Asean Morning News For May 2

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For May 2

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today    @aecnewstoday

 

Asean pleased by steady growth of tourism sector in 2016
The Asean Chairman Statement issued over the weekend by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, being this year’s Asean chair, said that it was pleased with the steady growth of the tourism sector in 2016.
– The Manila Times

“Special 301” Blacklist Remains Largely Unchanged, Save for Trumped Up Tone
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) released its 2017 “Special 301” Report, a first for the Trump administration, detailing how intellectual property is being protected – or better yet, not protected – on a worldwide basis.
– The Fashion Law

Thailand primed for region gateway role
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha told the gathering of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) members in Bangkok last week that the country’s strategy is called “Thailand Plus One”, under which Bangkok is positioned as a gateway for trade, investment and tourism in the region.
– The Nation

Indonesia Rolls Out Red Carpet For Asean Neighbors
Indonesia will make it easier for tourists and traders from Thailand and the Philippines to enter the country by opening up new shipping and flight routes connecting the three regions.
– Malaysia Digest

Assertive Beijing flexes its muscles on Asean
If anything, Donald Trump’s obsession with North Korea and the administration needing a win on foreign policy matters means that he has softened his stance towards China, a nation he once accused of unfair trade practices and currency manipulation.
– The Star Online

A continued hope in ASEAN
The Philippines is number three of the six largest economies in the ASEAN group of 10 countries (World Economic Outlook Database, October 2016, ff.). Nominal GDP is at $329,716M (2017).
– Business World Online

North Korea Warns ASEAN of ‘Nuclear Holocaust’ If It Does Not Cooperate Against U.S
Last month, North Korea’s foreign minister drafted a letter to the Association of ten Southeast Asian Nations – known collectively as ASEAN – warning them of a “nuclear holocaust” if it refuses to join forces with the Hermit Kingdom in opposition to the United States.
— Breitbart News

Asean hopes up on ground signals
Those who follow Asean affairs know that the 10-nation grouping is prone to issuing protracted communiques at the end of its summits. This year’s 30th annual summit meeting was in character with Manila, the chair, proclaiming a 124-paragraph statement. The subjects touched upon were varied: from North Korea and Timor Leste’s interest in joining the grouping, to biodiversity and the Asean Economic Community.
— The Straits Times

Talk Beijing into trade if not sea row, ASEAN told
THE PHILIPPINES must take the lead in bringing down trade barriers to deepen economic integration and urge China to prove its sincerity in cooperating with the region when Manila holds the next Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders’ meeting in November.
— BusinessWorld Online

Asean pleased by steady growth of tourism sector in 2016
The Asean Chairman Statement issued over the weekend by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, being this year’s Asean chair, said that it was pleased with the steady growth of the tourism sector in 2016.
— The Manila Times

Assessing Malaysia’s Coast Guard in ASEAN Perspective
A closer look at the trajectory of the Southeast Asian state’s coast guard-like body amid regional developments.
— The Diplomat

PIA-Central Luzon to hold Asean campus forum leg 2
Central Luzon State University (CLSU) and Aurora State College of Technology (Ascot) shall both host the second leg of the Asean Campus Forum of Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Central Luzon to be held this week.
— Sun.Star

 

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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Emerald’s gold prospects improve
The Australian-listed mining firm behind Cambodia’s Okvau gold project in Mondulkiri province released its definitive feasibility study (DFS) yesterday, confirming its predictions of 1.14 million ounces in gold reserves while reducing its projected investment costs for extraction.
The Phnom Penh Post

Labour minister praises robust garment sector growth
Cambodia’s minister of labour applauded the strong growth and employment levels for the garment and footwear sector yesterday, though industry representatives noted a slight slowdown due to increased competition from regional players.
The Phnom Penh Post

Forum: Green Business Catching On in Cambodia
Promising energy cost savings and more traction in overseas markets, the concept of “green business” in Cambodia has seen increasing popularity, particularly in the construction sector, attendees at an annual forum said on Thursday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Journalist, Now in US, Will Not Appear in Court, RFA Says
A Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalist summoned to appear in court today over accusations that he falsely identified himself during a prison visit last month has traveled to Washington and will not return to Cambodia, RFA said on Monday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Dismissal of Khmer Rouge Atrocity Charges Sparks Calls for End of Prosecutions
Since the Khmer Rouge tribunal decided to drop all charges against former regime official Im Chaem in February, numerous ex-cadres have come forward to call on the court to dismiss charges they face in upcoming cases.
VOA

Veteran Journalist Hopes Photo Exhibition Can Bridge Cambodia’s Generational Divide
A new photo exhibition showing the daily life of Cambodians in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge regime will help young Cambodians understand the struggles of their parents’ generation, according to its organizer.
VOA

Why these extraordinary Cambodian buildings need to be saved
The Independence Monument in Cambodia is a striking sight. Unveiled in 1958 to celebrate the end of French colonial rule five years before, it stands in the heart of capital Phnom Penh and is one of the most famous structures in the country.
CNN

Int’l Labor Day broadly celebrated in Cambodia
A series of events were held in Cambodia on Monday to mark the International Labor Day, while garment and footwear workers rallied to demand higher wages.
Xinhua

Russia to pursue gas in Thai-Cambodian shelf
Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom is considering gas production on the continental shelf of Thailand and Cambodia, Russian media reported on Friday.
The Phnom Penh Post

China’s Sinosure signs agreement with ministry
The Ministry of Economy and Finance signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese state-funded China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure), according to a release by state-owned AKP on Friday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Taking Baby Home: a Family’s Surrogacy Story
When Nicholas crossed the border to Vietnam with his baby in February, he sat on the opposite side of the bus. To the other passengers heading to Ho Chi Minh City, he was every bit a stranger to the 3-month-old girl a Cambodian woman cradled nearby.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Asean Leaders Join Cambodia in Softening Tone Toward China
Southeast Asian countries on Sunday adopted a more conciliatory stance toward China’s actions in the South China Sea than in previous years, a sign of China’s growing influence in the region amid what Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry described as unclear foreign policy from the U.S.
— The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Youngest Opposition Commune Candidate to Contest Seat With Senior CPP Incumbent
Chen Sokngeng, 26, is the youngest candidate standing in the forthcoming local elections in June.
VOA

Government Video Won’t Stop ‘Color Revolution’ in Cambodia: Student Activist
A ruling-party video linking anti-government protests to destruction caused by the Syrian conflict will not prevent a “color revolution” in Cambodia, a student recently jailed for “incitement” said Monday, urging Prime Minister Hun Sen to instead address the root causes of unrest in the country.
Radio Free Asia

Country Bans Actress From Making New Movies For Being Too Sexy
Who knew that being sexy was a punishable offense? That’s exactly what has happened to Denny Kwan, a 24-year-old actress from Cambodia, who has been banned from any activities in the entertainment industry, which includes acting, karaoke and singing on television for an entire year because she is apparently just too sexy.
— Cinema Blend

Cambodian actress Denny Kwan receives 12-month movie ban because she’s too sexy: Reports
A Cambodian cutie has been banned from appearing in movies because of her sexy sense of style.
Toronto Sun

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Economy of Indonesia: “GDP Growth in First Half 2017 below Estimates”
The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to be below earlier estimates in both the first and second quarters of 2017. However, the lender of last resort remains optimistic that Indonesia’s full-year economic growth can reach a pace of 5.2 percent year-on-year (y/y), accelerating from 5.02 percent (y/y) in the preceding year.
— Indonesia Investments

Freeport Employees Go on Month-Long Strike
Workers of Freeport Indonesia, the local unit of Freeport McMoRan, began a month-long strike in Mimika, Papua, on Monday (01/05), following deadlocked negotiations over lay offs with the company’s management.
— Jakarta Globe

Falcon House invests in Indonesia’s pastry shop chain The Harvest
Venture capital and private equity firm Falcon House Partners has bought a stake in Indonesia’s popular bakery and pastry chain, The Harvest Patissier & Chocolatier, three people close to the development told DEALSTREETASIA.
— Deal Street Asia

Indonesia manufacturing activity improves as input price inflation hits 18-month high
Indonesia’s manufacturers enjoyed a second month of growth in new orders and export business, according to an April survey, helping to offset pressure from the rupiah’s weaker exchange rate against the dollar, which pushed input costs up at the fastest pace in a year and a half.
— Financial Times

Indonesia considers moving sinking, traffic-choked capital of 13 million
Plans are afoot to relocate the capital of Indonesia, as a drastic solution to reports that the sprawling metropolis of Jakarta, already plagued by traffic jams, is also sinking.
— Irish Independent

Indonesia’s Chocolate Rush Worth Rp 15 Trillion
Indonesia is going to consume 99,000 tons of chocolate this year, establishing a Rp 15 trillion ($1.13 billion) domestic market, which drives the country’s transformation from a raw cocoa exporter to its net importer, according to a report by global research company Mintel.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia Rolls Out Red Carpet For Asean Neighbors
Indonesia will make it easier for tourists and traders from Thailand and the Philippines to enter the country by opening up new shipping and flight routes connecting the three regions.
— Malaysian Digest

Indonesia seeks to globalise its tolerant brand of Islam
The imposing, 6-foot-tall painting is a potent symbol of modern Indonesian history: the country’s founding father, Sukarno, cradling a dead, barefoot rebel killed by Dutch colonial forces amid rice fields and smouldering volcanoes in late-1940s Java.
— Today Online

Indonesia makes strides in joining Asean yacht tourism hub
Minister Arief delivered his message at Boat Lagoon Resort’s Boat Point Meeting room last Thursday (April 27), accompanied by Indroyono Soesilo, Chairman of the Tourism Maritime Acceleration Team, and Fauzi Husien, Head of Sabang Port Authority Agency.
— The Phuket News

Indonesia, Philippines pledge to launch sea patrols against extremists
The Palace said the bilateral meeting between Duterte and Widodo will be an opportunity for the two leaders to continue discussions started during the President’s state visit to Indonesia in September 2016.
— Normangee Star

China’s Hong Kong SAR boosts cultural, labor cooperation with Indonesia
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of China signed two documents with Indonesia on Monday to further boost cultural and labor cooperation.
– Ecns.cn

Developer taps Indonesian equity firm for tech, sport centers in PH
Century Properties Group Inc. has inked a partnership with Indonesian Bakrie Global Ventura for the development of a number real estate projects in the country.
— Malaya

The high cost of destructive fishing practices
Indonesia, the largest archipelagic country in the world, has a vast water area, covering a total of 5.8 million square kilometers.
— The Jakarta Post

Activists rally in Medan, others spend May Day donating blood, food
Labor unions in Medan, North Sumatra, have marked May Day with various activities. While some took to the streets to demand salary increases on Monday, other labor activists arranged blood and food donation events.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia lags behind in eradication of HPV virus
Celebrity Julia Perez, who is now in critical condition from late stage cervical cancer, and has attracted sympathy from top public figures, has cast a spotlight on the need for the country to eradicate the virus that triggers the disease.
— The Jakarta Post

KOMINFO Indonesia working on number of initiatives to boost digital start-up ecosystem and support SMEs
The Ministry of Communications and Informatics in Indonesia (KOMINFO) announced last week that the the 1000 Startup Digital National Movement Program has completed the incubation stage in the first batch of three cities, Jakarta, Surabaya and Yogyakarta.
— Open Gov

 

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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Laos-China railway will rev up pace of development
Laos will be able to accelerate the rate of development and grow even faster than some neighbouring countries now that construction of the railway linking Vientiane to the Chinese border has begun.
Vientiane Times

Consumer protection hotline strengthens price controls
The 1510 consumer protection hotline number proved to be an effective management tool in regulating the prices of goods and services, ensuring the public received a fair deal, the National Assembly (NA) was informed.
Vientiane Times

ASEAN to Strengthen Civil Service to Achieve Vision 2025
ASEAN leaders signed on Apr 29 the “ASEAN Declaration on the Role of Civil Service as A Catalyst for Achieving AC Vision 2025″ on the occasion of the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines.
Lao News Agency

Laos, EU Launch Negotiations towards VPA on Legal Timber Trade, Forest Governance
The government of Lao PDR and the European Union (EU) on April 24-28 held their first negotiations towards a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) to improve forest governance and combat illegal logging.
Lao News Agency

Lao Prime Minister to make visit to Singapore
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will be in Singapore for a visit on Tuesday at the invitation of his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.
The Straits Times

Cash Will No Longer Be Accepted for Tax Payments in Laos
According to the Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Douangdy, several new systems have been installed to ensure tax payments can be processed through banking systems and digital technologies, allowing government tax officers to relinquish receiving tax payments in cash directly from taxpayers.
The Laotian Times

Ministry Focused on Wiping Out Malaria
With the theme being ‘End Malaria for Good,’ for World Malaria Day 2017, the Ministry of Public Health has set forth an ambitious goal to reduce the number of malaria infections and deaths in the upcoming years.
The Laotian Times

Exams reveal nation’s top students
The winners of the 2017 National Best Students Exams at the secondary and primary school levels were announced on Friday.
Vientiane Times

PM calls for more openness in corruption cases
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has asked that every prosecuted case related to corruption be revealed to the public in hopes that misconduct by government officials is halted.
— Vientiane Times

Public Prosecutor Says Understanding of Law Articles Remains Ambiguous
Understanding remains ambiguous on the meanings of some articles of law on penal and civil procedures, especially the construction of Article 67 of the Law on Criminal Procedure on the rights and duty of victims.
Lao News Agency

Over 6,700 Cases Judged in Lao Courts
Over 6,700 out of more than 8,500 cases sent to the first instance courts and regional, provincial, and Vientiane Capital, and regional military courts, have been judged over the past twelve months.
Lao News Agency

Lao U15 girls in tough group at AFC tournament
Lao young female football players will compete in a tough group at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U15 Girls Championship to be held in Lao capital Vientiane on May 8-20.
Xinhua

Lao New Year celebrated locally
The traditions of the Lao culture, from food to music and dance, were celebrated Saturday night at the Brewster Legion Hall as the Lao people and guests gathered to ring in the Year of the Rooster.
Daily Globe

Thailand primed for region gateway role
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha told the gathering of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) members in Bangkok last week that the country’s strategy is called “Thailand Plus One”, under which Bangkok is positioned as a gateway for trade, investment and tourism in the region.
The Nation

 

Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

AllianceDBS: Govt needs PFIs for future big projects
Given the current state of government finances, it will have to resort to private financing initiatives (PFIs) or foreign-based funding for future big projects such as those in the infrastructure or construction space, said AllianceDBS Research in a report.
The Star Online

More cargo, lower tariffs
The RM1.8bil Samalaju Industrial Port, which is slated to be fully operational in June, will impose port tariffs based on the cargo throughput of each customer.
The Star Online

Malaysia: KWAP sells Sydney office tower for $246m
Malaysia’s second largest pension fund, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), has sold a key asset, an A grade office tower in Sydney’s 20 Bridge Street, at about $246.4 million (A$340 million) to a Hong Kong-based wealthy individual.
Deal Street Asia

AirAsia carried 15.23 million passengers in 1Q17
In its preliminary operating statistics report for 1Q17, AirAsia Bhd said the Group carried 15.23 million passengers and its fleet size is 176 aircraft-strong.
New Straits Times

Ringgit opens marginally higher against US dollar
The ringgit opened marginally higher against the US dollar today on better demand for the local note as weak US economic data dampened investor sentiment towards the greenback.
— New Straits Times

Najib: Government agrees with RM70m provision to Socso for Employment Insurance System 2018
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today announced that the government agreed with a provision of RM70 million to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) for the payment of financial benefits relating to the
Employment Insurance System (SIP) for next year (2018).
Malay Mail Online

Ministry aims for 15pc of IPT students to become entrepreneurs while studying by 2020
The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) targets that by 2020, 15 per cent of students will venture into entrepreneurship while they are still pursuing studies at institution of higher education (IPT), with five per cent of them having the primary goal to become entrepreneurs upon graduating.
Malay Mail Online

Diary Malaysia 2017 corporate earnings
Following is a list of release dates for the quarterly earnings of some top Malaysia-listed companies.
The Star Online

Malaysia reportedly recruiting rubber tappers from Kerala
Malaysian plantation companies are recruiting hundreds of rubber tappers from India”s Kerala state with better pay offers.
The Star Online

AmBank Research places “buy” call on DRB-Hicom, Eita Resources, Prestar Resources, Mycron Steel
AmBank Research placed DRB-Hicom Bhd, Eita Resources Bhd, Prestar Resources Bhd and Mycron Steel Bhd on its ‘Stocks on Radar’ report, today.
New Straits Times

MAMSB expects 5pc growth this year
THE Malaysian Association of Money Services Business (MAMSB) is expecting a five per cent expansion in the domestic money services business this year, in line with the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
New Straits Times

Report: One out of 20 domestic workers runs away
More than a thousand domestic workers in Malaysia leave their employers annually for better wages, a comfortable lifestyle, and to escape abusive situations.
Malay Mail Online

Agong says Malaysia, Bahrain must seek opportunities to boost bilateral trade
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V says Malaysia and Bahrain should continue to explore opportunities and potential to increase bilateral trade in strengthening economic relations between the two countries.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysia sceptical over death of IS leader in Syria
Malaysian authorities are sceptical whether the country’s top IS operative in Syria, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, is truly dead.
Channel NewsAsia

Unequal treatment for non-Muslims, minorities, says US report
Malaysia is prioritising the Malay Muslim identity, often to the disadvantage of religious and ethnic minorities, says the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2017 report.
Free Malaysia Today

Aims Group: Record year & award for Malaysian data center provider
2016 was a good year for the Aims Group – a carrier-neutral data center provider. This is apparent following the announcement from the company which states that Aims recorded a 24% growth in revenue in 2016.
DataCenterNews Asia

Manulife Asset Management strengthens Malaysia leadership team
Manulife Asset Management has appointed Jason Chong as chief executive officer in Malaysia. As part of the announcement, Wong Boon Choy will stay on and transition to the role of adviser, as he retires from the full-time chief executive position.
Hubbis

 

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Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Myanmar peace process: Chasm opens up between talk and action
The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an umbrella group of 11 armed ethnic groups negotiating for peace in Myanmar, has supposedly agreed in principle on its nine demands for talks with the government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
— The Nation

Rakhine to export 10,000 tonnes of matpe to India
This year will be a good one for agriculture in Rakhine State, Rakhine State Minister for Planning, Finance, Revenue and Commerce U Kyaw Aye Thein said yesterday, as it was reported 10,000 tonnes of matpe beans will be imported to India.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Myanmar to start collecting tourism tax
Myanmar will soon impose a tourism tax on visitors to fund the country’s tourism promotion activities, the Myanmar Tourism Federation (MTF) said.
— Myanmar Times

Right-Wing Politics in India: Pushing Rohingya Refugees into Quandary
India, a vast South Asian nation touted to have the potential to become a global super power, has a proud history of being the largest democracy in the world and respecting human rights. Why not? It is a nation with a population of over 1.3 billion of different ethnic and diverse cultural backgrounds. It has a history of over 5,000 years, where many religions have taken their births throughout the course of its history. It is a land of total freedom for its citizens, regardless of racial or religious origins. More often than not, it has also hosted thousands of refugees displaced by conflicts in the neighbouring countries.
— Rohingya Vision

Central Bank to approve credit bureau to ease up loan services
To provide wider access to loan services for local firms, the establishment of a credit bureau is expected to be permitted by the Central Bank, an official of the bank told The Myanmar Times.
— Myanmar Times

Germany offers military training to Myanmar
Germany’s Chief of Defence General Volker Wieker offered to train Myanmar’s officers in Germany when he met Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
— The Nation

Japan’s IHI inaugurates heavy concrete factory joint venture in Myanmar
IHI Corp. held an opening ceremony Sunday for its heavy concrete factory in Myanmar, becoming the first Japanese plant producing pre-stressed concrete products in Southeast Asia’s newest emerging market.
— The Japan Times

Myanmar Labor Minister Commits to Working Toward Elimination of Child Labor
Half of Myanmar child laborers work in dangerous conditions for very low minimum wages as the Southeast Asian country strives to eliminate the ubiquitous practice of employing young people, the country’s labor minister said Monday.
— Radio Free Asia

Kachin residents slam Chinese banana plantations
The residents of Tarlawgyi Village in Myitkyina Township, Kachin State, have criticised the Chinese proprietors’ banana plantation deals, claiming that they lack transparency.
— Eleven

Myanmar Rejects China’s Offer to Resolve Row With Bangladesh Over Rohingya
The Myanmar government has rejected an offer by its powerful neighbor China to mediate a diplomatic dispute that the Southeast Asian country is having with Bangladesh over the recent exodus of minority Rohingya Muslims, a government spokesman said on Monday.
— Radio Free Asia

Over 3,000 workers march in honour of 127th May Day
In honour of 127th May Day, over 3,000 workers in Hlinethaya Township marched in a celebration of workers’ unions and job development yesterday.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Most globetrotters went to Sagaing, Bagan and Mandalay in April
Most international tourists visited such tourist destinations in Myanmar as Sagaing, Bagan and Mandalay during the month of April in which the New Year Thingyan Water Festival is held across the country, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
— Eleven

Conference held to boost Myanmar’s rice industry
The International Finance Corp. (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, partnered with The Rice Trader (TRT) and the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) to organize an international conference to support the sustainable development of Myanmar’s rice industry and its regional trade.
— World Grain

Firms invited to compete for ASEAN workplace safety award
Domestic firms and factories are invited to compete for the Southeast Asian bloc’s ASEAN Occupational Safety and Health Network awards.
— Eleven

Omidyar considers tech and media firms in Myanmar for fresh investments
Global philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network is considering technology-led businesses in the fields of media, finance and education in Myanmar for its next round of investments.
— Deal Street Asia

Former political prisoners want role in state building
Former political prisoners feel excluded from the state building process, according to the Former Political Prisoners Society (FPPS).
— Eleven

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Philippines manufacturing PMI slows to 53.3 in April
The Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, fell to 53.3 in April from 53.8 in March.
— Nikkei Asian Review

GDP outlook turns more sanguine
PHILIPPINE economic growth in 2017 could sustain last year’s pace and then speed up to 7% by 2018, the United Nations’ (UN) regional development arm said yesterday as it raised its forecast on prospects the Duterte government will loosen its purse strings and as remittances continue to underpin consumption.
— BusinessWorld Online

Philippines opens wallet wide for public works
The Philippines is planning 3.6 trillion pesos ($71.8 billion) in infrastructure projects over three years in hopes of strengthening transportation systems and boosting growth.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Bato: ‘Secret jail’ illegal but was necessary
Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Monday said that the so-called “secret jail cell” discovered by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) at the Manila Police Sation 1 is illegal but cops only built it to decongest their regular cells and utilize available space.
— ABS-CBN

Trump needs Duterte’s support to counter North Korea – White House
The White House on Sunday defended President Donald Trump’s decision to invite Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to Washington, saying his cooperation is needed to counter North Korea, even as the administration faces human rights criticism for its overture to Manila.
— Manila Bulletin

Indonesia, Philippines pledge to launch sea patrols against extremists
The Palace said the bilateral meeting between Duterte and Widodo will be an opportunity for the two leaders to continue discussions started during the President’s state visit to Indonesia in September 2016.
— Normangee Star

BOI gives perks to P920-M Taguig cold storage project
The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the proposal of One Stop Warehousing Solutions Inc. (OWSI) to put up a P920-million cold storage and blast freezing facility in Taguig City.
— The Philippine Star

Palawan, Chinese agri firm eye $50M greenhouse project
The province of Palawan and a Chinese agricultural company based here are discussing a possible $50-million (roughly P2.5 billion) agriculture development project that involves growing plants in an environmentally-controlled area called greenhouse.
— Manila Bulletin

Peso may return to P50:$1 level ahead of Fed, US economic data
THE PESO may go back to the P50-per-dollar level this week to kick off this month’s trades, with likely strong data on US employment expected to bolster bets of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike sooner rather than later.
— BusinessWorld Online

Oil prices rolled back today
Oil prices were reduced this week as international prices registered declines in the past trading period on continued worries over a global supply glut.
— The Philippine Star

Developer taps Indonesian equity firm for tech, sport centers in PH
Century Properties Group Inc. has inked a partnership with Indonesian Bakrie Global Ventura for the development of a number real estate projects in the country.
— Malaya

Overcoming ‘difficulty,’ Robredo pays P8M for poll protest
Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Tuesday paid the initial P8 million of the P15.44 million required by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) for her counter protest against former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.
— Inquirer.net

Alarm sounds over Manila’s ‘secret jail’
Church leaders in the Philippines have voiced alarm following the discovery of a “secret jail” for suspected drug dealers in a Manila police station last week.
— UCA News

Duterte hesitant on US visit, warm on China
President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he may turn down an invitation by Donald Trump to visit the United States, as he welcomed three Chinese warships to his home town.
— The Philippine Star

Rody open to military exercises with China in Sulu Sea
President Duterte is open to holding joint military drills with China as the administration seeks closer ties with Beijing despite conflicting maritime claims in the South China Sea.
— The Philippine Star

Alfamart to open 120 Philippine branches this year
SM INVESTMENTS Corp. is expanding its mini-mart venture with Alfamart this year as part of the broader expansion of its retail business.
— BusinessWorld Online

Inflation bets point to still steady monetary tack
INFLATION likely inched upward in April to sustain an uptrend for a sixth straight month, analysts said in BusinessWorld poll, but still leaves some room for the central bank to keep rates steady.
— BusinessWorld Online

Registered voters told to claim their Comelec IDs now
Now that the voters’ registration period is over, the Commission on Elections is urging voters to claim their voters’ identification cards from their local election officers.
— Inquirer.net

De Lima wants to join Senate proceedings from her cell
Even the prison walls won’t cow the most vocal critic of President Duterte into submission.
— Inquirer.net

Duterte asks labor groups to draft EO vs contractualization
President Rodrigo Duterte on Labor Day asked workers’ groups for a little more time to deliver on his promise to end contractualization in the country.
— ABS-CBN

PH sustains good record in USTR watch list for 4 yrs
The Philippines was able to sustain its good record in United States’ intellectual property rights (IPR) watch list for four consecutive years.
— The Manila Times

Philippines to tap AIIB for 2 more projects
The Philippines will tap the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for help to co-finance two more government flagship projects—a dam for reliable water supply for Metro Manila and a railway linking the capital city to Albay—the Department of Finance (DoF) said.
— The Manila Times

PH to adopt ILO Convention 151: Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte declared he will adopt the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 151, or the Labor Relations (Public Service) Convention, that provides for protection of the public workers’ right to organize and procedures for determining conditions of employment.
— Manila Bulletin

 

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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Singapore’s GDP to grow 2.2% this year: UN agency
The Republic’s growth outlook is expected to pick up to 2.2 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent in 2018, mainly conditional on a revival in global trade. According to the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017 released yesterday by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Unescap), projected economic growth remains below the past trend.
— Today Online

Singapore’s DBS reports Q1 net interest income at S$1.831 bln vs S$1.833 bln year ago
Singapore’s top lender, DBS Group Holdings, on Tuesday reported first quarter net interest income came in nearly flat at 1.831 billion Singapore dollars ($1.31 billion), down slightly from SGD 1.833 billion a year ago.
— CNBC

CCT divests One George Street for S$1.18b into limited liability partnership
CAPITALAND Commercial Trust (CCT) has sold One George Street for S$1.18 billion into a limited liability partnership, which it will own 50 per cent of.
— The Business Times

Singapore continues to issue more EPs to recruit foreign FTs
Recent reports have suggested that Singapore is clamping down on issuing visas for foreign professionals to work in Singapore, particularly against IT professionals from India.
— The Independent

Singapore Air May Land Unusual Net-Debt Spot as Soon as 2018
A record plane-buying spree is poised to land Singapore Airlines Ltd. in an unfamiliar territory.
— Bloomberg

Singapore shares open 14.9 points higher on Tuesday
SINGAPORE stocks opened 0.5 per cent higher on Tuesday, with the Straits Times Index gaining 14.89 points to 3,190.33 as at 9.02am. The blue-chip index was lifted after Wall Street advanced on Monday.
— The Business Times

SINGAPORE’S COST-CONSCIOUS COMPANIES DRIVING GROWTH OF CONTRACTING MARKET
The contracting market in Singapore is set for impressive growth this quarter, according to recruitment experts Hays.
— CFO innovation Asia

NTUC training fund for skills upgrading hits $100m mark
A total of $25 million has been raised for a National Trades Union Congress training fund to help workers upgrade their skills, said labour chief Chan Chun Sing.
— The Straits Times

Singapore’s PSA goes high-tech and retains all its port workers
The “giraffes” that used to work continuously at PSA Corporation’s Tanjong Pagar Terminal have long been a visual cue of Singapore’s economic health.
— Malay Mail Online

Singapore’s Apple Store to open in May after construction delays: Report
After several false dawns, Apple’s first retail store in South-east Asia could be set for a May opening.
— The Straits Times

Singapore, HK need deep tech talent pipeline: Gaurav Sharma, Atlantis Capital
Gaurav Sharma of Atlantis Capital believes that the venture ecosystems of Asian destinations such as Singapore and Hong Kong need a Silicon Valley-like deep tech talent pipeline in order to grow. When it comes to talent, he also suggests that Asia-based venture capital firms look inwards and diversify their own talent profiles to drive performance.
— Deal Street Asia

Clinics used for sexual services ‘tarnishing TCM image’
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinics that provide sexual services are a concern, and industry players and the authorities must take a stand against such unsavoury practices, said Senior Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat.
— The Straits Times

PM Lee accepts Trump’s invite to visit Washington
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has accepted an invitation from US President Donald Trump to visit Washington, and hopes to make the trip this year.
— The Newpaper

Singapore-listed firm wins $618 million contract to build and operate water project in China
A Singapore-listed company has won a $618 million contract to build and operate a water supply project in Jinan in China’s Shandong province.
— The Straits Times

Warships from 20 countries to dock at Singapore’s first international maritime review
Come May 15, the Singapore flag won’t be the only one billowing in the wind at Changi Naval Base.
— Channel NewsAsia

Used Cooking Oil To Help Fuel Singapore-San Francisco Flights
Singapore Airlines officials announced Monday that bio-fuel produced from used cooking oil will help power its Airbus A350-900 on the nearly 17-hour flight between Singapore’s Changi airport and San Francisco International.
— CBS SF Bay Area

Singapore leads region by online video consumption
Singaporeans lead the region in online video consumption, spending two hours every day tuning into video content, according to the results from a new YouTube Consumer Insights study conducted by Google Singapore and Kantar TNS.
— Telecom Asia

Changi subsidiary wins bid to operate Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah airport
A consortium led by a subsidiary of Changi Airport Group (CAG) has been awarded the contract to operate the King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for up to 20 years.
— Today Online

S$250k raised to bring comatose Singaporean home
The daughter of a Singaporean who is in a coma has raised enough money to bring him back from Tokyo, and he is set to arrive today.
— Today Online

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

Thailand’s PMI falls to 49.8 in April
The Nikkei Thailand Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, dropped to 49.8 in April from 50.2 in March.
– Nikkei Asian Review

Thai Bourse May Remain Stuck In Neutral
Ahead of Monday’s Labor Day holiday, the Thai stock market had ticked lower in back-to-back sessions, although it had eased just a single point in that span.
– Nasdaq

Consumer prices up for 13th month
Consumer prices, which gauge the country’s inflation rate, rose for a 13th straight month in April, albeit at a slower pace, boosted largely by higher oil and finished food prices.
– Bangkok Post

Min of Industry & Delta Electronics launch 2nd Angel Fund for Startup program
The Ministry of Industry has partnered with Delta Electronics Thailand in organizing the second “Angel Fund for Startup” program, which will provide training and funding to 30 select trainees.
– NNT

Sagging Exports Take Shine Off Thai Domestic Sales
Thai vehicle sales and exports are racing in opposite directions with soaring domestic deliveries and plunging overseas shipments. The Federation of Thai Industries automotive section says domestic light-vehicle sales in March rose 16.7% year-on-year to 84,801 units, helped by the launch of several new car models.
– WardsAuto

Thailand primed for region gateway role
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha told the gathering of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) members in Bangkok last week that the country’s strategy is called “Thailand Plus One”, under which Bangkok is positioned as a gateway for trade, investment and tourism in the region.
– The Nation

Airport See Passenger Traffic Growth Slow
Passenger traffic through Thailand’s six main airports grew at a slower rate in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year.
– AviationPros

Weaker media reform plan endorsed by NRSA as critics worry about freedom
A WATERED-DOWN version of the proposal to regulate the media in Thailand was endorsed yesterday by the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA).
– The Nation

Min of Agriculture committed to enhancing competitiveness of agricultural sector
The government is encouraging agriculturists to unionize, in order to support career stability.
– NNT

Thailand expects 1.8 trillion baht from tourism revenues in 2017
Thailand is expected to earn tourism revenues up to 1.8 trillion baht this year, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT).
– Thai PBS

Property prices double in EEC rush
LAND PRICES in the three provinces covered by the proposed Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) have doubled over the past five years, fuelled by strong demand across the board for sites for industrial, commercial and residential projects, experts say.
– The Nation

Transfer of foreign technology to Thailand a key facet of EEC: top official
THE TRANSFER of technology is at the heart of Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and it is crucial to allow foreign investors some privileges to move the country’s economy forward, the head of the development group says.
– The Nation

BKK Deputy Governor encourages citizens to play a more active role against corruption
Bangkok’s deputy governor has reminded the capital’s citizens that they can play a part in preventing corruption and graft.
– NNT

Thailand B2C E-Commerce Market 2017
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Thailand B2C E-Commerce Market 2017” report to their offering.
– Business Wire (press release)

Thailand to Seek Interpol’s Help to Locate Red Bull Heir
Thai police now turn to the Interpol to help them locate the whereabout of Red Bull heir, Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, after the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court issued him arrest warrant last week for hit-and-run and reckless driving causing death.
– Chiang Rai Times

Red Line accident prompts strict safety audit plan
Agencies under the Transport Ministry will roll out a safety audit plan (SAP) to hold building projects to a higher set of rules and regulations in the wake of a fatal accident over the weekend during the construction of the Red Line rail route.
– Bangkok Post

2 new motorway routes to go to auction
The Department of Highways is preparing to open a new auction for 2 motorway routes between Bang Pa-In and Nakhon Ratchasima and Bang Yai and Kanchanaburi together costing an estimated 14 billion baht.
– NNT

Thailand intensifies state control under new king
Harsh censors and restricted freedom of expression have always weighed on Thailand’s human rights record, but developments over the past month now suggest an intensified level of state control — a fresh development on top of the nation’s delayed return to democracy.
– CNBC

ILO warns against disruption
The government is being urged by an employers’ organisation to step up on measures and mechanisms to cushion wage workers from the potential impact of the proliferation of machines and robots over the next decade.
– Bangkok Post

Thailand to diversify tourism offerings to attract more visitors from Qatar
As one of the top destinations for Qataris, Thailand is diversifying its tourism offerings by launching new tourism products to attract more tourists from Qatar and the Middle East region.
– The Peninsula

Cost of submarines could rise
THE Royal Thai Navy admitted yesterday that the deal to buy three Chinese submarines could cost more than Bt36 billion – the initial price given by the government – if the Navy believes it requires more advanced technology.
– The Nation

Aircraft carrier debacle offers a lesson on the submarine
Will a new vessel we don’t need and can’t afford end up, like another infamous purchase, as a tourist attraction?
– The Nation

Students develop cheap, light bulletproof vest
AN international-standard bulletproof vest designed by students that is lighter and much cheaper than other such products on the Thai market has been launched by Naresuan University in Phitsanulok.
– The Nation

Scheme aims to help folk prepare for healthy ageing
GROWING old is no longer as blissful as once thought as about 10 million Thais struggle to cope with retirement, which is proving costly when they come down with serious illnesses such as stroke, cancer and dementia.
– The Nation

Obese Monkey Who Snacked On Tourists’ Food Sent To ‘Fat Camp’ In Thailand
A monkey that lives near a famous Thai floating water market in Bangkok has steadily been gaining weight after gorging on food fed to it by tourists. The monkey weighs a whopping 15 kilograms, which is almost double the standard weight for the creatures.
– NDTV

 

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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

Moody’s and SP affirms Việt Nam’s sovereign rating
Two major credit rating agencies, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (S&P), on Friday affirmed Việt Nam’s sovereign rating, citing the country’s strong foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, macroeconomic and external stability and modest external debt burden.
Viet Nam News

New ways to meet VN’s energy needs
The Vietnamese power industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, and navigating it requires a full understanding of the entire energy ecosystem, experts say.
VIETNAMNET Bridge

Vietnam’s FDI inflow rises 3 pct to $4.8 bln in first four months
Vietnam has attracted $4.8 billion in disbursement of foreign direct investment during the first four months of 2017, the government said.
VnExpress.net

Vietnamese experts warn of cyber threats after NSA hacking ‘toolkit’ published
The leaked set of NSA hacking tools can be used against most Windows operating systems, they say.
VnExpress.net

Vietnam contributes to ASEAN Summit’s success
A Vietnamese delegation led by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had important contributions to the success of the 30th ASEAN Summit, which took place in the Philippines on April 29-30.
VIETNAMNET Bridge

$40m bridge opened to traffic in province near Ho Chi Minh City
Officials in southern Dong Nai Province on Sunday opened to traffic a bridge to connect the province’s heart to key industrial parks and make it easier to travel to Vung Tau, a popular resort city, from Ho Chi Minh City.
Tuoi Tre News

Transport ministry chooses design for future megaairport near Ho Chi Minh City
A lotus-themed design has beaten two other finalists to be selected for the construction of a huge airport in southern Vietnam.
Tuoi Tre News

When will there be direct flights to the US?
In December 2003, the Vietnam-US Bilateral Air Transport Agreement was signed, allowing air carriers to open direct air routes between the two countries. US.
VIETNAMNET Bridge

Long An targets becoming modern industrialised province
Although Long An Province has taken the lead in foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction in Mekong Delta, it is still undertaking different measures to improve its competitiveness and investment climate.
Viet Nam News

Work begins on $80 million wind project in Dong Nai
Viet Nam’s TSV Investment JSC and Singapore’s wind energy developer The Blue Circle kicked off construction of Dam Nai wind project in Ninh Thuan Province on Friday.
VIETNAMNET Bridge

Developer ignores Hanoi authorities’ repeated reprimands to build high-rise without permit
A multimillion-dollar high-rise apartment complex has been discovered to be under construction without legitimate permits despite reprimands from authorities in Hanoi.
Tuoi Tre News

Foreign educators respond to Vietnam’s plan to eliminate the high school graduation exam
Responding to a request from Tuoi Tre News, a number of educators have commented on a plan to comprehensively transform Vietnam’s national education system.
Tuoi Tre News

Going Off-Road in Vietnam: From Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi
In post-war era Vietnam, life has seemingly transcended into that of a flourishing nation of bustling urban enclaves and burgeoning farmlands.
RollingStone.com

Vietnam Liberation Day
The people and government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam celebrated Reunification Day last April 30, commemorating the fall of Saigon in 1975 after liberation fighters entered the Independence Palace (now Reunification Palace) in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).
Manila Bulletin

Food safety key for exporters
Vietnamese food exporters have been urged to improve production so that products can meet new regulations set by importing countries, experts have said.
Viet Nam News

Chinese man drives car into group of traffic police in central Vietnam
The man was trying to escape after police caught him speeding, and refused to cooperate when the car was eventually stopped.
— VnExpress.net

 

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Asean Morning News is the most comprehensive selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC) published. All articles are hand curated by the team at AEC News Today. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.

 

 

 

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