Asean Morning News Roundup For February 27

Asean Morning News Roundup For February 27
Estimated Reading Time: 28 minutes |

The Asean Morning News Roundup presents a selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

 

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today @aecnewstoday

 

Asean meet sets out 6 priorities for growth
ASEAN has revealed this year’s six priorities to drive growth and pursue the common goals of the 10-member regional bloc as Asean foreign ministers met at a retreat in the Philippine resort of Boracay this week.
— The Nation

Any takers for ASEAN news?
If ASEAN issues were a consumer product for sale, buyers wouldn’t exactly be queuing up for it – not even with the sales pitch that it is a brand with 50 years of history to fall back on this year.
– The Philippine Star

The costs of a unified Asean 10
IN my column last Monday, I tried to show that the Asean 10 is now the area of unprecedented geopolitical and global economic power pressures. It is happening in this 21st century, when technological advances are almost geometrical and the competition for world hegemony and economic dominance is more complex and intense.
– The Manila Times

ASEAN Neutrality: A Strategic Windfall For China
China will likely receive a strategic windfall over the next decade as each of the member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) increasingly embrace neutrality along the lines of Finland, Sweden or Switzerland— an unintended consequence of Washington’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade initiative.
— Forbes

Asean faces major challenges as it turns 50
As Asean enters its 50th anniversary, it has to overcome quite a few immediate uncertainties to maintain its relevancy. First, it is all about the role of the US in the regional and global order.
— The Nation

Human capital ‘key’ to sustainable Mekong tourism
TOURISM EXPERTS have called for sustainable tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) by viewing human capital development and human resource development as “strategic pillars”.
– The Nation

 

Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Electricity $4.4B closer to sufficiency
Over $3.2 billion was invested last year into increasing domestic electricity production, with an additional $1.2 billion sunk into infrastructure, according to the national electricity regulator.
—  The Phnom Penh Post

Govt reinstates biosecurity measures
The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry will reinstate sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) inspections on imported goods close to 10 years after having made the commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  Khmer Times

Battambang on course for growth
Battambang, the city at the epicentre of Cambodia’s agricultural heartland, has long struggled to reward its farmers with profits and compete in global markets.
 The Phnom Penh Post

Axiata battered by forex rates, buoyed by Smart growth
Malaysia-based Axiata Group saw profits decline sharply in 2016 despite another strong year for its Cambodian subsidiary, Smart Axiata, according to the company’s year-end report.
—  The Phnom Penh Post

US investors remain positive
The US-ASEAN Business Council, which organised last week’s visit to Cambodia by a high-level delegation of US business representatives, is one of the most active bodies promoting US investment in the Kingdom.
—  The Phnom Penh Post

Industry 4.0 to be game changer for Cambodian enterprises
Cambodia-based Kerry Worldbridge Logistics (KWB) and InSITE Bavaria signed an agreement to develop the first German-Cambodian industry and technology cluster at Kerry Worldbridge Special Economic Zone.
—  Khmer Times

Another Private Bank Plans to Change Logo
After three private financial institutions said they would be changing their logos at the behest of the government last week, another major bank said it too would soon undergo rebranding.
—  The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Vietnam Loggers Charged, Cambodian Released
The Mondolkiri Provincial Court has charged six Vietnamese nationals with logging and entering Cambodia illegally after they were caught last week attempting to drive back to Vietnam with a convoy of trucks loaded with contraband timber.
—  The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

CNRP Fast-Tracks Election of New President
The opposition CNRP will have a permanent new president by the end of the week, replacing recently resigned opposition leader Sam Rainsy, in order to ensure that the party can officially endorse candidates for commune elections in June.
—  The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Sewage Overflow Hits Environment Ministry’s New Expensive Offices
The Environment Ministry is working with Phnom Penh authorities to stem the flow of smelly wastewater from the city’s overloaded sewage system into the waterway behind its new headquarters, officials said on Sunday.
—  The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia to keep ivory for exhibition
rime Minister Hun Sen announced on Friday that Cambodia will keep confiscated ivory, rhinoceros horns and other confiscated goods to show in an exhibition Cambodia will not burn or destroy the items, he said.
—  Khmer Times

Nearly 2,000 smartphones seized
Customs officials in Koh Kong province seized nearly 2,000 smartphones on Friday night that had been hidden on a boat and illegally smuggled into the country.
—  Khmer Times

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Bank Indonesia Cuts Economic Growth Forecast for Quarter 1-2017
The central bank of Indonesia cut its outlook for Indonesia’s economic growth in the first quarter of 2017. Earlier, the lender of last resort estimated Indonesia’s Q1-2017 gross domestic product (GDP) at 5.05 percent year-on-year (y/y).
— Indonesia Investments

Indonesia’s Telecom Infrastructure to Beat Thailand by 2019: Minister
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Rudiantara has said that Indonesia’s telecommunications infrastructure may surpass that of Thailand by 2019.
— Jakarta Globe

Community-based rehabilitation to fight drugs abuse: Minister Parawansa
ocial Affairs Minister, Khofifah Indar Parawansa stated that community-based rehabilitation (RBM) was one of the mechanisms to fight drugs abuse, use of psychotropics, and other addictive substances.
— Antara News

Australia, Indonesia restore full military ties, see progress on trade
SYDNEY: Australia and Indonesia said on Sunday that full military ties between the two countries had been restored, after Indonesia’s military suspended cooperation in January because of “insulting” teaching material found at an Australian base.
— Channel NewsAsia

StanChart seeks Indonesian solution by end of next year
Standard Chartered chief executive Bill Winters has identified three options for resolving the UK-listed bank’s unsatisfactory position in Indonesia.
— Financial Times

Joko Widodo warns Malcolm Turnbull over ‘interference’ with Indonesia
Indonesian President Joko Widodo delivered a diplomatic uppercut to PM Malcolm Turnbull as he warned Australia not to meddle in the domestic affairs of the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
— The West Australian

Jokowi meets Australian CEOs, shares confidence about Indonesia’s economy
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo kicked off his two-day trip to Sydney on Saturday noon by meeting with CEOs of Australian multinational companies, during which he assured them about Indonesia’s supportive investment climate despite global and domestic challenges.
— Jakarta Post

Indonesian chief economic minister criticizes Oxfam`s gap report
Chief economic minister Darmin Nasution questioned Oxfam report that four richest mens wealth in Indonesia is equal that of 100 million poorest in the country saying here on Friday that the data had to be clarified.
— Antara News

Yamaha Corp to Build New Musical Instrument Plant in Indonesia
The Yamaha Corporation plans to invest IDR 568.5 billion (approx. USD $43 million) to develop a musical instrument manufacturing factory in Indonesia. Japan-based Yamaha Corporation is a multinational with a wide range of products and services, including musical instruments, electronics, motorcycles and power sports equipment.
— Indonesia Investments

459 tonnes of luggage including 2 Mercedes-Benz limousines for Saudi King Salman’s visit to Indonesia
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and his 600-strong entourage will make a heavyweight stop in Indonesia this week on the monarch’s first visit to South-east Asia since ascending the throne in 2015.
— The Straits Times

Indonesia’s Astra exec says it will not sell stake in Bank Permata
Indonesian conglomerate PT Astra International Tbk will not sell its stake in lender PT Bank Permata Tbk, the company’s top executive said on Friday.
— Deal Street Asia

Rocket Internet’s Zalora said to be exiting Indonesia after selling Philippines’ ops
Rocket Internet-backed Zalora is reported to withdraw from Indonesia after it decided to sell its Philippines operation to Ayala Corp, who announced that it will buy 43.3 per cent ownership in Zalora operator BF Jade E-Service Philippines for an undisclosed amount.
— Deal Street Asia

Indonesia’s Angel-eQ network looking to invest in 5 startups, adding more angels: Sandiaga Uno
Indonesia’s angel investor network Angel-eQ is looking to add five new startups into its portfolio this year, while at the same time attracting more angels. It is hoping to get at least another five to seven angels who are willing to invest between $500,000 to $1 million per ticket, according to politician and entrepreneur Sandiaga Uno.
— Deal Street Asia

Ghost ships: Why are World War II naval wrecks vanishing in Indonesia?
Seventy-five years ago this month, Australia, the UK, US and the Netherlands suffered a series of disastrous naval defeats against Japan in the narrow straits and seas around Indonesia.
— ABC Online

Indonesia: Shinta Dhanuwardoyo named co-founder and president of Sqeeqee.com
Indonesian digital veteran and CEO of Bubu.com Shinta Dhanuwardoyo has been named co-founder and CEO of Sqeeqee, according to a release. Dhanuwardoyo will be working together with Jenny Q. Ta to develop the website, dubbed as the world’s first “social networthing” platform.
— Deal Street Asia

 

Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter

 

Inflation remains high in Laos
According to the Lao Statistics Bureau, the inflation rate decreased from 2.49 percent in December to 2.27 percent in January due to the lower prices of some products, notably in the food category.
— Vietstock

50 people die in two weeks of road accidents
A total of 50 people were reportedly killed in road accidents from February 6-19, while over 400 people sustained injuries.
— Vientiane Times (paywall)

Govt orders further action to regulate timber industry, combat illegal logging
The government has entrusted a taskforce committee to take further action to strictly regulate wood processing businesses and clamp down on illegal logging after learning that issues continue to exist.
— Vientiane Times

Retaining Trained Health Workers, a Major Challenge
Developing and retaining a trained public health workforce has become a major challenge, particularly at sub-national levels, an expert has said.
— Lao News Agency

Ministry to set rules for Lao agencies overseas
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is preparing to enact a new law that will regulate Lao government agencies operating in other countries.
— Vientiane Times (paywall)

Economists concerned about increase in non-performing loans
Economists have expressed concern over non-performing loans (NPL) that banks have given to the private sector.
— Vientiane Times

Phongsavanh Group prepares to invest in Thailand
The Phongsavanh Group plans to expand its business cooperation and investment in Khon Kaen province, Thailand, as part of integration within the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
— Vietstock

Microfinance bodies advised to beef up management
The Bank of the Lao PDR has stressed that Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions (DTMIs) need to manage their deposits according to the central bank’s rules in order to better manage financial risk.
— Vientiane Times (paywall)

Century Ply ready with strategy for Laos crisis
Country’s leading interior infrastructure maker Century Plyboards India is ready with an alternate strategy for the Laos crisis that banned export of raw wood and veneer since over a year.
— moneycontrol

Phuan festival bolsters Lao-Thai friendship
The annual Phuan ethnic community festival in Thailand has significantly contributed to maintaining and strengthening the friendship between Laos and Thailand along with conserving the traditions of the ethnic group.
— Vientiane Times

Tanmixay-Sikeuth road upgrade 10 percent complete
The 9.4 kilometre road running from the Tanmixay crossroads in Xaythany district to the Sikeuth junction on Road 13 North in Naxaithong district is undergoing an upgrade which is now 10 percent complete.
— Vientiane Times

Vientiane Province Authorises Local Firm to Develop a Recreational Complex in Namxong
Authorities of Vientiane Province, one of the favourite destinations for visitors, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a private company to develop a recreational complex in the western area of the Nam Xong River, Vangvieng district.
— Lao News Agency

 

Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Malaysia Declares Airport Safe for Travel After Kim Jong Nam Assault
Malaysia on Sunday declared its international airport a “safe zone” after completing a sweep of the terminal where the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was assaulted with a deadly chemical last week.
– Fortune

Nerve agent killed Kim, says Malaysia
Autopsy results on Kim Jong Nam suggest he was killed by “very serious paralysis” due to a lethal nerve agent, Malaysia’s health minister said yesterday, as the airport terminal where he was assassinated was given the all-clear.
The Standard

Malaysia: Poisoning of Kim caused paralysis, quick death
Malaysia’s health minister said Sunday that the dose of nerve agent given to North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un’s exiled half brother was so high that it killed him within 20 minutes and caused “very serious paralysis.”
Inquirer.Net

Many options open to Malaysia in spat with North Korea: Expert
Malaysia has a number of options that could be exercised against North Korea in its diplomatic spat following the murder of Kim Jong-nam, said local think-tank Pacific Research Centre Malaysia.
– Today

Ringgit opens lower against US dollar
The ringgit opened lower this morning on lack of demand and cheaper crude oil
prices, dealers said.
The Sun Daily

MPOB to take proactive measure to expand market share of palm oil
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will carry out additional proactive measures to boost the palm oil industry as well as spurn the negative perception of the commodity by the people around the world.
New Straits Times

Trading ideas: KNM, Karex, UEM Edgenta, Daibochi
KNM, Karex, UEM Edgenta and Daibochi are among the stocks which could see trading interest on Monday after the release of their results, says JF Apex Research.
The Star Online

AmInvestment Research maintains Buy on RHB Bank
AmInvestment Research is maintaining our Buy rating on RHB Bank with a higher fair value of RM6 a share (previously: RM5.90 a share) after rolling forward over its valuation to FY18.
The Star Online

CIMB Research retains Add for RHB Bank
CIMB Equities Research has retained its Add recommendation for RHB Bank and reduced its dividend discount model (DDM based target price from RM6.10 to RM5.96.
The Star Online

KLCI inches higher early Monday, ringgit dips
Blue chips inched higher early Monday but overall the broader market was mixed, tracking the cautious key Asian markets ahead of US President Donald Trump’s policy speech on Tuesday.
The Star Online

Malaysia Market Draws Flat Lead For Monday
The Malaysia stock market has moved lower in back-to-back sessions, slipping almost 10 points or 0.6 percent along the way.
Business Insider

Why airlines are still expanding in face of glut
Recent announcements of multibillion-ringgit aircraft orders and aggressive growth plans in seat capacity among four main Malaysian carriers may seem curious to some, in the face of yield and profitability pressures ahead, particularly in the second half of the year.
The Edge Markets

 

Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Ethnic Militias Decide Not to Sign Myanmar Government’s Cease-fire Agreement
A group of ethnic militias decided on Friday not to sign the Myanmar government’s nationwide peace pact on the last day of their three-day summit at the headquarters of the country’s strongest ethnic rebel force, but instead formed a committee to discuss a “new path to peace,” a military official from the conference said.
— Radio Free Asia

SEZ to import Japanese agriculture machineries
Agricultural machinery manufacturer Yanmar Myanmar Co Ltd in Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will not establish production lines in Myanmar but will import and distribute those machineries, Takesi Terada, the firm’s managing director, told the Myanmar Times.
— Myanmar Times

Law needed to regulate Thai investors’ abuses abroad: Thai, Myanmar groups
COMMUNITY groups in Thailand and Myanmar have urged protection of human rights and prevention of environmental impacts – after Thai entrepreneurs were reported to have carried out abusive and environmentally damaging acts in neighbouring countries.
— The Nation

Singapore’s Yoma and METRO join hands for wholesale distribution in Myanmar
Singapore listed Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd has partnered with Germany’s METRO GROUP, the international wholesale and food retail company is to establish an integrated wholesale distribution platform in Myanmar, the company announced on February 24.
— Deal Street Asia

Myanmar regional gov’t orders striking workers to move out from occupied Chinese garment factory
Myanmar’s Yangon regional government said on Saturday that it had ordered the striking workers to move out from the Chinese-invested garment factory they occupied.
— ECNS

Crackdown launched on Chinese eggs
The Customs Department says it will take action against those who import illegal eggs from China.
— Eleven

Far Right-Wingers Burn Down Rohingya Refugee Huts in India’s Jammu
Members of a far right-wing Hindu political party burned down at least five Rohingya Refugee camps in Jammu state of India in two separate incidents respectively on Sunday and Monday, it has been reported.
— Rohingya Vision

Suu Kyi to meet non-signatories on March 3
A meeting between State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) will be held on March 3 in Yangon, said Zaw Htay, spokesperson for the President’s Office.
— Eleven

Myanmar should regulate labor unions to help attract more Chinese investment
Over the weekend, some Chinese netizens vented their anger over an incident in Myanmar, in which hundreds of local strikers attacked a Chinese garment factory and briefly detained seven Chinese employees. The Myanmar government needs to restrict the power of local labor unions according to relevant laws to better protect foreign investors’ legitimate rights.
— Global Times

80% of Rakhine gas goes to China
A report called “Myanmar’s natural resources ownership, management, income sharing and impact” carried out by the Ethnic Nationalities Affairs Centre says the Shwe natural gas project off the Rakhine coast has a daily natural gas production capacity of 500 million cubic feet and 80 per cent of it will be exported to China for 30 years.
— Eleven

Myanmar’s Peace Process: Troubleshooting the Deadlock
Myanmar’s Peace Process has been regrettably stunted by what looks to be the longest deadlock since its official launching in August 2011, by then-president U Thein Sein.
— Irrawaddy News

Tax changes could weaken growth, MPs told
Annual changes to taxation rates may slow economic growth, Dr Myat Nyana Soe, secretary of the Parliamentary Joint Bill Committee, told media.
— Eleven

Phone remittances in the pipeline
The Central Bank of Myanmar is planning to grant foreign remittance licences, according to its vice-governor Set Aung.
— Eleven

Govt neglects land disputes at its peril
Land disputes remain one of the many problems still to be cracked in Myanmar. Many farmers end up in court and jail after their land is seized. This week about 350 farmers from Pyin Oo Lwin, Patheingyi, Mattara, Sintgu, Thabeikgyin, Myithar, Nganzun and Sintgyaing townships in Mandalay Region faced legal action over land disputes. Residents demonstrated on February 24 in Mandalay, demanding the government take immediate action on land disputes and drop cases against the farmers. They called for the return of seized land or proper compensation.
— Eleven

Yangon plans deep port
Yangon Region’s government is making surveys to build a deep seaport, chief minister Phyo Min Thein announced on February 25.
— Eleven

Myanmar Dealbook: Australia based TYTC’s $16.29m project; Japan’s Yanmar and Mitsui &Co JV
TYTC Services from Australia is ready to establish a waste collection system in Yangon while Japan’s Yanmar and Mitsui & Co JV will provide agricultural solutions in Myanmar.
— Deal Street Asia

Government to clamp down on sale of fake cooking oils
The government will take legal action against those found to be selling fake cooking oils from March, said U Kyaw Win, Union Minister for Planning and Finance.
— Myanmar Times

Belt and Road sparks investor interest: HKTDC
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) led a delegation to visit Myanmar to meet with businesses, investors and government departments earlier this week.
— Myanmar Times

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter

 

Transport groups hold nationwide transport strike to protest government’s PUV modernization programt’
For the second time this month, jeepney operators and drivers hold a nationwide transport strike and commuters are feeling the crunch.
— CNN Philippines

Tax reform seen to push PSEi beyond 8,000
Enacting the tax reform program this year is the key catalyst that would bring the Philippines to a new economic “supercycle” that could lift the main stock barometer beyond the 8,000, the chief of BPI Securities said.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Phl to survive external shocks – IMF
Multilateral lender International Monetary Fund (IMF) is confident the Philippine economy will continue to perform strongly as the country is expected to remain resilient despite external shocks this year.
— Philippine Star

Gov’t releases 96% of P3 T budget to state agencies
The government released 95.9 percent of its P3.001 trillion budget to state agencies in 2016, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported over the weekend.
— Philippine Star

Cayetano calls on the government to relaunch the war on drugs
Before a large crowd of President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters in Rizal Park on Saturday night, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano called on the chief executive and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to relaunch the campaign against illegal drugs.
— GMA News Online

Aguirre: Korean embassy OK with ‘mafia’ probe
JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd on Sunday said he had “cleared the air” with the Korean embassy, with Seoul’s ambassador to Manila agreeing to a probe into the alleged hand of a Korean mafia in the death of businessman Jee Ick Joo last October.
— Manila Times

Manila’s meth dealers back on streets as cops pull back
PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s war on drugs had until three weeks ago driven the trade in crystal methamphetamine underground, according to residents and drug users in some of the slum areas of the nation’s capital city.
— BusinessWorld

As Asean chair, Philippines faces dilemma over what agenda to push
After taking over the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) this year, the Philippines has again found itself at the centre of regional politics.
— South China Morning Post

Philippines should adhere to UNCLOS – Del Rosario
The Philippines must be firm in adhering to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the ruling handed down by an arbitral tribunal, which invalidated China’s claim to the South China Sea, former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario said over the weekend.
— Philippine Star

Harnessing innate Filipino hospitality to build a dynamic Philippines hotel brand
Set to expand in the next three years in various Philippine locations, the Ayala Hotels and Resorts Corp. hospitality brand Seda is counting on innate Filipino hospitality and international levels of service efficiency to maintain its overall guest satisfaction rating of 90 percent that it currently enjoys.
— BusinessMirror

Philippines says will not get distracted by a threat from Abu Sayyaf militants to behead a German hostage
Philippine troops will not get distracted by a threat from Abu Sayyaf militants to behead a German hostage if a ransom was not paid by Sunday and will press assaults to crush the brutal group, military officials said.
— Gulf News

Save, not spend: Parents want ‘Gen Z’ kids to be money-smart
MAJORITY of Filipino parents are concerned about the financial future of their children, particularly their ability to save and manage money, according to a new study commissioned by Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific.
— BusinessWorld

 

Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

S’pore manufacturing may show the way for future economy
TAKE a look at the underdog manufacturing sector and you may see what Singapore’s economic restructuring can turn out to be, observers told The Business Times.
The Business Times 

Singapore Budget 2017: So what is holding Singapore back?
A cultural aversion to venturing outside the box and a lack of confidence are holding Singapore back from realising its full potential as an innovation hub.
– The Straits Times

India And Singapore Exchanges Launching Derivatives Contracts On Diamonds In India
The Singapore Diamond Investment Exchange (SDiX), the world’s only commodity exchange trading in physically settled diamonds, and the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) with an overall 90 percent market share and near 100 percent in bullion, have announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) forging a strategic alliance to launch spot and derivatives contracts on diamonds in India, including using the SDiX-traded reference prices.
Index Online

Singapore agencies sign 5 pacts for Tianjin Eco-City
Singapore and China on Sunday (Feb 26) signed five pacts to cooperate on improving the infrastructure and services in Tianjin Eco-City (TEC).
– The Straits Times

A leg up for SMEs in the financing stakes
The only issue that seemed to concern the stock market over a recent freeing up of rules regulating finance firms is the possibility that the affected companies may now become lucrative takeover targets.
The Straits Times 

Singapore Medical Group returns to black with $2.4m full year net profit
Singapore Medical Group returned to the black with a net profit of S$2.4 million for the full year ended Dec 31, 2016, after a net loss of S$148,000 a year ago.
– The Straits Times

Singapore and China work to boost Chongqing’s connectivity
Singapore and China have deepened their economic partnership through a raft of agreements signed ahead of the annual Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), the highest-level forum between the two countries. The JCBC, which is an annual high-level bilateral platform to discuss ways to deepen and broaden Singapore-China cooperation, will be held on Monday (Feb 27).
Channel NewsAsia 

Talks under way for Singapore pilots to train at Ohakea
Singaporean officials are in talks with the New Zealand Government to set up a pilots’ training base at the Ohakea air base.
Stuff

Experts: Yes, make Safe Riding Programme a must
From July, a 90-minute Safe Riding Programme (SRP) will be made available at selected community centres, schools and migrant worker dormitories.
The New Paper

Elderly care centre launched at upgraded Whampoa CC
A first-of-its-kind centre promises to help transform how seniors can be cared for within a residential community.
Today Online

Grooming S’poreans to be global citizens who can thrive anywhere
At the start of his Budget speech, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat warned that an “inward- looking mood” had taken root in several countries, echoing what the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) report called a “dark shift” away from globalisation.
Today Online 

Singapore Is Getting Tougher on the Sharing Economy Brands It Once Embraced
Singapore, a keen early adopter of the sharing economy, has fired a warning shot across the bow of Airbnb and Uber with tighter rules that could shake up their business models and growth ambitions in Asia.
Skift 

Concert raises $22,000 at launch of President’s Challenge
The 17th edition of the President’s Challenge kicked off on Sunday (Feb 26) with $22,000 raised through a choral concert held at the School of the Arts.
The Straits Times 

What’s on PM Lee’s ‘favourites’ tab? Mathematicians’ blogs, photography websites
Known to be an active social media user, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Feb 24) shared his Internet consumption habits with an audience of innovators and disrupters, and revealed that he monitors his posts closely to see how people are reacting to them.
Today Online

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ

 

Rolls-Royce probe grinds to a halt
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has admitted there has been no progress in its investigation into the Rolls-Royce bribery scandal involving two major state enterprises.
Bangkok Post

Public debts dropped to 5.92 trillion baht as of Dec 31
Thailand’s public debts as of December 31 amounted to 5.92 trillion baht, constituting 42.19 percent of gross domestic products, according to Mr Thirat Attanavanich, advisor of debt instruments of Public Debts Office.
Pattaya Mail

Bids awarded for broadband work
Eight private companies have won the bids to supply optical fibre cable and broadband-related equipment to TOT Plc for the installation of the national broadband network across the country.
Bangkok Post

Corporate investment tipped to rise in 2017
CORPORATE investment has shown signs of rising this year especially in construction on the back of the government policy to expand the investment in infrastructure projects in 2017, said Siam Commercial Bank head of commercial banking Wasin saiyawan said.
The Nation

BBC to fight for correspondent Jonathan Head’s freedom in Thailand
The BBC says it will fight allegations against one of its most experienced foreign correspondents in a defamation case in a Thai court that carries a possible five-year prison sentence.
The Sydney Morning Herald

Govt pushes forward ThaiGAP to upgrade quality of Thai agricultural products
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd has disclosed that the government supports enhancing production systems in agriculture to meet the standards of ThaiGAP.
NNT

Sea Change Awaits Trump in Thailand
Three months after his election, a month after inauguration, Donald Trump has not publicly mentioned Thailand. Yet in a looming foreign policy crisis over the South China Sea, the seeds of which the president partly inherited and has partly sowed, the kingdom is poised to play an outsized and oppositional role.
Asia Sentinal

Law needed to regulate Thai investors’ abuses abroad: Thai, Myanmar groups
COMMUNITY groups in Thailand and Myanmar have urged protection of human rights and prevention of environmental impacts – after Thai entrepreneurs were reported to have carried out abusive and environmentally damaging acts in neighbouring countries.
The Nation

Phuket court sets June date for Aussie tourist Keating’s trial
Fears have been raised that Australian tourist Thomas Keating will be stuck in Thailand for a further four months until the Phuket Provincial Court hears the evidence against him at a court hearing scheduled for June.
Phuket News

‘Success story’ Thilawa SEZ set to launch its second phase
MORE THAN three years after the start of the Japan-backed Thilawa special economic zone, Myanmar launched the development of its second zone in the presence of dignitaries from both nations including Vice President Henry Van Thio.
The Nation

PM insists on Article 44
PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed his condolences yesterday over the death of a 64-year-old man who hanged himself near Dhammakaya Temple. But the PM insisted that Article 44 needed to be used to maintain control at the temple – as the task was “beyond the power” of ordinary laws.
The Nation

The power struggle behind Thailand’s temple row
A stand-off between security forces and monks at Thailand’s biggest temple has exposed a struggle as much about power as religion in the predominantly Buddhist country, where the junta has shut down dissent since a 2014 coup.
Reuters

ATTA pins hope on new tourist market
The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) plans to diversify the tourism industry by targeting a new group with high purchasing power, pursuing a new market with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
NNT

DHL report highlights potential of online trading
DHL EXPRESS has published research highlighting the significant growth opportunity for retailers and manufacturers with an international online product offering.
The Nation

Mahidol reprimands lecturers for criticism of NCPO’s special powers
MAHIDOL UNIVERSITY will form a committee to investigate a group of lecturers belonging to its Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies (IHRP), following the institute’s statement questioning alleged junta abuses of power, including the issuance of Article 44 orders.
The Nation

Tiger zoo to open next to Thailand’s raided Tiger Temple
A new zoo is planned in western Thailand right next to the closed Buddhist temple that ran a lucrative tiger attraction while allegedly trafficking in the endangered beasts.
Business Mirror

Thai princess fulfils dream of swimming with whale sharks in Oslob
Even a visiting princess cannot resist the allure of swimming with famed whale sharks in Oslob town, 121 km south of here.
Cebu Daily News

 

Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ

 

Vietnam’s FDI reaches 3.4 billion USD in first two months of 2017​
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam 3.4 billion USD in the first two months of the year, up 21.5 percent, compared to the same period last year, the Foreign Investment Agency’s latest statistics has revealed.
Hanoi Times 

APEC 2017 opens opportunity for Vietnam
Vietnam’s hosting of APEC 2017, with the convergence of both leading and emerging economies,plays a significant role in reaffirming its dynamic socio-economic development as well as active participation in regional and international forums.
Vietnam Net 

Ho Chi Minh City officials approve of 15,000ha ‘New City’ in Cu Chi
Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have expressed their support for a mega-project that will include a so-called ‘New City’ and span over 15,000 hectares in the northern part upon completion.
Tuoi Tre News 

Imported meat becoming more popular
A report from the Department of Livestock Production showed that in the first seven months of 2015, Vietnam imported 210,000 cows from Australia, which was even higher than the total import volume of the year before. In 2014, Vietnam imported 181,000 Australian cows, or 2.7 times higher than 2013.
Vietnam Net 

VND3 trillion high-tech agricultural project commences its construction in Thai Binh
TH Group held a groundbreaking ceremony on February 24 for a high-tech agricultural project on producing organic vegetables, fruits and rice in Dung Nghia Commune, Vu Thu District, Thai Binh Province.
Hanoi Times

Samsung’s VN $2.5b expansion approved
Samsung Display officially received an investment licence Friday for its US$2.5 billion expansion project in Bac Ninh Province’s Yen Phong Industrial Park.
Vietnam News (biz hub) 

Health ministry sets out four scenarios to prevent A/H7N9
The Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health has promulgated an action plan to prevent A/H7N9 avian flu outbreaks in Vietnam.
Hanoi Times 

Large clean egg factory to open in Phu Tho
The first phase of a large-scale clean egg factory will be put in to operation in Phu Tho Province’s Tam Nong District on March 4, its investor DTK Corporation, announced at a press conference on Saturday.
Vietnam News (biz hub) 

Vietnam, France discuss IT, e-government cooperation
Vietnamese Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan and French Minister of State for State Reform and Simplification Jean-Vicent Placé talked about cooperation in IT and e-government development in Hanoi on February 24.
Vietnam Net

Vegetable, fruit exports to struggle
The domestic vegetable and fruit industry will face obstacles in maintaining sustainable growth in export value at the current high level, according to the Viet Nam Vegetable and Fruit Association.
Vietnam News (biz hub)

Japan emperor’s Vietnam visit a sign of improved ties
When Nguyen Thi Xuan said goodbye to her Japanese husband in 1954, she thought he was going off for a year or two on another long assignment. She never imagined it would be more than half a century before she’d see him again.
Washington Post 

Vietnam Airlines to boost co-operation
Eighty-eight per cent of flights operated by national carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) and its members Jetstar Pacific Airlines and Viet Nam Air Service Company (VASCO) in the first two months of this year, including during the peak Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday period, were on time.
Vietnam News (biz hub)

27 Days of Hell: When China and Vietnam Went to War
Several of Vietnam’s state-controlled news outlets have in recent days recalled the country’s 1979 border war with China, until now a strictly taboo topic. Such a recollection may signal that the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam has finally eased censorship of the short-lived but bloody military conflict.
The National Interest 

Government’s new decree resumes race for casino licenses
Many investors who gave up casino development projects some years ago are considering returning as the government has turned the green light on allowing Vietnamese to go to casinos.
Vietnam Net 

Vietnamese spend big on foreign high-street clothes
As incomes have improved, consumers are now buying more high-street fashion products rather than Chinese or Vietnamese clothing.
Vietnam Net

 

 

The Asean Morning News Roundup is compiled by the editorial team at AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.

 

 

 

 

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