Your Geopolitix Bottom Line

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GEOPOLITICAL RISK+GLOBAL MARKETS

APAC MARKETS - IMPACT + OPPORTUNITY

Roads, boats and elephants: voters gear up for India's massive general election In the last Indian election in 2014, there were more than 830 million registered voters. But only about 553 million Indians, or 66 percent of the eligible voters then, came out to vote. There were 8,251 candidates from 464 political parties. -Reuters

Will Foreign Policy Matter in Indonesia’s Presidential Election? Under what conditions does foreign policy influence voters? -The Diplomat

GLOBAL BUSINESS

Today’s Nationalism is Bad for Business Multilateralism and global cooperation are under increasing threat, posing a serious risk to future prosperity. Business and finance leaders should care deeply about this state of affairs, so why aren't they doing much more to help counter it? -Project Syndicate

Don’t Count on U.S.-China Trade Relations Warming Up Anytime Soon Despite positive messages from both sides, hopes are fading that they can find mutually beneficial policies. -Bloomberg

China’s belt and road trade strategy could determine the design of Boeing’s new 797 plane -SCMP

·         Initiative could encourage a meeting of minds on requirements for new plane type, Boeing marketing chief says

·         US manufacturer sees potential for an aircraft that would make more routes viable between nations involved in the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’

Japanese Immigration: A High Stakes Gamble Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will relax Japan’s immigration policy from 1 April to attract foreign workers. While the quotas for the two new visa categories are low by global standards, the demographic realities in Japan mean they may soon open the door for further immigration reform. -Australian Institute of International Affairs

Toshiba says transfer of U.S. LNG business to China's ENN delayed The transfer of Toshiba Corp’s U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) business to China’s ENN Ecological Holdings Co has been delayed because a U.S. panel that monitors foreign investments has not yet approved the deal. -Reuters

Singapore's 'fake news' laws upset tech giants and stoke censorship fears A week ago, the government unveiled a bill containing tough measures, including powers for ministers to order social media sites like Facebook to put warnings next to posts that authorities believe to be false, and in extreme cases to take them down. -The Japan Times

Amazon to open cloud data centers in Indonesia The behemoths are escalating local cloud investments to capitalize on the country’s blossoming start-up ecosystem and Industry 4.0 digital transformation that, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), will push public cloud spending to US$500 million by 2020. -Jakarta Post

Investors Should Buy a Ticket to Indonesia A burgeoning middle class, and investment and expertise from overseas, are reviving the country’s once-thriving film sector. -Bloomberg

Vietnam's small vendors fight supermarkets with social media Traditional markets try new ways to keep old customers as retail sector morphs -Nikkei

Businesses cut relations with Brunei over severe laws -Taipei Times

GLOBAL MACRO

Why China’s Economic Reforms Often Backslide China’s “seesaw economy” is the result of an unempowered market that plays second fiddle to political objectives. -The Diplomat

Dr. Copper gives troubling prognosis for China's economy Price of metal has flattened out despite some stronger Chinese data -Nikkei

China Is on a Big Gold-Buying Spree China, the world’s top gold producer and consumer, is facing signs of a slowing economy, even as some progress is being made in trade negotiations with the U.S. The latest data from the PBOC indicate that the country has resumed adding gold to its reserves at a steady pace, much like the period from mid-2015 to October 2016, when the country boosted holdings almost every month. -Bloomberg

United States sets sights on China in new electric vehicle push China already dominates the electric vehicle supply chain. It produces nearly two-thirds of the world’s lithium-ion batteries - compared to 5 percent for the United States - and controls most of the world’s lithium processing facilities, according to data from Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, which tracks prices for lithium and other commodities -Reuters

Transparency a big concern in securities market In addition, regarding the quality of corporate governance, Việt Nam is currently the lowest ranked nation in the ASEAN 6, after Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand -VNews

RCEP trade pact likely to be concluded in November: ASEAN chief Lim Jock Hoi -The Japan Times

“I am quite hopeful the RCEP will conclude as targeted within the November summit,” Lim told a joint news conference Friday after a meeting of ASEAN finance ministers and central bank governors in the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai. RCEP refers to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership being negotiated among the 10-member ASEAN as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.