Category Archives: China

Rotterdam still largest European port for China

portofrotterdamIn 2014, Rotterdam became the first European since the start of the economic crisis in 2008, port to handle more than 3 million TEU (20-foot container units) going to or coming from China. Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Allard Castelein announced this during the first quarterly meeting of the Rotterdam Port Promotion Council (RPPC). At the meeting he analysed the throughput figures for 2014 and indicated trends for a large group of port entrepreneurs. Continue reading

The Similarities Between Germany and China

By George Friedman

georgefriedmanI returned last weekend from a monthlong trip to both East Asia and Europe. I discovered three things: First, the Europeans were obsessed with Germany and concerned about Russia. Second, the Asians were obsessed with China and concerned about Japan. Third, visiting seven countries from the Pacific to the Atlantic in 29 days brings you to a unique state of consciousness, in which the only color is gray and knowing the number of your hotel room in your current city, as opposed to the one two cities ago, is an achievement. Continue reading

Global growth continuing at a moderate pace

logooecd_enA moderate expansion is underway in most major advanced and emerging economies, but growth remains weak in the euro area, which runs the risk of prolonged stagnation if further steps are not taken to boost demand, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Assessment. Continue reading

Damen pontoon deliveries ensure global stock

Damen_pontoon_deliveriesOn April 4th, a shipment that left China seven weeks ago carrying 13 new Damen Stan Pontoons and 10 other Damen vessels arrived in Rotterdam. The built-for-stock pontoons and vessels will uphold Damen’s ultra-short delivery times as demand rises – 170 deliveries in 2013. This has also led to Damen introducing newly designed barges and completing a number of custom pontoon and barge projects. Continue reading

Huisman to build world’s largest cranes

huismancranesHuisman, the worldwide specialist in lifting, drilling and subsea solutions, has received a Letter of Intent for the delivery of world’s largest cranes onboard Heerema’s planned new semi-submersible crane vessel. The cranes will have a lifting capacity of 10.000mt at a radius of 48m. Huisman is known for its signature mast crane design. These cranes will however be tub mounted. The two cranes will be built by the Huisman production facility in China. The final decision to build this new semi-submersible crane vessel will be made by Heerema before the end of this year. Continue reading

Unilever to acquire majority stake in the Qinyuan Group

unilever logoUnilever announced that it has acquired a majority stake in the Qinyuan Group, a leading Chinese water purification business for an undisclosed amount. Qinyuan generated sales approaching €140 million (c. 1.2 billion RMB] for the 12-month period ending 31 December 2013. Continue reading

Vopak acquires 30% in new terminal in Gulei, China

logo_vopakRoyal Vopak announced it has signed an Equity Transfer Agreement with Xianglu Petrochemical (Zhangzhou) Co., Ltd. (Xianglu) in Fujian province, China. The agreement comprises Vopak’s acquisition of a 30% equity interest in Zhangzhou Gulei Haiteng Jetty Investment Management Company Limited (Haiteng). Continue reading

Chinese COFCO takes controlling stake in Nidera

nideraCOFCO Corporation, the largest grain, oil and foodstuff company in China, and Nidera, a global commodity trader and agribusiness company headquartered in the Netherlands, signed an agreement, pursuant to which COFCO will acquire 51% of Nidera to establish a strategic partnership with this major player in the agricultural market with an annual turnover in excess of USD 17 billion. The envisaged transaction will provide Nidera with great potential for growth in the Chinese market and also strengthen COFCO’s position as a key player in the global agricultural industry through access to Nidera’s global origination and trading network and its fast growing seed business. Continue reading

The Asian Status Quo

By Robert D. Kaplan and Matt Gertken

kaplanArguably the greatest book on political realism in the 20th century was University of Chicago Professor Hans J. Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, published in 1948. In that seminal work, Morgenthau defines the status quo as “the maintenance of the distribution of power that exists at a particular moment in history.” In other words, things shall stay as they are. But it is not quite that clear. For as Morgenthau also explains, “the concept of the ‘status quo’ derives from status quo ante bellum,” which, in turn, implies a return to the distribution of power before a war. The war’s aggressor shall give up his conquered territory, and everything will return to how it was. Continue reading

China is the real threat to emerging markets

equitiesIt has been a rough time for emerging market equities, but only China has the real power to upset the apple cart for investors this year, says Robeco’s chief economist. Rate hikes in countries such as India and Turkey to try to prop up their currencies and cut capital flows have sent stock prices plummeting. Much of the malaise has been blamed on the US Federal Reserve (Fed) for beginning its tapering program. Continue reading

Mainly Asian companies settled in Rotterdam in 2013

rtmpartnersThe number of international companies locating in Rotterdam continues to grow. A total of 29 international companies opted for Rotterdam following the intermediation of the Rotterdam Investment Agency. The companies expect to create more than 2,700 jobs in Rotterdam and to invest 161 million euros. Continue reading

In China, Huisman installed 3,000mt crane

huismancranesThe installation of the 3,000mt Offshore Mast Crane onboard the ‘Lewek Constellation’ was completed by means of Huisman China’s new 2,400mt quayside crane. The quayside crane, also known as the ‘Skyhook’, installed the 3,000mt Offshore Mast Crane in a mere two lifts within a three day period. The vessel will leave Huisman China in April and is due to arrive at Huisman Schiedam mid 2014 for the installation of the 800mt Multi-lay Pipelay Tower. The ‘Skyhook’ further enables Huisman China to install, commission and test large pieces of equipment on a turn-key basis, mitigating project risks. Continue reading

World Bank warns of emerging markets risks

worldbank-logo-enThe world economy is projected to strengthen this year, with growth picking up in developing countries and high-income economies appearing to be finally turning the corner five years after the global financial crisis, says the World Bank’s newly-released Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report. The firming of growth in developing countries is being bolstered by an acceleration in high-income countries and continued strong growth in China. However, growth prospects remain vulnerable to headwinds from rising global interest rates and potential volatility in capital flows, as the United States Federal Reserve Bank begins withdrawing its massive monetary stimulus. Continue reading

Rediscovering the Americas: The World’s 15 Best Countries for Business in 2014

terminalThe US, Germany, Poland and Mexico are among next year’s Best Countries for Business. Rotterdam Week in cooperation with Atlantico Business Development (an international consultancy based in Rotterdam) has selected the best 15 markets of 2014/15 for your direct investment or for exporting your products. Continue reading

Chinese biotech firm locates European office in Rotterdam

bgi-logo-dualBGI Tech, one of the world’s leading genomics research institutes, has opted for Rotterdam as its European headquarters. The Chinese company provides services in genetic research in humans, plants and animals, microbiology and medicines. Continue reading

The Netherlands among top countries in OECD’s global education survey

logooecd_enSome Asian countries as well as Switzerland and the Netherlands outperform the rest of the world in the OECD’s latest PISA survey, which evaluates the knowledge and skills of the world’s 15-year-olds. The OECD’s PISA 2012 tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries and economies on maths, reading and science. The main focus was on maths. Math proficiency is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults. It influences their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future earnings. Continue reading

Equities set to rise further in 2014

equitiesEquities are set to rise further in 2014 after the world returns to normality, with higher global growth and the end of easy money in the US. These are the key predictions of Robeco’s Chief Economist Léon Cornelissen in his outlook for markets next year. Stocks are Robeco’s preferred asset class for 2014, although returns may not be as strong as in 2013, when the MSCI World Index rose almost 16% in the first 10 months of the year in euros on the back of stimulus from quantitative easing (QE) programs. Continue reading

Unilever completes Skippy sale in China

unilever logoUnilever completed the sale of its Skippy business in China to Hormel Foods. This follows completion of the sale of the rest of the global Skippy business to Hormel Foods on January 31, 2013. On January 3, the two companies announced the global deal for approximately $700 million, including the Skippy trademarks and two manufacturing facilities (in the U.S. and China).

Global economy still recovering at moderate pace but more risks ahead

logooecd_enThe global economy is expected to continue expanding at a moderate pace over the coming two years, but policymakers must ensure that instability in financial markets and underlying fragility in some major economies are not allowed to derail growth, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook. Growth in the United States is projected at a 2.9% rate in 2014 and a 3.4% rate in 2015. In Japan, GDP is expected to drop to a 1.5% growth rate in 2014 and a 1% rate in 2015. The euro area is expected to witness a gradual recovery, with growth of 1% in 2014 and 1.6% in 2015. Continue reading

China’s Inevitable Changes

By Rodger Baker and John Minnich

stratforThe Central Committee of the Communist Party of China will convene its Third  Plenum meeting Nov. 9. During the three-day session, President Xi Jinping’s  administration will outline core reforms to guide its policymaking for the next  decade. The Chinese government would have the world believe that Xi’s will be  the most momentous Third Plenary Session since December 1978, when former  supreme leader Deng Xiaoping first put China on the path of economic reform and  opening.

Whether or not Xi’s policies will be as decisive as Deng’s — or as  disappointing as those of former President Hu Jintao — the president has little  choice but to implement them. China’s current economic  model, and by extension its political and social model, is reaching its  limits just as it had prior to Deng’s administration. The importance of the  upcoming meeting is that it comes at an inflection point for China, one that its  leaders can hardly afford to ignore. Continue reading

BYD’s Isbrand Ho: Build Your Dreams in Rotterdam

bydWithout realizing it you’re already using products of the Chinese firm BYD: the batteries in your smartphone from any of the well-known brands. Already since the company’s establishment in 1995 the perfect energy storage has been the basis for several other products, in the last decade electric buses and cars as particularly promising applications. “Within the next 3 to 5 years the future with 100 percent electric transport could already begin”, says managing director Isbrand Ho. “But no one knows exactly when it will be. We’ll see. I’m optimistic.”

In his office at the industrial park Rotterdam Noord-West staff numbers are growing steadily and he is already looking forward to a larger location. “This is the headquarters for our European expansion. Continue reading

Helix awards Huisman contract for Well Intervention System

huismancranesHuisman, the worldwide specialist in lifting, drilling and subsea solutions, has secured a new contract from Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. for the delivery of a Well Intervention System onboard Helix’s new build Semi submersible “Q7000”. The system, which is based on Huisman’s proven Multi Purpose Tower (MPT) design, will be built by the Huisman production facility in China. Continue reading

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Headquarters by OMA

omashenshenThe new headquarters for the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) has been completed in Shenzhen’s Central Business District. The 180,000 m2 building is OMA’s next completed building in China after the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing.

Defying the conventional building typology of tower-on-podium, SZSE’s three-storey base is cantilevered 36m above the ground, allowing for a generous public space below and a lush roof garden on top. The raised podium contains the listing hall and offices of the Stock Exchange; in its elevated position, it can “broadcast” the activities of the stock market to the entire city.

While the generic square form of the tower blends in with the surrounding homogenous buildings, the façade of SZSE is differentiated through its materiality: a translucent layer of patterned glass wraps the tower grid and raised podium, rendering the façade mysterious and enigmatic, while revealing the construction behind. The façade changes continually with the weather, becoming a reflection of its environment. Continue reading

In China, an Unprecedented Demographic Problem Takes Shape

From Stratfor

china_demography_2010Chinese society is on the verge of a structural transformation even more profound than the long and painful project of economic rebalancing, which the Communist Party is anxiously beginning to undertake. China’s population is aging more rapidly than it is getting rich, giving rise to a great demographic imbalance with important implications for the Party’s efforts to transform the Chinese economy and preserve its own power in the coming decade. Continue reading

The PC16: Identifying China’s Successors

By George Friedman

postchina16China has become a metaphor. It represents a certain phase of economic development, which is driven by low wages, foreign appetite for investment and a chaotic and disorderly development, magnificent in scale but deeply flawed in many ways. Its magnificence spawned the flaws, and the flaws helped create the magnificence.

The arcs along which nations rise and fall vary in length and slope. China’s has been long, as far as these things go, lasting for more than 30 years. The country will continue to exist and perhaps prosper, but this era of Chinese development — pyramiding on low wages to conquer global markets — is ending simply because there are now other nations with even lower wages and other advantages. China will have to behave differently from the way it does now, and thus other countries are poised to take its place.

Reshaping International Order

Since the Industrial Revolution, there have always been countries where comparative advantage in international trade has been rooted in low wages and a large work force. If these countries can capitalize on their advantages, they can transform themselves dramatically. These transformations, in turn, reorganize global power structures. Karl Kautsky, a German Continue reading