Asean Morning News For April 19

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For April 19
Estimated Reading Time: 37 minutes |

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today    @aecnewstoday

 

United Asean the best way to keep US engaged in region
The Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) has not really featured on the agenda of the Donald Trump Administration during his first three months in office. This is not necessarily bad news but “out of sight” can also be “out of mind”.
— Today Online

Asean hopes up on code of conduct
China’s positive view of a code of conduct for claimants in the South China Sea will work toward successful negotiations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on maintaining order in the disputed waterway, Acting Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo said on Tuesday.
— Inquirer.net

Mekong survey draws protests
A network of environmentalists is getting ready to protest against a Chinese government survey of the Khon Pi Long rapids in Chiang Rai.
– Bangkok Post

Bohol on full alert ahead of Asean delegates’ arrival
It is all systems go for Bohol’s hosting for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit meetings from April 18 to 22.
— Inquirer.net

Asean needs to focus on territorial rows during PHL meetings
The Philippines should leverage on its chairmanship of the Asean this year to put on the spotlight Southeast Asia’s most pressing political and security challenges, including the territorial disputes involving multiple parties, think tank Stratbase ADR Institute (ADRi) said.
— Business Mirror

Belt & Road documentary to highlight ASEAN countries
Beijing Television (BTV) will air a Belt and Road documentary featuring the 10 Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) member countries, before the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation set on May 14-15 this year.
— Philippine Canadian Inquirer

Asean group seeks more protection for ‘traditional’ IPRs
The government and the private sector must redouble efforts to protect the intellectual property rights—which ultimately translate to economic rights—of traditional communities like indigenous groups so that their local resources are not improperly exploited.
— Inquirer.net

President checks APEC preps
President Trần Đại Quang pressed a button yesterday to start a countdown to the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Summit in Đà Nẵng. The city will host a heads of state summit and CEOs from 21 member nations during the week of November 5 to 11.
– Viet Nam News

ASEAN’s largest building technology exposition
Architect Expo 2017 is the 31st building technology exposition and believed to be ASEAN’s largest fair of its kind.
— Bangkok Post

BRI Strives to Maintain Strong Presence in ASEAN
State-owned lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) is aiming to become the most valuable bank in Southeast Asia by 2022, as set forth in its corporate plan for 2018-2022.
— Tempo.co

Chinese Tourists Spent Around $261 Billion Overseas in 2016
Chinese tourists spent about $261 billion on overseas travel in 2016, a 12% increase from 2015, making it the world’s leading outbound market, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
–Next Shark

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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

 

Rice exports show slow growth
Cambodian rice exports declined dramatically in March, causing the average export growth of the Kingdom’s dominant cash crop to increase by only 3 percent during the first quarter of this year, nearly wiping out the double-digit growth seen in January and February.
The Phnom Penh Post

NEC shrugs off database hack
Officials and foreign donors yesterday sought to play down concerns over the security of the National Election Committee’s voter list, after anonymous leaker “Thleay” released a video appearing to show manipulation of the
database and the NEC confirmed it had been hacked.
The Phnom Penh Post

World Bank Loan of $100 Million Angers Boeng Kak Activists
Boeng Kak supporters on Tuesday said they were dismayed at the World Bank’s announcement of a new $100 million loan to the Cambodian government amid ongoing harassment and jailings of land rights activists.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Novel Destinations Draw New Year Travelers
Better roads and new events drew Khmer New Year celebrants to traditionally less busy provinces like Mondolkiri, Kompong Thom and Svay Rieng this year, as the number of visitors to more established destinations like Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk provinces also rose, according to estimates from the Tourism Ministry.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Plaintiffs in Case Against Hun Manet Vow to Go to Federal Court
A U.S. Court has dismissed a civil case against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son, General Hun Manet.
VOA

Former Cambodian Diplomat Finds Honor as Son Ranks in U.S. Navy
Chap Kung’s diplomatic career ended 42 years ago this week with a U.S. Marine airlift out of Cambodia as the Lon Nol regime fell to the Khmer Rouge.
VOA

April 17 reflects party divide
Lifelong political enemies Prime Minister Hun Sen and former opposition leader Sam Rainsy commemorated the 42nd anniversary of the Khmer Rouge takeover of Phnom Penh by continuing to push their duelling historical narratives, which have defined Cambodian political discourse for decades.
The Phnom Penh Post

New congress seeks to clear ministry hurdle
The Cambodia National Rescue Party plans to hold another extraordinary congress next week to reselect three deputy leaders whose appointment at a congress last month was deemed invalid by the Interior Ministry.
The Phnom Penh Post

Kith Meng Company Secures Timber Release
Customs officers have released a pair of trucks that local officials said were seized late last month while being used to smuggle timber belonging to business mogul Kith Meng into Vietnam in breach of a government ban, according to police.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

NEC to Host Daily Party Panel Discussions on Television, Radio
The National Election Committee will broadcast daily interview panels featuring all political parties that are running in upcoming local elections on state-run television and radio stations during the 14-day election campaign period, spokesman Hang Puthea said on Tuesday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia to Repatriate Montagnard Asylum Seekers to Vietnam
Cambodian immigration officials will repatriate 26 Montagnard asylum seekers to Vietnam this weekend to comply with a request by the United Nations refugee agency, the head of the Interior Ministry’s refugee department said Tuesday.
Radio Free Asia

Cambodian Opposition Party to Hold Congress to Select Vice Presidents
Cambodia’s main opposition party will hold a party congress next week to amend a crucial bylaw that allows the selection of three vice presidents in another bid to placate the country’s Ministry of Interior which rejected the party’s previous method of naming party leaders, a party official said Tuesday.
Radio Free Asia

China builds university for southeastern Cambodian province
China has completed the construction of a university for southeastern Cambodia’s Kratie province, officials said on Tuesday, adding that the university would importantly contribute to the development of human resources in the country.
Xinhua

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

 

Government to build Rp3 trillion dam in Jayawijaya
The Central Government will build a dam to cost Rp3 trillion in the regency of Jayawijaya, Papua to be completed in 2019.
— Antara News

Jakarta polls open amid high tension
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is hours away from finding out if he will make history by being the first non-Muslim to be directly elected governor of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.
— The Straits Times

Indonesia aims to reduce tax losses from foreign firms’ dividends
The Directorate General of Taxation is attempting to revise a regulation on controlled foreign companies (CFC) in an effort to prevent further tax losses for Indonesians with controlling interest in a foreign company.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Kresna acquires 17.6% stake in digital kiosk firm M Cash Integrasi
Publicly-listed Kresna Graha Investama on Tuesday announced that its unit Kresna Usaha Kreative (KUK), also known as Kresna Creativeventures, has acquired a 17.6 per cent stake in digital kiosk firm M Cash Integrasi (MCI).
— Deal Street Asia

Kalla, Pence to witness signing of MoUs
Vice Presidents Jusuf Kalla of Indonesia and Michael Pence of the United States are expected to witness the signing of the Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on businesses between Indonesian and the US entrepreneurs on April 21.
— Antara News

Increase predicted in Indonesia`s sea fishing production
Indonesia’s sea fishing production is predicted to rise to 7.8 million tons this year from 6.7 million tons last year.
— Antara News

Indonesia to ratify EEZ agreement with Philippines
The government and the House of Representatives are set to ratify a historic maritime agreement pertaining to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between Indonesia and the Philippines to safeguard the two countries’ maritime security from threats such as the Abu Sayyaf group.
— The Jakarta Post

Gubernatorial Campaigns Failed Voters With Focus on Religious, Ethnic Discourse: Academic
The Jakarta gubernatorial election should be steeped in a discourse on varied ideas rather than a “conflict of morals,” a sociologist said recently, amid heightening religious and ethnic sentiments in the capital.
— Jakarta Globe

North Kalimantan readies 15 hectares to build Bulungan prison
The government of North Kalimantan has prepared 15 hectares of land for the construction of a new prison in Bulungan District, North Kalimantan Governor Irianto Lambrie stated.
— Antara News

Millions head to the polls in Jakarta governor election
Polls opened on Wednesday (Apr 19) in Jakarta’s election run-off with the Christian governor fighting for his job despite standing trial for blasphemy, in a vote that has stoked religious tensions in Muslim-majority Indonesia.
— Channel NewsAsia

New Media Association Will Fight Fake News, Promote Ethical Journalism
More than 100 media representatives gathered on Tuesday (18/04) to announce the establishment of the Indonesian Cyber Media Association, or AMSI, whose primary mission is to verify tens of thousands of online news outlets, fight hoax, promote accurate journalism and make sure that journalists adhere to the code of professional ethics.
— Jakarta Globe

Banten Police Urge Residents Not to Join Mass Gatherings in Jakarta on Wednesday
Banten Police chief Brig. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo has called on residents of the province not to heed calls to participate in mass gatherings planned to take place during voting in Jakarta on Wednesday (19/04).
— Jakarta Globe

Freeport, Indonesia work out initial Grasberg exports deal
Freeport McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), the world’s largest listed copper miner, has received an initial authorization to restart shipments of concentrate from its Grasberg mine in Indonesia.
— Mining.com

Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017 – Research and Markets
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017” report to their offering.
— Business Wire

Indonesia moves to ease high loading costs at sea ports
The Indonesian government has taken measures to reduce high prices charged on products during loading and unloading processes in sea ports in a bid to boost competitiveness of the products at export markets, a senior minister disclosed here on Tuesday.
— Xinhua

TRUMP’S INDONESIAN ALLIES IN BED WITH ISIS-BACKED MILITIA SEEKING TO OUST ELECTED PRESIDENT
ASSOCIATES OF DONALD TRUMP in Indonesia have joined army officers and a vigilante street movement linked to ISIS in a campaign that ultimately aims to oust the country’s president. According to Indonesian military and intelligence officials and senior figures involved in what they call “the coup,” the move against President Joko Widodo (known more commonly as Jokowi), a popular elected civilian, is being impelled from behind the scenes by active and retired generals.
— The Intercept

Widodo turns to Islam and nationalism to preserve Indonesia’s diversity
Irrespective of the result, the Jakarta gubernatorial election on April 19 (today) will leave a bitter aftertaste that could have consequences on the political landscape in the rest of Indonesia. The election is already billed as the ugliest, and most divisive and most polarising the country has ever seen.
— DAWN

 

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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

 

Laos cuts maximum concession period to 50 years
Laos’ newly-amended Investment Promotion Law has moved to cut by half the maximum investment period for new concession projects to 50 years, down from the previous maximum period of 99 years.
Global Times

Laos eases investment terms to boost economy
A NEWLY amended investment promotion in Laos will cut by half the maximum investment period for new concession projects to 50 years, down from previous requirement of 99 years.
The Nation

Tourism sector looking to boost its capacity
The engagement of local authorities and investments will help the government boost the number of foreign travellers over the years to come, reports a senior tourism official.
Vientiane Times

Authorities retrieve 50b kip from corrupt officials
The State Inspection Authority (SIA) has retrieved more than 50 billion kip over the past two years from corrupt officials who had previously embezzled State properties.
Vientiane Times

Finance Ministry Opens Hotline for Public Complaints
The Ministry of Finance has opened a hotline ‘1519’ for the general public members to voice problems or complaints on financial matters.
Lao News Agency

Fires in 2016 Leave Billions of Kip in Damages
The Public Security Unit has unveiled that more than 140 fires occurred across the country last year with damage costs of over 100 billion kip (USD 12.18 million).
Lao News Agency

Laos tackles its drug problem
Five alleged drug kingpins have been arrested in Laos since Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith launched an anti-narcotics campaign in September, part of  his communist regime’s bid to tackle endemic corruption, rising crime rates and regional perceptions the country has emerged as a major source and transit route of illegal narcotics.
Asia Times

Alleged Lao drug kingpin Xaysana denies charges
ALLEGED Lao drug lord Xaysana Keopimpha yesterday denied in a Bangkok court that he was a major player in a regional drug network.
– The Nation

Asianface director reportedly involved in business fraud in Cambodia
Investors in an allegedly fraudulent scheme offered by the Asian Face company are increasingly concerned after the involvement of its operator in similar activities in his home country were revealed.
Vientiane Times

Caffeine high as Laos tops South-East Asia’s coffee producer rankings
Laos is riding high as largest coffee exporter in Asean followed by Vietnam in second place and Thailand third according to figures compiled by the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Vientiane Times

Japan Funds Water Supply System Construction Project in Oudomxay
The government of Japan has handed over a water supply system which was financed and constructed by the Japanese Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) in Oudomxay Province.
Lao News Agency

Newly Built Blood Centre Opened
The National Blood Centre officially opened its newly built office for public use in a ceremony held at its compound in Xeingngeun village, Chanthaboury district, Vientiane Capital on April 12.
Lao News Agency

Thailand: Suspected Lao Drug Kingpin Pleads Not Guilty to Smuggling Charges
A Laotian man described as a major drug lord in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a Bangkok court to charges that could carry the death penalty, including smuggling and possession.
Radio Free Asia

Alleged Lao drug kingpin Xaysana denies charges
ALLEGED Lao drug lord Xaysana Keopimpha yesterday denied in a Bangkok court that he was a major player in a regional drug network.
The Nation

Historic pottery discovered in Savannakhet
The items were found around 2.5 kilometres from That Nang Lao village in the district when a local resident stumbled upon the 16 artefacts in a cave on March 29 while foraging for bamboo shoots in the forest.
Eleven Myanmar

 

Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

Research houses lauds central bank’s monetary measures
Research houses have lauded Bank Negara Malaysia’s latest monetary measures, saying they are expected to improve bond market liquidity, ease hedging activities and revive investors’ confidence.
New Straits Times

Mier: Ringgit’s fair value is 4.20 against US$
The ringgit’s fair value is at about 4.20 against the US dollar, but there are no indications that the currency will improve in the near future, said the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (Mier).
The Star Online

M’sian banks spend only 3% of staff payroll on training – BNM
The Malaysian banking industry, on average, only allocates around 3% of employee payroll for their annual training expenditure, said Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim.
The Star Online

MAS will soon be able to track aircraft real time, globally
All Malaysia Airlines aircraft will soon have access to minute-by-minute, 100 per cent global, flight tracking data, delivered by SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM FlightTracker.
New Straits Times

Malaysian property prices remain steady
House prices have remained steady despite a slowdown in property sales and a huge overhang of unsold units.
The Star Online

Najib to unveil Bumiputera Economic Transformation Roadmap 2.0
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will unveil the Bumiputera Economic Transformation Roadmap (BETR) 2.0 tomorrow in the quest to strengthen the economic participation of the community.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysia: Navis Capital-backed Village Grocer acquires smaller rival BIG
Malaysia’s Village Grocer, a premium grocery brand owned by Navis Capital Partners, is acquiring smaller domestic rival Bens Independent Grocer (BIG) in a bolt-on acquisition.
Deal Street Asia

Malaysia: KWAP picks $100m stake in Axiata’s telco infra unit
Malaysia’s pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) has acquired a $100 million stake in edotco, a wholly-owned subsidiary of mobile network operator Axiata Group Bhd.
Deal Street Asia

Nearly 300 North Koreans surrender in Malaysia for overstaying
Malaysia said on Tuesday 296 North Koreans had surrendered to authorities over the last week, as it enforces new visa requirements following a dispute over the murder of the half-brother of North Korea’s leader.
Channel NewsAsia

What a waste: Malaysia’s struggle with excess food
The 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers are among the tallest buildings in the world, looming over Kuala Lumpur at 1,483 feet. Now, imagine if both those towers were filled to the brim with food.
Channel NewsAsia

Govt report shows property market slid 11.5pc in volume in 2016
The property market continued to soften last year after the total transactions in volume and value decreased to 320,000 and RM145 billion, a government report revealed today.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysian palm oil price hits 8-month low on concerns over rising output
Malaysian palm oil futures fell on Tuesday, recording a fifth consecutive session of losses, weighed down by forecasts of rising output and tracking weaker performing rival oils.
The Star Online

14 Teras firms likely to seal RM2b DEALS
A total of RM2 billion worth of deals involving Bumiputera companies under the High-performing Bumiputera Companies (Teras) programme are expected to materialise at the two-day Memacu Agenda Bumiputera 2017 (Driving Bumiputera Agenda) exhibition.
New Straits Times

SP Setia secures popular Singapore land
SP Setia Bhd has won the bid to buy the popular Toh Tuck Road site in Singapore for S$265 million (RM836 million).
New Straits Times

MAS is first airline to track fleet with satellites
Malaysia Air, which lost a wide-body jet with 239 people aboard three years ago in one of history’s most enduring aviation mysteries, has become the first airline to sign an agreement for space-based flight tracking of its aircraft.
Malay Mail Online

Deputy minister: Malaysia’s pragmatic approach helped resolve N. Korea diplomatic crisis
Malaysia’s pragmatic approach enabled the diplomatic crisis between Kuala Lumpur-Pyongyang recently to be resolved without the need for involvement of third parties, said Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysia’s Pragmatic Approach Enabled Jong-Nam Issue To Be Settled Without Third Party Involvement
Malaysia”s pragmatic approach enabled the diplomatic crisis between Kuala Lumpur-Pyongyang recently to be resolved without the need for involvement of third parties, said Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
malaysiandigest.com

 

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Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

 

Real estate development is 20% of Myanmar citizen investments
Real estate development accounted for over 20 per cent of investments by Myanmar citizens, followed by the manufacturing and transport sectors.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Over $830 Million Invested in Myanmar by UOB Clients
Over $830 million has been invested in Myanmar via United Overseas Bank’s clients since it opened a branch in Yangon in 2015, the Straits Times reported on 17 April.
— Consult-Myanmar

Highway Holdings Increases Ownership in Myanmar Manufacturing Entity to 84 Percent
Highway Holdings Limited (HIHO) today announced the company has increased its ownership interest to 84 percent at its Myanmar subsidiary. Terms were not disclosed.
— Yahoo Finance

Anti-military Myanmar publisher killed
A Myanmar publisher whose magazine has criticised the military, political and business establishment was found stabbed to death in his office at the weekend, police said on Tuesday.
— Bangkok Post

A cyberspace solution for monitoring hate speech
Two tech whizzes are developing artificial intelligence software that will provide groups that counter hate speech with a powerful research tool.
— Frontier Myanmar

RFID system to be installed in licensed vehicles to spot illegal cars
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) will be fixed in licensed vehicles next month to control illegal vehicles which are currently being operated in the Yangon region, it is learnt.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Nay Pyi Taw doctors reattach hand severed at the wrist
A man’s hand that had been cut off at the wrist after a sword attack was successfully reattached by a medical team at Nay Pyi Taw 1,000-bed Hospital, only the fourth successful instance of limb reattachment in Myanmar history.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Priority to be given to important railroad sections
Priority will be given to five important railroad sections including Yangon-Mandalay and Yangon-Pyay as part of the larger upgrading project, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
— Eleven

China Is Playing Peacemaker in Myanmar, but with an Ulterior Motive
Beijing is trying to end the long-running conflicts along its border with Myanmar — but only because it can’t exploit the region’s resources at will anymore.
— Foreign Policy (blog)

Myanmar’s trade value increases in 2016
Myanmar’s total foreign trade increased by $1.086 billion in the just-ended fiscal year 2016-2017 from the previous fiscal year 2015-2016, the Ministry of Commerce here said on Tuesday.
— Business Standard

India, China to resume stalled dialogue on corridor with Myanmar, Bangladesh
The stalled consultation process for the BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar) Economic Corridor is set to resume, with officials and scholars from the four countries meeting in Kolkata next week after a gap of more than two-and-half years.
— Hindustan Times

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

 

$200 M Panda bonds slated for H2
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government may issue Panda bonds or yuan-denominated securities in the second half of the year.
— The Philippine Star

Philippine economy to lead Southeast Asia growth, IMF says
The Philippine economy will lead Southeast Asia in terms of growth in the next two years due to higher public spending and robust consumption, the International Monetary Fund said.
— ABS-CBN

PH economy grows 7% in Q1 on strong consumption, gov’t spending
The Philippine economy likely expanded 7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 on the back of increased government spending and strong domestic consumption, according to the country’s chief economist.
— Manila Bulletin

GT Capital to raise Metrobank stake by 9.6%
GT CAPITAL Holdings, Inc. is increasing its stake in banking arm Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company to 36%, as it signed a deal to acquire shares from various Ty family-owned companies for around P24.67 billion.
— BusinessWorld Online

Whistleblowers expose Philippines’ war on drugs
The Philippine police have received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes, said two senior officers who are critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs.”
— Bangkok Post

Philippines: GT Capital invests $483m in Metrobank, ups stake by 9.6%
Philippine conglomerate GT Capital Holdings Inc is increasing its stake in Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company by making fresh investments of up to $483 million (P24.72 billion), the company said.
— Deal Street Asia

Police describe kill rewards, staged crime scenes in Duterte’s drug war
The Philippine police have received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes, said two senior officers who are critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs.”
— Channel NewsAsia

Exports likely to recover – DTI
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is optimistic on seeing a continued recovery of the country’s exports this year and expects a strong growth finish for 2017.
— The Philippine Star

Metro Manila subway, Mindanao rail on Duterte’s build list
President Rodrigo Duterte will oversee the construction of the first subway system in the capital and the first railway in Mindanao, as part of a broad infrastructure overhaul designed to sustain robust economic growth, officials said Tuesday.
— ABS-CBN

Supreme Court stops QC from collecting higher realty tax
The Supreme Court on Tuesday halted Quezon City’s realty tax hike that took effect in January, but the order may be of little help for property owners who have already settled this annual obligation partly or in full.
— BusinessWorld Online

DPWH: Multi-billion peso infra projects set to start this year
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has revealed the government’s multi-billion infrastructure projects that would be undertaken starting this year.
— Manila Bulletin

Economic managers back ‘timely’ rice importation: NEDA
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is pushing for “timely” importation of rice to achieve self-sufficiency in the grain in the short to medium term.
— Manila Bulletin

Govt’s P8.4T infra spending to boost GDP, create jobs
THE government’s ambitious six-year infrastructure spending program of P8.4 trillion could boost the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) by 3.4 percent and translate to 1.06 million additional jobs every year until 2022, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.
— The Manila Times

SWS: Public satisfaction with war on drugs falls
Fewer Filipinos are satisfied with the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, as they express worry that they will fall victim to extrajudicial killings, according to the latest survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS).
— Inquirer.net

Military, police given deadline to move into government housing
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have until June 15 to decide whether or not to use vacant government housing units allocated for them.
— The Philippine Star

UP community blasts honorary degree for Duterte
The University of the Philippines (UP) community expressed disappointment over the decision of its Board of Regents (BOR) to confer an honorary degree to President Duterte.
— Inquirer.net

Ivanka Trump’s brand strengthens in Philippines, other countries
Since her father was elected president of the United States, global sales of Ivanka Trump merchandise have surged and her company has applied for at least nine new trademarks in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.S. The commercial engine of the first daughter’s brand is stronger than ever even as she builds a new political career from her West Wing office.
— The Philippine Star

Free Public Universities in the Philippines
The Philippines Senate unanimously passed the Affordable Higher Education for All Act, which will give free tuition to students at all state universities and colleges.
— Masterstudies News (blog)

 

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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

 

P&G makes US$100m digital innovation move at Singapore centre
CONSUMER goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) will be pumping in US$100 million over the next five years in its Singapore digital innovation centre launched on Tuesday, in a move to boost digital capabilities and strengthen partnerships with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) here.
— The Business Times

Singapore: Aoxin Q&M Dental Group targeting $8m IPO
Aoxin Q&M Dental Group – the dental business in China of Q&M Dental Group – is selling 57 million placement shares at 20 cents. This is part of an initial public offering (IPO) to raise S$11.4 million ($8.17 million) that will see Aoxin being separately listed on the Catalist secondary board.
— Deal Street Asia

Fund focus: Burda seeks early mover advantage as it targets Series B crunch in SEA
German media giant Hubert Burda is not the name that comes to one’s mind when discussing the pressing issue of the Series B funding crunch that confronts Southeast Asia. Yet, this is precisely the space that Burda is eyeing, and also seeking a first mover advantage, as it attempts to establish a stand-alone identity in this region.
— Deal Street Asia

Drone delivery to start on NUS campus by early next year (Amended)
ANYONE visiting the National University of Singapore (NUS) early next year might be treated to the sight of drones flying across the campus, delivering small parcels to students and facilities. And if Airbus Helicopters’ idea succeeds, these drones will eventually deliver parcels right across Singapore.
— The Business Times

Stocks to watch: CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Ezra, Healthway
THE following companies saw new developments that may affect their share price on Wednesday.
— The Business Times

P&G to invest S$140 million to boost digital capabilities in S’pore
Procter & Gamble (P&G) will be investing more than US$100 million (S$140 million) over the next five years in its new P&G E-Centre in Singapore.
— Today Online

Philippines: GT Capital invests $483m in Metrobank, ups stake by 9.6%
Philippine conglomerate GT Capital Holdings Inc is increasing its stake in Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company by making fresh investments of up to $483 million (P24.72 billion), the company said.
— Deal Street Asia

Singapore doctor offers to waive surgery costs for injured Indonesian graft investigator
A doctor in Singapore has offered to waive the surgery costs for prominent Indonesian corruption investigator Novel Baswedan, who is currently seeking medical treatment there after acid was thrown on his face.
— Channel NewsAsia

Singapore leverages Disney appeal
Singapore Tourism Board and Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia have signed a three-year partnership that will provide fun experiences themed around Disney’s biggest brands and most popular characters.
— TTR Weekly

Singapore ties with Germany for most powerful passport in the world
For the first time, Singapore is tied with Germany as the country with the most powerful passport in an international ranking.
— The Straits Times

Flash floods hit parts of Singapore on Tuesday afternoon
Flash floods blanketed several parts of Singapore on Tuesday (April 18) afternoon, with water submerging vehicles up to mid-tyre level.
— The Straits Times

Singapore No 1 again in Asia-Pacific for talent competitiveness: Report
The Republic has come up tops in the Asia-Pacific for talent competitiveness for the fourth year running, beating regional neighbours such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan, a private sector study has shown.
— Today Online

Singapore is still APAC’s hottest spot for global talent
It also ranked second worldwide, next to Switzerland. Singapore retains the top spot in Asia Pacific for the fourth consecutive year in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) by INSEAD.
— Singapore Business Review

Singapore, Hong Kong reaffirm longstanding friendship
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying reaffirmed the longstanding friendship between Singapore and Hong Kong, said Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a media statement on Tuesday (Apr 18).
— Channel NewsAsia

Singapore is about to get more costly for businesses
Businesses in Singapore are bracing for higher costs in a country that’s already among the world’s most expensive to live in.
— The Business Times

SP Setia secures popular Singapore land
SP Setia Bhd has won the bid to buy the popular Toh Tuck Road site in Singapore for S$265 million (RM836 million).
— New Straits Times

Malaysian developer S P Setia to build $457 million luxury condo in Singapore
S P Setia Bhd, having beat 24 other bidders for a plot of land at Toh Tuck Road in Singapore, plans to develop a five-storey luxury condominium there with a gross development value of S$457 million.
— Asia One

Singapore shares open 0.42% down on Wednesday
SINGAPORE stocks slid on Wednesday morning, echoing similar movements in Asian markets elsewhere that were spooked by political uncertainties.
— The Business Times

China Construction Bank expands services in Singapore
CHINA Construction Bank (CCB) on Tuesday launched two major banking centres in Singapore that would provide infrastructure financing and private banking services.
— The Business Times

Swiss Re to set up regional headquarters in Singapore next year
IN a sign that Swiss Re is increasing its focus on this part of the world, the reinsurer says that it will set up a regional headquarters in Singapore in 2018 under a new entity that will oversee its network of reinsurance operations in Asia.
— The Business Times

Singapore: HR startup EngageRocket closes S$450k angel round
Singapore-based EngageRocket, a venture which applies workplace analytics to improve talent retention and productivity, said it has secured S$450,000 ($322,422) from investors in an angel round.
— Deal Street Asia

MOVES-Markel International Singapore names new marine liability underwriter
Markel International Singapore, subsidiary of U.S.-based Markel Corp, appointed Colin Fordham as a senior marine liability underwriter.
— Reuters

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

 

DATE SET FOR ROYAL CREMATION OF KING BHUMIBOL
Thailand is set to say final farewell to His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol on Oct. 26 with an elaborate cremation ceremony will be held at Sanam Luang, the palace announced Tuesday.
– Khaosod English

Tougher enforcement and safety measures ‘cut road fatalities’
ROAD ACCIDENTS during the Songkran holidays rose in number this year but proved less deadly due to safety precautions. The death toll from road accidents during the so-called seven dangerous days of 2017 Songkran stood at 390 – down from 442 during the same period a year earlier.
– The Nation

PM not happy although Songkran death toll has dropped
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said on Tuesday that he was not satisfied with the statistics of road accidents during the Songkran festival although death toll has dropped.
– Thai PBS

Over 1000 people request UCEP during 7 dangerous days
Over 1,000 people requested for coverage in the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients (UCEP) scheme during the seven dangerous days of the Songkran road safety campaign.
– NNT

Thailand reaches top 20 ranking for FDI interest
Thailand jumped two places to 19th in A.T. Kearney’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index for 2017, with investors turning bullish on Asia-Pacific.
– Bangkok Post

Military withholds CCTV footage of Lahu activist killing
After a month of the summary killing of the young Lahu activist by a soldier, the police have revealed that the military has not sent the CCTV footage of the crime scene to them yet.
– Prachatai English

A yearly reminder of utter incompetence
Thailand’s latest round of national educational assessment, the Ordinary National Educational Test (O-Net), just provided a painful reminder of the country’s educational failings, reflecting the incompetence…
– Bangkok Post

Thai Airways labour union asks Finance Ministry to probe airline’s operations
The Thai Airways International labour union has appealed to the Finance Ministry to inspect the airline’s operations.
– The Nation

Panel hears bribery rife in fish industry
The Command Centre for Combating Illegal Fishing (CCCIF) has set up a panel to look into complaints accusing some officials of demanding bribes from trawler operators.
– Bangkok Post

Cabinet agrees to 3-per-cent salary increase top-up for over 700 ‘government officials’
THE Cabinet yesterday approved a proposal to top-up the annual salary increase for hundreds of “government officials” recruited from their principal offices to help the junta perform its work.
– The Nation

Losing Streak May Continue For Thai Bourse
The Thai stock market has moved lower in back-to-back sessions, slipping more than 15 points or 1 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just beneath the 1,575-point plateau, and the market is in line for further damage on Wednesday.
– Nasdaq

Little impact from possible second Thai FSO on MISC
Maintain hold with a fair value of RM7.35: Further to our update last Friday, management has claimed that the upstream report on Chevron’s award of another floating, storage and offloading vessel (FSO) to MISC Bhd is incorrect as the project’s details are still at a preliminary stage and far from completion.
– The Edge Markets

Concerns raised over capital flight amid North Korea face-off
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assigned the Foreign Ministry to monitor the tensions on the Korean Peninsula, he said after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.
– The Nation

Retirees need at least B4.4m over 20 years
Thais should save at least 4.36 million baht when they retire so they can have 16,000 to spend each month over the next 20 years.
– Bangkok Post

NLA to change meeting regulations to go in line with new Constitution
The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is set to bring its meeting regulations in line with the new charter.
– Pattaya Mail

Artificial intelligence to play big role in global economy
Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to provide a significant boost for the global economy as it lays the foundation for accelerated innovation throughout the coming decade and beyond, according to consulting firm PwC Thailand.
– The Nation

China’s biggest Silk Road summit plans omit Thai leaders
China will gather presidents and prime ministers for its biggest diplomatic event of the year in May, a summit on its New Silk Road plan, with most Asian leaders due to attend.
– Bangkok Post

Chinese Tourists Spent Around $261 Billion Overseas in 2016
Chinese tourists spent about $261 billion on overseas travel in 2016, a 12% increase from 2015, making it the world’s leading outbound market, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
–Next Shark

Food vendors fearful amid BMA move to sweep them away
THOUSANDS of food vendors are fearful about their future after officials from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) declared their intention to clear them off streets for the sake of cleanliness.
– The Nation

More Cambodian workers returning to Thailand nabbed for illegal entry
Soldiers in Sa Kaeo province have arrested more Cambodian workers who crossed the border illegally on their way back to Thailand following the Songkran holiday.
– NNT

World Bank keeps wary outlook
The country’s underlying productivity challenges are expected to cap Thai economic growth at a mere 3.4% in 2019, the World Bank says.
– Bangkok Post

Irrigation Dept to supply water to central region to accommodate farming
The Royal Irrigation Department is prepared to supply water to the lower central region, in order to accommodate agricultural activity.
– NNT

Thailand’s Ranking in the World Happiness Report Has Improved
Thailand ranks 32nd in the World Happiness Report 2017, issued by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN), which ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels.
– Government Public Relations Department

Q1 condo supply sees bounceback
The amount of new condo supply launched in Greater Bangkok in the first quarter returned to normal at about 10,000 units as developer confidence has returned.
– Bangkok Post

First rise in Real Estate Confidence Index for nearly a year
The Real Estate Confidence Index in the first quarter stood at 54.2 points, up from 53.5 points in the final quarter of last year.
– The Nation

Dusit Hotels & Resorts becomes first hotel group in Thailand to accept WeChat Pay
Thailand-based, global hospitality group Dusit Hotels & Resorts has signed a partnership agreement with Ksher (WeChat Pay Thailand) and Asset Bright Public Company Limited to accept WeChat Pay at Dusit Hotels and Resorts.
– Hospitalitynet

Mekong survey draws protests
A network of environmentalists is getting ready to protest against a Chinese government survey of the Khon Pi Long rapids in Chiang Rai.
– Bangkok Post

Sikorsky beefs up chopper help
Connecticut-based helicopter maker Sikorsky is expanding its helicopter service support in Thailand as part efforts to grow its presence in Asia-Pacific.
– Bangkok Post

SAM arranging debt collection unit
Sukhumvit Asset Management (SAM), a wholly owned bad-asset management firm under the Financial Institutions Development Fund, is seeking central bank approval to dip its toes into debt collection service…
– Bangkok Post

Taiwan extends visa-free visits for Thai passport holders for another year
Thai Trade and Economic Office Taipei has recently decided to extend visa-free visits to Taiwan by holders of Thai passports for another year as of August 1, 2017 until August 31, 2018.
– Thai PBS

Government asks for delay in pickup ban
The Transport Ministry plans to ask the Royal Thai Police (RTP) to come up with a traffic regulation that will allow people to sit in the rear space, or tray, of pickup trucks, after the government suffered fierce criticism over its vow to stop the practice.
– Bangkok Post

159 persons prosecuted for violating Alcohol Control Act during Songkran festival: DDC
A total of 159 persons have been prosecuted for violating the Alcohol Control Act during Songkran festival.
– NNT

Songkran 2017 attracts more foreign visitors
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has revealed that the number of tourist arrivals during the past Songkran Festival was higher than last year and that revenue was slightly below 40 billion baht.
– Government Public Relations Department

PM orders probe into missing plaque
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has ordered the Royal Thai Police Office and the security agencies to investigate the missing of the 1932 coup makers’ plaque embedded at the Royal Plaza.
– ThaiPBS

 

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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

 

Vietnam leads convenience store charge
Asia’s grocery market is the largest in the world, with a predicted 6.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) up to 2021, according to the worldwide food and grocery research specialists at IGD. The size of the Asian market is forecast to reach US$4.8 trillion by 2021: equivalent to that of Europe and North America combined.
– Bangkok Post

Viettel sets 4G world record in ‘impossible’ time
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam on Tuesday lauded military-run telecom giant Viettel for doing “what seemed impossible,” by launching its 4G services nationwide in just six months.
– Viet Nam News

HCM City: 10 trillion VND for developing industry, support industry
Industry and support industry enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City will have chance to access a credit package worth 10 trillion VND (439.7 million USD) in a programme launched by the municipal Department of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank).
– VietnamPlus

Vietnam ranks 11 in Asia-Pacific in the Global Competitiveness Talent Index 2017
GTCI is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of 118 countries based on their ability to grow, attract and retain talent.
– Vietnam Times

Vietnamese enterprises head to sustainable development
On 18th April, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) held the Inauguration ceremony of Evaluation and rating program for sustainable enterprises in Vietnam 2017.
– Hanoitimes

Three months in, Hanoi rapid bus system set to stay, and thrive
Three months into what many consider a bold solution for congested roads and one of the most significant changes to the traffic infrastructure in Hanoi, the new rapid transit system (BRT) of Hanoi, which cost $55 million, has started to gain traction among frequent passengers and attract more new riders, despite its rough start.
– VnExpress

Central Highlands establishes itself as agricultural hub of Vietnam
The Central Highlands has become a major agricultural production hub of Vietnam, producing many high-demand products and bringing home multi-billion-USD export revenue.
– VietnamPlus

WB sponsors $102 million to help Vietnam save energy
Information from the World Bank (WB) on April 17 said that the Executive Board approved a $102 million loan to the Vietnamese government.
– Hanoitimes

Sabeco reports gains, urges additional divestment
The Saigon Alcohol Beer and Beverages Corporation (Sabeco) reported good profit for 2016 and requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to hasten its equitisation this year, said Sabeco’s chairman Võ Thanh Hà at the company’s 2017 annual general meeting held yesterday.
– Viet Nam News

US$265m for smart traffic operation centre
A smart traffic operation centre in HCM City will receive an investment of VND6 trillion (US$265 million) from 2017 to 2020, the city’s Department of Transport has said.
– Viet Nam News bizhub

Bargain hunting boosts local stocks
Shares rebounded yesterday as bargain hunting increased on investor expectation that the market will get back on the track soon.
– Viet Nam News

Vietnam reviews operation of Uber and Grab
VIETNAMESE Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Hong Truong has asked the authorities in provinces where Uber and Grab are providing services to develop a comprehensive evaluation of the operation of the car-hailing services firms.
– The Nation

Measures sought to promote Vietnam – Lao border trade
The Ministry of Industry and Trade continues implementing a master plan to develop the Vietnam – Laos border market network by 2020, while developing a master plan for border trade between the two countries to 2025, with a vision through 2035 as part of efforts to boost bilateral trade.
– VietnamPlus

President checks APEC preps
President Trần Đại Quang pressed a button yesterday to start a countdown to the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Summit in Đà Nẵng. The city will host a heads of state summit and CEOs from 21 member nations during the week of November 5 to 11.
– Viet Nam News

Made-in-VN internet platforms planned
The Government is encouraging made-in-Viet Nam internet platforms to replace international giants like Google and Facebook as part of its long-term efforts to strengthen cyber security, the communications minister said yesterday. As part of its efforts to ensure accurate information, the ministry has also convinced YouTube to remove 1,500 clips with “illegal content”, he added.
– Viet Nam News bizhub

Việt Nam to set up emergency medical stations on highways
It has been three years but Ngô Văn Long still remembers the horrible day he had an accident on Highway 6.
– Viet Nam News

Vietnam and China pledge deeper ties
VIETNAM and China agreed yesterday that they would work to strengthen the focal points of their strategic partnership.
– The Nation

Intercontinental Phu Quoc complex to hit the market on April 22
The InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort & Residences, an original, cutting-edge complex, goes on the market next Saturday, April 22.
– Viet Nam News bizhub

HN five-star hotel occupancy up to 74%
Average occupancy of five-star hotels was up four percentage points quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and 10 percentage points year-on-year (YoY) to 74 per cent.
– Viet Nam News bizhub

Child abuse cases prompt Vietnamese province to install cameras in kindergartens
Intensive mainstream and social media reports have prompted officials to intervene following a rising number of child sexual and physical abuse cases.
– VnExpress

Hanoi villagers release first 15 police hostages as land dispute tension lingers
A group of 15 police officers held hostage by villagers over an alleged land dispute in Hanoi were released on Monday night while three others managed to escape, police said.
– VnExpress

 

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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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