Asean Morning News For March 7

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For March 7
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The Asean Morning News Roundup presents a selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC) and is the most comprehensive Asean Morning News Roundup published. All articles are hand curated by the team at AEC News Today.


Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today @aecnewstoday


Julie Bishop slaps down reports of joint patrols with Indonesia in South China Sea
The prospect that Australia and Indonesia would jointly patrol the South China Sea near Natuna Islands has been slapped down by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who denied reports the Indonesian President had ever suggested it.

ASEAN should not be overlooked in the rush to do business in North Asia
OUR nearest neighbours are sometimes overlooked in the rush to do business with north Asia, but that risks missing out on a large, and potentially easier opportunity closer to home, Adelaide University executive dean of the Faculty of the Professions Professor Christopher Findlay believes.
— The Advertiser

Tourism Boom for ASEAN Economies, Buoyed by Rising Middle Class
Asia’s tourism industry is booming, buoyed by rising incomes, low-cost air transport, and China’s growing outbound market.

Investors should get good returns from infrastructure projects
Investors have to be given a fair share of the revenue generated in the economy surrounding an infrastructure project to boost public private partnerships, said an expert.
– The Daily Star

New Zealand Eyes Deeper ASEAN Ties Amid Terror Fight
A recent trip by the attorney general highlights the priority Wellington places on engaging Southeast Asia on counterterrorism.
— The Diplomat

ASEAN meet focuses on social challenges
Two socio-cultural challenges will be addressed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
— Manila Bulletin

CLMV still searching for a genuine ASEAN Community
It is now possible to go by car in any weather from Yangon (the commercial capital of Myanmar and formerly known as Rangoon) to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam’s commercial capital, formerly known as Saigon) by the East-West Economic Corridor and its southern extensions.
— Myanmar Times

Strong opportunities available in ASEAN, South Asia; here’s how businesses can exploit and thrive, but it will require agility
For about three decades, much of ASEAN has experienced strong growth driven by exports, demographics and growing middle-class wealth. But as we enter a new year, only one thing is certain: forecasting is difficult.
— Financial Express

Tourism Boom for ASEAN Economies, Buoyed by Rising Middle Class
Asia’s tourism industry is booming, buoyed by rising incomes, low-cost air transport, and China’s growing outbound market.
— Voice of America

Harbor Star plans expansion in Asean
Harbor Star Shipping Services Inc., a leading provider of harbor assistance, lighterage, salvage and towing services, on Monday disclosed a plan to expand in Indonesia and Myanmar.
— The Standard

ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Philippines Banking Regulation, Cambodia SME Tax Incentive, and Indonesia Fintech Sector
The Department of Finance (DOF) on February 15 announced a new rule under the Bureau of Revenue (BIR) which will penalize banks and not taxpayers for late or unremitted tax payments made through credit, debit or prepaid cards. The regulations amends the Revenue Regulation (RR) No. 3-2016 which made taxpayers liable if their authorized agent bank (AAB) failed to pay the BIR their tax payment on time.
— Asean Briefing


Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Hitachi Sets Eyes on Cambodia’s Elevator Market
To take advantage of Cambodia’s growing manufacturing and real estate industries, Japanese electronics conglomerate Hitachi has announced a joint venture aiming to expand into the local elevator and escalator market.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

PM Wants Chinese Support for New Ring Road
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked China to help pay for new bridges across the upper and lower Mekong River in Phnom Penh as part of a ring road project aimed at reducing traffic.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Moody’s maintains sovereign debt rating
lobal credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Services has maintained Cambodia’s B2/stable sovereign rating, stating in its latest credit opinion on the Cambodian government that the rating was underpinned by the Kingdom’s credit strengths, specifically its healthy growth prospects and a stable external payments position.
The Phnom Penh Post

Local startup is selected for fintech accelerator program
A Cambodian startup was selected to take part in Startupbootcamp’s three-month fintech accelerator program in Singapore, becoming the second firm from the Kingdom to join the international program in as many years.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodians See Major Drops in Corruption Levels: Transparency International
Cambodians have experienced a major drop in levels of corruption over the past five years, according to a report released by Transparency International last week.

Fast-growing Cambodian bank eyes cross-border growth
When In Channy took over the Association of Cambodian Local Economic Development Agencies (Acleda) in 1993 he found himself managing an odd assortment of loan officers.
Nikkei Asian Review

UN Agencies Turn to New Technology to Tackle Old Problems in Southeast Asia
Shortly after Jonathan Rivers arrived in Cambodia in 2014 to work as a technical officer for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), he noticed how much time he and his colleagues spent retrieving data from different departments for their food security analysis work.
Radio Free Asia

Clash between traditional beliefs and modern medicine laid bare in Cambodian thriller
Premiering at the 7th annual Cambodia International Film Festival, Mind Cage is a psychological thriller by Indian director Amit Dubey that explores the dissonance between old and new Cambodia, telling the story of a Phnom Penh psychiatrist whose life is torn apart by a psychotic kru khmer, or traditional healer.
Southeast Asia Globe

Angelina Jolie hopes Cambodians feel pride in being subject of her film
Actress-director Angelina Jolie says she hopes Cambodians will be proud of her film ‘First They Killed My Father’ instead of feeling hatred or resentment for what the country endured in the late 1970s.
The Times of India

Over 88,000 Candidates Register for Upcoming Commune Elections
More than 88,000 candidates will be vying for the 11,572 seats up for grabs in the June 4 commune elections, the National Election Committee (NEC) announced on Monday, following a three-day registration window that closed on Sunday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Brokers trading without licences
Text messages, in which a broker at an unlicensed derivatives trading firm purportedly informs one of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s daughters that her trading account had been “topped up” with over half a million US dollars, were leaked yesterday.
The Phnom Penh Post

JICA to aid impact studies
The Ministry of the Environment signed an agreement yesterday afternoon with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in an effort to improve the Ministry of the Environment’s capacity to curb pollution and review environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for development projects.
The Phnom Penh Post

Bail Request Denied for Surrogacy Company Director
The Court of Appeals last week denied a bail request filed by lawyers representing an Australian woman who is charged with operating an illegal surrogacy company.

Cambodia’s Hun Sen Confirms Leaked Conversation with Opposition Chief
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday confirmed the authenticity of a recently leaked telephone conversation between himself and opposition leader Kem Sokha, and claimed it proves he engineered the latter’s ascent to the top of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).
Radio Free Asia

Hun Sen Threatens Prison for Aggressive NGOs and Journalists
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday threatened to jail journalists and NGO workers whose political analysis encroaches on others’ rights, and said critics should blame voters —not him—for his long tenure in power.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Julie Bishop slaps down reports of joint patrols with Indonesia in South China Sea
The prospect that Australia and Indonesia would jointly patrol the South China Sea near Natuna Islands has been slapped down by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who denied reports the Indonesian President had ever suggested it.
— ABC Online

Singapore-Indonesia relations should prioritise fighting rising radicalism and terrorism: Wiranto
Indonesia’s coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister Wiranto said that rising radicalism and terrorism are problems that Indonesia and Singapore should prioritise and work together to fight.
— The Straits Times

Two airports in Indonesia receive ACI awards
The Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali and Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in South Sulawesi have received prestigious awards from the Airport Council International (ACI).
— Antara News

Indonesian aviation of concern 10 years on
Ten years after the Garuda crash that killed five Australians, an aviation expert warns Indonesia’s industry needs to shape up or there will be more tragedies.

Bank of Scotland’s local arm ceases operations in Indonesia
The local arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland NV (RBS NV) has officially ended its business in Indonesia.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia to manage rupiah ahead of Fed meeting – governor
Indonesia’s central bank will manage the rupiah’s movement in case of currency market volatility ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting on March 14-15 that is widely expected to key raise U.S. interest rates, the bank’s governor said on Monday.
— Nasdaq

Indonesia must become developed country to get global attention: VP
Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that only rich and “rogue” states could gain world attention; therefore, Indonesia must be a developed country to get global attention.
— Antara News

New PPA legislation in Indonesia raises concerns for geothermal developers
New regulations on power purchase agreements in the Indonesian energy market are raising concerns for geothermal developers, due to the requirement for PLN to only purchase power in accordance with proven reserves after exploration.
— Think GeoEnergy

Paleolake deposits on Mars might look like sediments in Indonesia
In their GSA Bulletin article published online last week, Timothy A. Goudge and colleagues detail the clay mineralogy of sediment from Lake Towuti, Indonesia, using a technique called visible to near-infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy. VNIR measures the signature of reflected light from a sample across a larger wavelength range than just visible light. At Lake Towuti, the spectral record shows distinct variations in clay mineralogy over the past 40,000 years.
— Phys.Org

New Zealand man scammed of more than $2000 in Bali card game
A NEW Zealand man on holiday in Bali was reportedly kidnapped for hours and forced to play a card game that swindled him out of $2000 in what appears part of a scary scam targeting tourists on the holiday island.

Indonesia to link maritime axis plan to IORA countries
Indonesia has expressed its wish to integrate its maritime axis program with shipping lines within the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) area, as part of efforts to boost economic cooperation between the association’s countries.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia braces for market shock as Fed ready to increase rate
As the United States’ Federal Reserve inches closer to a second rate increase, Indonesia is preparing to build a cushion against capital outflows that could trigger volatility in the domestic market.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia lost Rp 3 TRILLION to corruption in 2016: Indonesia Corruption Watch
The results of two recent surveys reveal a strange contradiction in the attitude of Indonesians towards corruption, with a CSIS poll showing from 2016 showing that a majority of Indonesians thought that corruption in the country was getting worse while the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer survey that Indonesians had an unusually high level of trust in the government, especially compared to other countries with far less perceived corruption.
— Coconuts Bangkok

Google Doodle Celebrates Indonesia’s Komodo Dragons
The internet search company Google celebrated the 37th anniversary of Indonesia’s Komodo National Park with its latest ‘Google Doodle.’
— Voice of America

Rotana launches three TV channels in Indonesia
Rotana, one of the region’s biggest media networks, has launched three television channels dedicated to the Indonesian market.
— Arab News

Indonesia’s Finnet selects Cellum for mobile payments
FINNET, an Indonesian electronic payment provider and member of Telkom Group, signed an agreement with Cellum at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
— Digital News Asia

Grab Indonesia to develop mobile payments, partner with fintech companies: Ridzki Kamadribata
Grab has recently launched its master plan for Indonesia – one which entails a $700 million investment into the largest economy in Southeast Asia to battle its fiercest competitor, Go-Jek, and the first priority under this will be to build an R&D center with 150 engineers, Ridzki Kramadibrata, the ride-hailing app’s managing director in Indonesia, said in an interaction.
— Deal Street Asia

Qatar is a strategic partner: Indonesia
Advisory Council observer and chairman of the Committee on Interior and Foreign Affairs Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Sulaiti received a delegation from the Indonesian Parliament, led by the head of the First Commission of the House of Representatives, Dr H Abdul Kharis Almasyhari, in his office recently.
— Gulf Times

Government must discuss draft law on tobacco: Ministry
The government should deliberate the bill on tobacco proposed under the initiative of the House of Representatives, a senior official of the Ministry of Industry stated.
— Antara News

Government set to finish electrification of Papua in 2018
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said the government is set to finish electrification program in Papua and West Papua in 2018 using solar power plants to dismiss darkness at night in the villages in the countrys easternmost provinces.
— Antara News

Trafficked and abused: Indonesia’s Middle East maid ban backfires
Dian Permata Sari was determined to escape when she was brought to the maid recruitment office in Saudi Arabia for the sixth time and paraded in front of potential employers alongside 14 other women.
— Thomson Reuters Foundation

Indonesia – Severe Weather (BNPB, BMKG, Local Media)(ECHO Daily Flash of 6 March 2017)
Heavy rain in several areas of the country over the past days has caused floods and landslides.
— Relief Web

Is ‘Manis’ the sweet deal that brings Australia and Indonesia together?
Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia featured prominently 75 years ago for Australia when our troops deployed and fought there in the Pacific War. We do well to commemorate their efforts and the losses suffered, notably with Indonesian President Joko Widodo visiting Australia last month.
— The Canberra Times

When Saudi King Salman emerged earlier this week from a Boeing 747 that is bigger than Air Force One onto a specially made escalator and descended onto the tarmac of the government VIP terminal in Jakarta, the irritations that have dogged relations between the kingdom and the world’s largest Muslim majority all but evaporated.
— South China Morning Post

Coffee Production of Indonesia to Rise or Fall in 2017?
Production of coffee in Indonesia is estimated to grow around 10 percent to the range of 650,000 – 700,000 tons in 2017, says the Indonesia Coffee Exporters Association (GAEKI). In 2015 Indonesia’s coffee production is estimated to have fallen to 600,000 tons due to the impact of El Nino, a weather phenomenon that brought dry weather to Southeast Asia hence plaguing harvests of agricultural commodities. GAEKI Chairman Hutama Sugandhi added that Indonesia’s coffee export performance also declined in 2016.
— Indonesia Investments

Liberty University Student Drowns in Indonesia
Liberty University says a student drowned while studying abroad in Indonesia.
— U.S News & World Report

Oman’s State Council chairman leaves for Indonesia
Assigned by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Dr. Yahya bin Mahfoudh Al Mantheri, Chairman of the State Council left here on Monday heading to the Republic of Indonesia to lead the Sultanate’s delegation in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Summit, due to be held in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
— Times of Oman

Australian live exports on the agenda in Indonesia
Cowper MP and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, spent today in Bader Lampung, Indonesia, promoting Australia’s world-class livestock export industry and “gaining a valuable insight into the operations of the cattle industry in Indonesia”.
— Bellingen Courier Sun

Massey University hosts Indonesian academics
Indonesian academics are learning more about feeding, animal health and breeding of cattle at Massey University’s Palmerston North campus.


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Savannakhet orders 253 furniture plants to shut down
Savannakhet provincial authorities have ordered 253 family-based furniture plants to shut down -many of them operating without business licenses, while some are failing to meet set standards.
— Vientiane Times

Importation of Satellite Signal Dishes Banned
The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPT) of the Lao government has banned entrepreneurs, legal entities and individual companies from importing or distributing satellite signal equipment.
— Lao News Agency

Chinese investors reconsider plantations as profits prove elusive in banana business
Some Chinese investors plan to shutter their banana farms in Laos and relocate to other countries while others plan to replace the yellow herbaceous fruit with other agricultural crops after sustaining losses.
— Vientiane Times

Vientiane has business potential but needs more infrastructure
Vientiane still has a huge potential for businesses and investment since Laos is being integrated with South East Asian Nations (Asean), according to economists.
— Vientiane Times

Decent Work Country Programme to Be Further Worked Out
A Decent Work Country Programme is being planned for launch in Laos for the next five years (2017-2021)with the objective of promoting the development of skills for young people in remote areas of Laos with a focus on particular skills needed by the labour market.
— Lao News Agency

Switzerland supports agriculture and forest college reform in Laos
The Swiss government has provided US$4.2 million for the third phase of the Support to the Reform of the Agriculture and Forestry Colleges (SURAFCO) project in Laos.
— Vientiane Times

Front President Stresses Increased Production by Lao Cotton State Enterprise
President of the Lao Front for National Construction Mr Saysomphone Phomvihane has urged the Lao Cotton State Enterprise to continue to produce its products in various kinds for both local and overseas markets.
— Lao News Agency

Payments of Winning Bidders for Leaders’ Cars Are Underway
Six of the winning bidders for fourteen leaders’ former cars have already paid and taken their cars, while the payments are determined to be completed today (March 7), according to relevant authority.
— Lao News Agency

The husband of a celebrity was formally charged Monday with money laundering for his alleged connection to a transnational drug suspect apprehended in Bangkok two months ago.
— Khaosod English

Prime Minister receives Lao National Assembly Chairwoman
The PM applauded the two legislative bodies for their active information and experience exchange and good coordination in external activities, especially at regional and international parliamentary forums such as the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Lao Skyway adds maiden Airbus H125 chopper
Lao Skyway (LK, Vientiane) has taken delivery of its first Airbus H125 helicopter thereby becoming the type’s Laotian launch operator.
— ch-aviation

The Secret War: AU student shines light on Laos crisis
Erin McGoff is making the most of her last semester at AU. After traveling to Laos on alternative break, she decided to create a documentary exposing the horrors still occurring in Laos years after the United States covertly, and heavily, bombed the country.
— The Rival


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


RM500mil investment for Johor
A local public-listed manufacturing company has agreed to pour in RM500mil worth of investments in Johor.
The Star Online

Malaysia, Thailand eye bilateral trade boost
Malaysia and Thailand are determined to see bilateral trade achieve the US$30 billion (RM133 billion) target by next year, with border trade set to play greater role in the coming years.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysian PM chides North Korea, as ‘rude’ envoy sent packing
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rebuked North Korea on Monday as his government expelled its envoy for casting doubt over the impartiality of the investigation into the bizarre murder of the North Korean leader’s estranged half brother.

North Korean Ambassador Leaves Malaysia
North Korea’s ambassador left Malaysia on Monday evening after he was ordered expelled for making disparaging remarks about the country and challenging its motives in investigating the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korea’s ruler.
The New York Times

Malaysia, North Korea expel ambassadors over Kim’s death
Malaysia is protecting its “sovereignty and dignity” by expelling the North Korean ambassador, the prime minister said Monday, as relations between the countries unraveled further over the poisoning of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader.
The Washington Post

Expelled North Korean envoy says Malaysia’s ‘extreme measures’ harmed ties
The North Korean ambassador expelled by Malaysia in a row over the investigation into the murder of the North Korean leader’s half-brother said on Monday (Mar 6) that the Malaysian government’s actions had harmed bilateral ties.
Channel News Asia

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia to get more details on recall exercise
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia said today that it is waiting for more information from Daimler AG, in light of a recall of one million new models worldwide due to potential fire risk.
New Straits Times

IMF proposes yearly fiscal risk list for Malaysia
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is expected to applaud Malaysia’s resilience against headwinds in an upcoming report, has suggested that the government publish an annual list of potential risks to the nation’s finances.
New Straits Times

No place for terrorism in Malaysia — Najib
Malaysia has adopted a very tough stand on extremism and terrorism and has refused to make any concessions or tolerance on the matter, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak said.
Borneo Post Online

Malaysian florist BloomThis bags $600k seed funding from Reapra
Singapore-based VC firm and business builder Reapra Pte Ltd has provided seed funding of $600,000 to Malaysian florist BloomThis Flora Sdn Bhd, a company started by husband and wife duo Giden Lim and Penny Choo.
Deal Street Asia

Corporate credit likely to improve in 2017, says MARC
Corporate credit is likely to improve this year supported by the steady pace of economic growth and improving outlook for some key sectors.
New Straits Times

Ringgit opens slightly lower against US dollar
The ringgit opened slightly lower against the US dollar on better demand for the greenback, as some traders were still cautious ahead of the next US Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting on March 14-15.
New Straits Times

M’sian O&G services, equipment firms’ combined profit down 52% in FY15
Giving the data on how bad the Malaysian oil & gas (O&G) sector was hit following the crude oil price crash, Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corp (MPRC) disclosed that overall profit for O&G services and equipment (OGSE) companies here slumped by more than half to RM3.1bil in financial year 2015 (FY15) from RM6.5bil the previous year.
The Star Online

CIMB Research retains Reduce call on Hovid
CIMB Equities Research is retaining its Reduce call on Hovid and sum-of-parts based target price of 30 sen after the manufacturing licence for the Chemor plant was reissued on Monday.
The Star Online

Malaysia joins chorus of protests against North Korean missile launches
North Korea’s launch of four ballistic missiles today has fuelled regional tensions and demonstrated the country’s disregard for the peace and security of the region and the world, says Putrajaya.
Free Malaysia Today


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Myanmar’s trade deficit reaches US$4 billion
Myanmar’s foreign trade value for this fiscal year (2016-2017) has reached over US$25 billion, with the trade deficit totalling more than $4 billion, according to official figures.
— The Nation

Japanese brewer Kirin targets Myanmar’s hardy drinkers
Japanese brewer Kirin is hoping to tap into swift growth — and serious staying power — with its latest investment in Myanmar’s fizzing beer market, a senior executive said Friday.
— Coconuts Yangon

US shrimp exec: Myanmar could export 100,000t in five years
Myanmar hopes US technical assistance will allow it to signifcantly boost its shrimp production and exports, reports The Nation.
— Undercurrent News

Fighting in Laukkai resumes, dozens dead, houses destroyed
Gunfire and fighting have resumed in the Kokang self-administered area at pre-dawn on March 6, ending months of peace in the troubled area.
— Myanmar Times

Abuses on Rohingyas Increase for Rejecting NV Card
The Myanmar authorities have increased the abuses on the Rohingya people in Maungdaw Township as they refuse to accept NV Card (National Verification Card or NVC), it has been reported.
— Rohingya Vision

Myanmar Dealbook: Thai Sahadharawat Co Ltd, Soibuild Group plan investments
Thailand’s metal packaging firm Sahadharawat will be investing $5.1 million for manufacturing metal cans in Myanmar. Also, Singapore’s leading property group Soibuild is setting up a plant at an investment of $13.9 million to produce steel products in the country.
— Deal Street Asia

Lifting the barriers to doing business in Myanmar
MYANMAR is at a crossroads. With a democratically elected government, growing levels of foreign direct investment, rich endowments of natural resources and one of the highest rates of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, the future looks bright.
— Frontier Myanmar

Shell ornament production falls
The production of seashell ornaments has dropped as the population of shellfish shrinks due to excessive and irresponsible fishing, according to the residents of Thandwe Township, Rakhine State.
— Eleven

70 townships to be chosen to national health project
The names of townships which are included in the first phase of Myanmar’s national health project (2017-2021) will be announced at the end of this month, said Dr Thant Sin Tun, assistant secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sports and the leader of the group for designing the project.
— Eleven

Rakhine govt to help Mrauk-U farmers
Farmers in Mrauk-U township of Rakhine state will meet with officials of Rakhine state government to discuss dropping rice prices. On February 25, around 400 farmers staged a protest, calling on the state government to deal with declining rice prices.
— Eleven

NHRC looks into cross-border rights violations
The delegation led by Tuenjai Deetes the National Human Rights Commissioner of Thailand – along with journalists, researchers and civil society representatives – visited Dawei in late February to exchange views in a public forum and push forward the investigation of two Thailand cross-border investment firms: Myanmar Pongpipat company and Italian-Thai Development company. After the visit, the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC of Thailand) will submit a report to the Thai and Myanmar governments.
— Myanmar Times

New waterfall resort to open in Pyin Oo Lwin
The Thone Sint (Three Level) Waterfall resort near the Kyauk Chaw-Ye Ywar road is built by the Shwe Dokhtawaddy Company which was founded by three rich villagers from Magyi Inn village.
— Myanmar Times

Mandalay to auction off fishing lakes
Mandalay is putting some 170 fishing lakes in the region under the hammer this coming budget year, according to the Fisheries Department.
— Myanmar Times

NRL enters Myanmar wax market
Guwahati, Mar 6 (PTI) Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) has entered the Myanmar market by exporting wax, following the visit of Union Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan to the neighbouring country.

Myanmar attracting tourists through river cruises
In a sign of Myanmar’s rise as a tourist destination, another cruise company has announced plans to set sail along the Irrawaddy River in response to growing demand.

Myanmar’s Economic and Industrial Evolution Creating Growth Opportunities
Frost & Sullivan hosts a complimentary briefing to help unravel the future of Myanmar, its growth environment, and emerging opportunities across key industries
— Market Watch

MiTA Myanmar Medical Exhibition, MHC 2017, 23-25 June in Yangon, Tatmadaw Hall
MiTA is organizing MHC 2017 with multiple themes because then the exhibition becomes more effective at present time in Myanmar because there will be better business matchmaking with Myanmar Medical-Pharma Companies and Myanmar Importers & Distributors; the majority of the private companies in Myanmar are family-owned and they have multiple businesses and this also attracts more number of trade visitors, professionals and the general public to attend the exhibition.
— Satellite PR News (press release)

Ex-political prisoners denounce threats to constitutional reform
The Former Political Prisoners Society (FPPS) has denounced anyone who opposes the process of constitutional reforms, according to a statement released at a conference at the Orchid Hotel in Yangon on March 5.
— Eleven

Gang of masked individuals ransack house in Kutkai, shoots homeowner
A man was seriously wounded last week when a group of masked individuals invaded his home and fled with several of his possessions before firing shots at him. The attack took place last Friday afternoon, when six masked men on motorcycles approached 39-year-old She Chan Yi’s house located in Mu Se District’s Kutkai Township.
— Coconuts Yangon


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Duterte gov’t rejects U.S. plans to construct in Palawan air base
The Philippines rejected US plans to build facilities at a military air base that is nearest most of the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) – the Bautista Air Base in Palawan – following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to review implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
— Rappler

Philippines risks losing aid after US rebuke: ex-envoy
A US State Department report calling attention to vigilante-style killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs may cost the Philippines millions of dollars in military aid from Washington, a former envoy said Monday.

Philippines consumer prices’ rise fastest in over 2 years
Consumer prices in the Philippines rose broadly in line with estimates in February at the fastest rate since November 2014.
— Financial Times

Alvarez eyes taxing church-run schools
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Monday said schools run by religious institutions should also be taxed to improve government’s revenue collection.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Police in Philippines re-launch crackdown on illegal drugs
Police have re-launched nationwide operations against illegal drugs after a month-long suspension in the Philippines. The operation was put on hold after the murder of a South Korean businessman.
— Deutsche Welle

Political risk rising in Philippines after De Lima arrest: BMI Research
A global ratings agency said Monday it downgraded the Philippines’ political risk rating, citing heightened instability following the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima, a high-profile critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Trump leaves Southeast Asian treaty partner guessing
UNITED STATES President Donald J. Trump bared a bit more of his foreign policy in his first speech to the US Congress last week, but the contours remained blurred, leaving treaty partner the Philippines stranded in a diplomatic wilderness.
— BusinessWorld

Duterte signs 2017 Investment Priorities Plan
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP), which is intended to make development more inclusive by providing incentives to better distribute investment across the regions.
— BusinessWorld

Duterte approves national broadband program –Piñol
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday approved the establishment of a national broadband plan, according to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.
— GMA News Online

Five Chinese firms to invest $10b in Philippines
Five China-based firms are planning to make their first investments in the Philippines by putting up local companies with total investments of up to $10 billion.
— Deal Street Asia

P1.2B wildlife conservation program launched in Philippines
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has given a P1.2-billion boost to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ biodiversity conservation efforts.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Duterte appoints Samuel Martires as SC justice
President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel Martires as Supreme Court (SC) justice.
— Rappler

Tourists disappointed with algae on Boracay beach
Some tourists visiting Boracay expressed dismay at the thick algae found on the shores of the famous island, a report on News To Go on Monday said.
— GMA News Online


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


UN Development Programme, Australia and Singapore partner to launch a major anti-corruption project
Singapore, 7 March – Today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Governments of Australia and Singapore launched a four-year Anti-Corruption for Peaceful and Inclusive Societies (ACPIS) project.

Chart of the day: Singapore inflation forecast to rise 1.2% this year
DBS revised its forecast for Singapore’s inflation to 1.2% from 0.9% previously, taking into account the upside risk to inflation in the coming months.
Singapore Business Review 

Budget 2017: How best to help SMEs go digital
SMEs, Singapore’s top job providers, can boost their growth by embracing technology – and the government is going all out to help them.
The Business Times 

Singapore sets sights on fly-cruise tourism
Tourism will be getting a boost from visitors headed from airport to seaport, as Singapore seeks to woo more travellers to embark on cruises from its shores.
The Straits Times 

Singapore outlines plans to invest in cyber defence and new technologies
Singapore’s defence minister, Ng Eng Hen, has outlined plans to boost the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF’s) capabilities in cyber defence and other advanced technologies.

New Cybersecurity Professional Scheme to groom public sector experts
A new Cybersecurity Professional Scheme for the public sector was revealed by the Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim on Monday (Mar 6).
Channel NewsAsia 

Seven rental tips for expatriates in Singapore
Let’s be frank: cheap rent in Singapore less probable than a non-racist Ku Klux Klan meeting. This is one of the most expensive cities in the world for expatriates, and also one of the most expensive property markets in the world. So check out our handy list, and you won’t have to decide which kidney you don’t need:
The Online Citizen 

New scheme to develop cyber security professionals
The Government will launch a Cybersecurity Professional Scheme in July to attract cyber security experts to the public sector, and to develop and retain them.
The Straits Times 

Singapore lines up 4 key strategies to create enough, better jobs
NET employment growth has slowed sharply from more than 200,000 before the 2009 financial crisis to around 33,000 jobs yearly, on the back of business uncertainty and low births and an aging population.
The Business Times 

Singapore is the third most expensive city in Asia for construction
The latest International Construction Costs Index published today by Arcadis revealed that Singapore is the third most expensive Asian city for construction, trailing behind Hong Kong and Macau.
Singapore Business Review 

Singapore-Indonesia relations should prioritise fighting rising radicalism and terrorism: Wiranto
Indonesia’s coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister Wiranto said that rising radicalism and terrorism are problems that Indonesia and Singapore should prioritise and work together to fight.
The Straits Times 

Temasek seeks solutions to improve liveability in Singapore
The philanthropic arm of Temasek Holdings is offering up to S$3 million in funding for innovative solutions that will make Singapore a more liveable city.

Govt to customise digital plans for various sectors
With earlier efforts to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) go digital failing to gather steam, and many saying they are not sufficiently tech savvy, the Infocommunications Media Development Authority (IMDA) is stepping in to coordinate and customise digital plans for various sectors.
Today Online 

S’pore confident of China’s economic reforms: Ambassador
Singapore is confident that China can successfully transform its economy, and its success will benefit the world, Singapore’s Ambassador to China Stanley Loh has said.
The Straits Times 

Singapore Just Landed Another Multi-Million Dollar Data Centre
Six-storey building to be leased to a mysterious client for an initial lease term of more than ten years.


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Media efforts to justify junta’s harassment of Dhammakaya
Over the past three weeks, right-wing media have been demonising Wat Dhammakaya and justifying the junta’s crackdown by linking the sect to the red-shirt movement. An expert points out that the longer the process continues, the harder it will be to find a peaceful end.
– Prachatai English

Thailand to spend $11.6 billion on airport expansion over next 10 years
Thailand’s military government plans to spend about 406 billion baht ($11.59 billion) on airport development nationwide over the next 10 years to handle increasing passengers, a senior official said on Monday.
– Reuters

Top 10 listed property companies see their combined sales revenue take a dip in 2016
THE TOP 10 property firms listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand have reported combined revenue of Bt215.7 billion for 2016, down 2.83 per cent from the previous year, after sales in the final quarter of last year were lower than their estimates.
– The Nation

Rethinking Thailand 4.0 to get it into gear
Most people have likely heard the term “Thailand 4.0” continually since the Prayut Chan-o-cha government began promoting it.
– Bangkok Post

Media chiefs barred from regulatory council: Kanit
HEADS of professional media organisations will be prohibited from sitting on a controversial council to be set up under a new law aimed at regulating the mass media.
– The Nation

Fears for Russian tourist missing on notorious ‘death island’
MYSTERY surrounds the disappearance of a Russian tourist on an idyllic Thai island where two Brits were brutally murdered.

Central bank announces new PromptPay’s online money transfer fee rates
The Bank of Thailand has announced the rate of electronic money transfer through PromptPay system between legal entities.
– Thai PBS

DHL’s expansion into Thailand’s booming e-commerce market to benefit 2.7 million SMEs
DHL eCommerce, a division of the Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL Group), is capitalizing on the booming Thai e-commerce market expected to more than triple in size to EUR 3.6 billion between now and 2020 by enhancing its nationwide coverage with next day delivery in remote areas and extending pick-up service to small e-commerce merchants to meet its growing customer demands.
– SMB World

Unemployment edging up, NESDB says
ALTHOUGH unemployment was still quite low in 2016 at 0.99 per cent, it has been relentlessly climbing, with rates of 0.8 per cent in 2013 and 0.9 per cent in 2014 and 2015.
– The Nation

Malaysia, Thailand eye bilateral trade boost
Malaysia and Thailand are determined to see bilateral trade achieve the US$30 billion (RM133 billion) target by next year, with border trade set to play greater role in the coming years.
– Malay Mail Online

The Cards and Payments Industry in Thailand Research Report and Opportunities to 2021
Albany, New York, March 06, 2017: Market Research Hub has recently announced the addition of a new report to it broad database titled as “The Cards and Payments Industry in Thailand: Emerging Trends and Opportunities to 2021”.
– OpenPR

Thai leasing company breaks 1 billion baht barrier
Thai digital finance firm Group Lease Public Company Limited (GL) has posted net profits of 324.4 million baht in the three-month period to the end of 2016.
– Asset Finance International

Dusit Thani extends lease on prime Bangkok city-centre plot
Dusit Thani Public Company Limited, one of Thailand’s foremost hotel and property development companies, announced it has signed an agreement with the Crown Property Bureau to continue leasing the plot of land at the intersection of Silom Road and Rama 4, and on which the Dusit Thani Bangkok is built.
– Travel Daily News

Thailand’s top three supplement and functional food trends as beauty bubble begins to burst: Infographic
Healthy ageing, natural supplements and personalised nutrition: these are three emerging trends in Thailand offering ample opportunities for industry growth.
– Food Navigator-Asia

Milestone Aviation Provides Seven Helicopters to Thai Aviation Services
Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), the global leader in helicopter leasing, announced today that it has leased two Sikorsky S-92 and five Sikorsky S-76D helicopters to be operated by Thai Aviation Services Co., Ltd. (“TAS”).
– PR Newswire

Russian woman slapped with $28 fine for feeding Thailand’s ‘ecologically-protected’ fish
Olga Smirnova, a Russian citizen, who was arrested in Thailand for feeding fish in an ecologically-protected area, has been sentenced to a fine of 1,000 Thai bahts (roughly $28), head of the Russian embassy’s consular department in Thailand, Vladimir Sosnov, told TASS on Monday.
– Tass

Millennials, LCCs prop up Chiang Mai’s rising popularity: C9
With the rise of LCCs and millennial preferences, passenger volume into Chiang Mai grew 13 per cent to hit 4.6 million arrivals in 2016, trailing only Phuket among Thailand’s provincial airports last year, according to C9 Hotelworks’ Chiang Mai Hotel Market 2017 report.
– TTG Asia

Dusit outlines plans for “unprecedented growth”
Dusit International is embarking on what is being described as the most significant period of expansion in the company’s history.
– Travel Daily Media


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Vietnam sees full state exit from sugar mills by end 2017
The Vietnamese government has set a target to fully divest from sugar mills by the end of this year, which is aimed at raising the competitiveness of the sugar industry, a local newspaper reported Monday.
— VN Express International

Vietnamese prefer low-cost products and services with decent quality
Le Thanh Nguyen in HCMC last week bought 100 medical masks at once, because she only had to pay VND15,000 only for every box of 50 masks. But she later regretted her decision as she discovered that the mask was made of dirty cotton.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Value of Vietnam’s ‘bikini airline’ overtakes national carrier
Vietnamese private budget airline VietJet’s VJC.HM market capitalization surpassed that of state-owned Vietnam Airlines HVN.HNO on Monday, only a week after it was listed.
— Reuters

Modified sleeper buses present increased fire hazard in Vietnam
Multiple cases of sleeper buses catching fire have been recorded across Vietnam in recent months, with authorities scratching their heads to determine the cause and to prevent similar incidents.
— Tuoi Tre News

Việt Nam, Myanmar boost military ties
The Vietnamese State and Government will create the best conditions for the country’s army to enhance co-ordination with their Myanmar counterparts to deepen bilateral friendship.
— Viet Nam News

Many businesses stop advertising on YouTube
Some major brands in Việt Nam had to stop advertising on the world’s largest online video site, YouTube, when these brands’ advertisements were linked to clips containing poor content.
— Viet Nam News

Casino industry: what will happen after the trial period?
The government now allows Vietnamese to go to only two casinos, in Van Don and Phu Quoc. Ha Ton Vinh, who has been pursuing multi-billion dollar casino projects in the last 10 years, commented that the two casino projects, capitalized at $2 billion in Lang Co, Hue City and Bac Van Phong of Cam Ranh have just received the government’s approval in principle.
— VietNamNet Bridge

More domestic, international flights proposed for Quang Binh
The central province of Quang Binh suggested the the Ministry of Transport and Vietnam Airlines increase the number of domestic and international flights to and from Dong Hoi airport, in a bid to meet tourists’ demands.

Vietnamese pharmacy firms cash in on nutritional supplements, brokers say
Liver supplements marketed for detoxication and supporting liver functions have become big business.

Global Fund continues supporting Việt Nam’s HIV, TB, malaria fight
Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Mark Dybul has pledged to help Việt Nam maintain its achievements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
— Viet Nam News

Exclusive: Vietnamese PE firm VIGroup leads $2m round in
Ho Chi Minh City-based investment firm Vietnam Investment Group (VIGroup) is leading a $2 million Series A funding round in O2O real estate platform, the realty portal founder told.
— Deal Street Asia

Vietnam: Used car platform Caramo raises funding; Founder Team acquires Tonkin Coffee
Caramo, Vietnam’s first used car trading service, has attracted an angel investment from serial entrepreneur Jonah Levey. In another development, a newly established venture building team called Founder Team said it will be buying Hanoi’s one-time famous F&B chain Tonkin Coffee.
— Deal Street Asia

Smart control center to be launched on expressway connecting Saigon, Dong Nai
Data collected from 68 surveillance cameras along the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay expressway in southern Vietnam will be analyzed by a control center for real-time analysis of traffic situations.
— Tuoi Tre News



The Asean Morning News Roundup is compiled by the editorial team at AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.




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