Asean Morning News Roundup For March 2

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News Roundup For March 2

The Asean Morning News Roundup presents a selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC) and is the most comprehensive Asean Morning News Roundup published. All articles are hand curated by the team at AEC News Today.

 

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today @aecnewstoday

 

Vietnam slams Chinese fishing ban in South China Sea
ietnam has slammed a fishing ban China has imposed in parts of the disputed South China Sea, saying it violates Vietnamese sovereignty and further complicates the tense situation in the troubled waters.
— The Sacramento Bee

Malaysia, Singapore in South China Sea stoush
Malaysia is challenging Singapore’s ownership of a tiny rocky island in the middle of one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
SBS

China, US rivalry test for Asean solidarity
China’s island-building activities at the South China Sea are the biggest source of tension and uncertainty for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), according to former Foreign secretary Albert del Rosario.
— Manila Times

DTI to host technology and innovation forum for women in ASEAN
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will be gathering women entrepreneurs in ASEAN for a technology and innovation forum from March 16 to 17 in Manila.
— Manila Bulletin

APEC senior officials to decide on Việt Nam’s priorities
During the next two days senior officials from the 21 APEC economies will get together for their first meeting of the year in Nha Trang and make decisions on Việt Nam’s priorities and the initiatives to be carried out in the year.
— Viet Nam News

Youth must raise ASEAN awareness
The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) community offers a haven of opportunities for harnessing the immense potential of the youth in the region.
— Manila Bulletin

Riding the wave of growth in cruise travel
South-east Asia has ambitions to rival the Caribbean as a cruise destination, but infrastructure gaps stand in the way.
— The Straits Times

 

Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Business barometer falls as political uncertainty looms
Business confidence among companies operating in Cambodia has dropped to its lowest level in years on the perceived decline in political stability and anxiety over next year’s general elections, and will likely cool investor appetite for the foreseeable future, according to a new survey by ANZ Royal Bank.
The Phnom Penh Post

Exports driving shift in Thai trade
Cambodian exports to Thailand surged by 46 percent last year compared with 2015 while imports from the neighbouring country decreased slightly, according to statistics provided yesterday by the Ministry of Commerce.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Chinese bank restructures Cambodian operations
Bank of China (BOC), one of the five biggest state-owned commercial banks in China, announced yesterday that it will restructure its Cambodia operations away from the parent company by selling the assets to BOC Hong Kong for $171 million in two separate transactions subject to regulatory approval.
The Phnom Penh Post

Green Date-Grower in Cambodia Eyes Indonesian Market
There are 700 species of dates in the world, according to Leng Mong Neath, a real estate broker and would-be date farmer. Of these, only about 20 bear edible fruit. And of these 20 edible species, only two can grow in Cambodia.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia pursues green and clean policy
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the country’s hospitality sector to increase the use of locally grown produce at tourist destinations to improve rural economies.
TTR Weekly

ANZ: Business confidence falls
Cambodia’s business confidence index fell by seven percentage points from last year due to global competition, perceived political instability, and a bearish climate due to the upcoming commune elections, according to the latest ANZ Royal Business Confidence Index Survey report released yesterday.
Khmer Times

Gov’t agro production project nets $36.3M
The Ministry of Economy and Finance secured a $36.3 million concessionary loan from the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) program aimed at accelerating the production of small-scale agricultural products including rice, vegetables, potatoes, silk and livestock, according to a ministry release yesterday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cultivation of cassava still firmly rooted
Cambodian farmers continue to expand cassava cultivation despite falling commercial prices for the crop and low international trade volumes, new data from the Ministry of Agriculture show.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia Ready to Assist Malaysia With Kim Jong-nam Murder Probe, Officials Say
The Cambodian government has said it stands ready to assist the Malaysian authorities’ investigation of the recent death of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
VOA

Former Soldier Admits to Killing Cambodian Political Analyst
A Cambodian former soldier accused of gunning down a popular political analyst and government critic last July confessed to the crime during a more than five-hour trial on Wednesday in a packed courtroom in Phnom Penh.
Radio Free Asia

Who are Cambodia’s new deputy opposition leaders?
On Tuesday, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) announced that three of its politicians – Mu Sochua, Eng Chhay Eang and Pol Ham – would replace Kem Sokha as vice presidents of the party after he was made the new party president.
Southeast Asia Globe

Joint Cambodia, Laos tour packages
Cambodia and Laos, in a bid to promote bilateral tourism, will create joint tour packages to facilitate the visit of tourists to both countries.
Khmer Times

Researchers seek new rice varieties
The Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has agreed to help Cambodia plant new high-yielding rice varieties that are also able to survive extreme climatic events.
Khmer Times

Kem Ley Murder Suspect to Appear at Hearing
The lawyer for a man suspected of killing a prominent government critic in Cambodia’s capital last year has said his client would attend a hearing in the case on Wednesday.
VOA

New Startup Sees Tech Potential Beyond Battambang’s Agriculture
The Coder Studio is an eight-month-old, eight-member team and one of the first technology startups based in Cambodia’s agricultural province of Battambang. It primarily builds co

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Indonesia Stock Market May Test Resistance At 5,400
The Indonesia stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the three-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost 45 points or 0.9 percent. The Jakarta Composite Index now rests just above the 5,360-point plateau, although the market is expected to move higher again on Thursday.
— Nasdaq

Indonesia records 1.03 million tourist arrivals in January
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded 1.03 million foreign tourist arrivals in January, a 26.58 percent increase from the figure in January, 2016, which stood at 814,300.
— Jakarta Post

Indonesia inflation rate rises to 3.83% in Feb: stats bureau
Indonesia’s annual inflation rate increased in February, mainly due to higher prices for processed and raw foods as well as healthcare, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday.
— Business Times

Saving Indonesia’s wayward democracy
At a recent political function, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo made a prognosis that Indonesian democracy had gone wayward.
— Today Online

Law enforcers recover 38 sea turtles in eastern Indonesia — 6 of them dead
Indonesian police arrested five fishermen last week for trafficking 38 sea turtles from an important nesting site in the archipelago country’s eastern waters.
— Mongabay.com

Saudi King Kicks Off 12-Day Indonesia Trip
King Salman of Saudi Arabia began a 12-day visit to Indonesia Wednesday meant to cement plans for a $6 billion refinery project and build up ties between the two Muslim-majority countries, with Jakarta eyeing new funding for an underdeveloped petroleum industry.
— Wall Street Journal

Saudi Arabia to open 3 Arabic-language institutes in Indonesia
Saudi Arabia is planning to establish Arabic-language institutions in the three major Indonesian cities of Makassar, Medan and Surabaya, said Saudi Ambassador Osama Mohammed Abdullah Al-Shuaibi.
— Arab News

Jakarta to have the highest ferris wheel in Indonesia
A ferris wheel claimed to be the highest in the country will be placed on top of the shopping center AEON Mall, which is currently under construction, in Jakarta Garden City in Cakung, East Jakarta.
— Jakarta Post

Indonesia signs LoI with Switzerland on vocational education
Indonesia and Switzerland signed a letter of intent (LoI) for cooperation to strengthen Indonesia’s vocational education system in the manufacturing sector.
— Jakarta Post

Indonesia promotes the use of data for policymaking
AS THE largest economy in the Southeast Asia (SEA), Indonesia is one of the founding members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multilateral initiative to promote transparency, fight corruption and harness new technology to strengthen government.
— Digital News Asia

Indonesia coal-fired plant nets jumbo financing
A coal-fired plant in Indonesia has attracted debt finance of US$3.355bn, from a group of predominantly Japanese lenders.
— Global Trade Review

How effective is media verification in stopping fake news?
The Indonesian authorities can take legal measures against fake news or libellous statements, which has the potential to foment social unrest, by using the already available regulations.
— Asia News Network

Indonesia, Saudi sign deals as king starts landmark visit
Indonesia and Saudi Arabia Wednesday signed agreements in areas ranging from trade to aviation as the kingdom’s monarch visited the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country for the first time in almost half a century.
— The Star Online

Indonesia faces test in push for mining reforms
The Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia, is the largest gold mine and second-largest copper mine in the world. Operated by PT Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of United States mining giant Freeport McMoran Inc, it was part of the initial wave of foreign investment that ensued after Indonesia liberalised its investment regulations in 1967.
— The Straits Times

More BlackBerry phones coming, one leaks out from Indonesia
It may seem ironic at first brush that there might actually be more BlackBerry smartphones released after BlackBerry itself decided to stop making its own smartphones. That is, of course, also an expected consequence since the production of devices is no longer dependent on BlackBerry’s capabilities. The year may have kicked off with the BlackBerry KEYone, previously the “Mercury”, but 2017 may see at least 5 new BB phones launched. One from BB Merah Putih in Indonesia, might actually be closer to launch.
— Slash Gear

Forget Target: This Indonesia Department Store Is Also In Trouble But Twice As Expensive
Target (TGT) tumbled 12% on Tuesday to a one-year low after reporting that it expected its same-store sales to decline in the low-single digit in fiscal year 2017.
— Barron’s (blog)

Poroshenko signs law on ratifying agreement with Indonesia on cooperation in defense industry
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed the law on ratification of the agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the government of Indonesia on cooperation in the defense industry, approved by the Verkhovna Rada on February 8.
— Interfax

 

Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter

 

Lao PDR, Cambodia Discuss a Joint Fisheries Management Plan
Efforts to rebuild freshwater fish populations in the Mekong and Sekong River Basins are underway with plans in place to establish a Joint Fisheries Management Plan between Cambodia and Lao PDR.
— Lao News Agency

Australia, EU assists Laos to bolster primary education
Australia’s Foreign Affairs Department and the European Union have provided more than US$1 million (about 8.6 billion kip) to World Vision Laos to help educationally disadvantaged children complete quality basic education.
— Lao News Agency

Laos, Thailand step up education cooperation
Laos’ Ministry of Education and Sports will partner with Thailand’s Ministry of Education to increase cooperation in education with the aim of improving English teaching skills for Lao teachers.
— Lao News Agency

Japan supports health sector improvements
The Japanese government is continuing to support the health sector in Laos with three community-based projects in two targets provinces under the Grant-in-Aid Scheme for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGPs).
— Vientiane Times

Improved water supplies to protect southerners against climate change
People living in the southern provinces of Attapeu, Saravan and Xekong will have access to improved clean water supplies in the near future, under a project to protect vulnerable communities against climate change.
— Vientiane Times

Field epidemiology training enhances disease outbreak response
Laos has benefited from ongoing Lao Field Epidemiology Training which boosts its ability to the combat disease outbreaks in the country, according to a leading health official
— Vientiane Times (paywall)

Companies keen to develop Vientiane-Pakxe expressway project
Nineteen domestic and foreign companies have expressed their interest in developing the planned Vientiane-Pakxe expressway, a senior government official has said.
— Vientiane Times

Joint Cambodia, Laos tour packages
Cambodia and Laos, in a bid to promote bilateral tourism, will create joint tour packages to facilitate the visit of tourists to both countries.
— Khmer Times

Bus services improve after installation of sensors
City bus services have improved in terms of service management and safety after the installation of infrared sensors in buses
— Vientiane Times (paywall)

Lao Students Show Creativity at Youth Innovation Competition
Two teams of Lao students from the National University of Laos won prizes at the Youth Innovation Competition on Global Governance (YICGG) in Nanning, China on Jan 12-16 for innovative projects.
— Lao News Agency

Lao, Asia-Pacific group gains insight into Japan’s tourism industry
Some 28 young people from Laos, along with others from the Asia-Pacific region, have gathered in Japan to learn about the Japanese lifestyle, economy, culture and history through the JENESYS study tour
— Vientiane Times (paywall)

Senior film major hopes to create documentary on horrors in Laos
Erin McGoff, a senior in the School of Communication, is using her last semester as a film major at AU to create and produce a documentary, “This Little Land of Mines.”
— The Eagle

 

Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Malaysia: Saudi Aramco to buy 50% in selected RAPID project assets, invest $7b
Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) is acquiring a 50 per cent stake in Malaysia’s Pengerang Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project’s selective assets, pumping $7 billion to hold stake in refinery and cracker assets in the petrochemical project in southern Johor.
Deal Street Asia

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Unveils New Headquarters and Training Academy
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MBM), today launched its new headquarters; Wisma Mercedes-Benz, and the Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) Training Academy in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, Selangor.
iCarAsia.com

Prosecutors, Investors Propose Plan to Oust Malaysian Investor from Hotel Consortium
The U.S. Justice Department and New York property developer Steven Witkoff have asked a federal court to approve a plan to remove a financier accused in a massive international fraud from the group that owns the financially troubled Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan, according to court papers.
The Wall Street Journal

Malaysia Airlines continues to reduce losses
Malaysia Airlines Bhd recorded a stronger performance in the fourth quarter (4Q) of last year on the back of higher bookings and driven by a greater focus on the premium business traveller as well as all-inclusive economy fares.
The Rakyat Post

Kim Jong-nam: Malaysia charges two women with murder
Malaysia has charged two women – an Indonesian and a Vietnamese – with murdering the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader using a super-toxic nerve agent that killed in minutes.
The Guardian

Malaysia Charges 2 Women with Murder in Kim Jong Nam’s Death
Malaysia charged two women with murder Wednesday in connection with the death of Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
VOA

Kim Jong-nam death: Two women charged with murder
The women, Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam and Siti Aisyah from Indonesia, allegedly smeared deadly VX nerve agent on Mr Kim’s face in Kuala Lumpur airport on 13 February.
BBC

Bank Negara slams MyCC’s decision to fine PIAM and its members
Bank Negara Malaysia has defended the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) and its 22 members against the Malaysia Competition Commission’s (MyCC) decision to fine them RM213.45mil for an “anti-competitive agreement” with a group of workshops.
The Star Online

Sugar price hike prompts CIMB Research to upgrade MSM
CIMB Equities Research has upgraded MSM Holdings Bhd to Hold with a higher target price of RM4.43 on a news report the retail price for sugar in the country has been raised from RM2.84 a kg to RM2.95.
The Star Online

RHB targets 50,000 new account holders with launch of 2 online deposit accounts
RHB Bank Bhd is targeting for 50,000 new account holders for its newly launched online deposit accounts, RHB Smart Account and RHB Smart Account-i, within six months from April this year.
New Straits Times

Saudi Aramco’s US$7bil stake in Petronas’ Rapid project spells greater job and business opportunities
The US$7 billion (RM31 billion) investment from oil giant Saudi Aramco in Petronas Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang will draw more investors to Johor and Malaysia.
New Straits Times

Malaysia-GCC trade deal on hold for now
The Free Trade Agreement between Malaysia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been placed on the back burner.
New Straits Times

Malaysia enjoys medical tourism boom
Malaysia’s medical tourism sector is booming, prompting fierce competition among its leading market players, according to the latest report by Transparency Market Research.
TTR Weekly

Malaysia has final say on Jong-nam’s body, say experts
There is no international law requiring Malaysia to release the body of assassinated Kim Jong-nam to North Korean authorities without the consent of a next-of- kin, say legal experts.
Malay Mail Online

 

Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Death sentence upheld for Myanmar pair over killings
Two Myanmar men convicted of killing a pair of British backpackers on a Thai holiday island have lost their appeal against the death sentence, a prosecutor said Wednesday, a ruling made without their defence lawyers present.
— Gulf Times

Myanmar fishery export income set to double
THOUGH MYANMAR’S fishery export income took a dive for three straight years until 2015, industry players hold high hopes to rebound, given the slight increase last year and the potential continuation of growth this fiscal year ending on March 31.
— The Nation

Australian team helps protect Myanmar farmers from snake bites
Myanmar farmers are trapped in a vicious cycle that leaves them especially vulnerable to snake bites. Rice attracts rodents, and rodents attract snakes; and if a snake bites a farmer, chances are that farmer has neither the money nor the means of transportation to ensure her own survival. The cost of survival is sure to deepen her poverty and dependence on farming.
— Coconuts Yangon

KBZ Bank Resumes Services for Rohingyas
After temporarily freezing the bank accounts owned by the Rohingyas and blocking them from doing financial transactions, the Maungdaw branch of the KBZ (Kanbawza) Bank has resumed its normal services for the Rohingya today (on Feb 28), it has been reported.
— Rohingya Vision

Hundreds of Rohingyas Face Arbitrary Trials
More than 200 Rohingya civilians arrested in northern Maungdaw on 14th November 2016 are now facing arbitrary trials and subjected to long-term imprisonments, reports say.
— Rohingya Vision

Unilever responds to rights campaign, commits to Rohingya protection
Last week, rights activists concerned with the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar launched a new strategy in an effort to end the repression characterized by the United Nations recently as tantamount to “ethnic cleansing”. They sought the help of business, and business responded.
— Coconuts Yangon

Govt suspends controversial Banchaung coal mine
The Myanmar government has suspended operations at the 2,100-acre Banchaung coal mine in Dawei Township, Taninthayi Region, Eleven reported today.
— Coconuts Yangon

Mother of deaf Myanmar refugee killed by RTD train: ‘My heart is broken’
The family of a deaf refugee from Myanmar who was killed Feb. 19 by an RTD train during testing on the new R Line says it is heartbroken over his death, which his family says may have been preventable.
— Denver Channel

Indian Navy asks Myanmar to send proposal for training facilities
The Indian Navy on Wednesday responded positively to a visiting Myanmar Navy delegation’s request for training facilities, asking the nation to send a proposal.
— Hindustan Times

Myanmar nationals nabbed sneaking into Malaysia
Twenty-five Myanmar nationals, 24 men and 1 woman, were caught attempting to sneak across the border into Malaysia from a village in Sadao district on Wednesday.
— Bangkok Post

First China-Myanmar tourism cooperation forum kicks off in Nay Pyi Taw
A China-Myanmar tourism cooperation forum, the first of its kind, kicked off in Myanmar’s capital of Nay Pyi Taw Wednesday.
— Mizzima

Independent centre reports on nation’s natural resources
The Ethnic Nationalities Affairs Centre (ENAC) (Union of Burma), has released a report recommending greater government emphasis on the possession, management, share of revenues and impact of the country’s natural resources during the second 21st Panglong Conference.
— Myanmar Times

Agricultural sector and SMEs to receive private bank loans
The Central Bank of Myanmar will make it compulsory for local private banks to grant a minimum percentage of their loans to the agricultural sector and the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector, Central Bank director general U Win Thaw told the Myanmar Times.
— Myanmar Times

NLD appoints new Mon chief
Mon State parliament has approved the appointment of MP Dr Aye Zan, who represents Kyaikto Township constituency no2, as chief minister.
— Eleven

Shwedagon Pagoda receives US$60m in donations
The accumulated donations to Shwedagon Pagoda topped US$60 million, according to the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs.
— Eleven

Money transfer can be smoothly made between Myanmar and US
Money transfers to the United States can now be made by opening a Settlement Account at KBZ Bank.
— Eleven

General Mya Tun Oo hopes 100 percent peace will surely prevail in time of Suu Kyi-led government
General Mya Tun Oo, Chief of General Staff, said he hoped that 100 per cent peace would reign across the country under the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
— Eleven

Thai mine ‘destroyed Myanmar water sources’
PEOPLE in Heinda district in Myanmar’s Tanintharyi Region have been deprived of clean water, amid claims that a tin mine operated by a Thai firm has contaminated the river and water sources with heavy metals.
— Eleven

Hlaingthaya airbed factory workers on strike over night shift
More than 200 workers from Spim Sun Pleasure air mattress factory in Yangon Region went on a strike yesterday citing their unwillingness to work night shift as the main reason.
— Eleven

Money transfer can be smoothly made between Myanmar and US
Money transfers to the United States can now be made by opening a Settlement Account at KBZ Bank.
— Eleven

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter

 

Philippines Moves Closer to Reinstating Death Penalty
The Philippines House of Representatives approved a proposal on Wednesday to reinstate the death penalty, paving the way for capital punishment to be restored more than a decade after it was abolished.
— New York Times

Vietnam gains on PHL to top ASEAN PMI
FACTORIES in the Philippines capped a four-month growth slowdown in February, even as the pickup last month was overtaken by Vietnam’s performance that put that neighbor in the region’s lead, according to monthly surveys IHS Markit conducted for Nikkei, Inc.
— BusinessWorld

Trade dep’t aims to regain lost investment pledge momentum
THE GOVERNMENT is targeting a recovery this year in foreign investment commitments which sank in value in 2016, the country’s Trade chief said yesterday.
— BusinessWorld

Credit expansion picks up in Jan
Credit growth rose nearly 18 percent in January from the revised growth of 17.3 percent in December amid the continued growth in the economy.
— Philippine Star

No more La Niña – PAGASA
THE Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Wednesday announced that La Niña conditions are no longer present in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific (CEEP).
— Manila Times

British firms eye Mindanao projects
British companies are considering Mindanao as a new investment destination given the island’s huge growth potential.
— Philippine Star

Philippines takes lead in dengue summit
As the first country to implement a mass immunization program against dengue, the Philippines is taking center stage at the 2nd Asia Dengue Summit in Manila that ends today.
— Philippine Star

‘PH can be economic, moral force in Asia’
WITH the fundamentals for a sustainable growth, the Philippines can become an economic and moral force that can lead an effort to realize the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (Asean) full potential and stabilize the rest of Asia.
— Manila Times

Senate to probe ‘defective’ MRT coaches
THE Senate is set to investigate the P3.8-billion brand new coaches of the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) found to have compatibility issues and defects.
— Manila Times

SC ruling frustrates electricity consumers
Household consumers, counting on their long-delayed dividends from energy sector reforms, found themselves empty-handed this week after the Supreme Court gave way to last-ditch efforts to derail retail competition and open access in the electric power industry, according to a non-government organization advocating consumer welfare.
— Manila Standard

Big haul of fake tax stamps
Joint operations of the bureaus of Customs and of Internal Revenue on Wednesday yielded a total of 23.2 million packs of cigarettes reportedly manufactured by homegrown manufacturer Mighty Corp. that bore fake tax stamps, depriving the government of some P696 million in unpaid taxes.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer

Pilipinas Shell’s profit jumps 105% to P7.4b
Oil refiner and distributor Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. said Wednesday net income surged 105 percent last year to P7.4 billion from P3.6 billion in 2015 despite lower oil prices, amid a retail network expansion program.
— Manila Standard

 

Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

Singapore would sign TPP deal, minus US, if there is consensus: PM Lee
If there is consensus among the remaining 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), following the withdrawal of the United States, then Singapore would sign the trade deal, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Channel NewsAsia 

Business confidence in Singapore economy rises in second quarter
BUSINESS confidence in Singapore’s economy for the second quarter of this year has bounced back up, led by rising optimism in the services and wholesale trade sectors from a gloomy outlook in the preceeding quarter, according to a latest quarterly survey.
The Business Times 

Singapore luxury residences a “compelling” buy
Singapore’s property markets didn’t escape the financial crisis, but now that prices and transaction volumes have started to recover, the robust city-state has emerged as one of the most competitive global destinations for buying luxury residential property.
South China Morning Post

Public service has lost its heart, MPs say
Several Members of Parliament yesterday called for greater compassion from a public service that has, in Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng’s words, “lost its heart”, citing examples of how people have been turned away because public servants were doing things strictly by the book.
Today Online

Mugabe, 93, flies to Singapore for ‘medical review’
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who celebrated his 93rd birthday last week, flew to Singapore on Wednesday for a “scheduled medical review”, his spokesperson said.
News 24 

Govt open to use of SRS cash for S’pore Savings Bonds
The Government is open to the idea of allowing Singaporeans to use money in their Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) accounts to purchase Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB), but the additional benefits from doing so are “not clear” presently, said Mr Ong Ye Kung, who is a board member at the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Today Online 

MPs seek help for PMEs to cope with new trends
As companies internationalise and Singaporean professionals are encouraged to venture abroad, those returning should have more help to rejoin the local job market.
The Straits Times 

Singapore May Have Designed the World’s Best Bus Stop
An architecture firm and the government collaborated on a bus stop with books, a rooftop garden, and a swing.
City Lab 

Parliament: Singapore may ban domestic sale of ivory
The Government may ban ivory from being sold in Singapore, said Minister of State for National Development Koh Poh Koon on Wednesday (March 1).
The Straits Times 

Coastal cameras crucial for Singapore’s safety
The Police Coast Guard (PCG) have begun installing surveillance cameras around Singapore since January as part of the Coastal Surveillance Camera System.
The New Paper

Singapore to introduce new laws on building, events security: Shanmugam
To boost public safety, Singapore plans to introduce two new laws this year that will require building owners and event organisers to follow tighter security rules, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam.
Channel NewsAsia 

Singapore nears launch of mass-transit open-loop contactless payments pilot
A broad pilot to test contactless open-loop payments on Singapore’s trains and buses will go live March 20, according to local mass-transit authorities and Mastercard, which is sponsoring the initiative.
— Paymentssource 

10 good reasons to do business in Singapore
When you think of economic powerhouses around the globe, you generally picture the United States, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany. But there is one particularly nation that does not get the praise that it has earned in recent years: Singapore.
Economic Collapse News 

‘Made in Singapore’ agency products to go global following government investment
Publicis Communications is one of four agencies to have entered into a three-year “marriage” with the Singaporean Government to create “made in Singapore” products for the global marketplace.
Mumbrella Asia 

Malaysia, Singapore in South China Sea stoush
Malaysia is challenging Singapore’s ownership of a tiny rocky island in the middle of one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
SBS 

Water price hike necessary, but why now?
If the aim of the recent water price hike was to raise public awareness about Singapore’s water demand and supply, the move can now be considered a splashing success.
The Straits Times 

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ

 

Death Penalty Fears Slow U.K. Response to Thai Rolls-Royce Probe
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office is stalling the handover of information from its corruption investigation into Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc to Thai authorities because of fears the country may pursue the death penalty against individuals.
Bloomberg 

Thailand enjoys export growth for three consecutive months
Thailand’s exports continued to increase for three consecutive months with over 8% growth in January.
— Pattaya Mail

Thailand total export growth likely to exceed government’s initial 3 pct target this year, says DBS
Export growth continued its pretty strong run, coming in at 8.8 percent y/y in January. Export growth averaged 6.5 percent over the past 6 months. At the current pace, total export growth for the year is likely to exceed the government’s initial target of 3 percent.
Econo Times

Exports driving shift in Thai trade
Cambodian exports to Thailand surged by 46 percent last year compared with 2015 while imports from the neighbouring country decreased slightly, according to statistics provided yesterday by the Ministry of Commerce.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Govt adopts ‘defence diplomacy’ with China
The current military government has adopted “defence diplomacy” when it comes to handling international relations. Such a diplomatic approach has helped it forge closer ties with China, resulting in strengthened.
Bangkok Post 

Lion lifts off for China
Thai Lion Air will commence two new routes connecting Bangkok to Chengdu and Chongqing in China effective today, 1 March.
— TTR Weekly

Thailand’s ‘Ghost Tower’ a haunting reminder of the 1997 financial crisis
The 49-floor Bangkok high-rise was supposed to feature luxury condos for hundreds of newly affluent Thai families, but it was abandoned unfinished when the Asian financial crisis struck in 1997.
— South China Morning Post

Report: Thailand prisons failing to meet international standards
Prisons in Thailand are failing to meet international standards, according to a report published Tuesday by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) advocacy website.
— Jurist

‘Safety zone’ in South only a pipe dream without BRN agreement
TWO lanes of the Thai-Belgian Flyover near Lumpini Park in Bangkok were reopened yesterday afternoon, following a blaze that broke out in garbage bins under the four-lane bridge on Tuesday morning.
The Nation 

Foreign Ministry reassures on issuance of e-passports as deadline looms
THE ISSUANCE of e-passports for Thai citizens will continue as usual, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday after reports that passports would be unavailable within three days after the contract with a consortium of outsourcing companies expires.
The Nation 

Thailand Tourism expands Visa Waiver Program
Likely to have a major impact in pushing arrival numbers up for Thailand which in recent years has suffered of some significant wobbles over political developments, the Kingdom of Thailand made a surprise announcement regarding their Visa Waiver Program.
eTurboNews

President Trump & Thailand’s Military Coup Leaders
President Donald Trump may strengthen Washington’s support for Bangkok’s military government after sending the head of the U.S. Pacific Command to open a 10-day Cobra Gold military exercise on Valentine’s Day, the highest-level officer to arrive since Thailand’s 2014 coup.
Scoop

Death sentence upheld for Myanmar pair over Brit killings
Two Myanmar men convicted of killing a pair of British backpackers on a Thai holiday island have lost their appeal against the death sentence, a prosecutor said, a ruling made without their defence lawyers present.
The Star Online 

Trade missions eye wider export footprint in China
SINCE CHINA HAS become the single largest export market for Thailand this year, the Commerce Ministry is moving to seek trade with more cities on the mainland while also using China as a springboard to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Russia and Europe.
The Nation

Bangkok Airways completes recertification, eyes expansion
Bangkok Airways (PG, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) has become the first Thai commercial carrier to complete its AOC recertification according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s (CAAT) revised, ICAO-compliant standards.
Ch-Aviation 

Thai university riled by lecturers’ criticism of government
Rights groups are urging a university to drop an investigation of a group of lecturers who criticized Thailand’s military junta, calling the university’s response an attack on free speech and academic freedom.
The Asahi Shimbun 

 

Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ

 

Vietnam Buys More Defense Equipment from Israel
Vietnam took delivery last month of a second batch of Rafael Python and Derby (SPYDER) surface-to-air missiles. The first batch was delivered last July, but that was not the first time the communist state had sourced defense equipment from Israel
— AIN Online

PM wants growth of 6.7 per cent
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc urged Government members to take drastic measures to attain the targeted growth rate of 6.7 percent this year at the Cabinet’s February meeting in Hà Nội yesterday.
— Viet Nam News

Vietnam’s Economy Is On Fire, And Fueled By Coal: How It Can Create A Greener Future
I’m wrapping up a trip to Asia that included an inspiring week in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Formerly known as Saigon, this commercial hub is booming.
— Forbes

Retail sales, service revenue increase over 7 per cent
Hà Nội’s retail and service revenue in the first two months of 2017 amounted to VNĐ365 trillion (US$16.4 billion), an increase of 7.1 per cent from the same period last year, according to the Hà Nội Statistics Office.
— Viet Nam News

Vietnam’s super-rich population is growing faster than anywhere else
Vietnam’s ultra-rich population is growing faster than any economy in the world, and is on track to continue leading the growth in the next decade, based on a new international research.
— VNExpress

Vietnam plans to charge foreigners extra fee for hotel stays
The proposed surcharge would only apply to foreigners, not local guests, and would go to a tourism development fund.
— VNExpress

New lending regulations worry small firms
Small-sized enterprises are concerned that they would have to borrow from credit institutions at higher rates when a new lending regulation takes effect next month.
— Viet Nam News

Japanese projects freshening up Vietnam’s real estate market
Numerous flagship/anticipated real estate projects with foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan are expected to launch for sale in 2017.
— VietnamNet Bridge

Vinalines signs $565 million insurance contract
Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) reached a framework agreement with a joint venture of insurance companies to insure its off-shore fishing vessel hulls this year in Ha Noi on Tuesday.
Viet Nam News biz hub

Vietnamese businesses rank best, worst government regulations
Vietnamese businesses have found more poor government regulations than good rules, based on the rating published by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), which will enable a better policy making process to improve the country’s business environment.
— VNExpress

Vietnam slams Chinese fishing ban in South China Sea
Vietnam has slammed a fishing ban China has imposed in parts of the disputed South China Sea, saying it violates Vietnamese sovereignty and further complicates the tense situation in the troubled waters.
— The Sacramento Bee

Vietnam gains on PHL to top ASEAN PMI
FACTORIES in the Philippines capped a four-month growth slowdown in February, even as the pickup last month was overtaken by Vietnam’s performance that put that neighbor at the region’s lead, according to monthly surveys IHS Markit conducted for Nikkei, Inc.
— Business World Online

Vietnam to halt imports of five agro-products from India – govt
Vietnam will suspend the import of five agricultural commodities from India due to concerns over infectious insects, the Vietnamese government said Wednesday.
— VNExpress

Deputy PM wants more international integration
Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ has asked the Inter-Sectoral Steering Committee for Economic Integration to improve studies and forecasts of integration developments, especially negotiations of free trade agreements (FTAs), in order to devise appropriate policies.
— Viet Nam News

How Much is a Piece of Ho Chi Minh City’s ‘Golden’ Land Worth?
Ho Chi Minh City’s most costly land prices can be found in District 1 around the People’s Committee building and near Ben Thanh Market. A square meter there fetches at least $30,000, according to the latest report by evaluation company Gachvang.
— VNExpress

APEC senior officials to decide on Việt Nam’s priorities
During the next two days senior officials from the 21 APEC economies will get together for their first meeting of the year in Nha Trang and make decisions on Việt Nam’s priorities and the initiatives to be carried out in the year.
— Viet Nam News

Japan’s ruler pays first visit to Vietnam
Vietnam laid out the red carpet for the monarch of its biggest provider of aid yesterday as Japanese emperor Akihito paid his first visit to the South-east Asian nation.
— The Straits Times

60% use internet in Vietnam
ver 20 years of development, Viet Nam’s internet has made sustainable contributions to society and Government policies have resulted in 60 per cent of the population using the web, said Phan Tam, deputy minister of Information and Communications at the on-going APRICOT 2017 conference in HCM City.
— VietnamNet Bridge

Automakers struggle to keep Vietnam production amid ASEAN tariff cuts
Automobile companies are forced to cut back production in Vietnam following lower tariffs among Southeast Asian countries but said they would maintain operation in the country.
— VNExpress

Vietnam’s tourism sees strong 2017 start with Jan-Feb record growth
Vietnam has received more than 2.2 million foreign visitors in January-February, up 33 percent from a year ago, the government said, putting the country on track to meet its annual target to welcome 11.5 million foreigners this year.
— VNExxpress

EU Presses Vietnam to Improve Human Rights Ahead of Trade Deal
Vietnam is coming under pressure from lawmakers in Europe to improve its human rights record before ratification of an EU free trade deal that the Communist government prizes after the loss of a major U.S.-led agreement.
— VOA

Panasonic to double wiring device production in Vietnam plant
Panasonic Corporation will double its production capacity of wiring devices and circuit breaker in Vietnam by 2020 in an attempt to fulfill robust demand in the country and for export to neighboring markets, the business newspaper Saigon Times reported.
— VNExxpress

Woman fined nearly $300 for littering pavement
The Hoàn Kiếm District police in Hà Nội have slapped a woman with a fine of VNĐ6 million (US$266) for littering a pavement.
— Viet Nam News

India-CLMV ties set to grow
Hung was speaking at the fourth India-CLMV business conclave held in Jaipur City in the Indian state of Rajasthan on Monday, where he said India could support CLMV through its investments in manufacturing, business, services and infrastructure, as well as inter-regional trade, technical training and capacity improvement.
— Viet Nam News biz hub

 

 

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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