protejarea infrastructurilor / sectoarelor / companiilor strategice
Without Shipping, the Global Economy Sinks – FP, 31.03
The Suez Canal blockade is a reminder that sea freight still keeps the global economy running—and leaders and consumers ignore it at their peril. By Elisabeth Braw
Guerre économique : conquérir ou périr – France24, 4.01
- Les États-Unis face à la Chine, Boeing contre Airbus, les GAFA en concurrence directe avec les États : les prochaines années seront vraisemblablement marquées par un affrontement économique accru. Comment la France et l’Europe peuvent-elles s’y préparer ? Ali Laïdi en discute avec son invité, Olivier de Maison Rouge, avocat et auteur de “Survivre à la guerre économique” (éd. VA).
Responding to the China challenge: The state of play on investment screening in Europe – ECFR, 26.11
The EU has taken a major step forward in protecting its interests from harmful foreign investments and takeovers. Follow ECFR’s new tracker to keep up to date with this important geopolitical challenge.
- I previously wrote for Foreign Policy about Chinese firms’ growing interest in buying coronavirus-weakened European businesses and warned that this posed a national security threat. In Sweden, for example, Chinese acquisitions of Swedish firms have accelerated since 2014, with more than half of those takeovers covering focus areas of China’s Made in China 2025 plan for economic superpower status, according to a 2019 report by the Swedish Defence Research Agency.
- In a recent report in Foreign Policy, writers Keith Johnson and Robbie Gramer discuss the strategic vulnerabilities this dependence creates and describe a challenging yet important truth: American legislators have plenty of good policy ideas, but we have not yet succeeded in solving this problem. Plans are many, but we lack a policy consensus in Congress.
- Secretarul general al NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, a avertizat că potenţialii adversari ai ţărilor membre ale Alianţei Nord-Atlantice vor încerca să profite de criza economică cauzată de pandemia COVID-19 pentru a prelua controlul asupra companiilor sau a infrastructurilor strategice şi a submina unitatea Alianţei, transmite AFP.
- Jens Stoltenberg nu a menţionat statele sau grupurile implicate în aceste preluări, dar avertizarea sa vizează, în principal, investiţiile semnificative făcute de China în infrastructura portuară şi telecomunicaţiile din ţările europene.
- Ţările NATO “au nevoie de infrastructură şi telecomunicaţii fiabile pe timp de criză”, a declarat oficialul norvegian.
- Pentagon fears Chinese interference in Taiwan’s semiconductor giant
- Secretarul de stat al SUA, Mike Pompeo, a avertizat companiile din Silicon Valley cu privire la riscurile cu care se confruntă în afaceri cu China, avertizare ce survine înainte de semnarea unui acord comercial între Washington şi Beijing, relatează AFP.
- “În acelaşi timp, trebuie să ne asigurăm că companiile noastre nu încheie contracte care să consolideze armata rivalului nostru sau să favorizeze represiunea în anumite părţi ale acestei ţări”, a adăugat el. ”Trebuie să ne asigurăm că tehnologia americană nu alimentează o stare de supraveghere cu adevărat orwelliană”, a adăugat responsabilul american, apreciind că ”principiile americane” nu trebuie ”sacrificate pe altarul prosperităţii”.
- Guvernul Statelor Unite va restricţiona exportul de software pentru inteligenţă artificială, de săptămâna viitoare, în cadrul politicii de protejare a tehnologiilor sensibile de puteri rivale precum China, transmite Reuters.
- Potrivit unei noi reglementări, companiile care exportă anumite tipuri de softuri destinate imagisticii geospaţiale din Statele Unite trebuie să solicite licenţă pentru a o trimite în străinătate, excepţie făcând livrările către Canada.
- Regula va intra în vigoare numai în Statele Unite, dar autorităţile americane ar putea ulterior să o prezinte organismelor internaţionale pentru a crea condiţii egale la nivel global.
The future control of foreign direct investments in Czechia
by Michaela Marečková – Visegrad Insight (2018)
Foreign direct investments (FDIs) were always one of the most important means which help improve not only economic development but also a state´s prestige, thanks to their support of local trade and technology transfer.
Yet, FDIs have both costs and benefits, and there are two possible ways a foreign investor could become part of the state´s economy.
Firstly, the objective of the investor can be based on purely market-oriented motives, driven by economic aims.
Secondly, however, FDIs can also be directed against the particular company because the investor could be motivated by political interests. This is especially relevant when a strategic company produces highly valuable technology or possesses unique “know-how.”
If such a company enables a foreign investor with unknown intentions access to its knowledge base, it could have a detrimental influence on the security of the affected state.
Czechia is aware of these risks, and is currently taking important steps to tackle this problem.
Based on recent experiences of different states, one of the biggest strategic foreign investors with unclear intentions is China, mainly due to its Belt and Road initiative.
One of the features of this Chinese mega project are investments aimed at the strategic sectors of the state (e.g. microchips, aerospace, agriculture equipment, advanced robotics, renewable and nuclear energy).
Bearing these sectors in mind and given China´s communist-run political system where control is exclusively in the hands of the Communist Party, it is practically impossible to differentiate between the state and private companies, and therefore new investment proposals need to be assessed with greater vigilance.
Case in point, in 2016 the German technological company Kuka (which primarily designs industrial robots) was purchased by the Chinese company Midea. (…)
Similarly, a regional example of possible dangerous investors in Czechia is China General Nuclear Power (CGNPC), one of the major potential candidates for the construction of nuclear blocks. (…)
There is no doubt that cooperation between Czech and foreign investors is necessary, and it brings more advantages than disadvantages.
Yet, as the world is increasingly globalised, and both physical and abstract barriers are gradually disappearing, in order to improve the economic situation of the state, it is really important to adopt some security screening controls when it comes to FDIs. (…)
During any negotiations on creating the screening mechanism, it is necessary to focus on relatively wide range of sectors (e.g. media) which would necessitate such measures. (…)
The debate about establishing a screening mechanism is not only limited to Czechia; other member states of the European Union are equally affected.
In 2017, a new regulation was presented by the European Commission about the proposal on the framework for the screening of FDIs in the EU, and how to strengthen member state´s cooperation in monitoring such investments. It does not require a member state to set up a screening mechanism, but each member state will have to adopt measures in order to implement this regulation.
As states come under pressure from this phenomenon and desire to secure its valuable technology and know-how, such reforms will be of the utmost importance and necessity for the future. Moreover, it would be convenient for the state and security agencies to collaborate more with companies which specialise in strategic technologies.