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Your Week in Asia

Xi-Biden meeting at G-20, Malaysia's general election, World Cup

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

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold an in-person meeting on Monday.   © AP

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

World leaders will gather at the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, and the APEC meeting in Thailand this week. The world's focus will be on the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders of China and the U.S. since Joe Biden moved into the White House early last year. 

On the weekend, Malaysia, Nepal and Kazakhstan are holding elections. The week will conclude with the opening of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with six countries from the Asian Football Confederation competing.

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Xi meets Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have their first face-to-face meeting as leaders on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali. Xi recently secured his third term as head of the Chinese Communist Party, and Biden's Democrats performed better than expected in the U.S. midterm elections last week.

The meeting of the pair, who have known each other since 2011, comes at a time of deep acrimony between the two superpowers over thorny issues such as Taiwan and trade.


G-20 Bali summit

Leaders from the Group of 20 major economies kick off a two-day meeting in Bali amid rising inflation and looming recession worries in the wake of Ukraine war. Biden, Xi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will be among those attending. In Vladimir Putin's absence, Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

China economic data

China is due to release data such as industrial production and retail sales in October, giving a fresh snapshot of the economy following an unexpected 3.9% expansion in the third quarter. Preliminary data showed a contraction in manufacturing activities and credit demand as the country imposed COVID curbs in megacities such as Beijing and Guangzhou.

Japan announces Q3 GDP


China property data

China will release its new housing price index of 70 major cities for October. In the first nine months of the year, sales in terms of floor space and value contracted 22.2% and 26.3%, respectively, as buyers stayed on the sidelines amid a liquidity crisis for debt-laden developers.

Japan October tourism statistics

Japan's National Tourism Organization will publish an estimate of visitor arrivals in October. The figure is expected to increase from an estimated 206,500 in September as the country fully opened its borders last month. With the number of Chinese tourists expected to remain subdued due to the country's strict zero-COVID policy, the focus is on the extent that tourism from other Asian and Western countries recovered.

Earnings: Grab, Tencent Q3 results


Monetary policy announcement: Philippines

Earnings: Alibaba Q3 results


APEC leaders meet in Bangkok

This year's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit appears set to end without a joint statement from the 21 participants because of split opinion over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Thailand, the host nation, is hopeful that leaders will sign a document enshrining climate action and sustainability into APEC's economic agenda. Fifteen leaders, including Xi, will attend, while Biden and Putin will send deputies.

COP27 due to end

The two-week United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) is scheduled to end on Friday. A final statement will require the approval of nearly 200 governments, meaning the finale may be pushed back a day or two as it was last year. The focus will be on whether countries can agree on the much-disputed issue of financing loss and damages, as well as steps to implement climate pledges.

Japan October CPI

Japan will release its latest consumer inflation data for October. Preliminary figures showed the consumer price index for the Tokyo metropolitan area rose 3.4% from a year ago, the sharpest rise since 1989.

Earnings: Q3 results


Malaysian general election

On Saturday, some 21 million voters, including 1.4 million young voters aged between 18-21, will be voting for political parties to form a government for a five-year mandate. Among the front-runners are incumbent Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's National Front, the Hope Pact led by Anwar Ibrahim, and the National Alliance coalition led by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

World Cup opens in Qatar

The soccer World Cup, the first in Asia since South Korea and Japan co-hosted the tournament in 2002, kicks off in Qatar on Sunday. While the event has been broadly criticized over the country's human rights record -- even former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter has said it should not have been awarded the tournament -- the focus is likely to return to football once it starts. Six teams from the broad Asian region -- Qatar, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Australia -- will be competing.

Elections in Nepal and Kazakhstan

Voters in both Nepal and Kazakhstan will go to the polls on Sunday. In the small Himalayan state, several current and former prime ministers are in the electoral fray, as current leader Sher Bahadur Deuba aims to keep his job. In the former Soviet republic, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appears to have little reason to fear losing as the vote is widely considered uncompetitive.

Background: Nepal election features familiar faces, big vows: 5 things to know

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