Asean morning news for October 18

Asean morning news for October 18
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Asean morning newsAsean morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


TPP takes back seat as Malaysia sets sights on early conclusion to RCEP trade deal
Malaysia is putting a premium on a free trade deal led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, its trade minister told The Japan Times in a recent interview, while also apparently relegating the Japan-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership to the back burner for the time being.
— The Japan Times

South China Sea is Beijing’s top foreign policy priority with developing nations, US think tank says
Southeast Asia is the top priority in Beijing’s foreign policy with the developing world despite its unresolved territorial disputes over the South China Sea, a US-based think tank said.
— South China Morning Post

China Expected to Gain in Asian Maritime Dispute after Regional Defense Leaders Meeting
China is likely to come away from a regional meeting of defense leaders this month with tentative new support around Asia, bolstering its expansion in a disputed sea, according to regional analysts.
— Voice of America

ASEAN tackles human trafficking in Indonesia
A regional pilot project to curb human trafficking has been launched in Indonesia’s impoverished East Nusa Tenggara province.
— UCA News

ASEAN countries intensify cooperation in war on drugs
A Senior Officials’ Meeting in preparation for the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters took place in Hanoi on October 17.
— Vietnam Plus

Thailand hosts ASEAN disaster mitigation training course
Thailand is hosting the latest ASEAN training course on regional disaster assessment and mitigation to ensure timely assistance and enhance the capability of the region’s relief efforts.
— Vietnam Plus

PHL has highest fertility rate, 2nd largest population in ASEAN — 2018 UNFPA report
Despite having the passage of the landmark Reproductive Health Law, the Philippines continues to lag behind its ASEAN neighbors in providing life-saving and life-changing services for its citizens in terms of reproductive health.
— GMA News Online

EU launches plastic management program in Southeast Asia
The European Union will launch next year a program that aims to help countries in East and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, implement better plastic waste management.
— The Philippine Star

The numbers behind Southeast Asia’s ecommerce landscape (Infographic)
In a 2016 study by Google, it was estimated that as much as “3.8 million new users will come online each month in Southeast Asia, making it the fastest-growing internet region in the world between 2015 and 2020.”
— Tech in Asia

PH Navy ship leaves for ASEAN-China exercise
A Philippine Navy officer waves at the departing landing ship BRP Dagupan City with Navy troops on board during the send-off ceremony at Sangley Point, Cavite on Wednesday.
— ABS-CBN News

New understanding of Mekong River incision
An international team of earth scientists has linked the establishment of the Mekong River to a period of major intensification of the Asian monsoon during the middle Miocene, about 17 million years ago, findings that supplant the assumption that the river incised in response to tectonic causes.
— Science Daily

Sustainable development: Can Asean lead the process?
Last week, the world’s financial leaders convened the annual IMF-World Bank meeting in Bali, Indonesia on 12-14 October.
— Khmer Times

STI key drivers of Asean ’s growth
THE Philippines and Singapore will play major roles in advancing the healthcare ecosystem of Southeast Asia.
— Sun Star

New crypto-exchange lets you convert Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia currencies
Singapore-based fiat-crypto exchange EurekaPro, led by a team consisting of Junus Eu, Douglas Gan and Lau Kin-Wai, today announced its entry into the Southeast Asian blockchain market.
— Retail News Asia (media release) (blog)

ASEAN, Philippines leaders urged to re-assess climate targets
Former senator and Climate Change Commission head Heherson Alvarez has called on policymakers in Southeast Asia to reassess their commitments to address the threat of climate change.
— The Philippine Star

ASEAN Appoints Cambodian Official as Deputy Secretary-General
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has announced it is appointing a Cambodian official, Kung Phoak, as its deputy secretary-general.
— VOA Khmer

How Finance Teams can support sustainable business
Sustainability: it’s a buzzword that we hear all the time. Everyone knows the term in context of the environment and ecology, and in the context of running a business with a long-range view


Cambodia morning newsCambodia morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men          @MenSreypov


Construction Investment in Cambodia Hits $5 Billion
Within the first nine months of 2018, construction investment in Cambodia has reached nearly $5 billion, a decrease of $1 billion compared to the same period of last year, according to the report of the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction released on Wednesday.
— Fresh News

Cambodia’s garment workers fear EU trade threat but producers optimistic
A European Union decision to ramp up trade pressure on Cambodia has alarmed unions in its garment industry, a pillar of the economy that employs about 700,000 people, but a key grouping of manufacturers said the risk would take months to materialise.
— Euro News

UN must declare Cambodia’s authoritarianism Illegal
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has been met recently with a wave of protests by Cambodia’s diaspora communities living abroad, urging the international community to condemn his government as fake and illegal.
— Asia Times

See here for more of today’s Cambodia morning news


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


What Are Indonesia’s Minimum Wages By Province in 2019?
Based on a circular that was issued by Indonesia’s Manpower Ministry on 15 October 2018, the Indonesian government plans to raise provincial minimum wages by 8.03 percent in 2019.
— Indonesia Investments (media release)

Indonesia`s budget deficit reaches 1.35 percent of GDP late September
Indonesia`s budget deficit stood at Rp200.2 trillion or 1.35 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of September 2018, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.
— Antara News

Safeguarding Indonesia’s development from increasing disaster risks (video)
Imagine that you live near one of the 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia, threatened by the next eruption that could endanger your family.
— AEC News Today (video)

See here for more of today’s Indonesia morning news


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR morning news

Compiled by           @Maria Rasonable


Unitel to provide Internet access to 80 pct of Lao population
Star Telecom (Unitel), a joint venture between Vietnam’s Viettel Global JSC and Laos Asia Telecom, sets to provide high-speed Internet access to 80 percent of the Lao population by 2020, according to Unitel General Director Cao Anh Son.
— Vietnam Plus

Tourism Access, Urban Services Improvements Attract $US125.5 Million Boost via ADB in Laos
Better roads to ease access to tourist hotspots, improved urban water supplies and sewage treatment are among the sweeteners revealed in the announcement of funds totalling $125.5 million for three projects in the tourism and urban sectors announced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Lao Government.
— Laotian Times

Multimillion-dollar assistance for dam collapse victims
Developers of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Hydropower project have extended a multimillion dollar aid to the victims of the dam collapse for relief and recovery operations in Sanamxay, Deputy Prime Minister said this week.
— Vientiane Times

See here for more of today’s Lao morning news

Malaysia morning newsMalaysia morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men          @MenSreypov


Malaysia improves its spot in WEF global competitiveness ranking
Malaysia rose one spot to 25th, out of 140 countries, with a score of 74.4 in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2018 Global Competitiveness Report.
— New Straits Times

Malaysia’s biodiesel output, exports set to hit records
Malaysian biodiesel production is likely to hit record levels this year and next, with 2018 exports on track to double from 2017, pushed up as higher oil prices boost the appeal of biofuels, the head of an industry association said on Wednesday.
— The Star Online

Najib to face more 1MDB charges, says MACC
Former prime minister Najib Razak is expected to face more 1MDB-related charges soon, according to a source from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) who declined to elaborate on the matter.

See here for more of today’s Malaysia Morning News


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar morning news

Compiled by           @Maria Rasonable


U.N. says Rohingya refugee girls sold into forced labor in Bangladesh
Rohingya refugee girls are being sold into forced labor to raise money for desperate families in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh, according to the United Nations’ migration agency.
— Reuters

3 Myanmar journalists in court over story gov’t calls false
Three detained journalists appeared in a Myanmar court on Wednesday to face charges filed against them by the Yangon regional government, which alleges a story they published was false.
— The Washington Post

Irrawaddy Govt Tells Ex-Chief Minister to Return Over $3 M in Development Funds
The Irrawaddy Region government has warned its former chief minister to return within two months the 5.2 billion kyats ($3.28 million) he collected in regional development funds or face a lawsuit.
— The Irrawaddy

See here for more of today’s Myanmar morning news


Philippines morning newsPhilippines morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


PH ranked 5th best economy in Southeast Asia
The Philippines ranked 56th out of 149 countries in the latest Global Competitiveness Report, while also ranking the 5th most competitive economy in Southeast Asia.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

PH Navy ship leaves for ASEAN-China exercise
A Philippine Navy officer waves at the departing landing ship BRP Dagupan City with Navy troops on board during the send-off ceremony at Sangley Point, Cavite on Wednesday.
— ABS-CBN News

PH inks oil exploration deal with Israeli firm
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi attended today the Ceremonial Signing of the Petroleum Service Contract (PSC) for Area 4 (East Palawan Basin) of the Fifth Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR5) at the Presidents’ Hall of Malacanan Palace.
— Philippine Information Agency

See here for more of today’s Philippines morning news

Singapore morning newsSingapore morning news

Compiled by           @Maria Rasonable


Here’s what kept Singapore from being the most competitive country in the world
If the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index 2018 is anything to go by, Singapore could improve on business dynamism, and innovation capability to beat the global powerhouse that is the United States. The US topped the index with a score of 85.6, effectively beating Singapore which scored 83.5.
— Singapore Business Review

EU and Singapore to sign trade deal on sidelines of ASEM summit- Merkel
The European Union plans to sign a free trade agreement with Singapore on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, adding the summit should highlight the importance of multilateral cooperation.
— Reuters

Singapore revises rules to counter ‘shoebox apartment’ problem
Singapore on Wednesday announced stricter guidelines on the maximum number of units in new blocks of private flats and condominiums in a move to tackle what authorities have called “excessive development of shoebox units” in the island-state.
— Reuters

See here for more of today’s Singapore morning news


Thailand morning newsThailand morning news

Compiled by John Le Fevre          @photo_journ


Thailand election: Under a new reign old order trinity must make way for fresh blood
More than four years after it seized power in May 2014, Thailand’s military government appears intent on holding onto it indefinitely. Led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has repeatedly delayed the pledged Thailand elections, currently slated for February 2019.
— AEC News Today

Thai army chief says no need to intervene if politics stable
Thailand’s new army chief on Wednesday did not rule out another military intervention if there was political conflict after the return of civilian rule in a general election next year.
— Reuters

Boost in competitiveness hailed
THAILAND has climbed two notches in the rankings of the closely watched Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 (GIC 4.0) to 38th place.
— The Nation

See here for more of today’s Thailand morning news


Vietnam morning newsVietnam morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men          @MenSreypov


Vegetable, fruit exports surpass crude oil for first time
Revenue from vegetable and fruit exports has reached more than US$3.1 billion so far, up 17.1% year-on-year and outstripping crude oil export earnings for the first time, Lao Dong newspaper reported, quoting Thao Xuan Sung, chairman of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union.
— Vietnam Insider

EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement To Eliminate 99% Of All Tariffs
The European Commission on October 17 adopted the long-planned trade and investment agreements between the European Union (EU) and Vietnam, paving the way for their signature and conclusion “as soon as possible.” The trade agreement will eliminate virtually all tariffs on goods traded between the two sides over certain time periods.
— Investvine

Vietnam financial watchdog proposes tax cut for SMEs
The proposal was highlighted in the fiscal and budget report in September 2018, which was released by the National Financial Supervisory Commission of Vietnam (NFSC).
— The Hanoi Times

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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