Asean morning news for December 6

Asean morning news for December 6
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Asean morning newsAsean morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


P2P lending can plug Southeast Asia’s US$175B business finance gap
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending has emerged as a popular alternative financing option for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia.
— Yahoo News

UOB completes ASEAN’s first real-time cross-border funds transfers between mobile phone numbers
United Overseas Bank (UOB) has successfully completed ASEAN’s first cross-border peer-to-peer funds transfer proof-of-concept (POC) where real-time payment was made between bank accounts linked to the account-holders’ mobile phone numbers.
— Fintech Innovation

‘Tap the mass affluent, Southeast Asia’s new consumer mega market’
CONSUMER companies targeting Southeast Asia would do well to zero in on the region’s mass affluent, a segment of some 57 million people that is growing faster than the middle class.
— The Edge Markets

ASEAN insurance execs raise protection gap concerns
The protection gap is a serious concern for senior insurance executives throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, as large uninsured losses adversely affect a country’s fiscal position and ability to recover swiftly, according to a report published by Dr. Schanz, Alms & Company and Malaysian Re.
— Reinsurance News

Greenpeace cites 5 tuna canneries in Asean for ‘green performance’
ENVIRONMENTAL group Greenpeace on Wednesday named five tuna canneries in Southeast Asia as overall green performers based on their policies on sustainability, transparency and equitability.
— Business Mirror

PHL, Asian neighbors mull over gains, losses after birthing world’s largest trade deal
THE world’s largest trade deal has been in labor for 72 months. Nonetheless, its parents—the 16 economies tackling the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership since 2013—remain optimistic the RCEP would be a blessing when it’s finally birthed.
— Business Mirror

ASEAN nations hard hit by natural disasters
2017 was a devastating year for countries most vulnerable to natural disasters. Throughout the year, a high frequency of catastrophic flooding, hurricanes, storms and wildfires ravaged the world, incurring double the economic loss and cost as opposed to similar disasters that occurred in 2016.
— The Asean Post

‘Stable’ power sector outlook for PHL, seven Asian countries
MOODY’S Investors Service has maintained its “stable” power sector outlook for eight Asian countries, including the Philippines.
— Business Mirror

How data-rich Asean can leverage this resource
DATA is increasingly turning into a resource that can transform economies. A study by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) indicated that cross-border flow of data has increased exponentially – 45 times higher in 2014 than 10 years before that.
— The Business Times

Emerging markets and growth fuel expat rush to Southeast Asia
The Southeast Asian region’s major urban hubs have experienced massive improvements in amenities and infrastructure over the past few years, resulting in expats arriving in unprecedented numbers.

ASEAN, South Korea to boost regional connectivity
The governments of Southeast Asian countries, grouped in ASEAN, and South Korea have vowed to improve infrastructure links throughout the region, with the latter providing assistance and facilities to reach the goal.
— The Jakarta Post

Experian leads $10M investment in Southeast Asia fintech startup Jirnexu
Consumer credit giant Experian is continuing to back Asian fintech startups after it led a $10 million investment in Southeast Asia’s Jirnexu .
— Brinkwire

Is the Quad still relevant?
Southeast Asia has been a significant venue for strategic competition between the United States (US) and China for a long time.
— The Asean Post

Cambodia morning newsCambodia morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men          @MenSreypov


Cambodia frees 32 surrogate mothers after they vow to keep their babies
Thirty-two Cambodian women who were charged with human trafficking for serving as surrogate mothers have been provisionally released from detention after agreeing to keep the babies rather than giving them up as originally planned, officials said on Wednesday.
— South China Morning Post

Government asked to ensure reopening of media outlets
The United States embassy in Phnom Penh is urging the government to ensure that Radio Free Asia and Voice of America resume their work in the country without obstruction amid the government’s push to reverse perceived democratic setbacks.
— Khmer Times

Air China to start Phnom Penh flights from January
After a two-month delay, Air China is set to start direct flights between Beijing and Phnom Penh in January, airport officials said.
— Khmer Times

See here for more of today’s Cambodia morning news


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


Indonesia woos Chinese investors with US$60-billion menu of Belt and Road projects
Indonesia is offering new projects worth up to US$60 billion to Chinese investors in a bid to capitalise on Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, a senior official said, despite growing concern about the strings tied to some of the loans worldwide.
— Channel NewsAsia

Indonesia likely to miss target of 17m tourist arrivals
Indonesia is unlikely to hit its target of getting 17 million tourist arrivals this year because of a series of disasters the country experienced in 2018, according to Tourism Ministry official Judi Rifajantoro.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia palm oil levy to kick in at US$570/T — finance ministry
Indonesia has eased rules on palm oil levies and derivative products following a drop in prices, according to a finance ministry regulation on a government website on Wednesday, an effort to make the nation’s palm oil exports more competitive.
— The Edge Markets

See here for more of today’s Indonesia morning news


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR morning news

Compiled by Mark Roy         @electricnerve


Lao PM vows to improve business climate
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has told the National Assembly (NA) that his government would do more to improve business environment after Laos’ global ease-of-doing-business ranking fell 13 places, local media reported Wednesday.
— Xinhua

NA approves government reshuffle
The National Assembly (NA) yesterday approved a reshuffle and appointments in public security, national defence and the banking sectors following the proposals of Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.
— Vientiane Times

Laos, Cambodia pledge to enhance cooperation
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Techo Hun Sen reaffirmed their commitments to strengthening bilateral friendship, solidarity, and cooperation during their talks in Vientiane on December 5.
— VietnamPlus

See here for more of today’s Lao morning news

Malaysia morning newsMalaysia morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men          @MenSreypov


KL the least expensive city to stay in Asia
Kuala Lumpur retained its claim as the least expensive city in Asia – Malaysia’s capital is the best place to pick up a piano, indulge in cigars or book a hotel suite.
— The Star Online

Malaysia plans to roll out new high-tech car in four years
The progress of Malaysia’s third national car took a huge leap forward last week, when it was put before the government’s new economic planning committee, with plans to have a model in production by 2022.
— The Straits Times

Malaysia records highest trade surplus as exports surge in October
Malaysia posted its largest trade surplus ever in October as exports surged, while imports also rebounded, government data showed on Wednesday.
— The Edge Markets

See here for more of today’s Malaysia Morning News


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar morning news

Compiled by Mark Roy         @electricnerve


More Rohingya fleeing Myanmar after monsoon season ends, as boats set sail for Thailand and Malaysia
The recent flurry of voyages making the treacherous crossing of the Andaman Sea to seek refuge in Thailand and Malaysia is close to reaching levels last seen in 2015, which prompted the Thai authorities to crack down on human smuggling networks.
— South China Morning Post

Information minister’s allegations of bias draw ire of media groups
Journalists and media advocacy organizations on Wednesday condemned Information Minister U Pe Myint over a speech in which he championed the role of government-owned media, questioned the very possibility of editorial independence at private news outlets, and made other statements the groups said were unacceptably at odds with their ethical standards
— The Irrawaddy

Is Myanmar ready to become a regional trade and supply hub?
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently pledged to promote more than 150 quality infrastructure projects in five nations in the Mekong River subregion—Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos—under a new blueprint, the Tokyo Strategy 2018 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation, which will be effective from 2019 to 2021.
— The Irrawaddy

See here for more of today’s Myanmar morning news


Philippines morning newsPhilippines morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


November inflation eased to 4-month low of 6%­—PSA
Inflation eased to a four-month low of 6 percent in November from a nine-year high of 6.7 percent in October, on slower increases in food and fuel prices, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Wednesday.

Unemployment at 5.1 percent, underemployment at 13.3 percent in October
Unemployment was steady while underemployment declined in October, compared to the same period in 2017, official data released Wednesday showed.
— ABS-CBN News

Budget dep’t releases P13.7 billion in construction funds for Marawi, schools
THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) released P13.71 billion worth of construction funds in mid-November, to fund the building of schools, the reconstruction of Marawi city, the Metro Manila Subway, and right-of-way acquisition.
— BusinessWorld Online

See here for more of today’s Philippines morning news

Singapore morning newsSingapore morning news

Compiled by Mark Roy         @electricnerve


Singapore makes strong protest to Malaysia over port extension plan
Singapore has made a “strong protest” to Malaysia over its plan to extend the limits of a port in its southernmost state, saying it encroached the territorial waters of the wealthy city-state.
— Reuters

Leong Sze Hian “rejects” notion that he set out to defame PM Lee with malicious intent
Prominent blogger and ex-President of human rights NGO Leong Sze Hian has responded to the legal proceedings and the coverage of the legal proceedings for defamation that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has commenced against him.
— The Independent sg

Leaving the wild west behind: Singapore’s new payment services bill is a defining moment for fintech regulation
Last month, Singapore witnessed a major milestone in its Fintech landscape. The much-awaited New Payment Services Bill (PSB) was finally placed for its First Reading in Parliament on 19 November.
— Asean Today

See here for more of today’s Singapore morning news


Thailand morning newsThailand morning news

Compiled by John Le Fevre          @photo_journ


GDP forecast to top out at 4-4.3% in 2019
Thai business operators expect the country’s GDP to grow 4-4.3% in 2019 while exports have been tipped to expand 5-7% next year.
— Bangkok Post

Drug haul of B4.5bn last month
Authorities are claiming success in their latest anti-drug operation, seizing 4.5-billion-baht worth of narcotics in just one month.
— Bangkok Post

Thai shippers lukewarm on 2019
Thailand’s largest shippers group expects export growth of a mere 5% next year amid the deepening trade war between the US and China, despite the 90-day ceasefire.
— Fresh Plaza

See here for more of today’s Thailand morning news


Vietnam morning newsVietnam morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men          @MenSreypov


Vietnamese currency falls to new low, could go lower
The official exchange rate between Vietnamese dong and U.S. dollar reached its highest this year Wednesday, and experts said the dong could further.
— Vietnam Insider

11% of 56 million people in Vietnam’s workforce have high skills
Ministry of Labor-Invalids and Social Affairs and ManpowerGroup Vietnam just hosted a conference in Hanoi, which aimed to list the problems and the trends in the labour market and suggest skills for the young generation.
— Vietnam Insider

Apple assembler Foxconn considering iPhone factory in Vietnam -state media
Foxconn, the world’s biggest electronics contract manufacturer and a key Apple Inc supplier, is considering setting up a factory in Vietnam to mitigate any impact of an ongoing trade war between the United States and China, Vietnamese state media reported.
— Reuters

See here for more of today’s Vietnam morning news


The Asean morning news roundup and its individual country morning news round-ups are the most comprehensive hand-curated selection of news reports from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC) published. We scour hundreds of local and international news and websites to find the things that you need to know to start your working week day.

We clearly identify the source of the story, whether it is behind a paywall, a media release, or whether the site uses annoying pop-up advertising or auto-play video, in case those things annoy you. It’s all then packaged up in an easy to read format enabling you to make an informed choice of whether you want to learn more by clicking directly through to the original source, or keep on reading the headlines. AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.


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