Asean Morning News For March 16

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For March 16
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Asean Morning News 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


Julie Bishop on the TPP and Australia’s relationship with Singapore
In an interview with Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday (Mar 14), Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke about ASEAN and the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the US pulled out of the pact.
— Channel NewsAsia

Prosperity for the Asean region
“The economic integration effort would be meaningless if the economic rewards of growth and prosperity will exclude the MSMEs which account for almost 95-99 percent of the total enterprise across ASEAN.”
— Phil Star

Asean should not be forced to choose between superpowers, says China
Premier Li Keqiang struck an optimistic tone on China’s relations with the United States and at the same time said Beijing did not want the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) to feel compelled about having to choose between the two superpowers.
— Today Online

ALA sets up ASEAN Legal Centre in Shanghai FTZ
ASEAN Legal Alliance (ALA), a network of law firms operating in ten ASEAN member countries, has signed an MoU with the Shanghai Arbitration Court of International Shipping (SACIS) that gives the ASEAN Legal Centre a foothold in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.
— Legal Business Online

Same-sex marriage: Asean judges urged to be ready
Same-sex marriages are likely cases for judges in Asean to preside in future, says Singapore Supreme Court Judge Lee Seiu Kin.
— Sin Chew

The Singapore government will include four major amendments to the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act in view of growing cyber threats.
— Asean Briefing

ASEAN HRC Steel import prices gain during February
The monthly average of ASEAN HRC index was $512.90 a ton in February, up by $3.35 a ton month-on-month. Improved trading activity after the long Lunar New Year break led to small increases in Asian steel prices, said the Steel Index.
— News

ASEAN Today business updates: Cambodia places 18% rate cap on new and restructured loans
The National Bank of Cambodia will place an 18% rate ceiling on new and restructured loans from microfinance institutions from 1st April 2017 onwards.
— Asean Today

Asean judiciaries urged to stay in tune with the times
Asean judiciaries must keep up with international and regional human rights jurisprudence so there is no injustice, said Malaysian Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif.
— The Star Online

ASEAN to strengthen cooperation in bio-safety and bio-security
Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will work to strengthen cooperation to build capacity in bio-safety and bio-security for laboratory and hospital technicians, officials and experts agreed Wednesday.
— Global Times

Youth-women-netizens: ASEAN’s post-demographic actors?
Demographically, ASEAN is a hugely diverse market. The diversity encompasses not only social-economic characteristics but also extends to culture, language and religion.
—  The Jakarta Post

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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Sugar slowly moves to market
Cambodia’s five major sugar producers exported just 4 percent of the country’s planned refined sugar capacity to the international market last year, equalling only 80,000 tonnes, a sign that government officials said means the sector still has ample room for growth as sugar companies push for higher yields.
The Phnom Penh Post

Microfinance Institutions to Request Assistance From Central Bank
Reacting to the central bank’s announcement of a hard cap on interest rates, the chairman of an industry group representing 84 microfinance institutions on Wednesday said the association would request tax exemptions or cheap loans from the bank to make the arrangement viable.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia’s Deputy PM Sok An dies aged 66, government spokesman says
Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, a close ally of Prime Minister Hun Sen for decades, has died at the age of 66, a government spokesman said.
ABC News

Cambodian opposition leader campaigns after predecessor quits to save party
New Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha began a pre-election tour to rally support on Tuesday after his veteran predecessor resigned in fear that his party could be dissolved by the state.

Cambodia PM’s ally Sok An dies aged 66
Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, a close ally of Prime Minister Hun Sen for decades, died on Wednesday at the age of 66, a government spokesman said.

Cambodia’s teachers cannot afford to be professional
Few teachers in the public system anywhere in the world will tell you that high salaries are one of the perks of the job. Educators in Cambodia, however, face an uphill battle just to get started in the profession.
Nikkei Asian Review

First submarine cable launched
Telcotech, a subsidiary of local internet provider Ezecom, officially launched Cambodia’s first undersea fibre-optic communications cable yesterday after nearly two years of construction, promising faster, cheaper and more secure internet connectivity.
The Phnom Penh Post

Delayed Undersea Broadband Cable Enters Testing Phase
A long-awaited $100 million undersea broadband cable connecting Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand officially started testing on Wednesday, moving closer to operation following numerous construction delays.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Hollow growth leaves Cambodians wanting more
On the morning of Feb. 14, about 100 villagers had gathered on a street near the official residence of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Nikkei Asian Review

How the residents of Cambodia’s ‘HIV village’ are coping more than two years on
In 2014, an unlicensed medic infected almost 300 people with HIV in Roka village, and the residents are still picking up the pieces.
Southeast Asia Globe

Cambodia, Catholicism, and Cauliflower
Over a narrow cement bridge spanning ponds of purple-flowering lilies lies the ethnically Vietnamese village of Koh Pos Die Edth.
The Diplomat

Rising Intimidation in Cambodian Politics Calls for Urgent Solidarity
Last month, protesters gathered outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to demonstrate against the trial of Tep Vanny, one of Cambodia’s most well-known land-rights activists, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison for aggravated intentional violence in relation to a 2013 protest outside Hun Sen’s residence in Phnom Penh.
The Diplomat

The Trump Excuse: Experts Question Justification for Threats Against Media
Following Trump’s attacks on the media, the Cambodian government has said it will “take action” against media it sees as “threatening the country”.

ASIA’S FUTURE CITIES: ‘Give Phnom Penh a new face’ – Young Cambodian dreams of architectural revolution
Not many people can remember when they first heard the word “architecture”. But for Hun Chansan, the memory is vivid.
Channel News Asia

Capital controls hold back Chinese developer
The head of Chinese real estate developer Guangzhou R&F Properties, which has announced plans to invest $3 billion into a new luxury hotel in the Kingdom, has asked Chinese authorities to fast track its approval process for moving cash out of the mainland, according to a report yesterday in the South China Morning Post.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian workers see Thai salaries rise
ambodian workers in Thailand are benefiting from a small bump in the country’s minimum wage, which went into effect at the start of this year in some Thai provinces, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Labour announced on Monday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Sar Kheng Orders Removal of Local Opposition Councilors
Hundreds of local-level opposition leaders are set to lose their salaries after Interior Minister Sar Kheng ordered the removal of all current commune and district councilors competing in the upcoming election for a different political party than the one they were elected under.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Opposition Learning to Live With Fear of Death
Early this month, the opposition CNRP registered 11,572 candidates for June’s commune elections—one for every seat—in what’s likely to prove a bellwether for next year’s all-important national election.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Challenges Ahead For Indonesia’s youth
Indonesia’s youth (pemuda) have always been valued as the vanguard of political change, taking a leading role in the independence revolution of the 1940s and in more recent regime changes in 1966 and 1998. With a half of Indonesia’s 240 million people aged under 30, Indonesia’s youth are the key to its future development.
— AEC News Today

Ongoing Uncertainty In Indonesia Weighs On Freeport’s Operations
Freeport-McMoRan’s ongoing standoff with the Indonesian government has adversely impacted its operations in Indonesia, with first quarter shipments expected to be lower than originally expected. Freeport reduced production levels by 60% in Indonesia towards the end of last month, as the company has been unable to export copper concentrate from the country since January, in the wake of changes to Indonesia’s mining regime.
— Forbes

Jokowi targets 6.1 economic growth in 2018
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed his Cabinet to reach 5.4 to 6.1 percent economic growth in 2018.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia bank loans rose 8.3 percent in Jan yr/yr
Loans by commercial banks in Indonesia expanded 8.3 percent on a yearly basis in January, accelerating from 7.9 percent growth in December, the financial regulator said on Wednesday.
— Reuters

Indonesia export, import growth slow down in February
Indonesia’s exports and imports expanded at a slower pace in February compared to a month earlier, as expected in a Reuters poll, data from the statistics bureau showed on Wednesday.

Import & Export: BPS Releases Indonesia’s February Trade Data
Indonesia Statistics (BPS) announced on Wednesday (15/03) that Indonesia’s exports and imports grew at a slower pace in February 2017 (compared to the preceding month). This performance was in line with expectations. While Indonesia’s exports grew 11.16 percent year-on-year (y/y) to USD $12.57 billion in February 2017, its imports grew 10.61 percent (y/y) to USD $11.26 billion over the same period.
— Indonesia Investments

AboitizPower explores Myanmar, Indonesia amid PH power oversupply
With the Philippines experiencing an oversupply in power generation that could last up to 7 years, Aboitiz Power Corporation has set its sights on hydropower projects in Myanmar and Indonesia to continue growing its business.
— Rappler

Indonesia central bank to stand pat, on guard over outflows
Indonesia’s central bank is widely expected to keep its policy interest rate unchanged on Thursday to support growth while it guards against rising inflation and capital outflow pressures.
— Reuters

Warburg dealmaker spots opportunities on Jakarta roadside
Warburg Pincus’s investment in the first billion-dollar Indonesian tech startup began with an American executive noticing green motorcycle helmets on the roads of Jakarta.
— Deal Street Asia

Singapore protests Indonesia’s move to detain its vessel, passengers
Singaporean government protested on Wednesday against Indonesia’s action to hold a vessel and detain passengers and crew within the city-state’s territory.
— The Jakarta Post

Roesmin Nurjadin Airbase to suspend F16s` operation
The Roesmin Nurjadin Airbase in Riau province will temporarily suspend the operation of F16 fighter jets from the Air Squadron 16 after one of them skidded off runway and overturned in the airbase on Tuesday.
— Antara News

Police to offer driving license extension service for free
Driving license extension application service will be offered free of charge for 200 lucky applicants, as part of the celebration of the 37th anniversary of an organization set up by the wives of Jakarta Police officers.
— The Jakarta Post

China boost scholarships for Indonesians
The Chinese government will continue to increase the number of state-funded scholarships for Indonesians pursuing higher education in China, as the Asian giant seeks to strengthen ties and people-to-people relations with the archipelagic nation.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia Tobacco Bill Would Fire up Output Despite Health Fears
Indonesia’s parliament has proposed a draft law that could lead to a sharp increase in tobacco output in a country that is already a top producer with one of the heaviest rates of smoking in the world.
— The Jakarta Post

World zakat confab formulates ways to alleviate poverty
The conference of the World Zakat Forum (WZF) held in Jakarta from March 14 to 16 discusses ways to alleviate poverty as the vast majority of people in predominantly Muslim countries still live in poverty, its secretary general said.
— Antara News

Indonesian minister, Indian VP discuss cyber security
Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Wiranto specifically addressed cyber security issues with the Vice President of India, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, in India on Tuesday (March 14).
— Antara News

Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta voted ‘the world’s most improved airport’ in new Skytrax survey
Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is obviously not the best airport in the world (that honor usually falls to Singapore’s Changi), but it has undoubtedly made a lot of progress in terms of improving its facilities lately.
— Coconuts Jakarta

Ride sharing fares to increase starting April 1 as gov’t enforces regulations to level playing field with regular taxis
Soon, your Uber/Grab/Go-Car ride may cost around the same as it would with a regular taxi.
— Coconuts Jakarta

Muslim Indonesia joins global craft beer revolution
Defying an escalating anti-alcohol movement and conservative bureaucrats in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, Indonesia’s only craft brewer is tapping into demand for better quality booze among the country’s small number of drinkers.
— Today Online

New ro-ro route expected to boost Indonesia, Philippines trade
The opening of the Davao-General Santos-Bitung route for roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) vessels is expected to boost trade between Indonesia and the Philippines in the long run.
— The Jakarta Post

Plenty of room to expand Indonesia-US trade: US Embassy
Despite rising concerns that the United States will soon adopt protectionist economic policies, high-ranking US officials have said that there is still plenty of room to expand bilateral trade between Indonesia and the US.
— The Jakarta Post


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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Laos, Morocco Further Cooperation on Diplomatic Relations
Morocco is committed to strengthening relations with the Lao PDR both at the bilateral level and with ASEAN member states in order to serve the interests of its people and contribute to promoting South-South cooperation.
Lao News Agency

Lao Delegates Stage a Strong Presence at the 5th ASEAN-EU Business Summit
Laos participated in the ASEAN EU Business Mission and 5th ASEAN-EU Business Summit in Manila of the Philippines on Mar 9-10, with a strong presence of representatives of key Lao business sectors.
Lao News Agency

Prime Minister urges Xanakham to take up organic farming
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on Monday visited Xanakham district, Vientiane province, where he encouraged local authorities to switch to organic agriculture and abandon the use of chemicals.
Vientiane Times

Vientiane eyes improved transport solutions
Vientiane plans to improve non-motorised transport and public transport in the face of the rapidly increasing number of vehicles, which are clogging up the capital’s streets.
Vientiane Times

KBank ramps up Laos operations
KASIKORNBANK (KBank) has opened a Laotian head office in Vientiane to capture opportunities in a growing economy.
The Nation

They Fought for the U.S. in Laos. Now Many Older Hmong Fight Depression
Dia Yang is a cultural broker at the Fresno Center for New Americans. She helps Southeast Asian refugees acclimate to the United States.
New America Media

A young monk in Laos had pressing life questions for President Obama
For an entire morning last September, a young monk named Sengdao Oudomsinh stood outside his temple in Laos hoping to catch a glimpse of President Barack Obama.
The Washington Post

Laos, UK Vow to Continue Cooperation in Educational Development
The Ministry of Education and Sports will continue its cooperation with the UK government to further the development of the country’s education sector.
Lao News Agency

JICA Committed to Waterworks Development in Luang Prabang
While meeting with local authorities, Ms Eriko Tamura, Director of the Global Environment Department of JICA, confirmed that JICA is committed to developing waterworks in Luang Prabang Province.
Lao News Agency

UNDP extends support for Lao government
The United Nations Development Programme in Laos (UNDP Laos) is continuing its support programme to the Lao government for National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) implementation towards Least Developed Country graduation, Middle Income Country Transition, and Sustainable Development (SDG) achievement.
Vientiane Times

Revenue collection, timber auction dominate Govt meeting
Implementation of the revenue collection and expenditure plan, the auction of wood impounded by the government, and the upgrade of wood processing plants dominated the monthly government meeting yesterday.
Vientiane Times

ASEAN to strengthen cooperation in bio-safety and bio-security
Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will work to strengthen cooperation to build capacity in bio-safety and bio-security for laboratory and hospital technicians, officials and experts agreed Wednesday.
Global Times

Officials to Crack Down on Illegal Workers in Laos
As part of government efforts to strictly monitor foreign nationals working in the country, the labour and security sectors are set up to register and issue temporary work permits to foreign workers.
The Laotian Times


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


TM to launch mobile packages for SMEs in April
Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) is expected to officially launch mobile solution packages for small and medium enterprise (SMEs) through its digital mobility services provider, webe, on April 11.
New Straits Times

Malakoff’s unit issues RM800 mil Sukuk Wakalah
Malakoff Corp Bhd’s unit Tanjung Bin Energy Sdn Bhd (TBE) has issued a RM800 million Sukuk Wakalah.
New Straits Times

M’sia opposes EU resolution on palm oil
Malaysia will rally other palm oil producing countries against a resolution from being passed by the European Parliament that can threaten the industry.
The Star Online

Petronas spending not affected by weaker oil prices
The recent oil prices pull-back will not affect Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) spending, given that the local oil major has pegged its capital expenditure (capex) budget at an average US$45 per barrel, according to Kenanga Research.
The Star Online

Malaysia’s Teflon Prime Minister
Najib Razak has survived a massive embezzlement scandal, opposition protests and internal power struggles – all with an eye on re-election in 2018.
Asia Times

Malaysia says DNA sample confirms murdered Kim Jong Nam’s identity
Malaysia has confirmed the identity of Kim Jong Nam’s body based on a DNA sample taken from one of his children, the deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.

AFC set June date for North Korea v Malaysia tie
The Asian Cup qualifier between Malaysia and North Korea, which was postponed last week due to strained relations between the two countries, has been rescheduled to June 8, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Wednesday.

Malaysia Used DNA From Kim Jong Nam’s Child to Identify Corpse
Authorities revealed that Malaysia has been in contact with family members of Kim Jong Nam who have been in hiding since shortly after the half brother of North Korea’s dictator was killed here in February.
The Wall Street Journal

Disney Says It Won’t Edit ‘Beauty and the Beast’ for Malaysian Censors
Walt Disney Studios has refused to cut a brief, gay-themed scene from “Beauty and the Beast” as demanded by government censors in Malaysia, meaning the film will not open there Thursday as scheduled.
The New York Times

Maswings to upgrade services, quality and comfort of passengers
Maswings Sdn Bhd, a fully owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, has set 2017 as the year to focus on improving its services and quality to ensure the comfort of passengers said Chief Executive Officer Aminuddin Zakaria.
New Straits Times

UEM Edgenta will raise RM1bil from sukuk
UEM Edgenta Bhd will issue Islamic Commercial Papers (ICP Programme) and Islamic Medium-Term Notes (IMTN) with a combined aggregate up to RM1 billion in nominal value and a sub-limit of RM300 million.
New Straits Times

Maybank’s strategy pays off, enough capital to withstand headwinds
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has maintained its return-on-equity (ROE) targets for this year, signalling that the bank is well prepared for any external headwinds and tightening of accounting standards that is to come into effect January next year.
The Star Online

MyEG in Philippines JV to implement e-government services
My EG Services Bhd (MyEG) has inked a joint-venture (JV) agreement with I-Pay Commerce Ventures Inc (IPCVI) to set up a JV corporation (JVC) for the purpose of engaging in the business of development and implementation of electronic government services projects in the Philippines.
The Star Online

Housing is a top priority for government, says Najib
Housing is a top agenda of the government in championing the interests and wellbeing of the people, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Malay Mail Online

Anifah: Malaysia will continue to highlight issue of Rohingya Muslims
Malaysia, as a responsible member of the international community, will continue to play its part to contribute to efforts in addressing the plight that has befallen the Rohingya Muslims minority in Myanmar.
Malay Mail Online

Raid on house in Pandan Jaya yields RM700,000 drug haul
The arrest of a Sri Langkan with 0.85g of syabu at Jalan Pandan Prima 1, led police to a major drug haul worth more than RM700,000.
Malay Mail Online

Local woman ‘held for 35 hours’ by Malaysia customs
A Taiwanese woman on Wednesday claimed that she had been mistreated during a 35-hour detention by Malaysian customs over a “damaged passport” earlier this month.
The China Post

‘Beauty and the Beast’ pulled from Malaysian release after ‘gay moment’ censored
When Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” debuts worldwide Thursday, Malaysia will no longer be among the invited guests.
Los Angeles Times


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Another Mass grave of Rohingyas found in Northern Maungdaw
Another mass grave was found on 18th February 2017, whom were earlier killed by military. In this tragic incidence military were disinterring the remains of the corpses to hide the EVIDENCES of their ATROCITIES. Earlier in October, November and December many mass graves were found since the start of the military operation in Arakan state.
— Rohingya Vision

Govt to probe villagers’ claims over gold mines
After two months of protests by farmers from Mandalay’s Thabeikkyin township over alleged encroachment of their land by gold miners, the regional government has decided to investigate their claims.
— Myanmar Times

Clearer policies and liberalisation needed: Bloomberg summit
There is no country other than Myanmar where foreign investors can come and invest, where the democratic transition is relatively smooth and where an economy opens up to the world at the same time, said one of the local tycoons at the Bloomberg Invest Myanmar summit held on March 9 in Yangon.
— Myanmar Times

US$230 million foreign investment flows into Myanmar in February
Myanmar received nearly US$ 230 million of foreign investment in February of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, a source of Directorate of Investment and Company Administration said.
— Eleven

AboitizPower explores Myanmar, Indonesia amid PH power oversupply
With the Philippines experiencing an oversupply in power generation that could last up to 7 years, Aboitiz Power Corporation has set its sights on hydropower projects in Myanmar and Indonesia to continue growing its business.
— Rappler

Total joins PTTEP in deepwater Myanmar block
PTT Exploration and Production Public Co. (PTTEP) has agreed to divest a 50% interest to Total in the MD-7 project offshore Myanmar.
— Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine

Ecotourism plan still faces challenges to implement
Residents’ involvement is a major challenge to implementing Myanmar’s Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy, according to industry sources
— Myanmar Times

Information Ministry discusses ongoing and future plans
Ongoing and future plans to be implemented by the Ministry of Information set by the Guarantees, Pledges and Undertakings Vetting Committee of the Amyotha Hluttaw were discussed in Nay Pyi Taw Amyotha Hluttaw’s Dining Hall yesterday afternoon.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

No foreign investment allowed in mining sector by NLD government
Secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission, Aung Naing Oo, said that the MIC did not allow foreign investment in mining sector and the mining sector is not included in the list of sectors for which foreign investment will be encouraged.
— Eleven

Govt seeks MP approval for urgent gas turbine purchase
The government has asked parliament for urgent funds to buy a portable 25-megawatt generator to help meet Yangon’s power needs for the coming hot season.
— Frontier Myanmar

MPs to be invited to project meetings for advice
When the government holds meetings on drawing and implementing economic projects, members of Parliament will be invited for suggestions, said Maung Maung Win Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance at a parliamentary session.
— Eleven

Factories in Mandalay ordered to install air-testing devices
Mandalay Region government ordered the cement factories in Kyaukse and Thazi townships to install air-testing devices.
— Eleven

As Civilian Displacement Surges, Myanmar Limits Aid Access
Seated amid his family’s simple possessions in a bamboo and thatch-roofed shelter, Saw Maung Care describes with anguish how they lost their home and livelihood as conflict flared in southeastern Myanmar in September.
— Voice of America

BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform in Yangon
A performance by BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra for Myanmar and The New Children’s Choir will be held at the Strand Hotel in Yangon on April 3.
— Eleven

Myanmar Legal Team to Appeal Verdict Against Migrant Workers in Thailand’s Highest Court
The Myanmar government is sending a special legal team to file a second appeal of the verdict against two migrant workers from the country who were sentenced to death in Thailand for the 2014 murder of a British couple at a Thai resort, their lawyer said Wednesday.
— Radio Free Asia

Muse sees decrease of more than US$320 million in border trade volume
There has been a decrease of US$320 million in the Muse border trade volume, the largest border trade camp bordering China compared to the same period last year.
— Eleven

Zone-B of Thilawa SEZ to affect 44 households
The government needs to confiscate land for the implementation of the first phase (100-hectare) included in the Zone-B of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone project, and it will affect 44 households, according to the resettlement plan.
— Eleven

With a stroke of red pen, Myanmar’s Rohingya fear losing right to return
Since security forces swept into their villages in northwestern Myanmar late last year, around 75,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled across the nearby border to Bangladesh. Many now fear that the authorities in Myanmar could make their displacement permanent.
— Today Online

The Singapore government will include four major amendments to the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act in view of growing cyber threats.
— Asean Briefing

MOU to hand over Myanmar institute
Singapore’s Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has overseen the signing of an agreement that will facilitate the handover of the Singapore-Myanmar Vocational Training Institute (SMVTI) to Myanmar over three years.
— The Straits Times

Myanmar joins global drive to raise climate awareness
FOR THE FIRST time, Myanmar will join 172 other countries in taking action on climate change, with a public celebration of Earth Hour 2017 on March 25, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which is organising the campaign.
— The Nation


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Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Trillanes seeks probe into Duterte ‘deal’ with China on Benham Rise
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday, March 15, filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged deal with China, citing Duterte’s go signal for Chinese ships to ply the Benham Rise region.
— Rappler

AboitizPower explores Myanmar, Indonesia amid PH power oversupply
With the Philippines experiencing an oversupply in power generation that could last up to 7 years, Aboitiz Power Corporation has set its sights on hydropower projects in Myanmar and Indonesia to continue growing its business.
— Rappler

Philippine lawmakers lose key posts after opposing death penalty
Eleven Philippine legislators who voted against a bill to re-introduce capital punishment lost key posts in the country’s Congress on Wednesday, in an apparent follow through of a threat by the house speaker to purge obstacles to the draft.
— Channel NewsAsia

Philippines: Now Corp raising $29m to expand broadband internet business
Now Corporation, a listed telecommunications, media, and technology company in the Philippines, is aiming to raise on a public offer a maximum of $29.7 million (P1.5 billion) and use it as capital for expanding broadband internet services
— Deal Street Asia

Robredo brings fight against Duterte to UN
Through a video message, Vice President Leni Robredo brings to the world’s attention the troubles in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs, primarily the thousands of deaths that have resulted from the bloody seven-month campaign and flagrant human rights violations.

Philippines: 500 Startups, others back modular home firm Revolution Precrafted in $15.4m round
Revolution Precrafted, a Philippine-based modular homes creator, has received funding from 500 Startups and other undisclosed investors .
— Deal Street Asia

OFW remittances breach $2-B mark in January
Cash sent home through banks by Filipinos living and working abroad in January rose 8.6 percent to $2.17 billion, the first time that cash remittances exceeded the $2-billion mark at the start of the year.

Duterte to peace negotiators: Play fair
Government and communist negotiators must “play fair” and forge a ceasefire agreement for the smooth resumption of the peace talks, President Duterte said last Tuesday.
— Manila Bulletin

More diversity means more innovation in PE/VC: Minette Navarrete, Kickstart
“Gender blind.” This is how Minette Navarrete, founder and president of Kickstart Ventures Inc, describes the venture capital and private equity space in the Philippines. She cited that more diversity, and more points of view would mean more innovation.
— Deal Street Asia

Philippines: STI to raise $99m; Century Pacific debuts on FTSE Apac index
STI Education Systems Holdings Inc is aiming to raise up to $99.3 million (P5 billion) via bond sale while Century Pacific Food Inc (CNPF) has made its debut on the Asia-Pacific equity market.
— Deal Street Asia

House purge: GMA ousted
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and members of the super majority coalition last night made good their threat to remove former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as deputy speaker, along with 11 other committee chairmen of the House of Representatives who voted against the return of the death penalty.
— Phil Star

Congress sets probe on Benham incursion
Congress is set to conduct an investigation into the reported intrusions of Chinese vessels in Benham Rise, which has been declared part of the Philippines’ continental shelf by the United Nations in 2012.
— Phil Star

WATCH: Alvarez declares De Lima top ‘drug lord’ ahead of court verdict
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez publicly called Sen. Leila de Lima the “number 1 drug lord” and “public enemy” ahead of the trial and conviction of the administration’s top critic.
— Phil Star

18 Chinese firms to buy $1.7B worth of PH goods
Chinese investors have made a purchasing order for $1.7 billion worth of Philippine products, a much bigger order from earlier estimates in light of a surge in business interest.

PSEi tracks regional markets, down 0.11% at close
The local stock barometer ended slightly lower yesterday as investors braced themselves for a likely interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.

More will come out vs Duterte in ICC, lawyer says
The lawyer of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato said more witnesses are willing to testify in a case that will be filed against President Rodrigo Duterte at the International Criminal Court. But an administration ally said, the case may be dismissed on a technicality.

Gov’t employees lose money due to unauthorized bank withdrawals
Several government employees and a retired judge who are account holders at the Landbank of the Philippines in Cebu lost their hard-earned money due to unauthorized withdrawals.

Duterte steps in for tax reform
MALACAÑANG is pulling out all the stops to smooth away legislative difficulties of its tax reform, after President Rodrigo R. Duterte bared in a press briefing last Monday with both heads of Congress that the bill has met “resistance” and “rough sailing” among lawmakers.
— Business World

Joblessness worse, but job quality better
THE RANKS of those employed but who were seeking more work thinned to a record low in January, according to official data released yesterday that nevertheless showed the employment rate at its lowest and unemployment at its highest in two-and-a-half years.
— Business World

BSP: Fed action to worsen volatility
THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday cited the need for continued vigilance as the Federal Reserve is poised to raise rates this week, saying the country’s financial markets could see sharp movements in the near term as a result.
— Business World

State infrastructure drive to fuel commercial vehicle sales — BMI
THE GOVERNMENT’s plan for an aggressive infrastructure buildup should fuel a surge in commercial vehicle sales in the next four years, BMI Research said in a March 13 report.
— Business World

Regional airport PPP deal lures more firms
AT LEAST three more prospective bidders have shown interest in the unbundled regional airport project contracts up for grabs under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme which the government hopes to award by January next year.
— Business World

Peace talks resuming after breakdown
Peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (NDF-CPP-NPA) broke down early last February over a demand of the NDF-CPP-NPA for the release of some 400 political prisoners.
— Manila Bulletin

China respects PH rights
China said it fully respects the Philippines’ rights over the continental shelf in the Benham Rise located northeast of Luzon and vowed not to challenge those rights.
— Manila Bulletin

PH, India discuss establishment of zone for pharma manufacturers
Philippines and India are discussing the possibility of establishing a pharmaceutical zone to entice Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers to invest in manufacturing operation in the Philippines, a top-ranking Indian government official said.
— Manila Bulletin

MyEG to expand to the Philippines in first overseas venture
My EG Services Bhd (MyEG) is making its first overseas foray, forming a partnership to develop and implement electronic government (e-government) service projects in the Philippines.
— The Star Online

New ro-ro route expected to boost Indonesia, Philippines trade
The opening of the Davao-General Santos-Bitung route for roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) vessels is expected to boost trade between Indonesia and the Philippines in the long run.
— The Jakarta Post

Duterte off to Thailand next week: DFA
President Rodrigo Duterte will undertake an official visit to Thailand, home to to 16,000 Pinoy expatriates, on March 20 to 22.

Solon suggests tapping US to help secure Benham Rise
One congressman has a suggestion for the presence of Chinese survey ships in Benham Rise.
— CNN Philippines

Expert explains why Benham Rise isn’t Philippine ‘territory’
Benham Rise is not part of Philippine territory, and might not be used in any impeachment case against President Rodrigo Duterte, a lawmaker said.


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Singapore beats Hong Kong to claim title of ‘World’s Best Airport’
Research firm SkyTrax has named Singapore Airport “World’s Best Airport” for a fifth consecutive year over regional rival Hong Kong.

Brighter outlook for Singapore’s trade-dependent sectors, dimmer prospects at home
A TWO-SPEED economy has emerged in Singapore, going by the latest survey among private-sector economists, the results of which were released on Wednesday.
The Business Times 

Property stocks on the rise
Recent adjustments to cooling measures unlikely to lift sales but real estate stocks have different outlook
The New Paper 

Economists upgrade Singapore’s 2017 growth forecast
Stronger than expected fourth quarter growth in Singapore driven by improved global demand led economists to upgrade their 2017 projections for the Southeast Asian city state, an official survey of forecasters showed Wednesday.

Grab to beef up S’pore R&D centre, add jobs
Ride-hailing company Grab is expanding its research and development (R&D) centre in Singapore, as it opened two more centres in the region and announced plans to add over 800 developers in the next two years.
The Straits Times 

Private home sales triple in February as demand increases
Home sales in the Republic more than tripled last month compared with the same period last year, as developers released new projects to meet the pick-up in demand.
Today Online 

Luxembourg and Singapore are to begin automatically exchanging tax information in 2018, thanks to the signing of an agreement during a financial mission to Singapore last week.

Engen to ship high sulphur gas-oil to Singapore in rare move
SA’s Engen is set to export a gas-oil cargo to Singapore, according to trade sources and shipping data. The company has provisionally booked the Torm Horizon to transport 35,000 tonnes of gas-oil to Singapore from Durban, shipping fixtures showed.
Business Day 

Singapore plans data protection certification
Singapore’s data protection authority is developing a certification programme for local data protection officers (DPOs)

Double delight for Accenture innovation in US and Singapore
Accenture has opened innovation centres in New York and Singapore for finance and risk, and software application development cycles respectively.
Banking Technology 

(Singapore US Navy bribes scandal) Malaysian paid for US$20,000 HK dinner
Officers in a burgeoning US Navy bribery scandal called themselves the Lion King’s Harem, the Wolfpack, the Cool Kids and the Brotherhood. They scouted for others who might also accept sex, trips and other lavish perks from a Malaysian defense contractor known as “Fat Leonard” in exchange for classified information.
The Standard 

Unesco appoints first chairholder in Singapore
UNESCO has appointed M Ramesh, a professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, as the first Unesco chairholder in Singapore.
The Business Times 

Attention expats in Asia: Are you living in Singapore? Well, according to a recent report from Mercer, you should be. Taking into account education, infrastructure, transportation and other crucial factors, Mercer ranks Singapore as the best city in Asia for expatriates and the best worldwide for infrastructure.

World’s most modern airliner begins Manchester to Singapore service
THE worlds most modern airliner, the Airbus A350-900, has commenced flying from Manchester with Singapore Airlines.
Messenger Newspaper 

Singapore PC maker Dreamcore to show off custom gaming PCs at IT Show 2017
If you’ve been thinking that the desktop PC is dead, a Singapore startup called Dreamcore wants to change your mind with its sleek gaming machines to hit the show floor at the IT Show bazaar from tomorrow.

Economists raise Singapore’s growth forecast to 2.3%
The stronger-than-expected performance of Singapore’s economy in the fourth quarter of last year and a recovery in global trade, among other factors, have led private sector economists to significantly upgrade their full-year forecast for 2017.
Today Online 

Pacific Rim Talks Fail to Back Free Trade Support With Action
The Pacific Rim trade talks in Chile that were meant to send “an important political signal” in support of FREE TRADEarrow | Asean News Today ended Wednesday with no final declaration after Singapore was the only Asian nation to send a ministerial-level delegation.

ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Singapore Cybercrime Laws, Malaysia Property Rules for Foreigners, and Myanmar Import Surplus Regulation
The Singapore government will include four major amendments to the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act in view of growing cyber threats. Once the Bill is implemented, it will criminalize trading of personal information such as credit card details, medical information, and banking information, even if no hacking was involved to gain such information.
Asean Briefing 

Singapore’s Heron 1 achieves FOC
Singapore’s defence ministry made the announcent in a statement on its web site. The announcment comes two years after the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 obtained its Singapore FOC.
Flight Global

UBS hires from Credit Suisse for special desk in Singapore
In response to increasing demand for a seamless international banking experience for foreigners residing in Singapore, UBS Wealth Management has established a new service.

Tough job market amid brighter signs for economy [The Straits Times]
There are good prospects flagged for the economy, but less so for the job market, as Singapore enters a tricky phase of growth.
Singapore Government 


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Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


Thailand in world top 10 for long term tourism growth, WTTC reports
Thailand’s travel and tourism sector grew by nearly 11 per cent in 2016 and will be the world’s 10th fastest growing country over the next decade at 6.5 per cent per annum, a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows.
The Nation 

PayPal And Thai Airways International Make Booking For Foreigners Easier
Foreigners wishing to visit Thailand can now purchase tickets online at with the added convenience and security of PayPal.
Buriram Times 

Prayut orders probe into Thai PBS investment in agro-giant
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered an inquiry into Thai Public Broadcasting Service’s (Thai PBS) controversial investment in debentures issued by an agro-industrial conglomerate.
Bangkok Post 

Rebound Tipped For Thai Stock Market
The Thai stock market headed south again on Wednesday, one session after it had snapped the three-day slide in which it had given away more than 15 points or 1 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,540-point plateau, although the market figures to rebound on Thursday.

Software to fight hacking by employees
The rapid pace of technological progress is transforming the cybersecurity landscape. The next generation of cybersecurity analytics is enabling users to detect activity and behaviour that are likely to constitute a cyberattack.
Bangkok Post 

Thailand Investigates New Cases Involving Buddhist Temple’s Money
Thailand is investigating three new cases involving possible financial crimes at the country’s biggest Buddhist temple, whose influential former abbot is wanted for suspected money laundering, police said on Wednesday.
US News

Habitat for Humanity Global Village project in Thailand calls for NZ volunteers
Judene Edgar is championing a support crew for Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village project in South East Asia this June and is hoping to wrangle some helping hands.
Nelson Mail 

Thailand seeks to collect big tax bill from former PM
Thailand’s military government is seeking to collect at least 12 billion baht ($360 million) in unpaid taxes and penalties from a prime minister toppled in a coup 11 years ago, in what his supporters consider a continuing political vendetta.
The Salt Lake Tribune 

Thailand’s new economy: poised for take-off but is the runway ready?
The sign at the entrance to Thailand’s U-Tapao airport declares grandly (and perhaps even more hopefully): One Airport, Two Missions.
Blue Notes 

Duterte visiting Thailand
President Rodrigo Duterte will pay an official visit to Thailand from March 20 to 22

Mexico grants Thailand rice quota
Thailand has been granted a quota to export long-grain white rice to Mexico as part of a bid to lower the rice price and meet market demand in the country, according to Commerce minister Apiradi Tantraporn.
The Nation 

Thailand PM announces Digital Government Plan 2017-2021 to achieve integrated, citizen-centric digital government within 5 years
The Three-Year Digital Government Development Plan (2016-2018) has been extended to a Five-Year Digital Plan and new domains have been added.
Open Gov Asia 

Thailand charges activist who mocked PM’s song
A Thai activist who made fun of one of leader Prayuth Chan-ocha’s ballads on Facebook has been charged with cyber-crime for publishing material critical of the government.

Revenue chief clarifies delay in tax returns
The Revenue Department has advised working people to register for “Prompt Pay” service so that they could get tax returns faster in case they claim for tax returns.
Thai PBS 

The Cards and Payments Industry in Thailand 2017: Emerging Market Trends, Growth and Opportunities to 2021
ResearchMoz added Latest Research Report titled ” The Cards and Payments Industry in Thailand 2021: Worldwide Market Size, Shares, Trends, Growth, Survey and Forecast report ” to it’s Large Report database.
Digital Journal 

Siriraj Hospital to use robots for dispensing medicine
ONE OF THE country’s biggest hospitals, the Bangkok-based Siriraj, will start using robots to dispense medicine this year.
The Nation 

The Nation forges closer links with top Web board Thaivisa
THAIVISA.COM, the largest English-language Web board and resource for digital platforms for expatriates and foreign visitors, will work more closely with The Nation on content integration, advertising and services.
The Nation 


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Developer remains upbeat as Vietnam’s bauxite project logs $165mn loss
A bauxite megaproject in Vietnam’s Central Highlands has been making losses totaling VND3,696 billion (US$165 million) in the last three years, but the developer is unconcerned, believing that it will start generating profits in 2017.
Tuoi Tre News 

VN coal struggles against imports
The domestic coal sector is going through a tough time owing to serious competition from cheap imported coal, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has said.
Viet Nam News 

Study finds bacteria in Vietnamese pork
Forty eight out of 108 (44 per cent) cut pork meat samples collected at wet markets in Hưng Yên Province were found to contain the disease-causing bacteria Salmonella.
Viet Nam News

Vietnam reports 6500 dengue cases in January
Vietnam saw a 50 percent decrease in dengue fever in January 2017 compared to Jan. 2016, according to data released by the World Health Organization this week.
Outbreak News Today 

Australian ban on Vietnamese shrimp could drown exporters – trade official
Vietnamese shrimp exporters are facing losses and could go bankrupt following Australia’s ban on imports of the crustacean, aimed at preventing white spot syndrome, a Vietnamese government official was quoted as saying.

EU wants to become largest investor in Vietnam
The European Union (EU) wants to become the largest investor in Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring localities, said Ambassador Bruno Angelet, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam during a meeting in the southern city on March 15 with Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong.
Vietnam Plus 

Vietnam-Oman Investment launches water treatment plant project in Hanoi
The groundbreaking ceremony of the Duong River Surface Water Treatment Plant was held successfully on March 9 in Phu Dong Commune, Gia Lam District, Hanoi.
Tuoi Tre News 

Revised law for brigher railway outlook
Members of the National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC) yesterday agreed that the revised railway law needs comprehensive regulations that will help revitalise the country’s railway industry.
Viet Nam News 

2017 update on foreign mega investment projects in Vietnam
IR updates on all the new developments at the billion dollar projects licensed between 2006 and 2016 that were valid as of February 2016. Projects that were finished and have seen no new developments are omitted.
VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnam seizes 100 kgs of rhino horn from Kenya
Vietnam police seized more than 100 kilograms of rhino horn smuggled into the country in suitcases from Kenya on Tuesday, the latest illegal haul in the wildlife trafficking hub.
The Nation 

Vietnam Promises to Back Off Border Areas
In contrast to their last meeting over the border, when Cambodia and Vietnam didn’t manage to release a joint statement, Cambodian officials said on Wednesday that during discussions Vietnam had again agreed not to build or farm in areas that are still in dispute.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Vietnam’s fruit & veg imports increase by 55%
Vietnam’s import of vegetables and fruits saw strong growth in the first two months of 2017, especially from Thailand and China.
Fresh Plaza 

Negotiations continue for Vietnam airports group share sale
According to ACV General Director Le Manh Hung, the Vietnamese Government approved the ADP’s bid for 20 percent of ACV shares to become the company’s strategic shareholder.

Vietnam, Netherlands boost peacekeeping cooperation
The Netherlands wishes to expand relations with Vietnam, including cooperation in peacekeeping activities between the two countries’ armies, said Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Nienke Trooster.
Vietnam Plus 

Singaporean sentenced in massive online gambling case in Vietnam
A court in HCM City has handed jail terms and suspended sentences to 64 people who participated in an online gambling ring operating on
Asia One 

It’s time to reform Vietnam’s rice sector, says Prime Minister
It’s time to comprehensively reform rice production since the staple plays an irreplaceable role in the country’s agriculture, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized while chairing a conference on March 15 to seek ways to develop the sector sustainably in the Mekong Delta – the rice hub of the country.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Vietnam urges Cambodia to finish border demarcation
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh asked that the Cambodia government to finish installing demarcation posts planned along their shared 1,270km border soon.

Tourism growth is not just about numbers
Associate Professor Phạm Trung Lương, former deputy director of the Institute for Tourism Development, under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, speaks to on how to turn the tourism industry into a spearhead economic sector.
Viet Nam News 

Top Vietnam firms stress social duties
While they remain focused on fattening their bottom lines, most leading businesses in the country also see exercising their social responsibility as a contributive factor.
VietNamNet Bridge 

ANZ Vietnam to sell retail banking business
Three foreign banks and two domestic banks, which have not been named, were reported by SaigonTimes as being interested in acquiring the retail businesses of the 100 per cent foreign-owned bank.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Vietnam, Russia seek to boost economic cooperation
A high-level Russian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Petrovich Trutnev visited Vietnam to seek more economic cooperation with Vietnam on March 14-15.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Hanoi rejects ministry’s King Kong statue plan
Hanoi’s municipal government has rejected a plan by Vietnam’s culture ministry to erect a “life-size” King Kong statue by an iconic lake in the city.
BBC News 

Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn (R, front) shakes hands with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L, front) during the signing of agreed minutes of their meeting on March 15, 2017 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cambodia and Vietnam pledged on Wednesday to boost their bilateral cooperation in all fields, especially in education, trade, investment, and fighting cross-border crimes.



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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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