The DailyBrief

Monday January 16, 2017

China is liberalizing its job market to attract international talent. As Lin Wanxia reports, top ministries have unveiled new rules to allow foreigners who have completed postgraduate degrees, either in Chinese or overseas institutions, to find a job in the country without any prior work experience.

Protectionism on the rise? American tobacco giant Philip Morris International is fighting to keep a toehold in India’s US$11 billion tobacco market, as the Indian government considers further tightening foreign investment rules in the sector, according to documents seen by Reuters. Meanwhile, Australia’s DUET Group has agreed to recommend an increased US$5.51 billion bid from a consortium led by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings, in a deal that is likely to test the Antipodean country’s appetite for foreign investment in its key energy assets. Australia has thwarted a number of attempts by foreign investors to buy up strategic assets of late.

Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe’s two-day visit to the Philippines came at a crucial juncture in the region’s fast-changing geopolitics, writes Richard Javad Heydarian for Asia Times. Abe’s overtures to Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte are an attempt to counter China’s advances. They also underscore that Manila is now in the middle of a bidding war for influence.

Outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Vietnam over the weekend was calibrated to reassure Washington’s Southeast Asian ally ahead of a potentially more volatile era in the region, writes Ha Nguyen for Asia Times. Kerry didn’t mention Rex Tillerson’s recent comments about the South China Sea but spoke of ongoing bilateralism.