Asean Morning News Roundup For March 6

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News Roundup For March 6
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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


Asean ups fight against crime
The first-ever regional centre set up to fight transnational crime in Asean and share information could be up and running by next year.
— Bangkok Post

Taiwanese tech firms eye online market in Asean
A growing number of Taiwanese online firms are choosing Singapore as their base to expand into South-east Asia as Taiwan and its regional rivals compete to snap up talent and become a tech hub.
— The Straits Times

PIA opens info kiosks in Iloilo City for Asean 2017
The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Western Visayas launched its information kiosks for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in the city and province of Iloilo, Saturday, March 4.
— Sun.Star

Trump and China in 2017: How Should ASEAN Respond?
​If 2016 is marred by ‘Brexit’ and the unexpected election of Donald Trump as the US president, then 2017 will be the year we will witness the developments or even the outcomes of these events.
— The Independent

Benchmarking Asean export drivers: How is PH faring?
Export is a vital cog of development. The country needs foreign exchange to fund imports from food to machinery to raw materials to oil. It has to pay foreign debt and finance Filipino travelers.

ASEAN Countries to Boost Military Cooperation in Region – Russian MoD
The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Friday that countries from The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will boost military cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
— Sputnik International


Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Finding value in a frontier property market
The Khmer Ventures Property Fund is the first fund to invest exclusively in Cambodian real estate.
The Phnom Penh Post

MFI credit firm to push deeper into Cambodia
Micro-Credit Ratings International Ltd (M-CRIL), an Indian provider of rating and advisory services to the microfinance industry, has secured a $1.5 million equity investment agreement from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to push into emerging markets including Cambodia, the ADB said in an announcement last Friday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Quietly Released US Rights Report Slams Courts, Corruption
The U.S. State Department released its annual human rights report on Friday with little fanfare, repeating longstanding past concerns with Cambodia’s judiciary, corruption and intimidation of civil society to an increasingly unreceptive government.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Government Microfinance Messaging Getting Old, Minister Says
Less than two weeks into a state-mandated campaign to blanket mobile phone users with audio and text messages about microfinance institutions (MFIs), many are already tired of the government’s broken-record approach.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Unlikely Partners: Cambodia and the Eurasian Economic Union
In its efforts to bolster trade and forge new international alliances, the Southeast Asian Kingdom has opted to increase ties with some unlikely partners: the members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
The Diplomat

Angelina Jolie Says She Hopes Cambodians Feel Pride, Not ‘Hatred’ in Being the Subject of Her Film
With the release of her film First They Killed My Father on the horizon, Angelina Jolie hopes that by shedding light on the genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge communist party’s regime, the Cambodian people will take pride in what they survived instead of feeling hatred or resentment for what the country endured in the late 1970s.

As Cadre’s War Crimes Charges Dropped, Doubts Cast over Cambodian Justice
The decision not to pursue a trial against former Khmer Rouge cadre Im Chaem last month has prompted fresh questions over government influence over the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal.

Hitachi forms joint venture with CMED
Japan’s Hitachi Ltd has officially entered into a joint venture partnership with the local construction company CMED Group Co Ltd, aimed at expanding its sales, installation and maintenance services for elevators and escalators throughout the Kingdom, the company announced on Friday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Opposition Picks New Leadership Following Rainsy Resignation
The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has selected its former deputy leader, Kem Sokha, to assume the presidency following the departure of Sam Rainsy last month.

Trial Begins for Kem Ley Murder Suspect
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday opened proceedings against the alleged killer of prominent political commentator Kem Ley, who was fatally shot in Phnom Penh in July.

Government to Build New $12M Building for Fine Arts University
Almost two years after the government announced the relocation of the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) from central Phnom Penh to the city outskirts, Prime Minister Hun Sen finally announced on Friday that $12 million would be spent on the new building, though he admitted that not all of the funding had been secured.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

In Leaked Audio, Hun Sen Advises Kem Sokha
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday confirmed the authenticity of a recorded telephone conversation with CNRP President Kem Sokha last year in which Mr. Sokha appears to distance himself from his partner at the time, former opposition leader Sam Rainsy.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

PM, Sokha talk leaked, purports to show private negotiations between rivals
The prime minster yesterday boasted he was pulling the opposition’s strings after verifying as “one hundred percent” true a leaked phone conversation purporting to feature details of a back-channel deal with opposition leader Kem Sokha, as the latter attempted to negotiate his freedom from effective house arrest.
The Phnom Penh Post


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Furniture Exports Indonesia under Pressure, Companies Move to Vietnam
The value of export products originating from Indonesia’s furniture and handicraft industry fell 16 percent year-on-year (y/y) to USD $1.6 billion in 2016 from USD $1.9 billion in the preceding year. The decline is attributed to the departure of several big furniture factories from Indonesia to Vietnam due to Indonesia’s high logistics costs, higher minimum wages and Indonesian workers’ low productivity. One example is America-based furniture manufacturer Maitland Smith.
— Indonesia Investments

Indonesia mining policy shift sparks fresh turmoil
A controversial U-turn on mineral exports has sparked turmoil in Indonesia’s key mining sector, providing a fresh headache for firms struggling to work in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
— Channel NewsAsia

Gold museum seeks fortune with Indonesia
After striking gold with Chinese tourists, Ballarat’s iconic Sovereign Hill museum is turning its attention to Indonesia and its growing middle class.

Indonesia Warns US Mining Giant in Fresh Dispute
There is rising concern among business sources in Jakarta that tension between the Indonesian government and the US-based mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, Indonesia’s oldest foreign investor, which has been in a months-long deadlock over future mining, could affect relations between Washington and Jakarta.
— The Asia Sentinel

Ciobo defends visa rules as Indonesia and Australia seek to cement trade deal
Australia’s trade minister, Steve Ciobo, has defended tough visa entry requirements for Indonesian students ahead of a high level visit to the country to complete an Australia-Indonesia trade deal.
— The Guardian

Indonesia pushes for Australia to import more palm oil and paper
One of Indonesia’s top trade officials has questioned whether “artificial” trade barriers are preventing Australia importing more palm oil, pulp and paper and wood products as the two countries negotiate a free trade deal to be concluded this year.
— Newcastle Herald

Indonesia scrambles in tax amnesty final countdown
With less than a month remaining before the end of the tax amnesty, the government may need to accept the reality that it will miss its target for the flagship program amid slowing public participation.
— The Jakarta Post

Businesses urged to invest in Indian Ocean region
The government has called on domestic business players to invest in the Indian Ocean region to benefit from abundant untapped business opportunities as well as help boost exports.Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Thomas Lembong expects businesspeople to work on potential partnerships with prospective counterparts during the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Business Forum on March 6.
— The Jakarta Post

Women March in Jakarta to Demand Equality
More than a thousand people participated in the Women’s March Jakarta on Saturday (04/03) to demand equality for women and minority groups.
— Jakarta Globe

EduCo to Send Indonesian Students to Irish Universities
Global education company EduCo announced their newest partnership with Dublin City University and Maynooth University, both in Dublin, at Pullman Jakarta on Wednesday (01/03).
— Jakarta Globe

Trade: Indonesia & the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
Considering ongoing uncertainty about the future of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) after US President vowed to exit this trade deal, Indonesia is eager to find other strategies to boost Indonesia’s export performance.
— Indonesia Investments

Saudi Arabia invites Indonesia to invest in Saudi economy
As it is now more open to foreign capital, Saudi Arabia has invited Indonesia to invest in the Persian Gulf economy and benefit from its many untapped business opportunities.
— The Jakarta Post

Cultural movement seeks Indonesian women to wear, preserve kebaya
Hundreds of kebaya (Javanese long-sleeved blouses and dresses for women) enthusiasts have gathered at the “1,000 Perempuan Berkebaya” (1,000 Women in Kebayas) event held at the Education and Culture Ministry building in South Jakarta on Friday.
— The Jakarta Post

Greater Jakarta: More vehicles added for disabled people
The Jakarta administration, through its bus operator PT Transjakarta, added 20 more vehicles on Friday for transportation services for disabled people. The service is called Transjakarta Care.
— The Jakarta Post

National scene: Wholesalers nabbed over chili monopoly
The National Police have arrested two people for allegedly monopolizing the red chili trade, which they said had contributed to skyrocketing chili prices across Indonesia.
— The Jakarta Post

Floods hit five districts in Riau Province
Floods have hit five districts in Riau Province, affecting 2,469 homes, as several rivers overflowed their banks following incessant downpour.
— Antara News

5 killed in W Sumatra`s landslides
Floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in Limapuluh Kota district, West Sumatra province, have killed five people and injured two others seriously, the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB) said.
— Antara News

Indonesian Police Peacekeeping Unit Returns Home After Detention in Sudan
The Indonesian Formed Police Unit, or FPU VIII, returned to Indonesia on Sunday (05/03) morning after being detained at the Al Fashir Airport in Sudan since January for allegedly attempting to smuggle a large number of weapons and ammunition.
— Jakarta Informer

Taiwanese shot dead in Indonesia on suspicion of drug dealing
Taipei, March 5 (CNA) A Taiwanese man suspected of drug dealing in Indonesia was shot dead by local authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Sunday.
— Focus Taiwan News Channel

Indonesia won’t budge on divestment rule for Freeport: minister
Indonesia will not back down from new rules requiring Freeport-McMoran to divest a majority stake in its local unit, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said, in a dispute over rights to the world’s second-biggest copper mine.
— Reuters

Hebbalkar denies charge of owning mining company in Indonesia
President of the Karnataka Pradesh Mahila Congress Laxmi R. Hebbalkar has categorically denied the allegations of owning a mining company in Indonesia levelled by senior leaders and MLAs of the BJP, S. Suresh Kumar and C.T. Ravi, recently. “If they prove the charges, I will not only quit politics, but even gift the entire company to that party and their leaders Mr.Kumar and Mr.Ravi,” she said.
— The Hindu

Zuma arrives in Indonesia for IORA Summit and state visit
President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Indonesia to attend the Summit of the Indian Ocean Rim Association Business Forum and Leaders’ Summit in the Asian state.
— Times Lives

Batam businessman named suspect over police meme
After a three-month investigation, Riau Islands Police have named Makruf Maulana, head of the province’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), a defamation suspect for posting a meme that was perceived as insulting the police.
— The Jakarta Post


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Laos GDP expected to grow at 6.8 percent: IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Laos’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow at 6.8 per cent this year, less than the government’s projected rate of 7 per cent.
— Asia News Network

US policy towards Laos unlikely to change
US foreign policy towards Laos, with growing bilateral ties and cooperation in recent years under former President Barack Obama’s administration, is unlikely to change despite White House administration change, according to US ambassador to Laos Rena Bitter.
— Vientiane Times

Special economic zones attracting fewer foreign investors
Foreign investor interest in Lao special zone economic zones is currently less than previous years as most try to come to grips with local regulations.
— Vientiane Times

Over 5,700 criminal cases solved in 2016
General Department of Police in cooperation with Ministry of Public Security officers solved 5,739 criminal cases nationwide which occurred last year.
— Vientiane Times (paywall)

Laos Meets Many Fields About Anti Money Laundering
Members of the National Coordination Committee on Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism met in Vientiane March 1 to conclude its successful work over the past year.
— Lao News Agency

Ministry of Labour Builds Leadership Roles among Women
The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare held on Mar 1-2 a training workshop to promote professional and leadership roles for women.
— Lao News Agency

LEARN project to improve learning for 35,000 disadvantaged children
Dubai Cares, Plan International Laos and Save the Children Laos have officially launched the Lao Educational Access, Research and Networking (LEARN) project to improve learning for 35,000 disadvantaged children in Laos.
— Vientiane Times

Authorities to speed up Lao-foreigner marriage process
Authorities are exploring ways to speed up the marriage process for Lao and foreign nationals after learning of issues slowing the application process that have triggered public complaints.
— Vientiane Times

Lao man held over 5kg of meth in Stung Treng
A 39-year-old Laotian man was sent to Stung Treng Provincial Court yesterday following his arrest the day before for allegedly smuggling about 5 kilograms of methamphetamine, police said yesterday.
— Phnom Penh Post

Huaphan Authorises Local Firm to Develop a Tourism Complex at Kone Waterfall
he authorities of Huaphan Province, one of the favourite destinations for visitors, have signed an agreement with a private company for the development of a tourism complex at the Kone Waterfall, Meuang Kao, Xone district, Huaphan Province.
— Lao News Agency

Vientiane Prepares to Select Best Students for National Exam
Some 564 students from primary and secondary schools across Vientiane Capital are expected to take part in a best student exam to be held at Vientiane Secondary School on March 14.
— Lao News Agency

The road less travelled: Riding Laos
Every year it seems to get worse; the agony of waiting for riding season to begin again. Each winter I begin poring over weather data, trying to figure out realistically how many weeks it will be before I can get back in the saddle again. This year I decided to take a different path. About the time that the bike covers and battery tenders came out, I booked myself a ticket to South East Asia: a land of ample warmth, sun and, consequently, happy riders.
— Canada Moto Guide


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Malaysia’s seven strong points to draw investment funds from China
YONG RUOBING, managing director of MCC Overseas, has cited seven main points which have drawn Chinese investment into the property sector in Malaysia.
The Nation

Texchem invests RM74mil to boost performance
Texchem Resources Bhd plans to spend RM74mil for existing and new businesses this year to boost the company’s performance.
The Star Online

Malaysia arrests seven for suspected links to militant groups
Malaysia has arrested six foreigners and one Malaysian for suspected links to militant groups including Islamic State, the police chief said on Sunday.

Malaysia Forces Out North Korean Ambassador
The government of Malaysia declared North Korea’s ambassador “persona non grata” on Saturday and gave him 48 hours to leave the country, a major break in diplomatic relations after the airport assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korea’s leader.
The New York Times

Malaysia expels North Korea ambassador over Kim Jong-nam killing
Malaysia has expelled North Korea’s ambassador, giving him 48 hours to leave the country in a major break in diplomatic relations over the assassination of the half-brother of the North Korean leader.
The Guardian

UEM collaborates with Google Malaysia
UEM Group Bhd, a key infrastructure company owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, is collaborating with Google Malaysia to stimulate the interests of secondary school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects through an initiative to encourage digital innovation.
The Star Online

Ringgit opens lower against US dollar
The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar as sentiment for the local note weakened on rising expectation that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month.
New Straits Times

Malaysia expels North Korean envoy after Kim Jong Nam murder
Malaysia said on Saturday it was expelling the North Korean ambassador, escalating a diplomatic row between the two countries over the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korean murder suspect says Malaysia in conspiracy to damage Pyongyang’s honor’
Ri Jong Chol, a suspect in the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader, said in Beijing that he was a victim of a conspiracy by Malaysian authorities attempting to damage the honor of North Korea.

No glass ceiling for women in VC/PE, it’s just percieved so: Cradle CEO Dzuleira
Amid constant debate on the skewed proportion of women across the industry, including PE/VC, Malaysia’s Cradle Seed Ventures CEO Dzuleira Abu Bakar stands by the belief that it is always better to have diversity in an organisation.
Deal Street Asia

North Korean’s coercion claims won’t affect Jong-nam murder case, lawyers say
A North Korean suspect’s claims of facing coercion to confess while under Malaysian police custody is unlikely to affect the Kim Jong-nam murder case, lawyers have said.
Malay Mail Online

CIMB obtains RQFII licence, access to China’s capital markets
CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd has become the first asset management company in Malaysia to obtain the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) licence, which gives it direct access to China’s capital markets.
Malay Mail Online

All eyes on syariah Bill as Malaysia’s Parliament reopens
Malaysia’s Parliament will reopen today, with the Najib administration set to push through a controversial Bill to strengthen Islamic courts, a move that will influence the country’s upcoming general election.
The Straits Times

Malaysia declares North Korean ambassador ‘persona non grata’
Malaysia has declared on Saturday night the ambassador of North Korea to the country as “persona non grata” and asked him to leave Malaysia within 48 hours, amid a row over the investigation into a North Korean man’s death.
Business Mirror


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Minister demands end to jade landslides
Dr Win Myat Aye, minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement, says cooperation is needed for preventative measures to save lives in the Hpakant jade hub.
— Eleven

Bid to boost Myanmar shrimp trade begins
THOUGH MYANMAR’S shrimp export is much less than that of Vietnam and Thailand in terms of tonnage and value, the nation is set to leapfrog its production with American experts’ technical assistance, said Kyaw Tun Myint, president of the Myanmar Shrimp Association.
— The Nation

Ministry plans to reduce imports
Maung Maung Win, deputy minister for planning and finance, says measures are being taken to cut the trade deficit without hampering trade policies.
— Eleven

Myanmar: Credera Group gets $50m in commitments for $100m vehicle
Singapore based Credera Group has got $50 million soft commitments for its $100 million Myanmar focused fund that it has been raising since August 2016, Gaurav Manghnani, senior portfolio manager of Credera Group, told this portal.
— Deal Street Asia

Myanmar Gov’t Tempts Rohingyas for NVC with Ludicrous Leaflets
The Myanmar government handed some ludicrous leaflets with rhetorical lines written in three languages — Myanmar, English and Bengali — to the Rohingyas during a meeting in Maungdaw on Saturday (Mar 4) tempting them to accept the NV Card (the National Verification Card).
— Rohingya Vision

49% of power industry in private hands
The ownership ratio between the government and the private sector in the electricity sector is 51:49, Dr Tun Naing, deputy minister for electricity and energy, told a forum at the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Yangon.
— Eleven

Total, PTTEP equal in Myanmar project
Myanmar has given approval for Total E&P Myanmar Co to hold a 50% stake in the Myanmar MD-7 project in which PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP) has the other 50%.
— Bangkok Post

Rakhine airport in Myanmar to be built by tender
The Rakhine State government will invite tenders for the construction of an airport in Mrauk-U, State Planning and Finance Minister Kyaw Aye Thein said.
— Bangkok Post

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Hearings On Myanmar Crimes Against Rohingya & Kachin
The Rome-based International Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT),will hold hearings in London on March 6-8 at Queen Mary University (LIVE Feed) where evidence will be presented, and expert testimony heard on crimes committed by the Myanmar (Burma) state against persecuted Rohingya and Kachin minorities.
— The Chicago Monitor

Myanmar set to undertake much-needed electricity reforms
AS THE GOVERNMENT subsidy in the electricity sector amounted to Ks470 billion (Bt12.2 billion) last year, Myanmar plans to draw an effective action plan to undertake electricity reforms urgently.
— The Nation

Myanmar seeks to revive Dawei development
Myanmar has formed a high-level committee and task force to restart and speed up the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project in the southern Tanintharyi region, which was suspended for years.
— The Straits Times

Why Myanmar’s New Peace Process Is Failing
Politically, Myanmar is experiencing a new phase under its new government. Undoubtedly, the approach toward national reconciliation in Myanmar has changed after the installation of National League for Democracy (NLD) in 2016. The 21st Century Panglong Conference, which is going to be held this year in March, is part of the NLD’s new way of pursuing peace. However, the persistent armed conflict simmering between the Myanmar Army and ethnic armed groups poses a big challenge to the government’s credibility.
— The Diplomat

Despite calls for reform, prisoners continue hard labour in shackles
ZIN KYEIK LABOUR CAMP, Mon State – Prisoners continue to conduct hard labour in shackles in a Mon State labour camp, Myanmar Now has found, despite calls for reforms by lawmakers and investigations into prison abuses by a UN rights envoy and the International Labour Organisation.
— Myanmar Now

Smog blowing in from Myanmar affects air quality in the North
SMOG FROM Myanmar has intensified the haze problem in northern Thailand, according to hotspot statistics from the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA).
— The Nation

Thai pink card workers ripped off by brokers
Myanmar nationals who hold “pink cards” in Thailand are being fleeced of some 7000 baht by brokers for identity documents from the homeland, according to the Migrant Workers Right Network (MWRN).
— Myanmar Times

Tanintharyi chief demands fish protection
Officially registered fishing boats docked in Myeik in Tanintharyi Region (Photo-Zaw Moe Oo/EMG)
Chief Minister Dr Le Le Maw for Tanintharyi Region says strict action is needed against illegal fishing off her coast.
— Eleven

Army and TNLA clash in Kutkai
The army and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) clashed near Mongyu village, northern Shan State, between Kutkai and Nant Phet Kar on March 4 and sources said three civilians were injured.
— Eleven

Much smaller trade deficit tipped for next fiscal year
With trade deficits every year, Myanmar has had a negative balance of payment in international trade since the 2012-13 fiscal year.
— Eleven

Local philanthropy groups are bringing clean water to citizens during city-wide water shortage
Although the government claimed that they would be working hard during the current water shortage to ensure that everyone in the city still had access to clean water, it seems that they haven’t exactly kept their word. Fortunately for citizens however, local philanthropy groups have stepped up.
— Coconuts Yangon

Report: Myanmar Security Forces Remain ‘Outside Civilian Control’
More than a year after Myanmar’s National League for Democracy swept national elections in the formerly military-ruled country, bringing an end to government by generals or by army-backed civilians, security forces remain outside effective civilian control, the U.S. State Department said in a report released on Friday.
— Radio Free Asia

Bangladesh banning cold pills to fight surge as regional meth hub
Bangladesh is to ban the import of the cold-medicine component pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in illicit methamphetamine production, anti-narcotics officials said, after purchases spiked in tandem with a boom in the illegal drug “ya ba”.
— Coconuts Yangon


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Phl factory revival on its way, says BOI
The Philippines’ manufacturing revival will be in full swing this year as the Board of Investments (BOI) expects the share of manufacturing projects in the agency’s total approved investments to double.
— Philippine Star

Moody’s expects January factory data to reflect demand recovery
FACTORY OUTPUT likely remained robust in January, riding on strong global demand that helped keep manufacturing growth at double-digit pace, Moody’s Analytics said in a report.
— BusinessWorld

Plot to oust Duterte during SONA brewing
GROUPS plotting against President Rodrigo Duterte are busy recruiting officials in government to join a planned mass resignation as part of a bigger scheme to destabilize the administration, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano claimed on Sunday.
— Manila Times

US tags PHL as ‘major’ dirty money site
THE PHILIPPINES remained a “major” site for money laundering in 2016, the US State Department said in a report, citing last year’s $81-million cyber heist, an ongoing drug problem and a number of businesses that have been kept out of regulatory scrutiny.
— BusinessWorld

Banks prepare for higher interest rates
Investment banks are anticipating a shift in monetary policy by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with the impending rate hike in the US this month.
— Philippine Star

Customs moves to put a lid on fuel smuggling
President Duterte made it clear from the very start: he is going to eradicate corruption, crime and criminality in his six years in office.
— Philippine Star

Chinese tourists boost visitor arrivals in Philippines
CHINESE tourists helped power the 16.5-percent increase in visitor arrivals in the first month of 2017.
— BusinessMirror

Moderate aftershock in Philippines kills one, hurts 25
A moderate earthquake of magnitude 5.9 hit the Philippines on Sunday, killing a woman and hurting 25 people, the Philippine seismic agency and a provincial governor said.
— Reuters

Philippine military plans acquisition of missile system
In 2015, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Department of National Defense prioritized the procurement of force protection equipment, radios, marksman rifles, and night fighting systems for the Philippine Army shelving the proposed acquisition of the PhP6.5 billion worth missile system.
— Update Philippines

Concession fee prepayment costs TransCo P26 B
State-run National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) suffered gigantic losses of P26.07 billion in revenues on the P57.883 billion concession fees (CF) prepayment made by concessionaire National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) back in 2013.
— Manila Bulletin

Gina L. charged with P1-b graft
ENVIRONMENT Secretary Regina Lopez is facing criminal and administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly covering up past wrongdoings of her trusted lieutenants who favored a supplier involving a questionable project worth P1 billion.
— Manila Standard

Philippines’ President Duterte set to visit UAE in May
The Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit the UAE sometime around May.
— Khaleej Times


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Singapore opens doors and access to funds for foreign entrepreneurs
While economies elsewhere are shutting foreign talent out, Singapore is making moves to poach some of the world’s brightest minds to feed its ambition to become the next Silicon Valley.
Asia One 

New plans serve cheaper power to Singaporeans
Shopping for customised electricity plans has been an option for businesses in Singapore for the past year or so, but not many have decided to make the switch away from public power utility SP Services.
The Nation 

Singapore to lure more foreign startups amidst global protectionist sentiments
As part of its efforts to attract more foreign entrepreneurs launching their startups in Singapore, the government is launching the Startup SG brand, a new umbrella branding that encapsulates all the efforts to support startup schemes.
Singapore Business Review 

Taiwanese online firms eye Singapore as regional base
A growing number of Taiwanese online firms are choosing Singapore as their base to expand into South-east Asia as Taiwan and its regional rivals compete to snap up talent in the quest to become a tech hub.
The New Paper 

Singapore firm proposes Bangladesh to dredge rivers in exchange for sand
A discussion with a Singaporean company to dredge rivers in exchange for the excavated sand is underway, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud has said.

Google looks to govt fillip to Chromebook sales in Singapore
THE upcoming move to delink Internet access from public officers’ work computers may give an impetus to Google’s Chromebook project in Singapore, says Caesar Sengupta, Google’s vice-president for product management.
The Business Times 

Singapore managers can expect pay increases of 5% at most this year
Singaporean managers and senior staff can prepare for 5 per cent pay increases at most this year as the labor market stabilizes.
The Straits Times

Shipping firm Hanjin winding up Singapore operations
South Korea’s bankrupt Hanjin Shipping is in the process of winding up its operations in Singapore, and this is likely to affect about 100 employees here.
The Straits Times 

Singapore managers can look forward to a 5% pay hike
1 in 2 firms plan on raising salaries this year.
Singapore Business Review 

Japan’s Mitsui to hire more staff as it expands in region
JAPANESE TRADING company Mitsui & Co is looking to boost its headcount in Singapore to tap growth opportunities in the still-buoyant Southeast Asian economies.
The Nation 

Workers’ rights gaining ground
New pro-employee Employment Claims Tribunal will handle disputes faster and make it easier for workers to file salary claims.
The Business Times 

MP calls on Govt to prevent profiteering from water fee hike
Bring back a committee against profiteering to ensure that establishments such as coffee shops do not profiteer by raising prices using water fee hikes as an excuse, Member of Parliament (Nee Soon GRC) Lee Bee Wah said on Sunday (March 5).
Today Online 

Response to 2-Room Flexi Scheme ‘encouraging’, 85% of elderly buyers went for short leases: HDB
The response to the 2-Room Flexi Scheme has been “very encouraging”, and 85 per cent of elderly buyers opted for shorter leases, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Sunday (Mar 5).
Channel NewsAsia 

Local firm rolls out online translation service for multiple Asian languages
While Sim Lim Square is a key retail hub of information technology (IT) products, the lesser-known Sim Lim Tower is a hotchpotch of shops and offices making a real mark on the online world.
The Straits Times 

No room for religious extremism in Singapore, say Muslim leaders
Muslim leaders yesterday made clear their stand against religious extremism and called for calm amid the ongoing controversy over an imam’s reportedly offensive remarks.
Singapore Government 


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


BOI to promote Kingdom as a centre for subcontracting
WITH THE government’s plan to base the economy more on technology and innovation, the Board of Investment will promote Thailand as the centre of subcontracting industries in Asean and in Asia as a whole, as many foreign investors look to expand businesses in this emerging region.
— The Nation

Thailand ‘unaffected by US report’
FOREIGN MINISTER Don Pramudwinai yesterday said the US 2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices will not effect Thailand even though the annual report criticised the ruling junta for curbing rights and freedoms in the Kingdom.
— The Nation

Thailand shines a light on Africa
Relations between Thailand and Africa have entered a new phrase of “concrete development”, says Krekpan Roekchamnong, director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s South Asia, Middle East and Africa Affairs Department
— Bangkok Post

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

New excise formula to raise prices of alcohol, but not as much as feared
CONSUMERS are needlessly worried that a new excise bill will drive the prices of alcoholic beverages into the stratosphere, the Excise Department says.
— The Nation

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 Times

Japan emperor meets new Thai monarch and bids farewell to late king
Japan’s emperor Akihito met Thailand’s new monarch on Sunday (Mar 5) during a brief visit to pay respects to his recently departed friend the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
— Channel News Asia

Source: Excise mulling retail price base
The Excise Department may use retail tag prices at modern trade and convenience stores as the recommended prices for consumer goods, says a Finance Ministry source.
— Bangkok Post

Asia-Pacific: Thailand eyes B.C.’s videogame industry for growth
B.C.’s revitalized videogame industry is attracting the attention of some unusual players — specifically Thailand, whose companies are exploring ways to draw local companies to open up shop across the Pacific.
— Vancouver Sun

DHL eCommerce expands in Thailand’s booming e-commerce market
DHL eCommerce, a division of the logistics company, Deutsche Post DHL Group, is capitalising on the booming Thai e-commerce market expected to more than triple in size to 3.6 billion euro 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.
— Digital News Asia

Call for spectrum roadmap
Thailand is in urgent need of a defining roadmap for telecommunications spectrum in preparation for the deluge of data expected to arise from Thailand 4.0.
— Bangkok Post

THAI promises new online ticketing system
Thai Airways International (THAI) is planning to improve its ticketing system, to help website and mobile users, following customer complaints about its outdated platform.
— Bangkok Post


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Agro exports up 1.4% this year
The agriculture and rural development sector witnessed a year-on-year increase of 1.4 per cent in export value of agricultural, forestry and fishery products to US$4.3 billion in the first two months of 2017.
Viet Nam News biz hub 

Vietnam Looks to European Free Trade Deal
The government in Vietnam faces pressure from European lawmakers to improve its human rights record.

Furniture Exports Indonesia under Pressure, Companies Move to Vietnam
The value of export products originating from Indonesia’s furniture and handicraft industry fell 16 percent year-on-year (y/y) to USD $1.6 billion in 2016 from USD $1.9 billion in the preceding year.

Significance Of Emperor Akihito’s Visit To Vietnam – Analysis
The geopolitical situation in the Asia-Pacific region is undergoing perceptible changes and as a result nations posited in the region are constantly reorienting their foreign policy strategies in response to the changed situation.
Eurasia Review

Tax mismanagement cost the State budget
The Government Inspectorate of Viet Nam has revealed that mismanagement in tax collection between 2012 and 2014 caused mounting arrears and losses of trillions of dong to the State exchequer.
Viet Nam News biz hub 

Hà Nội to clear sidewalks of cars, beer joints
All districts and communes in the capital city of Hà Nội will start campaigns this week to control the pervasive encroachment of cafes, beer joints and cars on sidewalks, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung announced.
Viet Nam News 

MoIT to inspect fertiliser facilities
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will inspect adherence to inorganic fertiliser production regulations at production and processing enterprises.
Viet Nam News biz hub

Vietnam raises bird flu alert as China reports outbreaks
As China reported cases of bird flu infection including death and the disease is highly likely to enter Vietnam, the Ministry of Health yesterday strongly pushed up the fight against the disease.

Gov’t looks to boost e-commerce
Winning consumers’ trust and developing a business reputation is one of the major challenges toward online business development, experts said at the Viet Nam Online Business Forum – VOBF 2017 in HCM City oon Friday.
Viet Nam News biz hub 

Vietnam has potential of exporting agro-products to Canada: minister
Vietnam holds the potential to export numerous quality agricultural products to Canada, Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence Macaulay affirmed in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday.
Tuoi Tre News

Cashless economy target too high: experts
The Prime Minister recently ratified a project to stimulate non-cash transactions in 2016-20 with a view to reducing the cash transactions rate to under 10 per cent.
Viet Nam News 

Vietnam ‘Considered and Considers Russia an Extremely Important Partner’
In an interview with Sputnik Vietnam, Trung Quang Khánh, a retired Colonel-General of the Vietnamese army, who earlier this week was awarded by President Putin, has praised Russian-Vietnamese military cooperation.

Mixed response to VCCI ranking of Gov’t rules
A list of the best and worst regulations of 2016 compiled by the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has been received by concerned ministries with varying degrees of acknowledgement and skepticism.
Viet Nam News

Japanese royalty enjoy central city attractions
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko concluded their first ever six-day State visit to Việt Nam yesterday after visiting several monuments restored with Japanese assistance in Huế City.
Viet Nam News 

Lao NA Chairwoman to visit Vietnam
A high-ranking delegation from the Lao National Assembly (NA) led by its Chairwoman Pany Yathotou will pay an official visit to Vietnam from March 5-10.

Public offices to work Saturdays
Starting March 10, a number of public administration offices in the capital city will work on Saturday mornings.
Viet Nam News 

Hanoi authorities search for bootleg alcohol source
Health authorities in Hanoi have urged an investigation into a locally-brewed spirit containing high levels of methanol which have caused a rash of poisoning cases.
Vietnam Net 

APEC aims at inclusive growth
An agreement to enhance trade linkages and foster sustainable, inclusive and innovative growth marked a positive wrap-up to the first Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 1) and other related APEC meetings on Friday.
Viet Nam News biz hub 

VN lacks gender equality strategy: experts
It is fairly common that women are forbidden from going near shrimp farms in several southern provinces because they are believed to bring bad luck.
Viet Nam News 

10,000 opportunities for young job hunters in HCMC
HCMC Youth Employment Service Center on Saturday connected job seekers with 70 businesses who are in demand of recruiting 10,000 employees comprising Japanese interpreters, quality management staff, designers, accountants, storekeepers, store chiefs and export laborers to Japan.

Seminar Seeks To Boost Vietnam-Russia Economic Links
The Vietnamese Businesses’ Association (VBA) in Russia on Sunday hosted a seminar in Moscow to discuss ways to promote economic and trade ties between Vietnam and Russia and with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.



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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