China Focuses on Green Finance

The G20 Summit was held this year in Hangzhou, China on September 4-5 and one of the major topics might surprise many. Green finance was on the agenda for the first time. Prior to the Summit, a G20 Green Finance Study Group that was co-chaired by China and the UK and had more than 80 people involved issued a report. They identified the major challenges to green finance and laid out key options to consider.

As described on one website, “Green finance, generally defined, is the act of setting up market and policy tools for the financing of public and private sustainable investments. The main goals for green finance in China are to increase return on green investments and decrease the return on polluting investments. In this way, green finance can help restructure China’s market towards a more sustainable economy, and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Learn more about Green Finance and about the steps that were taken at the G20 Summit.


South Korea and London Finance Ministers Meet

South Korea’s finance minister recently met with the City of London’s mayor to work closely after the aftermath of Brexit.

Jeffery Mountevans, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, met with Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho. The two plan to create a closer connection to prevent contraction in trade and investment for each country.

Lord Mounevans was on a five-day trip to South Korea to celebrate the launch of a British fintech firm’s local unit, Xntree Korea.

As Yoo said, “South Korea expects that new Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership will help ease uncertainties in the world financial market.”

Colt PrizmNet Expands Its Footprint

Colt PrizmNet just announced that is connecting to Equinix’s International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in Hong Kong and Singapore. Colt is a financial extranet and can now interconnect with key FX centers around the world and through Asia. The move will now double the size of Colt PrizmNet’s footprint in Hong Kong and Singapore.

As Richard man, the Head of Solution Sales, Capital Markets for Colt in Asia Pacific explained, “By expanding the availability of Colt PrizmNet in Hong Kong and Singapore to customers hosted in Equinix IBX data centres in each city, we are able to provide an even more flexible and cost-effective solution. Colt PrizmNet is a managed connectivity solution available to financial companies of all sizes wanting to gain an advantage by improving their international reach and their ability to trade all of Asia’s major FX centres.”

A Boost for Chinese Cinema

Imax China and China Media Capital recently announced that they have formalized the $50 million Imax China Film Fund that they unveiled one year ago. They are now planning to co-finance 15 Mandarin-language films in the next three years. They will contribute $3-$7 million per project.

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond said, “Our strong relationships with China’s most acclaimed studios and filmmakers mirror those we’ve established in Hollywood, thanks to the support of our valued partner CMC,. The fund will further deepen our ties in the China film industry and allow us to generate the highest-quality Mandarin content for Chinese and international audiences alike. Our commitment to the success of our business in China and its filmmaking community is unwavering. Together, we are excited to launch a new and exciting chapter of filmmaking in China.”

Li said, “The fund is an outgrowth of CMC’s privileged capability and extensive connections in the Chinese film industry and Imax’s beloved brand and differentiated cinematic experience. We hope this will support the creation of more tentpole Mandarin-language films.”

Honorary Doctorate from the Academy of Art University

Some people simply complain when they don’t see something that works for their own children, religion, or culture. Others simply invent it. Rajeev Chilaka falls into the second category. As an alumni of the Academy of Art University, he used his skills while working for Green Gold Animation TV Pvt. Ltd. to create a widely popular series called “Chhota Bheem.”

Launching the series in 2008. He started it as a result of the lack of Indian cartoons that he saw that catered to the Indian population. And he particularly wanted to cater to the population under 14. So, as he explained, “We decided to come up with an ideal character that could teach good values to children.”

Today, this character, Bheem, is watched by 40 million children every week and appeals to people of all ages. It has some of the highest consistent rating for a television show across India. When asked about his success, Chilaka credits the Academy of Art University with inspiring him and helping him to develop his skills.

Recently, Chilaka was presented with an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Art University. Certainly, a well-deserved honor for this talented man.


New Study About China

A recent study conducted by academics from Boston University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has found that Chinese development finance institutions have doubled the amount available in such finances in the world economy in a decade.

As the study, authored jointly by Kevin Gallagher (professor at BU) and Rohini Kamal (FEFI) and Wang Yongzhong (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) explained, “China is emerging as the global leader in development finance.

As Professor Gallagher said, “In terms of scale, Chinese finance is a major foot forward. All the talk in the development world is of the need to move from ‘billions to trillions’ in order to transition to a more low-carbon and equitable world economy.”

Learn more about the study and about China’s advancements.

Discussions Between China and New Zealand

Prime Minister John Key met with Chinese business people at a networking event in Beijing recently alongside Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma. Key is leading a delegate trade mission which includes 40 people. It is focused on upgrading their ties to New Zealand and its free trade agreement with China.

China and New Zealand signed a memorandum of understanding which will allow New Zealand small businesses more access to sell their products on Alibaba. Ma is hoping to introduce products from New Zealand to China. As he said, while talking to the media after the signing,

“I think your total population is 4.5 million, and we’ve got 1.4 billion people. So the market is huge … and I think our cities are already demanding a quantity that will scare you guys. So this is something that we would love to do; not only buy from New Zealand, we should learn from New Zealand how to protect the environment and then continue to do that.”

During the course of the six day trip that Key was on, he saw the signing of three agreements just on the first day. These included the Alibaba announcement and “an extension to communications provider Huawaei’s sponsorship of the Wellington Phoenix and an agreement for production company Natural History New Zealand to produce documentaries and children’s programmes for China Central Television.”

Adam Roseman Discusses the Chinese and US Entertainment Industries

Adam Roseman, CEO and Co-Founder of FansTang, the largest provider of localized international entertainment content in China, discussed with Phoenix TV some of his ideas on how best to bridge the gap that exists between the entertainment industries in China and the USA.

Roseman believes that the opportunities that present themselves today in China are greater than they have ever been before in history, particularly in the entertainment industry. However, Roseman says, there is a large difference between the reality of the market, and the perception. The last 12 months, especially, have exacerbated the gap between perception and reality, due to the large number of new companies that have entered the marketplace. Companies that are coming into the entertainment industry now, whether on the China side or the US side, are coming into the marketplace a bit naïve. As Roseman explains, “It is easier to see the opportunities than to properly understand the challenges.”

Roseman continued: “China and the US are tremendous economic powers, but they both operate very differently from a cultural perspective. And that cultural difference in particular is amplified when you are talking about the entertainment sector. In Hollywood you have a lot of very strong personalities; a lot of arrogant people; a lot of people who could be described by the expression, ‘Their way or the highway.’ But in China things are just done differently. In China, in the entertainment sector as well, there are a lot of very powerful people. They have been very successful and are now entering the entertainment industry. These people are not used to being told ‘No.’ Getting these two parties, who come from such different backgrounds, to work together in a seamless fashion, is just challenging.”

Roseman says that bridging the gap between the two entertainment super powers is just a question of experience and understanding. Over time, he says, the market will grow dramatically. However, because of the large number of new entrants into the entertainment market, the perception of growth will outpace the reality.

Asia Week NY Attracts Expansive Attention

Museum curators around the world flocked to the recent Asian art extravaganza held in New York.  Asia Week New York – which took place between March 10 and March 19 – attracted museums representing a wide range of art.

As Chairman of the event, Lark Mason noted:

“Despite headlines of the Chinese economy affecting Asia Week New York, the galleries saw steady traffic throughout the week, and the four major auction houses including Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, and Sotheby’s saw sales that were robust.”

And by the turnout of museum curators, he was right.  There were 45 top-tier global Asian art specialists, five major auction houses, 16 museums, including:  the Asian Art Museum The Brooklyn Museum, The Laurence Miller Gallery of New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, the San Antonio Art Museum and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to name but a few.

Brothers Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam were at the event as co-owners and representatives of Phoenix Ancient Art. Their gallery display comprised artifacts from their US and Swiss galleries including a Chinese Bronze Buckle with Monkeys, Chinese Terracotta Figure of a Kneeling Court Lady and Chinese Wooden Figure of a Court Lady. In addition, visitors were given the opportunity to benefit from tours prepared by Alexander Kruglov, their archaeology specialist.

The week was been very good for many museums.  Laurence Miller – representing his museum at the week-long event for the first time, had a very positive experience too.  He said: “Numerous museum curators visited our gallery and we made sales to several of them including the Nelson-Atkins Museum.”  Similarly, Alexander Gherardi of Phoenix Ancient Art said that the gallery was “able to reach the Asian art crowd that we have never interacted with before, and received very complimentary responses, which was quite validating for us since Chinese art isn’t our main area of expertise as our focus is on Western Mediterranean and Egyptian antiquities.”

And, of course, there was the success of Sotheby’s, the art broker that took home $55.2 million in sales!

The Far East Loves Mackies Ice Cream

Apparently people in the Far East love Mackies ice cream. Sales have quadrupled in the most recent financial year and profits have more than doubled. The company admits that these sales were quite a surprise, according to managing director Mac Mackie.

The firm has supplied ice cream to South Korea since 2002 and has been selling ice cream in South Korea with Costco.

As Mr. Mackie said, “Korea has really taken off last year and hopefully carrying on this way. It has been a surprise, to be honest. Dairy products are very popular across the whole marketplace. Because Korea has done so well we are now supplying Taiwan from this year.”