Asean Morning News Roundup February 21

Asean Morning News Roundup February 21
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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).


Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


H.I.V. Stalks Prostitutes and Their Children in Cambodia
Abortion and AIDS are the two most common causes of death among Cambodian
female sex workers, and AIDS is the most frequent cause of death among their children, according to a small new study.
The New York Times

Cambodia parliament backs change that bars leader’s rival
Cambodia’s parliament amended a law on Monday to stop anyone convicted of an offence from running for office, effectively barring long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen’s main rival.

Cambodian parliament passes law that could destroy the opposition
Cambodia’s parliament today passed a controversial provision that severely curtails the power of the country’s opposition parties and effectively bans former opposition leader Sam Rainsy from returning to power.
Southeast Asia Globe

New platform revolutionises the way Cambodian businesses borrow money
Frustrated by limited funding options for small businesses, Chansamrach Lem launched the country’s first online peer-to-peer lending platform.
Southeast Asia Globe

Economic Zone Seeks High-Tech Investment
A local logistics firm has partnered with a German industrial park developer for a planned special economic zone in Kandal province to combine human skills training with cutting-edge industrial technology to woo high-value investors to Cambodia.
The Cambodia Daily

Investment Denied After Presentation To Wrong Body
A South Korean construction company was denied permission to invest in a multimillion-dollar irrigation system because company executives presented their plan to the wrong ministry, a government minister said on Monday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Acleda Replaces Logo After Gov’t Demand
Acleda Bank changed its 23-year-old logo and began replacing signage across the country on Friday at a cost of at least $3.5 million after the government said the design—a majestic, mythical bird encased in a circle—was too similar to that of the Economy and Finance Ministry’s, according to the bank’s president.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Government Ditches Hydropower Dam for More Coal Power
The government has indefinitely put off plans for a hydropower dam in Koh Kong province’s Areng valley in favor of expanding an existing coal-fired power plant, though conservationists worry that a planned transmission line through the ecologically sensitive valley could still inflict heavy damage.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Thai firm to energise Poipet industrial park
Poipet PPSEZ Co Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Phnom Penh SEZ Plc and operator of the soon to be completed Poipet Special Economic Zone (Poipet PPSEZ), signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with a leading Thai energy provider to supply power to the 66-hectare industrial park.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cluster model to entice SEZ investors
Kerry WorldBridge Logistics SEZ, which is developing a 63-hectare industrial park and free trade zone 17 kilometres south of the capital in Kandal province, has taken on a new partner to design and create an “industry and technology cluster” aimed at attracting non-garment manufacturing investment to its embryonic special economic zone (SEZ).
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia approves power projects to reduce electricity imports
The Cambodian cabinet has approved two electricity development projects in a bid to address the increasing demand for electricity in the country.
Bangkok Post


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Indonesian construction firm Hutama Karya plans $412m bond issue
State-owned Indonesian construction firm PT Hutama Karya plans a 5.5 trillion rupiah ($412 million) bond issue in April, aiming to tap into funds being repatriated under the country’s tax amnesty programme, the finance ministry said on Monday.
— Deal Street Asia

Indonesia receives Skeldar V-200 rotary-wing UAV
Indonesia has become the first customer of UMS Skeldar to receive and complete acceptance tests of the company’s Skeldar V-200 rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Switzerland-based developer of unmanned aircraft systems said in a 16 February press release.

CIMB’s Indonesian subsidiary records strong profit growth
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd’s Indonesian operations, represented by PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk, recorded a 387% growth in consolidated net profit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016.
— The Star Online

Nexter providing CAESAR howitzer systems to Indonesia
Indonesia is procuring additional CAESAR wheeled self-propelled howitzer systems from Nexter of France.
— United Press International

Tarsus Indonesia expands portfolio
Tarsus has committed to continued investment in its Indonesian operation as it finalises plans for a revamped Indonesia Infrastructure Week 2017.
— Exhibition World

Indonesia Islamists urge ouster of Jakarta governor, plan more protests
Indonesian Islamist groups on Monday called on the government to suspend the Christian governor of the capital and for the courts to convict him of blasphemy, demands they will make again at a rally outside parliament on Tuesday.
— Reuters

Indonesian president hands over management of forests to indigenous people
Indonesia has had a long history of conflict over control of its massive areas of tropical forests that are spread across the many thousands of islands that make up the archipelagic nation. Declaration under former Dutch colonial rule of state ownership of all forests was rarely accepted by the millions of people who lived in them and who had managed them sustainably for centuries.
— Forests News

Indonesia focuses on internal reform to enhance investment climate
While it is fully aware of the importance of promoting the country’s huge potential overseas, the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) aims to focus on overcoming domestic bottlenecks to improve the overall investment climate.
— Jakarta Post

Indonesia to declare war on its oceans of plastic
Indonesia is taking action to combat plastic debris in marines, said the Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar on Saturday.
— Taiwan News

Freeport Indonesia to Seek Arbitration If Dispute Unresolved in Next Four Months
Freeport Indonesia, the local unit of US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, will take the Indonesian government to the arbitration court unless their contract dispute is resolved in the next four months, its top executive said on Monday (20/02).
— Jakarta Globe


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Laos border stand-off developing
Authorities in Stung Treng province are in talks with their Laotian counterparts to resolve a military impasse, after armed soldiers from Laos confronted a Cambodian military engineers unit on Saturday and demanded they stop constructing a road near the border.
— Phnom Penh Post

Concerns accounted for in Xayaboury hydropower development, EU told
All concerns have been taken into account in the development of the Xayaboury run-off-river hydropower plant the project developer recently relayed to European Union (EU) Ambassador to Laos, Leon Paul Faber.
— Vientiane Times

Kha Young Kham Begins Constructing Xe La Nong 3 Hydropower Project
(KPL) Kha Young Kham has begun constructing the Xe La Nong 3 Hydropower Project, a 12.5 -megawatt hydropower plant valued at about US$31 million, in Ta-oy district, Saravan Province.
— Lao News Agency

Laos, China and neigbouring countries discuss locust outbreak in Laos
High-level officials from Laos, China, Vietnam and Thailand have discussed cooperation efforts in the prevention and control of the yellow-spined bamboo locust outbreak in Laos.
— Vientiane Times

Laos drug busts still only half the story
Late but better than never, Lao police last week finally broke a disturbing silence and acknowledged the arrest of more than 30 members of dope-peddling syndicates, one of which is said to be even bigger than that run by recently detained drug lord Xaysana Keophimpha.
— The Nation

Laos to receive Asean funding for intellectual property protections
Laos will benefit from the Asean Intellectual Property Rights fund, which is supported by the European Union, following a substantial increase in funding.
— Vientiane Times

Illegal land titles emerge as outstanding issue in Vientiane
Illegal issuance of land titles has emerged as an outstanding problem in Vientiane over the past year with the illegal titles involved in a total land area of 506,662 square metres, an official report has suggested.
— Vientiane Times

MoICT Briefs about International Cooperation
A meeting of the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism was held in Vientiane Capital on Feb 17 to conclude the international cooperation affairs conducted over the past one year and to discuss focal development work for 2017.
— Lao News Agency


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Exclusive – Petronas considers $1 billion stake sale in offshore gas project: sources
Malaysian state-owned oil and gas firm Petronas is aiming to sell a large minority stake in a prized upstream local gas project for up to $1 billion (£802.2 million) as it seeks to raise cash and cut development costs, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Tech firms may face profit hiccups
Malaysia’s export-oriented technology companies could face export and earnings hiccups from a stronger ringgit as well as weakness in the semiconductor industry this year.
New Straits Times

Rubber industry resilient, thanks to high value exports, says Mah
Malaysia’s rubber industry is resilient, as downstream businesses continue to invest in the manufacture of high-value exports such as rubber seismic bearings, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
New Straits Times

Eco World Development targeting RM4 billion in sales in 2017
Eco World Development Group Bhd, while acknowledging the challenging real estate market, is hopeful of achieving RM4 billion in sales in the current year ending Oct 2017.
New Straits Times

SSM uses Red Hat technology to modernise IT infrastructure
RED Hat, Inc, a provider of open source solutions, announced that it has been selected by Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) to support the development of a new and advanced gateway for the registration of companies and businesses in Malaysia.
Digital New Asia

Malaysian palm oil price at 3-month low on slowing demand, rising supply
Malaysian palm oil futures slid for a third consecutive session on Monday, falling to its lowest since mid-November as slowing demand and expectations of higher supplies weighed on the market.
The Star Online

Energy Commission seeks bids to build large scale solar PV plants
The Energy Commission is conducting a second competitive bidding process for companies to build large scale solar (LSS) photovoltaic (PV) plants in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah/ Labuan.
The Star Online

Petronas stocks lead KLCI’s charge early Tuesday
Buoyant crude oil prices galvanised investors’ risk appetite for oil and gas stocks, especially Petronas-linked counters, in line with the firm Asian markets early Tuesday.
The Star Online

Malaysia Airlines offers 25% discount for China flights
Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) is offering 25% discount for economy flights to Chinese cities of Nanjing, Haikou, Fuzhou and Wuhan for bookings made until Feb 28.
The Star Online

Malaysian food delivery startup Dah Makan closes $1.3m seed round
Malaysia’s food delivery startup Dah Makan has secured a $1.3 million in a seed round from global venture capital firms NFQ Capital, East Ventures, Asia Venture Group and Grupara Ventures as well as prominent angels including the ex-CEO of Nestlé.
Deal Street Asia

Catcha-backed co-work space Common Ground signs first tenant, regional VCs to join
Catcha-backed co-working space Common Ground has got its first anchor tenant — global entrepreneurs’ network Entrepreneur’s Organisation (EO) which will move to its new headquarters when the facility opens next month.
Deal Street Asia


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Border Guards Arrest Rohingya Figureheads for Skipping NVC-Related Meeting
The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) arrested six Rohingya figureheads in southern Maungdaw for skipping a meeting held on Sunday (on Feb 19) in relation to National Verification Card also called NVC, it has been reported.
— Rohingya Vision

Less developed areas given priority, president says on tour
The National League for Democracy-dominated government is giving priority to the less-developed areas across the country in order to improve people’s lives, President Htin Kyaw said.
— Eleven

Myanmar Pharmaceutical Factory to step up production of IV medication
The Myanmar Pharmaceutical Factory (Insein) is opening a new unit to increase production of intravenous medication in Kyaukse, Mandalay Region.
— Eleven

Minister to highlight child right issues
The Minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement promised at Parliament on February 15 that he would emphasize child rights in the future.
— Eleven

Illegal timbers seizures double in Taninthayi
The amount of illegal timbers seized in Taninthayi Region is already two times higher than this time last year, according to police records.
— Eleven

CSOs granted observer roles at peace conference
The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee decided on February 6 to grant civil-society organisations an observer role at the Union Peace Conference (also known as the 21st century Peace Conference), scheduled late this month in Nay Pyi Taw.
— Eleven

Myanmar firm set for return to Ambiente next year
Thanks to the firm’s satisfactory business performance over the past two years, Bella Interiors, which produces a spectrum of Myanmar crafted rattan furniture and accessories, hopes to return to the Ambiente, an annual global consumer-goods platform held in Frankfurt, next year.
— Eleven

Myanmar: Yoma’s $718m realty project takes off; Yangon low-cost housing scheme
Yoma Central, previously known as the Landmark, is set to kickstart its $718-million real estate project in Yangon. In another realty related development, the ministry of construction is planning to finish 8,000 low-cost apartments in Yangon.
— Deal Street Asia

Bangladesh calls for efforts to curb Rohingya influx
Bangladesh’s foreign minister called on the international community on Monday to address Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority, tens of thousands of whom have fled in recent months to Bangladesh from its mainly Buddhist neighbour.
— Channel NewsAsia

Rakhine resuscitate dead airport
The Rakhine State government, in Myanmar, has invited private developers to accelerate construction of an airport at the ancient city of Mrauk U in northern region of the state.
— TTR Weekly

Myanmar: Dual pricing a pain point
Myanmar Tourism Federation and the Tourism Authority of Thailand recently signed a MoU to promote tourism between the two countries under the tagline Two countries – One Destination, but will it resolve major paint points?
— TTR Weekly

Tun Foundation celebrates best of Myanmar literature
Writers and scholars were celebrated for their achievements at the 11th annual Tun Foundation Literary Awards ceremony at the Myanmar Banks Association on February 18.
— Myanmar Times

Central Bank may liberalise trade financing for foreign banks
The Central Bank of Myanmar may allow foreign banks to launch trading services if local banks are unable to facilitate trade financing for importers and exporters, Central Bank director general U Win Thaw told the Myanmar Times.
— Myanmar Times

Water taxi service to launch in early May
Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein has announced that the city’s new water taxi service will launch in early May.
— Coconuts Yangon

YBS card payment system to be implemented in April
When the Yangon Bus Service launched a little over a month ago, one of the main proposals that the Yangon government drew up was the implementation of a digital payment system over the next few months. While the Yangon Regional Transport Authority seems to still have their hands full with making sure all the bus lines run smoothly and that old vehicles are upgraded as necessary, it seems like the Yangon government still hasn’t given up on the card system, which they plan on having set up by the end of April.
— Coconut Yangon

Top Myanmar retailer to launch e-wallet with Thai technology
Win Win Tint, founder and managing director of CMHL, said in an exclusive interview that the firms recently signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture. According to the pact, T2P will share its experience in developing both fintech and customer-loyalty programmes of the retailer by providing the technology to run its loyalty and online wallet platform.
— Consult-Myanmar

14,000 Tonnes of Wood Set for Tender
Myanmar Timber Enterprise plans to call an open tender for about 14,280 tonnes of wood and timber, the tender committee said yesterday.
— Consult-Myanmar

Iconic European Car Brands Open Service Centres in Yangon
Myanmar Mini and Volvo own­ers can now rest easy knowing where to next book their high per­formance vehicles in for a service after the two icon­ic European car brands launched official service centres in Yangon.
— Consult-Myanmar

Mon Chief Minister to quit posts, party
Following complaints over his leadership, Mon State Chief Minister U Min Min Oo has resigned from his posts in the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government.
— Myanmar Times

Foreign visitor arrivals in Mandalay up 25pc
Tourist arrivals in Mandalay Region increased by about 25 percent in 2016, and there are plans to attract more visitors, said U San Yu, deputy director general of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism for upper Myanmar.
— Myanmar Times

YESC stepping in to provide electricity
Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation (YESC) has pledged to support the electricity infrastructure for developers in Yangon.
— Myanmar Times

Shipment of teak and tamalan seized at port
Despite the efforts of the timber trade and government to stamp out illegal practices and eventually negotiate a VPA with the EU a shipment of around 500 tons of illegal teak and padauk/tamalan were recently seized in Yangon Port.
— Consult-Myanmar

ADB Trade Finance Program Marks Milestone with First Transaction in Myanmar
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Trade Finance Program (TFP) has issued its first guarantee for Myanmar, supporting the import of fertilizers from Italy. The guarantee was issued in favor of Banca Popolare di Sondrio in Italy in respect of the payment obligation of United Amara Bank (UAB), one of TFP’s local partner banks in Myanmar.
— Consult-Myanmar

Myanmar, Laos Vow to Enhance Bilateral Cooperation in All Sectors
Myanmar and Laos have vowed to enhance bi­lateral cooperation in all sectors with a specific fo­cus on the socio-econom­ic development of border inhabitants, according to sources with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
— Consult-Myanmar

Rohingya women who spoke out on rape, murder ‘pursued by Myanmar officials’
If you believe the Myanmar government, the military “clearance operation” in northern Rakhine state, which began after an attack on a police post in October, officially came to a halt on Thursday.
— The Sydney Morning Herald

India looks to expand energy ties with Myanmar
India plans to sell refined crude oil products to Myanmar as part of New Delhi’s efforts to deepen ties with its eastern neighbour, which is expected to see strong demand for fuels as it builds new roads, factories, utilities and airports.
— Times of India

Myanmar sees rare series A investment as startups finally take off
Ever since Myanmar opened up its economy following one of Asia’s most brutal dictatorships in 2010, everything from politics to culture and business in the once-isolated nation has radically changed. From being virtually off-grid, Myanmar has seen mobile usage rocket. This largely untapped market of 60 million people has caught the interest of entrepreneurs and investors alike.
— Tech in Asia

Myanmar seeking $128m loan for Dawei road link, says Thai minister
Thailand is considering a request from Myanmar for a US$128 million loan to build a road from their shared border to the Dawei Special Economic Zone, a Bangkok newspaper reported last week.
— Frontier Myanmar

Myanmar fire spreads to China
A fire starting in Myanmar spread across the border to China, raging through forests in two townships and into a protected nature reserve, local forest fire control authorities reported yesterday, according to the ECNS website.
— Mizzima

Turkey sends aid to Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar
Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) said Monday that it had delivered food to 18,500 displaced Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar this month.
— Anadolu Agency


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Peso falls to 10-year low at 50.23:$1
The peso declined by another 23 centavos to close at its weakest level in more than a decade yesterday, spooked by prospects of higher interest rates in the US.
— Philippine Star

14 killed as bus rams post in Tanay
A tourist bus ferrying mostly students on a camping trip on Monday lost its brakes and hurtled downhill in Tanay, Rizal province, rammed on an electric post and left 13 passengers and the driver dead, authorities said.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Duterte paid us to kill, says ex-cop
A retired police officer on Monday disclosed that President Duterte, when he was the mayor of Davao City, ordered and paid him and other members of a death squad to kill criminals and opponents.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: Vietnamese ship attacked; 1 dead, 6 abducted
Gunmen attacked a Vietnamese cargo ship off the Philippines’ southern tip, killing a Vietnamese crewman and abducting six others including the vessel’s captain, the Philippine coast guard and the ship’s owner said Monday
— Philippine Star

Credit rating intact despite mining woes
THE PHILIPPINES’ credit rating is unlikely to take a beating from the government’s crackdown on miners deemed erring, according to an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service who nevertheless warned of a possible collapse in much-needed revenues and foreign investments in the already “underperforming” sector
— BusinessWorld

Price War Makes Philippine Mobile Data Among Cheapest in Asia
Potpot Pinili, a Philippine travel blogger, is paying less to access the Internet on the go — almost half as much as three years ago, thanks to a price war.
— Bloomberg

Duterte favors heavy taxes on idle lands, says Pernia
President Duterte meant it when he said earlier this month that idle lands would be taxed heavily under his term unless these are brought to productive use, said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
— Philippine Star

Employers say profit-sharing proposal hurts small businesses
THE Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) said a proposal to enact into law profit sharing will hurt the country’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs.)
— BusinessWorld

Britain seeks to help Philippines build ‘smart cities’
The United Kingdom is willing to help the Philippines build “smart cities” as it seeks closer economic ties with one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies while preparing to leave the European Union, an envoy said Monday.


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


A budget for today – and tomorrow
Against a backdrop of rapid technological change and global uncertainty, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered a Budget yesterday that addresses Singaporeans’ immediate concerns while laying the groundwork for future growth.
Straits Times 

Singapore Wholesale Trade Surges In Q4
Singapore’s domestic wholesale trade grew sharply in the three months ended December, data from the Department of Statistics showed Monday.
At current prices, domestic wholesale sales climbed 10.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter, much faster than the 0.7 percent rise in the previous quarter.
General wholesale trade alone jumped 28.2 percent over the quarter and the sale of ship chandlers and bunkering expanded by 20.1 percent.
RTT News 

Singapore’s Home Curbs May Stay for Some Time, Minister Says
Singapore’s residential property curbs are expected to stay for some time as the city-state’s economy remains stable and demand is still “very resilient,” National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said.

Increased aid to tackle dementia, mental health issues
More towns will have residents and businesses trained to recognise and help people with symptoms of dementia.
Straits Times 

Budget caps for ministries lowered to set prudent tone
The budget caps set for ministries and organs of state will take a 2 per cent downward adjustment in the new financial year starting April 1.
Straits Times

Budget 2017: Water prices to rise by 30% over 2 years
Water prices will increase by 30 per cent in two phases over the next two years, starting from July 1 this year. This is the first time in almost 20 years that the Government is revising water prices.
Channel NewsAsia

Registration tax hikes for big motorcycles
Motorcycles will be subject to progressive taxes, just like cars.
The Business Times

New national cybersecurity lab launched at NUS
A national laboratory that provides a realistic environment for cybersecurity research and test-bedding of solutions against cyber threats was launched at the National University of Singapore (NUS) on Tuesday (Feb 21).
Channel NewsAsia 

New scheme to bump up training for job-seekers
The Government will introduce an “Attach and Train” programme aimed at helping workers to get jobs in sectors with good growth prospects but where companies may not be ready to hire just yet.
Today Online

Pressure on Singapore banks’ credit costs, interest margins should subside in 2017: Moody’s
Moody’s Investors Service said the just-released fourth quarter and full-year 2016 financial results of Singapore’s Big Three banks reveal a further decline in profitability and mixed asset quality performance, but pressure on credit costs and net interest margins should subside in 2017, providing support to profitability.
Straits Times 

Carbon tax could hit companies hard
A carbon tax will put a dent in companies’ bottom lines, but experts say such a measure to reduce the carbon footprint is preferable to other forms of carbon pricing, as there would be minimal price fluctuations for businesses and a smaller chance of these costs being passed on to consumers.
Today Online 


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Thailand 2016 growth up but below junta target
Junta chief Prayut Chanocha says Thailand will be a developed country by 2036. Nearly three years into his coup the results are mixed.
– The Business Times

The 15 worst cities for rush hour traffic
Bangkok has the worst evening rush hour traffic in the world for a second consecutive year, according to GPS manufacturer TomTom.
– CNN Money

Bangkok Named Best City 2017
Bangkok has been named the “Best City” in Asia by readers of DestinAsian, a travel and lifestyle magazine in Asia-Pacific region with a print run of 33,414 copies and a readership of 100,242 per edition, according to a report from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
– The Government Public Relations Department

Thailand pins growth hopes on massive investment along east coast
Worapol Tongpricha, a naval rear admiral dressed in a smart business suit, stands in the center of a sprawling former U.S. military base and marvels at its unlikely rehabilitation.
– Nikkei Asian Review

Ministry seeks to court more Japanese women
The Tourism and Sports Ministry aims to attract more female Japanese tourists to Thailand because they spend more than men.
– Bangkok Post

Somkid challenges shippers with 5% growth target
The government has set a lofty target of 5% export growth this year, well outstripping the projection of 2.9% by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).
– Bangkok Post

5-step entry exam plan for universities
High school students will be given five rounds to compete for university places next year under new changes to the entrance system aimed to ensure more equality among those vying for university seats.
– Bangkok Post

Gadfly Spurs Inquiry into No-Show Lawmakers’ Excuses
It will take until Friday to know whether seven absentee members of the parliament risk losing their jobs for not meeting attendance requirements – or up to three months for a newly launched review to run its course.
– Khaosod English

Russian tourist detained in Thailand for feeding fish, may face jail
A 53-year-old Russian woman has been arrested in Thailand’s Phuket Province and is awaiting a court hearing after she was caught feeding some bread to fish near ecologically sensitive coral reefs in the popular tourist destination.
– RT

TAT to lure Chinese tourists with military facilities
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has come up with an idea to open military facilities to draw tourists from China as part of a campaign to show Thailand’s new look, TAT deputy governor Srisuda Wanapinyosak said.
– Bangkok Post

Thailand grants Rs. 8 million to Sri Lanka for drought relief
The Royal Thailand Government has granted Rs. 8 million to Sri Lanka for the drought relief assistance as the island nation is facing severe drought in four decades, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
– ColomboPage

SDF conducts 1st overseas drill in Thailand for protecting Japanese
Self-Defense Forces personnel conducted a drill in Thailand on Sunday for the protection of Japanese nationals abroard, a task made possible under Japan’s national security laws that came into force last year.
– The Japan Times

Thailand Water Pump Market Expected to Indicate US$ 25.6 Million by 2021
Persistence Market Research (PMR) in its recent report titled, “Thailand Market Study on Water Pump: Industrial Segment to Witness Highest Growth by 2021”, projects that the Thailand water pump market is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period.
– satPRnews


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Vietnam Is Getting Closer To Its Rival China Because Neither Side Trusts Trump
Less than a year ago Vietnam was counting on U.S. support in building up a defense against China. Vietnam and China have clashed over land for centuries. Now the Asian neighbors bitterly dispute much of the sea closest to their shores, with China taking more control as the world’s No. 2 economy and No. 3 military power.
– Forbes

7-Eleven starts hiring ahead of Vietnam debut
Japan’s convenience store chain 7-Eleven has started hiring staff for its Vietnam operation, as it seeks to expand retail business to one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
– VNExpress

Vietnam’s Dung Quat refinery sees 2017 gross profit down on lower oil prices
Dung Quat refinery, Vietnam’s sole such facility, is expected its gross profit to plunge 66 percent this year to VND1.68 trillion ($74 million) on an expected drop in crude oil prices and shorter production time, its operator firm said.
– VNExpress

Vietnam reports H5N6 and H5N1 outbreaks as Europe battles more H5N8
Animal health officials in Vietnam reported the first outbreaks of the year involving two highly pathogenic avian flu strains—H5N6 and H5N1—as five European countries reported more outbreaks of H5N8 in both wild birds and poultry.
– Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)

Vietjet, Airbus team up to open pilot training school
Vietnam’s only privately-owned airline Vietjet will join Airbus to open a pilot training center in Ho Chi Minh City to meet the rapidly growing demand for cockpit crew in the country
– VNExpress

Opportunities exist for rice exports in high-end market
Soon after Vietnam began harvesting the 2016-2017 winter-spring crop, the Thai government announced it planned to sell all its stockpiled rice – estimated at 8 million tons – in the first half of 2017.
– VietnamNet

Vietnam: Angel investors launch $5m Innovatube Fund, focus on frontier tech
Innovatube, a Vietnam-based startup activator, has launched its maiden $5 million pre-seed fund for Southeast Asian startups and has re-defined itself as a venture capital firm.
– Deal Street Asia

E-commerce market sees many newcomers
The departure of many players from the e-commerce market after spending all of their money did not threaten daring investors. More and more newcomers have appeared in the market recently.
– VietnamNet

US digital media and multimedia giant opens Vietnam office
Thoughtful Media Group (TMG), a global multi-channel network (MCN) with offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Bangkok, works worldwide with content creators and social media influencers by supporting their channels and orienting their content, as well as facilitating advertising campaigns between creators and international and local brands.
– VietnamNet

Vietnam PM aims high on shrimp exports
VIETNAM’S Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has set a shrimp export target of $10 billion by 2030.
– The Nation

1 killed as Vietnamese vessel attacked by pirates near Philippines
Armed pirates reportedly attacked the ship and abducted six crew members before leaving it behind.
– VNExpress


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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