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Asean Affairs   10 July  2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     10 July 2011

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These were the most important stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of July 2-July 8.

Indonesia raises growth rate
Indonesia raised its growth target to as much as 7 percent next year over optimism that inflation would be kept at bay and that its master plan for development would boost the economy.

Business opposes 300 baht Thai minimum wage
The Pheu Thai Party intends to increase the minimum wage to 300 baht (US$10) a day nationwide - 40-90 percent above current levels - by January, as academics and businesses warn of negative impacts on the national economy.

Philippines criticized for renewable energy incentives delay
The International Finance Corp. (FIC) has slammed the delay in the implementation of the incentives provided for under the Renewable Energy Law.

Investors unsure of Thai political stability
Investors reacted positively to the peaceful election, but they are still unsure about long-term stability since political parties led by Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies have had short shelf lives.

Traffic jams costly to Jakarta
Jakarta's traffic chaos costs Indonesia more than US$3 billion a year in a depressing reminder of the gap between the country's ambitions for growth and its daily realities, analysts say.

Indonesians see Thai stability as investment threat
Indonesian business leaders on Monday hailed Thailand’s smooth election but warned that stability in the country may make it more attractive for investors who might otherwise have targeted the archipelago.

Pheu Thai carries Thailand
Novice politician Yingluck Shinawatra has led Pheu Thai Party to an overwhelming election win, throwing out the Democrat-led government and winning 265 parliamentary seats or more of the 500 seats in parliament. The runner-up Democrat party carried 159 seats.

Philippines may relax construction ownership rules
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) may relax foreign ownership in the construction sector to attract more investment.

Indo banks need to focus on infrastructure
Indonesian business leaders have urged the central bank and the government to change some guidelines that were set during the financial crisis 13 years ago and allow banks to provide large loans for infrastructure projects.

Energy find may be behind China’s behavior
The Philippines said that it could only wonder why China has recently become more aggressive in asserting its claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

Indonesian inflation down
Indonesia’s inflation eased in June to its lowest level in a year, adding to sentiment that the central bank will hold its key interest rate steady this month.

Pheu Thai's oil policy sparks confusion
The Pheu Thai party's plan to scrap the state oil fund could result in a palm oil surplus and low prices for fresh palm nuts, as there would be no incentive to make biodiesel from the output, warns a senior Agriculture Ministry official.

Red shirts can be ministers
The selection of cabinet members will be based on their knowledge and competence and is not out of bounds to red shirts if they are qualified, prime minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra said on Thursday.

Australia lifts ban on Indo cattle exports
The Australian government has lifted its ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia on the condition that stricter regulations be imposed on industry participants.

Pheu Thai-red shirt friction gets hot
The alliance between the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and the Pheu Thai Party is beginning to fall apart as hardline red shirt partisans press their demands.

SBY slams "50 Percent" ministers
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called out his cabinet on Thursday for its failure to push through needed programs, slapping a failing grade on the ministers in an impromptu job review.

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ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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