After Tesla deal, Shanghai to speed up cancelation of foreign ownership limits

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong attend a signing ceremony in Shanghai, China July 10, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 11 July 2018

After Tesla deal, Shanghai to speed up cancelation of foreign ownership limits

SHANGHAI: Shanghai will accelerate efforts to cancel restrictions on foreign investment in the auto manufacturing sector, a government official said on Wednesday, a day after Tesla said it would build a wholly owned auto plant in the city.
Earlier this year, China said it would scrap foreign ownership caps for companies making fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2018 and all automotive ventures by 2022. The announcement marked a major policy shift in the world’s top car market that has capped foreign ownership in the sector at 50 percent for over two decades.
Huang Ou, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology, told reporters at a press conference that the city government was engaged in preparations to support the Tesla project, set to be Shanghai’s biggest foreign-invested project.
“The next step is for the city government to do the support work to allow the project to go into operation as quickly as possible,” he said.
“In line with state plans, we will speed up the cancelation of foreign ownership restrictions in the car manufacturing sector,” he said.
Huang declined to comment, however, on the size of the project or when the construction of a plant with capacity to produce 500,000 Tesla battery electric cars a year — large by auto industry standards — would start.
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk landed a deal on Tuesday to build a new and wholly owned auto plant in Shanghai, the company’s first factory outside the United States. It would double the size of the electric car maker’s global manufacturing.
The deal was announced as Tesla raised prices on US-made vehicles it sells in China to offset the cost of tariffs imposed by the Chinese government on US imports in retaliation for US President Donald Trump’s heavier duties on Chinese goods.
An auto assembly plant half the size of the envisioned Tesla Shanghai plant would normally cost $1 billion to build, according to automotive industry officials and experts.
The Shanghai government said in a statement on Tuesday it welcomed Tesla’s move to invest not only in a new factory in the city but in research and development.
Chinese magazine Caijing, citing sources close to the project, reported on Tuesday that the plant’s exact location had not been decided and construction would start early next year.


Saudi Arabia promotes investment opportunities with Japan’s business leaders  

Updated 53 min 1 sec ago

Saudi Arabia promotes investment opportunities with Japan’s business leaders  

  • Saudi Arabia and Japan exchanged 12 MoUs in the fields of education, science, technology, and banking and finance

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia opened its doors for Japanese investment during a Saudi-Japan business forum held in Tokyo on Wednesday amid growing economic ties between the two nations.  

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) discussed tourism and entertainment investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia with Japan’s business leaders and government officials during the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

During the forum, 12 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were exchanged in fields of education, science, technology, and banking and finance.

The MoUs include Toyobo and Saline Water Conversion Corporation and Arabian Japanese Membrane Company which will aim to manage disposed brine water generated from seawater desalination plants for environmental sustainability.

Two Saudi and Japanese universities signed MoUs for academic exchange on research. While SAGIA signed MoU with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation to enhance investment opportunities.

“Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners, and businesses from across our countries have a strong track record of working together,” Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce and Investment, Majid Al-Qasabi said at the Forum.

“Today’s Forum reflects the success and strength of this enduring partnership. We established the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive and facilitate continued private sector involvement by establishing joint-ventures between entities across our respective countries,” he added.

These investments come alongside a broad series of economic reforms, which are enabling rapid growth in foreign investment in Saudi Arabia. This is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to diversify its economy as outlined in Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia has moved up three positions to the 36th place, globally, through its efforts to diversify the Kingdom’s economy, according to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum.

The total number of foreign investor licenses issued in the first half of 2019 was more than double the number issued the same period a year before.

“We believe that the future prosperity of the Kingdom depends on fostering even closer ties with our strategic partners across the globe, and we look forward to welcoming these companies as they take part in the historic transformation of our economy,” Al-Qasabi said. 

Memoranda of Understanding exchanged at the Forum include:

  • University of Tokyo and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) – the academic exchange for research in renewable energy and petrochemicals
  • Kyoto University Institute for Advance Study (KUIAS) and King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST)– to promote the exchange of scientific materials, publications, and information and exchange of faculty members and researchers, students and joint research
  • University of Tokyo and King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) – to collaborate on the research and the next generation of organic and soft electronics and efficient generation of hydrogen
  • Japan Patent Office (JPO) and Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) – to promote the exchange of data and best practices in the field of intellectual property protection including trademarks and patents
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) – to enhance investment opportunities between Japan and Saudi Arabia
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) – a framework for cooperation to enhance investment from Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Toyobo and Saline Water Conversion Corporation and Arabian Japanese Membrane Company – to develop innovative membrane technologies and manage disposed brine water generated from seawater desalination plants for environmental sustainability
  • Sojitz Corporation and AIZAWA Concrete Corporation and Al Saedan for Development – to explore opportunities and utilize 3D printing technology and local materials for housing construction
  • Cyberdyne Group and Abdul Latif Jameel Investments – to collaborate and enhance Cybernic treatment and contribute to the social development of the Kingdom.
  • Saudi-Japan Vision Office Riyadh (VRO) and National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) – to expand collaboration and enable investments in the field of industry, mining, energy and logistics
  • TBM and SABIC – to build a circular economy using LIMEX
  • Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation and Saudi-Japanese Automobile High Institute – to provide support and training for human capacity development for Saudi youth in the automotive sector