SEA Today

China as One of the Largest Source of Investment in ASEAN

China is considered to play a strategic role in increasing investment inflows to countries in the ASEAN region. This was revealed by the Chair of the ASEAN-Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), Arsjad Rasjid.

As a global economic giant, China is noted as one of the largest sources of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in ASEAN. In 2021, the value of China's Foreign Direct Investment spread across ASEAN countries amounted to US$13.8 billion. The ASEAN member countries consist of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

"This is an outstanding achievement that deserves appreciation. For several decades, China has proven itself as a leading partner for ASEAN. I hope that ASEAN-China will continue to maintain this close partnership," said Arsjad in Beijing, China (26/7/2023).


Meeting with Business Sectors in Beijing and Shanghai

The ASEAN-BAC delegation was in Beijing and Shanghai from July 25 - 27, 2023, as part of the Indonesian leadership's roadshow for ASEAN-BAC in 2023. The entire delegation held meetings with entrepreneurs affiliated with the China Chamber of Commerce for Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), China Chamber of Commerce for Medicines and Health Products (CCCMHPIE), Center of China & Globalization, China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), and China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC).

"Alhamdulillah, the meetings were conducted in a friendly atmosphere. We have reached several agreements, one of which is the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CCPIT and CCOIC regarding the renewal of cooperation between Indonesia and China in various business sectors under the auspices of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin Indonesia)," said Arsjad.

The ASEAN-BAC delegation also had meetings with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), FinVolution Group, and Hycan. These three companies were met in Shanghai, and the delegation discussed investment opportunities for these companies in ASEAN and Indonesia. During the meeting with COMAC, the ASEAN-BAC delegation discussed further cooperation opportunities related to the aviation industry in Indonesia and ASEAN. Indonesian airline TransNusa has been using COMAC's aircraft for the Jakarta-Bali route since April 2023.

In addition, the delegation also met with the FinVolution Group to discuss cooperation in digital finance, and with Hycan, one of the leading electric vehicle companies in China, the ASEAN-BAC delegation discussed the potential marketing of Hycan products in ASEAN.

During the ASEAN-BAC roadshow in China, the delegation specifically invited Chinese government officials and business actors to attend the Business Investment Summit 2023 and the ASEAN Business Awards 2023, which will be held in Jakarta on September 3-4, 2023.

Indonesia, he continued, serves as a concrete example of China's cooperation in the ASEAN region. It was mentioned that in the healthcare sector, Chinese companies have developed innovative, effective, and cost-efficient technologies, especially in the fields of biology and vaccination, to help accelerate health transformation in Indonesia.

In the past decade, China has become a primary source of innovation in the life sciences, excelling in developing new and cost-effective versions of complex products.

"China is at the forefront of biotechnology, genomics, and bioengineering, which will drive healthcare management in the future. Chinese innovation brings hope to developing countries," added the Alternate Chair of ASEAN-BAC, Bernardino Vega.

Indonesia and China can together facilitate the creation of an attractive market for the latest innovations, including life sciences products.

"It must be acknowledged that the biggest barrier to Chinese investment inflows into Indonesia at present is regulatory issues. We hope there will be an agreement regarding regulations and the reduction of barriers to open the market for Chinese innovations in Indonesia," said Arsjad.


Chair of ASEAN-BAC Accompanies Indonesian President's Visit to Chengdu


After conducting the ASEAN-BAC roadshow in Beijing and Shanghai, the Chair of ASEAN-BAC, Arsjad Rasjid, also made a separate visit to Chengdu, China from July 27 - 29 2023. In Chengdu, Arsjad accompanied Indonesian President Joko Widodo for a business meeting with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce in China (INACHAM) and several other Chinese entrepreneurs, held at the Shangri-La Hotel. The meeting focused on inviting Chinese investors to invest in Indonesia, particularly in accelerating the development of the electric vehicle ecosystem, renewable energy, and the construction of the new Indonesian capital city (IKN).

ASEAN-BAC also maintains a close partnership with several companies in Indonesia, including PT Astra International Tbk., Indika Energy, Sinar Mas, Bakrie Group, East Ventures, Indofood, Mayora Group, and MRT Jakarta, to support the process of transitioning to a more environmentally friendly energy in Indonesia.

Vice President and Group CEO of Indika Energy, Azis Armand, revealed that the use of electric vehicles and the development of its ecosystem are key factors in accelerating energy transition in Indonesia.

"We believe that electric vehicles and their ecosystem will help reduce carbon footprint and support the development of a green economy," said Azis.