It’s The Fourth of July today and companies and governments around the world have been celebrating their own variations of Independence (or Dependence) Day this week.
Switzerland celebrates its increasing dependence on Chinese consumer demand by putting into effect an historic free trade agreement on Tuesday. The China-Switzerland FTA will cut import duties on 92% of industrial goods, bringing more Swiss watches, machinery and chemicals to the economy that is expected to eclipse Germany as Switzerland’s biggest export market by 2035.
French automaker Peugeot Citreon also had occasion to set off some fireworks of their it announced it was opening its fourth manufacturing plant in China with local partner Dongfeng Motor, in a market were there sales have been experiencing double-digit growth.
In South Korea, Xi Jinping’s state visit introduce direct trading between the won and the yuan in Seoul and promote greater use of the Chinese currency, as well as winning an RMB80 billion quota to buy securities. Meanwhile North Korea has reportedly been reaching out to Japan and Russia is an effort to reduce it’s own dependency on China as the South embraces theirs.
When details of the US$400 billion natural gas deal between Russian energy giant Gazprom and Sinopec were released, it was proven that both sides are seemingly co-dependent on each other. High-end German clothing retailer Hugo Boss, meanwhile, was keen to rein in the independence of its China retail operations to take back control of stores.
Tokyo-based Line and South Korea’s most popular messing app KakaoTalk found it impossible to keep their services independent of politics this week, when their service were blocked alongside those of Flickr of Micorsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service as an estimated half a million demonstrators took to the streets of Hong Kong to demand universal suffrage.
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