China is not likely to have a trade war with the US this year, though 2018 is harder to predict, according to former Chinese vice minister of commerce Wei Jianguo (魏建國), who is now a top official at a Beijing-based think tank.
The world’s largest trading nation hopes dialog will help ease tensions and aims to make progress on agreements before US President Donald Trump visits the country, Wei told reporters in Beijing yesterday.
Wei is vice chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
The two nations appear to be making progress toward announcing a series of agreements in a 100-day review designed to clear a backlog of trade and investment issues.
Trump has eased off threats since meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Florida after taking office.
Trump backtracked on his pledges to slap tariffs on Chinese goods after Xi persuaded him that he could help on North Korea. US officials have warned that if China does not deliver, tensions may resurface in the relationship.
Issues that make the trade relationship unpredictable beyond this year include the path of US Federal Reserve rate increases, rising protectionism, Brexit and global growth, Wei said.
A former US official also has expressed doubts about durability of the detente.
Jake Sullivan, a former national security adviser to former US vice president Joe Biden, wrote in an editorial in the Australian Financial Review on Friday last week that the truce was unlikely to hold. Trump, he said, was likely to realize that Xi’s China will not deliver on North Korea pledges.
China should work to reduce the risk of trade friction by continuing communication with the US, Wei said.
Negotiations like the 100-day trade plan are necessary, but more importantly, both sides should build a rapport to solve problems, he said.
Wei said further opening-up in the financial sector and capital account are difficult for China, but that might change in two or three years.
Bilateral economic talks have had long-standing woes, said Zhao Jinping (趙晉平), senior researcher at the Development Research Center of China’s State Council.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
Taipei 101, one of the nation’s leading shopping centers, is planning to reduce its business hours due to decreased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei 101 is to open daily at noon and close at 9pm from April 6, building management said in a statement on Monday. The shopping center has been opening at 11am and closing at 9:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, while closing at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurants in the food court — on the basement level — would adjust their business hours as necessary, but the supermarket would continue to open at 9am daily, management said. The shopping