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Nikkei’s 2017 rally heralds that Japan Inc. is back

Japan’s recovery has been driven by ultra-loose Bank of Japan policies and a buoyant global economy

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Little is afoot in Tokyo to create the sustainable domestic demand-led growth that has eluded the Japanese economy for two-plus decades

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The Nikkei’s 19% rally isn’t completely irrational. Companies are cash rich and underpinned by an economy enjoying its best run in 16 years, unemployment at 23-year lows and investment banks heralding that Japan Inc. is back.

The missing link, though, is wages. Average monthly cash earnings rose by just 0.6% in October, year-on-year. Worse, labor unions are lowering their ambitions for bigger gains in 2018.

This disconnect raises valid questions about whether Nikkei bulls ran ahead of economic fundamentals not just this year, but in the last few.  Since Prime Minister Abe’s tenure began in December 2012, the Nikkei has gained an eye-popping 128%.

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Business

Thailand Approves Latest Economic Relief Package for Businesses

Some 250 billion baht (US$8 billion) was allocated for soft loans while the remaining 100 billion baht (US$3.2 billion) will go towards an ‘asset warehousing’ program whereby debtors can use their assets as loan collateral but will have the right to redeem their assets under a specific time frame.

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On March 23, 2021, Thailand’s government approved its latest economic relief package, valued at 350 billion baht (US$11.2 billion), to support businesses in the country.

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Victoria Kwakwa

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Southeast Asia has emerged as a hot spot for plastic pollution because of rapid urbanization and a rising middle class , whose consumption of plastic products and packaging is growing due to their convenience and versatility.

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Thailand BOI approves Biotech Projects Worth 2.4 Bln Baht ($78 million)

The biotechnology sector is part of the so-called BCG model (Bio, Circular and Green economy) which the Thai government has set as a priority to lead the post-Covid 19 recovery.

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The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) said today it has recently approved new projects in the field of advanced biotechnology, worth a combined 2.4 billion baht (around USD78 million) in investment, reflecting the increased interest of local and foreign investors in the country’s biotech sector.

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