Economy

A representation of cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph and US dollar in this illustration taken 24 January 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Why Bitcoin can never be a mainstream currency

Technology expert Yin Ruizhi notes that while Bitcoin is a bold experiment in cryptocurrencies, in its current form it is still too unstable and resource-intensive to take the place of legal currencies as a mainstream global currency.
Pedestrians cross a street in Tokyo's Ginza district on 17 July 2022. (Philip Fong/AFP)

At US$3.2 trillion, Japan's overseas assets is still expanding

Economics professor Zhang Rui believes that Japan’s massive hoard of overseas assets, along with its ultra-loose monetary policy, has allowed its domestic economy to thrive even amid a weakening currency. In addition, the government’s fiscal policies have also made it easy for Japanese investors to venture overseas, adding to Japan’s financial prowess.
Superior EMS’s factory in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in Hai Duong province. It is using small modular machinery to automate its production lines. (SPH Media)

Can 'Made in Vietnam' replace 'Made in China'?

In this final of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, Lianhe Zaobao associate foreign news editor Sim Tze Wei travelled to Vietnam for a closer look at its economic rise, and whether “Made in Vietnam” can replace “Made in China”.
A conveyer belt dumps iron ore into a pile at an iron ore transfer and storage centre operated by the Shanghai International Port Group in Shanghai, China, on 26 January 2010. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China’s plan to break foreign iron ore dependence — mine more at home

China's "Foundation Plan" for iron ore has gained much official support, and is aimed at reducing reliance on foreign sources of iron, including Africa and Australia. The only way to do this effectively is for China to ramp up mining of its own iron resources. However, these resources are scattered and difficult to access, and of lower grade. This means China has its work cut out if it is to succeed.
The only road leading to Semoi village, in the regency of Penajam Paser Utara, in East Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. (SPH Media)

Can Chinese capital and technologies jumpstart economic development in Borneo?

Malaysian academics Goh Chun Sheng and Guanie Lim observe China’s strong presence in the upstream and downstream sectors of developing Nusantara, the envisaged new capital of Indonesia in East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, allowing for potential cooperation between China, Indonesia and Malaysia. Could this be the start of greater China-led cross-border collaborations in the region?
This photo taken on 2 July 2022 shows coal loaded on trains at a coal plant in Huaibei, in China's eastern Anhui province. (AFP)

A happy birthday to China’s national emissions trading scheme

Erik Baark points out some of the peculiarities of China’s emissions trading system (ETS) with Chinese characteristics on its one-year anniversary. Going forward, will the Chinese ETS gradually morph into an ETS in the likes of the EU ETS as it works towards meeting its dual carbon ambitions?
Residential buildings under construction in Shanghai, China, on 27 July 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China’s economic crisis is a ticking time bomb

Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang believes that China’s economy is under threat, with the unravelling of intertwining issues in the financial industry, property sector and government finances that cannot be easily resolved. How will China boost its investment-led economy, push down unemployment rates, and regain consumer and investor confidence?
People walk past a Xiaomi store in Mumbai, India, 11 May 2022. (Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters)

Once ‘the world’s factory’, China now builds global brands

In the sixth of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, we look at how brands from China are going international, particularly among Gen Z consumers in Southeast Asia.
People ride bicycles along a street at a Central Business District in Beijing on 8 July 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

From Singapore to China, data centre investments thriving amid challenges

Data centres have become a thriving sector in the Asia Pacific, with global companies setting up infrastructure in hotspots such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney. Compared with traditional real estate assets, data centres promise higher returns on investment. However, developers will need to contend with rising energy costs and stricter regulations for greener developments.