Asean Morning News For March 31

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For March 31
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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

Brexit’s Impending Impact: Assessing ASEAN’s Exposure – Analysis
This week, the UK government will finally start the process for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The rest of the world is assessing how exposed other countries are to the almost inevitable economic fallout that will follow Brexit. How will ASEAN be affected, given the region’s globally-connected export content?
— Eurasia Review

PH telecom alone in Asean without govt funding
The Philippines is the only country in the Asean, region where the government does not provide any infrastructure funding support for the telecommunication or telecom sector, leaving subscribers and industry players alike at a severe disadvantage when compared to their regional counterparts.
— The Manila Times

Realism needed on S China Sea code of conduct
China’s sudden renewed interest in drafting a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea — by June this year — is sparking irrational exuberance in the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean).
— Today Online

TCEB fosters success of third edition of ASEAN Rising Trade Show
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB continues to move forward in upgrading high potential international exhibitions through the third edition of the ASEAN Rising Trade Show.
— Travel Daily News

Bangkok Airways adds ASEAN menus
Bangkok Airways has introduced a series of new menus designed to celebrate “the best of Thai and ASEAN cuisine”.
— Travel Daily Media (press release)


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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

Cambodia safe from China’s restriction on outbound investment, for now
In the aftermath of China announcing its clampdown on outbound foreign investment late last year, Cambodian real estate experts have come to a consensus that its ramifications are not crippling to the real estate and construction sectors in the Kingdom.
The Phnom Penh Post

‘In a free market economy, the weak developers will die’
Experts in the sector have long had differing opinions on the Kingdom’s real estate industry.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian FM meets Russian senior diplomat, discussing bilateral ties
Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov on Thursday, discussing ways to further promote bilateral relations and cooperation, a Cambodian spokesman said.
— Global Times

Seaport operator cruises toward IPO
The state-owned enterprise that operates Cambodia’s only deep-sea port is aiming to raise $27 million by floating a 25 percent stake on the Kingdom’s stock market, a company executive said yesterday.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia’s First Cashless Restaurant Ordering App Debuts
The rise of e-commerce is continuing in Cambodia with the launch of the first cashless mobile app for restaurant food orders, with sponsorship from heavyweights such as Coca-Cola and Wing.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Interior Ministry Says It Will Use New Party Law Against CNRP
The Interior Ministry inched closer to suspending or dissolving the CNRP on Thursday as it threatened to use the hastily passed Law on Political Parties against the opposition unless the CNRP took action—while refusing to specify what steps were required.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodian opposition figure sentenced again
Cambodia’s exiled former opposition leader Sam Rainsy was sentenced in absentia on Thursday to an additional 20 months in prison for defamation, on top of a previous five-year term.
— Reuters

Cambodia marks 20 years since deadly grenade attack
Hundreds of members of Cambodia’s opposition party held a ceremony Thursday marking the 20th anniversary of a grenade attack in the nation’s capital that killed 16 people.
ABC News

Cambodian scholar hails Cambodia-China ties, cooperation
Cambodia-China relations have achieved significant progress since the two countries forged a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation in 2010, said a prominent Cambodian scholar.
— Global Times

What Can Myanmar Learn From Cambodia’s Peace Process?
Early this March, Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke with Myanmar’s commander-in-chief General Ming Aung Laing about his experience with a “win-win policy” to dismantle armed groups and restore peace in communities formerly in conflict.
— The Diplomat

CNRP’s new leadership still unrecognised
At a press conference yesterday, Interior Ministry officials continued to cite a bureaucratic justification for failing to formally recognise the opposition’s leadership, while swatting away questions about how to fix the problem and threatening “legal action” if it wasn’t solved.
The Phnom Penh Post

Government Wants Private Sector to Join Fight Against Drugs
After recruiting police, monks and public schools, the government is now planning to enlist the private sector in its campaign against illegal drugs, an official said on Thursday.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Court Sentences Former Opposition Leader to 20 Months in Defamation Case
A Cambodian court has sentenced the former leader of the opposition, Sam Rainsy, to serve 20 months in prison and a fine of $2,500 in a defamation case filed by lawyers acting on behalf of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Opposition ‘Misinterpreted’ Meeting Discussion: Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior
Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior on Thursday refused to recognize the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party’s (CNRP) new leadership, disputing claims by the party that the ministry had no objections to the appointments it made earlier this month during an extraordinary congress.
— Radio Free Asia

Labor Expert Urges Caution Before Workers Sent to Qatar
A labor rights worker has told VOA Khmer that the government should put in place more protections before giving the green light to send workers to Qatar.

Jimei ends deal with NagaCorp, drops Cambodia scheme
Hong Kong-listed junket investor Jimei International Entertainment Group Ltd has announced the end of a partnership with NagaCorp Ltd for the promotion of not less than seven gaming tables within the latter’s NagaWorld casino (pictured), located in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh.
— GGRAsia


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Freeport near deal allowing Indonesia exports: minister
Freeport McMoRan Inc’s Indonesian unit is close to reaching a deal that would allow the world’s biggest publicly listed copper producer to temporarily resume concentrate exports, Indonesia’s mining minister said on Thursday.
— Reuters

Repatriated funds from Singapore reaches Rp 84.52 trillion
From the Rp 835.7 trillion (US$62.74 billion) of funds parked in Singapore declared during the the tax amnesty, as of the final day of the program on Thursday only Rp 84.52 trillion had been repatriated.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia to share expertise with Afghanistan
Indonesia will soon host the leader of Afghanistan, the latest in a string of state visits that will help solidify Indonesia’s international standing as an influential middle power and major economic player.
— The Jakarta Post

Riau Police dispatch personnel to secure 313 rally
The Riau Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) has deployed 200 officers in two company-level units to help secure a mass rally in Jakarta on Friday being held by Islamic organizations supposedly to ‘defend Islam’.
— The Jakarta Post

France’s Engie Inks Deals Worth More Than $1b With Indonesian Renewables Partners
Engie has signed partnership agreements worth more than $1 billion with local partners in Indonesia to tap renewable energy in the archipelago, the France-based multinational utility company said in a statement on Wednesday (29/03).
— Jakarta Globe

Exclusive: Indonesia Eyes Decree on Tobacco After Bill Runs Into Opposition
Indonesia’s government has proposed issuing a decree to govern the domestic tobacco industry, a move that could sharply raise cigarette output in the world’s fourth-most populous nation, after a bill outlining the changes was opposed by the health ministry and anti-smoking groups.
— U.S. News & World Report

Indonesia maintains death penalty amid criticism
Indonesia has decided to keep capital punishment in the country’s judicial system despite a call from the United Nations for a worldwide moratorium on executions.
— The Jakarta Post

51 Indonesian Human Trafficking Victims Found at Malaysian Factory
At least 51 Indonesian citizens have been identified as victims of human trafficking at a bird’s nest factory in Selangor, Malaysia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday (30/03).
— Jakarta Globe

CLFD to launch maiden real estate project in Indonesia
PT CFLD Real Estate Development Indonesia (CFLD Indonesia), the local unit of China Fortune Land Development Co Ltd, is poised to launch its flagship integrated real-estate project in Indonesia on April 6.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia to export rice to Malaysia
Indonesia will export 15 to 50 thousand tons of rice to Malaysia in an effort to meet the neighboring countrys demand and requirement for the commodity.
— Antara News

Indonesia strengthens aerial reconnaissance for maritime security
The Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) has strengthened its aerial reconnaissance to protect the country’s maritime territories from illegal activities.
— The Jakarta Post

Two UK companies will develop marine energy in Indonesia
Atlantis Resources Ltd. (Atlantis) and DCNS Energies, two United Kingdom-based energy development companies, today announced agreements to develop marine energy in Indonesia.
— HydroWorld

Rubber Glove Industry of Indonesia Needs a Cheaper Gas Price
Rubber gloves manufacturers in Indonesia are pessimistic about their business in 2017. This pessimism is caused by the lack of clarity whether – or when – the Indonesian government will lower the gas price for the rubber glove sector. Indonesia’s high gas price gives rise to high operational costs for Indonesia’s rubber glove producers. Reportedly, a number of local rubber glove factories have ceased production since late-2015.
— Indonesia Investments

NU, Muhammadiyah call on members to avoid 313 rally
Nahdlatul Ulama executive board chairman Marsudi Syuhud has called on members of the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia to refrain from participating in Friday’s mass rally organized by Islamic group the Muslim People’s Forum (FUI).
— The Jakarta Post

KPK Sting Operation Nets ‘Several’ Involved in Graft at PAL Indonesia
The national antigraft agency caught several people red-handed in raids in Jakarta and Surabaya, East Java, on Thursday (30/03) related to corruption at state-owned shipbuilder PAL Indonesia.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia’s tax amnesty passes its deadline
LAST year Indonesia’s finance minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, invited chief executives, directors and shareholders from the country’s leading industries to banquets at her ministry. As they munched, she would give presentations setting out who among them had—and, by omission, who had not—signed up to the government’s tax amnesty. “This may be the most expensive dinner in your lifetime,” the 54-year-old economist recalls telling them.
— The Economist

Lawmakers Allegedly Threatened Key Witness in e-KTP Graft Case
Novel Baswedan, an investigator with the national antigraft agency, said several lawmakers threatened Miryam S. Haryani, a lawmaker of the People’s Conscience Party, or Hanura, not to reveal their alleged involvement in a high-profile corruption case related to the procurement of electronic identity cards, or e-KTP.
— Jakarta Globe

Airbus Helicopters, Dirgantara Indonesia Sign MRO Agreement
Airbus Helicopters signed an agreement with aircraft maker Dirgantara Indonesia in Bandung, West Java, on Wednesday (29/03) to further expand cooperation.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia struggles to implement car-hailing regulations
Controversial new rules for online transportation operators can only be implemented gradually, the Indonesian transportation minister said on Thursday, giving some relief to ride-hailing apps like Uber and Grab.
— Nikkei Asian Review launches property index, first in Indonesia
Property portal launched a property index on Thursday, the first in Indonesia to push property market transparency.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia the world biggest Islamic bonds issuer
The Indonesian government has been the largest global sukuk (shariah bond) issuer issuing bonds worth US$13.1 billion after it routinely issued US dollar-denominated Islamic bonds since 2009, Director General of Finance and Risk Management at the Ministry of Finance, Robert Pakpahan, said here, Thursday.
— Antara News

Freeport seeks eight-month extension of negotiation
PT Freeport Indonesia has asked the government to extend the negotiation of its contractual dispute for eight months, Director General of Mineral and Coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Bambang Gatot said.
— Antara News

Surabaya, Switzerland establish cooperation in waste management
The Surabaya City Administration, East Java province and the Swiss government have established cooperation in several fields, including vocational education, transportation and waste management systems.
— Antara News


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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

More Than 36 Trillion Kip Invested in Vientiane Capital Last Year
The last year’s investment in Vientiane Capital fetched over 36.9 trillion kip (USD 4.48 billion) mostly in commercial production and systematic food security projects.
— Lao News Agency

Cambodian investor in police custody over business scandal
A Cambodian investor has been in police custody since Tuesday after a number of angry business partners stormed to his office in Vientiane wanting to withdraw invested money in the joint venture.
— Vientiane Times

Bounce back for Lao travellers headed to Malaysia
Lao travellers visiting Malaysia are expected to increase more than 30 percent this year after data shows positive feedback from arrivals last year.
— Vientiane Times

Labor Ministry Calls on 790 Disabled People’s Centre
A delegation from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare called on the 790 Disabled People’s Centre in Xaythany district, Vientiane Capital on March 23 to commemorate the 71st anniversary of National Disabled People and Veterans Day (March 21/1946).
— Lao News Agency

Report shows Laos’s different timber tactics
Cambodia and Laos share a border and a problem: vast swathes of their forests have been cut down, loaded on trucks and driven east to Vietnam and often sent onwards to China.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Laos, Thailand working on rail transport to cut costs
The transport of goods by railway could cut costs by 30 to 50 percent of the current charges for road transportation, a senior Lao official has said.
The Nation

Sixteen SMEs to Co-Host Mekong Tourism Forum in World Heritage Town
Sixteen small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Luang Prabang, Laos will serve as Host Venues for Mekong Tourism Forum 2017 (MTF 2017), “Prosper with Purpose”, June 6-9.
Hospitality Net

The Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge opens traffic to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand
The Final Casting Ceremony for the Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge was held at temporary briefing hall in Myawady, Kayin State on 30 March morning.
Global New Light Of Myanmar

Education and information key to plugging health gap
Ministry of Health officials and personnel from around the country met yesterday in Vientiane to review success of the Disbursement Linked Indicator (DLI) for the health sector.
Vientiane Times

Field mission to Savannakhet inspects Luxembourg assisted health project
Representatives from the Ministry of Health and United Nations Joint Programme (UNJP) for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) are currently visiting a Luxembourg assisted project in Savannakhet province from March 29-31.
Vientiane Times

Foreign Affairs Ministry Marks Party’s 62nd Anniversary
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a lecture on March 29, commemorating the 62nd founding anniversary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (Mar 22, 1955-2017).
Lao News Agency

Over Hundreds of Kilogrammes of Smuggled Cattle Meat Buried
More than 400 kg of smuggled cattle meat and internal organs were reportedly buried in Vientiane Capital on March 29. The event was witnessed by authorities of the Im-Ex Inspection Department under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and relevant sectors.
Lao News Agency

Letters: Vandersteen a Hmong advocate
Mike is a mayor who actively supports diversity in our city. In particular, he is an essential friend to the Sheboygan Hmong community, lending his time, patience, and effort into building a strong relationship between Sheboygan and its Hmong populace.
The Sheboygan Press

Exotic Laos
Luang Prabang in Laos has lots to offer, from spectacular scenery to temples, elephant camp and more, writes Maizurah Ariff
New Straits Times Online


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Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

Honda Malaysia rolls out 600,000th unit
Honda Malaysia achieved a milestone when its Pegoh plant in Alor Gajah rolled out its 600,000th unit.
— The Star Online

Malaysia’s palm oil and food stands to reap potential benefits from Brexit
Malaysia’s food exports, especially palm oil, stands to reap trade opportunities through the changes created by the UK’s departure (Brexit) from the European Union (EU).
— The Star Online

Maybank named M’sia’s most valuable, strongest bank brand
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has being crowned the most valuable Malaysian bank brand, and among the top five Asean bank brands in the global brand rankings of the “Top 500 Banking Brands 2017”, published by the Global Brand Valuation and Strategy Consulting firm, Brand Finance.
— New Straits Times

McDonald’s M’sia spending RM363 million for 3-year growth plan
McDonald’s Malaysia is investing RM363 million to build 33 new restaurants and refurbish 86 others in the country as part of its three-year growth plan.
— New Straits Times

Home Ministry bans 19 publications deemed detrimental to Malaysian society
The Home Ministry (KDN) has issued a prohibition order on 19 publications deemed detrimental to the Malaysian society.
— Malay Mail Online

Najib: 1MDB has cleared RM3b in debts
State fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has cleared over RM3 billion in debt over the past two years, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday, amid ongoing money-laundering probes linked to 1MDB in at least six countries.
— Malay Mail Online

Malaysia desperate for foreign financing, says DAP’s Pua
Opposition parliamentarian Tony Pua has claimed that Malaysia now appears to be so desperate for foreign financing towards its East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project that it is willing to subject itself a foreign power’s terms and conditions.
— The Edge Markets

Malaysia confident of keeping SEA Games 2017 cost 50% below Singapore
The Malaysian government is confident of keeping the cost of hosting the 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and 2017 ASEAN Para Games 50% lower than Singapore did in 2015.
— The Edge Markets

Malaysia releases Kim Jong Nam’s body, citizens in North Korea return
Malaysian authorities returned the body of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday, in a deal that secured the release of nine Malaysian citizens held in Pyongyang after a drawn out diplomatic spat.
— Reuters

Swelling supply weighs on Malaysian retail property trusts’ earnings
Earnings of Malaysian retail property trusts are likely to stay under pressure this year as a supply rush of mall spaces and weak consumer sentiment limit prospects of growth in rental income.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Indonesia to export rice to Malaysia
Indonesia will export 15 to 50 thousand tons of rice to Malaysia in an effort to meet the neighboring countrys demand and requirement for the commodity.

Oldtown expands business in China
Oldtown Bhd is expanding its business in China by appointing a local partner, with the first outlet in Fujian targeted for opening in the third quarter of this year.
— The Star Online

Retirement fund KWAP buys into E&O project in RM877mil deal
Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) has taken up a stake in Eastern & Oriental Bhd’s (E&O) flagship property project in Penang and acquired a substantial equity interest in the listed developer in a deal worth a total of RM887.7mil.
— The Star Online

M’sia gears to ship out MSPO-certified palm oil to Europe by end-2017
Malaysia is gearing towards shipping out its first Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certified consignment of palm oil to Europe by the end of this year.
— New Straits Times

RAM Ratings: M’sian banking system’s liquidity sound
RAM Ratings still sees the Malaysian banking system’s liquidity as sound, despite a decline in surplus liquidity placed with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) over the past few years.
— New Straits Times

Malaysia might face pensions crisis by 2050, Khairy warns
Malaysia might be facing a potential crisis with pensions by the year 2050 due to a higher population of retirees coupled with higher life expectancy rates, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin warned today.
— Malay Mail Online

Rent longer to avoid long-term property debt, Malaysians told
Malaysians should change their mindset when it comes to buying properties at a young age that results in a huge long-term debt, Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said today.
— Malay Mail Online

Malaysia: Reject Security Bill Extension
The Malaysian government’s proposal to extend its authority to detain security suspects for 28 days violates the right to prompt judicial review, Human Rights Watch said today.
— Human Rights Watch

North Korea, Malaysia End Diplomatic Standoff
Malaysia sent the embalmed body of the slain estranged half brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un back to North Korea in exchange for nine Malaysians detained in Pyongyang, both countries said, breaking a weekslong diplomatic deadlock over a brazen killing.

51 Indonesian Human Trafficking Victims Found at Malaysian Factory
At least 51 Indonesian citizens have been identified as victims of human trafficking at a bird’s nest factory in Selangor, Malaysia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday (30/03).
— Jakarta Globe


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

Myanmar ruling party’s promise of growth for country yet to materialise
One year since Myanmar’s National League for Democracy took office, the World Bank has projected growth for the country’s economy to moderate from 7.3 per cent in 2015-2016 to 6.5 per cent this year.
— Channel NewsAsia

Myanmar’s Aung Suu Kyi addresses letdowns, says she is prepared to step down
Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi has acknowledged disappointment over the state of her country after one year in office, saying she is prepared to step down if people are dissatisfied with her leadership.
— ABC Online

Government to Give Investors Equal Rights at New Industrial Zones, Satellite Townships
The government has plans to build new in­dustrial zones and satel­lite townships across the country, U Kyaw Win, the minister for planning and finance, told an invest­ment conference.
— Consult-Myanmar

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi defends first year in power
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi defended her civilian government’s first year in power in a rare public address on Thursday (Mar 30), saying her party was dedicated to rebuilding a nation ravaged by decades of army rule.
— Channel NewsAsia

The Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge opens traffic to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand
The Final Casting Ceremony for the Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge was held at temporary briefing hall in Myawady, Kayin State on 30 March morning.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Global Fund to provide US$497million to Myanmar until 2020
The Global Fund will provide US$497million to Myanmar until 2020 to carry out three national strategic projects in eliminating malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS, which are being carried out by the Ministry of Health and Sports.
— Eleven

650 workers sacked for strike at Myanmar factory
About 650 workers at a clothing factory in Hlaing Tharyar industrial zone were fired after holding a strike demanding a 10-day break to celebrate the Thingyan water festival, the Myanmar equivalent of Songkran.
— Bangkok Post

Myanmar Monks Move to Take Action Against Editor For ‘Insulting’ Influential Religious Leader
Myanmar monks have been collecting signatures for a petition to take legal action against a domestic media reporter whom they accuse of insulting an outspoken and controversial figure in the country’s ultranationalist Buddhist movement.
— Radio Free Asia

Vice President addresses Medium-term Programme (MTP) ceremony on the development of trade sector
Vice President U Myint Swe addressed the gathering at a ceremony releasing the report on medium-term programme (MTP) on development of the trade sector held at the Hilton Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Myanmar: Bangladesh’s Crystal Future Venture to invest; Pan Pacific Hotel to finish by 2017
Bangladesh’s Crystal Future Venture which provides telecom services will be investing $1 million in Myanmar. Meanwhile, Shwe Taung Group announced the opening of office and retail space of the Junction City project.
— Deal Street Asia

Japanese loan to develop agri businesses
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation intends to provide loans to value-added agricultural businesses through a two-step loan scheme with funds from Japan, said the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary U Myo Tint Tun.
— Myanmar Times

Construction on Yangon-Dala Bridge to Begin in April
Construction on the Yangon-Dala cross-river bridge, which will link Yangon’s down­town area to the under­developed satellite town, will begin in April this year, the Ministry of In­formation announced last week.
— Consult-Myanmar

Border Guard Police Tortures Rohingya Villagers in Buthidaung
The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) has recently started to subject the local Rohingya villagers in southern Buthidaung to arbitrary tortures and money extortions, according to the local sources.
— Rohingya Vision

ADB Partnership with Myanmar to Support Growth, Job Creation
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a new medium-term country partnership strategy (CPS) for Myanmar to support the government’s aim to improve economic growth and job creation.
— The Financial

6,000 villagers to get first aid, road safety training
Over 6000 people living in villages along the accident-prone Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw highway will be trained in first aid and road safety by the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and Shell Myanmar.
— Myanmar Times

Electricity of 224 Megawatt needs for this summer
The Ministry of Electricity and Power has estimated that the maximum electricity requirement during the summer is about 3,100 megawatts and the actual production may be 2,856 megawatts.
— Eleven


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Philippines: PHA’s $10m private placement; Cemex, Sinoma ink pact
Premiere Horizon Alliance Corp (PHA) is looking to raise $10 million in the private placement offer for its West Palawan Premiere Development Corp (WPP) project, while Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc and Sinoma Energy Conservation Ltd have signed a deal to build and operate a waste-heat-to-energy (WHTE) facility.
— Deal Street Asia

Palace order needed to put up tariff system for rice
Following the Duterte economic team’s decision to lift import curbs on milled rice come June 30, Malacañang is readying an executive order that will help the domestic rice market transition to a tariff system for inbound grains, according to an official of the National Economic and Development Authority.
— Inquirer.Net

Philippines’ Duterte threatens press over critical coverage
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday described two major media outlets as “sons of whores” and warned them of karmic repercussions for their critical coverage of his deadly drug war.
— Asia One

Phl lists 14 projects for Japan funding
Fourteen infrastructure projects have been lined up for possible Japanese financing, three of which – collectively valued at $8.82 billion – will be prioritized for funding and implementation in the near term, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said yesterday.
— Phil Star

Senators frown on Duterte pardon for 19 cops in mayor’s killing
Senators on Thursday frowned upon President Duterte’s insistence on granting absolute pardon to policemen charged with the murder of Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., saying it could give law enforcers the notion that they had blanket authority to kill drug suspects.
— Inquirer.Net

Duterte makes pitch for smoking ban
President Duterte on Wednesday vowed to implement a smoking ban in the country as he shared his health woes, including his need to use an oxygen machine because of his oxygenation problem from years of smoking.
— Inquirer.Net

Phl to raise SCS construction during Beijing meet
The Philippines will raise China’s construction of military facilities in the South China Sea during the bilateral consultation mechanism meeting in May, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said yesterday.
— Phil Star

Duterte impeachment ‘not hopeless,’ says Magdalo lawmaker
An impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte is not a hopeless case, even as his allies make up the majority in Congress, one of its proponents said Friday.

Duterte assailed for ‘defeatist’ stand vs China
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano on Thursday filed supplementary charges to his impeachment complaint against President rodrigo Duterte, accusing him of taking a “defeatist stance” by doing nothing to challenge China’s activities on Benham Rise and in the West Philippine Sea.
— Inquirer.Net

Philippines to hunt tax evaders to boost revenue, finance secretary says
The Philippines will target tax evaders as it seeks to raise revenue to finance its infrastructure plans, the finance secretary said.
— The Business Times

Jails full of drug addicts, Ecija rehab center has few
The country’s largest drug rehabilitation center, envisioned to house up to 10,000 addicts, is treating only a few patients even as many city jails are bursting at the seams with the influx of at least 25,000 users amid the administration’s war on drugs.
— Inquirer.Net

2 Navy warships from Benham Rise dock at Poro Point
Two large Navy warships docked at Poro Point pier Thursday after conducting patrols at Benham Rise for several days to check on the presence of Chinese vessels in the area. The two are BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16), PN frigate, and BRP Sultan Kudarat (PS-22).
— Update Philippines

Implement RH law, EU urges Phl
The European Union (EU) is calling for the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RH) Act of 2012, which is only possible if the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order (TRO) on the law is lifted.
— Phil Star

Sugar workers lobby against high fructose corn syrup importation
Members of five sugar workers’ federations in Negros Occidental, and agrarian reform beneficiaries on Thursday asked lawmakers to investigate the importation of high fructose corn syrup, saying it would hurt the local industry.

Tax reform in focus amid high PHL hopes
THE GOVERNMENT’S planned tax reforms have come into sharper focus after Fitch Ratings, Inc. on Wednesday tagged them as a linchpin in the Philippines’ bid to achieve faster, more inclusive growth in the next six years.
— Business World Online

UnionBank to launch foreign currency fund
ABOITIZ-LED Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) will soon launch a foreign currency-denominated investment products focused on family wealth management solutions after the lender inked a collaboration with global wealth and asset manager Lombard Odier.
— Business World Online

Asian community rattled by Trump immigration policies
The debate surrounding US President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown has focused almost entirely on the Latino community, leaving other groups affected – notably Asians – largely out of the discourse, according to experts.
— Manila Bulletin

Palace: Int’l court can’t interfere in PH affairs
Malacañang sees no reason for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to intervene in issues concerning the Philippines, particularly on the country’s fight against illegal drugs.
— The Manila Times

Fitch affirms PH investment grade
Debt watcher Fitch Ratings affirmed the Philippines’ “BBB-“ minimum investment grade rating, as well as its positive outlook, but warned it will be watching the impact of the government’s anti-illegal drugs program on the overall economy.
— The Manila Times


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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

49% of HR managers in Singapore have not hired returning women in past year: survey
NEARLY half of hiring managers in Singapore have not employed any returning women in the past year, a report from recruitment firm Robert Walters showed on Thursday.
The Business Times 

Singapore confirms two new cases of Zika virus
Singapore has confirmed two cases of locally transmitted infections of the Zika virus in a northeastern part of the city state, the National Environment Agency said on Wednesday, describing it as the first Zika cluster of 2017.
Fox News 

Will lower rental rates boost Singapore retail?
Singapore’s retail industry is suffering something of a tough time now, along with the country’s property market. Compared to the country’s booming financial and technology industries, retail is suffering from many of the same factors affecting high streets across the world; mainly the rise of ecommerce and online
The Online Citizen 

Investments in Singapore Property Assets Rise: ETF in Focus
Singapore is seeing a surge in investments in property assets. Foreign investments in the country’s property assets rose to $4.1 billion in 2016, an increase of 441% year on year. The major component of this investment was the Qatar Investment Authority’s purchase of Asia Square Tower 1 for $2.45 billion.

Repatriated funds from Singapore reaches Rp 84.52 trillion
From the Rp 835.7 trillion (US$62.74 billion) of funds parked in Singapore declared during the the tax amnesty, as of the final day of the program on Thursday only Rp 84.52 trillion had been repatriated.
The Jakarta Post 

Singapore Exchange said to mull tie-ups with other bourses
Even as regulators crack down on yet another round of consolidation among exchange operators, at least one major bourse is still keen to pursue deals.
The Star 

IE Singapore signs MOU with Indian city to facilitate participation of Singapore companies in smart city projects
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the government agency promoting international trade, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Pune Municipal Corporation in India to help Singapore urban solutions companies participate in smart cities projects in Pune.
Open Gov Asia 

Researchers uncover how Zika may be harming foetus’ brain
Scientists here have, for the first time, uncovered a possible way that the Zika virus damages an unborn baby’s brain.
The Straits Times 

Singapore Market May Reverse Thursday’s Losses
The Singapore stock market on Thursday snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced almost 60 points or 1.9 percent. The Straits Times Index now rests just below the 3,175-point plateau, although the market may stop the bleeding on Friday.
RTT News 

Kindness and concern in year’s first Zika cluster
When Simon Place residents Madam Yeoh and Mr Lim were told they had Zika on Tuesday, their first thoughts were about their neighbours.
Asia One 

SMRT to trial new signalling system again on NSL
Come 11pm on Thursday (Mar 30), all trains on the North-South Line will grind to a halt and remain stationary for about 10 minutes.
Channel NewsAsia 

AA Reit announces changes to Board
Aims AMP Capital Industrial Reit has a number of changes to its Board of Directors, as part of a regular review process to ensure board independence and sound corporate governance.
The Straits Times 

Dollar extends gains after strong U.S. data, Asia stocks subdued
The dollar extended its overnight gains in early Asian trade on Friday on signs of strong U.S. economic growth, while the euro inched up after sliding overnight on data suggesting slowing growth in Europe.

Singapore warns sugar deal could breach free trade pact
Singapore has raised concerns that a mandatory code of conduct to enforce the re-regulation of the sugar industry could be a breach of the Australia-Singapore FREE TRADE Agreement.
Financial Review 

114 arrested for suspected loansharking activities
A total of 114 suspects were arrested for their suspected involvement in loansharking activities during a three-day operation, police said on Thursday (Mar 30).
Channel NewsAsia 

Singapore targets enhanced role for IP practitioners to secure future economic growth
The IP Office of Singapore (IPOS) and Workforce Singapore – an agency under the city-state’s labour ministry – have joined forces to launch a new educational programme aimed at equipping Singaporean professionals with IP-related skills.
World Trademark Review 

New Learning Forest opens at Singapore Botanic Gardens
From touching pieces of the white flaky bark from the Gelam tree, to strolling on a tree-canopy-level boardwalk, to wandering into the freshwater wetland habitats, visitors will get to experience these and more at the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ new Learning Forest.
Today Online 

Singapore shipping industry boosts efforts to meet emissions goals
Singapore’s maritime industry is stepping up efforts to reduce the environmental impact of shipping and related activities, ahead of the 2020 target that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set for a 0.5 per cent global cap on sulphur emissions from marine fuels, from the current 3.5 per cent limit.
Today Online 

Scoot, Emirates planes collide at Changi
Two large airplanes were involved in a minor collision at Changi Airport early yesterday, delaying more than 600 passengers who were on board.
The New Paper 

81 arrested for scams totalling more than S$1.4m
A total of 81 people have been rounded up by police for their suspected involvement in 244 cases of scams involving more than S$1.4 million.
Channel NewsAsia 

Woodlands Checkpoint extension to be built at Old Woodlands Town Centre
An extension of the Woodlands Checkpoint will be built at the Old Woodlands Town Centre as part of efforts to upgrade the checkpoint, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said on Thursday (Mar 30).
Channel NewsAsia


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


Appeals Court rejects Juthamas’ bail request
The Appeal Court on Friday rejected bail requests made by former Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Juthamas Siriwan and her daughter, citing the possibility the defendants might flee the country due to the severity of their sentences for corruption.
– The Nation

Thailand Expands Oil Exploration Options To Attract Investments
Oil and gas firms active in Thailand will see their oil exploration options expand after the country’s military-appointed assembly approved a change to its energy laws on Thursday.

National Oil Company proposal scrapped
A NATIONAL Legislative Assembly (NLA) subcommittee yesterday gave in to opposition and withdrew the controversial Article 10/1 amendment to the Petroleum Act, effectively sinking the proposal to set up a new national oil company.
– The Nation

Private spending, farm income fuel February growth
THE THAI economy expanded in February, driven by private spending and consistently higher real farm income, according to the Fiscal Policy Office.
– The Nation

3.3 percent GDP forecast by Kasikorn Research Centre
Kasikorn Research Centre has predicted the economic growth rate for this year at 3.3 percent, thanks to export expansion from earlier projection of 0.8 percent to a revised projection of 2 percent as a result of increasing demand for and prices of Thai products.
– Thai PBS

Trump to name and shame trade ‘cheats’
President Donald Trump will order staff Friday (Mar 31) to pinpoint countries and goods responsible for America’s nearly US$50 billion trade deficit, in a protectionist warning shot to trade partners like China.
– Channel NewsAsia

Exporters dubious of 5% target
The stronger baht may tame the pace of the export recovery and make Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak’s 5% growth target hard to achieve, shippers say.
– Bangkok Post

PPP Committee wants 6 more transport projects fast-tracked
THE PUBLIC Private Partnership (PPP) Policy Committee yesterday resolved to place six more transportation projects worth Bt600 billion on the fast track for implementation.
– The Nation

Thai tourism sector earns 1.33 trillion baht in 6 months
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has revealed that the tourism revenue in the past six months increased by as much as 4.6% compared to the same period a year before.

Call for superhighway to help move to 5G
Thailand urgently needs development of a digital information superhighway to support the transition in consumer lifestyles in the upcoming 5G era, says a key official.
– Bangkok Post

Former foreign minister impeached in Thaksin passport case
The National Legislative Assembly has voted 231-4 in favour of impeaching former foreign minister Surapong Tohvichakchaikul for malfeasance in re-issuing the national passports of ousted ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
– The Nation

Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya continues to evade charges over policeman’s death
An heir to the Red Bull fortune has won another delay in facing charges over an alleged hit-and-run that killed a police officer in Thailand almost five years ago.

Okay For Red Bull “Boss” Not To Appear, Prosecutors Say
When someone stepped up to explain why a scion of a billionaire family was justified in consistently refusing to meet with authorities over his deadly car crash in 2012, it was neither his lawyer nor his family.
– Khaosod 

King Power sets Bt12.5 bn for five-year investments
THAI DUTY-FREE company King Power will invest Bt12.5 billion between now and 2021 to achieve sales revenue of Bt140 billion that year, the group’s chief executive officer Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said.
– The Nation

14 E. Europeans in Pattaya ‘Mafia’ arrested, deported
Four Russian gangsters who set up shop in Pattaya have been arrested, along with ten other Eastern Europeans engaged in what immigration officials called “Mafia” behavior.
– Pattaya Mail

Public Relations being prepared for Royal Cremation Ceremony
he government has asked that all media outlets prepare special programming to ready the public 7 days ahead of the Royal Cremation Ceremony of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

BTS will extend sky train service from Bearing to Samrong for free from April 3
Bangkok Rapid Transit Authority (BTS) will open sky train service from Bearing station to Samrong station on April 3.
– Thai PBS

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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

Manufacturing slump drags on Vietnam growth
Vietnam’s real gross domestic product grew just 5.1% on the year in the January-March period, the lowest in three years, as the industrial sector stumbled amid trouble at growth driver Samsung Electronics.
Nikkei Asian Review 

VN’s first import-export report released
A report on imports and exports in 2016 was officially launched for the first time yesterday in Hà Nội, with an aim to successfully implement the import-export strategy in the 2011-20 period with a vision to 2030.
Viet Nam News 

FDI to Ho Chi Minh City increases by 56.7 percent in Q1
Ho Chi Minh City attracted 574.71 million USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first quarter of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 56.7 percent, according to the municipal Department of Planning and Investment.
Vietnam Plus 

Vietnamese startups mobilize $205 million in 2016
The community of Vietnamese startups mobilized the record high capital of US$205 million last year, according to statistics by Topica Founder Institute.

Vietnamese economy sees slower Q1 growth
Việt Nam posted a year-on-year GDP growth of 5.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, slower than the previous two years at 5.48 and 6.12 per cent, respectively.
Viet Nam News 

Vietnam issues final AD duty on galvanized steel imports
Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has announced its final determinations in its antidumping (AD) duty investigation on galvanized steel product imported into Vietnam from China and South Korea.
Steel Orbis 

Multi-million dollar live-chat services expected to see big investments
The demand for live chat in Vietnam has increased by 30 percent in the last two years, raising the market value to $20 million.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Manufacturing, processing inventory increases 12.5 percent
The inventory index of the processing and manufacturing field was up 12.5 percent in March compared to the same period last year, reported the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Vietnam and Taiwan Spar over South China Sea
Taiwan has been engaging in military drills this week around Taiping Island, its major foothold in the South China Sea—and Vietnam is having none of it. Reuters:
The American Interest 

Vietnam, Japan ink MOU on tourism promotion
A MEMORANDUM of understanding aiming at promoting tourism initiatives and encouraging visitor exchange was signed |by Vietnam and Japan on Wednesday.
The Nation 

Vietnam stocks soar to a 9-year high, Southeast Asia flat
Neither the Brexit negotiations launch, nor positive US data to support further rate hikes had any significant impact on Southeast Asian stocks on Thursday, reports Reuters. MSCI’s broadest Asia-Pacific index ex-Japan creeped down 0.3%.
Asia Times 

Asia Coffee-Prices fall in Indonesia on harvest; Vietnam exports seen lower
A small harvest in Indonesia dragged prices of coffee beans down, while the market in Vietnam remained quiet amid low supply and thin stockpile, traders said on Thursday.
The Times Of India Business 

Thanh Cong, Hyundai Motor join hands to produce automobiles
Thanh Cong Group on March 30 signed a cooperation agreement with the Republic of Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company on forming a venture to expand the assembling of automobiles in Vietnam.
Vietnam Plus 

$23,711 invested in high-tech Park
The Saigon Hi-Tech Park yesterday granted investment license to the Tay Saigon School (Western Saigon Vocational College) to build research and international training cooperation center.

Vietnam export import report announced for first time
Vietnam’s export import turnover in 2016 reached US$349.16 billion, of which export posted a year on year increase of 8.6 percent to hit $175.9 billion, reported the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Vietnam jails journalist for blackmail
A former newspaper reporter in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang has been sentenced to 15 months behind bars for blackmailing a local resident.
Tuoi Tre News 

Banks cautious about business targets in 2017
The season of annual shareholders meeting will begin next month and commercial banks have been cautious while setting business targets for this year in the context of slow bad debt settlement and high risk provision, Dau tu chung khoan (Securities Investment) newspaper reported.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Capitalism: Hot Flight Attendants In Bikinis Made Vietnam Its First Female Billionaire 
Airlines all have their own uniforms for flight attendants, but those uniforms were never a reason customers choose to fly a particular airline…until now. VietJet, a regional airline in Vietnam, has its young flight attendants dress in corporate colored bikinis, and that marketing gimmick has helped the company’s CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, become the country’s first self-made female billionaire.
Daily Caller 

Vietnam Airlines launches direct route from Hanoi to Sydney
The first flight of Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi to Sydney carrying 230 passengers arrived in Sydney Airport on March 29.


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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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