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ASEAN+ August 24, 2018 01:00

By Asia News Network

Lobby groups oppose plan to hike import tax

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) have opposed a government plan to increase import tax on goods that can be produced locally, saying it could backfire on the economy.

“The Indonesian manufacturing industry is starting to grow. Don’t let [import tax] be counterproductive to efforts to encourage exports,” recently reported Kadin deputy chairman for international relationship Shinta W. Kamdani as saying.

The government plans to impose additional import tax of 7.5 per cent on goods that have domestic equivalents to reduce the current account deficit. The government is currently reviewing 500 imported items that may be subject to the higher import tax.

Shinta said imposing a higher import tax would push up prices, including consumer goods prices, because raw materials used to produce some consumer goods were imported.

She said such a move could be counterproductive in the government’s effort to access new markets through free trade agreements (FTAs) and to attract more investors. - The Jakarta Post 

Malaysia, China ink deal on palm oil-based products

Malaysia's Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Sime Darby Plantation Berhad, and China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (Cofco) on the last day of his five-day visit to China.

Cofco will be working together with Sime Darby in a joint venture to set up plants in Malaysia to produce palm oil-based products for the Chinese market, reported Malaysiakini news website.

Malaysia's Sime Darby is one of the world's largest oil palm planters by land size. Cofco is one of China's state-owned food processing and agriculture supply chain company.

The signing of the MoU between Sime Darby executive deputy chairperson and managing director Mohamad Bakke Salleh and Cofco Oils and Oilseeds chairperson Dong Wei was held at China World Summit Wing Hotel in Beijing. – The Straits Times 

NAIA-BGC link to start next year 

An elevated toll road linking Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig and Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) might soon be underway.

Alex Bote, who heads the Public Private Partnership (PPP) service of the Department of Public Works and Highways, said in an interview that San Miguel Corp.’s offer to extend its Naia Expressway project all the way to BGC was currently being studied.

“It’s already been submitted,” Bote said, while explaining that the project was an extension of the Naia Expressway and not an unsolicited proposal.

He did not give added details, but noted that they expected the project to start “definitely by next year.”

SMC revealed its plans to extend the 7.7 kilometre Naia Expressway last year. This is seen to ease traffic on the Sales Bridge and cut travel time from the Coastal Road, the Naia passenger terminals and SM Mall of Asia to BGC.

This will reduce road congestion around the areas of Magallanes and EdsaPasay. SMC noted that it would also build new ramps from the Naia Terminal 1 and 2 areas all the way to SM Sucat, where it connects to the C5 extension project. - The Philippine Daily Inquirer 

Singapore investors spent $4.6 bn on overseas realty 

Singapore investors have spent in total US$4.6 billion (S$6.3 billion) on cross-border real estate transactions in the 12 months through to the second quarter of 2018, according to a report released by Real Capital Analytics (RCA).

RCA, a real estate and market intelligence provider, ranked Singapore investors as the second most active in Asia-Pacific during the reported period.

Among the top Asia-Pacific transactions was GIC's purchase of a 43 per cent stake in Shinjuku Maynds Tower, a 34-storey prime office building in Tokyo, for 62.5 billion yen.- The Straits Times 


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