Asean morning news for May 16

Asean morning news for May 16

Asean morning newsAsean morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


UOB to double down on Asean-China flows as trade tensions rise
United Overseas Bank plans to capture stronger connectivity flows between Asean and Greater China, with the bulk of the bank’s operating profit from outside Singapore already derived from operations in the Asean region and Greater China, the bank said yesterday.
— The Straits Times

US-China trade spat may be net negative for Asean’s export fortunes over short term
The overall impact on the ASEAN region arising from the US-China trade spat is likely to result in a net negative on export fortunes in the short term, OCBC Bank Treasury Research said.
— The Edge Markets

Australia’s Labor plans foreign policy pivot to Southeast Asia
An expected win by the opposition Labor Party in Saturday’s general election is likely to bring about a pivot in Australia’s foreign policy to Southeast Asia and a softer line on China.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

UN report calls for global efforts to save species from extinction; ASEAN in forefront of conservation
One million plant and animal species are facing extinction due to human activities, with agriculture as one of the biggest threats to Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystems.
— Philippine Information Agency

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Southeast Asia and China’s Belt and Road Initiative
When China held the second iteration of its Belt and Road Forum (BRF) last month, Southeast Asian states unsurprisingly factored prominently in both the official guest list and the content of the overall deliberations.
— The Diplomat

2019 ASEAN-China Media Cooperation Forum held in Beijing
Media exchanges serve as a bridge to promote close ties between China and the nations of ASEAN, and should make greater use of developing new technologies for an even greater contribution.

US naval chief says ‘freedom of navigation’ exercises in South China Sea get more attention than they deserve
The head of United States naval operations said on Wednesday that its “freedom of navigation” exercises in the South China Sea are given more attention than they deserve.
— South China Morning Post

Japan’s Strategy in the Mekong Region
Concerted actions and tangible achievements over the past 10 years of the Mekong-Japan Cooperation have significantly contributed to the transformation of the Mekong region to be one of the global growth centers.
— Khmer Times

ASEAN naval exercises formally end in Singapore
This year’s ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting – Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (ADMM-Plus MARSEC FTX) 2019 formally concluded in Changi, Singapore on Monday.
— Philippine News Agency

Time to admit Asean’s 11th member
SO near, yet so far. Timor-Leste has been trudging on for eight years but the road to membership in Asean remains a long and winding one for Asia’s youngest democracy.
— The Star Online

FCO ministers meet ambassadors and high commissioners of ASEAN member states to drive forward UK-ASEAN ties
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field have today (15 May) met London Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the member states of ASEAN, to underline the UK’s commitment to, and growing presence in, South East Asia.

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Top 10 blockchain startups in Southeast Asia
The versatility and decentralised nature of blockchain is attracting an increasing number of businesses and governments across Southeast Asia.

Seminar talks solid waste management in Southeast Asia
French non-governmental organisation GRET Vietnam and partners held an international seminar in Hanoi on May 15 to discuss solid waste management in suburban, small and medium-sized urban areas in Southeast Asia, within the framework of a project on waste management in rural areas.
— Nhan Dan Online

Investor: We’re positioned in favor of Southeast Asia
James Thom of Aberdeen Asset Management says he is overweight on Southeast Asia and “light” on China and North Asia.
— Yahoo Finance (video)

Why are companies in Southeast Asia lagging on human rights?
Although the region remains beset by human rights issues such as forced labour, human trafficking and land rights violations, companies are not recognising the problem in their own businesses and are failing to disclose them in their sustainability reports.
— Eco-Business

Why P2P Loans and Technology Makes ASEAN Countries hopeful
Both P2P loans and technology are introducing revolutionary products and tools for better access to funding for underbanked people around the world.
— Cryptopolitan

Are ASEAN’s internet speeds world class?
At the forefront of technology in ASEAN, it is no surprise that Singapore’s fixed broadband speed of 199.62 megabits per second (Mbps) was the fastest in the world in March.
— The Asean Post


Cambodia morning newsCambodia morning news

Compiled by John Le Fevre          @photo_journ


EU prepares to kneecap Cambodia over human rights
EU prepares to kneecap Cambodia over human rights15 May 2019Author: Kongkea Chhoeun, ANUIn February 2019, the European Union launched an 18-month process over whether or not to maintain Cambodia’s preferential access to the EU market under the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme.
— East Asia Forum

Phnom Penh Police Chief Seeks Chinese Surveillance Technology
Chinese-built surveillance cameras with a range of up to 10 km may soon be coming to Phnom Penh, according to municipal police chief Sar Thet.

Cambodia and Thailand discuss railway transport
Cambodia and Thailand have recently begun negotiations on the cross border transportation of people and goods after their railways where connected in April.
— Khmer Times

See here for more of today’s Cambodia morning news

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


Prabowo Says He Will Reject Fraudulent Election Result
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto said he will reject the official election result set to be announced by the General Elections Commission, or KPU, on May 22, arguing that a “structured, systematic and massive” vote-rigging had plagued both the presidential and legislative elections on April 17.
— Jakarta Globe

Four development projects receive 37 million euros funding
Indonesia and Germany inked a cooperation agreement under which four development projects will receive funding of 37 million euros in areas of effective governance, technical and vocational education and training, and environment and biodiversity protection.
— Antara News

Air Carriers Reluctant to Drop Airfare despite Tariff Revised
Transportation Ministry determined to lower the upper limit tariff (TBA) of airlines ticket in a bid to suppress the trend on the rocketing airfare. Air carriers responded to the plan differently.

See here for more of today’s Indonesia morning news

Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


Laos Dam Collapse Blamed on Substandard Construction
Poor construction methods, with soil used in place of concrete, are now being blamed for a fatal hydropower dam collapse last year in Laos in what has been called the country’s worst flooding in decades.
— Radio Free Asia

Border bottlenecks hinder Lao imports: Study
Limited procedural knowledge amongst both government authorities and traders at border areas is being blamed as the cause of trade bottlenecks at borders between Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
— ANN/ Vientiane Times

The sad end of Lao’s elephants
The elephant is a cultural symbol in Lao. This is probably due to the fact that at one period in time, the country was known to have a large number of these mighty mammals roaming its lands free, so much so that before it was ever known as Lao, people used to call parts of the country Lan Xang (Land of a Million Elephants).
— The Asean Post

See here for more of today’s Lao morning news

Malaysia morning newsMalaysia morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men           @MenSreypov


MIDA sets up dedicated team to promote development along ECRL route
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has established a dedicated team to promote the development of industrial parks, infrastructure, logistics hub and transit-oriented developments along the East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) project.
— The Star Online

Stats show males outnumbering females in Malaysia as population stands at 32.66 million
Malaysia’s population for the first quarter of 2019 is estimated at 32.66 million, with the male population now outnumbering females, according to the Statistics Department.
— Malay Mail

Singapore-Malaysia maritime boundary delimitation committee holds first meeting
A committee set up to discuss boundary delimitation in the waters between Singapore and Malaysia has held “constructive discussions” in its first meeting, said Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Wednesday (May 15).
— Channel NewsAsia (very annoying popups)

See here for more of today’s Malaysia Morning News

Myanmar morning newsMyanmar morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men           @MenSreypov

UN official urges “durable” solutions for 270,000 people displaced by conflict
A senior United Nations official says it is “critical” that a national strategy being developed by the government to find solutions to displacement addresses the root causes of the problem.
— Frontier Myanmar

Myanmar to borrow more than 1.4 billion baht for more electricity
The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw has approved the borrowing of 1.4 billion baht from Thailand’s Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) to supply more electricity in Yangon Region.
— Myanmar Times

Myanmar’s Eleven Media Publishes Apology to Yangon Government Over Report
Myanmar’s Eleven Media Group published an apology on Wednesday to the Yangon regional government for a report criticizing its business dealings and budget, fulfilling an agreement reached in November in which criminal charges of incitement against three of the news outlet’s staff were dropped.
— Radio Free Asia

See here for more of today’s Myanmar morning news


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Philippines morning newsPhilippines morning news

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu


Deficit-to-GDP ratio eases to 2.1% in Q1
The national government’s fiscal deficit as a share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) narrowed in the first quarter as expenditure effort declined due to the delay in the 2019 budget, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).
— The Philippine Star

Duterte blames lawmakers’ pursuit of pork for Q1 slump (video)
President Rodrigo Duterte blamed the nation’s lawmakers over the weekend for the country’s sluggish gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first three months of this year.
— AEC News Today (video)

Tax effort improves to 14.6% of GDP
The national government’s tax effort improved in the first three months of the year as the Duterte administration continues its programs aimed at raising its collection efficiency, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.
— Manila Bulletin

See here for more of today’s Philippines morning news

Singapore morning newsSingapore morning news

Compiled by John Le Fevre          @photo_journ


Singtel full-year profit hits 16-year low; CEO says too early to talk about 5G capex
IT’S too early to estimate fifth-generation (5G) network-related spending, Singtel group chief executive Chua Sock Koong said, even as the mainboard-listed telco posted a steep slide in its annual profit on Wednesday.
— The Business Times

UOB expects overseas business to account for half of revenue by 2021
UOB expects to have half of its revenue coming from outside Singapore by 2021, up from about 40 per cent currently, saying that the market may have underestimated the network potential from its Asean exposure.
— The Business Times

Honestbee to end food delivery service in Singapore
Troubled grocery and delivery start-up honestbee will be ceasing its food delivery service here as part of the company’s ongoing strategic review, it announced yesterday.
— Straits Times (annoying popups)

See here for more of today’s Singapore morning news

Thailand morning newsThailand morning news

Compiled by John Le Fevre          @photo_journ


PPRP faces major coalition snag
The pro-regime Palang Pracharath Party’s (PPRP) chances of forming a coalition government have been thrown into doubt as concerns mount that the Democrat Party under its newly elected leader may switch sides and join an alliance led by the Pheu Thai Party.
— Bangkok Post

TAT sees B885bn in Q1 as tourism up 5%
Thailand posted income of around 885 billion baht from tourism in the first quarter this year, thanks to a 5% increase in foreign and Thai tourists, says the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
— Bangkok Post

Airport rail project ‘good for country’
Nakhon Ratchasima: Suphachai Chearavanont, CEO of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, has reaffirmed the company’s commitment to investing in the 225-billion-baht high-speed railway linking three major airports, despite it being considered a high-risk investment.
— Bangkok Post

See here for more of today’s Thailand morning news

Vietnam morning newsVietnam morning news

Compiled by Sreypov Men           @MenSreypov


Foreign direct investment in Vietnam has climbed for six consecutive years
An Asian Communist state with a government-directed industrial policy churns out cheap goods for consumption in America. The country has a heavily controlled exchange rate, brandishes its low labor costs, enjoys a trade surplus and is wary of opening sensitive industries to foreigners.
— Vietnam Insider

Vietnam urged to adjust mechanical engineering development strategy
Vietnam needs to adjust its development strategy for the mechanical engineering industry to ensure it develops sustainably.
— VietnamPlus

MasterCard names VIB as a leading bank in e-commerce transactions and value of credit card spending
MasterCard has just named the Vietnam International Bank (VIB) as one of its leading bank partner in e-commerce transactions and value of credit card spending in Vietnam.
— Vietnam Insider

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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