Blog: Simon WarburtonSeoul topic?

Simon Warburton | 11 November 2010

It's perhaps no coincidence that rumours swirling around concerning China's future stance on joint venture arrangements with western companies are taking place at the same time as the latest G20 meeting in Seoul.

Current form has multinationals required to enter into a arrangement where the Chinese partner has to have a majority in order to gain a foothold in the market that seems to occupy ever increasing acres of newsprint by the day.

However, reports out of China citing the "Sino-German Automobile Industry Forum" raise the tantalising prospect that this cosy deal may be on the point of being re-evaluated.

Those reports also mention PSA board member Gregoire Olivier as 'showing his agreement when hearing the remarks on the spot.'

You bet. Any move to liberalise the JV environment would see a raft of automakers sit up and take immediate notice.

It's not clear whether or not this JV split is up for discussion at the G20 beano this week in South Korea, but it's a little coincidental the issue is being highlighted as Obama, Cameron, Jintao et al gather in Seoul.

Should even the issue be up for grabs, it's a fair bet that every major global manufacturer will be booking a flight pretty quickly to Beijing.

Calls by just-auto today (11 November) to PSA in Paris saw the topic flat-batted back, but this issue might just start to become front of house if the great and good raise it in Korea.


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