Asean Morning News For March 10

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For March 10
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The Asean Morning News Roundup is the most comprehensive selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC) published. All articles are hand curated by the team at AEC News Today.


Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today @aecnewstoday


Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to patrol piracy-prone waters
The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia will launch joint patrols in piracy-plagued waters, Manila’s defence secretary said Thursday, after a wave of attacks that saw Islamic militants kidnapping and murdering foreigners.
— Asia One

In Hard Times, Asean Sees Chance to Take the Lead
Expectations that Trump will attend the East Asian summit in the Philippines in November are low and he had yet to mention Southeast Asia in a speech.

India should give bigger priority to ASEAN: Former diplomat
India is “underestimating” the value of the ASEAN and should give priority to the regional grouping as it could provide a “strategic balance” amidst growing geopolitical rivalry between the US and China, according to an Indian-origin former Singaporean diplomat.
— Economic Times

Reassessing North Korea’s threat to ASEAN security
Within the space of a month, two separate incidents perpetrated by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea, have alerted many nations within the Asia-Pacific region.
— The Jakarta Post

EC to continue overseas trips but only to Asean+3 nations
The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday ruled that its ongoing political training course can include overseas field trips but only to Asean+3 countries, in compliance with the Cabinet’s resolution.
— The Nation

A raft for ASEAN cruising
A raft has been floated for South-east Asia’s cruise development in the form of an agreement among ASEAN tourism ministers to develop a joint declaration on cruise tourism.
— TTG Asia


Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Cambodia Eases Deeper Into China’s Defensive Embrace
Cambodia currently faces significant foreign policy challenges amid great power rivalry in the Asia-Pacific. Against the backdrop of US President Donald Trump’s uncertain and unpredictable foreign policy in the region, China’s economic, military, and strategic influence over Cambodia continues to grow.
AEC News Today

Sino Plaza joins ranks of struggling developments
Sino Plaza, a $250 million mixed-development project at Boeung Trabek, is temporarily halting sales of its residential and commercial spaces, but is progressing with construction activity.
The Phnom Penh Post

Government attempts foray into low-cost housing
The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) is ramping up efforts to develop housing projects for its lower and middle class citizens, recently inking a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with contracting firm Bun Ches Groups Co., Ltd. to cooperate on a new $88 million residential scheme.
The Phnom Penh Post

Attacks on Slogan Grow; Party Law Takes Effect
Hundreds of ruling party commune chiefs across the country have now signed nearly identical letters accusing the opposition of using an “inciting” campaign slogan to fan “disunity,” echoing the language of brand-new legislation that could see whole parties dissolved for such behavior.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Women in Construction Weighed Down
Female construction workers earn on average about $2.50 less per day than their male counterparts, are given fewer opportunities to learn new skills and are victims of outdated gender stereotypes, a new report says.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

How western paedophiles are buying the virginities of Cambodian children as young as SEVEN
The sickening news comes after one former victim travelled 8,000 miles ‘back home’ to expose the true horror of the country’s booming child sex trade.
The Sun

Hun Sen backs military chief’s Rakhine crackdown
At the invitation of Cambodian armed forces commander-in-chief General Pol Saroeun, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of the defence services, paid a goodwill visit to Cambodia on February 8.

Ruling Party Studies Legality of Opposition Campaign Slogan
The ruling Cambodian People’s Party has said it is taking legal advice over a campaign slogan used by the opposition which they alleged the call for change was “incitement”.

In Hard Times, Asean Sees Chance to Take the Lead
As Barack Obama prepared to board Air Force One and leave the Laotian capital of Vientiane last September, he turned to salute.

Tough Political Party Bill Signed Into Law in Cambodia
Cambodia’s acting head of state has signed into law a controversial bill that gives the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen vast new powers over political parties as the nation heads into local and national elections in June and in 2018.
Radio Free Asia

Cambodian Villagers Displaced by Dam Complain of Nonarable Land, Access to Fishing
Cambodian villagers who have been relocated by the government from areas near the U.S. $781 million Lower Sesan 2 hydropower dam project on Mekong River tributaries said Thursday that they cannot eke out a living in their new locale.
Radio Free Asia

March news highlights: speech therapy in Cambodia, South China Sea and Rakhine State
Since 2013, OIC Cambodia has worked to establish speech therapy as a fundamental part of education in the kingdom.
Southeast Asia Globe

BigPhone dials into local market
Mobile World Investment Corp (MWG) – one of the largest mobile phone and electronic products distribution chains in Vietnam – will open its first store in Cambodia, operating under the name, according to Vietnamese state media.
The Phnom Penh Post

Online tool to compare loans
Spean Luy, the first dedicated website that allows users to compare the terms and interest rates of loan products from various Cambodian lenders, is looking to help borrowers make better financial decisions in a diverse and often confusing credit market.
The Phnom Penh Post

Jailed Deputy Commune Chief Quits Opposition, Joins CPP
A deputy commune chief jailed last month announced his resignation from the CNRP on Thursday to join the ruling party, and a relative of a second jailed opposition commune official said he was approached to defect, but rejected the offer.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodian Border Guard Handed 25-Year Sentence in Vietnam
A Cambodian border guard was sentenced to 25 years in a Vietnamese prison for fatally shooting one man and injuring a second at a restaurant just inside Vietnam, officials said on Thursday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Hyperloop company signs $2.5 million feasibility study in Indonesia
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) revealed that it had signed an agreement to execute a $2.5 million feasibility study in Indonesia to explore possible routes in Indonesia.
— Teslarati

Indonesia begins graft trial over identity card scheme
Indonesia’s anti-corruption body is accusing at least 27 officials of having accepted millions of dollars in brides under an electronic identity cards scheme that cost the state around $190 million in losses.
— Anadolu Agency

Indonesia January Retail Sales Grow 6.3%
Indonesia’s retail sales in January grew 6.3 percent from a year earlier, a much slower pace than in December, a survey by Bank Indonesia (BI) showed on Thursday (09/03).
— Jakarta Globe

Freeport Indonesia to resume copper concentrate output on March 21
The Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc is targeting to resume production of copper concentrate on March 21 at its giant Grasberg mine in Papua, its spokesman said on Thursday, amid an ongoing stoppage of concentrate exports.
— Reuters

Mining News: Indonesia’s Coal Price Falls Again in March 2017
For the third consecutive month Indonesia’s benchmark coal price declined. This price (in Indonesian: Harga Batubara Acuan, or HBA), which is based on a selection of domestic and international coal indices, is set on a monthly basis by Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.
— Indonesia Investments

Indonesia Has Had Enough Rate Cuts, Says Central Bank Deputy
Indonesia’s central bank has cut borrowing costs enough to spur growth in the economy, Senior Deputy Governor Mirza Adityaswara said, giving his clearest signal yet that the bank’s easing policy is over as inflation pressures pick up.
— Bloomberg

Former North Sumatra governor gets four years for bribery in third case
The panel of judges at the Medan Corruption Court has declared former North Sumatra governor Gatot Pujo Nugroho guilty of bribery and sentenced him to four years in prison and a fine of Rp 250 million (US$ 18,664).
— Jakarta Post

Court bans live TV coverage of e-KTP corruption hearings
A high-profile trial on alleged corruption in the procurement of electronic identity cards (e-KTP) in 2011-2012 starts today (Thursday) but there will be no live TV coverage of the session, The Jakarta Post Online reported on Wednesday.
– Thai PBS

Indonesia to decide stance on tobacco bill
As the deadline for the government to respond to the House of Representatives’ second attempt to deliberate a controversial tobacco bill draws near, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration is set to decide on its stance on the bill.
— Jakarta Globe

NETSOL Technologies becomes a member of the Indonesia Financial Services Association
NetSol Technologies, Inc. (NTWK), a leading global provider of enterprise application solutions and business services to the finance and leasing industry, today announced its membership in Asosiasi Perusahaan Pembiayaan Indonesia (APPI).
— Yahoo Finance

Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to patrol piracy-prone waters
The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia will launch joint patrols in piracy-plagued waters, Manila’s defence secretary said Thursday, after a wave of attacks that saw Islamic militants kidnapping and murdering foreigners.
— Asia One

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo says no trade barriers to export of palm oil from Indonesia
Trade Minister Steven Ciobo has stressed there are no trade barriers to the export of palm oil from Indonesia to Australia and said the Anti-Dumping Commission was reviewing a decision that Indonesia had dumped A4 copy paper in Australia.
— The Sydney Morning Herald

Indonesia, Saudi Agree on Unlimited Flight Frequency
Indonesia and Saudi Arabia has agreed on unlimited flight frequency between the two countries, an official of the Transportation Ministry said on Wednesday.

Indonesia, Australia to Boost Tourism by Adding New Flight, Cruise Routes
The Indonesian and Australian governments plan to boost tourism between the two countries by encouraging airlines and cruise liners to add new routes and increase the quantity of existing routes.
— Jakarta Globe

Hong Kong wants double digit growth of Indonesian tourists
Hong Kong plans to increase the number of Indonesian tourists at a double digit rate this year, comparable to the 12.3 percent year-on-year (yoy) growth in 2016 through more Muslim friendly facilities.
— The Jakarta Post

House of Representatives overtakes police as institution most perceived to be corrupt in Indonesia: Transparency International
We all know corruption is a huge problem in Indonesia. Huge. In fact, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) recently revealed that the state suffered Rp 3 TRILLION (US$ 244 million) in losses due to corruption last year alone.
— Coconuts Jakarta

INSIGHT: Overtaking right-wing populism in Indonesia?
With the vote for Donald Trump and Brexit, it is common knowledge that increasingly large numbers of people affected by the ills of unregulated globalization are drawn to populist right wing nationalism rather than mainstream liberalism and social democracy.
– The Jakarta Post

Indonesia eases development of geothermal in conservation areas
With new regulations put in place, Indonesia finalises legislation that opens up conservation areas for geothermal development.
— Think GeoEnergy

President orders to stop mercury use in traditional mining
President Joko Widodo has instructed small-scale gold miners to stop the use of mercury, as it could damage the environment and harm public health.
— Antara News

WIKA secures new contracts worth Rp13.32 trillion
State construction firm PT Wijaya Karya Tbk (WIKA) has signed new contracts for the construction of various projects worth Rp13.32 trillion until early March 2017.
— Antara News

Men attempt to stow away to Singapore by riding aircraft tires
Officers from Aviation Security at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport thwarted a desperate attempt by two men who tried to fly to Singapore by hiding in the wheel well of an aircraft.
— Jakarta Post

Minister hands over compensation to W Sumatra landslide victims
Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa on Thursday handed over the compensation to six victims of landslide, which hit the Limapuluh Kota district, West Sumatra province.
— Antara News

Bali to host int`l air show
Bali province will host an “Aero Indonesia International Air Show” in Badung district in September 2018, chief of the events organizing committee Colonel Haryanto Arif said.
— Antara News

Industry-backed plantation museum opens in Indonesia
Sumatra is haunted by a raft of environmental problems. There are the annual fires that burn across the island’s vast peat swamp zones, which have been widely drained — and rendered highly flammable — by the palm oil and paper industries.


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Poverty reduction delayed: Govt
Although some 7,538 families were lifted above the poverty line in 2016, the figure still fell short of the government’s target.
— Vientiane Times

Poor still have limited access to health services
Health authorities at local hospitals and dispensaries which receive funding to provide treatment to poor people need to work harder to make sure that such services are available to those who need them.
— Vientiane Times

Laos Ranks 16th Welcoming Country of the World
The Lao PDR has been ranked number 16 among the most welcoming countries in the world, with Cambodia and Timor Leste topping the list, according to the Passport Index for 2017.
— Lao News Agency

Foreign Minister to Visit Brunei, Malaysia
Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith, his spouse and a delegation will pay an official visit to Brunei Darussalam from Mar 14-16, and Malaysia from Mar 16-18.
— Lao News Agency

Japan providing logistics workshops to enhance transport links
Japan’s Sagawa Global Logistics, recognised for their experience in public and private sector logistics management, human resource development and logistics/transport development in many Asean countries, will now hold workshops in Vientiane.
— Vientiane Times (paywall)

Hanoi-Vientiane highway to be built
Vietnam and Laos will set up a research team, work with the sponsors and call for more investment. Ha Tinh’s provincial authorities, the Vietnam-Laos Vung Ang Port JSC and the ministries will set up a detailed plan so that Laos can be more active in facilitating the transit of goods to and from Laos.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Luang Prabang honoured in regional awards scheme
The Unique Tour offered to visitors to Luang Prabang was awarded a special prize on Wednesday by the Asean-Japan Centre at a ceremony held in Japan.
— Vientiane Times

Thai company to broadcast through Lao satellite, distribute receivers
Lao Asia-Pacific Satellite Co., Ltd. has signed agreements with the Kanboon Sompraingarm Co., Ltd. of Thailand to broadcast its Lamkhong television channel through the Lao Sat-1 satellite as well as distribute Laosat HD satellite receivers.
— Vientiane Times (paywall)

UXO Lao adds more UXO clearance teams
The Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao) has added another 15 UXO clearance teams after the programme increased the scope of its clearance plan.
— Vientiane Times

Thai province provides training for Lao journalists
The Radio and Television Professional Association in Phetchabun province, Thailand, in cooperation with the Institute of Physical Education Phetchabun Campus Stadium, is extending its assistance to Lao National Radio and Lao National Television for personnel training.
— Vientiane Times

Siren Confusion Tackled
Seven rescue teams in Vientiane Capital have been instructed to consistently use a single type of siren to indicate when a person is being rushed to a hospital in order to prevent confusion among other road users.
— Lao News Agency

Human Resources Forum hold in Vientiane
The first Human Resources Forum, titled ‘Opportunities, Challenges and Practices’, was held in Vientiane Capital on March 4.
— Lao News Agency

AFC President calls on Vice President Phankham
President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Mr Shaikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa paid a visit to Vice President Mr Phankham Viphavanh in Vientiane Capital on March 7.
— Lao News Agency


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Two Malaysians leave North Korea, talks on to lift travel ban
North Korea guaranteed the safety of Malaysians banned from leaving the country, Malaysia’s prime minister said on Thursday, as two Malaysian U.N. employees left the isolated state in a possible sign that diplomatic tensions had begun to settle.

Malaysia’s Petronas, Japan’s Hokkaido Electric sign LNG supply deal
Malaysian state-owned oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has signed an agreement to supply liquefied natural gas to Japan’s Hokkaido Electric Power Company for ten years.
New Straits Times

SC anticipates raising RM105b from capital market this year
The Malaysian capital market is expected to raise up to RM105 billion in 2017 from RM98.5 billion raised in 2016, said Securities Commission (SC) chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh.
New Straits Times

MACC aims to engage the media in fight against graft
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) paid a courtesy visit to Menara Star here and a host of topics were discussed between the top brass of both organisations.
The Star Online

Shell acquisition refines the Belt and Road initiative
The acquisition of Shell Refining Company Bhd here by a Chinese refinery is a good example of a mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative, says China’s ambassador to Malaysia.
— The Star Online

Najib: Malaysia needs proactive, not reactive policies
Malaysia’s economy is now in need of a structural change and therefore national policies should not be reactive but proactive, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Malay Mail Online

Taiwan’s Cathay Fin in talks to buy Bank of Nova Scotia’s Malaysia unit
Taiwan’s Cathay Financial Holding Co is in exclusive talks to acquire the Malaysian unit of Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, in a deal that could be valued at around $200 million to $300 million.
Deal Street Asia

Malaysia PE/VC capital commitment at $1.45b in 2016
Malaysia witnessed funds committed in venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) space at $1.45 billion (MYR 6.5 billion) last year, less than doubling in the past ten years amid concerns around the quality of underlying assets to be held by the investor firms.
Deal Street Asia

Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to patrol piracy-prone waters
The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia will launch joint patrols in piracy-plagued waters, Manila’s defence secretary said Thursday, after a wave of attacks that saw Islamic militants kidnapping and murdering foreigners.
Asia One

All Malaysians in North Korea safe: PM Najib
Two UN employees who were among 11 Malaysian nationals stranded in North Korea following a travel ban have left the country.
Channel News Asia

Malaysia and North Korea – a friendship on ice
North Korea and Malaysia have taken the extraordinary step of banning each other’s citizens from leaving their countries in the fallout over the killing of Kim Jong-nam.

GST now imposed on research grants
Not only must public universities contend with budget cuts, but academics are also getting less money for research as most grants now attract the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Malay Mail Online

Pyongyang’s intelligence operations network active in Malaysia, says source
While Malaysia and North Korea are doing their best to solve the diplomatic spat between the two governments, attention is now focused on the presence of more than 1,000 North Korean citizens in Malaysia.
Malay Mail Online

Country Garden halts Malaysian housing sales to stem capital flight
Chinese developer Country Garden Holdings has closed all sales centres in mainland China for its flagship Malaysian housing project amid Beijing’s intensified crackdown on capital flight.
South China Morning Post

SEB to buy bakun dam for RM2.5b
State-owned Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) is taking over the Bakun hydroelectric dam from the federal government for RM2.5 billion.
New Straits Times

Eco World International kicks off retail offering, to issue up to 2.153b new shares
Eco World International Bhd (EWI) has launched its prospectus for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) kicking off with the retail offering, which commenced today and will close on March 20.
New Straits Times

New child sex crimes law could be implemented in June
Malaysia’s new law against child sexual crimes could take effect as early as June.
The Star Online

Najib checks on well-being of remaining nine
The nine remaining Malaysians in North Korea received moral support from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who made a long distance call to the Malaysian embassy in Pyongyang to check on their well-being.
The Star Online


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Myanmar-based mobile payment provider MyPAY to acquire Singapore’s fastacash
MyPay Ltd, a mobile payment transaction service provider will make a 100 percent acquisition of Singapore’s fastacash, Mark Carter, general manager and chief commercial officer of fastacash told this portal. He did not disclose financial details of the deal, but said the acquisition will be complete in the next 60-90 days.
— Deal Street Asia

Govt contractors are inflating invoices for profit: report
Companies contracted to execute government projects are deliberately inflating their invoices for profit, the Public Accounts Joint Committee said in a report to parliament on March 6.
— Coconuts Yangon

EU draft resolution dismisses U.N. probe into Myanmar
Last week, the UN’s rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee called on the organization to arrange a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate Rohingya abuses within the country, particularly in Rakhine State.
— Coconuts Yangon

Hun Sen backs military chief’s Rakhine crackdown
At the invitation of Cambodian armed forces commander-in-chief General Pol Saroeun, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of the defence services, paid a goodwill visit to Cambodia on February 8.
— Eleven

China urges end of conflicts near China-Myanmar border
China on Thursday urged parties in northern Myanmar clashes to exercise restraint and immediately cease fire in order to maintain peace and stability near the China-Myanmar border.
— Eleven

Exim Thailand to boost role in Myanmar through local presence
THE Export-Import Bank of Thailand plans to open a representative office in Yangon by next month as Thailand and Myanmar share the goal of boosting bilateral trade and investment.
— Eleven

Italian Ambassador to Myanmar Visits Volence-Hit Rohingya Areas
The Italian Ambassador to Myanmar, H.E. Mr. Pier Giorgio Aliberti, visited the violence-hit Rohingya villages in northern Maungdaw yesterday (on March 9) evening, it has been reported.
— Rohingya Vision

Mandalay cuts Thingyan budget by half
Mandalay is slashing its Thingyan budget by half this year, compared to the amount set aside for last year’s event, city officials said.
— Myanmar Times

Myanmar violence: 20,000 people seek refuge in China
At least 20,000 people from Myanmar have fled across the border to China after violence erupted between ethnic rebels and the security forces.
— BBC News

Myanmar starts first audit of state-owned banks in decades
Myanmar is embarking on the first comprehensive audit of state-owned banks in decades, part of a push to modernise the financial system and tackle risks to the nation’s rapid economic growth.
— The Straits Times

MIC devolves power to invest
Myanmar Investment Commission has announced that regional and state investment committees can permit investments worth up to US$5 million or Ks6 billion.
— Eleven

Controversial gold tax confirmed
The new income tax law for 2017 was approved by Parliament last week in Nay Pyi Taw, including a controversial gold purchase tax of 1 per cent.
— Eleven

Myanmar Is Next Vietnam With 10% Growth: British Diplomat
Myanmar could be the next Vietnam or Thailand, with the economy having the potential of growing as much as 10 percent, a senior British diplomat said.
— Bloomberg

Myanmar: New centre brings physical rehabilitation services to Shan State
The first physical rehabilitation centre in Shan State has officially opened its doors in Kyaing Tong. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) invested 1.86 billion Myanmar kyats (1.3 million US dollars) to build it.
— ICRC (press release)

7th Gems Expo to include 11 regions
The 7th Myanmar International Gems, Jewellery and Watch Expo 2017 will be held at Myanmar Gems Trade Centre in Yangon from March 24 to March 27.
— Myanmar Times


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Philippines exports grow at fastest rate in 3 years
Exports from the Phlippines grew at their fastest clip in three years in January as shipments of electronics took off.
— Financial Times

Philippines has slowest internet in Asia Pacific: study
The Philippines has the slowest internet speed in the Asia Pacific region, global tech company Akamai Technologies said Thursday.

Chinese survey ship spotted in Benham Rise, says defense chief
China could be trying to explore Benham Rise, Philippines’ defense chief said, in what could be another source of conflict between the Asian neighbors.

U.S. stopped China’s plan to build on Scarborough
China was set last year to build on Scarborough Shoal but the US was able to stop the plan, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed on Thursday, March 9.
— Rappler

Duterte warns of martial law
Help him solve security problems or he’ll declare martial law in Mindanao.
— Philippine Star

Senate OKs Paris climate change accord
The Senate has approved on second reading the resolution concurring in the accession to the Paris Agreement. If passed on third reading next week, it would signal complete concurrence with Malacañang’s ratification of the agreement.
— Philippine Star

Gov’t readies 13 more projects for Chinese financing
The Philippine government plans to pitch up to 13 projects that can be rolled out in the next two to three years for potential Chinese financing, the Department of Finance said Thursday.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Speaker wants to impeach justices over infra TROs
Supreme Court justices face impeachment if they intervene in government projects or contracts, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said.
— Philippine Star

Tax reform seen key to inclusive growth
TAX REFORMS proposed by the Finance department will help economic growth stay above six percent in the medium term while reducing the burden of the poor, analysts at BMI Research said, even as they flagged risk from “growing divisions” in the Senate that could delay their approval.
— BusinessWorld

BSP minutes: Domestic growth indicators to remain ‘favorable’
THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY is seen keeping its upbeat growth momentum this year as domestic conditions remain intact, which would help cushion possible downturns in the global market, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in deciding to hold off policy tweaks last month.
— BusinessWorld

‘Too much work kills’: Poe seeks probe as more Filipinos overworked
Alarmed by a recent report that more than 8 million Filipinos are overworked, Senator Grace Poe now wants the Senate to look into the problem and propose legislative measures to address it.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Career diplomat takes over at DFA
Career diplomat Enrique Manalo, whose stint in the foreign service spans nearly four decades, has been named acting foreign affairs chief, replacing Perfecto Yasay Jr., who had to vacate his post after being rejected by the Commission on Appointments (CA) for lying about his US citizenship.
— Philippine Star

Meralco rate up by P0.66/kWh in March
POWER distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) announced on Thursday that the March electric bill for a typical residential household would increase by P0.66 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), bringing the overall rate to P9.67 per kWh from last month’s P9.00 per kWh.
— Manila Times

The Philippines’ oldest conglomerate goes back to school
The Ayala Corporation, the oldest conglomerate in the Philippines, has made a push to invest in businesses that could play a major role in shaping the country’s “social infrastructure,” the company’s chief executive said.


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Singapore appoints civil service innovation champion
Singapore’s government is to train 10,000 public servants to use data analytics, the deputy prime minister has announced, while education minister Ong Ye Kung will spearhead a drive for public service innovation.
Global Government Forum

Singapore Government is Transforming Economy through Enterprise and Innovation to Boost the Country’s Economic Growth
The Singapore economy is dominated by the service sector, which contributed approximately 75.5% to the total GDP in 2016. The industrial sector contributes 24.5% to GDP, in which the manufacturing contributes 18.3% to GDP. Government will launch a new Industry Transformation Programme in 2017 to take the country into the next phase of development.

Singapore sports receives huge financial boost
Government to inject at least $50 million to nurture local elite athletes
The New Paper 

Singapore’s Equis Seeks Investors for Up to $5.5 Billion in Green-Energy Projects
Equis Private Ltd., a fund manager that oversees one of Asia’s largest collections of independent renewable-energy assets, is seeking investors for more than 100 different projects, with a combined value between $4.5 billion and $5.5 billion, people familiar with the process said.
The Wall Street Journal 

Singapore to expand use of blockchain technology
Following the success of its interbank settlement experiment, MAS will now test the tech on bond trading settlement and cross-border payments
The Business Times 

The government of Singapore says it welcomes criticism, but its critics still suffer
Three protesters get stiff penalties for disturbing public order
The Economist 

Singapore does not import chicken and eggs from Kelantan: AVA
Poultry and poultry products that Singapore imports from Malaysia are safe for consumption, the authorities here assured the public, following news of a bird flu outbreak in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Existing measures will be stepped up to prevent the H5N1 virus from entering Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Thursday (March 9).
Today Online

Legal smoking age in Singapore to be raised to 21
More than two years after it started mulling over the move, Singapore will join places such as New York City and California in raising the legal age for smoking from 18 to 21.
Today Online 

Govt planning first national blueprint for heritage in Singapore
The arts and heritage sectors will see a boost with a new Heritage Plan for Singapore in the pipeline, along with a S$150 million top-up to the Cultural Matching Fund (CMF), Minister Grace Fu announced yesterday (March 9) in Parliament.
Today Online 

Grab invests S$10 million in Singapore for GrabCar
GRAB, a ride-hailing platform in South-east Asia, is pouring S$10 million into the GrabCar private hire car segment for Singapore.
The Business Times 

Singapore is least risky country in the world for investments: Euromoney survey
The Republic has surpassed Norway and Switzerland to be the least risky country in the world for investments, according to the latest results of the Euromoney Country Risk (ECR) survey on Thursday (March 9).
Today Online 

Singapore to invest S$24m to help fill 9,000 jobs in healthcare sector
With 9,000 workers needed over the next three years, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will invest an additional S$24 million in various schemes to attract more Singaporeans, in particular mid-career professionals, to take up a job in healthcare.
Channel NewsAsia 

New made-in-Singapore cancer drug could lower leukaemia mortality
A new cancer drug promises to take a more targeted approach to treating leukaemia and other forms of blood cancer, researchers told Channel NewsAsia on Thursday (Mar 9).
Channel NewsAsia 

Singapore will take ‘necessary steps’ to comply with UN resolutions on North Korea: MFA
The Government is “closely studying” a United Nations report linking a Singapore-based company to a North Korean firm involved in arms sales, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Thursday (Mar 9).
Channel NewsAsia 

Singapore 2nd on ranking of world’s most innovative intellectual property offices
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) has emerged as the first-runner up in a recent study of the world’s most innovative IP offices, second only to the European Union, Ipos said in a press release on Thursday (March 9).
The Straits Times 

UBS Hires in Singapore
Asia’s largest wealth manager UBS, has recruited a seasoned wealth manager into its Singapore business. 

2 men arrested while attempting to swim to Singapore
Two men were arrested on Thursday (Mar 9) while attempting to swim to Singapore, the police said.
Channel NewsAsia


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Exim Thailand to boost role in Myanmar through local presence
THE Export-Import Bank of Thailand plans to open a representative office in Yangon by next month as Thailand and Myanmar share the goal of boosting bilateral trade and investment.
The Nation

Pay 1% more in VAT, PM asks Thais
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked Thais to sacrifice by paying 1% more in value-added tax (VAT) to reap 100 billion baht for the state coffers.
Bangkok Post 

Healthcare and Reimbursement Thailand Market to reach $9.47 billion with 10% CAGR Analysis and Forecast to 2022
The industry analysis specialist, has released its latest report, “CountryFocus: Healthcare, Regulatory and Reimbursement Landscape – Thailand”.
News Maker

Thai Central Bank Sees No Pressure if Fed Raises US Rates
Thailand’s central bank expects there will be no pressure on the country’s monetary policy if the Federal Reserve raises US interest rates next week, a deputy governor said on Thursday (09/03).
The Jakarta Post

Thai transport laws taking passengers for a ride
No sooner did Chiang Mai residents and visitors think they had better taxi options than the authorities and those offering “worse choices” try to tear these services away from them.
Today Online 

Temple followers blocked officials from entering temple to investigate a shooting incident
An attempt by Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officials, police and military personnel to get into Wat Dhammakaya through Gate 4 Thursday afternoon failed after protesting monks and lay followers blocked the gate.
Thai PBS

Thailand demands access to auto sector under FTA
Thailand has sought a drastic reduction in the tariff on the auto sector under the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA), an official told Dawn.

Thai graft watchdog will probe Rolls-Royce bribes
Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission said it has uncovered “reasonable suspicion” of wrongdoing over a Thai airways deal to buy Rolls-Royce engines between 2004 and 2005, when Thailand was headed by democratically elected prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra
Asia Times 

Thailand: Airports Dept Promises Nationwide Upgrade
The Department of Airports (DOA) wants to upgrade its 28 airports and finish construction of a new one in Yala’s Betong district at an estimated total cost of 36 billion baht to meet an expected surge in passenger numbers over the next 10 years.
Aviation Pros 

Thai government, standing fast against Uber, offers taxi app
Thailand’s government is cracking down on private car-hailing services such as Uber and plans to introduce its own taxi app to appease passengers.
The Washington Post

Commerce Ministry, ISOC crack down on piracy
The Commerce Ministry has joined force with the Internal Security Operations Command to stringently suppress intellectual property right violations in the Kingdom, resulting with copy goods seizure up to 3.6 million items worth more than Bt1.7 billion in recent.
The Nation 

BoT: No push from US rate hike
Even if the US Federal Reserve raises its policy rate at next week’s meeting — sooner than expected — it will not put any pressure on the Bank of Thailand’s currently accommodative monetary policy, says a central bank executive.
Bangkok Post 

Villagers fined for campaigning against junta-written constitution
20 villagers have been found guilty of violating the junta’s ban on public gatherings by supporting a referendum monitoring campaign. The villagers pleaded guilty, but only because of the high costs of fighting the case.

NACC implicates two ex-transport ministers in RR aircraft engine bribery scandal
Two former transport ministers of Thaksin administration during 2004-2005 and the then board of directors of Thai Airways International were suspected to be involved in the wrongful procurement of Rolls Royce aircraft engines for THAI’s Airbus aircrafts.
Thai PBS 

Phuket officials welcome 7,800 cruise line passengers
Officials from various local government agencies were in Patong yesterday morning to welcome some 7,800 passengers enjoying a cruise from Singapore.
The Phuket News 

DLT to step up efforts against Uber and Grab
Officials insist they need to step up efforts to crack down on ride-hailing apps to bring order to public transport services for the sake of passenger safety and interests.
Bangkok Post 

Research delivers insight into Thailand’s RTD tea market report for 2017
“RTD Tea in Thailand” report provides the leading companies, leading brands, and offers strategic analysis of key factors influencing the market. Forecasts to 2021 illustrate how the market is set to change.

Tourism Ministry promotes foodie tourism
Ministry of Tourism and Sports says it will gear up its foodie tourism promotions to encourage more travellers to visit Thailand while encouraging them to test their taste buds on hot Thai dishes.
TTR Weekly

Qatar to fly to Chiang Mai
Qatar Airways is on track to provide Chiang Mai a direct air link to the Middle East later this year.
Bangkok Post

Body parts found in Koh Tao
According to Nation TV on Thursday evening dive teams discovered five objects believed to be body parts off the coast of Koh Tao. The chilling discovery was made in Chalok Baan Kao Bay.
Samui Times 

PM floats idea of raising VAT to 8%
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has floated the idea of raising the value-added tax (VAT) rate by one percentage point from the current 7 per cent to 8 per cent to raise an additional Bt100 billion in annual tax revenues to finance various public projects.
The Nation 

Lenovo moves regional hub to Thailand
Lenovo Inc, the world’s largest computer maker, has embarked on a geographical restructuring effort as it strives to enhance operational efficiency amid a saturated PC market.
Bangkok Post 


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


US businesses hail Gov’t efforts in improving investment environment
PM Phuc made the statement on Thursday during his reception for a delegation of the US-ASEAN Business Council led by Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director Michael Michalak.

No Anzac Day ceremony at Vietnam’s Long Tan memorial this year, DFAT says
Australia will not hold an Anzac Day ceremony at the Long Tan memorial site in Vietnam, after last year’s 50th anniversary plans were cancelled at the last minute by the host government.

China closes natural forests, Vietnam fears timber shortage
This has caused great anxiety among Vietnamese wooden furniture manufacturers. It is expected that China will have to import 50 percent of the volume of timber it needs, and the majority will be from Vietnam.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnam prepares for influx of Chinese tourists
This week, some 20 Vietnamese travel agents met in Khanh Hoa Province to establish an association catering to tourists from China to share information, implement joint promotions and develop human resources.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Saigon airport’s website hacked, no damage reported
The website of Vietnam’s busiest airport Tan Son Nhat was hacked on Wednesday night, but has resumed normal operations, officials said.
— VN Express International

Vietnam slaughters chickens following latest bird flu outbreak
Quang Ngai Province have culled 23,000 birds since last month in an effort to contain the virus.
— VN Express International

Korean contractor takes responsibility for power plant explosion in southern Vietnam
South Korea’s Doosan, the primary builder of a thermal power plant in the central province of Binh Thuan, has taken full responsibility for the explosion that injured two workers this week.
— VN Express International

Vietnam wants China to permit more rice exporters

The permission was announced by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), which allowed 22 firms to export rice and rice products from January 1, counting from the date of departure from the Vietnamese border. Any businesses not listed by AQSIQ were banned from exporting to the Chinese market from January 1.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnam, Thailand enjoy growing friendship
At a reception for the group’s Chairman Sakchai Tanaboonchai in Hanoi on March 8, the NA Vice Chairman took note of the sound cooperation between Vietnamese and Thai legislative bodies, particularly at key forums, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnam, China hold regular deputy foreign ministers’ meeting
At the function, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung and his Chinese counterpart Liu Zhenmin reviewed progress made in bilateral relations in the past time and discussed ways to boost cooperation, particularly the implementation of agreements and common conceptions reached by leaders of the two Parties and Governments, and the maintenance of peace, stability at sea.
— VieNamNet Bridge

Vietnamese businesses pleased with tax reforms
Over 75 percent of surveyed businesses expressed their satisfaction with tax reforms in 2016, slightly up from 71 percent in 2014, said Dau Anh Tuan, head of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s Legal Department at an event held in Hanoi on Tuesday.
— VN Express International

Vietnamese airline CEO soars onto global female billionaires list
The founder of Vietnam’s rising budget carrier VietJet has made it onto a global list of self-made female billionaires.
— VN Express International

Aquaculture eyes international standards
Vietnam’s Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) will work together on promoting responsible aquaculture in the country.

Vietnamese telcos to make and export telecom devices
In 2016, VNPT launched 90,000 kilometers of optical fibers into the market and 2.4 million products, including optical terminal devices, MyTV box, DVB-T2 set top box, Smartbox, smartphone, and wifi Access Points, worth VND9 trillion in total.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Big Japanese retailers compete with smaller Vietnamese counterparts
7-Eleven has launched a big recruitment campaign to prepare for the opening of its convenience store in HCMC.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnamese fish, seafood segment isn’t ‘cashing in’ with Walmart
Speaking at the forum, Nguyen Hoai Anh, deputy director of Thuan Phuong Company, said that the opportunity to supply millions of fish and seafood products to the 5,000 US Walmart stores under a Vietnamese brand is a dream that is not likely to happen anytime soon.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Opening of H&M, Zara stores puts pressure on local fashion retailers
The opening of the first shops in Vietnam in 2017 has been confirmed by H&M. However, the brand still has not given further information about the plan, including the debut, the number of shops, venues and scale.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Evangelization efforts proving ineffective in Vietnam
The Catholic Church in communist-run Vietnam is not growing and the editor of a new church directory blames it on ineffectual evangelization efforts.
— La Croix International



Asean Morning News is compiled by the editorial team at AEC News Today and published M-F: Governance, not government; policies not politics.




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