Asean Morning News For March 21

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For March 21

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

 

 

Attacks on lawmakers threaten the legitimacy of Cambodia’s political system, ASEAN MPs warn in new report

The Cambodian political system is facing a crisis of legitimacy that threatens to undermine the country’s already fragile claims on democracy, parliamentarians from across Southeast Asia warned today, citing a surge in harassment, threats, and attacks against lawmakers and civil society.
– APHR (media release)

Senior officials meet in Manila to prepare for ASEAN Summit
The ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) and the ASEAN Joint Consultative Meeting (JCM) took place in Manila, the Philippines from March 15-16 to discuss preparations for the 30th ASEAN Summit.
– NNT

Three countries encourage creation of ASEAN News Agencies Confederation
News agencies of Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia will encourage the creation of ASEAN News Agencies Confederation, President Director of Vietnamese News Agency (VNA) Nguyen Duc Loi said.
— Antara News

Malaysia best suited for testing, launching fintech solutions in Asean, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp CEO says
Malaysia is a suitable test-bed and platform to launch fintech (financial technology) solutions and products in Southeast Asia, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said today.
— South China Morning Post

THINK CITIES IN ASEAN AND TECH DISRUPTION WILL PLAY OUT DIFFERENTLY IN REGION
While the world’s attention is focused on North Asia, spare a thought for South-east Asia whose potential is immense and is developing at a rapid pace fuelled by a growing middle class whose behavior will be shaped differently by technology.
— Web in Travel

Assessing the ASEAN Economic Community
East Asia continues to sustain a high level of economic integration, yet a significant proportion of intraregional trade is still uncovered by agreements to guard against current and possible future protectionism. Without multilateral movement under the World Trade Organization, further regional integration can proceed only through agreements that reduce trade barriers within the region.
— East Asia Forum

BSP circulates the 1-piso ASEAN commemorative coin
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has put in circulation to the public the 1-piso ASEAN 2017 commemorative coins. The coin was officially unveiled by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. during the launch of the Philippines’ ASEAN 2017 Chairmanship on January 15, 2017 in Davao City. The issuance of the ASEAN commemorative coin aims to promote greater public awareness and interest on the Philippines’ ASEAN Chairmanship in 2017 and ASEAN cooperation in general.
— Manila Bulletin

 

 

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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

 

International trade swells to $22B
The value of Cambodia’s international trade surged to $22 billion last year on double-digit growth of both imports and exports, according to newly released data from the Ministry of Commerce.
The Phnom Penh Post

Level the playing field: PM to World Trade Organization
Prime Minister Hun Sen accused the World Trade Organization (WTO) of operating under a double standard yesterday, claiming the international trade body was applying pressure on small developing economies while overlooking the regulatory breaches of its more developed member states.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia to revise oil contract, paving way for first oil
Cambodia will sign a revised production sharing contract this month with Singapore-listed explorer KrisEnergy to develop an offshore field that could finally produce the country’s first oil after years of delays, a government official said.
Reuters

Cambodia suspends human breast milk exports to US
Cambodia has temporarily stopped an American company from exporting locally-pumped human breast milk, AFP has learned, after reports highlighted how some of the country’s poorest women were supplementing their income through the trade.
The Star Online

Attacks on lawmakers threaten the legitimacy of Cambodia’s political system, ASEAN MPs warn in new report
The Cambodian political system is facing a crisis of legitimacy that threatens to undermine the country’s already fragile claims on democracy, parliamentarians from across Southeast Asia warned today, citing a surge in harassment, threats, and attacks against lawmakers and civil society.
APHR (media release)

Cambodian PM opens 5th China Round Table on WTO Accessions
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen opened the fifth China Round Table (CRT-5) on World Trade Organization (WTO) Accessions here on Monday, aiming at sharing best practices for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in preparing for the WTO accessions.
Global Times

Cambodia to ink revised oil contract with KrisEnergy
Cambodia will sign a revised production-sharing contract this month with Singapore- listed explorer KrisEnergy to develop an offshore field that could finally produce the country’s first oil after years of delays, a government official said yesterday.
The Straits Times

Cambodia crackdown casting ‘dark shadow,’ Asian MPs warn
An ongoing crackdown against opposition politicians and activists in Cambodia has cast a “dark shadow” ahead of upcoming elections and is part of a wider authoritarian “disease” infecting the region, Southeast Asian politicians warned on Monday.
The Manila Times

U.S. Cambodia Caucus Has ‘Broadened Understanding’ of Political Developments
A year after a group of U.S. Congressmen created the Congressional Cambodia Caucus, its founders say that their mission, to educate their fellow members about the developing political situation in Cambodia, has broadened their understanding of Cambodian affairs.
VOA

Death of Sok An in China Raises Questions Over Elite’s Trust in Local Hospitals
The death of former deputy prime minister Sok An in Beijing on Wednesday has once again brought into question the quality of medical services in Cambodia and the use of overseas treatment by the country’s elite.
VOA

High Price Tag of Sok An’s Funeral Draws Criticism
News that the funeral for the late deputy prime minister, Sok An, will cost the state $750,000 has provoked dismay among critics in the impoverished country.
VOA

Democracy in Cambodia Under Threat Amid ‘Climate of Fear’
Cambodia’s ruling party under Prime Minister Hun Sen has created a “climate of fear” as the government widens a crackdown on the opposition and activists ahead of commune elections in June, a group of Southeast Asian politicians said Monday.
Radio Free Asia

Another taxi firm joins the capital’s crowded ranks
Phnom Penh Automobile Co Ltd became the latest metered taxi operator in the capital after launching operations yesterday with 25 vehicles, aiming to fill what it says is a growing demand by the capital’s residents and visitors to use air-conditioned taxis to get around.
The Phnom Penh Post

Telecoms ordered to end promotion offers
The government has repeated its call for the country’s telecom operators to end their alleged predatory pricing of mobile consumer plans, giving firms until the end of the month to change the terms of their promotions.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia, Sri Lanka and China debt trap
The influx of Chinese economic assistance into Sri Lanka and Cambodia has raised questions regarding the intentions behind these massive loans.
Daily Mirror

Controversial casino located in Cambodia, not Thai national park, says Parks Dept chief
A controversial new casino alleged to be sited on overlapping territory between Thailand and Cambodia is actually located in Cambodia, 300 metres from the Thai border, and not in Ta Phraya National Park, the chief of the National Parks Department said on Monday.
The Nation

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

 

Indonesia Plans to Sue Thailand’s PTTEP Over 2009 Oil Spill
Indonesia is preparing to sue a unit of Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) over alleged environmental damage from the Montara oil spill in 2009, the country’s Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry said.
— U.S. News & World Report

Indonesian government`s debts Rp3,589.12 trillion
The Directorate General of Financing and Risk Management of the Finance Ministry said by February, 2017, the government had a debt of Rp3,589.12 trillion.
— Antara News

World Bank Approves $450 Million Loan for Affordable Housing in Indonesia
The World Bank has approved $450 million in financing last week to help low-income families in Indonesia acquire affordable homes.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia dealbook: Bornevia to shut shop, Wujudkan to close March end
Indonesia’s digital customer service platform, Bornevia announced that it is going to shut down its software service by end of April 2017. Meanwhile Indonesia’s crowdfunding platform for creative projects, Wujudkan is also closing its business by March 31st 2017 according to media reports.
— Deal Street Asia

In U-turn, Indonesia says will continue to send maids abroad
Indonesia said Monday it would continue to send domestic helpers overseas, in an about-turn welcomed by campaigners who said it would help prevent women falling prey to human trafficking.
— Asia One

Bio Farma to produce breast cancer biosimilar at lower price
Vaccine producer Bio Farma said it would launch and sell biosimilar specially for breast cancer at a cheaper price.
— Antara News

Papuans urge Indonesia to shut down Freeport mine
Papuans across Indonesia held demonstrations Monday against an American mining giant involved in a contract dispute with the government that has halted operations at the world’s second biggest copper mine.
— Anadolu Agency

Bank of Singapore in 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

PLN signs contracts for 16 power generating projects
The state electric company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has signed contracts for 16 projects with a total generating capacity of 1,825.5 megawatts.
— Antara News

President Jokowi inaugurates Bangka`s mobile power plants
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), through a video conference, inaugurated a 2×25 megawatt (MW) mobile power plant (MPP) in Air Banyir, Bangka, and a 1×25-MW MPP in Suge Belitung, on Saturday (March 18).
— Antara News

Gas supplies to power plants should be prioritized: President Jokowi
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has stated that gas supplies to power plants should be prioritized.
— Antara News

Indonesian farmers to grow seedless oranges
Indonesian farmers in Tapin District, South Kalimantan Province, will develop and grow seedless oranges in some sub-districts, the districts deputy Sufian Noor said here.
— Antara News

Stock market expected to support national economy
The Financial Services Authority expressed hope that the stock industry could support the national economy by investing in the infrastructure development, the agency’s head of capital market supervision Nurhaida said here on Saturday.
— Antara News

Indonesia, Senegal Mull Cooperation in Oil, Gas
Indonesia and Senegal are mulling cooperation between oil and gas private firms, the Indonesian Embassy in Dakar stated in a press statement received in Jakarta on Monday, March 20, 2017.
— Tempo.co

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

Indonesian minister calls for transportation facilities for Lebaran travelers
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi appealed to all regions to arrange transportation facilities for the post-fasting Ied al-Fitr or Lebaran travelers this year.
— Antara News

Indonesia’s 2016 PE deals & exits see slowdown; but market still attractive: Bain & Co
Private equity deal value in Indonesia reached $1.6 billion in 2016 through 10 deals, a pullback from 2015’s $2.1 billion, a study by Bain & Co shows. Meanwhile, Indonesia exit value continued to fall from 2013’s record high of $2.2 billion to $257 million.
— Deal Street Asia

Ride-hailing firms protest new rules in Indonesia even as Singapore allows taxis to introduce surge pricing
In the latest chapter of Indonesia’s online transport industry, the new set of rules that has been introduced by authorities to regulate the sector, has led to protests from the region’s largest ride-hailing companies – Uber, Grab, and Go-Jek – all of who have argued that it will “interfere with the market and curb transport innovation”.
— Deal Street Asia

Ahok to present Muslim cleric at blasphemy hearing
Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama is set to present a Muslim cleric during the 15th hearing of his blasphemy trial on Tuesday.
— The Jakarta Post

Bali to turn into ‘Silence of the Land’
March 28 this year will mark the beginning of the Hindu New Year of Saka 1939. On this annual observance, known locally as as “nyepi”, the usually bustling island of Bali will grind to a peaceful halt for 24 hours.
— The Jakarta Post

Gov’t Encourages Palm Oil Farmers to Grow Corn
The central government has encouraged palm oil farmers nationwide to plant corn across nearly one million hectares of farmland by the end of 2017, an official from the Ministry of Agriculture said on Sunday (19/03).
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia, Mexico Seek Closer Tourism Ties
National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and the Mexican government are exploring closer cooperation to develop more business opportunities in the tourism sector.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia, Senegal prioritizing private partnership in oil and gas sector
The governments of Indonesia and Senegal are committed to developing private business partnership in the oil and gas sector, stated a press release from the Indonesian Embassy in Dakar made available to ANTARA here, Monday.
— Antara News

Two F-16 fighter planes arrive from the United States
Two units of fighter aircraft F-16 C/D-52ID, a grant from the United States, arrived and landed at the Iswahjudi air force base in Magetan, East Java on Monday.
— Antara News

Indonesia, Philippine stocks fall on profit-taking
Indonesian and Philippine shares fell on Monday as investors chose to book profit after recent gains, while Malaysia hit its highest in nearly 22 months on the back of gains in telecom stocks.
— Bangkok Post

Indonesia, G20, Strengthens Economic Resilience
Indonesia and other G20 country members expressed their commitment to boosting world economic growth and reinforcing economic resilience at the national and global levels.
— Tempo.co

PropNex Realty ventures into Indonesia to target wealthy buyers
Property agency PropNex Realty embarked on its first regional expansion into Indonesia in the second half of 2016 to access a larger pool of potential buyers, especially those interested in purchasing Singapore luxury properties.
— Yahoo News

King and Queen of Sweden to visit Indonesia
Today the Swedish Royal Court announced that His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and Her Majesty Queen Silvia would make an official state visit to Indonesia. The state visit will take place between 22 and 24 of May at the invitation of the nation’s president, Joko Widodo.
— Royal Central

 

 

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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

 

Tunnel boring for Laos-China railway expected in coming weeks
The boring of tunnels for the Laos-China railway is expected to begin in the next few weeks following a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of the project in December last year.
Vientiane Times

Vietnam’s Vung Ang Port vital for shipment of Lao goods
Vietnam has announced it will continue to create favourable conditions for the transit of Lao goods via Vung Ang Port in central Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province.
Vientiane Times

Indonesia Opens Free Language Training for Lao nationals
The Embassy of Indonesia in Vientiane has opened a free course for Lao nationals who are interested in learning Bahasa Indonesia, the language also spoken in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore.
Lao News Agency

Lao, Thai Models Present Fashion Designs in Vientiane
Top Lao and Thai models presented fashion designs during a Vientiane WOW Fashion Week 2017 at the Landmark Riverside Hotel in Vientiane Capital on March 18, 2017.
Lao News Agency

Lao Sat-1 to transmit Thailand’s Lamkhong TV channel
Thailand’s Kanboon Sompraingarm is set to broadcast its Lamkhong TV channel through the Lao Sat-1 satellite, after reaching a year-long agreement with operator Lao Asia Pacific Satellite Company.
Rapid TV News

Thailand To Urge Laos To Return Self-Exiled, Ex-Red Shirt Leader
Thailand plans to call on Laos to return a former Red Shirt leader so that he could be brought back to justice, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
Malaysian Digest

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.
The Nation

Laos calls for UN programmes to match development goals
Laos would like United Nations (UN) cooperation programmes to comply with the priorities laid out in the development plans of the countries it is assisting, to help them achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Vientiane Times

Weekend storms batter parts of Laos
Sporadic tropical storms will continue to lash many parts of Laos from now until the middle of May and the public should be on the alert at all times.
Vientiane Times

Japan’s SME Lessons Shared to Local Lawmakers
Representatives of the National Assembly, provincial councils, the Japanese Embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) met in Vientiane on Mach 17 to discuss the strengthening of small and medium enterprises.
Lao News Agency

Luang Namtha Shuts Down Aroma Banana Farms
Luang Namtha authorities have permanently suspended plantations of aroma bananas, a foreign strain, after evidence of hazardous proven chemical substances being used in banana farms.
Lao News Agency

 

Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

 

 

Moody’s maintains A3 stable outlook for Msia
Moody’s has maintained its A3 stable outlook for Malaysia as the outlook balances a resilient economy against structural fiscal challenges.
New Straits Times

PM to launch first Digital Free-Trade Zone on Wednesday
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will launch the first Digital Free-Trade Zone on Wednesday, said International Trade and Industry Ministry Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan in Parliament today.
New Straits Times

Axiata to analyse impact of Vodafone-Idea merger
Axiata Group Bhd, the regional telecommunications firm that is controlled by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, has been the subject of quite a bit of newsflow in the past few days.
The Star Online

Malaysian palm oil price falls on weaker export data; output seen to improve
Malaysian palm oil futures on Monday slipped to a second session of declines in three on weaker export data, while March output is expected to improve from a month ago.
The Star Online

Malaysia mulls naval upgrades amid IS threat, South China Sea standoff
Malaysia is gunning for a revamp of its aging naval fleet, as countries in the
region prepare to face threats from the influx of Islamic State (IS) militants
fleeing Mosul, and from rising tensions in the South China Sea.
Reuters

Malaysia says intercepted North Korean arms shipment to Thailand in 2011
Malaysia intercepted and returned a shipment of North Korean military communications equipment sent to Thailand in 2011, the country’s police chief said on Monday, amid growing scrutiny of the southeast Asian nation’s dealings with North Korea.
Reuters

Malaysia Stock Market May Run Out Of Steam
The Malaysia stock market has moved higher now in three straight sessions, collecting more than 30 points or 1.8 percent in that span.
Nasdaq

Bird flu in Kelantan: China bans imports of bird’s nest from Malaysia
China has imposed a temporary restriction on imports of bird’s nest from Malaysia, following an outbreak of bird flu in the northeastern state of Kelantan.
Channel News Asia

No security breach in Kim Jong Nam murder: Malaysian official
Malaysia’s Home Ministry has denied that there was a lapse in national security surveillance systems that resulted in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on Malaysian soil.
Channel News Asia

Lazada to focus on winning in existing markets, no deal talks for now
Southeast Asia’s e-commerce platform Lazada Group – that sold a controlling stake to Alibaba last year and soon after acquired Singapore online grocery start-up RedMart – has no acquisition talks on the table for now as the firm does not want a “distraction” from its focus to improve in the six markets it is present in, a top Lazada executive told this portal.
Deal Street Asia

Maybank sees Southeast Asia equity deals rising from 2016 low
Malayan Banking Bhd., Southeast Asia’s top arranger of equity fundraising deals, is anticipating transactions in the region to rebound from a five-year low on the back of an improved economic outlook.
Deal Street Asia

Boustead secures RM1.17 billion contract from Ministry of Defence
Boustead Holdings Bhd’s unit, Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNS), has bagged a RM1.17 billion contract from Malaysia’s Ministry of Defence for the supply of four Littoral Mission Ships.
New Straits Times

Ringgit closes at 4.42 against USD
The ringgit closed higher against the US dollar today as the greenback continued to remain under pressure following a less hawkish stance by the Federal Reserve on interest rate hikes.
New Straits Times

Cenviro splashes out on top-of-the-line solutions by SAP
Cenviro Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, is spending a considerable amount of money on a sophisticated computer software package in a bid to become more productive.
New Straits Times

Twelve Malaysians on Forbes’ 2017 super rich list
Twelve Malaysians made it to Forbes’ latest annual ranking of the world’s billionaires. The richest in Malaysia is Robert Kuok, ranked 115 on the list with net worth of US$11.4bil. He is also the oldest among Malaysian billionaires, at age 93.
The Star Online

‘Tidal wave’ at M’sian exchange, foreigners buy RM1.67bil last week
Foreigners who had shied away from Bursa Malaysia in the last two years, have been steadily buying for more than a month now. They hit a high last week, signalling their firm re-entry into the stock exchange.
The Star Online

Malaysians among top 50 happiest nationalities in the world
Malaysia is the 42nd happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2017 released today.
Malay Mail Online

Minister: Compulsory for all development projects to submit social, environmental assessment reports
It is compulsory for all development projects after Jan 16, this year to prepare and submit the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports as a condition for approval of the projects.
Malay Mail Online

Najib promises inclusive development under leadership
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today gave an assurance that the government under his leadership will ensure that every sector of the community enjoys a just and equitable development.
Malay Mail Online

 

 

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Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

 

K30b request to boost Yangon power approved
A request of K30 billion from the special reserved fund, granted by Budget Law of the Union 2016, to be spent for supplying the electricity power shortage in Yangon Region during the summer season was approved by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on March 17 amidst complaints by some MPs about poor electricity conditions in their own regions.
— Myanmar Times

Gov’t Imposes Total Travel Ban on Rohingyas
The Myanmar government resumed travel ban on the Rohingya people especially in northern Maungdaw region on Sunday (Mar 19) as the people resist the NV Card being forced upon them.
— Royingya Vision

Myanmar surpasses FDI target of $6 bn in fiscal year 2016-17
“We have approved 135 foreign businesses according to the Foreign Investment Law during this fiscal year,” he said this week. “Meanwhile, we have approved FDI inflows of $262.59 million in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, according to our SEZ Law. In total, we could approve $6.87 billion [Bt240 billion] this year.”
— Consult-Myanmar

Philippines donates $300,000 for Myanmar minority
President Duterte handed over yesterday to Myanmar the Philippines’ $300,000 contribution to humanitarian efforts to Rakhine State where a team of United Nations special rapporteurs expressed concerns on extrajudicial killings, gang rapes and possible ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the region.
— Phil Star

Myanmar’s new struggle: Keeping the faith of foreign investors
A pariah state for decades, Myanmar’s recent emergence from economic isolation has attracted foreign companies and investors intrigued by the Southeast Asian nation’s untapped potential, abundant natural resources and low wage workforce.
— Deal Street Asia

By-laws necessary for condo market to pick up steam
To improve the lacklustre selling market for condominiums, officials need to enact condominium by-laws soon, said developers such as U Kyaw Kyaw Naing, managing director of iGreen Construction Company Limited.
— Myanmar Times

Protest against issuing of NRC in Sittwe
Locals from Sittwe, Maungtaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships in Rakhine State, once again, protested yesterday against a government decision to issue national registration cards (NRC) to people ineligible under the 1982 Citizenship Law.
— Myanmar Times

Phandeeyar accelerator stocks pipeline of Myanmar tech startups
Venture funds like Omidyar Network, Singapore-based Red Dot Ventures, and Thailand-based Digital Ventures are rallying behind Myanmar’s first tech accelerator.
— Impact Alpha

Danish decision blocks sale of Myanmar teak, says watchdog
Authorities in Denmark are reported to have blocked the sale of Myanmar teak, in a decision that has implication for exports of the timber to all European Union countries.
— Frontier Myanmar

Myanmar and Thailand launches ‘Two Countries – One Destination’ campaign Campaign to bring added value to tourist’s experiences
Indian travellers have more to experience as a new campaign combining both Thailand and Myanmar during one holiday woo leisure travellers worldwide.
— Media India Group

Myanmar refugee found stabbed to death
A 26-year-old Myanmar woman who holds a UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) card was found dead with several stab wounds and a slashed wrist on the first floor of a shoplot here.
— The Star Online

Myanmar migrant worker investigated for murder by Thai police
A female Myanmar worker is being interrogated for murder after killing another Myanmar worker who allegedly tried to enter her house and sexually assault her.
— Coconuts Yangon

Over 500 factory workers strike to demand 10-day Thingyan holiday period
Over 500 workers from 15 different Hlaingtharyar-based factories held a demonstration yesterday to voice their demands for a 10-day Thingyan holiday period next month, reports Kumudra.
— Coconuts Yangon

PH backs Myanmar’s national reconciliation efforts
The Philippines backed Myanmar’s efforts at national reconciliation as both countries deal with restive regions in their borders.
— ABS-CBN

Over 20,000 Myanmar women stay illegally in Dehong: daily
More than 20,000 Myanmar women have married Chinese men and are living illegally in the Dehong Dai and Jingpo autonomous prefecture in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, a Chinese government-owned daily reported last week.
— Myanmar Times

Buddhist Authorities in Myanmar Warn Outspoken Monk to Adhere to Ban on Public Sermons
Religious authorities in Myanmar’s Mandalay have warned the outspoken and controversial leader of an ultranationalist Buddhist movement to not give sermons under a one-year ban on making public speeches because of his repeated hate speech and anti-Muslim rhetoric, a religious official said Monday.
— Radio Free Asia

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

 

Duterte Opposes Gay Marriage in Philippines, Reversing Campaign Pledge
The Philippines will not legalize same-sex marriage anytime soon, President Rodrigo Duterte has said, reversing a campaign promise in which he pledged to support legislation to allow gay unions.
— New York Times

Duterte assures Trump of friendship, cooperation
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday, March 19, that he is open to strong ties with the administration of US President Donald Trump.
— Rappler

PH backs Myanmar’s national reconciliation efforts
The Philippines backed Myanmar’s efforts at national reconciliation as both countries deal with restive regions in their borders.
— ABS-CBN

Philippines donates $300,000 for Myanmar minority
President Duterte handed over yesterday to Myanmar the Philippines’ $300,000 contribution to humanitarian efforts to Rakhine State where a team of United Nations special rapporteurs expressed concerns on extrajudicial killings, gang rapes and possible ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the region.
— Phil Star

BOP deficit widens to $436 M in Feb
The deficit in the country’s balance of payments (BOP) further widened in February as the country incurred shortfalls for the past five straight months amid the negative investor sentiment arising from uncertainties brought about by the normalization of interest rates in the US, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday.
— Phil Star

Oil firms cut pump prices
Local oil firms are implementing yet another round of price cuts, this time with bigger reductions of 80 centavos per liter for gasoline and P1.10 for diesel effective today.
— Inquirer.Net

Forbes: 14 Filipinos on 2017 world billionaires list
Fourteen Filipinos returned to the recently released Forbes magazine’s annual billionaires list.
— Phil Star

Philippines is paying a high price for China’s friendship
Over the weekend, China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang came to the Philippines as the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit the country during the Duterte administration. He came with a package of grants, loans and deals reportedly worth up to $6 billion, covering Philippine agricultural exports to China, and 15 infrastructure development plans, including those for bridges, railway systems, irrigation and a hydroelectric dam.
— Business Mirror

Nickel markets can shrug off any Philippine mining ban: Russell
Just how worried should nickel markets be about the latest threats by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to stop all mining in the world’s biggest exporter of the metal ore? Probably not too much.
— Reuters

Wholesale power price falls to lowest since 2011
THE AVERAGE prices paid by wholesale electricity customers fell to P1.90 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in January 2017 to reach their lowest level since January 2011, the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) said on Monday.
— Business World

Philippines ranks 72nd in world happiness index
Filipinos have been happier citizens in the past year – 10 notches higher, to be exact.
— Phil Star

EU Takes Aim at Murderous ‘War on Drugs’ Philippines
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malström last week delivered a blunt message to the Philippine government of President Rodrigo Duterte: Your human rights-trampling policies pose a threat to exports to the EU.
— Human Rights Watch

The worst place in the world to deal drugs: On patrol with Philippines president Duterte’s narco squads who are accused of killing 7,000 in eight months
In the Filipino capital of Manila, the life of a drug dealer is more dangerous than it would be in most other countries.
— Daily Mail

Nurses from Philippines ready for Vic
Eighty Filipino nurses have been signed up to work at Blackpool Victoria Hospital following a recruitment drive in the Philippines, a meeting has heard.
— Blackpool Gazette

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia, Philippines fall on profit-taking
Indonesian and Philippine shares fell
on Monday as investors chose to book profit after recent gains, while Malaysia hit its highest in nearly 22 months on the back of gains in telecom stocks.
— Rappler

Meet The Philippine Property Titans With Ties To Trump
ROBBIE ANTONIO winds his way through full-scale models of the apartments that he and his father, Jose, are selling in a new residential tower in Manila. The units, which start at $160,000, are accented by cool grays and blues, and like many other Antonio projects, they’re a cobranded affair, featuring minimalistic, Armani-designed interiors. “They don’t even want much art on the walls,” Robbie says.
— Forbes

Philippine Coconut Authority chief bucks preventive suspension
Philippine Coconut Authority administrator Avelino Andal is now under the scrutiny of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, which has ordered a preventive suspension over corruption allegations.
— Phil Star

How Philippine economy can catch up with Thailand
The Philippines needs to rebuild its infrastructure and provide more support for farmers to catch up with its Southeast Asian neighbor, Thailand, a trade envoy said Tuesday.
— ABS-CBN

BCPG BUYS STAKE IN PHILIPPINE WIND POWER PLANT
Thailand-based BCPG has signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire an interest in a 50-megawatt wind-power project in the Philippines as part of its expansion in Asia.
— The Nation

Filinvest Land net income hits P5.3B on higher rental revenues
FILINVEST LAND, Inc. earned a record P5.35 billion last year, as leasable properties contributed more revenues while residential developments progress.
— Business World

Honda Philippines upgrades the Civic 1.8 E with new tech
The entry-level Civic 1.8 E has been given a mild update for 2017 after Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) recently revealed an upgraded version of the sedan. According to the company, the new features aim to provide better convenience and improve ownership experience through added safety.
— AutoIndustriya.com

Duterte changes diplomatic guard amid ASEAN chairmanship
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday promoted Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo to the country’s top diplomatic position, on an interim basis, after a congressional committee rejected Perfecto Yasay, the original nominee.
— Nikkei Asian Review

LIVE: Supreme Court tackles De Lima’s petitions – Day 2
The Supreme Court on Tuesday will conduct its second round of oral arguments on the petitions filed by detained Sen. Leila de Lima against Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204 Presiding Judge Juanita Guerrero.
— Phil Star

Graphic health warnings, taxes make over 1M Pinoys quit smoking
More than 1 million Filipinos have kicked the smoking habit, according to the latest Philippines’ Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), the global standard protocol in monitoring adult tobacco use.
— Inquirer.Net

PH gov’t urged to file diplomatic protest vs China’s ‘bullying tactics’
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Tuesday urged the Philippine government to file a “strong diplomatic protest” against China’s incursions and building activities in Scarborough Shoal and Benham Rise.
— Inquirer.Net

Stocks decline on profit taking as Wall St. slips
LOCAL EQUITIES opened the week succumbing to profit taking, with the influence of last week’s US Federal Reserve meeting subsiding as investors await for other market influencers.
— Business World

Labor dept teams to check enforcement of contractualization rules
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday he was considering deploying inspection teams to monitor compliance with new guidelines on contractualization.
— ABS-CBN

Phoenix Petroleum willing to prepay import taxes
Phoenix Petroleum said Tuesday it was willing to prepay import duties on oil to help President Rodrigo Duterte curb smuggling.
— ABS-CBN

PH Ambassador confirms Duterte will sign 3 deals with Thailand
At least three government documents on bilateral cooperation will be signed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s three-day official visit to Thailand, the Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom said.
— Manila Bulletin

China: PH ‘irreplaceable’ in economic partnership
The Philippines has an “irreplaceable” role in the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, especially since Manila holds the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) this year, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.
— Manila Times

Negros sugar producers seek Coke boycott, Piñol ouster
Nearly 6,000 stakeholders of the country’s sugar industry called for a boycott of all products of beverage giant Coca-Cola and for the ouster of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol during a rally in front of the company’s Bacolod plant on Monday.
— Manila Times

Singapore, Japan, Canada top list of Taiwanese’ favorite countries
A poll released Monday showed that the top three favorite countries of people in Taiwan are Singapore, Japan and Canada, while the Philippines and China are among the most unpopular.
— Japan Times

 

 

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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

 

Singapore tops global ranking for startup talent, overtaking Silicon Valley: Survey
Singapore has surpassed Silicon Valley as a startup ecosystem in terms of talent, according to a survey of 10,000 startup founders across more than 100 cities.
Channel NewsAsia 

Singapore drops four spots in happiness ranking; still the happiest country in Asia
We still got it, people. Singaporeans are the happiest people in Asia once again, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report. But compared to citizens of other nations in the world, we’re not as happy as we were last year — Singapore took 26th spot out of 155 countries this year, dropping four places from its 2016 ranking.
Coconuts 

Singapore firm buys more than 300MW Australia wind projects
Sydney-based company OneWind Australia has sold more than 300MW of local wind power assets – including the late-stage development 150-177MW Lincoln Gap wind farm in South Australia and 75MW Glen Innes in NSW – in a deal with Singapore-based independent power producer Nexif Energy.
Renew Economy

Smart Nation drive to get speed boost with revamp
To speed up progress on nationwide digital projects launched under Singapore’s Smart Nation drive, the Government will reorganise various agencies to come under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), with the aim of delivering tangible results in the next two to three years.
Today Online 

Advanced manufacturing in Singapore’s future smart economy
The Singapore manufacturing sector has been enjoying renewed growth, with the latest CFE report showing that the industry accounted for around 20 percent of GDP and 14 percent of total employment.
Control Engineering Asia 

Singapore government reshuffles agencies to deepen smart nation focus
Just months after a previous restructure, the Singapore government has unveiled plans to create a new unit under the Prime MInister’s Office to better integrate and “turbo-charge” its smart nation efforts.
ZD Net

Singapore, Japan, Canada top list of Taiwanese’s favorite countries
A poll released Monday showed that the top three favorite countries of people in Taiwan are Singapore, Japan and Canada, while the Philippines and China are among the most unpopular.
Japan Times 

Singapore Plans Maritime Patroller Order
Singapore is likely to field at least five maritime patrollers in the early 2020s, markedly raising its ability to deal with submarines at a distance while also bolstering ocean surveillance capacity.
Aviation Week 

Singapore healthiest country in Asia: Bloomberg index

Singapore is the healthiest country in Asia and the fourth healthiest country in the world, according to a new Bloomberg index.
Channel NewsAsia 

MAS directs SGX to enhance recovery processes, resilience
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has directed the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to implement measures to enhance its recovery processes and operational resilience.
The Star 

Singapore Airlines to review Singapore to Canberra to Wellington route
Singapore Airlines has announced a review of its international flights to and from Canberra, but the company insists it remains committed to the region.
ABC Australia 

Singapore’s richest move up four spots in world billionaire ranking: Forbes
There are currently 21 people in Singapore’s billionaires club, it was revealed in the Forbes magazine list of the world’s richest billionaires released on Monday (March 20).
Today Online 

Norway the world’s happiest country, Singapore ranked 26th:
Singapore has been ranked the 26th happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2017 produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012.
Asia One 

Singapore dividend plays still a draw
SINGAPORE-LISTED dividend yield plays are still attractive after the United States Federal Reserve hiked interest rates last week, and even though rates are broadly expected to rise further, market watchers said.
The Business Times 

Women entrepreneurs can create 178,000 jobs in Singapore
Local women entrepreneurs have the potential to boost the economy and create more than 170,000 jobs in four years’ time.
Human Resource Online 

Singapore launches fourth Littoral Mission Vessel
The ST Marine and the Republic of Singapore Navy have launched the fourth of eight Littoral Mission Vessels.
UPI 

Carbon tax ‘likely to have greater impact on large businesses’
The carbon tax that will be implemented from 2019 is likely to hit large businesses harder than households and small firms.
The Straits Times 

Singapore employees’ year-end bonus averaged 1.45 months, nearly one-third received none: Survey
The average guaranteed bonus, or annual wage supplement (AWS), received by Singapore employees in 2016 beyond their 12-month salaries was approximately 1.45 months, according to a survey by JobStreet.com.
The Straits Times 

There is much for the UAE to admire in Singapore
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

TPG predicts SG$300m spend on Singapore mobile network
TPG has made a ‘strong start’ to its Singaporean mobile network in terms of recruitment and network planning, with the network forecast to cost between SG$200 and SG$300 million, it said during its results presentation.
ZD Net 

Ride-hailing firms protest new rules in Indonesia even as Singapore allows taxis to introduce surge pricing
In the latest chapter of Indonesia’s online transport industry, the new set of rules that has been introduced by authorities to regulate the sector, has led to protests from the region’s largest ride-hailing companies – Uber, Grab, and Go-Jek – all of who have argued that it will “interfere with the market and curb transport innovation”.
Deal Street Asia

Why Singapore is the world’s greatest city for food – by Bibendum head chef Claude Bosi
When Bibendum, the celebrated restaurant on London’s Fulham Road, reopens after refurbishment on April 5, it will be the culmination of a manic few weeks for its head chef Claude Bosi. Fresh back from cooking with Heston Blumenthal in Courmayeur, Switzerland (at an event called Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience), the Frenchman has also found time to visit Singapore for inspiration, in between fretting about glassware, tableware, the typography of the Bibendum menus and the gourmet creations that will go on them.
Telegraph 

Singapore: Indian-origin man jailed 10 yrs for killing woman 16 years ago
A 32-year-old Indian-origin man was on Monday sentenced to 10 years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane for murdering a woman 16 years ago during an attempt to rob her at knife-point in a lift.
Hindustan Times

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

 

Russia, Thailand look to strengthen transport, logistics links
The first ever visit to Thailand by a Russian Transport Minister is happening in the backdrop of a rising number of Russian tourists visiting the kingdom.
– RBTH

NACC accuse 13 police officers of corruption over procurement of over 19,000 motorcycles
The Royal Thai Police Office will set up a committee to investigate 13 police officers, including four generals, after the National Anti-Corruption Commission has implicated them of involvement in corruption over the procurement of over 19,000 service motorcycles.
– Thai PBS

Not NACC’s duty to look into whether politicians have paid their taxes, sec-gen says
The National Anti-Corruption Commission can at best look into increases in the assets and overall worth of politicians and report to the Revenue Department whether taxes should have been paid on such gains, but not look into whether or not they have actually paid their taxes, NACC secretary-general Sansern Poljiak said on Monday.
– The Nation

Head of Fishery Association faces 14 years in prison for human trafficking
A provincial court in southern Thailand has sentenced six people, including the President of the Kantang Fishing Association (Trang Province), to 14 years in prison for human trafficking.
– Prachatai English

PM calls for overhaul of farming sector
The Prime Minister has called for an overhaul of the nation’s farming sector to remedy its long standing issues.
– NNT

Finance Ministry unveils strategy for aging society
The Ministry of Finance and related agencies are preparing a strategy to accommodate Thailand’s transition into an aging society, citing income, housing and medical treatment system as the major issues that authorities need to tackle.
– NNT

Used car market expected to surge amid new tax code
The country’s used car market is expected to grow by 10% this year to 2.2 million units thanks to higher price tags for new cars.
– Bangkok Post

Deputy Transport Minister inspects Laem Chabang container transport center
The Deputy Minister of Transport has affirmed that a center for rail transport of cargo containers will begin operation this year after inspecting the project at Laem Chabang Harbor.
– NNT

Ruangkrai demands Revenue Department to probe General Prawit’s one million baht cheque
A legal advisor of the Pheu Thai party on Monday asked the Revenue Department to investigate whether Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan had properly paid income tax for the one million baht in cheque he received nine years ago when he served as the defence minister.
– Thai PBS

Duterte arrives in Thailand for 2-day visit
President Rodrigo Duterte has arrived in Bangkok, Thailand late Monday evening after he wrapped up the second and final day of his visit in Myanmar.
– ABS-CBN

Animal feed businesses lined up for this week’s rice auction
The head of the Thai Feed Mill Association has indicated high interest in this week’s state rice auction due to the animal feed industry growing 5 percent this year.
– NNT

How Philippine economy can catch up with Thailand
The Philippines needs to rebuild its infrastructure and provide more support for farmers to catch up with its Southeast Asian neighbor, Thailand, a trade envoy said Tuesday.
– ABS-CBN

Thailand: Investigate Army Killing of Teenage Activist
Thai authorities should immediately and transparently investigate the shooting death of a teenage ethnic Lahu activist who had been detained by the military, Human Rights Watch said today.
– Human Rights Watch

Malaysia says intercepted North Korean arms shipment to Thailand in 2011
Malaysia intercepted and returned a shipment of North Korean military communications equipment sent to Thailand in 2011, the country’s police chief said on Monday, amid growing scrutiny of the southeast Asian nation’s dealings with North Korea.
– Channel NewsAsia

Thailand 32nd happiest country in the world
Thailand is the 32nd happiest country in the world while Norway ranked first, according to a report released at the United Nations to mark the International Day of Happiness on Monday.
– Bangkok Post

Vets to give update on Ormsin the turtle
A veterinary team from Chulalongkorn University on Tuesday will hold a press conference to discuss the condition of Ormsin, the sea turtle in a coma since last weekend after undergoing surgery to remove hundreds of coins from its stomach.
– The Nation

Myanmar and Thailand launches ‘Two Countries – One Destination’ campaign
Campaign to bring added value to tourist’s experiences
Indian travellers have more to experience as a new campaign combining both Thailand and Myanmar during one holiday woo leisure travellers worldwide.
– Media India Group

This is the cheapest month of the year to fly to Thailand
Thailand is pretty much a must-go at some point in your life. Whether it’s for the rite-of-passage backpacking trip around South East Asia pre or post university, for a honeymoon trip of a lifetime, or for a couple of weeks in sunny paradise while it’s raining back home, it suits an array of needs.
– Cosmopolitan

This pilot was once known as Miss Thailand
March 21, 2017 People
There are 10 women captains flying AirAsia’s fleet in Thailand, and Captain Chananporn Rosja must be the most famous of them all.
– Star 2

 

 

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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

 

Cloudbric opens IDCs in HK and Vietnam
Web application firewall (WAF) service provider Cloudbric announced the opening of five internet data centers, including facilities in Hong Kong and Vietnam, in response to the growing, global demand for cloud services.
Telecom Asia 

Nearly $25 million in preferential loans for SMEs in 2017
Vietnam Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Fund has announced four preferential loan programs for SMEs in 2017 with the total funds of VND560 billion (US$24.58 million).
Saigon 

Textile – garment exports expected to grow without TPP
Vietnam’s garment and textile sector is still enjoying good growth in exports to the US market even without the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to Le Tien Truong, Director General of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment group (Vinatex).
Vietnam Plus

Vietnam Benefits from January Apparel Import Jump
U.S. apparel imports picked up in January, though cost of goods continued to trend downward, according to data released last week by OTEXA, the International Trade Administration’s Office of Textiles and Apparel.
Sourcing Journal Online 

Vietnam lacks green works despite legal framework
The rapid development of the middle-class, which uses air-conditioners regularly, is a major reason behind the increasingly high electricity consumption in large cities of Vietnam, according to EuroCham.
VietNamNet Bridge

HCM City poultry meat, eggs to carry details of origin
The HCM City People’s Committee has approved a programme to label poultry meat and eggs with details of product origin to protect consumers, according to Nguyễn Ngọc Hòa, deputy director of the local Department of Industry and Trade.
Viet Nam News 

VNĐ165 billion to be spent to restructure fisheries
Around VNĐ164.8 billion (US$7.16 million) will be earmarked for technology transfer in the fisheries sector during the 2017-20 period to help in its restructuring.
Viet Nam News 

Health coverage improves as Vietnam experiences demographic changes
Vietnam is working to expand health insurance coverage and improve health care delivery, with demand expected to increase as the country’s elderly population grows.
Oxford Business Group 

Netherlands helps Vietnam develop sustainable agriculture
Netherlands’ Consulate General in HCM City on March 20 organised a talk to share the European country’s experience in developing sustainable agriculture in the context of climate change.
Vietnam Plus 

Việt Nam willing to foster bilateral trade with RoK: PM says
Việt Nam is ready to work with the Republic of Korea (RoK) to effectively implement the bilateral FREE TRADE
agreement (FTA), boosting their trade to US$70 billion, perhaps even $100 billion, by 2020.
Viet Nam News 

Vietnam Seeks South Korean Support in South China Sea
Vietnam’s Prime Minister sought support for the nation’s stance in the South China Sea when he met South Korea’s foreign minister in Hanoi on Monday.
US News 

State Bank of Vietnam establishes fintech steering committee
The SBV Steering Committee on Fintech is led by Deputy Governor Nguyen Kim Anh and Deputy Director of SBV Payment Department Nghiem Thanh Son has been assigned as Vice Chairman of the Committee.
Fin Extra 

RIVLIN FETED IN VIETNAM
President Reuven Rivlin’s visit to Vietnam marks another significant step in Israel’s clear plan to pivot toward Asia and bolster its diplomatic relations with major players in the continent.
Jerusalem Post 

Dental health: Expert calls for strengthening community awareness
Health experts called for increasing community awareness on oral health and prevention of dental diseases at a meeting organised by the National Hospital of Odonto and Stomalogy (NHOS) on Monday.
Viet Nam News 

Vietnam has huge potential from biomass and waste says new report
Focusing on a new report by the Vietnam Energy Association (VEA), Vietnam.net reported recently that the country can generate up to 1 billion kWh in 2020 from waste.
Renewable Engergy Magazine 

Singaporean PM begins Vietnam visit
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his spouse began a four-day official visit to Vietnam from March 21 at the inivation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Vietnam Plus 

Vietnam will struggle to meet 90-90-90 targets without addressing barriers to HIV care for men who have sex with men
Men who have sex with men in Vietnam risk being left behind as the country strives to achieve UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 targets for diagnosis, treatment and viral suppression, according to a qualitative study published online ahead of print in Culture, Health and Sexuality.
AidsMap 

Vietnam needs to promote ICT to grab opportunities for development: Minister
Minister of Information & Communication Truong Minh Tuan talked about the encouraging achievements in 2016 and the development plan for 2017.
VietNamNet Bridge

 

 

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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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