Banking on Chinese backing Dec 6, 2019 (WiC 477)
“If I need it I will go first to the AIIB. If we utilise old-style multilaterals, we cannot achieve our target”
Indonesia’s deputy minister for infrastructure affairs Kennedy Simanjuntak tells the Financial Times of his preference for borrowing from the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). He wants funds for a $31 billion new city on the island of Borneo, ready by 2024 to replace Jakarta as capital. Simanjuntak described the AIIB as more flexible than the World Bank: “With old-style banks I’m worried… They’re very slow.”
In it for the long haul Nov 29, 2019 (WiC 476)
“You cannot get nervous because now we have a market slowdown, global disruptions from trade and the auto industry having negative growth. To invest in a site like this you have to believe long term in the market fundamentals”
BASF boss Martin Brudermüller speaks to the Financial Times after breaking ground on the German multinational’s $10 billion petrochemical plant in Guangdong. It is the first of its kind to be wholly-owned by a foreign firm. BASF estimates China will account for 50% of global chemical demand by 2030, up from 40% today.
First flight Nov 22, 2019 (WiC 475)
“It’s certainly the case that the terminal is the most beautiful I have ever seen”
British Airways pilot Mark Vanhoenacker shares with the Financial Times his views on Beijing’s new Daxing Airport (see WiC469) after flying to it for the first time. He said it was possible to get to any gate in less than eight minutes thanks to the unique starfish design. Vanhoenacker is the author of Skyfaring.
Pompidou on the Bund Nov 15, 2019 (WiC 474)
“We have to have a dialogue. It doesn’t mean we could hang all the works we wanted to hang”
Serge Lasvignes, president of Centre Pompidou, discusses the opening last week of a sister venue in Shanghai. The 22,000 square metre museum features 100 works in its permanent exhibition, but Lasvignes admitted to the Financial Times that Chinese officials had vetoed some of the items the Paris-based Pompidou wanted to show as being too sensitive.