Asean Morning News For January 31

Asean Morning News For January 31
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Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


Minimum wage politicking stings employers in Southeast Asia
After more than three decades as Cambodia’s prime minister, Hun Sen added a new routine to his schedule last August: visits to the garment and footwear factories that employ some 700,000 citizens nationwide.
— Nikkei Asian Review

ASEAN vehicle sales up over 4% in 2017 – ANALYSIS
New vehicle sales in southeast Asia’s six largest markets increased by 4.4% to an estimated 3,385,552 units in 2017, from 3,242,880 units in 2016, according to data collected exclusively for just-auto by
— Just Auto

India looks east, but is it ready to act?
As Narendra Modi welcomes ASEAN leaders, can he balance non-interventionism with his desire for Indian strategic partnerships with ASEAN? India can still present itself as a credible counterweight to China, but not without embracing international norms of accountability.
Global Risk Insights 

Southeast Asia airlines face yet thinner profits in 2018
Airlines in Southeast Asia will have to bear with “meager” profit in 2018 because of rising fuel prices and intense competition, the Sydney-based aviation think tank CAPA said.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Southeast Asia’s digital economy is projected to have reached $50 billion in 2017
Go-Jek sets up to dominate, Singapore launches an electric car sharing scheme and governments across the region are cracking down on cryptocurrencies
— Southeast Asia Globe

ASEAN pledges to further develop cruise tourism
ASEAN tourism leaders have adopted the ASEAN Declaration on Cruise Tourism, endorsing a common set of priorities in the development of cruise tourism in the region.
— TTG Asia

Noose tightens around Southeast Asia’s illegal wildlife trade
Boonchai Bach’s world of impunity crumbled this month in Nakhon Phanom, the provincial town in northeast Thailand near the border with Laos from where he and his older brother, Bach Van Limh, allegedly used as a logistics and financial hub for Southeast Asia’s massive illegal wildlife trade.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Thousands of Japanese goods to enjoy zero percent tariff in 2018
Thousands of Japanese goods imported into Vietnam will enjoy a zero percent tariff, in line with the Southeast Asian country’s commitments to lower tariffs as outlined in the Vietnam – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) and the ASEAN – Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) for 2016-19.
— VietnamPlus

In the pursuit of growth, India and Asean should be natural partners
TRADE AND CONSUMPTION will spearhead both India’s and South-east Asia’s economic fortunes over the medium term.
— The Nation

China pledges to work for early conclusion of RCEP
China is willing to enhance communication and coordination with parties including Singapore to conclude RCEP negotiations as soon as possible to contribute to regional economic integration.
Xinhua Net 

The real problem with China and US’s competing agenda for ASEAN
Relations between China, the US and ASEAN member states come a long way since 2016. The US and its allies continue to protest China’s militarisation of the reefs and islets. The relationship has entered a new phase. This was evident in the agreement to negotiate Code of Conduct over the South China Sea dispute.
Asean Today

ASEAN has chance to rival China in green bonds
A 2 billion ringgit ($507 million) securities issue by Permodalan Nasional, an asset manager controlled by the Malaysian government, in November marked the first use of the new Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Green Bond Standards.
Nikkei Asian Review 

The South China Sea and the Decline of US Influence
The United States’ ability to sway Southeast Asian states to its side is waning.
The Diplomat

Can Singapore stabilize China-ASEAN ties?
Singapore hosted the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting Retreat in mid-January. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attended the celebrations after the meeting, highlighting the determination of the current chair of ASEAN to promote the unity of this Southeast Asian bloc.
Global Times

The balancing act, in India-ASEAN ties
When you stand at the peak of a mountain, you get a full view of the path travelled and the road ahead that will take you to the next peak. The principal gain of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Commemorative Summit, held in New Delhi last week, is to provide ample clarity on what their partnership has achieved and where it should move in the future.
The Hindu 

Malaysia first country in ASEAN to secure global isotope conference
For the very first time in Southeast Asia, the 10th International Conference on Isotopes & Expo (10ICI) will make its way to Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur in 2020 to gather world’s leaders and best researchers in isotope technology and applications for interaction, discussion of the latest research as well as sustainable development in the field.
Incentive Travel

Southeast Asia’s digital economy is projected to have reached $50 billion in 2017
Go-Jek, Indonesia’s first startup valued at a billion dollars, announced last month that it would launch its ride-hailing app in the Philippines in early 2018 and that other launches across the region would follow later in the year.
Southeast Asia Globe 

Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


Chinese firm wins bid to construct wastewater treatment sub-project in NW Cambodia
A Chinese construction company on Tuesday won a bid to construct a wastewater treatment sub-project in the town of Battambang province in northwest Cambodia.
— Xinhua

Cambodia’s drugs crackdown pushes users into hiding
It’s been almost 20 years since Sor Piseth took his first drugs. Ever since, he has found it extremely difficult to stay away from both heroin and methamphetamine. Now the 38-year-old Cambodian is trying to quit. He knows it’s the only right thing to do to make sure he sees his children grow up.
— UCA News

Task force tries to ease tensions between Cambodian and Chinese businesses in Sihanoukville
An interministerial task force has been established to ease simmering tensions between Cambodian and Chinese business owners in the coastal resort town of Sihanoukville, the latest sign that a huge influx of Chinese investment is causing problems on Cambodia’s coast.
— The Phnom Penh Post

See here for more of today’s Cambodia Morning News


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


New import-export policy package to ease raw material supply: Official
The government is preparing a new policy package specifically for the export and import business sectors, an official with the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister has said on Monday.
— The Jakarta Post

Pertamina hands $10bn refinery project to Omani, Japanese group
Indonesia’s state oil and gas company Pertamina on Tuesday said it will award a $10 billion refinery project in East Kalimantan province to a consortium of Omani and Japanese companies.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Indonesia’s fintech lending boom exploits shortfall in bank loans
Fintech firms, offering loans of as little as a few hundred dollars, are seeing a spike in lending in Indonesia where tens of millions of people have little or no access to bank credit – helping alleviate a financing shortfall estimated at more than $73 billion.
— The Star Online

See here for more of today’s Indonesia Morning News


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Apurva Saini    @amyapurva


Hungary provides US$160 million loan for three projects
The government of Hungary has provided a loan of more than US$160 million to support three projects in Laos.The loan agreement was signed yesterday in Vientiane between Deputy Minister of Finance Mrs Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, Deputy Director of the Hungarian Export-Import Bank Ms Nemedi-Varga, and Director of the Hungarian Export-Import Bank Mr Gabor Szocs
Vientiane Times

Tripartite Meeting Held to Discuss Minimum Wage Raise
A tripartite meeting between the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Lao National Federation of Trade Unions, and the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held last week in Vientiane to discuss the raise of minimum wage from current 900,000 kip, approximately US$109, per month.
Laos News Agency

Japan’s Uni. Studies If Xieng Khuang Is Ready for Its Renewable Energy Technology
A delegation of Tokai University, Japan, led by Prof. Kazuichi Seki is on a visit to Xieng Khuang to study the possible application of its generators using renewable energy source windpower in the northern Laos province.
Laos News Agency

See here for more of today’s Lao Morning News


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


Malaysia’s telecom players pay upfront fee for 3G spectrum
Malaysia’s top three telecom companies Tuesday said they each paid an upfront fee of 118.4 million ringgit ($30.38 million) and agreed to annual fixed payment of 50 million ringgit for the 2100MHz spectrum that is used for third generation, or 3G, wireless mobile telecommunications networks.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Analyst: Not all Malaysians benefiting from economic growth
Rebounding export and gross domestic product growth rates in 2017 have brought a positive outlook to the Malaysian economy, with Malaysia’s official reserves at US$101.5 billion last October.
— Free Malaysia Today

Lotte Chemical’s Q4 profits surges 30pc to RM378.15m
Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd’s revenue in fourth-quarter (Q4) ended December 31, 2017 dipped 1.4 per cent to RM2.12 billion from RM2.15 billion a year ago due to reduced plant load at Indonesia Polyethylene plant and decrease in sales volume of by-product.
— New Straits Times

See here for more of today’s Malaysia Morning News


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


China And Japan’s ‘New Great Game’ Intensifies In Myanmar
Throughout Asia the frontiers of investment are being pushed ever onward, gobbling up former backwaters in the hunt for cheap labor, natural resources, infrastructure deals, and the massive profits that can be made in the margins of a country transitioning from “emerging market” to “plain old market.”

Gold panning has serious consequences for environment, says minister
Illegal gold panning at Chaunggyi creek, a main tributary of the Uru River, is having a serious effect on the environment, according to Shan Ethnic Affairs Minister for Sagaing Region, Nan Mway Mway Khin.
Eleven Myanmar 

Export earnings from rice hit $844 m in nine months
Until January 12 in 2017-2018 fiscal year, Myanmar earned over US$844 million from the export of 2.72 million tonnes of rice and broken rice, according to Myanmar Rice Federation.
Eleven Myanmar 

See here for more of today’s Myanmar Morning News


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


RPT-Philippines drinks makers shun China corn syrup imports to avoid tax
Philippine beverage producers are swapping their imports of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for domestic sugar to avoid higher taxes on the alternative sweetener, industry and government officials said, limiting exports from top supplier China.

Philippines Charges Islamic State-Linked Militants With Kidnapping, Beheading
More than 50 members of an Islamic State-linked militant group that occupied and laid waste to the southern Philippines city of Marawi were charged with kidnapping and murder in one of the country’s largest mass indictments of alleged terror groups.
The Wall Street Journal

Philippines probes sale of passport endorsements
The Philippine government is investigating the sale of passport application endorsements from government agencies, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday, January 30, as criticism floods the DFA over passport application problems.

See here for more of today’s Philippines Morning News


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat   @leakhenakhat


More than 3,500 recognised in Singapore healthcare awards
Going to the National Heart Centre to seek treatment for a heart condition can be intimidating, so senior nurse manager Tina Teo always takes the time to speak with patients and allay their fears and anxieties.
Channel NewsAsia 

S’pore attracted S$9.4bn worth of investments in 2017, halting 4 years of decline
After four consecutive years of decline, the Republic secured S$9.4 billion worth of in-bound investments last year, maintaining the level seen in 2016 but with more jobs and greater value-add expected to be generated.
Today Online 

Singapore downgrades rating of Michelin-star outlet
A Michelin-star restaurant in Singapore has been hit with a hygiene downgrade by health authorities after more than three dozen guests at a wedding reception fell ill, having eaten food prepared by its kitchen staff.
Bangkok Post 

See here for more of today’s Singapore Morning News


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


Thai PM calls for a little more time in office to prepare for vote
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday he needed a little more time in office to prepare the country for a general election, just days after his deputy said a vote planned for this year could be delayed.
— Reuters

PM denies attempt to put off election date
The Prime Minister has confirmed that the government is adhering to the national reform roadmap and is never intent on postponing the general election.
— News Today (video)

AMLO orders that cryptocurrency deals must be reported to curb criminals’ money laundering
THE GOVERNMENT will step up surveillance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by requiring digital currency exchangers to report their transactions to the country’s anti-money laundering agency.
— The Nation

See here for more of today’s Thailand Morning News


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


Agro-forestry-fishery exports exceed 3 billion USD in January
Export turnover of agro-forestry-aquatic products in January 2018 was estimated at 3.09 billion USD, up 25.9 percent against the same period last year.
— VietnamPlus

Vietnam’s taste for beef soars, but cattle industry can’t find its feet
Local supplies of beef and buffalo meat satisfy only 80 percent of domestic demand.
— VnExpress

Hanoi to develop 80 key industrial products by 2020
Hanoi is striving to develop over 80 key industrial products which will generate 33%-35% of the revenue from industrial production by 2020.
— Nhan Dan Online

See here for more of today’s Vietnam Morning News


Asean Morning News is the most comprehensive selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC) published. All articles are hand curated by the team at AEC News Today. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.


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