Welcome to Your Week in Asia.
Japan will host the Group of Seven summit from Friday to Sunday in the western city of Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic bombing during World War II and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's home city.
Before the summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will pay an official visit to South Korea. While in Asia, he is expected to promote his country's new Indo-Pacific strategy, which is more assertive on China. This comes after the two countries became embroiled in a diplomatic row last week by expelling each other's diplomats.
On the corporate front, Japan's three megabanks will report earnings on Monday, followed by some of the region's major e-commerce companies, including Grab, Sea and Alibaba, later in the week.
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IMF officials hold news conference in Sri Lanka
IMF officials visiting Sri Lanka from May 11 to 23 are due to brief the media on the country's progress in turning its economy around after its debt default last year. The fund approved a bailout worth about $3 billion for the troubled Indian Ocean nation in March, and the delegation is conducting a checkup ahead of the first review of the loan program in September.
China sends special envoy to Ukraine
China's special envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui starts a trip to Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany and Russia. Beijing said on May 12 the visits are to "communicate with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis." Li was China's ambassador to Russia for a decade till 2019. Such a trip was first mentioned during Chinese President Xi Jinping's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last month.
Earnings: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Mizuho Financial Group
Trudeau visits South Korea
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau will visit South Korea and hold a summit with President Yoon Suk Yeol. The two leaders are expected to discuss cooperation on trade and secure supply chains.
Trudeau will remain in East Asia to attend the G-7 summit and will be promoting his country's new Indo-Pacific strategy, which involves investments meant to compete against China for influence in the region.
Liz Truss in Taipei
Former U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss embarks on a tour to Taiwan, becoming the first former U.K. leader to officially visit Taiwan in decades. Her trip will involve meetings with top officials of the Taiwanese government. The U.K. and Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic recognition with each other but have deepened political and defense ties in the face of Chinese aggression.
China economic data
China will release data on industrial production, investment and retail sales for April. The country is experiencing a slow economic recovery despite last year's low base, mainly due to the global slowdown and ongoing geopolitical tensions.
Earnings: Sea, Baidu
China-Central Asia summit, Xi'an
Chinese President Xi Jinping will host a summit with his counterparts from five Central Asian countries in China's ancient capital of Xi'an, known for its terra-cotta army and the Silk Road ancient trade route. The inaugural meeting is aimed at boosting economic and security ties. The two-day summit signals an attempt by the economies of the former Soviet Union to warm up to Beijing as Russia remains preoccupied with the war in Ukraine.
Sony Group management policy briefing
Sony Group will announce its management policy for the year through March 2024, with President and CFO Hiroki Totoki and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida both attending. The company's long-term goal is to create touch points with 1 billion people through its products and services, with the metaverse and mobility as major pillars. Progress on medium- to long-term strategies such as acquisitions of entertainment companies, the growing popularity of the PlayStation 5 and its original electric car the Afeela, announced in January, will reaffirm this year's milestones.
Grab Q1 results
Singapore-based super app Grab will release its earnings for the January-to-March quarter. The focus will be on how much demand for its ride-hailing business has recovered due to Chinese travelers visiting the region following the end of Beijing's strict zero-COVID policy in December. The Nasdaq-listed company expects to break even on a group level in the final quarter of 2023.
Group of Seven Hiroshima summit
The G-7 leaders will gather in Hiroshima for a three-day summit from Friday. In light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the G-7 members will confirm their policy of maintaining and strengthening the international order based on the rule of law. The summit will unite in opposition to attempts by China and Russia to unilaterally change the status quo by force.
In addition to G-7 countries, leaders from South Korea and India are also invited. Although U.S. President Joe Biden once indicated he may only attend online due to discussions with Congress over the debt limit, the White House said on May 12 that he will travel to Hiroshima. A trilateral summit among Japan, the U.S. and South Korea is scheduled to strengthen deterrence against North Korea and will also likely attract attention.