Asean Morning News Roundup For February 28

Asean Morning News Roundup For February 28
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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).


Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today @aecnewstoday


ASEAN Chairman Duterte Pushes For Migrant Protection Treaty
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has signaled his intention to push harder for the adoption of a binding regional treaty to protect the human rights of migrant workers during his chairmanship of ASEAN (Association of South east Asian Nations) this year.
— IDN InDepth News

Time for ASEAN to Take Human Rights Seriously
This year, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) marks 50 years of its existence. The region is a source of envy when it comes to economic progress, boasting the highest levels of economic growth seen anywhere outside China and India. But when it comes to human rights, there’s been a marked regression. At a time when countries of the region are signing deals to open their borders to greater trade, Southeast Asian countries are imposing increasingly greater restrictions on the flow of opinions and ideas, whether online or offline.
— The Diplomat

AirAsia eyes sharp growth
AIRASIA GROUP says it will push for higher passenger loads while keeping a tight lid on costs to sustain earnings this year and mitigate the effects from rising oil prices and volatility in currencies.
– The Nation

HCM City and Hanoi lead e-business index
Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi continue to lead Vietnamese localities in e-commerce, The Vietnam E-commerce Association (Vecom) announced at the 2017 Vietnam Online Business Forum in Hanoi on Friday.
– The Nation

Air Asia chief eyes regionally listed holding company
The head of Malaysia’s Air Asia Berhad, the region’s biggest budget airline, wants to combine its entire Southeast Asian airline group under a single publicly traded holding company, its top official said Monday.


Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Cambodia scraps counter-terrorism exercise with Australia, says it is occupied by elections
Cambodia has cancelled a counter-terrorism exercise with Australia, just two months after holding its first major army drills with China.
ABC Online

Cambodian official urges emulating Trump’s position on press
A Cambodian government official says U.S. President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media are an inspiration to his own country to observe limits on freedom of expression.
ABC News

Cambodia Threatens Media Outlets, Using Trump as Justification
Cambodia’s government has threatened to expel several media outlets, including the Voice of America, and is using U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticisms of the press as justification.

Third coal-fired plant on order
A Japanese engineering firm has secured a contract to build a 150-megawatt coal-fired power station in Preah Sihanouk province – the Kingdom’s third approved coal-based energy generation facility to date.
The Phnom Penh Post

Outbound travel up by 20% in 2016
Cambodians spent about $600 million abroad last year, state media reported yesterday, while official figures showed a 20 percent annual increase in outbound tourism.
The Phnom Penh Post

Hong Kong delegation scouts out investment
A business delegation from Hong Kong that arrived on Sunday wrapped up its whistle-stop tour yesterday after meeting Cambodian government officials and local business associations to discuss avenues for greater investment across a broad range of sectors, especially real estate development.
The Phnom Penh Post

PM wants local meat and veggies for tourists
Prime Minister Hun Sen urged Cambodia’s hospitality sector to increase its use of locally grown produce yesterday during an event for the 2017 National Clean City day.
The Phnom Penh Post

Modest rise for Thai trade
Trade between Cambodia and Thailand was worth $5.6 billion last year, a $100 million rise compared with 2015, said the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh.
Khmer Times

Hong Kong firms offer expertise
Companies from Hong Kong with expertise in infrastructure development, real estate-related services and professional services are keen to form partnerships with local investors, said a trade delegation visiting Cambodia.
Khmer Times

PM: Green Belt for tourists
Prime Minister Hun Sen called for a Green Belt to be established at the country’s main tourist areas to supply holiday-makers with locally produced vegetables and meat, instead of importing them from neighboring countries.
Khmer Times

PM warns of media anarchy
Prime Minister Hun Sen warned the media yesterday that he was determined to maintain social order, citing US President Donald Trump’s exclusion of some news outlets from a White House briefing.
Khmer Times

Japanese Firm to Construct Coal-Fired Plant
A Japanese company announced plans on Monday to build a coal-powered electrical plant in Preah Sihanouk province, mere months after Cambodia ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change that seeks to reduce global carbon emissions.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Long-Improvised Customs Fees to Be Standardized
A recently proposed customs law would standardize service fees, improve government tax collection and reduce the opportunity for customs officers to set their own charges, a Finance Ministry official said on Monday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodian, Thai Officials Hold Security Meeting
A military delegation led by Royal Cambodian Armed Forces General Neang Phat began a three-day meeting with a Thai delegation on Monday in Siem Reap province in the run-up to a meeting between the countries’ defense ministers next month, a Defense Ministry statement said.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Showdown in Indonesia Brings World’s Biggest Gold Mine to Standstill
The American mining company Freeport-McMoRan has brought the world’s biggest gold mine, in the Indonesian province of West Papua, to a standstill. The corporation is butting heads with the Indonesian government over protectionist mining regulations. And now that Freeport has started to dismiss tens of thousands of workers, the local economy is poised to take a huge hit. In Mimika Regency, the West Papua province containing the Grasberg gold mine, 91 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is attributed to Freeport.
— Voice of America

Four new geothermal plants to add 215 MW capacity in Indonesia this year
Indonesia expect four additional geothermal power plants to start operation this year, adding 215 MW of power generation capacity at Sarulla, Sorik Marapi, Karaha Bodas and Ulubelu.
— Think Geo Energy

Honda Builds 1 Millionth Vehicle in Indonesia
Honda builds its 1 millionth vehicle in Indonesia 14 years after launching production in the Southeast Asian country.
— Ward’s Auto

Russia remains tight-lipped on Indonesia’s weapons deal
Almost one year since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s state visit to Russia, Moscow is still keeping Indonesia’s planned weapons purchase under wraps.
— Jakarta Post

Rohingya Crisis: Indonesia foils bomb attack on Myanmar embassy
Indonesian police arrested a suspected Islamist militant for planning an attack on government buildings and the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta next month. The police have also seized a large quantity of bomb making material that he intended to use for the attack.
— International Business Times

Soekarno-Hatta Airport Train to Be Operational in July
The 36.3-kilometer railway line connecting Manggarai Station in South Jakarta with Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, will be operational in July, offering travelers a cheaper and faster alternative, state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II announced in a statement on Sunday (26/02).
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia police shoot dead suspected militant during attack
Indonesian police said they shot and killed a suspected militant in the West Java capital of Bandung on Monday after his bomb exploded in a vacant lot and he fled into a municipal building and set it alight.
— Washington Post

Zalora CEO refutes reports that company is selling in Indonesia
On Friday, Asia’s tech media — including e27 — cited a TechCrunch report that said Zalora was in acquisition talks with Indonesian retail giant MAP Group, following Zalora Philippines’ recent investment from Ayala Group.
— E27

Indonesia plans to export diesel fuel, avtur
State-owned energy giant Pertamina is looking forward to tapping into the Philippine market with its diesel fuel and aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or avtur, that will be produced at the Bontang grass roots refinery (GRR) project in East Kalimantan, which is expected to begin operations in 2023.
— Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s Pertamina Seeks To Explore Two Oil Fields In Iran
Pertamina will submit proposals to Iran to explore two oil fields in the country that Indonesia’s state-held energy company has estimated at containing 1.5 billion barrels of oil reserves.

UangTeman expands service to Eastern Indonesia
INDONESIAN financial technology company PT Digital Alpha Indonesia (UangTeman), which provides a direct online lending platform recently expanded its services to Bali and Makassar, aiming to serve more people in the eastern part of the country.
— Digital News Asia

Indonesia – Visit by Jean-Marc Ayrault (February 27-28, 2017)
Jean-Marc Ayrault is visiting Indonesia from February 27 to 28, in preparation for President Hollande’s upcoming visit.
— France Diplomatie (press release)

Agriculture Minister to Sack Officials Involved in Meat Import Cartels
Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman said on Friday (24/02) he would sack ministry officials who get themselves involved with meat import cartels.
— Jakarta Globe

Police to Deploy 10,000 Personnel to Secure Saudi King’s Visit
National Police deputy chief Comr. Gen. Syafruddin said nearly 10,000 officers will be deployed to secure the visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to Indonesia this week.
— Jakarta Globe


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Govt to Invest Over 1.3 Trillion Kip in Poverty Reduction
(KPL) This year, the government plans to spend over 1.3 trillion kip (almost US$160 million) on rural development and poverty reduction.
— Lao News Agency

Access to Health Services to be Nationwide by 2030
The Ministry of Health is making preparations to ensure that people across the country have access to the health services by 2030.
— Lao News Agency

Govt gives green light to Vientiane expressway
The government has agreed in principle to a plan to build a 14-km expressway linking Vientiane city centre to the outskirts in Xaythany district, in a bid to ease congestion.
— Vientiane Times

Officials Take Action Against Illegal Fuel Imports
It is estimated that 45 to 50 percent of the fuel Laos imports are used in Vientiane Capital and Vientiane Province.
— Laotian Times

Government Hails Those Actively Participating in Enforcement of Order No 15
At the recently held monthly government meeting for February, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith hailed relevant sectors, authorities and people for actively participating in the enforcement of Prime Minister’s Order No 15 designed to intensify the management and inspection of wood exploitation, timber transport and timber businesses in the country.
— Lao News Agency

Liberia Seeks Assistance from Laos in Rice Production and Sustainability
Liberia’s recently accredited ambassador to Lao PDR, Dudley McKinley Thomas, has presented his Letters of Credence to President Bounnhang Vorachith, during an official ceremony at the presidential palace.
— Laotian Times

Laos Sees Little Problem With the Pak Beng Dam
Laos is pushing ahead with the controversial Pak Beng dam as the government has found little reason to delay the project on the Mekong River’s mainstream, a senior government official told RFA.
— Radio Free Asia

Champassak Plans to Collect Revenue of 1.3 Trillion Kip
Champassak Province has the ambitious plan to collect revenue of 1.36 trillion kip this year. This will be an increase from the 1.19 trillion kip in revenue that was collected last year.
— Lao News Agency

Remains of Marine shot down in Laos in 1969 heading home
A Marine radar intercept officer missing nearly 48 years after he was shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War has been accounted for after his remains were found last year, the Bergen Record reports.
— AmeriForce Publishing

Twenty-Eight Young Lao Workers Join a Study Tour to Japan
Twenty–eight young Lao workers yesterday departed for Japan to participate in a study tour under the “JENESYS 2016 (theme – economic)” program supported by the Japanese Government.
— Lao News Agency

Ancient stupa set to become visitor attraction in Champassak
Pakxe district : The Vat Phou World Heritage Office in Champassak province is gearing up to submit a newly discovered Hindu-era stupa to the provincial governor’s office for approval as a new tourist attraction.
— Vientiane Times

PM pushes for strict urban planning, traffic control
Pri me Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has called for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to enhance urban management and consider suitable transport options to ease traffic and reduce road accidents.
— Vientiane Times

Women’s Union prepares for International Women’s Day
The Lao Women’s Union is gearing up to mark the 107th International Women’s Day on March 8, with a raft of inspirational activities planned.
— Vientiane Times

Health sector review calls for further reform
Ministry of Health officials and personnel from around the country met yesterday in Vientiane to review the progress of the health sector in 2015-2016 and discuss plans for the year ahead.
— Vientiane Times


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Malaysia says Saudi Aramco will invest $7B in oil hub
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday that oil major Saudi Aramco will invest $7 billion in a mammoth oil processing hub in Malaysia, making it the single-largest investor in the Southeast Asian country.
The Daily Star

Job market remains soft in 2017 but small uptick continues in five sectors
While all signs point to the fact that the Malaysian job market will continue to be sluggish in 2017, five sectors seem to be bucking the trend.
Malay Mail Online

Industrial exports lackluster in 2016
The government has started protecting Lebanese industries and it will take further measures for this purpose, Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said Monday.
The Daily Star

Scholarship matching platform Skolafund closes RM300,498 capital raise, a social enterprise that is a digital platform designed to crowdsource alternative sources of tertiary education scholarship funds for students from low to middle-income families has closed a capital raise on Ata Plus Equity Crowdfunding (ECF) platform that secured RM300,498 ($67,702) from 22 retail and sophisticated investors.
Deal Street Asia

Cradle set to lead funding rounds, unveils direct equity investment plan
Malaysian early-stage tech startup influencer Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd has moved a step further in its investment strategy shift from grants to equity with a new product DEQ800, for equity investments to fund local tech startups with amount between MYR300,000 to MYR 800,000.
Deal Street Asia

Banks’ profit margins expected to improve with leaner ops
The profit margins of banks are set to improve on the back of prudent spending measures, lower loan-loss provisions and better net interest spread, said analysts.
New Straits Times

AEON’s pre-tax profit decreases to RM147.10m
Aeon Co (M) Bhd’s pre-tax profit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016 decreased to RM147.10 million from RM210.84 million recorded in 2015.
New Straits Times

Sarawak Oil Palm’s FY16 pre-tax profit rises to RM188.13m
Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd’s pre-tax profit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016 rose to RM188.13 million from RM123.76 million recorded in the same period previously.
—  New Straits Times

Malaysia-Saudi MoU on trade and investment to lead to diversification of imports, exports
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of trade and investment to promote cooperation.
New Straits Times

Sime Darby’s net profit rises to RM1.09b in first six month of last year
Sime Darby Bhd’s net profit jumped 78.5 per cent to RM1.09 billion in the first six months ended Dec 31 2016 from RM609 million a year ago.
 New Straits Times

Bank Negara acts on liquidity issues in forex market
Bank Negara said steps are being taken to address liquidity issues in the foreign exchange (forex) market amid complaints by investors from overseas that there aren’t enough US dollars in the onshore market for them to hedge their investment risks.
— The Star Online

Star Media Group records pre-tax profit of RM146.21mil
Star Media Group Bhd registered a pre-tax profit of RM146.21mil on a revenue of RM932.12mil for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016.
— The Star Online

UMW takes a RM1.16bil hit, writes down value of O&G assets
UMW Holdings Bhd undertook a massive kitchen-sinking exercise on its oil and gas (O&G) business with an impairment of RM1.16bil on its listed and unlisted assets.
— The Star Online

Bursa Malaysia revises short selling, securities borrowing rules
Bursa Malaysia Bhd has revised the tick rule for regulated short-selling (RSS), allowing orders to be executed at the best current asking price or higher instead of just at a price higher than the last done price of the approved securities.
— The Star Online

Britain urges Malaysia to share evidence on Kim VX attack
Britain on Monday urged Malaysia to share evidence from the lethal VX nerve gas attack on Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother with the United Nations, which could take action against North Korea.
Capital News

IGP: Companies behind North Korean spy operation getting removed from register
The Malaysian companies behind an operation run by a North Korean intelligence agency here that sold military radio equipment are being struck off from the companies’ register, police said today.
Malay Mail Online


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Myanmar’s Decision to Give Some Muslims Official IDs Stirs Protest
Around 600 people in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state have protested a government decision to give 53 Muslims official identification cards, saying the move was illegal.
— Radio Free Asia

UN rights expert calls on Myanmar authorities to protect Rohingya population
Concluding a four-day visit to parts of Bangladesh where she met with members of Myanmar’s Rohingya community who fled the violence there following attacks on a border post in early October and the ensuing military operations, a United Nations expert called for urgent action by the Government of Myanmar to end the suffering of the Rohingya population in the country.
— UN News Centre

Central bank turns to interbank transaction rate
The Central Bank of Myanmar will no longer fix the reference rates for currency exchange, said its vice-governor Set Aung.
— Eleven

Ministry to intensify crackdown on illegal trade in March
Union Minister for Finance and Planning Kyaw Win said the ministry will step up its efforts to crackdown on illegal trade at check points starting in March.
— Eleven

Tax exemption on interest income questioned
The Ministry of Planning and Finance has issued a statement on February 19 that income tax will not be levied on interest from bank savings and deposits. The statement means that tax on interest from bank deposits will be exempted in the coming 2017-18 fiscal year.
— Myanmar Times

Chinese-owned factory attacked in Myanmar, straining bilateral ties
Myanmar is in the midst of extremely tumultuous times caused by a quick jump to representative democracy coupled with a slew of historical problems. At times, such multifaceted concerns have put the Southeast Asian country’s government at odds with that of its largest trade partner and longtime benefactor. The newest incident — the destruction of property and brief detainment of Chinese nationals in Yangon — highlights simmering anger in Myanmar over China’s influence in the country.
— GoKunming (blog)

Myanmar sets up new committee to revise minimum wage
The Government of Myanmar has set up a new committee, replacing an existing body, to study and revise the minimum wage in the country. The current minimum wage of K3,600 per day was set by the previous government in September 2015. The new committee includes financial experts, ministries and representatives from labour and employer groups.

The microbrew revolution comes to Yangon
Two craft beer lovers have made beer history by opening the country’s first microbrewery, breaking into an industry dominated by the military, foreign corporations and a single, wealthy family.
— Frontier Myanmar

Telco tower firm scores well in transparency report
A telecommunications tower enterprise has become the first company to voluntarily submit to a corporate transparency survey founded by the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business, scoring highly against some of the country’s most recognised firms.
— Frontier Myanmar

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi has underscored the need to further develop relations between Pakistan and Myanmar.
— Radio Pakistan (press release)

FPT wins major IT contract in Myanmar
Vietnamese IT giant FPT Corporation has been selected by Myanmar to implement a 11.3 million USD project that is part of a programme to modernise the nation’s public finance system.
— VietNamNet Bridge

Yangon Book Plaza opens
Yangon Book Plaza, the first of its kind in Myanmar, accommodating book stalls, publishing houses, booths of famous writers, recreation centres and cafes, was opened on the fifth floor of Than Market (China town) on Lanmadaw Township, on February 26.
— Eleven

Wheelchair-bound peace advocates reach Nay Pyi Taw
Disabled persons in wheelchairs advocating peace in Myanmar reached their destination in Nay Pyi Taw today (February 28).
— Myanmar Times

Armed ethnic groups want new peace process
Seven non-signatory armed ethnic groups to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) have called for a new peace process, saying the current NCA-based process is ineffective.
— Myanmar Times

Research and public health education vital for Chin State, says minister
More research into ways of improving public health is required in Chin State, says the national Minister of health and Sports, Myint Htwe.
— Eleven

Workers take to the street to push for signing of ILO safeguard
About 300 workers from industrial zones in Shwepyitha and Hlaingthaya staged a protest outside City Hall in Yangon on Sunday.
— Eleven


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


German tourist beheaded by IS-linked militants in the Philippines
ISLAMIC militants in the Philippines have beheaded an elderly German tourist they had been holding hostage.

Low-income earners shoulder 72% of tax burden – DOF
Low-income earners are bearing most of the country’s tax burden, according to data from the Department of Finance (DOF).

Nationwide jeepney strike paralyzes transport; LTFRB says little impact in Metro
Transport groups that led the nationwide jeepney strike on Monday claimed to have paralyzed 85 percent of the country’s public transport sector, but the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said the strike had little impact on the commuting public in Metro Manila.
– Philippine Daily Inquirer

Peso hits fresh 10-year low of 50.27:$1
Uncertainty in local politics coupled with the global markets’ anticipation of US President Trump’s first speech before the US Congress pulled the peso to a new 10-year low of 50.27 to $1 Monday.
– Philippine Daily Inquirer

Foreign investment pledges drop 10.7% in 2016
Foreign investment pledges approved by the country’s seven investment promotion agencies (IPA) declined 10.7 percent to P219 billion in 2016 from P245.2 billion in 2015, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported yesterday.
– The Philippine Star

SWS survey: 11.2M Filipino adults jobless in last quarter of 2016
About 11.2 million adults remained jobless in the last quarter of 2016, the worst in two years according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Duterte to visit China anew in May: ambassador
President Rodrigo Duterte is heading to Beijing for the second time since assuming office as he attends a multilateral summit in China’s capital in May, the country’s envoy to Manila said Monday.

Philippine Investors Eyeing Bitung Special Economic Zone
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) sees a great potential in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Bitung that waits to be exploited by foreign investors in line with its development as an international hub

Duterte to car makers: ‘Tax impact to be fair’
With his Finance chief and Trade secretary in tow, Mr. Duterte appraised the new Mirage G4 in Malacanang in a ceremony seen as symbolic in the government’s bid to make the Philippines another car manufacturing hub in Asia under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program which his predecessor minted.
Business World Online 

Inflation heating up on rising oil
INFLATION likely peaked above 3% for the first time in over two years in February, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said yesterday even as it described the spike as “temporary” following higher prices of fuel, electricity, and transportation fares.
Business World Online

Agriculture players urged to export in Australia
THE Australian ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely urged agriculture players particularly those in mango production to export fresh mangoes in Australia to take full advantage on the recently-inked amended version of Australia-Philippines Specific Commodity Understanding (SCU).
Sun Star 

Duterte admits money given to cops for drug busts
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday admitted that authorities gave money to police for legitimate drug buy-bust operations and not as payment to kill drug suspects.

Islamic State forced Philippine nurses to give medical training in Libya
A Philippine nurse held by Islamic State in the Libyan city of Sirte said on Monday that she and her colleagues had been forced to treat militants and give them medical training.
Channel NewsAsia 

Philippine militant group posts video claiming to show beheading of German hostage
An Islamic State-affiliated group in the Philippines posted a video on Monday purporting to show the beheading of a 71-year-old German hostage after a deadline for his ransom had expired, a monitoring group reported.
Washington Post 

Duterte: People want De Lima behind bars, not dead
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday assured the public that Senator Leila de Lima will be safe while under detention for her drug case.

Rape, plunder, treason to be removed from death penalty bill
The House majority bloc decided to further water down the death penalty bill by removing rape, plunder, and treason to get more votes for the controversial measure.

Foreign service exams for Manila’s future diplomatic corps start in May
The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi (AUHPE) released on Monday the schedule and requirements for the 2017 Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Examinations, conducted by Manila’s Department of Foreign Affairs-Board of Foreign Service Examinations (DFA-BFSE) beginning on May 21.
The Gulf Today


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Singapore deals up by 34% in 2016
The value of Singapore investment deals struck last year – including both those made here and overseas – has shot up.
The Straits Times 

Silicon Valley adtech startup taps ex-Twitter exec to open first Asia office in Singapore
Not only is Asia mobile-first, it’s also expanding at a rate faster than any other region in the world. It’s because of this dynamic that nearly a quarter of the region’s total media advertisement spending will be set aside for mobile marketing channels.
Tech In Asia 

Singapore Tightens Rules for Sharing Economy that Could Disrupt Asia Ambitions
Singapore, a keen early adopter of the sharing economy, has fired a warning shot across the bow of Airbnb and Uber with tighter rules that could shake up their business models and growth ambitions in Asia.
Insurance Journal 

Singapore mulls national identity system to fully encompass all services
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reveals possible plans for a nationwide system that will enable access to both government and private services, expanding the existing SingPass e-government login account.
ZD Net 

SPH partners China’s largest online creative services platform
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) on Sunday signed a joint-venture agreement with China’s largest online creative services platform ZBJ Network.
The Straits Times

Himachal signs deal with Singapore for developing smart town
The Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) on Monday signed a deal with the Singapore government for developing a smart integrated township on the outskirts of Shimla town to decongest the state capital.
Business Standard 

Services sector turnover rises in Q4 but economists cautious on outlook
The turnover of the services industries, excluding wholesale and retail trade as well as accommodation and food services, rose 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 from the corresponding period a year earlier, data from the Department of Statistics Singapore (Singstat) showed yesterday, but economists remained cautious in their outlook for the sector.
Today Online 

Malaysia will not interfere in Singapore death row cases
Malaysia will not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, including a court case involving a Malaysian death row inmate in Singapore.
The Star 

S’pore websites at risk of data leak caused by Cloudbleed bug
Singapore-registered Web domains could be among those exposed to the Cloudbleed bug, which causes private information keyed into supposedly secure websites to be leaked.
Today Online 

Small- and medium-sized law firms get help to go digital with S$2.8m programme
A S$2.8 million programme was launched on Monday (Feb 27) to help small- and medium-sized Singapore law firms adopt technology, announced the Ministry of Law, the Law Society of Singapore and SPRING Singapore.
Channel NewsAsia 

Large S’porean delegation to China shows forward-looking relationship: DPM Teo
The large Singaporean delegation to China as part of a high-level official trip to Beijing exemplified the “forward-looking” relationship between the two countries, said Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean yesterday.
Today Online 

Singapore bank lending dips in January over December, on slight fall in business loans
Bank lending in Singapore dipped by a marginal 0.04 per cent in January from a month ago, after rising 1.1 per cent in December, as business loans weakened skightly.
The Straits Times

Singapore’s digital problems can’t be solved with $ alone
The Singapore Budget unveiled a raft of new measures aimed at getting Singapore’s reluctant SMEs/SMBs (small media enterprises/businesses) to go digital and use technology in their businesses. It basically amounted to throwing money at the problem. This seems to not only miss the point but not having learnt from previous times when this was tried.
Singapore Business Review

Singapore Eases Regulatory Regime for VC Funds to Promote Financing for Start-Ups
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has proposed a simplification of the authorisation process and regulatory framework for venture capital managers—with the goal of supporting start-ups.
JD Supra Business Advisor 

Proposed changes to Singapore GST system would level playing field for local businesses
In his budget speech this week, Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat announced that Singapore is looking into adjusting its goods and service tax (GST) system to level the playing field between local businesses, which are GST registered, and foreign based businesses that are not.

Joint expert panel to advance Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city
LINKS between Singapore and China’s private and public sectors got a boost on Monday, with the unveiling of several initiatives, including the formation of a joint expert panel that will advance the development of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city.
The Business Times 


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Export value jumps 8.8% in January as oil prices rise
XPORT VALUE IN January grew by 8.8 per cent to US$17.09 billion (Bt595.8 billion), after higher oil prices resulted in more revenue from oil by-products, according to the Commerce Minis
– The Nation

Graft panel mulls death penalty deal
The prosecution is prepared to drop the death penalty provision for people accused of corruption in the Rolls-Royce bribery scandal in exchange for information to help its probe into the case.
– Bangkok Post

Incentives to push R&D development in key areas
The government yesterday approved tax incentives to companies that group together to invest more in research and development in five business areas.
– Bangkok Post

For Thailand, The Future Draws Nearer
An aging, fading, military-controlled Thai economy is on the cusp of its long-delayed infrastructure revolution, but you wouldn’t know it from the share prices of the big four in the nation’s construction industry.
– Bloomberg

Bangkok Airways Recertified to International Standards by CAA Thailand, Supported by the UK CAA
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) today announced that Bangkok Airways has been successfully recertified to the international safety standards of ICAO. Bangkok Airways is the first of Thailand’s international airlines to receive its AOC recertification as part of CAAT’s recertification programme, in partnership with CAA International (CAAi), part of the International Directorate of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA).
– AviationPros

PM presides over official construction of royal crematorium
The government today held a religious ceremony to officially start the construction of the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang.
– Thai PBS

Thai startup Etran wants to put 3D printed electric scooter taxis on the streets of Bangkok
Etran Group, a Thailand-based startup, is planning to launch a taxi service that uses 3D printed electric motorcycles. The company is hoping to raise 300 million Thai Baht ($8.6 million) to fund the venture, which could commence operations as early as September.

ICAO is expected to withdraw “red flag” from Thai airlines by year end
Thai airlines are expected to be removed of the “red flag” imposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization for air safety shortcomings by the end of this year, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisit said on Monday.
– Thai PBS

Suvarnabhumi immigration officials told to sit tight
Immigration officials on duty at Suvarnabhumi airport during morning peak hours have been ordered not to leave their stations to keep the lines of departing passengers flowing.
– Bangkok Post

New reporters will have to undergo training and pass KPI assessments
Newcomers to media profession will be required to undergo training and pass the KPI (Key Performance Indicators) assessment before they are to be issued with licenses to become journalists under the amended Media Profession Standards and Ethics Promotion Bill.
– Thai PBS

Animal business drives up profit for Thai food firm
Net profits soared by 33% at Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) in the past full financial year, powered mainly by recovery in Thailand’s shrimp industry and its Thailand terrestrial animal business operations.
– Global Meat News

Megachem Thailand lists on Thai stock market
Megachem Limited (Megachem), a one-stop specialty chemical solutions provider, has listed its Thai unit, Megachem (Thailand) Public Company Limited (“MGT”), an associated company of the group, on the Stock Exchange of Thailand – Market for Alternative Investment (“SET-MAI”). It has been trading since 23 February 2017.
– Deal Street Asia

Egco funds 7 new power projects
ELECTRICITy Generating (Egco) Group has budgeted more than Bt30 billion this year for seven power projects both in Thailand and overseas, according to company president Chanin Chaonirattisai.
– The Nation

Mitsubishi, Nissan team up on logistics in Thailand
Mitsubishi Motors has begun operating a joint logistics channel with Nissan Motor in Thailand and aims to take it global for groupwide cost savings, Mitsubishi Motors President Osamu Masuko said here Monday.
– Nikkei Asian Review

PM orders EIA and EHIA studies on Krabi’s power plant project scrapped
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has ordered the environment impact assessment EIA) and the environmental health impact assessment (EHIA) studies which were previously conducted on the coal-fired power plant in Krabi province be scrapped.
– Thai PBS

Congratulations, Thailand: You’re Getting a Michelin Guide
Fresh off the heels of this year’s Asia’s 50 Best list comes news that Michelin will bring its stars to Thailand. TNN Thailand reports the Tourism Authority of Thailand has pledged financial support to the project for five years. Per BK Asia City, the guide will hit shelves before the end of 2017.
– Eater

Chemical from Thailand faces anti-dumping duty
The government is likely to impose anti-dumping duty of up to USD 135.40 per tonne on imports of a chemical used in foam making from Thailand. The move is aimed at protecting domestic players from cheap imports of ‘Flexible Slabstock Polyol’ from the South-East Asian country.
– The Times Of India

Four garbage disposal projects in Samui launched
The Clean Samui Project which was initiated by Thai PBS to encourage public participation in garbage disposal has resulted to the creation of four projects in four different spots on the Samui island.
– Thai PBS


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Japanese automakers threaten to leave Vietnam again
Japanese automobile manufacturers have discussed the possibility of relocating their factories to regional countries because of Vietnam’s weak supporting industries.
Vietnam Net 

Vietnam Wants Its Gamblers Staking Their $800 Million at Home
Vietnam’s revolutionary founder Ho Chi Minh relied on lottery ticket sales to raise money for schools and hospitals during the war years. Now Hanoi’s Communist leaders are looking to casinos, horse betting and modern lottery-ticket machines to do the same.

Investors pledge to pour cash into Tuyên Quang
A conference on investment, trade and tourism promotion held for the first time by the mountainous province of Tuyên Quang yesterday has concluded with investors’ pledging a total of VNĐ18.3 trillion (over US$801 million) into six large-scale projects in this province.
Viet Nam News

Deputy PM pushes for fast VNPT divestment
Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ recently urged the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) to speed up its divestment process in its listed member companies.
Viet Nam News

Vietnam sharpens focus on regional ties
As it takes over as chair of APEC this year, Vietnam will be working towards promoting growth and enhanced regional integration, while also pushing its own reform agenda at home.
Oxford Business Group 

Cau Tre invests $54m in Hiep Phuoc IP
Cau Tre Export Goods Processing JSC last week signed a contract with Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park Joint-Stock Company (HIPC) to build a food processing complex in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park in HCM City’s Nha Be District.
Viet Nam News (biz hub) 

Assets of credit institutions rose 16% in 2016
The total assets of Vietnamese credit institutions rose more than 16 per cent by December 2016 to VNĐ8.5 quadrillion (US$374 billion), when compared with early 2016, the State Bank of Việt Nam reported.
Viet Nam News 

In Vietnam, overloaded trucks slip through net thanks to inactive costly weigh stations
Several weigh stations across southern Vietnam, whose construction ran into the billions of dong, have proven ineffective as overloaded truck drivers continue to dodge the checkpoints.
Tuoi Tre News 

Vietnamese prefer overseas sites for online shopping
Vietnamese online shoppers spend significantly more on overseas purchases than they do domestically as they believe international e-commerce platforms offer better products and service quality, a new report has said.
Vietnam Net 

Vietnam ministry to fine YouTube for breaching ad rules
Two Vietnamese ministries have discussed a plan to slap an administrative fine on YouTube, saying the world’s largest video-sharing platform has violated Vietnam’s advertising regulations.
Tuoi Tre News

Techcom trust debuts on HOSE
Techcom Việt Nam Real Estate Investment Trust (TCREIT) made debut on the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE) yesterday under the code FUCVREIT at a par value of VNĐ10,000 (44 US cents) per fund certificate.
Viet Nam News 

Foreign visitors exceed one million per month
The number of international tourists visiting Viet Nam reached nearly 1.2 million in February, increasing 19.1 per cent from the previous month and 42.2 per cent year-on-year.
Viet Nam News (biz hub)

City officials seek tax on sales via Facebook
HCM City officials are seeking ways to collect taxes from small- and home-based business owners who are selling merchandise on social media, such as Facebook, in a bid to reduce tax losses in the municipal budget.
Viet Nam News 

Fertiliser imports fair, says regulator
There’s no evidence showing that fertiliser imports have damaged local fertilser products to apply trade defence measures for the imports, according to a report by the Viet Nam Competition Authority (VCA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Viet Nam News (biz hub) 

VN’s chicken industry takes flight
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has released a national plan on monitoring food safety for processed chicken for export to help Viet Nam’s chicken conquer the world market.
Viet Nam News (biz hub) 



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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