Asean Morning News For March 29

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For March 29
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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



Alibaba plans trade centre in Thai
E-COMMERCE giant Alibaba Group is still investing in Thailand, planning to set up a regional electronic-trade centre and logistics system here to link Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) markets, Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said.
– The Nation

British trade mission targets ASEAN integration
The UK Department of Trade (DIT) is leading a trade mission to Southeast Asia and the delegation will visit Myanmar on March 30 and 31. The trade mission focuses on infrastructure, energy and education.
— Myanmar Times

There’s still room for upgrade in ASEAN
Dialogue partners of the 10-nation ASEAN still see room for improvement in the regional grouping ahead of its 50th anniversary later this year, despite decades of success in maintaining regional peace and stability.
— The Jakarta

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation launches ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange to build talent pool
In furtherance of its agenda of driving the digital economy in Malaysia, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (MDEC) launched an initiative called ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) on March 28.
— OpenGov Asia

Panasonic Brings Japan Quality Living to the ASEAN Region
Panasonic Corporation released a video on the housing business in the ASEAN region. It introduces Panasonic’s Japan Quality houses which will solve growing issues in the ASEAN region, including houses with leaky roofs and cracked walls, as well as polluted air inside caused by air pollution and haze outside.
— Yahoo Finance

Dominguez cites ASEAN role as key global growth driver
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has cited here the key role played by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in driving the growth of the global economy and facilitating cooperation within the 10-member regional bloc.
— Philippine Canadian Inquirer


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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Is The Phnom Penh Property Market Headed For a Massive Crash?
Phnom Penh’s mushrooming property market is set for a massive crash with new apartment prices set to plummet by up to 50 per cent over the course of this year compared with March 2016 prices. At least so says the Phnom Penh based director of EPenh, Nigel Miranda, in the Cambodian capital.
— AEC News Today

Cambodia, US duel over Vietnam War debt
Since US President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly called on the new American leader – often personally – to cancel a US$500 million debt owed dating back to the Vietnam War.
— Asia Times

Hoping to net more sea visits
The growing number of foreign visitors arriving by sea represents a promising source of tourism revenue for Cambodia, though limited port and tourism infrastructure has hampered its realisation, tourism stakeholders said yesterday.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Fund to fuel digital startups
Cambodian mobile operator Smart Axiata launched a $5 million venture capital fund yesterday that will seek to identify, fund and nurture local digital services companies and startups.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Smart Axiata Supports Startups With $5M Investment Fund
With a lack of capital stifling the development of domestic digital innovation, one of the country’s largest mobile operators has teamed up with an investment consultancy to create a $5 million startup fund for Cambodian companies.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia bans breast milk exports
Cambodia on Tuesday banned the export of breast milk, putting a stop to the business of a U.S.-based company that had been selling the milk in the United States.
— Reuters

Cambodia honors 2 Chinese peacekeepers killed in 1993 attack
As the annual Tomb-Sweeping Day approaches, Cambodia and China on Tuesday jointly commemorated two Chinese UN peacekeepers who were killed in a blast here 24 years ago.
— Global Times

Amid Korean Tensions, Could Cambodia Play a Mediation Role?
Almost two decades ago, South Korea’s president, Kim Dae Jung, asked the Cambodian King to help mediate in talks with the North.

How a bamboo box could help Cambodian farmers save money
Recognising that the country’s rural population had been largely overlooked by Phnom Penh’s emerging startup community, in August 2016 Moung Vandy and his three business partners started Eco-Fresh Box, a project focused on improving the storage of fruits and vegetables.
— Southeast Asia Globe

Cambodian telco launches $5m fund for local tech startups
The Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund will provide guidance and business development – as well as investments ranging from $25,000 to $500,000 – to Cambodian startups in the digital service sector
— Southeast Asia Globe

Coastal economy rises on tourist tide
Preah Sihanouk province welcomed nearly 2.4 million tourists in 2016, generating $96 million in revenue, following a significant rise in domestic and international tourist arrivals, a tourism official said yesterday.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Exports of logs double in 2016
Despite a ban on the export of timber to Vietnam and the creation of a much-publicised anti-logging task force, Cambodia last year still exported nearly $33 million dollars’ worth of unprocessed logs to its eastern neighbour, a volume more than double that of 2015, according to Vietnamese customs data.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Government Recalls Fungicide to Conform to New EU Rules
The government has ordered a nationwide recall of the fungicide tricyclazole to keep its rice exports eligible for the important E.U. market, but said it might not get the chemical out of its supplies in time to meet the bloc’s July deadline.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Number of Drug Users Going to Rehab Too Low, Officials Say
The number of drug users seeking rehabilitation services is too low, the country’s anti-drug czar declared on Tuesday, saying that the government was considering a plan that would give police the authority to bypass courts and send users directly to rehab.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Controversial Political Parties Law Change Prompts Concerns Among Opposition Supporters in U.S.
Controversial amendments to Cambodia’s law governing political parties has caused concern among opposition supporters in the United States, who fear that they could be barred from funding the Cambodia National Rescue Party under the new rules.

Mothers of Murdered Analyst and His Convicted Killer Question Cambodia Court Ruling
The mothers of murdered political analyst Kem Ley and his convicted slayer, Oueth Ang, have both questioned a Cambodian court’s recent decision to sentence the latter to life in prison last week, saying it is unlikely he is solely responsible for the killing.
— Radio Free Asia


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Positive Outlook for Indonesia as Economic Growth Projected to Increase in 2017
While Indonesia’s economic growth was set at 5.1 percent for this year, improving economic outlook would mean that growth could go as high as 5.3 percent.
— Global Indonesian Voices

Indonesia high-speed train, backed by China, comes untracked
Land, finance and security issues have dogged the much ballyhooed Rp68 trillion (US$5.1 billion) Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s signature infrastructure undertaking. His government, keen to bridge a yawning infrastructure gap, awarded the contract to Chinese developers two years ago.
— Asia Times

Government to lift licenses of slow meat importers
The Indonesian government will lift the licenses of slow meat importers in an effort to maintain the supply and stabilize commodity prices ahead and after the holy month of Ramadhan, a minister stated.
— Antara News

President Jokowi not trying to promote secularism, aides say
Was President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promoting secularism when he called on the people not to mix religion and politics?
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia Pays Price of Protectionism as Commodity Exports Sink
Indonesia’s economy is losing out on commodity gains after lawmakers wrapped protectionist policies around the nation’s resources. Their next problem: finding a lucrative replacement.
— Bloomberg Quint

Regulation on EURO IV adoption signed
The Environment and Forestry Ministry has signed a long-awaited regulation that will serve as a legal umbrella for the EURO IV emission levels adoption, a spokesperson for the ministry confirmed Tuesday.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia may reinstate ban on death penalty
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo says his government would restore a moratorium on the death penalty, if the public in the South East Asian country approves the measure.
— Press TV

Indonesian Tax Amnesty Makes Final Push for Overseas Assets
Indonesia has the world’s fourth-largest population at almost 260 million, but only 10 percent are registered as taxpayers and only about one million actually submit a tax return. That’s a major reason for the country’s huge and growing deficit, which has stalled the present administration’s ambitious infrastructure plans.
— Voice of America

Indonesia government to use former Chelsea star Michael Essien to boost global image
The Indonesia government has positively welcomed the presence of ex-world football star, Michael Essien, in the country’s league insisting they will use the the Ghanaian’s to boost the Asian nation’s global image.
— Ghana Soccernet

Japan, UK, and Indonesia claim victory at Startup World Cup
Startup World Cup, a global startup competition comparable to Seedstars World in scale and ambition, held its final event in San Francisco last week.
— Tech in Asia

Malaysia, Indonesia marine police to step up joint patrols
The Malaysian and Indonesian marine police have intensified joint efforts for enforcement of patrols in the waters of both countries, focusing on areas identified as routes of Daesh terrorists and human trafficking syndicates.
— Malay Mail Online

Pole Position: Indonesia Remains Largest Car Market within ASEAN
Indonesia remains the biggest market for cars in the ASEAN region. Based on the latest data from the ASEAN Automotive Federation a total of 3.16 million cars were sold in the ASEAN region in 2016. Around 33 percent of these total sales occurred in Indonesia, the largest economy among ASEAN countries.
— Indonesia Investments (press release)

Aberdeen Indonesia Fund, Inc. (:IF) Sees Unusual Volume Mid-Session
Investors are on alert as Aberdeen Indonesia Fund, Inc. (:IF)’s stock is experiencing unusual volume during today’s trading. While the stock price moved along with the volume change, shares are touching $7.01. The day’s total volume of 67543 this morning is in contrast from the three-month daily average of 12.79K.
— Melville Review

Chinese investor interested in Vale Indonesia’s Bahodopi smelter project
A Chinese investor has expressed interest in partnering with publicly listed nickel mine operator PT Vale Indonesia to build a ferronickel plant in Bahodopi, Central Sulawesi.
— The Jakarta Post

With PPP Endorsement Ahok-Djarot One Step Away From Majority Support: Expert
The United Development Party, or PPP, support for Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and Djarot Saiful Hidayat in the second round of Jakarta’s gubernatorial election would make them only one step away from gaining majority support, an expert says.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia Urges Nuclear-Weapon States to Start Disarmament Process
Indonesia urged nuclear-weapon states to start the disarmament process at the nuclear weapons ban talks at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday (27/03).
— Jakarta Globe


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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Ease irksome barriers to enhance business environment, PM advises
The Prime Minister has urged line ministries to remove any unnecessary barriers to help boost the country’s business environment and promote domestic and foreign investment.
— Vientiane Times

UNICEF supports education, clean water programmes
UNICEF has provided more than 36 billion kip (US$4.4 million) to fund education and clean water programmes in some 100 targeted schools across the country.
— Vientiane Times

ISUZU Aims to Seize 30% Market Share in Laos and Cambodia
ISUZU, which has dominated Thailand, the largest pickup manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia, has an ambitious plan to increase its market share to 30% both in Laos and Cambodia over the years to come using success-proven marketing technique of Tri Petch Isuzu Sales, a partnership between Mitsubishi Corporation and Isuzu Motors (Japan).
— Lao News Agency

Completed Overhaul Boosts Theun-Hinboun Output
The Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) now has an overall generating capacity of 520 megawatts (MW) following the recent completion of a major overhaul.
— Lao News Agency

Tourist dies at popular gibbon zipline park in Laos
A traveller has died ziplining at the Gibbon Experience forest camp in Laos.
The person, thought to be American, was at the remote attraction popular with backpackers travelling on a budget through South-East Asia.
— The Telegraph

Hilton enters Laos
The US hotel giant has penned a deal with TPD Company to manage the 160-room DoubleTree by Hilton Vientiane, which is scheduled to open in the Lao capital in early 2020.
— Travel Daily Media

UNFPA, Laos to increase investment in adolescent girls’ education
Lao Ministry of Education and Sports and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have agreed to strengthen their partnership by continuing to build on their campaign titled: “Noi.’’
— Business Day

HCM City, Lao capital step up cooperation
Ho Chi Minh City and Laos’ Vientiane capital city need to flesh out measures to boost their relations in trade, investment, culture and tourism, said Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Dinh La Thang at a reception for visiting Vientiane Governor Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune on March 27.

Laos, partners agree on education development projects
The government has received support for two education development projects in Huaphan province from the Australian government, European Union, ChildFund Australia and ChildFund Korea, worth a total of almost US$2 million.
— Vientiane Times

Border crossings surge at Saravan entry point
Great changes are in evidence since the Lalay border crossing was upgraded to an international checkpoint between Saravan province in Laos and Quang Tri province in Vietnam in June 2014.
— Vientiane Times

Four Southern Provinces Discuss Moving Indochinese Cooperation Summits Agreements Further
The Lao govnement held a meeting in Champassak Province last Friday to discuss ways to put agreements made at the Regional Cooperation Summits into practice.
— Lao News Agency

Vientiane Worries about Growing Waste and Waste Water
Vientiane Capital has worried about the countless volume of waste water and solid waste that is worsening every year as waste management and waste water treatment systems remain limited.
— Lao News Agency


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Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


China investors prefer Malaysia over more expensive Australia and HK
Mainland Chinese investors are now favouring Malaysia for real estate over more expensive Australia and Hong Kong, says the Financial Times (FT) in a report.
— The Star Online

Ringgit at strongest showing so far this year as US$ declines
The ringgit is poised to trend upwards on the domestic currency strengthening to RM4.4135 as at 5pm yesterday, its strongest showing year to date. This came about amidst the continuing decline of the US dollar.
— The Star Online

M’sia seen as ‘valuable business location’: US-ASEAN Business Council
Malaysia’s economic fundamentals and location in the region makes it a ‘valuable business location’ in Asia for a wide range of US companies said the US-ASEAN Business Council regional managing director Michael Michalak.
— New Straits Times

Malaysia central bank sees inflation exceeding 8-year high
Higher fuel costs probably pushed up Malaysia’s inflation rate this month to above the 4.5 per cent rate posted in February, though there’s no evidence that price pressures are spreading more broadly in the economy, an official from the central bank said.
— New Straits Times

Parliament passes Supplementary Supply Bill
The Dewan Rakyat today passed the Supplementary Supply Bill (2016) 2017 after it was debated at the committee stage.
— Malay Mail Online

Health Ministry seeks to raise smoking age limit
The Health Ministry has proposed to raise the age limit for a person to buy and sell cigarette to 21, from 18 currently, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
— Malay Mail Online

Malaysian PM tells France not ready to decide on buying Rafale jets
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Tuesday that he discussed the possible purchase of Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale fighter jets with French President Francois Hollande but remained undecided.
— Reuters

Kim Jong Nam’s body still in Malaysia amid talk of deal with North Korea
The body of Kim Jong Nam, who was murdered in Malaysia last month, is still in Kuala Lumpur, health minister Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam said on Tuesday, amid reports the remains of the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon leave the country.
— Reuters

France ready to negotiate Rafale jets pricing with Malaysia ‘when the time comes’: Hollande
French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday (Mar 28) that France will be ready to discuss the pricing of its Rafale jets with Malaysia “when the time comes”, after the Malaysian government remained undecided on buying France’s fighter aircraft.
— Channel NewsAsia

What Did France’s Hollande Achieve During His Malaysia Visit?
After being in Singapore during the weekend, Hollande moved on to Malaysia on March 27. In doing so, he became just the second French president to ever visit Malaysia, with the last being Jacques Chirac over a decade ago.
— The Diplomat

Cypark clinches RM28.5mil jobs from Government
Cypark Resources Bhd has clinched three contracts worth RM28.48mil from the National Solid Waste Management Department to operate of the leachate treatment plants (LTPs) for landfills in Negri Sembilan and Pahang.
— The Star Online

CIMB plans to formalise tie-up with China Galaxy by the second quarter
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd is targeting for its agreements with regard to its strategic partnership in the stockbroking business with China Galaxy International Financial Holdings Ltd (CGIF) to be executed by the second quarter of 2017.
— The Star Online

Hollande witnesses six Malaysia-France B2B deals
French president Francois Hollande, who is on a one-day state visit, witnessed six business-to-business Memorandum of Understanding today.
— New Straits Times

Adventa investing RM6mil to expand sterilisation business
Medical services and supplies manufacturer Adventa Bhd is investing RM6 million to set up a new factory in Johor to expand its sterilisation business.
— New Straits Times

Ministry hopes to present padi farmer insurance scheme in Budget 2018
The agriculture and agro-based industry ministry hopes an insurance scheme to assist padi farmers who sustained losses in disasters will be implemented in Budget 2018.
— Malay Mail Online

Minister warns oil companies, station operators against illegal price hikes
Oil companies and petrol station operators who fail to comply with the price of petrol and diesel set weekly, beginning tomorrow, are liable to face stern action under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.
— Malay Mail Online

Malaysia makes order for 23 amphibious craft
Future Mobility Solutions says it has received an order for 23 amphibious craft from the Malaysian Civil Defence Force, a deal worth more than $3 million and scheduled for delivery in the next 12 months.
— (press release)

Malaysia Inflation at Record High: ETF in Focus
The Malaysian central bank expects a challenging year in terms of monetary policies as inflation is at record levels. Malaysian Consumer Prices in February rose at the fastest pace in over eight years.

Malaysia tables new law to protect children from sex predators
Malaysia’s federal government on Tuesday (March 28) presented its draft of a new law that aims to cast a wider net against sexual predators targeting children.
— Today Online

Government in Malaysia to consider raising smoking age to 21
The Malaysian government will consider raising the minimum age limit for buying cigarettes to 21 years old, the Malaysian parliament heard on Tuesday (March 28).
— Today Online


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Peace possible, but only if we want it: State Counsellor
In her continuing quest for peace, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday visited Myitkyina in Kachin State, one of the most war-torn regions in the country.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Chinese charity group provides medical treatment for children
Fifty children suffering from congenital heart problems born to poor families in Myanmar will receive treatment in China, according to the Yankin Children’s Hospital in Myanmar.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

25-bed hospital in Myebon to double its capacity
The Deputy Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw U Aye Thar Aung, accompanied by officials from the office of the Amyotha Hluttaw and the township administrator, donated offertories to the monks from monasteries and Pariratti Sarthintaik in Myebon Township, Rakhine State on Monday.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Fruit, vegetable and flower wholesale market to be opened in Danyingon
Fruit, vegetable and flower wholesale market will be opened in Danyingon, Insein township, Yangon region at the end of April, according to an official from MAEX (Myanmar Agro Exchange Public Limited). The wholesale market is being built on an 83.73-acre plot of land and is aimed at not just making profits, but also at building bridges among farmers, consumers, local traders and exporters. Estimated cost of the whole project is Ks 118 billion.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Centre asked to urge Myanmar to drop border fencing project
Nagaland Assembly today passed a government resolution appealing to the Centre to urge the Myanmar government to permanently drop the Indo-Myanmar border fencing project.
— Economic Times

Myanmar Mulls Ban on Temple-Climbing for Tourists
The stairs are worn down by a millennia of use, but soon the footsteps on some of Myanmar’s most sacred temples may cease amid concerns about the damage done by increasing numbers of tourists.
— Voice of America

Renewed Activities by Myanmar Border Guards Create Fears among Rohingyas
The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) has recently renewed suspicious activities in Northern Maungdaw that have been creating tremendous fears among the local Rohingyas of being targeted once again, it has been reported.
— Royingya Vision

Demand to stop dam projects
About 400 villagers gathered on the banks of the Namtu River in Hsipaw township, Shan State last week to protest the construction of a dam which they said will submerge their homes and lands.
— Myanmar Times

British trade mission targets ASEAN integration
The UK Department of Trade (DIT) is leading a trade mission to Southeast Asia and the delegation will visit Myanmar on March 30 and 31. The trade mission focuses on infrastructure, energy and education.
— Myanmar Times

China holds military drills near restive Myanmar border
China’s army held drills near its border with Myanmar on Tuesday, state media reported, in a show of strength from Beijing following weeks of clashes between ethnic rebels and Myanmar’s military.
— Coconuts Yangon

Government to provide cheap channels under national satellite programme
Myanmar has pursued a satellite programme named “Myanmar Sat 1” and plans are underway to provide channels for government ministries and private companies at reduced price rates, said Union Minister for Transport and Communications, Thant Sin Maung.
— Eleven

Myanmar legislation fuels investors’ interest
Though multinational companies are still on the waitandsee move to enter Myanmar, the nation’s recent legislative reforms to create a more enabling business environment will create positive signals for foreign direct investment inflows, according to a panel discussion by the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group taking place on last Thursday.
— Eleven


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Hungary keen on infotechnology, water, agriculture ventures with Philippines
THE Philippine-Hungary Business Forum was convened yesterday along with the re-opening of the Embassy of Hungary in Manila, signaling more economic cooperation between the two countries.
— Business World Online

Businessmen upbeat on Philippine economy – MBC
Business executives in the country remain highly optimistic in their outlook on the Philippine economy despite anticipation of higher inflation and interest rates this year coupled with a critical outlook on trade, a survey conducted by the Makati Business Club (MBC) showed.
— Phil Star

Inflation to rise till Q3; 2017 avg within target
The central bank said it expects Philippine headline inflation to continue rising until the third quarter of 2017 and still lead the full-year average rate into the government’s 2 percent to 4 percent target range.
— The Manila Times

Stocks rebound as investors snatch up bargains
LOCAL EQUITIES saw gains on Tuesday as investors resorted to bargain hunting, setting aside the failure of the Trump administration to get approval for its health care bill.
— Business World Online

PH among ‘winners’ in region in export growth
The Philippines was cited as among the “winners” in the Asia-Pacific region whose export growth “strongly outperformed” global demand in the last seven years, UK-based Oxford Economics said.
— Inquirer.Net

MICC sets stage for choosing experts who will review mines
THE MINING Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) yesterday set the terms for those who will review mines across the country, weeks after Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez wrote President Rodrigo R. Duterte on March 6 to stop the interagency body from proceeding with its own audit.
— Business World Online

Briones bans marketing of junk food in public schools, deped offices
The Department of Education (DepEd) has given public schools nationwide three months to get rid of refrigerators and other facilities bearing the logo of unhealthy food and drinks as part of its bid to promote healthy eating among students and teachers.
— Inquirer.Net

Ormoc CARP farmers barred from harvesting on own land
Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Ormoc City were prevented on Tuesday from harvesting sugarcane planted on land they have legally owned since 1997.
— Phil Star

China says it has right to deploy defense facilities on its territory
China said on Tuesday that it has the right to construct necessary defensive facilities on its own territory after a US think tank said Beijing was able to deploy warplanes on artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea any time.

AGI, Travellers look to refinance dollar debt
AGI, the holding firm for Mr. Tan’s businesses, has an outstanding $500-million bonds due in August, while Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., a joint venture between AGI and Malaysia’s Genting Berhad, has a $300 million bond maturing in November, according to regulatory filings.
— Business World Online

NY Times disputes ‘demolition job’ vs Duterte
The New York Times disputed Wednesday claims made by Malacanang that the stories they published about the drug war in the Philippines is part of a “demolition job” against the Duterte administration.

Man seeks justice for wife shot 28 times in Philippines
A man whose lawyer wife was gunned down on a busy Philippines street is seeking to meet with top-ranking officials to try to bring her killers to justice.
— BBC News

Philippines raises P70B from retail bonds at 4.25%
The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) on Tuesday said it raised P70 billion from Retail Treasury Bonds (RTBs), more than double the P30-billion it was initially selling.
— GMA News

Philippines: Arrest order issued for death squad whistle blower
A warrant has been issued by a Davao City court for the arrest of Edgar Matobato one of the leaders of the Davao Death Squad. Matobato is a self-proclaimed henchman of former mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte.
— Gulf News

Counterterror, intel top agenda in Rody-Kim meet
Cooperation in counterterrorism and intelligence highlighted President Duterte’s meeting with US Ambassador Sung Kim on Monday at the Malacañang of the South in Barangay Panacan.
— Phil Star

Ping agrees: Not all drug-related deaths EJKs
Sen. Panfilo Lacson agrees with Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa that the over 7,000 killings that took place in the country since President Duterte assumed office should not be lumped together as extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
— Phil Star

House to process Duterte, Robredo impeach bids
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Wednesday congressmen will process the impeachment bids against President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo.

Gov’t reconsiders plan to evict 6,000 poor families occupying Bulacan relocation sites
The government has reconsidered its plan to evict nearly 6,000 urban poor families that has taken over vacant housing units in relocation sites in Pandi, Bulacan, since March 8.
— Manila Bulletin

PH, China to craft sea row mechanism
THE Philippines and China have agreed to set up a mechanism on how to “properly handle” maritime disputes and representatives from both countries will meet in May to craft a bilateral scheme, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
— The Manila Times


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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Services productivity worsened in 2016
Services productivity worsened in 2016, with average cost of labour per unit of output rising 3.9% amidst slow services activities.
Singapore Business Review

SingTel aggressively moves to be an integrated telecoms service provider
SingTel is positioning itself as an integrated telecoms service provider by forming key partnerships with over-the-top (OTT) and digital service providers to improve the consumer experience, targeting key growth areas such as content, cybersecurity, and Internet of Things.
Singapore Business Review 

10,000 public servants to receive data science training under GovTech-NUS tie-up
About 10,000 public servants will receive data science training to quicken Smart Nation efforts.
The Straits Times 

Singapore Plans to Ratify TPP
Singapore will push forward to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a change from other nations taking a wait and see approach after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the trade agreement.
AgNet West Radio Network

Singapore-based Henry Golding lands lead role in Crazy Rich Asians film: Report
Singapore-based Henry Golding has landed a lead role in the film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, according to a report by the Hollywood Reporter.
Channel NewsAsia

Construction activities in Singapore to grow 0.8% this year
RHB expects construction activities to grow 0.8% this year, on the back of a low base effect, ramp-up of ongoing infrastructure projects, and accelerated public civil works as announced in the Budget.
Singapore Business Review 

Singapore: Trendlines Labs secures $200k; JDE controls Super Group; Nam Cheong JV
Trendlines Lab has secured a grant from SIIRD, JDE now owns most of Super Group and Nam Cheong has launched a Malaysian JV.
Deal Street Asia 

Softening of medical tourism nudges health groups overseas
SINGAPORE’S medical tourism has not been in the pink of health of late, with well-heeled medical tourists now looking elsewhere for health care, where standards have risen and treatment comes at more competitive prices.
The Business Times 

S’pore’s tertiary bodies revamp courses to meet needs of future economy
LOCAL institutes of higher learning (IHLs) appear to be ramping up their game in enhancing programmes to meet the needs of Singapore’s future economy.
The Business Times 

SG: TGL’s chairwoman offers to buy out company at 33 cents per share
SW International Holding Pte Ltd has offered to buy out all outstanding shares of Singapore Exchange-listed property group Top Global Limited (TGL) at 33 cents apiece in cash, the latter announced Tuesday.
Deal Street Asia 

Train signalling trial goes smoothly; SMRT to hold another on Thursday
Rail operator SMRT will carry out another trial of its new signalling system on the North South Line (NSL) on Thursday (March 30), after a temporary switchover on Tuesday went smoothly, with trains running on the new system for more than an hour before services ended at night.
Today Online 

Doctors seek clearer rules on MCs for foreign workers
The medical fraternity has called for guidelines on the issuing of medical leave for foreign workers.
Today Online

Singapore shares open 0.28% up on Wednesday
SINGAPORE shares opened higher on Wednesday with the Straits Times Index (STI) up 8.95 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 3,166.77 as at 9am. US stocks ended sharply higher overnight, led by financial and energy shares amid data that US consumer confidence has soared to a more than 16-year high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped an eight-day losing streak.
The Business Review

Pet shops, farms to face tighter licensing conditions
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has revised its licensing conditions for pet shops and farms to “tighten existing regulations and raise animal welfare standards in Singapore”.
Today Online  

Fire Breaks Out at Samsung Store in Singapore One Day Before Galaxy S8 Launch
A fire broke out in the stockroom of a Samsung store in Singapore just one day before the South Korean company is set to unveil its highly-anticipated Galaxy S8 smartphone.

Singapore companies rebrand themselves by adopting trendier names
Some established companies are rebranding themselves by adopting trendier names as they eye overseas markets
The Straits Times 

Singapore CPI expected to climb 1.2% in 2017
Inflation has been on a rising trend since December, noted RHB Research, with the island’s consumer price index (CPI) rising 0.6% year-on-year over 2M17, compared to a 0.7% fall in the corresponding period last year.
Singapore Business Review 

Singapore’s current account surplus projected to hit $80.3b in 2017
According to RHB Research, Singapore recorded a balance of payments deficit of S$3.9b in 4Q16, recoiling from its S$5.4b surplus achieved the quarter before.
Singapore Business Review 

Singapore not ready for ‘radical’ IPOs like Snap, says local exchange
Snap’s controversial “no vote” shares have spurred a debate over the merits of dual-class stocks, and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) — which is striving to become the first Asian market to allow such a structure — said it would not consider a listing as “radical” as Snap.

India needs to recognize import demand: Report on Singapore trade pact
India’s exports must be in line with demands from trade partners, a report looking at the nation’s current trade deal with Singapore has pointed out.
Business Standard 

Chart of the Day: Here’s where our semiconductors go
Semiconductor exports in 2016 largely went into Chinese mid-tier phones.
Singapore Business Review 

With India demanding greater access, CECA with Singapore stays stuck for the 6th year now
The second review of the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) to boost two-way trade remains inconclusive despite efforts to expedite the process.
The Financial Express  

Daily Briefing: Not all HDBs are for SERS; Finance tips from Budget 2017
And find out more about Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Singapore Business Review 

Who are the winners and losers in Singapore’s services sector?
Services activities slowed to +1% in 2016, after growing 3.2% the year before.
Singapore Business Review 

Singapore Approves Japanese Shipping Merger
The Competition Commission of Singapore has cleared the proposed joint venture between Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line).


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


Anti-coal groups denounce junta’s southern energy committee
Southern civil society groups have denounced a public forum held by the junta to gather feedback on its pro-coal policies, saying the event was merely self-promotion.
– Prachatai English

Van operators mull stoppage
Passenger van operators are threatening to stop their services from this Friday if Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha does not relax new traffic rules which require safer public van services.
– Bangkok Post

Military refuses to reveal CCTV evidence of late Lahu activist’s crime scene
The military has refused to reveal footage at the crime scene where Lahu activist was summarily executed, saying it might mess up the investigation process.
– Prachatai English

Red Bull Heir Enjoys Jet-set Life 4 Years After Hit-and-run
An heir to the Red Bull energy-drink empire is accused of killing a Thai police officer in a hit-and-run nearly five years ago, yet he still has not appeared to face charges.
– Bloomberg

New population of rare tigers found in eastern Thailand
A new breeding population of the critically endangered Indochinese tiger has been found in a national park in eastern Thailand, conservationists say.

Holiday boost for airports
Thailand’s six main airports recorded a robust rise in passenger traffic and aircraft movements in the first two months of 2017.
– Bangkok Post

Century-Old Thai Bank Plans Digital Revamp to Fight Fintech Risk
Siam Commercial Bank Pcl, Thailand’s oldest homegrown lender, plans to reinvent its mobile digital payment platform as a lifestyle app to help fend off competition from upstart financial technology providers.
– Bloomberg

Alibaba plans trade centre in Thai
E-COMMERCE giant Alibaba Group is still investing in Thailand, planning to set up a regional electronic-trade centre and logistics system here to link Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) markets, Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said.
– The Nation

Interpol holds training course on identifying falsified, stolen travel documents in Thailand
The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) recently held a three-day training course in Thailand, which discussed various ways law enforcement entities can identify individuals who use forged travel documents.
– Homeland Preparedness News

Thailand must invest in its workers
The world of work is undergoing major changes of unprecedented speed and scale. Thailand, like other Southeast Asian countries, must face the challenges posed by these transformations head on.
– Bangkok Post

Government rethinks softer teacher entry rules
The Education Ministry has bowed to pressure from academics who have criticised its policy to allow graduates who do not hold a degree in education to enter the teacher recruitment process.
– Bangkok Post

Thai prime minister election feels not so close, just far away
A delay in finalizing Thailand’s new constitution, approved last August after a lengthy drafting process, will likely lead to another postponement of promised elections, reports Bloomberg.
– Asia Times

New ‘Tobacco Authority’ could ease cigarette restrictions
A bill to set up a tobacco authority of Thailand, approved by the cabinet on Dec 13 last year, contains loopholes that could be exploited by transnational tobacco firms aiming to make products in Thailand through their Thai nominees, according to anti-smoking activists.
– Bangkok Post

Thailand imposes AD duties on Vietnamese Al-Zn, painted flats
Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce has imposed definitive anti-dumping duties on imports of alloy and non-alloy aluminium-zinc-coated flat steel and pre-painted galvanized flat steel products from Vietnam.
– MetalBulletin


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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat



Vietnam is the fastest-growing convenience market
Asia’s fastest growing convenience market is Vietnam-which is set to achieve annual growth of 37.4% over the next four years-according to grocery think-tank IGD.
Food Navigator-Asia 

India, Vietnam discuss bilateral cooperation in IT
India and Vietnam today discussed a plan to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of information technology.
Money Control 

VN fresh produce losing market share to Thailand
Hanoi Supermarket Association chair Vu Vinh Phu told stakeholders at a recent business conference that Vietnamese consumers have lost confidence in home grown fresh fruit and vegetables.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Thailand imposes AD duties on Vietnamese Al-Zn, painted flats
Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce has imposed definitive anti-dumping duties on imports of alloy and non-alloy aluminium-zinc-coated flat steel and pre-painted galvanized flat steel products from Vietnam.

Fast Asia Open: Vietnam GDP, Thailand interest rates decision
It may seem like an eternity since the June referendum, but the truth is Brexit has only just begun.
Financial Times 

Petrol price subsidization fund remains in good shape
The petrol price subsidization fund remains in strong financial shape, having roughly VND1,821 billion (US$80 million), reported the Ministry of Industry and Trade on 28 February.

The real power of Vietnam’s economy
Vietnam earlier this year received an ‘expected gift’ from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The auditing firm, one of the ‘big four’, reported that Vietnam economy ranked 32nd in the world in 2016 with GDP of $595 billion, including PPP (purchasing power parity) formula.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Prosecutors want changes in law, investigation methods to handle sexual abuse of children
The Surpreme People’s Procuracy, the nation’s premier prosecuting agency, has requested changes in the Penal Code to facilitate investigations into and legal proceedings against child sex abuse suspects.
Viet Nam News 

Vietnam casinos awaiting guidance for admission of local players
In Vietnam, local players are reportedly still not being granted access to select area casinos despite January’s passage of new rules that instituted a three-year pilot program and were to see native punters permitted to start gambling from Wednesday.
World Casino Directory 

Vietnam requires Japan to investigate cause of Vietnamese girl murder
The Vietnamese Embassy in Japan yesterday worked with the police agency in Abiko city, Chiba province after a nine year old Vietnamese girl was found dead on Sunday.

Vietnam updates draft existing chemicals inventory
Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has published an updated draft of its existing chemicals inventory.
Chemical Watch 

IGD tips Vietnam to be Asia’s fastest-growing convenience market
Vietnam is forecast to be the fastest-growing convenience market in Asia by 2021, according to new data released today by international grocery research organisation IGD, followed by the Philippines and Indonesia.
Retail Times 

Bel invests more in Vietnam growth market
Vietnam is on the crest of a dairy revolution, its market predicted to double by 2020 reaching USD8.2 billion.
Daily Markets 

Vietnam, Russia discuss anti-bribery in int’l business transactions
Officials from Vietnam and Russia gathered in a workshop in Hanoi on March 28 to discuss combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions.
Vietnam Plus 

Why 40% of Vietnamese People Have the Same Last Name
In the United States, the most popular last name is Smith. As per the 2010 census, about 0.8 percent of Americans have it. In Vietnam, the most popular last name is Nguyen.
Atlas Obscura 

Liquidity remains strong: State Bank of VN
Liquidity of the banking system remains good and the interest rate level is stable with no pressure on rate hike reported.

HCMC bans vehicles’ travel in Nguyen Hue pedestrian street
The city’s Department of Transport on Monday said that it would ban all vehicles from traveling in Nguyen Hue pedestrian street from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. starting on March 31.

PM okays 4.4 billion USD package for high-tech agriculture
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a resolution providing a credit package worth 100 trillion VND (4.4 billion USD) to invest in the development of high-tech agriculture at lower-than-market rates.
Vietnam Plus 

900g baby with congenital heart disease survived
HCM City Paediatrics Hospital No 1 doctors have successfully performed a congenital heart surgery for a premature baby weighing 900grams, the lightest patient ever to receive the surgery.
Viet Nam News

Hà Nội pilots iParking for cars from May
The Hà Nội People’s Committee has approved a pilot programme that will use software and automation technology to manage public parking zones on two streets in Hoàn Kiếm District.
Viet Nam News 

Hanoi: Cat Linh – Ha Dong Urban Railway to be put into operation in 2018
Train carriages are put onto the Cat Linh – Ha Dong Urban Railway track last month. Trial runs are scheduled to begin in October of 2017. The contractor of the project has committed in the first quarter of 2018 to put the project into commercial exploitation.
Hanoi Times 

State leader asks for Hyundai Motor’s help to raise local contents
President Tran Dai Quang received Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun in Hanoi on March 28, asking the group to support its Vietnamese partner in personnel training and technology transfer, and increase the rate of domestically made content in its products.
Vietnam Plus 

Vietnam attractive to intra-ASEAN investment
Vietnam would be an attractive destination for intra-ASEAN investment thanks to the Government’s determination to equitise and withdraw capital from State-owned enterprises.
Vietnam Plus 


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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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