Asean Morning News For March 13

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For March 13
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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


EU, ASEAN resume free trade talks
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Friday said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) have agreed to resume free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations.
— GMA News

PH secures economic priorities in ASEAN
The Philippines successfully advocated its trade priorities in ASEAN as the country’s hosting of the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM) Retreat and Related Meetings ended on March 10.
– Eagle News Service

Even at the height of North Korea’s belligerence, Southeast Asia’s leaders have resisted the urge to join the chorus of Western voices branding Pyongyang a “pariah state”.
— South China Morning Post

South China Sea Disputes Expected to Take Center Stage at ASEAN Summit
After upending the regional order by boldly declaring his “separation” from America in favor of joining China’s “ideological flow” last year, Philippine president Rodrigo Roa Duterte has assumed the rotational chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year.
— The National Interest Online

SMEs to be highlight of Asean economic meeting
PROVIDING a seamless and better business environment for small, and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be among the major key issues to be tackled during the 3rd Asean-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Good Regulatory Practices Network (GRPN) Meeting on March 14 to 16 in Iloilo City.
— Sun Star

ASEAN to implement labor agreement
A decade since ASEAN’s declaration recognizing the protection and promotion of migrant workers’ rights, the regional bloc is only now set to sign an mechanism to put the agreement into force across its member countries.
— The Jakarta Post

Taiwanese tech firms eye Asean online market
A GROWING number of Taiwanese online firms are choosing Singapore as their base to expand into South-east Asia as Taiwan and its regional rivals compete to snap up talent and become a tech hub.
— The Star Online


Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


World Bank expert on whether Cambodia will maintain its impressive growth
Miguel Eduardo Sánchez Martín, a senior economist at the World Bank, talks about the challenges ahead for Cambodia’s economy.
Southeast Asia Globe

US attempt to recoup Cambodian debt ‘cack-handed’: former Australian Ambassador
The issue of Cambodia’s debt to the United States is back in the spotlight as the US appears set to ignore pleas from the South-East Asian nation to cancel the decades-old arrangement.
ABC News

Robust factory growth charted
Cambodia has seen a marked increase in industrialisation over the past five years, with the number of factories nearly doubling during that period and producing a broader range of goods for both export and domestic consumption, according to new unreleased government data.
The Phnom Penh Post

Sathapana Bank proceeds with logo change
Sathapana Bank has pre-emptively removed its signature golden lion logo from all 162 branches nationwide as the private bank aims to deflect government criticism and avoid confusion as being identified as a state-owned institution, a bank executive said yesterday.
The Phnom Penh Post

BRED Bank aims to fill gaps
BRED Banque Populaire, a French cooperative lending institution, is the newest entry to Cambodia’s competitive banking sector and the first venture of a European bank in the Kingdom since the late 1990s.
The Phnom Penh Post

Apsara Authority Unaware of Chinese Angkor Wat Project
A Chinese investment company is planning to build a $21.8 million cultural park near Angkor Wat, according to a report in Chinese media, although the authority responsible for the world heritage site said on Sunday it had not been approached about the project.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia Plans to Offer Lessons on ‘Win-Win’ Policy to Burma
Following a meeting last week with Burmese military commander Min Aung Hlaing, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Friday that Cambodia planned to dispatch officials to pass on lessons of his “win-win” policy to help a country still struggling with regional rifts and warring factions.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia’s female construction workers
Cambodia’s construction industry is booming, and high-rises are being built across the capital of Phnom Penh. With the city’s population doubling over the past four years, it has begun its transformation into a sprawling metropolis.

Oji expands sales of baby diapers to Vietnam, Cambodia
Oji Holdings will start selling disposable diapers for babies in Vietnam and Cambodia, the Japanese paper company’s latest effort to expand its Southeast Asian footprint.
Nikkei Asian Review

Villagers Decline Last-Ditch Compensation Offers as Lower Sesan Dam Readies to Launch
As the Lower Sesan II hydropower dam in Stung Treng province nears completion, officials have said that some 100 affected villagers have refused to accept relocation and compensation.

Experts Question Possible Privacy Violations in Leaked Recordings
With Prime Minister Hun Sen openly touting phone tapping of political opponents as a positive development, experts are beginning to question whether the move on behalf of the premier breaches Cambodia’s privacy laws.

Cambodia’s Electoral Body Weighing Legality of Opposition Campaign Slogan
Cambodia’s electoral body said Friday it is weighing whether the opposition must modify a campaign slogan the ruling party has characterized as incitement and threatened legal action over, as the country gears up for local commune elections in June.
Radio Free Asia

Angkor Gold approves mining payout scheme
Cambodian mining firm Angkor Gold has agreed to accept payment by instalment on Mesco Gold’s final tranche for the purchase of its Phum Syarung gold mine in northeastern Cambodia, the company said in press release.
The Phnom Penh Post

China investors largest foreign traders on CSX
Foreign trading on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) is dominated by investors from China, Japan and Taiwan, according to the stock exchange’s 2016 fact book, published on Friday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Feud Between Government, UN Rights Office Continues
While the government agreed at the end of last year to let the U.N.’s human rights office continue operating in the country for two more years, the debate over the body’s role in Cambodia is far from finished, as illustrated by the past few days.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Hun Sen Accuses Analysts of Hypocrisy Over Leaks Criticism
Prime Minister Hun Sen accused analysts of hypocrisy on Friday for taking aim at the government over leaks of alleged telephone conversations between Cambodia’s political rivals, while staying silent over the surveillance techniques of the CIA.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Indonesian Continues Reforms to Business Process
After moving up 15 places in the World Bank’s annual ease of doing business report for 2017, Indonesian authorities are determined to maintain the momentum, introducing additional reforms to ease the business process in Indonesia.
— AEC News Today

Buddhists caned under sharia law for the first time in Aceh
Indonesia’s only province to impose sharia law caned Buddhists for the first time Friday, after two men accused of cockfighting opted for punishment under the strict Islamic regulations.
— Coconuts Jakarta

Indonesia to set 2-week deadline to solve Freeport row
Indonesia’s government has set itself a two-week deadline to resolve a dispute with Freeport-McMoRan Inc that has led to the suspension of copper concentrate exports from the world’s second-largest mine for almost two months.
— Gulf Times

First made-in-Indonesia BlackBerry phone goes on sale
The first BlackBerry smartphone designed and manufactured by an Indonesian company has been released in Jakarta.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia: ASEAN Aerospace MRO Leader?
Earlier this month, several Indonesian state-owned aerospace companies inked a new agreement to cooperate in setting up a new holding company to provide aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services and help position the Southeast Asian state as a regional leader in this field.
– The Diplomat

INSIGHT: Should Indonesia and Australia jointly patrol the South China Sea?
In an interview with The Australian shortly before his visit to Sydney on Feb. 26 and 27, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reportedly opened the door for Indonesia and Australia to jointly patrol the South China Sea.
– The Jakarta Post

Indonesian app startup helps tailors become their own bosses
This might only look like a small workshop near Jakarta, Indonesia, but it could be the beginning of a fashion revolution.

Allegations against Anies Baswedan of corruption and multiple violations of election law being investigated
The official campaign period for the runoff election between the incumbents, Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and Vice Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat, and rivals Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno, started this week.
— Coconuts Jakarta

Six terrorists arrested in Indonesia
At least six terrorists were arrested by Indonesia’s anti-terror squad on Friday, police said.
— Business Standard

Malaysia to deport 160 Indonesians
A total of 160 Indonesian migrants will be deported from Johor after serving their jail terms for working illegally in that country, an Indonesian embassy official said.
— Antara News

Indonesia’s war on drugs takes deadly turn
Rebuffing an outcry over the previous execution of 18 deathrow inmates, most of whom were drug convicts, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed officers in relevant agencies to hunt, arrest and “crush” smalland big-time drug dealers.
– The Jakarta Post

Indonesian politicians implicated in major e-KTP graft case
Indonesian politicians, including the justice minister and ex-interior minister, and officials were implicated Thursday in a major corruption scandal estimated to have sucked about $170 million out of government coffers.
— Coconuts Jakarta

Giant Indonesian Muslim Group Joins The Fight against Fake News
The world’s largest Muslim organization is helping step up a battle in Indonesia to scrub the internet of fake news.
– Netral English

Quarter of Indonesian Kids Don’t Have Birth Certificates
The Ministry of Home Affairs has revealed that nearly 20 million Indonesian children between the ages of 1 and 18 do not have birth certificates.
— Jakarta Globe

Trump’s Trade Policies Positive for Indonesia’s Footwear Industry?
Eddy Widjanarko, Chairman of the Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo), said the US economic policies under Donald Trump, who shocked markets by winning the US 2016 presidential election last November, will actually include positive benefits for Indonesia.
— Indonesia Investments

AirNav to spend Rp 800 billion for Jakarta-based traffic service center this year
State-owned air navigation firm Flight Navigation Service, also known as AirNav, has earmarked Rp 800 billion ((US$59.9 million) to improve its flight security system for the western part of the country this year.
— The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta Set to Ban Go-Jek, Uber and Grab
The Yogyakarta administration plans to issue a regulation next week that will ban ride-hailing services in the city.
— Jakarta Globe

Antam to Seek Permit to Export 6m Tons of Nickel Ore
Indonesian state miner Aneka Tambang will apply next week for a permit to export 6 million tons of nickel ore for a year, a company spokesman said on Friday (10/03).
— Jakarta Globe

Two Indonesian football clubs eye capital markets to raise funds
Two Indonesian football clubs have reportedly expressed their interest to tap the capital markets to raise funds, an Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) director told reporters in Jakarta recently.
— Deal Street Asia

Bank Indonesia Also Expects US Interest Rate Hike in March 2017
The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) is also among the many institutions or market participants that expect the Federal Reserve to raise its Fed Funds Rate by 25 basis points at the coming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting (14-15 March 2017).
— Indonesia Investments

Jakarta to form disaster standby volunteers team
The Jakarta administration is planning to set up a community-based team of disaster standby volunteers, acting Jakarta Governor Sumarsono said.
— Antara News

More Indonesians Taken Hostage by Abu Sayyaf, Defense Minister to Meet With Malaysian Gov’t
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu will initiate measures to prevent further abductions after seven Indonesian crewmembers were reportedly taken hostage by the militant Abu Sayyaf group on Sulu Island in the Southern Philippines recently.
— The Jakarta Post

Police to deploy 15 thousand personnel at President Cup final
The National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian said that a total 15 thousand personnel will be deployed to secure the final round matches of the President Cup II 2017 national soccer championship.
— Antara News

Salim Group joins fight for Indonesian e-commerce share
Indonesia’s Salim Group is planning a major foray into e-commerce this year in partnership with South Korea’s Lotte, squaring off against heavily funded rivals also seeking a slice of the Southeast Asian nation’s swelling online shopping market.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Indonesia arrests 9 suspected militants
Indonesian police arrested nine suspected militants on the island of Sulawesi, a police spokesman said on Saturday, in an operation that reportedly targeted a group with affiliations to Islamic State.
— Channel NewsAsia

Sugar Breakthrough Paves Way for Indonesia-Australia Trade Deal
Australia is pinning its hopes on sugar to revitalize exports to Indonesia, as it seeks momentum for a free trade agreement that has been mooted for nearly a decade.
— Bloomberg

ROTA partners with UCQ to benefit 100 nursing students in Indonesia
Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) in collaboration with Titian Foundation NGO, a former in-country partner based in Indonesia, has recently partnered with the University of Calgary – Qatar (UCQ) to send 18 female nursing students to Yogyakarta in Indonesia as part of its International Volunteer Trips Programme.
— The Peninsula Qatar

Indonesia, Saudi Arabia exchange Qurans as gifts
Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifudin exchanged Qurans, Muslim holy books, as souvenirs with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Sunday before the king left Bali for Tokyo to resume his Asia tour.
— The Jakarta Post


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


UNDP chief visits Laos, assesses development progress
UNDP Administrator and Chair of the United Nations Development Group Helen Clark is in Laos on a two-day official visit that began on Sunday.
— News Ghana

Savannakhet Orders Closure of Over 300 Illegal Wood Factories
Savannakhet authorities have ordered more than 300 wood processing factories to close since Feb 15 to ensure that natural resources, especially timber, are used in an effective manner.
— Lao News Agency

Mobile Broadband Drives Growth in a lagging Laos telco market
After years of hesitancy, Laos has started to make significant progress in strengthening of its telecommunications infrastructure.
— Budde Blog

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

Japan gives boost to education in northern Laos
The Japanese government has provided grant assistance for education development in the provinces of Oudomxay, Bokeo, Xieng Khuang and Vientiane.
— Vientiane Times

Vice Foreign Minister Receives New ADB Country Director
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms Khamphao Eurnthavanh on March 9 received a courtesy call from Mr Yasushi Negishi who will serve as the new Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director to the Lao PDR.
— Lao News Agency

China expects to build LMC a flagship initiative for Asian community
“We hope the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism will become a flagship initiative in our efforts to build an Asian community of shared future,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday at the launch ceremony of the LMC China Secretariat in Beijing.
— Mareeg Media

Japan Ranks Eighth in Foreign Investment in Laos
(KPL) Japan ranks as the eighth largest foreign investor in the Lao PDR, with total investment of more than US$438 million.
— Lao News Agency

Monta Champassak Garden draws visitors to Pakxong
Monta Champassak Garden in Pakxong district, Champassak province, is set to become a highlight for visitors with an interest in agriculture after temporarily opening in December 2016.
— Vientiane Times

Laos, Japan enhance cooperation
The relationship between Laos and Japan continues to grow and be fruitful, especially under the strategic partnership which has strengthened political, economic, and socio-cultural cooperation.
— Vientiane Times

Lao Airlines aims for Direct Route to Tokyo for Passengers
Lao Airlines has announced plans to provide its passengers with a direct flight between Vientiane and Tokyo, Japan.
— The Laotian Times

Tauranga student will care for elephants in Laos
A Tauranga woman is heading to a remote part of Asia to help care for endangered elephants.
— New Zealand Herald

Single Siren Allowed to Make
Seven rescue teams in Vientiane Capital have been instructed to use a single siren to be a similar with the ambulance siren following each rescue using different sounds so far that made road users confused.
— Lao News Agency


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


M’sia tops US-based ‘2017 Best Countries to Invest In’ survey
Malaysia is the clear front-runner in the ‘2017 Best Countries to Invest In’ survey by US-based BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
New Straits Times

Malaysia, North Korea to begin formal talks over return of Malaysians: minister
Malaysia will in the coming days begin formal talks with North Korea on the return of nine Malaysians stranded in Pyongyang, the Southeast Asian nation’s foreign minister said on Saturday, after they were barred from leaving the country amid a diplomatic spat.

PM Najib warns North Korea to ensure 9 Malaysians’ safety
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak on Sunday (Mar 12) vowed to ensure the safety of the nine Malaysians stranded in North Korea, and warned Pyongyang not to toy with Malaysia.
Channel News Asia

BSN launches new Johor branch HQ to strengthen southern operations
As part of its move to strengthen operations in the southern region, Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN)’s main branch in Johor will henceforth operate from a new building at Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim here.
New Straits Times

Bank Rakyat a takeover target
Bank Rakyat, Malaysia’s profitable Islamic co-operative bank, has become a takeover target as part of Bank Negara’s bigger plan to consolidate the financial sector.
The Star Online

Thong Guan investing RM35mil to expand Sg Petani plant’s capacity
Packaging firm Thong Guan Industries Bhd is investing around RM35mil to expand its production capacity in Sungai Petani.
The Star Online

Conflict of interest over Setapak high-rise, high-density project?
A proposed construction of a high-rise development project in Taman Tiara Titiwangsa, Setapak, has raised the ire of residents who questioned the legality of the project.
Malay Mail Online

Subsidies should be withdrawn when world oil prices drop, Umno man says
The government should withdraw all subsidies when crude oil prices fall below US$40 (RM178.34) per barrel, said Umno information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
— Malay Mail Online

Malaysia says only 315 North Koreans left in the country
Malaysia’s deputy prime minister said Sunday that 315 North Koreans are in the country and barred from leaving amid a diplomatic dispute over the killing of  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother.
The Washington Post

No dearth of capital in SEA, valuations to be modest: Reapra’s James Bitanga
Venture Capital firm and business builder Reapra Pte Ltd, an aggressive investor in Southeast Asia with 30 companies funded last year, is expanding into diverse sectors in the region while being bullish on digital media,
education and real estate in the region, a top executive with the company said.
Deal Street Asia

Poser over mystery Malaysian drug smuggling mastermind
It has been nearly a year since the 21 suspected Malaysian ‘drug mules’ were tethered by the Thai authorities while allegedly attempting to smuggle 226kg of ‘Ice’ (crystal meth or Syabu) and eight kilogrammes of heroin into Malaysia.
BorneoPost Online

Wider sales reach for for EST City
Forest City, a massive development in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, is going global as owner Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd switches strategy to expand its sales reach.
New Straits Times

NUTE prefers insider to succeed Zamzamzairani
A Telekom Malaysia Bhd union has no problem with an “outsider” replacing group chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director Tan Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa, who will leave the post this month.
New Straits Times

Oil prices face uncertainty again
COULD the plunge in the price of oil last week be the start of a reversal in prices which have been on the mend since the pledged production cut in January?
The Star Online

PIE eyes four big projects
PIE Industrial Bhd is currently negotiating for four major projects that will spearhead the company’s growth in 2018.
The Star Online

Leaders without vision will hamper progress of country, PM says
Malaysia will become weak and non-competitive if the country is led by leaders without a vision, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Malay Mail Online


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


US to Give $150k of Equipment to Coffee Growers in Shan Township
The United States Agency for Inter­national Develop­ment (USAID) will offer $150,000 worth of equip­ment to help coffee culti­vators in southern Shan state, an industry official has said.
— Consult-Myanmar

WB works with Myanmar govt to modernize banking system
Myanmar is embarking on the first comprehensive audit of state-owned banks in decades, part of a push to modernize the financial system and tackle risks to the nation’s rapid economic growth.
— Business Mirror

Plan to export 100Gbps bandwidth to Myanmar
Bangladesh has planned to export 100 Gbps (Gigabit per second) bandwidth to Myanmar through undersea cable which would boost the government revenue.
— The Nation

Thai firm N Health launches joint venture to open Myanmar’s first private medical lab
NATIONAL HEALTHCARE Systems Co Ltd, a Thai medical service provider supporting hospital businesses in Asean, opened on Sunday an independent clinical laboratory as a joint venture with two Myanmar firms – Sea Lion Group and Bahosi Hospital.
— The Nation

BAFS ponders pipeline extension
SET-listed Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services Plc (BAFS) is mulling an extension of a pipeline project from the North of Thailand into Myanmar and China, with plans to conduct a feasibility study by the end of this year or early next.
— Bangkok Post

Burma’s nationalist monk banned from delivering sermons
Burma’s State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee on Thursday issued an order banning infamous nationalist Buddhist monk U Wirathu from delivering sermons across the country for one year starting from March 10 due to his religious hate speeches, The Irrawaddy Online reported on Saturday.
— Thai PBS

Ministry Aims at 1 Million Housing Units by 2030
The Ministry of Construction has planned to implement one million units by 2030, according to the government’s housing development plan.
— Consult-Myanmar

German Bank to Loan €5m For Upgrades at Yangon Railway
Myanmar is to re­ceive a €5 mil­lion loan from Germany’s KfW Develop­ment Bank for upgrades to the Ywa Htaung diesel locomotive shed, where trains are kept when not in use.
— Consult-Myanmar

‘Tuberculosis’ kills 14 in Myanmar’s remote north
At least 14 people have died from pulmonary tuberculosis in a remote and impoverished region in Myanmar’s north this year, according to officials Thursday.
— Anadolu Agency

Planning and Finance Ministry to take over MADB
Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank (MADB) will be taken over by the Ministry of Planning and Finance in April, due to difficulties faced by the bank in issuing loans expediently to farmers as well as collection of loan repayments, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw from Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation said at the Pyithu Hluttaw.
— Myanmar Times

Myanmar govt staff asked to cut Thingyan holiday
The Myanmar government has asked ministries and state organisations to reduce the Thingyan water festival holiday.
— The nation

Kyauktada receives 35 CCTV cameras in bid to reduce crime and littering
Bad news for criminals planning any major hoists in Kyauktada — the township just installed a total 35 CCTV cameras in the area.
— Coconuts Yangon

Tiong Nam’s growth strategy – trucking network linking Malaysia-Thailand-Myanmar-Laos-Vietnam-China
ross-border trucking and e-commerce businesses could be the next drivers of growth for Tiong Nam Logistics Holdings Bhd.
— Consult-Myanmar

Clothing exports increase by $1bn
More than US$1.64 billion of clothing under the cut-make-pack (CMP) system was exported between April and February, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
— Eleven

Security tightened in Maungdaw
The authorities have tightened security at border outposts in Maungdaw amid fears of militant strikes.
— Eleven

Migrants protest at Thai factory
More than 800 workers at the Golden Prize canning company in Mahachai, Thailand, have protested for violating employee rights, according to Ye Min from the Thai-based Aid Alliance Committee (AAC).
— Eleven

Bosses, workers negotiate return to work after $75,000 rampage at garment plant
Management and employees are negotiating a return to work at a Chinese-owned garment factory in Yangon where striking workers destroyed machinery late last month, media reports said.
— Frontier Myanmar

NLD MPs propose funding suspension for dozens of state factories
National League for Democracy lawmakers on Friday proposed taking the axe to state-owned factories, with budget support for 44 of 52 projects likely to be cut off.
— Frontier Myanmar

Myanmar Muslim minority subject to horrific torture, UN says
A top UN official says “crimes against humanity” are being committed by the military and police against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.
— BBC News

UWSA fires a salvo of criticism at peace process
The United Wa State Army has lambasted the peace process in a paper circulated ahead of a meeting it called of ethnic armed groups that are yet to sign the 2015 national ceasefire accord.
— Frontier Myanmar

Uprooted by war, fearing troops, Myanmar girls learn karate
Every afternoon, dozens of teenage girls at the school for displaced children line up on the grounds, dressed in white uniforms with belts of various colors: yellow, blue, white. They kick high and jump with glee before settling into their exercises, shouting in Japanese as they punch into the air.
— Northwest Asian Weekly

Top Myanmar Bank May Sell Stake to Foreign Firm, If Law Allows
Myanmar’s largest privately-owned bank by assets says it’s willing to sell a stake to a foreign lender, pending a change in the country’s law, as it gears up to expand its operations in one of Asia’s most under-banked nations.
— Bloomberg

Japanese organisations to provide more Myanmar aid
JAPAN-BASED Nippon Foundation and sister organisations have granted Myanmar nearly $90 million to fulfill the nation’s basic needs since 1976, and have planned to support additional $30 million during the National League for Democracy Government term, said Yohei Sasakawa, special envoy of the Japanese government for national reconciliation in Myanmar and chairman of the Nippon Foundation (TNF).
— The Nation

Myanmar garment industry body denies use of child labour in factories
DESPITE RECENT international reports which accused some garment factories in Myanmar of labour abuses, top executives of Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association said last week that the industry did not accept the use of child labour, in line with the standards of International Labour Organisation.
— The Nation

Thai soap angers family of Myanmar’s last king
The family of Myanmar’s last king hit out on Sunday at a Thai soap opera inspired by the palace intrigue of their ancestors, accusing Thailand of double standards in how it treats another country’s royals.
— The Nation

Rohingya Women Organization Inaugurated in Malaysia
A Rohingya women organization named ‘Rohingya Women Development Network (RWDN)’, the first women-centric organization of its kind, has been inaugurated here in Kuala Lumpur today (Mar 11).
— Rohingya Vision

Two Burmese workers killed and 13 others injured in road accident
Two Burmese migrant workers were killed and 13 others were injured, three of them in serious condition, when a passenger van in which they were riding slammed into the rear of a trailer truck in Kampaeng Phet province before dawn on Sunday.
— Thai PBS


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Gov’t seeking $150M from AIIB for Metro Manila flood control project
The Philippine government has officially proposed for cofinancing of China-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) a $500-million flood control project in Metro Manila.
Philippine Daily Inquirer 

PH, China to sign over $8B project financing deals
The Philippine government is firming up the list of projects to be financed by China ahead of signing an economic cooperation agreement between this week, according to documents from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
The Manila Times 

Export growth target to be revised upward
The government and the private sector will revisit the country’s export growth target following the strong outcome of merchandise exports in January.
Phil Star 

PH secures economic priorities in ASEAN
The Philippines successfully advocated its trade priorities in ASEAN as the country’s hosting of the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM) Retreat and Related Meetings ended on March 10.
– Eagle News Service

Philippine salary increases slow down but bonuses slightly up
Employee salaries in the Philippines’ private sector increased only by 5% year-on-year, on average, according to a report released by Willis Towers Watson.
Enterprise Innovation 

Manila eyes ‘golden age of infrastructure’
Desperately needed airports and trains are part of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s envisioned “golden age of infrastructure,” but graft, red tape and other perennial problems threaten the $170-billion plan.
Arab News 

Taxing JICA-funded projects
For many years now, the Government of Japan has been one of the largest providers of bilateral assistance to the Philippines. The Philippines undertakes several projects funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans or grant aid from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Business World Online 

PHL takes over chairmanship of APEC disaster risk finance group
The Philippines has accepted the chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)’s technical working group (TWG) in charge of crafting financial protection strategies that will strengthen the resilience and quick-response measures of governments to disasters.
Canadian Inquirer 

China: Philippines can’t claim Benham Rise
The Philippines cannot claim Benham Rise as its own territory despite it being part of the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone, Beijing said.
Phil Star 

Donald Trump Has Call Centers in the Philippines Worried
Outsourcing companies in the Philippines, whose clients are mainly U.S. companies, are worried that Donald Trump’s plan to bring jobs back to America won’t end at just manufacturing but extend into services.

Philippine armed group sets free child soldiers
Hundreds of child soldiers have been released by the Philippines’ main separatist armed group here at Camp Nusa, continuing its commitment to end the recruitment and use of children within its ranks.

First credit card facility for Philippine corn farmers launched
To address the lack of capital sources with reasonable interest rates for farmers, Monsanto and Metrobank launched Dekalb Mlite, the first credit card facility for corn farmers in the country.
Sun Star 

‘Don’t scare me on human rights’
President Duterte is unfazed by moves to hale him before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.
Phil Star 

Philippine-Australia ties: Challenges and opportunities
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is set to visit the country this week. The occasion is expected to bring to fore the challenges and opportunities that inform the long-standing relationship between the two countries. Trade, investment, and security are just some of the issues that will be raised, underscored by a shared interest in regional prosperity.
The Standard 

Philippines Commissions New Japan Coast Guard Vessel
This week, the Philippines commissioned the third of ten coast guard vessels it is received from Japan to help boost its maritime and law enforcement capabilities.
The Diplomat 

EU threatens to review Philippine access to GSP
A senior official of the European Union warned on Friday that the 28-nation block could review trade agreements with the Philippines if the death penalty bill becomes law and if summary killings continue unabated, The Manila Times Online reported on Saturday.
Thai PBS 

Philippines needs more telco players: DICT Secretary
The Philippines needs more telecommunications players that would deliver improve service, coverage, and pricing to the people.

Malaysia to send new peacekeepers to Mindanao
Malaysia will replace on Tuesday its peacekeeping contingent in Mindanao with a new batch for a 12-month mission in conflict flashpoint areas.
Phil Star 

Philippines, Rebels to Restart Peace Talks, Cease-fire
The Philippine government and communist rebels have agreed to resume peace talks and restore separate cease-fires after an escalation of deadly clashes, officials said Sunday.


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Singapore, Hong Kong Property Marching in Opposite Directions
Whether you look at prices or policy, the property markets in Singapore and Hong Kong are marching resolutely in opposite directions.

Singapore’s maritime sector facing talent shortages in big data
A shortage of talent is preventing Singapore’s maritime industry from tapping the benefits of big data analytics to improve vessel performance and lower business costs, a new survey has found.
Hellenic Shipping

Singapore’s education system undergoing ‘overwhelming adjustment’: Ong Ye Kung
Singapore’s education system is undergoing an “overwhelming” adjustment to prepare students for the new economy though it may appear unchanged on the outside, like a computer, said Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung on Sunday morning.
The Straits Times 

Changes to Companies Act take effect March 31
SIGNIFICANT changes to the law governing companies will come into effect in just a matter of weeks.
The Business Times 

UBS Wealth Management adds to Singapore team
UBS has hired a new wealth manager for its Singapore business, a spokesperson confirmed to Hubbis.

More IT spending seen in Singapore this year
“DESPITE the uncertain economic conditions in 2017, the enterprise technology landscape bodes well with the push for productivity and training on skills future,” said Saw Ken Wye (pic, right), Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) chairman and CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd chief executive officer.
Digital News Asia

Major, Lindsey & Africa Opens In Singapore
March 12, 2017 – Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA) has opened a new office in Singapore and added Ashish Raivadera to the partner practice group as head of private practice for South Asia. He will also lead operations in Singapore.
Huny Scanlon 

Turning innovations into enterprises
The link between innovation and growth provides justification for the government to invest in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Live Mint 

Singapore, Hong Kong property marching in opposite directions
Whether you look at prices or policy, the property markets in Singapore and Hong Kong are marching resolutely in opposite directions.
Today Online 

More women join the workforce
More women are now participating in the workforce, even as the support system to enable women to balance family commitments with career aspirations is being built up, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said yesterday.
The New Paper 

Conference promotes Vietnam-Singapore trade partnership
Up to 110 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of Vietnam attended a conference in Singapore on March 10 to seek trade and investment partnership.

The challenge of going beyond healthcare to health
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and his team deserve full credit for presenting, last week, probably the most comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention national strategy ever to be articulated in the hallowed halls of Parliament.
Today Online 

Meet the 12 Fintech Teams Selected for Global Startupbootcamp
Startupbootcamp FinTech, the global accelerator for fintech startups has announced the 12 international startups that will join its accelerator programme in Singapore. The cohort was selected after a final evaluation from a panel of industry experts and VCs, as per an official statement.
BW Disrupt 

Singapore’s Construction Industry Forecasted to Grow at a CAGR 2.06% from 2017 to 2021
Albany, New York, March 12, 2017: Market Research Hub includes new market research report “Construction in Singapore, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2021” to its huge collection of research reports.


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


Public Health warns people of heatstroke as mercury may rise to 43C
The rising temperature is raising the risk of heatstroke, the Public Health Ministry warns on Sunday. The ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Sopon Mekthon thus advised people to drink two litres of water a day during summer to lower the risk.
– The Nation

Designing digital organisations for a digital economy
Digitisation is often championed by one unit within an organisation, with a narrow approach limited to changing technology or making the transition to automated processes.
Bangkok Post

Search continued on 23rd day for missing Russian tourist at Koh Tao
Valentina Novozhyonovam, 23, has gone missing during her trip to Thailand’s Koh Tao island since February 15. An ongoing investigation suggests she might have had an accident while free diving – her favourite hobby.
– The Nation

NZ approves Thai cooked duck imports
New Zealand for the first time has approved the import of cooked duck meat from Thailand, with the first shipments expected to start this month.
– Bangkok Post

Plea for World Bank to give fair ranking

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has called on the World Bank to conduct a fair assessment of Thailand’s ease of doing business in the next survey, for he believes that the country has made great progress and deserves a higher ranking.
– Bangkok Post

BAFS ponders pipeline extension

SET-listed Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services Plc (BAFS) is mulling an extension of a pipeline project from the North of Thailand into Myanmar and China, with plans to conduct a feasibility study by the end of this year or early next.
– Bangkok Post

Polo Tourney Raises More Cash to Help Thailand Elephants

The thundering sound of running pachyderms has been reverberating around Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort over the weekend signalling Thailand’s annual jumbo corporate social responsibility (CSR) event of the year, the Anantara Resorts/ King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament.
– AEC News Today

Public to get first crack at TFF’s IPO
The State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo) will apply a small-lot first basis for the imminent initial public offering (IPO) of the Thailand Future Fund (TFF) to enable more retail investors to invest the infrastructure fund.
Bangkok Post

Struggling with free trade
As Thailand continues to negotiate more free trade agreements (FTAs), local businesses often struggle to reap the rewards of lower or zero tariffs offered for shipments.
Bangkok Post

Thailand says optimistic transport spending will resume
Nearly two years after Thailand’s junta approved $40 billion for big transport projects to spur economic revival, it has spent barely two percent of that, official figures show.

Thai soap angers family of Myanmar’s last king
The family of Myanmar’s last king hit out on Sunday (Mar 12) at a Thai soap opera inspired by the palace intrigue of their ancestors, accusing Thailand of double standards in how it treats another country’s royals.
Channel News Asia

Vongthep: On Thailand-Myanmar migration issues
Myanmar and Thailand signed a bilateral MOU to govern the labour migration between the two, especially from Myanmar to Thailand.
Myanmar Times

Elephant kills Thai handler at Wakayama amusement facility
An animal handler died Sunday after being hit by the trunk of an elephant at an amusement facility complex in Wakayama Prefecture, police said.
The Japan Times

Law, life and Society: Reassessing the Thai education system
The Thai education system was recently featured in the Economist. The article, titled ‘Poor schools are at the heart of Thailand’s political malaise’, was published on January 19, 2017 and discussed Thailand’s international education rankings in the recently released ‘Program for International Student Assessment’ (PISA).
Phuket Gazette

Lacoste eyes youth in online push next year
Lacoste, the French premium casual apparel company, plans to start its online business in Thailand next year, as it sees a lot of potential in the youth market.
Bangkok Post

Govt ramps up long-term care for elderly
OF ABOUT 1.3 million housebound and bed-bound elderly people, just a little over 10 per cent have received long-term care services from the state.
The Nation

Taxpayers ‘should not need to foot bills’ for agencies’ overseas trips
OVERSEAS trips organised by independent agencies as part of special courses are beneficial but the costs should not be borne by taxpayers, leading thinkers opined.
The Nation

Thai company to broadcast through Lao satellite
Lao Asia-Pacific Satellite Co Ltd has signed agreements with Kanboon . The signing ceremony took place yesterday in Vientiane between the deputy general manager of Lao Asia-Pacific Satellite Li Ying, and Kanboon Sompraingarm board member Taratip Koonnawutti.
The Nation


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Vietnam’s economic growth to see little change in 2017
Vietnam has been seeing slight GDP growth in recent years. The growth rate was 6.2 percent in 2016 and is forecast to be 6.3 percent this year.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Vietnam active in regional economic, trade integration
Vietnam will continue reforming its economy, improving the business climate and fully implementing the commitments it has made to the free trade agreements (FTAs), actively contributing to regional economic and trade integration.
Vietnam Plus 

China set to cut into India, Vietnam rice exports in 2017 – USDA
India and Vietnam, the world’s leading rice exporters, may see overseas sales fall below previously expected levels due to slowing demand and rising competition from China, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a recent report.
VietNamNet Bridge 

PM requests increased inspection over alcohol products
The Prime Minister has asked for intensifying the management of liquor products and stringently handling violations of food safety relating to the products following a series of alcohol poisoning cases in the country.

Over VND 29trln invested into Central Highlands region
Ministry of Planning and Investment in collaboration with the Central Highlands Steering Committee and the People’s Committee of Dak Lak province yesterday organized the fourth conference on investment promotion for the Central Highlands City of Buon Ma Thuot.

Vietnam halts work on massive Chinese solar panel plant
Construction reportedly began in Bac Giang Province without a construction permit or an environmental impact review.

Vietnam’s relations with US, Israel spotlighted at embassy’s reception
Vietnam’s relations with the US and Israel were the focus of a recent diplomatic reception held by the Vietnamese Embassy in the US and the Asia Pacific Institute of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnam works to reinforce relations with EU
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung has made a working visit to the EU from March 4-10, aiming to boost Vietnam – EU ties via lobbying for the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Conference promotes Vietnam-Singapore trade partnership
Up to 110 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of Vietnam attended a conference in Singapore on March 10 to seek trade and investment partnership.

Top holiday deals: Vietnam, Fiji, Thailand, Peru, South America and more
IT’S one of the hottest holiday destinations for Aussie travellers right now, and the good news is it’s possible to see the highlights of Vietnam for only a few hundred bucks.
NT News

Vietnam fruits welcomed overseas, less favored in home market
While Vietnam’s fruits are popular among choosy consumers in the US, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, the products have to struggle to cement their positions in the domestic market.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Vietnam Opportunity Fund will continue to look at privatised state companies: VinaCapital
Vietnam-based asset management firm VinaCapital said it will evaluate investments into privatised state-owned business, as the local government is looking to push a spate of listings this year.
Deal Street Asia 

Too many English teaching programs for primary schools
Parents in Hanoi complain that they cannot decide which English learning programs to choose for their children because there are too many programs and they don’t have sufficient information about the quality of the programs.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Oji expands sales of baby diapers to Vietnam, Cambodia
Oji Holdings will start selling disposable diapers for babies in Vietnam and Cambodia, the Japanese paper company’s latest effort to expand its Southeast Asian footprint.
Asia Nikkei 

National pharmaceutical trading centre launched
The Ministry of Health launched a national pharmaceutical trading centre at a ceremony in Hanoi on March 10.
Vietnam Plus 

Vietnam’s images promoted at ASEAN Plus Three Festival
The Vietnamese Embassy and students in Cambodia presented their homeland’s identities at the ASEAN Plus Three Festival, held at the Royal University of Phnom Penh on March 11.
Vietnam Plus 

HCM aims for “smart city” status
Ho Chi Minh City plans to become a smart city, and the task requires concerted efforts by the administration and information technology community, a city leader has said.
Vietnam Plus



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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