European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday said he would seek powers to screen foreign takeovers in Europe’s strategic sectors, amid concern about investment by China.
“We are not naive free traders. Europe will defend its strategic interests with an EU framework for investment screening,” Juncker said in his annual State of the Union speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
“If a foreign, state-owned company wants to buy a strategic port, or part of our energy infrastructure ... this must be done transparently, with scrutiny and debate,” he said.
“It is our responsibility to know what is happening inside our countries, so that we are in a position to ensure our collective security,” Juncker said.
The plan fulfils a request by French President Emmanuel Macron, backed by Germany and Italy, that Brussels draw up a strategy to counter a wave of takeovers by Chinese companies in Europe.
German concerns were sparked by recent acquisitions in technology, most notably household goods maker Midea’s takeover of industrial robotics firm Kuka last year.
German leaders were alarmed to see valuable knowhow being transferred abroad, especially as robots become increasingly critical in the country’s crucial manufacturing center.
Macron has blamed Europe for forgetting EU citizens who are worried about the effects of globalization, helping stoke the populist sentiment that brought on Brexit.
However, reports said that Juncker’s plan would be non-binding, amid concern in smaller EU nations about losing Beijing’s investments in their economies.
Juncker insisted that Europe remained open for business and would seek to complete trade deals with Australia and New Zealand by the end of his mandate.
Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts. Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialized machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive. “As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators,” GE Healthcare chief executive officer Kieran Murphy said. The group has hired more workers and is making ventilators around the clock. Swedish group Getinge AB is also ramping up output
Facing the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) has proactively taken precautionary measures. “The health and safety of our colleagues and their families, as well as our clients and the communities we serve, are of the utmost importance. We continue to take proactive measures to preserve their well-being while we maintain our ability to serve our clients,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said in a statement yesterday. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place, and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm. We are monitoring the situation closely, adjusting our operations accordingly,
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GoShare, an electric scooter sharing service provider with Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), plans to expand to Tainan next quarter in a strategic alliance with Aeon Motor Co (宏佳騰). The company currently offers its services in Taipei and Taoyuan. “Tainan is very popular among tourists. The city receives an average of 22.94 million tourists every year,” GoShare head Henry Chiang (姜家煒) told a news conference yesterday in Taipei, citing Tourism Bureau statistics. “Besides, the city has a long history of riding scooters,” he said. Each household owns an average of 2.5 scooters, he added. “Expanding presence” is one of four strategies GoShare is adopting for this