, whose economy has grown at an average rate of 14.5 percent over the past three years, is developing a free economic zone in Qinzhou that will have 34 seaports and the Beihai Gulf industrial estate, to attract Asean businesspeople and tourists.

Guangxi provincial trade office deputy chief Ma Jixian said his government was developing the province as an attractive place for Asean businesspeople to invest. He said that in the past 20 years China had been developing the province as a bridge to Southeast Asia.

“We have tried to provide all of the facilities, including infrastructure, that foreign investors need to invest,” he said in Nanning recently.

The province has already constructed 32,000 kilometers of toll roads connecting all industrial estates and seaports, “and industrial estates already have water supply, oil and gas reserves and transportation facilities”, Ma said.

A number of companies from Southeast Asia have invested in many fields in the province,” he added.

Qinzhou free economic zone deputy director Wei Peng said that besides providing adequate infrastructure, the local authorities had refunded 6 percent of the 15 percent tax paid by foreign investors as an incentive.

The provincial government has built a large exhibition center especially to hold China-ASEAN expos.

Wei said that investment permits and other documents could be issued within a few days and that investors were allowed to apply for 50- or 70-year investment permits.

Ma said Asean had been China’s trading partner for 13 years, and that the trading volume between the two sides had reached US$6.5 billion.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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