Asean Morning News For March 19

Asean Morning News For March 19
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Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @stmarisewudolu


Australia to fund project to prepare ASEAN cities for massive growth
Australia announced Sunday it will provide A$30 million (US$23.15 million) to finance a “Smart Cities” initiative to help urban centers throughout Southeast Asia cope with explosive growth.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Aung San Suu Kyi seeks humanitarian help for Rohingya from ASEAN leaders
She has been targeted by angry protesters, and human rights lawyers have accused her of crimes against humanity.
— ABC News

Australia joins infrastructure game with alternative to China’s ‘Belt and Road’
Australia has taken the first public step towards joining the new Great Game in Asia with its plan to strengthen infrastructure development cooperation with Southeast Asian countries.
— Financial Review

UPDATE 3-ASEAN, Australia reject protectionism amid fears of Trump trade war
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia reject protectionism, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Singapore counterpart said on Friday, amid fears about a possible trade war sparked by U.S. plans to raise tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
— Reuters

Southeast Asia, Australia “Gravely” Concerned By North Korean Weapons
Southeast Asian countries and Australia said on Sunday they held “grave concerns” about escalating tension caused by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes and urged “irreversible” denuclearisation.
North Korea is pursuing its weapons programmes in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions and has boasted of its plans to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

Australian energy could plug into ASEAN energy grid
Australia could be linked in to an ASEAN-wide power grid in future, as countries in the region consider ways to collaborate to access more reliable energy supplies.
— Financial Review

Asian property sector to benefit from Belt & Road
Property markets in major Southeast Asian and South Asian countries will benefit from China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the coming five years, with Indonesia and the Philippines likely becoming the biggest winners, a Colliers International report said.
— Ecns

Sai Tun Shwe is a worried man. After 13 years in Thailand, nine of them working at the same garment factory, his work permit is about to expire and for the first time he is unsure if he will be able to renew it.
— South China Morning Post

Australia warns Southeast Asia of high-tech terror threat
Australia on Saturday warned the use of encrypted messaging apps to plan terrorist attacks was the greatest threat faced by intelligence agencies in modern times and urged a “united and cohesive” response.
— Coconuts Jakarta

Rise in E-Wallets Can Boost ASEAN’s Industries, Businesses
T he internet has changed the way most people live. Through internet related technological innovations such as the Internet of Things, big data and e-commerce, a lot of day to day tasks have been made easier.
— Financial Tribune

Aust businesses look to ASEAN for growth
Australia’s business chiefs have been coming up with ways to expand trade with ASEAN member countries.

ASEAN needs well-paid bankers, Indonesia’s Investment Minister says
Indonesian Investment Minister Thomas Lembong made an impassioned defence of the investment banking sector at the ASEAN-Australia summit, insisting well-paid bankers hold the key to solving infrastructure funding problems across the region.
— Financial Review

ASEAN-Australia Special Summit ends with commitments on cybersecurity, free trade
“A resounding success” – that was how Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the first ever ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.
Channel NewsAsia 

ASEAN summit: universities are our gateway to the region
While each of the 10 ASEAN member countries is an economic partner to Australia, years of migration from the nations of Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have also forged strong cultural and social connections.
The Australian 

Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam partner in fight against human trafficking
The governments of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam will continue to support each other in their efforts to prevent cross-border human trafficking.
Vientiane Times 

Asean is fulcrum of Indo-Pacific strategy: US
The United States under President Donald Trump sees South-east Asia as the fulcrum of its “free and open Indo-Pacific” strategy rather than a region excluded from it, said its newly appointed point man for security initiatives in East Asia and the Pacific, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alex Wong.
The Straits Times (paywall)

ASEAN leaders tackle Rohingya crisis, urge South China Sea calm
Australia and its ASEAN neighbors vowed to boost defense ties while stressing the importance of non-militarization in the disputed South China Sea Sunday, March 18 at a summit where the “complex” Rohingya crisis took center stage.

Southeast Asia says gravely concerned about North Korea weapons
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Australia said on Sunday they held “grave concerns” about escalating tensions caused by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.
Channel NewsAsia 

Can the countries of the Mekong pioneer a new model of cooperation?
Over the last two years, the China led Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Mechanism has used everything from a “bulldozer approach” to engaging with local communities to deal with tensions over development projects.
— Eco Business

Crushed hopes greet Aung San Suu Kyi in Australia
The long journey to find peace for Rohingya refugee Kobir Ahmed can be told through the different birth countries of his eight children — Myanmar, Malaysia and Australia — although they remain citizens of no nation.
— Bangkok Post

Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


Australia grants Cambodia $67 million aid
The Australian government has agreed to grant AU$ 87 million (US$67.7 million to Cambodia to promote its development in 2018.
— The Manila Times

Cambodia-China Joint Army Drill Kicks Off, As US Military Relations Cool
Hundreds of soldiers begin a 15-day joint exercise involving live-fire rocket launches, mock tank battles and anti-terrorism training, while Cambodia snubbed a planned U.S. joint exercise.

Heavy rains washing out local salt industry in Kep, Kampot
Cambodia’s salt producers are suffering from a catastrophic harvest season that is likely to deplete their reserves and threaten the industry’s future prospects, according to leaders of the country’s largest salt federation.
— The Phnom Penh Post

See here for more of today’s Cambodia Morning News


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @stmarisewudolu


Government prepares Rp5 trillion for scholarship: Minister
Research, Technology, and Higher Education Minister Prof Mohamad Nasir stated that the government has already prepared a budget of around Rp5 trillion for scholarships for to 90,000 university students in Indonesia.
— Antara

Indonesia Courts BlackRock on Its Overhaul Roadshow
Indonesia’s infrastructure is way behind, and Bambang Brodjonegoro’s mission is to fix it.
— Bloomberg

Avoid Skimming, BRI Accelerates Migration of Debit Cards to Smart Chip Technology
PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk (IDX:BBRI) or BRI is going to accelerate the migration of ATM or debit card from magnetic stripe technology to smart chip technology in accordance with Bank Indonesia’s direction.
— Netral News

See here for more of today’s Indonesia Morning News


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Laos placed 110th on UN’s ranking of world’s happiest nations
Laos has been placed 110th out of 156 countries in the United Nations’ ranking of the world’s happiest nations, coming in behind several other Asean countries.
— Vientiane Times 

Japan provides 1.9 billion kip for road, bridge upgrades
The Japanese government has provided grant assistance of 1.9 billion kip (US$231.408) for two infrastructure projects in Laos through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.
— Vientiane Times 

Thailand’s Delay on Buying Lao Dam Electricity Could Trigger Rethink
Thailand’s national electricity authority has decided to delay a decision to purchase power to be produced by a controversial Mekong River hydropower dam.
— Radio Free Asia

See here for more of today’s Lao Morning News


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


Digital economy and automation to impact Malaysian labour market
AMBANK Research believes that upward pressure on the labour market in Malaysia could be brought about by the growing digital economy, while automation could contribute to unemployment.
— Digital News Asia

What new trade pacts mean for Malaysians
An economist has welcomed Putrajaya’s signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and its decision to pursue the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement to its conclusion.
— Free Malaysia Today

PNB: Our investments in local equities worth RM200 billion now
Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) said its investments in the local stock market are now worth RM200 billion, accounting for more than 10% of the total market capitalisation.
— The Sun Daily

See here for more of today’s Malaysia Morning News


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


UN appeals for nearly $1 billion to address ‘critical needs’ of Rohingya refugees
The United Nations agencies and their humanitarian partners appealed jointly on Friday for $951 million in order to meet the urgent needs of nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees and more than 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in the communities hosting them.
— Kashmir Reader 

Rohingya in ‘no man’s land’ reject return on Myanmar terms: Camp chief
Rohingya holed up in a border “no man’s land” after fleeing Myanmar will only accept repatriation to their home villages, a local leader said Sunday (Mar 18), rejecting any move to transit camps for fear of long-term confinement.
— Channel NewsAsia

Myanmar’s peace process stumbles on 
Myanmar’s peace process is precariously poised with Panglong — or the national peace conference as it is formally called — set to meet in May. Several more ethnic groups — including the Wa — have agreed to sign the national ceasefire agreement (NCA). But, despite this, the peace process is in danger of disintegrating.
— Bangkok Post

See here for more of today’s Myanmar Morning News


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @stmarisewudolu


Philippines’ Duterte calls for mass withdrawal from ICC
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday called for other signatories of the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) to join his country in withdrawing from the treaty.
— ChannelNews Asia

PH economy savings reach P3.46 trillion in 2016
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported that in 2016, the domestic economy’s savings rose by 9.7 percent to P3.459 trillion compared to the previous year.
— Manila Bulletin

PH firm completes Asia’s largest solar-battery micro grid
Local solar power developer and panel manufacturer Solar Philippines has completed the 2 megawatts (MW) solar-battery micro grid in Palauan, Occidental Mindoro, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.
— Malaya

See here for more of today’s Philippines Morning News

Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat   @leakhenakhat


Quick fix? Struggling Singapore retailers turn to vending machines
With sales stagnating and high rent and manpower costs eating away at his profits, Azan Tengku, the director of Singaporean gift company Kalms, decided to close down his stores and move all his products into vending machines.
— Reuters 

Singapore already caught in information warfare, experts say 
Singapore was the target of a foreign country’s information warfare campaign recently, two academics revealed on Friday (March 16) while giving evidence to the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods. Yet, even with this and cyber attacks against “sensitive (government) ministries” happening, Singapore is still not fully prepared for such attacks, the two researchers said.
 Today Online

PM and Singapore’s Lee speak out on trade wars at ASEAN
In what appeared to be a new rebuke to Donald Trump’s trade wars, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong have taken a strong stance against protectionism at the end of an APEC-Australia special summit marked by growing regional tensions over human rights abuses in the region.
— The Sydney Morning Herald

See here for more of today’s Singapore Morning News


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


Chiang Mai – the sixth worst air pollution in the world
Air pollution in the North continues to be critical, with small dust particles of 2.5 microns in size (PM2.5) exceeding safe limits at almost every air-quality testing station.
— Phuket Gazette

GSB predicts 4.1-4.6% GDP growth
The Government Savings Bank (GSB) says the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to grow 4.1-4.6% this year.

FDA recalls faulty rabies vaccines partly blamed for epidemic
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled and destroyed substandard rabies vaccines, which have been partly blamed for the current spread of rabies, in late 2016.
— The Nation

See here for more of today’s Thailand Morning News


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


Vietnam’s Vietjet signs $609 million credit MoU with Investec Bank
Vietjet Aviation Jsc on Friday said it signed a memorandum of understanding worth $609 million with Investec Bank PLC to finance the purchase of five Airbus A321 aircraft, as the budget airline is seeking to expand in the region.
— Tuoi Tre

PetroVietnam sells 5% interest at offshore block to US Murphy Oil 
Vietnam’s PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corp., or PVEP, has signed an agreement to sell a 5 percent working interest in an oil block offshore Vietnam to U.S.-based Murphy Oil Corp., the Vietnamese company said.
— Deal Street Asia

E-commerce grows but taxes hard to collect
Experts have recommended amending e-commerce regulations that would allow authorities to better manage and collect tax as well as develop the sector.
— Bizhub

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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