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Your Week in Asia

China 20th Party Congress, Japan resumes visa-free travel, BTS concert

Your weekly lineup of Asia's biggest business and political events

Japan will accept general travelers into the country from Tuesday for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, permitting visa-free entry for visitors from 68 countries and regions. (Photo by Mayumi Tsumita)

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

Japan and Taiwan, among the last places that still impose COVID-19 entry restrictions, will further reopen to international tourists this week.

On Sunday, China's ruling Communist Party will hold its twice-a-decade national congress to appoint a new leadership slate and set the policy direction for the country.

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Tsai speech on Taiwan's national day

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen will give a speech at the annual National Day celebrations for the Republic of China, Taiwan's formal name. Attention will focus on how Tsai navigates strained relations with Beijing two months after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. Beijing views the self-ruled democratic island as its territory and has previously threatened to seize it by force.

Earnings: Tata Consultancy Services 


Japan allows visa-free travel for individual tourists 

Japan will accept general travelers into the country for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, permitting visa-free entry for visitors from 68 countries and regions, including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore and Australia.

The full-scale reopening has been a long time in coming, especially for the tourism and retail industries, which have been hit hard over the past two and a half years. However, a full recovery of the inbound tourism sector will take time. Chinese, who accounted for roughly 30% of tourist arrivals in Japan before the pandemic, are unlikely to return soon as China is still following a strict zero-COVID policy.

IMF world economic outlook 

The International Monetary Fund is expected to downgrade its global economic forecast for the fourth consecutive quarter when it issues its latest World Economic Outlook update on Tuesday. The world economy is being weighed down by Russia’s war in Ukraine, high energy and food prices, and persistent inflation. 


Ruling on Aung San Suu Kyi

A court in Myanmar is expected to hand down additional verdicts on corruption charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained since last year's military coup. So far, the 77-year-old Suu Kyi has been convicted in 12 cases and sentenced to a total of 23 years in prison. Rights groups have condemned the post-putsch imprisonment of Suu Kyi and other high-profile figures from politics and public life. 

Monetary policy announcement: South Korea 


Taiwan eases border controls 

Taiwan ends mandatory quarantines for visitors to the island. The key Asian economy will also lift bans on outbound and inbound tour groups, other than those from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao.

Earnings: TSMC, Fast Retailing, Infosys


China trade and inflation data 

China releases trade and inflation data for September ahead of its third quarter GDP announcement next week. Although manufacturing activity rebounded last month on the back of economic stimulus, new orders were hampered by the global downturn and sluggish domestic demand. Pork prices, which have contributed to inflationary pressure in previous months, remained high in September.


BTS's final curtain call? 

Tens of thousands of BTS fans will flock to Busan on Saturday to see what could be the seven-member South Korean boy band's last concert. The event, enigmatically titled, "Yet To Come," is aimed at promoting Busan's bid for the World Expo 2030. BTS announced in June they were going on hiatus to focus on solo projects. The concert will be available online as well through the Weverse platform.

China's 20th Communist Party Congress 

The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party kicks off on Sunday, with some 2,300 cadres from around the country converging in Beijing to name the nation's new leadership. President Xi Jinping is widely expected to be retained for an unprecedented third term. Observers will be looking for clues on his policy direction for the next five years, as well as monitoring selections for other high-level posts.

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