Asean morning news for February 21

Asean morning news for February 21
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Asean morning newsAsean morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


Southeast Asian nations seize opportunities in Islamic finance sector
The three predominantly Muslim countries out of ten in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), namely Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, are on the way to form a new hub for Islamic finance and the wider halal industry through their current roadmaps to develop the sector.
— Gulf Times

U.S.-China Trade War Boosts Fast-Growing Southeast Asia
Trade tensions between the U.S. and China are adding rocket fuel to the liftoff of Southeast Asia’s economies.
— Forbes

Sino-PH, Sino-US tensions persist in the South China Sea
Late this month, Asean and Chinese officials will meet in Naypyidaw, Myanmar to continue discussions on the Code of Conduct (CoC) for the South China Sea.
— Khmer Times

Five countries will lead fintech in Southeast Asia
Five countries stand out in the development of financial technologies in Southeast Asia.
— openPR (media release)

Vietnam Emerges as Luxury Property Market along with Southeast Asia
There have been improvements in the Southeast Asian region as a real estate destination, but Vietnam has emerged among these markets as a prime luxury destination.
— Business Times

Beacons of light for Asean manufacturers
NO longer the stuff of technological aspiration, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is here.
— The Business Times

Unspoken challenges of ASEAN
According to the alphabetic rules set for the annual rotation of the ASEAN chair, Thailand is to steward the grouping through 2019 in between Singapore and Vietnam.
— The Jakarta Post (paywall)

Looking ahead to 2019: HR leaders weigh in
The year of 2019 is well and truly underway, but it’s not too late to make some resolutions!
— HRM Asia

How the CPTPP could widen inequality
On 8 March 2018 in Santiago, Chile, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was formally signed.
— The Asean Post

Sustainable ASEAN Aquaculture Industry Set for Moderate Growth despite Industry Challenges
Over the past few years, the ASEAN aquaculture industry has witnessed moderate growth due to land expansion, species diversification, and farming intensification.
— Markets Insider

Advancing the EU-ASEAN partnership for sustainability
IN January I joined Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in Brussels as she co-chaired the 22nd EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting.
— BusinessWorld Online

Tech / How Southeast Asia ranks on all things digital
Driven by a young and tech-savvy population, Southeast Asia is quickly becoming the world’s fastest growing internet market, with millions of new users coming online every month.
— Southeast Asia Globe

ASEAN Subregionalism in Focus with BIMP-EAGA Anniversary
A recent development reinforced the ongoing work to advance one of Southeast Asia’s under noticed subregional institutions.
— The Diplomat

Hungarian expertise tapped for managing Mekong
Hungary, which has had success in resolving water-management issues with its neighbours in eastern and central Europe that share the Danube River, has been asked to help Thailand work out a plan for the Mekong.
— The Nation (annoying pop-ups)

Southeast Asia Urgently Needs to Put Brakes on Tailpipe Pollution
The air pollution in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is now so dire that its citizens are threatening to sue the government.
— The Globe Post

Duterte to Indonesia, Malaysia: ‘Let’s bond together’ in fight vs piracy
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday urged Indonesia and Malaysia to join forces with the Philippines in combating crime on the high seas, amid the continued kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf bandits.
— The Manila Times

Countries in the Asia Pacific showed the greatest differences in download experience: Opensignal Study
Depending on the country, the 4G download speed users experience per hour could be as much as 30 Mbps faster than the speed experienced just a few hours later, according to findings from an Opensignal report.
— The Business Times

China’s Growing Role in Southeast Asia Reopens Old Wounds
I’ve traveled quite a bit through Southeast Asia this winter. It is evident views of China are changing — and not always for the better.


Cambodia morning newsCambodia morning news

Compiled by Piseth Pov          @piseth6666


Wait till Hun Sen Dies to Lead, Wait till Next Life: Says PM Hun Sen (Video inside)
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday taunted the opposition groups who wished to see him dead, saying “you have to wait until next life”, addressing in a meeting with approximately 10,000 garment workers in Kandal’s Ang Snoul district.
— Fresh News

‘EBA loss will worsen West-China tug-of-war’
Political veteran Kong Korm, who is currently the honorary president of the Khmer Will Party, weighed into the EBA debate on Monday, saying that withdrawing Cambodia’s trade preferences was tantamount to a Khmer saying, “getting angry with the oxen, but beating the oxen-driven cart”.
— The Phnom Penh Post

PM asks US lawfirm to consider providing services
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday met a US-based law firm and asked it to explore the possibility of providing legal services to citizens and investors in Cambodia.
— Khmer Times

See here for more of today’s Cambodia morning news

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


UK pledges $19.5m in grant for clean energy in Indonesia
The United Kingdom has pledged 15 million pounds (US$19.5 million) in grants to Indonesia to accelerate the development of low-carbon energy in the country.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia to relax VAT refund requirements for tourists
The Indonesian government is preparing a regulation to relax the value added tax (VAT) refund requirements for foreign tourists to support efforts to achieve this year’s target to attract 20 million tourist arrivals.
— The Jakarta Post

Hundreds of students flee violence in Indonesia’s Papua
Hundreds of students have fled fighting in Indonesia’s restive Papua province, a local NGO said, amid unconfirmed reports of violent military reprisals after a massacre of civilian workers by separatist rebels.
— Rappler

See here for more of today’s Indonesia morning news


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR morning news

Compiled by Piseth Pov          @piseth6666

Laos urges China to increase rice import quota to 50,000 tonnes
The Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce this week requested China to consider a rice im-port quota of 50,000 tonnes along with accepting other industrial goods as part of efforts to bol-ster bilateral trade.
— Vientiane Times

Vientiane Bans Sale of Alcohol before 4pm
In a drastic move to promote health and safety among members of Lao society, the Mayor of Vientiane has taken measures to ban the sale of alcohol or alcoholic beverages in the capital before 4pm.
— The Laotian Times

ERC speeds operation of Laos hydropower project
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is planning to accelerate power distribution from the Xayaburi hydroelectric power project in Laos ahead of schedule as the regulator wants to curb the overall power…
— Bangkok Post (annoying pop-ups)

See here for more of today’s Lao morning news

Malaysia morning newsMalaysia morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men          @MenSreypov


Malaysia launches national wage index
The National Wage Index will be a guideline to measure changes in the salaries of workers in Malaysia, said Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran (pic).
— The Star Online

Putrajaya warned against working with tobacco industry-funded lobby groups
The Malaysia Medical association (MMA) has warned the federal government today against working with groups that are stealthily being funded by tobacco companies.
— Malay Mail

‘Sarawak construction sector behind on BIM innovation’
The Sarawak construction sector is behind on Building Information Modelling (BIM), as seen in the latest round of training in Building Information Modelling (BIM) in January.
— The Borneo Post

See here for more of today’s Malaysia Morning News


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men          @MenSreypov


State Counselor Vows Proper Scrutiny of all BRI Projects in Myanmar
Thorough scrutiny of the projects under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is needed to assess their likely short- and long-term impacts on the country and the public, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said on Monday at the first meeting of a committee tasked with overseeing implementation of the projects.
— The Irrawaddy

Maritime trade totals $8.59 bln as of 8 February
Myanmar’s trade value by sea from 1 October to 8 February in the current fiscal year (Oct 2018- Sep 2019) was estimated at US$8.59 billion, which is up by over $124.7 million compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year 2017-2018, according to the data of the Ministry of Commerce.
— Global Newlight of Myanmar

Chin State offers greenfield opportunities for investors
Chin State is looking to attract local and foreign investors to accelerate the development of tourism, agriculture, livestock, and electricity generation in the state, U Aung Naing Oo, the secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), said Tuesday.
— Myanmar Times

See here for more of today’s Myanmar morning news


Philippines morning newsPhilippines morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


DBM to push through with cash-based budgeting in 2019
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will push through with the cash budgeting system this year despite Congress’ scrapping of provisions on cash-based budgeting in the ratified version of the P3.757-trillion budget for 2019.
— GMA News

January BOP surplus highest in 6 years
The country’s external payments position strengthened for the third straight month with the balance of payments (BOP) surplus hitting a six-year high of $2.7 billion in January amid strong inflows.
— The Philippine Star

Exemption from poll ban sought for 145 projects
The country’s economic managers are requesting the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to exempt 145 key infrastructure projects from the election ban to avoid delays in the implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” program.
— The Manila Times

See here for more of today’s Philippines morning news

Singapore morning newsSingapore morning news

Compiled by John Le Fevre          @photo_journ


Singapore ranks 3rd largest market in SE Asia for Chinese tourists spending over CNY period
Singapore emerged as the third largest market in Southeast Asia for Chinese tourists spending over the Chinese New Year, with an increase of 34% in average spending per Chinese tourist, according to a joint report released by Nielsen and Alipay.
— The Edge Singapore

Train Brand Haw Flakes recalled after woman claims she bit into glass; AVA investigating
A haw snack has been voluntarily recalled by its supplier here after a consumer claimed that she had bitten into a piece of glass while eating it.
— The Straits Times (annoying popups)

The budget is bad! So say 43% of Singaporeans – Lim Tean
A Yahoo poll showed that almost half (43%) of Singapore thought that the recent Budget allocations announced by Finance Secretary Heng Swee Keat were bad, only 7% thought it was good while the rest viewed it as mediocre.
— The Independent

See here for more of today’s Singapore morning news


Thailand morning newsThailand morning news

Compiled by John Le Fevre          @photo_journ


Defence spokesman defends military budget
The Thai military has defended its spending of about 1 trillion baht, or 7% of the fiscal budget, over the past five years and claimed it had not increased substantially.
— Thai PBS News

Chiang Mai University urges people to stay indoors as pollution worsens
IN THE face of persistent air pollution in the North, Chiang Mai University (CMU) has decided to issue warnings for locals to think twice before using the outdoor zone of its stadium.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Foreign investors flee Thai shares ahead of March election
Foreign investors have dumped 10.5 billion baht in Thai equities in seven straight sessions, the longest losing streak in more than two months, as worries about potential political instability grip the nation ahead of elections in March
— Bangkok Post

See here for more of today’s Thailand morning news

Vietnam morning newsVietnam morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men          @MenSreypov


US$ 6 billion foreign investment disbursed into Saigon last year
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) has licensed foreign investors invested 6 billion U.S. dollars into the city through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals in 2018, the municipal authorities said on Tuesday.
— Vietnam Insider

Ministry wants to reduce tax on locally made auto parts
The Ministry of Finance has asked the Government to amend its laws to eliminate the special consumption tax on locally manufactured auto parts and components, a move which could reduce prices of locally assembled cars.
— VietnamPlus

Gov’t agencies blamed for lack of corporate transparency
The slow listing of post-equitisation firms, including State-owned enterprises (SOEs), may make Vietnamese firms less attractive regarding a lack of corporate transparency and government agencies managing those firms must be blamed for the problem.
— Viet Nam News

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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