1.     Northvolt Canada gigafactory

Swedish electric vehicle battery manufacturer Northvolt has chosen Canada as its first offshore factory location. It has announced a new lithium ion battery gigafactory in Quebec with a capacity of 60 gigawatt hours (GWh) plus cathode active material recycling and production.

The $5 billion investment will create 3,000 jobs when operations commence in 2026. It’s the largest ever FDI amount in Quebec’s history.

The Canadian Government AND the local authority are each providing a generous kickback of £1 billion to match the US’ IRA subsidy allowance that aims to lure FDIin electric vehicle manufacturing sector.

Quebec was chosen due to its commitment to provide 100% renewable hydroelectricity to run the plant.

Recently PowerCo announced a 90 gigawatt hour factory to be based in Ontario.

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2.     India FDI – top states

Image parij photography via pexels

Foreign Direct Investment performance per capita yields weirdly different results according to different sources. For example, World Bank says Cyprus as number one followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Malta and Mongolia. However, UN says Luxembourg followed by Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary and Switzerland – so no two lists are the same!

Investment Monitor has named Chandigarh as the top FDI attracting Indian state followed by Telangana, Karnataka then Maharashtra. Chandigarh attracted 6 greenfield projects in 2022 including tech company XenonStack & US property company CBRE. Telangana attracted 160 new projects in 2022 amongst which Microsoft with 3 new data centres. Karnataka is where commercial hub Bangalore is located attracted 219 inward FDI projects in 2022, the most in Asia Pacific except for Singapore.

3.     South Korea UAE trade negotiations

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UAE-South Korea Joint Economic Committee agreed in 2021 to discuss formal trade relations or Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The first round of negotiations towards a free trade deal was recently held in Seoul over 4 days.

Abu Dhabi based UAE seems to be competing with Riyadh-based Gulf Cooperation Council in a race to sign more trade deals.

The UAE announced upcoming talks with Pakistan, Malaysia and Thailand as it focuses on signing more Asian CEPAs.

Areas of focus of the agreement include technology, innovation, renewable energy, agriculture, logistics, tourism, and entrepreneurship.

Trade relations between South Korea and the UAE started around 40 years ago.

In 2021 South Korea exported $4.21 billion of goods to the UAE including explosive ammunition, vehicle parts and nuclear reactors. In the same year South Korea exported $7.03B of goods to the UAE mostly petroleum and aluminium.

4.     US Asia cyber security trade mission

Image pexels pixabay

15 American companies and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. recently attended a US Government trade mission to Korea and Japan on Cyber Security.

During the trip the delegation met with Korean government officials and discussed cybersecurity best practices and private sector solutions.

Graves then visited Japan to discuss emerging technologies such as semiconductors, cleantech, biotech and cyber security.

Original papers included Taiwan in the trip but Taiwan was omitted in the end with delegates visiting only Japan and South Korea.

In 2022 the US imported $95 billion mostly oil, circuits and gas and exported $66 billion mostly circuits, oil and cars. China is South Korea’s largest trading partner.

5.     Scotland trade mission to Vietnam

Ballindalloch Castle by IrenicRhonda Licensable CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Ballindalloch Castle by IrenicRhonda Licensable CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and the Scottish Whisky Association recently travelled to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to boost trade. The delegation met with Vietnamese Government representatives, business leaders in Whisky and textiles as well as students at British University Vietnam (BUV). There was also a signing of a new partnership between BUV and Stirling University.

Top three exports from Scotland to Vietnam total $83 million made up of mostly beverages, fish and scientific instruments. UK Vietnam bilateral trade is worth £6.7 billion. Vietnam is the UK’s 40th largest trading partner.

China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner worth $175.57 billion.