Asean Morning News For April 7

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For April 7
Estimated Reading Time: 38 minutes |

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today    @aecnewstoday

 

Asian Countries in Crosshairs as Trump Hunts for ‘Trade Abuse’
Of the 16 countries that will face scrutiny from President Donald Trump’s administration over possible “trade abuse,” more than half are in Asia.
– Boomberg

ASEAN will be strong driver of global growth – Dominguez
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will become the strong driver of global growth in the next decade that also requires massive investments in infrastructure.
— Manila Bulletin

ASEAN to deepen and broaden cooperation in disaster management and emergency response
Leaders from ASEAN National Disaster Management Organisations gathered in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 4-6 April 2017 for the 30th Meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), which was convened in conjunction with the 5th Governing Board Meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre)
— ReliefWeb

Indonesia is ASEAN`s key element: British State Secretary
The British government views Indonesia as a key element for development in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, Great Britains State Secretary for International Trade Dr Liam Fox stated.
— Antara News

Philippines, Indonesia bust terror plots
Philippine security forces arrested a Kuwaiti and a five-month pregnant Syrian for suspected links to Islamic State three months after they arrived, authorities revealed on Thursday.
— Bangkok Post

Mae Fah Luang U celebrates ASEAN’S 50th anniversary
Mae Fah Luang University has arranged the seminar “ASEAN@50 For Now and Posterity” to mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.
– NNT

 

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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Uber gears up to enter market
Representatives from global ride-hailing behemoth Uber confirmed the company’s interest in starting operations in Cambodia during a meeting this week with Transportation Minister Sun Chanthol, according to one of the minister’s aides.
The Phnom Penh Post

Economy to face new challenges
Cambodia’s economic growth remained strong last year though the Kingdom must now address major systemic challenges to build on its ascension into lower- middle income status in order to maintain healthy levels of development, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in its annual report yesterday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Annual Infrastructure Spending Must Top $500M, PM Says
Cambodia will need to spend between $500 million and $700 million annually on infrastructure to maintain its current rate of economic growth, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday, giving a special mention to China for its recent investments.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Transform Economy for Continued Robust Growth, ADB Says
Cambodia cannot continue to rely on low wages to attract investment and must switch to developing skills, infrastructure and innovative industries in order to continue its record of robust economic growth, the Asian Development Bank said on Thursday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

US pledges $1.8m for Cambodian elections, joining China, the EU and Japan
The US has announced a two-year grant of $1.8 million to go toward Cambodia’s upcoming elections in 2017 and 2018, in what a monitor said could give Washington more sway during tense political times.
Southeast Asia Globe

ADB predicts rosier growth for Cambodia in 2017
Cambodia’s economy is expected to grow by 7.1 percent this year, a 0.1 percentage point higher than that of last year, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s outlook report on Thursday.
Xinhua

UNIDO chief pledges to encourage investors to Cambodia
Li Yong, director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), pledged on Thursday to help encourage foreign investors to Cambodia, a senior Cambodian official said.
Xinhua

Cambodia eyes Silk Road connectivity
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen says he’ll focus on securing “connectivity infrastructure” to China’s One Belt, One Road project when he attends a major project forum in Beijing next month, reports the China Daily.
Asia Times

PM confirms sky is the limit for twin towers
At the official inauguration of the Hun Sen Boulevard on Monday, the prime minister proudly and publicly acknowledged the go-ahead for the Thai Boon Roong Twin Trade Center – the 133-storey twin skyscrapers that, when announced in February last year, was largely doubted by industry experts and the public alike.
The Phnom Penh Post

Khmer new year, Khmer new property
While the Kingdom sees the annual provincial voyage undertaken by thousands of Cambodians travelling back to their hometowns in the upcoming Khmer New Year, industry experts are predicting the increase of property transactions when the dust settles.
The Phnom Penh Post

MFI Interest Rate Cap a Signal to Slow Down
The government’s cap on microfinance interest rates— largely panned as a clumsy policy that could cripple lenders—can nevertheless be an effective signal to the industry to slow down as the public’s indebtedness rises, the Asian Development Bank’s country director said on Thursday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Chevron Asks Court to Quash Request for Kem Ley Murder Footage
Chevron, the oil giant, has called on a U.S. court to dismiss a case brought by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is hoping to force the firm to release footage of the murder of prominent political commentator Kem Ley, who was killed at one of its gas stations in Cambodia last year.
VOA

Cambodia Cancels U.S. Military Aid Program as China Ties Expand
Cambodia has scrapped a long-standing U.S. military aid program amid a diplomatic shift towards Beijing.
VOA

Experts: Perceived Injustice Fuels Mob Justice in Cambodia
Videos of a mob beating last week went viral on Cambodian social media as police quelled the violence.
VOA

Cambodia’s Hun Sen to Request Chinese Aid For Thai Border Road
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday said he plans to ask China for an aid package to build a road along his country’s border with Thailand, despite concerns over the lack of transparency associated with previous
donations provided by Beijing.
Radio Free Asia

US Aid Agency Awards Grant to Cambodia’s Electoral Body Ahead of Polls
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced Thursday that it will provide Cambodia’s National Election Committee (NEC) with a grant of U.S. $1.8 million to support the electoral body’s work during upcoming commune and general elections in 2017 and 2018.
Radio Free Asia

Cambodia scraps US military aid programme, amid pivot towards China
Cambodia has scrapped a long-running United States military aid programme in the latest sign of a South-east Asian nation tilting away from Washington and towards Beijing.
Today Online

Tension Flares Up Again on Cambodia’s Border With Laos
Dozens of Laotian soldiers started building a post on a disputed tract of land along the border on Thursday, breaking a deal made just a day earlier between Laos and Cambodia to withdraw forces until after the Khmer New Year.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Constitutional Court Takes Away Home Affairs Ministry’s Power to Revoke Local Regulations
The Constitutional Court on Wednesday (05/04) ruled that the Home Affairs Ministry can no longer revoke local regulations issued by provincial, city or district administration unilaterally.
— Jakarta Globe

ADB Maintains Indonesia Growth Forecast, Highlights Need to Close Skills Gap
The Manila-based Asian Development Bank is maintaining its view that Indonesia’s gross domestic product growth will accelerate this year, expecting improvements in private investment and trade.
— Jakarta Globe

Philippines, Indonesia bust terror plots
Philippine security forces arrested a Kuwaiti and a five-month pregnant Syrian for suspected links to Islamic State three months after they arrived, authorities revealed on Thursday.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand-based EGCO takes 20% stake in Chevron geothermal assets in Indonesia
Thailand-based company EGCO has acquired a 20% stake in two geothermal power plants in Indonesia, as part of a deal by Philippines-based Ayala Corp. and Indonesian Star Energy involving the sale of geothermal assets by Chevron in Indonesia.
— Think GeoEnergy

Indonesia seeks $10b in investments from UAE
Indonesia is targeting $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) investments from the UAE in a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, hospitality and power generation, the country’s ambassador, Husin Bagis, told Gulf News in an interview on Thursday.
— Gulf News

MNC Bank to disburse loans of Rp9t in 2017
Private lender MNC Bank targets plans to disburse Rp 9 trillion (US$675.32 million) of loans by the end of this year, 55 percent of which will be for the consumer sector.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia, Japan Develop Quake-predicting System
The Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and the Japanese Earthquake Prediction Research Centre (EPRC) are seeking to cooperate to increase the capacity of early detection system of earthquakes in Indonesia.
— Netralnews

Freeport expected to divest 51 percent of shares to Indonesia before 2021
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan has expressed hope that copper and gold mining firm PT Freeport Indonesia will divest 51 percent of its shares to Indonesia before its contract ends in 2021.
— Antara News

Indonesia O2O startup Pomona app secures seed funding led by Frontier Capital
Indonesia-based Frontier Capital has led a seed funding of an undisclosed amount into Tennova Cipta Inatech, the operator of O2O marketing solution startup Pomona Shopping Rewards.
— Deal Street Asia

Indonesia: DOKU investor Gemilang Dana Sentosa buys 20% of Bareksa
Gemilang Dana Sentosa, who is also a backer of e-payment provider DOKU, has invested an undisclosed amount in mutual funds marketplace and news portal Bareksa.
— Deal Street Asia

Japfa Comfeed Indonesia Seeks to Raise Rp 1t From Bond Sale
Japfa Comfeed Indonesia, a poultry, and animal feed company, seeks to raise Rp 1 trillion ($75 million) from a bond sale this month to repay maturing debt and acquire working capital.
— Jakarta Globe

Apartment Sales Drop in Q1 Due to New Luxury Tax
Sales of apartment declined in the first quarter of 2017 as a result of the government charging a new value-added luxury tax, property consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle said on Wednesday (05/04).
— Jakarta Globe

BP to develop Indonesian retail fuel business with AKR Corporindo
The joint venture will form a company, PT Aneka Petroindo Raya, which will operate as BP AKR Fuels Retail, and expects to open its first retail site in Indonesia in 2018.
— Free Malaysia Today

Indonesia opens nation’s first state Catholic college
After a long, bureaucratic process, the Santo Agustinus Pastoral Institute (STP) in Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan, experienced a historic moment on Thursday as it began operations as a government-run educational institution now named the Pontianak State Catholic Institute (STAKatN).
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesian police foil Jakarta attack hatched by militant on death row: Source
Indonesian police have foiled a Mumbai-style terror attack in the heart of Jakarta, which was hatched by a militant from inside a maximum-security prison, a counter-terrorism source told Channel NewsAsia on Thursday (Apr 6).
— Channel NewsAsia

New 18Tbps cable to connect Singapore, Indonesia and Australia
Australian company Superloop has acquired subsea cable operator Subpartners and has announced plans to build a new cable linking Singapore and Indonesia with Australia.
— Capacity Media

Google’s picks for the 15 best Indonesian mobile games
Many young adults in Indonesia grew up playing video games from Japan and America, and some of them loved them so much that they went on to become talented game designers themselves. Nowadays, you can find plenty of Indonesian-themed games from Indonesian designers, especially mobile game apps.
— Coconuts Jakarta

Rising Earnings of Indonesian Firms in 2016, More Dividend in 2017?
Improving corporate earnings of Indonesia’s listed companies in full-year 2016 should mean shareholders can expect to receive more dividend payouts this year. Based on data from Kustodian Sentral Efek Indonesia (KSEI), so far this year 33 listed companies on the Indonesia Stock Exchange have announced their payout ratio. However, many more are expected to follow. Considering the generally improving financial reports, we expect more companies to distribute dividend in 2017 compared to last year’s 248 listed companies.
— Indonesia Investments

Indonesia offers transportation infrastructure projects to Australia
Indonesias Transportation Ministry has offered investment in some transportation infrastructure projects to Australia as part of the bilateral cooperation under the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package that has been running since a decade.
— Antara News

Indonesia is ASEAN`s key element: British State Secretary
The British government views Indonesia as a key element for development in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, Great Britains State Secretary for International Trade Dr Liam Fox stated.
— Antara News

Surya Semesta gets approval to sell unit’s shares to Astra
Shareholders have approved PT Surya Semesta Internusa’s (SSIA) plan to sell its shares in PT Bhaskara Utama Sedaya (BUS) under its subsidiary PT Karya Sedaya Sejahtera (KKS) to Astra subsidiary PT Astratel Nusantara for Rp 2.34 trillion (US$175.55 million).
— The Jakarta Post

Tiket.com Hacking Shows Vulnerability of Indonesia’s Online Businesses
The recent hacking of Tiket.com, one of Indonesia’s largest online travel agents, by a group of teenagers and a 27-year-old is just the tip of the iceberg and the incident should prompt businesses to take drastic action to secure their websites, an information and communication technology executive said.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia to Step Up Sustainability Efforts With Tourism Observatories
The Tourism Ministry has tasked five sustainable tourism observatories with monitoring and improving tourism practices in top tourist destinations in a bid to accelerate the development of sustainable tourism in Indonesia.
— Jakarta Globe

Freeport Awaits Permit to End Costly Indonesia Export Ban: Execs
Freeport McMoRan is awaiting final details on a temporary export permit in Indonesia, which would end a 12-week ban that has cost the world’s biggest publicly traded copper company nearly $1 billion in lost revenues, its top executives told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday (05/04).
— Jakarta Globe

Kalla: US should question itself on trade imbalance
The US Meat Export Federation has gone the extra mile to fly in a “butcher shop” packed with fresh cuts of prime beef and pork.
— The Star Online

After tax amnesty, all eyes on Indonesia’s tax reform plans
Indonesia’s tax amnesty has raked in billions of dollars for the government, and all eyes are now on reform that is being planned to improve tax collection in Asean’s biggest economy.
— The Straits Times

Donald Trump Is Building a Mega Resort in One of Indonesia’s Last Virgin Forests; Environmentalists Are Freaked Out
If you’re looking to escape the name “Donald Trump,” lighting out to Indonesia is becoming a worse and worse option. The president is in the process of building two new resorts in Indonesia, one of which is a mega resort — that will feature a freaking “Disneyland-like” theme park.
— The Inertia

Garuda Indonesia Appoints First Female Captain
Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has appointed its first ever female captain, the first major Indonesian airline to do so.
— Jakarta Globe

Malaysia Set to Launch Joint Sea Patrols with Indonesia, Philippines
Nearly a year after Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines agreed to launch joint sea patrols to stop piracy and kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants, Malaysian and Indonesian defense officials said trilateral operations would start this month – possibly on Tuesday.
— Benar News

 

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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

SEZ management decree under scrutiny, aiming to draw more investors
The government is creating new decrees to ensure the sustainable development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in ways that yield strong benefits.
Vientiane Times

Solid growth expected for Laos this year and 2018: ADB
Laos’ economic growth is picking up in 2017 and 2018, supported by the expansion of production and sale of electricity, buoyant services sector growth, and construction of the cross-border railway, according to a new
report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Vientiane Times

NA President Receives Vietnam’s Leader Delegation
The president of the National Assembly, Ms Pany Yathortou, received a courtesy call from Vietnam’s leader delegation during working visit to the Lao PDR from April 3 to 7.
Lao News Agency

Laos Expected to Enjoy Economic Growth through 2018
The Lao PDR’s economic growth is picking up this year and is expected to continue growing in 2018, supported by the expansion of production, sale of electricity, buoyant service sector growth, and construction of the cross-
border railway project, an Asian Development Bank report pointed out.
Lao News Agency

ASEAN to deepen and broaden cooperation in disaster management and emergency response
Leaders from ASEAN National Disaster Management Organisations gathered in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 4-6 April 2017 for the 30th Meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), which was convened in conjunction with the 5th Governing Board Meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre)
— ReliefWeb

Lao gov’t aims to promote SEZ management
The Lao government is composing new decrees to ensure the sustainable development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in ways that yield strong benefits.
Xinhua

Attracting more tourists the key to aviation growth
The lack of tourists is among the main reasons for the closure of Attapeu International Airport in recent months, according to senior officials.
Vientiane Times

Laos marks World Health Day, focusing on depression prevention
The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation to Laos are marking World Health Day, which is observed annually on April 7.
Vientiane Times

Govt Generously Pours Billions of Kip Into Xiengkhouang Stadium
The Lao Government poured more than 215 billion kip into the construction of the stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies of the coming 11th National Sport Games will be held, hosted by Xiengkhuang Province.
Lao News Agency

Lao PDR Hosts Meeting on Right to Peace
The Lao PDR hosted the 2nd Coordination Meeting for the Thematic Study on the Right to Peace on April 5 in Vientiane.
Lao News Agency

I was ready to quit nursing until I went to work in a Laos hospital
I didn’t go into nursing ignorant of the challenges ahead. I’d witnessed the enormous toll it can take emotionally and physically, and was exposed to the seemingly constant negative press surrounding the NHS about overworked staff and a broken system.
The Guardian

Tension Flares Up Again on Cambodia’s Border With Laos
Dozens of Laotian soldiers started building a post on a disputed tract of land along the border on Thursday, breaking a deal made just a day earlier between Laos and Cambodia to withdraw forces until after the Khmer New Year.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Vans operating on Thai-Lao border fully comply with traffic laws
Ahead of the Songkran Festival, all vans operating across the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Nong Khai have been improved to meet safety requirements.
NNT

 

Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Najib satisfied with national economic growth
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today expressed satisfaction with the country’s economic growth that showed a very encouraging growth.
New Straits Times

Tourism Tax Bill must be value accretive, says CEO
The newly passed Tourism Tax Bill 2017 has to be value accretive to enable the tourism and hospitality industries to thrive, said KLCCP Stapled Group CEO Datuk Hashim Wahir.
The Star Online

M’sia ranked 26th most competitive tourism destination by WEF
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has placed Malaysia in the 26th spot in its Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, the bi-annual benchmarking index measuring the relative health of 136 countries’ tourism sectors.
New Straits Times

Maybank confident of economic rebound this year
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) foresees an uptick in economic activity this year, which will bode well for gross domestic product (GDP) growth as well as the finance industry.
The Star Online

Malaysia sees no need for more currency measures, second finance minister says
Malaysia’s economic growth should provide ammunition for the currency to strengthen and measures to curb volatility in the ringgit are currently sufficient, according to one of the nation’s top finance officials.
Malay Mail Online

Tourism tax to raise RM654m
The Dewan Rakyat yesterday approved the Tourism Tax Bill 2017 tabled by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysia’s tourism tax weighs on hotel shares
Malaysian hotel shares are likely to remain under pressure for a while after lawmakers on Thursday decided to impose a tax on hotel rooms in a bid to boost state finances bruised by low oil prices.
Nikkei Asian Review

Singapore, Malaysia stocks fall as Fed minutes spook investors
Singapore and Malaysian shares fell Thursday, tracking U.S. markets, after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed the authority may start paring its $4.5 trillion balance sheet this year.
Nikkei Asian Review

PH, Malaysia sign banking agreement
The Philippines and Malaysia took the final step to allow qualified commercial banks to operate subsidiaries in each other’s markets.
The Manila Times

Speculation driving up tech stocks on Bursa, but many don’t want to miss the party
BY now, even the punters know that rampant speculation is driving up some tech stock prices. But with the market so hot, it would seem that not many may want to miss the party. One play this week is GHL Systems Bhd.
The Star Online

Maybank aims to reduce provision for bad loans
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) aims to reduce its provision for bad loans to 50 basis points (bps) this year from 62 bps, said group chief financial officer Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir.
The Star Online

Msia, Thai central banks sign MoU on financial development
The central banks of Malaysia and Thailand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Banking Supervision and Financial Development Cooperation, to supervise banking institutions operating in both countries, and foster closer coordination in areas key to ensuring sustainable financial development.
New Straits Times

BNM, Philippines central bank sign deal enabling banks to operate in each other’s jurisdiction
The central banks of Malaysia and the Philippines have signed a Declaration of Conclusion of Negotiations deal that paves way for banks from the respective territories to operate in each other’s sovereign jurisdiction.
New Straits Times

China’s property developer says some buyers of Malaysia project want to cancel deals
Chinese property developer Country Garden said yesterday a small number of apartment buyers at its US$100 billion (RM443.6 billion) Malaysia project want to cancel their purchases, after Beijing’s recent moves to tighten capital controls on overseas property investments.
Malay Mail Online

Feasibility study report on Penang undersea tunnel expected ready in six months
The Penang state government aims to complete the feasibility study report on the proposed undersea tunnel project within six months.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysians warned over eating dumped chicken wings
Roast chicken wings are a popular street food in Malaysia, but residents of the town of Sibu are likely to be steering clear of them for a while, The Borneo Post reports.
BBC News

Malaysia Customs admits to mass burial of chicken wings
Malaysia’s Customs Department has finally owned up to the improper disposal of a whopping 81.5 tonnes of chicken wings unearthed by Bukit Aup villagers in Sibu, Sarawak two days ago.
Today Online

PH, Malaysia pact to pave way for entry of ASEAN banks
The conclusion of bilateral discussions in Cebu City between the Philippine and Malaysian central banks is expected to pave the way for the entry of qualified banks in both countries.
ABS-CBN News

 

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Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

China ramps up ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ amid ASEAN integration
As the ASEAN bloc enjoys bullish growth rates, China is ramping up its “Belt and Road Initiative” to keep its momentum going.
— ABS-CBN

ASEAN Organic Cosmetics Market: Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines Largest Markets
Beauty and Personal care industry includes skin care, hair care, oral care, toiletries and others. With increase concerns for enhanced appearance, the cosmetic products are witnessing an increased adoption among the consumers across the globe.
— MilTech

Asean ripe for more foreign investments–Dominguez
Enjoying a demographic sweet spot with millions of young and educated in the labor force, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is ripe for more foreign investments, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Thursday.
— Inquirer.net

PH, Malaysia pact to pave way for entry of ASEAN banks
The conclusion of bilateral discussions in Cebu City between the Philippine and Malaysian central banks is expected to pave the way for the entry of qualified banks in both countries.
— ABS-CBN

ASEAN workers ‘compromising digital security’
Southeast Asian workers are compromising security by using personal devices for work, making organizations in the region highly susceptible to cyber threats externally and internally, said VMware, a company specializing in cloud infrastructure and business mobility.
— Nikkei Asian Review

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Philippines, communist rebels agree on interim ceasefire
The Philippine government and communist rebels have agreed in principle on an interim ceasefire to boost ongoing peace talks aimed at ending one of the world’s longest insurgencies, a joint statement said.
— Gulf News

Duterte orders Philippine troops to South China Sea reefs
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday (Apr 6) he has ordered troops to deploy on unoccupied South China Sea islands and reefs claimed by Manila, in a move that could provoke rival claimants including Beijing.
— Channel NewsAsia

GDP to grow 6.3% to 6.8% in 2017
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and two other financial institutions predict the Philippine economy will grow between 6.3 percent and 6.8 percent this year, with the average moderating from last year.
— The Manila Times

Philippines, Indonesia bust terror plots
Philippine security forces arrested a Kuwaiti and a five-month pregnant Syrian for suspected links to Islamic State three months after they arrived, authorities revealed on Thursday.
— Bangkok Post

I will still help Duterte fight corruption – Sueno
A hurting former Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno has accepted his fate and without rancor thanked President Duterte for getting him out of the stressful life of government service and enjoy life in his farm.
— Manila Bulletin

Duterte orders military to occupy disputed Spratly islands
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered troops to occupy uninhabited islands and shoals it claims in the disputed South China Sea, asserting Philippine sovereignty in an apparent change of tack likely to anger China.
— Bangkok Post

President vows 2-rank promotion, pardon for police who kill drug lords
Any policeman who kills a drug lord will be given a two-rank promotion and those who may be charged will be pardoned, President Duterte said Wednesday while speaking at a harvest festival in Nueva Ecija.
— Manila Bulletin

PH, Malaysia pact to pave way for entry of ASEAN banks
The conclusion of bilateral discussions in Cebu City between the Philippine and Malaysian central banks is expected to pave the way for the entry of qualified banks in both countries.
— ABS-CBN

ASEAN Organic Cosmetics Market: Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines Largest Markets
Beauty and Personal care industry includes skin care, hair care, oral care, toiletries and others. With increase concerns for enhanced appearance, the cosmetic products are witnessing an increased adoption among the consumers across the globe.
— MilTech

Budget secretary wants audit of Immigration fund
HINTING of widespread anomaly, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Thursday called for an audit of how the Bureau of Immigration disbursed almost P1 billion in overtime pay to its employees in 2016.
— The Manila Times

BI employees decry peddling of misinformation in overtime pay issue
Rank and file employees of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) decried what they called “the peddling of lies and misinformation to the public” on the issue of their overtime pay — the non-payment of which has led to long passenger queues in the immigration counters of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in the past several days.
— Manila Bulletin

AMLC junks Trillanes request to release Duterte bank records
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (ALMC) has turned down the request of Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th to provide his office bank documents of President Rodrigo Duterte.
— The Manila Times

Palace welcomes CBCP offer to help govt
Malacañang on Thursday welcomed the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) readiness to work with the Duterte administration to address social problems following spats over summary killings and the proposed restoration of the death penalty.
— The Manila Times

Farmers to benefit from GRP-NDF peacetalks: source
An estimated 220,000 farmers will likely benefit from the negotiations between the Philippine Government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) — allowing them to lay claim to over 650,000 hectares of both private and public land, which will form part of the two parties’ ongoing peace negotiations under the socio-economic agenda.
— Manila Bulletin

‘House grabbers to face bazooka’
After allowing members of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) to occupy a government housing project in Bulacan, President Duterte yesterday vowed to use high-powered rifles and bazookas to prevent any new illegal occupation by the urban poor group.
— Phil Star

Malacañang probes e-passport contract
MALACAÑANG is conducting its own separate investigation of the allegedly anomalous P8-billion e-passport project of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) over discovery that the project was illegally sub-contracted to a questionable private entity, according to a party-list lawmaker.
— The Manila Times

Water rates to rise starting this month
Giant utilities Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) finally got the approval on their applications for water rates adjustment that had long been pending amid the lack of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) board.
— Manila Bulletin

ASEAN will be strong driver of global growth – Dominguez
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will become the strong driver of global growth in the next decade that also requires massive investments in infrastructure.
— Manila Bulletin

PHL growth to slow, outdo many in Asia
PHILIPPINE gross domestic product (GDP) growth will likely ease this year — the only Southeast Asian economy that will do so from 2016 — in the face of external headwinds, but the country will still outperform many in Asia and most regional averages, according to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) latest estimates.
— BusinessWorld Online

Terror attack foiled; 2 IS suspects nabbed
Authorities foiled a possible terror attack following the arrest of a Kuwaiti man and his Syrian wife, both alleged members of the Islamic State (IS).
— Phil Star

Evasco, NFA feuding over rice importation?
His undersecretary got the ax in connection with rice importation, but it is Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. who is pushing hard for bringing in rice from abroad through private traders during the ongoing harvest season.
— Phil Star

Security issues pull down Philippine tourism ranking
Safety and security issues have resulted in the decline of the Philippines’ ranking in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report.
— Phil Star

PSEi ends three-day rally but PHP remains firm amid risk-off sentiment
Profit-taking reigned both in the Philippines’ currency and equities markets on Thursday, resulting in little movement of the peso but a drop in the main stocks index.
— Philippines Canadian Inquirer

Philippines Aims to Double Value-Added Tax Revenue
Philippines Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez discusses his outlook for the country’s economy. He speaks with Haslinda Amin at the Asean Finance ministers conference on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.”
— Bloomberg

Gov’t, Reds fast-track difficult talks on free land distribution
The government and communist rebels buckled down to work on resolving the root cause of the armed struggle in the Philippines – land distribution – before the formal talks in the Netherlands closed on Thursday, April 6.
— Rappler

5 Pieces Of Evidence Prove It’s Now Safe To Travel In The Philippines
Southeast Asia’s 7,100-island archipelago of under-subscribed beaches and widespread use of English naturally brings tourists. Add in clean hotels with a pool and bar for $30 per night. Five years ago the Philippine government began building on that fame with a slogan to lure more people. The foreign tourist headcount reached 5.9 million last year, up 11% over 2015. But away from the bars and beaches a lot of travelers gripe. They couldn’t get Internet connections. They got stuck in Manila traffic. The cities didn’t feel safe.
— Forbes

Airport staffers to ease immigration lines
With the expected influx of people to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport during Holy Week, the airport authority has cancelled the leaves of absence of all its employees to ensure there will be sufficient personnel to handle passenger concerns.
— Inquirer.net

Army seizes NPA camp, high-powered firearms in Mati City
The Army seized high-powered firearms and overran a rebel camp in Davao Oriental on Thursday, the military said.
— Inquirer.net

 

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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

New Zika cluster at Flower Road/Hendry Close, close to ongoing Simon Place cluster
The second Zika cluster of this year has been confirmed at Flower Road/Hendry Close, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Thursday (April 6), less than a kilometre away from the Simon Place cluster reported last week.
Today Online

No haze for Singapore this year from Sumatran fires: Governor
Despite forecasts of a hotter and longer dry season, the Governor of South Sumatra has pledged that Singapore and the region will not experience haze arising from forest fires in the Indonesian province this year.
— Today Online  

Terror risk level in Singapore up for first time in 10 years: Report
For the first time in a decade since the project began, a political violence and terrorism risk map developed by global consultancy Aon has raised Singapore’s risk level from “negligible” to “low”. This is in light of the heightened terrorism activity in the region and recent arrests of self-radicalised individuals in the country.
Today Online 

Singapore’s security industry, plagued by high turnover, to see robots in its midst
It cruises past a row of parked cars under the blazing hot sun at Outram Road. Suddenly, it stops in its tracks and zooms in on something.
Channel NewsAsia 

Singapore most recalcitrant with regards to IT use
Country has most number of employees who are unaware or do not always comply with IT policies among Asean markets, where 81 percent use their own devices for work.
ZD Net 

Intensive training for start-ups in Infiniti Lab
Luxury motor company Infiniti Motor and venture capital firm Nest have launched an accelerator programme in Singapore to develop smart mobility solutions.
The New Paper 

Singapore digital property player 99.co raises $7.9m from Sequoia, others
Singapore-headquartered digital property firm 99.co has raised $7.9 million (S$11 million) in its latest round of financing, led by existing investors Sequoia Capital and Eduardo Saverin. East Ventures and 500 Startups also participated in the round.
Deal Street Asia 

4 in 5 Singapore financial firms tag innovators as threat to revenues
There is a growing concern over financial firms in Singapore, with 80% of institutions fearing they will lose revenues to standalone fintech companies. However, almost 9 in 10 banks are planning to increase fintech partnerships, revealed a new PwC report.
Singapore Business Review 

Singapore scientists teleport lemonade over the internet
Sending taste over the web could become a thing sooner rather than later, according to researchers.
CNET 

Vocus and rival consortium race to build Perth to Singapore cable
Vocus Group will begin construction of a $228 million Perth to Singapore submarine cable later this year, while a rival consortium took another step towards its own project.
Financial Review 

CDL launches the first green bond by a Singapore firm
City Developments Limited (CDL) announced yesterday that it has launched the first green bond by a Singapore company through its subsidiary CDL Properties.
Today Online 

Singapore: tryb Capital invests $4m in digital freight contracts firm Chinsay AB
Singapore-based tryb Capital, a growth-stage technology investor, has made a $4 million strategic investment in Chinsay AB, a cloud-based platform for end- to-end administration of global commodity and freight contracts.
Deal Street Asia 

Singapore Haze Raises the Risk of Heart Attacks, Study Finds 
Haze in Singapore is contributing to an increase in heart attacks, research conducted by Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has found.
Newsweek

Google to build subsea cable connecting Sydney, Jakarta and Singapore
GOOGLE has announced it will build a new sub-sea cable network to boost connectivity between Australia and Southeast Asia, as demand for Internet data increases rapidly in the region.
Asian Correspondent 

US and Singapore affirm strong military cooperation
United States Defence Secretary James Mattis and Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen have affirmed the strong cooperation between the two countries’ militaries.
The Straits Times 

3 Big Ways DBS Group Holdings Ltd is Embracing A Digital Future
DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05), Singapore’s largest bank, is going digital and the results are beginning to show.
The Motley Fool 

Oil prices jump after U.S. launches missile strike in Syria
Oil prices soared on Friday after the United States launched dozens of cruise missiles at an airbase in Syria.
Reuters 

New 18Tbps cable to connect Singapore, Indonesia and Australia
Australian company Superloop has acquired subsea cable operator Subpartners and has announced plans to build a new cable linking Singapore and Indonesia with Australia.
Capacity Media 

Singapore: Osim to relist on HKSE as V3; National Arts taps SGX
Lifestyle products firm Osim is relisting on the Hong Kong bourse while Hong Kong’s National Arts is seeking to list its spin-off on the SGX as a business trust.
Deal Street Asia 

Startups AdAsia, 99.co raise US$20m in Series A funding
TWO Singapore-based companies announced this week that they have raised nearly US$20 million in Series A funding, a sign that investors are reverting to making huge bets on early-stage startups.
The Business Times 

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

BOT signs agreements with Philippine, Malaysian central banks
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has signed a letter of intent to enter a bilateral agreement between Thailand and the Philippines under the Asean Banking Integration Framework (ABIF), and also signed a memorandum of understanding with Bank Negara Malaysia on banking supervision and financial-development cooperation.
The Nation

Electronic ID move seeks to cut red tape
At least 80% of government-issued citizen identity papers in Thailand will go electronic this year, says the Electronic Government Agency (EGA).
– Bangkok Post

Thai students still lag the rest
The education system in Thailand has failed to equip its students with crucial skills for the 21st century job market such as critical thinking, problem-solving and foreign language proficiency due to its educational culture, according to Crimson Education Thailand, a consulting company that helps Thai students win entry to the world’s elite universities.
– Bangkok Post

CDC clarifies process leading to election
The Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has explained why general elections cannot take place in 2017.
– NNT

In Thailand, blood sacrifice is out. Strawberry Fanta is in
There are no official guidelines for maintaining a serene Thai home. But if there were, they might include the following rules.
PRI 

Buying tanks won’t get us to Thailand 4.0
Finally, the Thai army is to get 10 Chinese made VT-4 tanks worth over two billion baht.
Bangkok Post 

His Majesty the King signs constitution
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has signed Thailand’s 20th constitution, starting the clock ticking for a general election to be held in late 2018 at the latest.
– Bangkok Post

Thailand is best for online brand safety
Thailand has the safest online advertising environment in Southeast Asia as well as offering the highest rate of viewable ads across both display and video, according to a new study.
Warc 

FX in Thailand: FinanceFeeds investigation – Arb traders, High Net Worth retail customers and how to succeed post Boston and Fortress damage
Thailand is now home to highly analytical traders with $100,000 minimum deposits. Here is what they are looking for in a broker.
Finance Feeds 

Rama IV becoming ‘new landmark’ for mixed-use developments
Rama IV Road is transforming into a new landmark area of Bangkok as it increasingly becomes the location of mixed-used developments combining luxury hotels, retail outlets, offices and condominiums.
The Nation 

Thailand Post launches commemorative
Thailand Post on Thursday launched a new set of four stamps to commemorate the State Railway of Thailand’s 120th anniversary.
The Nation 

Mazda looks into making electric vehicles in Thailand
Japanese carmaker Mazda has responded to the government’s “Thailand 4.0” technology policy with a feasibility study on producing electric vehicles (EVs) in this country.
The Nation 

Scania predicts 41.5% growth in truck sales
Scania Siam Co, the local arm of the Swedish bus and truck maker, is optimistic that accelerated infrastructure investment, recovering exports, higher prices for certain crops, growing tourism and greater Asean trade will help boost demand for heavy-duty trucks.
Bangkok Post

Thailand Offers Golden Visa To Brexit Weary Expats
If Brexit is too much for you and you are worried about your status as a British expat in Europe, then Thailand is offering a new home.
Money International 

Thailand-based EGCO takes 20% stake in Chevron geothermal assets in Indonesia
Thailand-based company EGCO has acquired a 20% stake in two geothermal power plants in Indonesia, as part of a deal by Philippines-based Ayala Corp. and Indonesian Star Energy involving the sale of geothermal assets by Chevron in Indonesia.
– ThinkGeoenergy

Sansern: Pickup can carry up to six in bed, cab
A pickup truck can carry up to six people in its cab and bed, the government spokesman said on Thursday in an attempt to clear the confusion over the relaxed safety rule.
Bangkok Post

S-Curve industrial estate mulled
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) will do a joint study with the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) on the development of an industrial estate for a “new S-Curve” industry.
Bangkok Post

Thai Lion to pounce on U-tapao airport
Thai Lion Air (TLA) appears to be chasing arch rival Thai AirAsia (TAA) for emerging business out of U-tapao airport in Rayong.
Bangkok Post

Transport aims to reduce highway fatalities​ by 5% during Songkran festival
The Transport Ministry aims to reduce traffic fatalities by 5% with the enforcement of tougher traffic rules during the upcoming Songkran festival, beginning April 8-18.
Thai PBS

Vans operating on Thai-Lao border fully comply with traffic laws
Ahead of the Songkran Festival, all vans operating across the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Nong Khai have been improved to meet safety requirements.
NNT

Almost 6 million people have paid homage to the late King in front of his urn
The Bureau of the Royal Household announced today that until yesterday a total of 5,893,843 people have arrived to pay homage to the beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej in front of his urn since His Majesty passed away on October 13 last year.
Thai PBS

Min of Interior moves to ensure public safety and security for Songkran
The Permanent Secretary for Interior has coordinated with provincial governors to ensure public safety and security during the Songkran Water Festival.
NNT

 

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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

Trump’s Trade Threats Forcing Export-Dependent Vietnam to Pivot
President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from a Pacific Rim trade deal was viewed as a glancing blow by Vietnam’s Phu Tai Corp., which makes furniture for Wal-Mart outlets. The knockout punch may come if he follows through on threats of protectionism.
Bloomberg 

Vietnam’s Dragon Capital inks microfinance JV with Myanmar’s Loi Hein Group
Vietnam’s investment firm Dragon Capital has forged a joint venture with Myanmar-based Ruby Financial Company to provide microfinance services in the frontier market. Loi Hein Group’s Ruby Hill Financial will hold a majority stake of 51 per cent in the JV, while Dragon Capital will own the rest.
Deal Street Asia

Credit growth reaches 3.14% till March 23
Lending from January to March 23 rose by 3.14 per cent against the end of last year, according to a new report from the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV).
Viet Nam News 

Low FDI in Mekong Delta attributed to poor infrastructure
An official has attributed low foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Mekong Delta over the past years to poor infrastructure.
Saigon 

Decree imposes fines on minerals, water resources violations
The Government has issued a decree on punishments for administrative violations in the minerals and water resources sectors, imposing fines ranging from VNĐ250 million (US$11,125) to VNĐ2 billion ($89,000).
Viet Nam News 

Education Ministry gives recognition to more foreign degrees
The number of applications for recognition of foreign degrees made to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) increased by 44 times in 2008-2016.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Hanoi to make effort to attract resources for investment and development
Hanoi Party Committee has recently organized a meeting to collect feedback of leaders of ministries and central agencies, focusing on five years of implementing the 11th Politburo’s Resolution 11 entitled “Orientation and mission for development of Hanoi in the 2011-2020 period” and three years of implementing the Capital Law.
Hanoi Times 

Solar power costs remain high in Vietnam
Vietnam’s renewable energy production costs remain higher than other countries as the country still does not have a competitive solar energy market.
VietNamNet Bridge 

SBV to issue regulations on $4.4b preferential credit package in April
The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) will issue regulations on guiding commercial banks to implement a VNĐ100 trillion (US$4.4 billion) credit package with preferential interest rates for high-tech agriculture projects.
Viet Nam News 

Vietnamese startup scores series C funding
Việt Nam-based mobile platform provider Appota announced on Thursday it had successfully raised undisclosed funding for its series C round from two investment funds in the Republic of Korea (RoK), according to the Đầu Tư (Investment) newspaper.
Viet Nam News 

PM requires expanding North-South Expressway to 6-10 lanes
The Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Transport to review and adjust the country’s expressway network plan by 2020 to expand North South Expressway to 6-10 lanes to suit the country’s development demand.
Saigon 

Air Asia makes plans to fly in Vietnam, for the fourth time
Air Asia will contribute 30 percent of the joint venture’s capital, while Gumin holds 69.9 percent of capital and HAA will provide transport facilities. The new air carrier is expected to take off early next year.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Valmet to supply automation technology to Vietnam Oil and Gas Group’s Long Phu 1 thermal power plant project in Vietnam
Valmet will supply automation to Vietnam Oil and Gas Group’s (PetroVietnam) Long Phu 1 thermal power plant project in Long Phu District, Soc Trang Province, Vietnam. The order was placed by OJSC Power Machines (Power Machines), St. Petersburg, Russia, as the general contractor and consortium leader for the project and Valmet’s value-added reseller.
GlobeNewswire 

Vietnam Gets Tough On Digital Suppliers’ Tax Non-Compliance
Vietnam is cracking down on businesses seeking to evade value-added tax by transacting with consumers through social media sites and messaging services.
Tax-News 

Hanoi district to resettle street vendors in local market
Authorities in Hanoi will reserve a part of the Thanh Xuan Bac Market in Thanh Xuan District for those street vendors who have been forced off the sidewalks in ongoing campaigns to restore order on the streets.
Tuoi Tre News 

Vietnamese apparel firms avoid stock market for now
Although Vietnamese apparel company movement toward the stock market is an inevitable trend in a market economy, only 30 businesses of the sector’s total of 6,000 have listed so far.
Vietnam Plus 

Vietnam’s pepper products to be traded on VNX
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has added pepper to the list of commodities traded on the Vietnam Commodity Exchange (VNX), according to the ministry’s Decision 1071/QD-BCT issued last week.
Vietnam Plus 

Vietnam products seek inroads into Argentinean market
Representatives from the Trade Office of the Vietnamese Embassy in Argentina had a working session with leaders of the Coto Group to explore opportunities for Vietnamese products to penetrate into the South America country’s leading super-market chain.
Vietnam Plus 

PM urges increasing added-value of rice
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has urged ministries, sectors and localities to work hard to enhance the added-value of Vietnamese rice.
Viet Nam News 

Online bargain app launched
An online bargain app for mobile phone users, called hago.me, has been launched, allowing online shoppers to freely haggle with various store owners for a product at the same time.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Vietnam Emerged as Major Market for Indian Shrimp Exports in 2016
At the same time that India has become as major shrimp supplier to the US market, it has also stepped up exports to Vietnam with shipments in some months even surpassing those to the US.
SeaFood News 

 

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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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