Asean Morning News For March 20

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For March 20
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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.

 

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today @aecnewstoday

 

Malaysia The Best Place to Retire to in Asean as Thailand Loses its Shine
When it comes to the best place to retire to in Asean you can’t go past Malaysia; at least according to the results of the latest International Living (IL) Annual Global Retirement Index 2017 (AGRI 2017).
— AEC News Today

ASEAN-China tourism cooperation to boost linkages
THE Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China will have much to gain from strengthened cooperation in the tourism industry, a high-ranking Chinese official said on Thursday.
— Business World

Time for Asean to rethink ties with Pyongyang
The regional grouping should take stock of its ties with a nation that opts for killings and missiles.
— The Straits Times

Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya issue’ is a regional refugee crisis – ASEAN must intervene
In June 2012, communal riots between Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists first erupted in the state of Rakhine. After the subsequent government crackdown and “persecution” of the area’s Rohingya, state-sponsored violence induced forced displacements of this Muslim minority.
— The Conversation AU

SME-exporters need govt help to compete in Asean
SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) want to compete with their Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) peers, but they need promotional funds and market research in order to do so, according to an exporters’ group.
— The Manila Times

ASEAN brings full-on Southeast Asia cruising to Seatrade Cruise Global
Tourism authorities from Southeast Asia had their biggest presence ever at this year’s Seatrade Cruise Global to showcase collective efforts under the ‘Cruise Southeast Asia’s brand.
— Seatrade Cruise News

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ASEAN wants meeting with US secretary of state to discuss Trump’s policy on region, Asia
Foreign ministers of member-states of the Association of South East Asian Nations are seeking a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo said Thursday.
— GMA News

ASEAN migrant workers to benefit from instrument’s expected approval in April
Migrant workers of ASEAN member states, including those of the Philippines, stand to benefit once the instrument on the protection and promotion of their rights is approved, a social welfare official has said.
— Manila Bulletin

Report assess mobility of highly skilled in ASEAN countries
Beginning in 2005, Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) began signing agreements to speed the mutual recognition of professional and academic qualifications in a number of occupations across the 10-country bloc. While mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) have been signed in seven occupations and progress is being made toward an eighth, full implementation has yet to be realized.
— St. Paul Asian American Press

Engaging with ASEAN’s economic ministers
In line with our hosting of ASEAN, the economic ministers had their retreat and other related meetings last week, hosted by its chairman, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) was fortunate enough to engage with them, providing an avenue for us members to lay out our plans for this year and beyond.
— Phil Star

Asia: Malaysia’s IOSCO coup might kick-start Asean progress
Malaysia is proud to be IOSCO’s first non-Madrid hub, but the deeper significance will be if it spurs long-delayed regional market integration.
— Euromoney magazine

50 years of Asean to be marked with seminar & food festival
The Asean Committee in Doha (ACD) is planning to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Asean by organising trade and investment seminar and food festival in the last quarter of this year.
The Asean community worldwide is celebrating 2017 as the golden anniversary of the founding of the bloc through various events.
— The Peninsula Qatar

Samitivej aims for Asean hospital lead
SAMITIVEJ Sukhumvit Hospital aims to build on its reputation to become the leading hospital and referral destination for patients in Asean and the broader region.
— The Nation

SE Asia to aid Chailease growth
Chailease Holding Co Ltd expects its expanded presence in Southeast Asia to sustain earnings growth this year, chairman Albert Chen said last week.
— Taipei Times

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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Microlender in monster deal
Hong Kong financial giant The Bank of East Asia and Sri Lanka’s LOLC announced on Friday that they have jointly acquired a majority stake in Prasac Microfinance, Cambodia’s largest microfinance institution (MFI) by assets, in what could be the largest acquisition of a Cambodian lender to date.
The Phnom Penh Post

Beer tops advertising budgets
Beer advertising is one of the fastest growing advertising segments in the Kingdom, though just as people often struggle to keep track of how many beers they have put away, the amount that local breweries and distributors actually spend on media placements is subject to widely varying estimates.
The Phnom Penh Post

Sri Lankan Firm Buys Majority Ownership of Largest MFI
A Sri Lankan conglomerate has acquired majority ownership of Prasac, Cambodia’s largest microfinance institution (MFI), for $186 million, according to an announcement on Friday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Microloans Work for Some, Leave Many in Debt
Nearly everyone living in Pann Sopheatra’s village, just across the Mekong River from Phnom Penh, has either taken out a microfinance loan or knows someone who has.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia deports 77 illegal Vietnamese immigrants
The Cambodian authorities on Sunday expelled 77 Vietnamese nationals to their birth country for illegally living and working in the country, a senior police official said.
Northbound Philippines News Online

Chinese-invested airline launched in Cambodia
A Chinese-backed airline, JC International Airlines, was launched in Cambodia on Saturday with daily flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province, and Siem Reap province and Sihanoukville.
Global Times

Family of Slain Analyst Calls for Renewed Investigation as Speculation Mounts Over Murder Footage
The family of slain political commentator Kem Ley have called for a renewed investigation into the circumstances surrounding his murder following the release of security camera footage purporting to show the killer fleeing the scene of the crime.
VOA

Vice President attending funeral of Cambodian deputy prime minister
Vice President Jusuf Kalla departed for Cambodia on Sunday morning to attend the funeral of the deputy prime minister of Cambodia, Sok An, in Phnom Penh.
The Jakarta Post

Local aid worker claims adoption papers for Angelina Jolie’s son Maddox were ‘faked’
Angelina Jolie’s adoption papers for her son Maddox were reportedly faked, according to a local aid worker. Director of an aid charity, Mounh Sarath, has sensationally claimed that he signed official documents in Cambodia that named him the father of Maddox, in order to speed up the adoption process and provide a local address.
Goss.ie

Rainsy incitement case over Ley comments wraps
A verdict is due on March 30 in the incitement and defamation case brought against former opposition leader Sam Rainsy by Prime Minister Hun Sen over comments suggesting government involvement in the murder of political analyst Kem Ley.
The Phnom Penh Post

Gov’t mobile campaign to end amid grumbling
A government message that’s been playing before every outgoing phone call for the past few weeks – part of a campaign to publicly distance the state from microfinance operators – will be gone by the end of the month.
The Phnom Penh Post

Salary Raises Coming for Local Officials Ahead of June Elections
All elected local officials will see their salaries raised next month—just ahead of commune elections in June—after a sub-decree was signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Facing Legal Threat, CNRP Set to Drop Campaign Slogan
Facing a potentially devastating lawsuit from the long-ruling CPP, the opposition CNRP is reportedly abandoning its campaign slogan for the coming commune elections.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

All-female company in Cambodia offers moped tours
The Motogirls are offering customised motorcycle tours of the capital city, Phnom Penh, in an industry dominated by men.
TRT World

Cambodia’s JC Int’l Airlines commences operations
Having secured its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from Cambodia’s Secretariat of State Civil Aviation (SSCA), JC International Airlines (Phnom Penh) commenced revenue operations on Friday, March 17 with a return flight between Siem Reap and Macau Int’l.
ch-aviation

Cambodia’s Opposition Awaits Court Ruling on Campaign Slogan
Cambodia’s opposition party will stop using a slogan the ruling party has characterized as incitement if the country’s courts rule against it, a lawmaker pledged Friday, as the country gears up for local commune elections in June.
Radio Free Asia

Thailand bribery rate is worse than Myanmar and Cambodia: survey
Transparency International has published its 2017 report of global corruption barometer entitled “People and Corruption : Asia Pacific.” It estimates that more than 900 million people across the 16 surveyed places had paid a bribe in the past year when trying to access basic services such as education or healthcare.
The Nation

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Indonesia ‘Death Zoo’: President Widodo Petitioned to Save Starving Sun Bears at Bandung Zoo
A petition imploring Indonesia President Joko Widodo and Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, to shut down the Bandung Zoo on Change.com has so far garnered more than 704,900 signatures. The petition was started after video of what appear to be emaciated Sun Bears (also known as honey bears) was posted on social media sites, including that of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
— AEC News Today

Growth of IS See’s Female Terrorist Numbers Rise in Indonesia
Women’s roles in terrorist networks in Indonesia have until now been dictated by kinship ties through marriage, involving facilitating logistics and finance for terrorist acts. But there is a growing trend of women taking on combat roles.
— AEC News Today

Indonesia Plans to File WTO Complaint over EU Biodiesel Duties
Indonesia plans to file a World Trade Organization complaint this month against European Union anti-dumping duties on biodiesel exports from the Southeast Asian country, trade officials said on Sunday (19/03).
— Jakarta Globe

Freeport Put $12 Billion Into a Giant Mine; Now Indonesia Is Squeezing It Out
Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s standoff with Indonesia over the giant Grasberg copper and gold mine is entering a new phase, as the company scales back operations while trying to force a resolution to the dispute.
— Wall Street Journal

Indonesia adds 500 MW into electricity grid from new mobile power plants
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Saturday officially inaugurated the operation across the archipelago of eight gas-based mobile power plants (MPP) with a total capacity of 500 megawatts (MW).
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia boosts efforts to protect migrant workers in Malaysia
Indonesia is intensifying its efforts to protect migrant workers in Malaysia, as indicated by a visit to Penang and Johor by Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi this week.
— The Jakarta Post

Link Net Reports Solid Growth in Profit, Operating Profit and Revenue
Cable TV and broadband internet provider Link Net reported solid revenue and net income growth in 2016, thanks to a big increase in its residential and corporate costumers.
— Jakarta Globe

PAN to Support Anies-Sandiaga in Second Round of Jakarta Poll
The National Mandate Party, or PAN, on Saturday (18/03) officially announced its support for Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno in the second round of Jakarta’s gubernatorial election on April 19.
— Jakarta Globe

Another Banker Arrested in Rockit Adelway $62.5m Fraud Case
A banker, identified as I.U., has been arrested for allegedly receiving a bribe in return for approving a fake loan proposal from Harry Suganda, the owner of Rockit Adelway construction materials firm, police said on Sunday (19/03).
— Jakarta Globe

BRG Partners With Indigenous Groups to Restore Peatlands and Combat Wildfires
The Peatland Restoration Agency, or BRG, and the Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago, known as AMAN, have agreed to work together in peatland restoration and combating wildfires.
— Jakarta Globe

World Bank, AIIB Set Aside $200m for Local Public Infrastructure
The World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have agreed to provide a $200 million loan to state-owned infrastructure financing firm, Sarana Multi Infrastruktur, paving the way for the firm to set up a fund to help local governments finance large-scale infrastructure projects.
— Jakarta Globe

Not Only Monitoring, but Also Sexual Education Needed to Fight Child Porn: ECPAT
When a group of mothers earlier this week helped the police uncover a child pornography group on Facebook, the news shocked many, but ECPAT Indonesia says the case is nothing new.
— Jakarta Globe

French journalists deported from Indonesia
Indonesia has deported two French journalists for committing visa violations while shooting a documentary film in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua.
— Sky News Australia

Indonesia shuts down Ahmadiyya Mosque in Depok
Ahmadis were forced to perform Friday prayers in the courtyard after Indonesian authorities shut down the community’ Mosque in Depok, a satellite city of the capital, Jakarta.
— Rabwah Times (press release) (blog)

Jokowi encouraged not to change stance on tobacco bill
The recent decision made by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to kill the controversial tobacco bill and support public health has garnered compliments from the public and anti tobacco activists. However, his decision to send ministers to inform the House is feared to open gates that could overturn his decision.
— The Jakarta Post

Interfaith leaders to tour Europe, US to introduce Indonesia’s moderate Islam
Indonesian interfaith leaders are set to visit several countries across Europe and the United States to introduce values of tolerance among Islamic religious followers in the country.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia eyes increased trade with Mindanao
More robust trade between Indonesia and the Philippines, particularly within the areas of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines (BIMP) sub-regional grouping, is expected with the soon-to-be-launched Davao-General Santos-Bitung roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) cargo route and increased marketing initiatives.
— Business World

Indonesian officials told to stop shaking down Chinese tourists
The Chinese embassy in Indonesia has accused local customs officials of targeting Chinese tourists and demanding they give them illicit “tips” at border controls.
— The Star Online

Fintech firms see huge potential in e-commerce in Indonesia
A bright yellow sign at the front of Mr Asep Hermawan’s stall in South Jakarta reads, “We accept KJP for the purchase of school uniforms, books and pencils”.
— The Straits Times

Indonesia’s tobacco bill stubbed out but concerns remain
INDONESIA’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo this week rejected a draft law that if approved could have led to a sharp increase in tobacco output, putting himself on a collision course with major players in one of the country’s oldest industries.
— Asian Correspondent

Jakarta’s Iconic Gelora Bung Karno Stadium Spruced Up for 2018 Asian Game
Jakarta’s iconic Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, named after Indonesia’s first president Soekarno and opened for the first time for the 1962 Asian Games, is being refurbished for another Asian Games next year.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesian tribes rally for land rights
Thousands of tribal Indonesians gathered on Sumatra, urging President Joko Widodo to protect their land rights.
— Al jazeera

Indonesian man broadcast his suicide on Facebook shocking netizens
An Indonesian man broadcast his suicide on Facebook, which shocked netizens before the government called for the social media platform to take down the content.
— The Jakarta Post

Fire in Sentani kills two toddlers
A fire in an employee compound at Kampung Harapan in Sentani, Papua, on Saturday destroyed seven semi-permanent buildings and killed two toddlers, brothers Herice Wally, 4, and Ted John Wally, 3.
— The Jakarta Post

 

 

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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Laos, Japan to revise air service agreement
A DELEGATION from Japan will meet with Lao government officials in Vientiane this week to negotiate improvements to the air service agreement signed by the two parties last year.
The Nation

Lao Front adopts new administrative structure
The Lao Front for National Construction has adopted a new structure, which includes a ceremonial committee vice president, an inspection committee, and four advisory committees.
Vientiane Times

PM urges Vientiane to tackle city’s challenges
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has urged Vientiane authorities to strengthen their efforts to address various issues that are challenging development in the capital.
Vientiane Times

UNICEF Provides US$7.2 m for Health Nutrition and WASH in Laos
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund has provided US$7.2 million for interventions in health, nutrition, and the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme in rural areas of Laos.
Lao News Agency

Japan Provides Scholarships to Lao Nationals to Study in Japan
The government of Japan has provided 19 scholarships to Lao students to study in Japan for bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and undergraduate levels in different subjects.
Lao News Agency

Lao outbound trips tip 3 million
Lao PDR’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism’s Tourism Development Department reports Lao citizens made 3.05 million trips in 2016.
TTR Weekly

Lao and Mien veterans of ‘Secret War’ share their stories
America’s Secret War in Laos was recounted Saturday at the McConnell Foundation where speakers from the Lao and Mien communities in Shasta County told stories of how they fought alongside their U.S. allies to combat communist forces during the Vietnam War.
Record Searchlight

Almost 9,000 Newly Registered Vehicles in Only Two Months
There have been almost 9,000 newly registered vehicles in the first two months of this year thanks to ongoing socio-economic growth.
Lao News Agency

All New Ford Everest Cash in Transit debuted in Laos
The RMA Lao Company and Lao Ford City have introduced the “All New Ford Everest Cash in Transit” to its customers in Vientiane Capital, Laos.
Lao News Agency

Laos, Malaysia keen to expand cooperative relations
Laos and Malaysia are keen to expand bilateral cooperation particularly in areas relating to investment, banking, finance, transportation, tourism, education and human resource development for mutual benefit.
Vientiane Times

UNICEF extends support for improved nutrition
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to Laos has forecast a budget of over US$7 million in assistance to Laos from 2017 to 2018 to improve nutritional health.
Vientiane Times

3,000 take part in Rising Together-Baton Run in Vientiane
About 3,000 participants took part in the Rising Together-Baton Run in Vientiane, Laos, to promote the Aug 19-31 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
The Star Online

K-pop groups seek to explore non-Chinese markets
Popular K-pop stars held successful concerts in East Asian nations over the weekend, in a positive sign that the region can fill the hole left in the wake of a diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing over a U.S. anti-missile system.
Yonhap News Agency

 

Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

IOSCO launches Asia-Pacific hub in Malaysia
The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the world’s leading body of capital market regulators that oversees markets worth over US$140tril, launched its first-ever Asia-Pacific hub in Malaysia.
The Star Online

Banks’ asset quality likely to drop
After years of improvement, the asset quality of Malaysian banks could see some deterioration with the banking system’s gross impaired-loan (GIL) ratio expected to touch 1.8% this year, although this figure is still favourable compared with their Asean peers.
The Star Online

SME Bank sees loan growth at 7pct
SME Bank Bhd expects to see its total financing portfolio grow at seven per cent this year, versus the 12.5 per cent recorded last year.
New Straits Times

MAS upbeat on China market, set to add 8 new routes there by Oct
Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS) is opening up eight new routes to China, adding to the existing 17, says chief executive officer Peter Bellew.
New Straits Times

Perak pays price for ‘excessive tourism’
Pulau Sembilan, a cluster of nine islands off Perak, has been declared off-limits because of public apathy and environment degradation.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysia off to a flying start in 2017, says Najib
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia recorded many achievements to be proud of in the first three months of this year (Q1) and had received positive reports in local and international media.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysia expects more arrests in Kim Jong Nam murder probe: report
Malaysian police are expected to make a few more arrests, including an “important person”, in connection with the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, state media reported on Sunday.
Reuters

Malaysia hunting for more N. Korean suspects in Kim’s death
Malaysia says it is hunting for more North Korean suspects over the killing of the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
ABC News

Good Q1 For Malaysia – Najib
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia recorded many achievements to be proud of in the first three months of this year (Q1) and had received positive reports in local and international media.
Malaysian Digest

Najib denies ‘M’sia among 10 most corrupt countries’, decries enemies’ lies
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has reminded the people regarding crucial matters which could destroy the country including being the country’s covert enemies or conspiring with the country’s enemies.
Malaysia Kini

What lies ahead for a stateless child in Malaysia?
Children who are born in Malaysia but fail to get citizenship are thrown into a complex bureaucratic and legal mess, leaving them with an uncertain future that can appear hopeless.
Yahoo News

Partner search: Why 2 foreign bidders regard Proton as valuable?
Two huge car companies with global operations are now running neck-and-neck bidding for a majority stake of Proton, with both offering many sweeteners to win over the Malaysian car maker.
New Straits Times

Inclusion into The Montreal Group testament to hard work: SME Bank’s Mohd Radzif
The inclusion of SME Bank Bhd into the The Montreal Group (TMG) is a testament to the hard work the bank had achieved in spurring the local small and medium enterprises (SME) landscape for the past six years.
New Straits Times

Malaysia seen retaining property cooling measures
COUNTRIES in the region that imposed property cooling measures at around the same time are not likely to be relaxing them almost simultaneously due to differing economic conditions.
The Star Online

Boon for contractors, foreign funds buy construction, property stocks
Construction and property stocks rallied in a market that saw foreign funds becoming net buyers. Companies deemed to be beneficiaries of large construction projects saw some action.
The Star Online

Explain why KL draft plan dropped, say civil society groups
People’s representatives should press the authorities to explain why the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 is being replaced, said former Transparency International Malaysia president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam.
Malay Mail Online

 

 

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Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Duterte eyes pact with Myanmar on food security, agriculture
The Philippine government may sign a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar on food security and agricultural cooperation on the second day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first visit to the country.
— Inquirer.Net

Australian mining company to back out of Myanmar investment
Australian mining firm Eumeralla Resources has announced it is planning to divest from its operations in Myanmar, almost four years after it applied for an exploration licence in the country.
— Frontier Myanmar

Trade with China exceeds $7bn
From April to December, trade with China exceeded US$7 billion, according to a report by the Ministry of Planning and Finance.
— Eleven

Myanmar-US bilateral trade reached nearly $330 million over past 10 months
BILATERAL trade between Myanmar and the US reached almost US$330 million in the first 10 months of this fiscal year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Commerce.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

4m containers expected by 2025
Yangon’s ports are expected to receive more than two million containers by 2020, according to the Myanma Port Authority (MPA).
— Eleven

Current FY sees export value up by nearly US$400m
The export value with the foreign trade partners as of 3rd March in the current fiscal year 2016-2017 amounted to US$10,454.657million with US$ 6323.113mil through normal trade and US$ 4131.544 through border trade, according to the Commerce Ministry.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

K50 million approved for road repairs in Bagan
THE Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library (Bagan branch) has approved a request for K50 million from the Bagan Regional Development Association (BRDA) to repair and upgrade roads near the pagodas in the archaeological zone.
— Myanmar Times

Bridge name makes troubled waters for Myanmar’s Suu Kyi
Thousands of people protested in eastern Myanmar on Sunday (Mar 19) against plans to name a bridge after Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, the latest flashpoint between her administration and the country’s restless ethnic minorities.
— Channel NewsAsia

Banana plantation in Myanmar breaches forests
Kachin State residents are reportedly seizing land from protected forests and selling it to Chinese entrepreneurs who want to grow tissue-culture bananas. An acre is reportedly sold for Ks500,000 (US$367).
— The Nation

Confident iflix aims high in Myanmar
GIVEN that iflix has received more than 11,000 subscriptions within one week after its launch in Myanmar, the Kuala Lumpur-based streaming service provider is confident that it will be successful in the market as a pioneer, said Adeana Greenlee, iflix’s country manger for Myanmar.
— The Nation

Government Currently Subsidising Electricity Bill
Ministers and industry experts say the government’s approach of paying the electricity bill using the union budget is a hindrance to the development of the sector.
— Consult-Myanmar

Hluttaw to recess after budget approval
HE 2017-18 National Planning Bill from the Union government was approved by Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on March 15, following a K296 billion cut from the original allocated amount.
— Myanmar Times

Regional govt wants to expand GAP certification
THE Mandalay regional agriculture and irrigation ministry is awarding ‘Good Agricultural Practices’ (GAP) certification to 15 kinds of fruits and vegetables grown by farmers in the region.
— Myanmar Times

Free health care provided and DHF prevention measures taken
Patheingyi township health department is providing free health care and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) prevention measures to villagers from Shin Taw Gon village on Thursday.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Drinking water to distribute daily to water-scarce villages in summer
Kyaukpadaung township rural development department is collecting household and population data at the villages which can face water shortage problem this summer. Township department head Daw Myint Win and her staff are conducting the field inspection to observe the water resources near those villages.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

NLD faces uphill battle in Chaungzon after bridge name dispute
The National League for Democracy remains hopeful of claiming a by-election victory in Mon State’s Chaungzon Township, despite recent protests in the area over the naming of a bridge.
— Frontier Myanmar

Japan’s gamble to help Myanmar’s peace process
As clashes between ethnic insurgents and military forces in northern Myanmar continue, a Japanese-funded venture is endeavoring to help fortify the peace process between two of the oldest foes in the country’s 70-year conflict– the Karen National Union and the military.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Now is the time to invest, Myanmar
Myanmar government finance chiefs have urged to foreign businesses to capitalise on the opportunities now in the country.
— The Nation

Five Content Providers to be Announced at The End of This Month
Five content providers in a shortlist of ten companies will be announced at the end of this month, said Dr Pe Myint, from the Ministry of Information.
— Consult-Myanmar

Myanmar investigators meet Rohingyas in Bangladesh camps
A 10-member investigation commission from Myanmar arrived in Cox’s Bazar Sunday to meet the Rohingyas who had fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State since a military crackdown was launched in October last year.
— Dhaka Tribune

Myanmar hard-line Buddhists protest citizenship for Rohingya
Hundreds of hard-line Buddhists in a Myanmar state wracked by religious violence protested Sunday against the government’s plan to give citizenship to some members of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority community.
— Times Colonist

Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya issue’ is a regional refugee crisis – ASEAN must intervene
In June 2012, communal riots between Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists first erupted in the state of Rakhine. After the subsequent government crackdown and “persecution” of the area’s Rohingya, state-sponsored violence induced forced displacements of this Muslim minority.
— The Conversation AU

Thousands of Christians Flee Myanmar’s Conflict Zones to Escape Religious Persecution
With an escalation of fighting between ethnic rebel groups and government troops in Myanmar’s conflict areas that are spread along the country’s borders, civilians from ethnic and religious minorities are being forced to flee for safety. Tens of thousands of Christians have taken refuge in Malaysia, according to reports.
— Christian Post

The Secretariat proposed to serve as a museum
The Secretariat building, which is a colonial heritage with over a century of history, is under construction for major repairs but the Anawmar offered no specific details when they were contacted by the Myanmar Times.
— Myanmar Times

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Philippines’ Duterte says can’t stop China developing shoal
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday (Mar 19) he could not stop China from building on a disputed shoal near his country’s west coast because it was too powerful.
— Channel NewsAsia

Banks ordered to update anti-money laundering rules
THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has ordered banks and other financial entities to update their anti-money laundering rules to accommodate a more “flexible” approach on client verification, which allows the firms to adopt digital processes and relax requirements for the unbanked segment.
— Business World

Philippines’ Duterte welcomes prospect of ICC case, says ‘brutal’ war on drugs to go on
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday welcomed the prospect of the International Criminal Court (ICC) putting him on trial over his bloody war on drugs, saying he would not be intimidated and his campaign would be unrelenting and “brutal”.
— Reuters

Philippines to strengthen military facilities in South China Sea
The Philippines said on Friday it would strengthen its military facilities on islands and shoals in the disputed South China Sea and announced initial plans to build a new port and pave an existing rough airstrip.
— Reuters

Parents in Philippines taking money from Western paedophiles for webcam abuse
Authorities in the Philippines have warned the sexual exploitation of children online is a “growing trend”, despite ramped-up global efforts to rescue minors from abuse.
— Sky News

Philippine bishops preach against restoring death penalty
Philippine Catholic bishops fired back against efforts to restore the death penalty with a special prayer read at all masses on Sunday (Mar 19).
— Channel NewsAsia

De Lima vows to continue speaking out
Sen. Leila de Lima vowed yesterday to continue speaking out against the “crooked and violent” Duterte administration as she thanked her supporters for giving her strength while in jail.
— Phil Star

World Bank funds Metro Manila BRT system
In a statement sent to reporters on Friday, the World Bank said its Board of Executive Directors approved the financing for $109.4-million Metro Manila BRT Line 1 project, which will come from the lender and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF).
— Business World

Duterte blasts EU anew: Do not impose your culture on us
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday blasted the European Union (EU) anew, days after the it raised concerns about the human rights situation in the Philippines before the United Nations Human Rights Council as the casualties in Duterte’s controversial war on drugs continue.
— ABS-CBN

SolGen backs Speaker Alvarez’s impeachment bid vs Robredo
Solicitor General Jose Calida said that he will support House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez’s plan to file an impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo over the latter’s video to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs where she criticized the conduct of the administration’s anti-drug campaign.
— Phil Star

Duterte eyes pact with Myanmar on food security, agriculture
The Philippine government may sign a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar on food security and agricultural cooperation on the second day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first visit to the country.
— Inquirer.Net

PH scientists get P140M in US grants for research
Just after US President Donald Trump razed funding for foreign aid, including that for US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US ambassador to Manila was hailing what he said were some of the Philippines’ best scientific minds who are beneficiaries of a USAID grant and scholarship program.
— Inquirer.Net

Duterte hits critics in front of Filipinos in Myanmar
President Rodrigo Duterte blasted his critics in front of the Filipino community gathered at the Horizon Lake View Resort in Nay Pyi Taw on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Duterte is in Myanmar for a two-day visit. (Video from RTVM)
— Inquirer.Net

Foreign debt at six-year low in 2016
THE COUNTRY’s foreign debt declined in 2016 to a six-year low, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said, as the Philippines settled more of its offshore borrowings and as the stronger dollar pulled the gross amount down from a year ago.
— Business World

Regional governments should encourage local products` competitiveness: President
President Joko Widodo has expressed hope for regional governments that have direct borders with neighboring countries, to encourage local products competitiveness for the export market.
— Antara News

Duterte reveals daughter Sara wanted to resign as Davao mayor
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday revealed that his daughter, Sara Duterte, attempted to resign from her post as Davao City mayor.
— ABS-CBN

House leader affirms support for tax reform package despite setback
A HOUSE of Representatives leader has affirmed congressional support for the Department of Finance’s (DoF) comprehensive tax reform package despite its setback in his own committee.
— Business World

Indonesia eyes increased trade with Mindanao
More robust trade between Indonesia and the Philippines, particularly within the areas of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines (BIMP) sub-regional grouping, is expected with the soon-to-be-launched Davao-General Santos-Bitung roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) cargo route and increased marketing initiatives.
— Business World

Analysts see two BSP rate hikes this year
THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) will likely hold fire on policy settings this Thursday despite last week’s widely expected rate hike in the United States, although some analysts expect up to two increases later this year in the face of rising inflation and a weakening peso.
— Business World

Wilcon to raise P7B in Philippines’ 1st IPO this year
WILCON Depot, Inc. is raising P7 billion in the first initial public offering (IPO) this year after pricing the deal at the low end of its target range.
— Business World

Solar pioneer starts 150-MW Tarlac solar farm
Solar Philippines has kicked off the construction of its 150-megawatt (MW) solar farm with battery storage here, its largest solar power project to-date, which can provide the province’s requirements in six months time, its top official said yesterday.
— Manila Bulletin

P326-B infrastructure projects start this year
THE FINANCE department said groundbreaking is expected this year on three railway projects outside Metro Manila, as well as new public transport lines along the main Metro Manila artery, Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).
— Business World

PH, China sign 6-year trade, economic dev’t plan
A six-year Philippines-China trade and economic development program was signed here Friday by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general Ernesto Pernia and Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying.
— Manila Bulletin

Duterte denies hand in impeachment of Robredo; VP ramps up criticism
President Duterte denied yesterday having any hand in the calls for the impeachment of Vice President Leni Robredo insisting that he is already “beyond politics.”
— Manila Bulletin

PH seals deal with cruise giant to build port in Aklan
The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Province of Aklan on Tuesday clinched an important business deal that would further open the Western Visayas region to the global cruising market.
— Manila Bulletin

Duterte to PNP: Spare civilians in drug war
President Rodrigo Duterte over the weekend said that he will not allow civilians to be killed in the continuation of the administration’s war against drugs.
— The Manila Times

Philippines rejects European Parliament’s call on senator
The administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday rejected a call by the European Parliament for the release of Sen. Leila de Lima, a leading critic of the president who has been detained on drug charges, and told the international community to refrain from influencing her case.
— Marianas Variety

The Philippines is on the rise in medical tourism
Top notch medical expert on international patient safety and quality healthcare, The Medical City Clark Philippines, was highlighted at the recently concluded Medical Travel Congress at Kuwait Health.
— Khaleej Times

Philippines Joins the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
Earlier this week, the Philippines formally joined the Paris Agreement. The next step for the country, according to its Climate Change Commission, will be to finalize and mainstream the “country’s obligations under the agreement into national policies, plans and programs.” These obligations include a conditional commitment to reduce emissions by 70 percent below projected levels by 2030.
— Natural Resources Defense Council

DOLE downplays layoff scenario
An official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shrugged off yesterday the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines’ warning that Department Order No. 174 would lead to massive displacement of workers.
— Phil Star

 

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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

Ezra Files for U.S. Bankruptcy as Marine Debt Crunch Spreads
Ezra Holdings Ltd., a Singapore-listed oilfield services group, filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. after weeks of facing hostile actions from creditors at home and abroad as it struggles to recover from a slump in oil prices over the past three years.
Bloomberg Quint 

Singapore investors still on long-term ‘sell’ on Wall Street
SINGAPORE-BASED investors capitalised on a 4 per cent rise in the S&P 500 and a 9 per cent gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2016’s fourth quarter by selling into strength – the latest US Treasury data showed them disposing of a net US$972 million of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE ) shares during that period.
The Business Times 

80 rain shelters for motorcyclists to use on expressways
Singapore has built 80 rain shelters at expressways for motorcyclists to take cover or take breaks, but some bikers have still been spotted pulling up at road shoulders despite a horrific crash on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) on March 11.
The Straits Times 

Singapore provides an example for the UAE to match
Earlier this month, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, gave an inspiring speech to Emirati youth at the Mohammed bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations.
The National 

Maritime CEO Forum set for April 24 in Singapore
Today marks the official launch of the Maritime CEO Forum. To be held at the Fullerton Hotel on April 24 at the start of Singapore Maritime Week, the event will bring together some of the biggest names in shipowning shipmanagement for what the organizers-the parent of this site-describe as ‘the ultimate anti-shipping conference’.
Splash24/7 

Interior design trade bodies act to lift standards
LOCAL interior design firms looking to move into China will soon be able to count on assistance from the recently revived Society of Interior Designers Singapore (Sids) which has lined up ambitious plans to advance the industry’s interests.
The Business Times 

M1’s three big shareholders start stake reviews
M1 Ltd announced that its three substantial shareholders – Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (KPTT), Axiata Group (Axiata) and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) are working with a financial adviser to conduct a strategic review of their respective 28.5%, 19.2% and 13.4% stakes in M1.
Singapore Business Review 

11th bilateral armour exercise conducted between Singapore and Indian armies.
Exercise Bold Kurukshetra, a bilateral armour exercise, will be conducted between the Singapore and Indian Army (IA) from March 4 to 21, 2017.
Connected To India 

How to land a job in Google
Singaporean Muhammad Mohsin admits to being awed by the work environment and staff perks provided by his employer Google, when he started work as a software engineer at Mountain View, California, four years ago.
The Straits Times 

Brazil says exports safe despite rotten meat scandal
Brazil tried to reassure the world on Sunday that its huge meat industry poses no threat despite allegations that major exporters have been selling tainted beef and poultry with falsified inspection certificates.
The Business Times 

Sports minister Fu: ‘Football must be the priority’
The gloves appear to be off, as the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) gears up for its first contested elections next month.
The New Paper 

Professional Development in Singapore Mathematics Comes to Massachusetts | Boston-Natick, Ma | April 27-28, 2017
Exceptional mathematics learning is accomplished only through exceptional instruction, and exceptional instruction is the result of first-class professional development. This 2-day workshop is a rare opportunity to learn from world-renowned experts in mathematics education, and the Singapore approach to mathematics instruction.
PR.com

More rain shelters but bikers still stopping at road shoulders
Singapore has built more rain shelters on expressways for motorcyclists to take cover or take breaks, but some bikers have still been spotted pulling up on road shoulders despite a horrific crash on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) on March 11.
The New Paper

Is Bank of Singapore Making an Indonesian Move?
The Indonesian unit of Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, is said to be about to establish a private-banking business.
Finews.Asia 

Freedom of speech: S’pore in the eyes the world?
I refer to the High Commissioner of Singapore, London’s letter “Free speech in Singapore” (The Economist, Mar 17).
The Independent 

Spillover selling of banks to come?
News over the weekend that offshore and marine (O&M) company Ezra Holdings has filed for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to restructure its debts will undoubtedly be the main feature of trading in the early part of this week.
The New Paper 

One in two employers do not intend to hire deaf people: Survey
When he went for job interviews, Mr Alfred Yeo, who is deaf, would be asked how he would communicate with colleagues, or if he could read lips.
Today Online 

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

Armed With $11 Billion, Thai Oil Giants Hunt for Investments

The Asian energy companies sitting on the largest horde of cash outside China are ready to put it to use.
Bloomberg 

E-commerce competition to fuel growth
Thailand’s e-commerce market can expect to account for 25% of total retail sales by 2025, rising from below 5% now, say executives in the sector, driven by fierce competition among e-commerce operators…
Bangkok Post

Thai police say plot to assassinate Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha uncovered
Thai police say they have uncovered a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha after seizing a weapons cache belonging to a fugitive anti-junta activist.
The Sydney Morning Herald 

10% more flights to arrive in Thailand during Songkran Festival
Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd (AEROTHAI) has reported that 10% more flights will land in the kingdom this Songkran Festival.
– NNT

Industry Spotlight: Thailand’s Automotive Industry
Established over 50 years ago, Thailand’s automotive sector has developed into the biggest automotive hub in Southeast Asia and one of the largest in the world. As of 2016, Thailand stands as the 13th largest automotive manufacturer in the world.
Asean Briefing

Tourism to food, Buddhist Thailand hunts halal gold
From hotels with segregated swimming pools to jelly made from seaweed instead of pig bones, Buddhist Thailand is chasing halal gold as it welcomes Muslim visitors and touts its wares to the Islamic world.
Free Malaysia Today 

Problem of producing cheap biofuel from cassava solved
The state’s research agency and energy policymakers have finally discovered a way to produce biofuel from cassava at a competitive cost, says a senior Energy Ministry official.
Bangkok Post

Cheap money transfer system to boost cashless transactions in Thailand
Thailand launched a cheap electronic interbank transfer system for depositors in January, in a much awaited milestone since it unveiled a digital payment masterplan two years ago.
The Straits Times

Yves Rocher plans rapid expansion
Yves Rocher, the French cosmetics company, says it will spend 200 million baht for faster expansion in Thailand over the next three years.
Bangkok Post

How Thailand is making itself more appealing to Muslim travellers
INSIDE the cavernous dining hall of the five-star Al Meroz hotel in a Muslim suburb of Bangkok, an elderly man with a wispy beard recites verses of the Koran as a nervous-looking groom awaits the arrival of his bride.
News 

Thailand bribery rate is worse than Myanmar and Cambodia: survey
Transparency International has published its 2017 report of global corruption barometer entitled “People and Corruption : Asia Pacific.” It estimates that more than 900 million people across the 16 surveyed places had paid a bribe in the past year when trying to access basic services such as education or healthcare.
The Nation 

What Thailand can learn from Mexico on energy reform
AS HAS BEEN done for almost 80 years, Mexico last Saturday commemorated the so-called “Oil Expropriation Day”, a national holiday marking the nationalisation of the Mexican oil industry by the government of President Lazaro Cardenas in 1938. But this year’s celebration was particularly at odds with the energy reform that is taking hold in the oil-rich country.
The Nation 

Bangkok luxury condo price soars to new record
THE PRICE of a luxury condo in a prime location in Bangkok hit a record-high Bt720,000 per square metre recently.
The Nation

Thai aviation growth soars past average
Thailand’s annual growth rate puts it at the top of the list of countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). The region’s aviation growth rate is higher than the global average, Aerothai…
Bangkok Post

Thailand Still Troubled By Widespread Corruption According To Survey
Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand secretary-general Mana Nimitmongkol said yesterday that corruption in Thailand is still widespread and difficult to tackle. However, he said awareness among people to fight it has also increased, which is a good sign.
Buriram Times 

Experts make case for more people to be vaccinated against dengue
THAI MEDICAL experts have highlighted the efficacy and safety of Thailand’s first dengue vaccine.
The Nation 

Pick of rice market venue soon
The government is expected to decide on the venue for a central market for milled rice as a distribution channel for traders and farmers by mid-year, at a cost of 300-400 million baht.
Bangkok Post 

 

 

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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

Steel prices set for slight rise
Steel prices will remain stable on the domestic market this month but are expected to increase slightly soon, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Viet Nam News 

India, Vietnam halt ‘trade war’ on agricultural imports
Vietnam and India have agreed to relax import bans on each other’s agricultural produce after a period of tit for tat that hurt both countries’ businesses.
Tuoi Tre News 

ANZ to sell Vietnam retail banking operation
The ANZ Banking Group is moving ahead with the sale of its retail banking operations in Vietnam, media reports say.
Sky News 

Vietnam releases official code of conduct for tourists
Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has issued a code of conduct for the tourism industry, with recommendations for both local and international tourists, as well as tourism service providers.
Tuoi Tre News 

Vietnam Support Industry Association established
Vietnam Association of Support Industry (VASI) was officially launched in Hanoi yesterday to connect businesses in the support industry together.
Saigon 

Viet Nam, Israel have much in common: President Rivlin
Việt Nam and Israel should work together in the spirit of creativity and innovation to strengthen bilateral economic co-operation, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told the Vietnam News Agency in the run up to his March 19-25 official visit to the country.
Viet Nam News 

Hanoi to make regulations on managing and trading
Vice Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee and Deputy Head of Steering Committee for Food Safety Nguyen Van Suu has recently presided over a meeting to assess the situation and take measures to prevent Methanol poisoning.
Hanoi Times 

Vietnam, US seek ways to enhance defence cooperation
Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius discussed measures to further promote defence cooperation between the two countries during their meeting in Hanoi on March 17.
Vietnam Plus 

Market rebound likely as shareholders meet
Shares may rebound this week on high investor attention to annual shareholders’ meeting of listed companies, as well as their reports on estimated first-quarter results.
Viet Nam News 

Ministry disclaims unofficial cost on rice export licensing
The Ministry of Industry and Trade on Friday night officially rejected information on some newspapers saying that businesses must spend at least US$20,000 on rice export license, adding it pure fabrication and seriously affected the industry’s prestige.
Saigon 

Vietnam steps up islands battle with Beijing in South China Sea
Hanoi presses for return of strategic archipelago central to regional security dispute
Financial Times 

Digital in Vietnam: Is politics hindering progress?
With internet usage increasing by an average of 10% a year over the last five years, Vietnam is one of the fastest growing digital economies in the world, creating an amazing opportunity for ecommerce.
Econsultancy 

Vietnam will not retain Japanese automakers at any cost: economists
Though appreciating Japanese support to Vietnam’s industries, economists say that Japanese automobile manufacturers’ claims for investment incentives are unreasonable.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Planning Law strife marks NA debate
Intense debate over the Planning Law heated up a National Assembly Standing Committee meeting yesterday afternoon, raising fears it might not be passed in time for localities to prepare their own development plans.
Viet Nam News 

Gov’t set to relax farmland ceiling
The Government is considering relaxing limits on individual farmland holdings, a move largely welcomed by experts despite misgivings about some negative social impacts.
Viet Nam News 

Singaporean PM’s visit expected to strengthen strategic partnership
The upcoming visit of the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong will be a chance for Vietnam and Singapore to discuss strategic orientations and specific measures to deepen their strategic partnership.
Vietnam Plus 

Forum discusses journalists’ occupational ethics in digital era
Occupational ethics of journalists in the digital era was the topic of a forum held on the sidelines of the National Newspaper Festival 2017 in Hanoi on March 17, drawing a large number of representatives from press agencies, journalists and readers.
Vietnam Plus 

Condotel built without permit despite authorities’ reprimands in central Vietnam
A hotel and apartment complex has been discovered to be under construction without legitimate permits despite reprimands from local authorities in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang.
Tuoi Tre News 

HCM City to build Natural History Museum
Việt Nam’s first natural history museum will be built in HCM City on an area of 23.9 hectares inside the Historical and Cultural Park in District 9.
Viet Nam News 

 

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Asean Morning News is compiled by the editorial team at AEC News Today and published M-F: Governance, not government; policies not politics.

 

 

 

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