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Asia remains attractive destination for global investment

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BOAO, Hainan, March 27 (Xinhua) — Asia remains a dynamic and attractive destination for global investment, said attendees at a sideline forum of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), which convenes its 2024 annual conference in Boao, a resort town in southern China’s Hainan Province.

According to the forum’s Asian Economic Outlook and Integration Progress flagship report, Asian economies demonstrated strong resilience in investment activities in 2022. Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into Asia-Pacific economies amounted to 809.4 billion U.S. dollars, growing by 6.76 percent over the previous year and accounting for 62 percent of international FDI inflows.

Asia has been a significant beneficiary of FDI, said Shamshad Akhtar, Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs of Pakistan, while noting the role of FDI in Asia’s development at the sub-forum with a theme of “Investing the Future of Asia.”

It is important to recognize that Asia, particularly emerging markets, is now on its own development momentum. Asia have become the world’s manufacturing and trade hub supported by foreign capital and investments, she noted.

In 2022, Asian economies attracted a total of 8.8 trillion U.S. dollars in portfolio investment, and China’s stock of portfolio investment surpassed 1 trillion U.S. dollars for the first time, said the report.

Speaking at the forum, Charles Dallara, a member of the Board of Directors of Partners Group, said foreign investments are supporting the global market developments and Asia is really a dynamic and attractive location for investments, especially FDI.

Among Asian economies, China is a very attractive destination for FDI, he said, adding that at the same time, a large amount of capital from China has flowed to other countries and many Chinese businesses and enterprises are investing in the United States, Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Officials and experts also voiced opinions on how to boost investor confidence, improve the investment environment, and enhance investment destinations’ attractiveness in Asia.

Geopolitical influence, rule of law, market potential, industrial system, labor forces, market players, and policy support are factors that affect the inflow of FDI, said Xu Zhibin, deputy administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

Governments also play an important role in attracting global capital, said Shimizu Tokiko, assistant governor of the Bank of Japan, adding that Asian countries have resilient economy and governments should have consistent policy arrangements and provide a clear map on its own development for investors.

According to the report, the Asian economy is expected to grow by around 4.5 percent in 2024, surpassing that of 2023, and continue to be the largest contributor to global economic growth.

With a founding purpose to promote economic integration in Asia, the mission of the BFA is to pool positive energy for the development of Asia and the world. The BFA annual conference 2024 runs from March 26 to 29.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Maldives signs with Chinese firm for Laamu Integrated Maritime Hub Project

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Agreements pertaining to the Laamu Integrated Maritime Hub Project have been signed with a Chinese company, aiming to accomplish the commitments made by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. The contract laying groundworks for this transformative endeavor was signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) Mohamed Wajeeh and the General Manager of CAMC Engineering Li Wei Wei.

Outlined within the agreement are details of six subprojects:

  • Launching offshore bunkering services
  • Developing a cruise terminal
  • Establishing a super yacht marina
  • Developing Gaadhoo as an Eco-resort
  • Establishing a facility to store regionally produced food items
  • Building a transshipment port

Providing insight into the developmental project, CEO Wajeeh underscored MPL’s ongoing efforts to secure a relevant market. He envisioned attracting international shipping lines to the transshipment port, anticipating a significant economic boost from even a single shipping line. Discussions are also underway with cruise operators to initiate cruise terminal operations.

MPL disclosed proposals from two companies to assist in providing bunkering services. While Vitol Bunkering, currently involved in developing bunkering facilities in Haa Alif Atoll, is one of them, the second company expressing interest hails from Dubai.

The establishment of a commercial port and a harbor including logistics is a commitment outlined in the governments’ manifesto.

Source(s): PsmNews

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India approves highest-ever export quotas for essential commodities to Maldives

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India has approved highest-ever export quotas for essential commodities to Maldives for the year 2024-25, including eggs, wheat flour and onions, as well as river sand and stone aggregates.

In a statement on Friday, the Indian High Commission said the quota for export of essential commodities was renewed at the request of the Maldivian government.

“The approved quantities are the highest since this arrangement came into effect in 1981,” reads the statement.

The quota for river sand and stone aggregates, crucial items for the booming construction industry in the Maldives, have been increased by 1,000,000 MT. There has also been an increase of 5 percent in the quotas for eggs, potatoes, onions, sugar, rice, wheat flour and dal (pulses).

The export quota approved for 2024-25:

  • Eggs: 427,536,904.20
  • Potatoes: 21,513.08 MT
  • Onions: 35,749.13 MT
  • Rice: 124,218.36 MT
  • Wheat flour: 109,162.96 MT
  • Sugar: 64,494.33 MT
  • Dal: 224.48 MT
  • Stone aggregate: 1,000,000 MT
  • River sand: 1,000,000 MT

Despite global restrictions on the export of rice, sugar, and onions from India last year, New Delhi continued to provide these crucial commodities to the Maldives.

The high commission said the move underlines India’s strong committed to supporting human centric development in the Maldives, as part of its ‘Neighborhood First’ policy.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer on early Saturday said India’s gesture to renew the quota to allow the export of certain quantities of essential commodities signifies the longstanding bilateral friendship, and the commitment to further expand trade and commerce.

“I sincerely thank EAM @DrSJaishankar and the Government of #India for the renewal of the quota to enable #Maldives to import essential commodities from India during the years 2024 and 2025. The newly approved quantities of essentials have been increased under the unique bilateral mechanism between the two countries, even as ties between Male and New Delhi remained tense in recent months,” Zameer said in a post on X.

His Indian counterpart, Dr. S. Jaishankar, responded that “India stands firmly committed to its Neighborhood First and SAGAR policies.”

Source(s): sun.mv

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Government to boost tourism promotion budget, expands global outreach

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Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal has announced plans to strengthen the nation’s tourism promotion budget, with a focus on expanding outreach across various global regions.

Speaking to PSM News, Minister Faisal emphasised his dedication to amplifying tourist arrivals to the Maldives. Stressing the pivotal role of intensified marketing endeavors, he highlighted efforts to increase financial provisions for the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) from the state budget.

Additionally, Minister Faisal unveiled strategies to spotlight individual atolls in the Maldives for targeted tourism promotion. He outlined intentions to explore new tourist markets, with a particular focus on nations demonstrating substantial investment in this field. He also underscored plans to differentiate promotional campaigns for guesthouses and resorts, anticipating a significant increase in tourism figures over the next five years.

The government’s efforts to elevate the tourism sector are yielding promising outcomes, evidenced by a historic increase in tourist arrivals during the initial quarter of this year. Recent statistics reveal that over 600,000 tourists have visited the Maldives within this timeframe, signaling a noteworthy milestone in the nation’s tourism sector.

Source(s): PsmNews

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