Welcome to Your Week in Asia.
It will be a busy Monday for Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh who is due to start his official visit to Japan. He will be accompanied by business leaders from 50 Vietnamese companies to seek cooperation with Japanese counterparts in fields such as energy and infrastructure development. Chinh will also attend a virtual ASEAN-China summit chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping on the same day.
The Philippines will be welcoming its first -- and the world's largest -- Ikea store. The country's election commission will also hear a disqualification case against Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a leading contender in its heated presidential election.
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Vietnam PM visits Japan
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visits Japan and will be the first foreign leader to be received by his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, who took office in October. Chinh, who recently traveled to Europe, hopes to expand economic cooperation with Japan to help reverse damage to the Vietnamese economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.
China's Xi meets with ASEAN leaders
Chinese President Xi Jinping chairs a virtual summit with leaders from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The special ASEAN-China summit, 30 years after the two agreed to have "dialogue relations," will highlight Beijing's intention to strengthen ties with ASEAN, especially as the U.S. steps up its Asia policy. It is a rare arrangement because usually China's prime minister represents the country for summit meetings with ASEAN.
U.S. trade representative in Delhi
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai arrives in New Delhi for two days of talks with her Indian counterpart, Piyush Goyal, during which they will look at ways to enhance trade and investment ties between the two countries. India-U.S. bilateral trade stood at $80.5 billion in the year to March, down from $88.9 billion the previous year.
India is the final leg of Tai's three nation tour, which also took her to Japan and South Korea.
Third person to be sentenced for inciting secession in Hong Kong
A Hong Kong court is due to sentence student activist Tony Chung, who pled guilty to secession under the new national security law, and money laundering. Prosecutors cited social media posts urging the territory to "get rid of Chinese colonial rule" and calls to join protests dating back to 2016. The money laundering charge is related to donations made to Chung's PayPal account worth HK$135,000.
Chung, who faces up to seven years imprisonment, will be the third person to be sentenced for inciting secession. Ma Chun-man was sentenced to nearly six years earlier this month for chanting pro-independence slogans.
Company earnings: Xiaomi, Kuaishou, Xpeng
Singapore Q3 GDP and economic outlook
Singapore will release its gross domestic product figures for the three months through September. The preliminary data announced last month pointed to a 6.5% expansion year on year, on the back of steady manufacturing growth. The government will also provide updates on its economic projections, as the country pushes for economic reopening, including quarantine-free entry schemes for fully vaccinated travelers.
New Zealand monetary policy statement
Company earnings: Futu
Asia-Europe Meeting summit
Cambodia hosts a two-day Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit, with leaders from 51 countries and two organizations participating. European countries' Indo-Pacific strategy, as well as their stances on human rights issues and the Myanmar crisis, will be closely watched. The biennial summit was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ikea opens in the Philippines
Ikea opens its first store in the Philippines, the Swedish home furnishing giant's biggest branch in the world. The outlet in metropolitan Manila has a total surface area of 68,000 square meters, equivalent to 150 basketball courts, housing its retail space, warehouse and call center.
South Korea central bank to hike rates?
The Bank of Korea's monetary policy board is expected to raise its key interest rate to 1% from 0.75% due to rising inflation pressure and soaring household debt. BOK Gov. Lee Ju-yeol warned earlier this month that consumer prices will continue to climb due to global supply chain bottlenecks, oil price increases and growing consumer demand.
Philippine election commission hears disqualification case against Marcos Jr.
The Commission on Elections of the Philippines hears one of the four cases filed to void the candidacy of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The son and namesake of the late dictator has emerged as the front-runner for the May 2022 presidential election in a recent opinion poll. The petition claims a tax offense conviction in the 1990s merits a disqualification -- a bid the Marcos camp has branded a "nuisance."
Japan raises the daily limit on foreign arrivals to 5,000
Japan will raise the daily limit on international arrivals to 5,000 people from 3,500, as the country looks to boost business travel.
The latest relaxation of entry restrictions comes as Japan continues to report a relatively low number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases. Earlier this month, the government relaxed entry restrictions for businesspeople, students and technical interns. It also cut the quarantine period to three days from 10 for business travelers with vaccination certificates.
Seoul auto show starts
The Seoul Mobility Show starts its 10-day journey at Kintex in Goyang, north of Seoul, as 10 global auto brands including Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu and Hyundai exhibit their new cars and mobility technology. A total of 18 new models will be displayed in the show, with four of them unveiled for the first time in Asia. Fuel cell technology, electric vehicle platforms, artificial intelligence infotainment systems and auto chips will be offered as well.
Company earnings: Meituan, Pinduoduo
China policy up for grabs in Honduras election
Front-runner Xiomara Castro has promised to break long-standing diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China if she wins the Honduran presidential election on behalf of her opposition Liberty and Refoundation Party. The vote comes just two weeks after incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez made a three-day visit to Taiwan to affirm bilateral ties.