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Asean Affairs    11  September  2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     11  September 2011

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These were the most newsworthy stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of September 3-September 6.

Most Malaysian ETP initiatives implemented
About 84 percent of the 87 initiatives announced under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) are being implemented.

Thai PM signals AEC change for military
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has instructed senior military officers from the three branches to prepare for changes in their roles as the creation of the Asean Economic Community in 2015 draws near.

Indonesia drops on competitiveness scale
Indonesia has dropped two places in this year’s Global Competitiveness Report, bringing a sudden halt to an impressive climb that had seen it climb 11 places during the last two years.

Malaysia jumps 5 places in competitiveness
Malaysia has made positive strides to jump up five positions in the latest Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Thailand drops 2 places in competitiveness
In the recently released 2010-2011Global Competitveness Report Thailand slipped two places to 38 on the international scale compiled by the World Economic Report. In the previous year it had ranked 36.

Vietnam faces power outages
Power shortages are expected to hit the remaining months of the year, according to the general director of Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN), Pham Le Thanh.

Philippines may relax forex rules
Philippine monetary authorities are mulling over a further relaxation of foreign exchange regulations as they hiked their forecast for gross international reserves (GIR) this year amid the surge in hot money inflows.

Without immigrants, Singapore loses
Without migration of some magnitude, Singapore's population will decline - even if it manages to boost its Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to 1.85, up from the current 1.15.

Vietnam offers incentives to Japanese investors
The Vietnamese government has always appreciated the quality and efficiency of capital flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan. It recently called on Japanese businesses to increase investments to develop industries in Vietnam, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong.

Diverse board proposed for Thai sovereign fund
A sovereign wealth fund should be managed by a board comprised of representatives from across society, according to Bank of Thailand chairman MR Chatumongol Sonakul.

Thais hope to power Vietnam
A Thai state-owned group is seeking investment opportunities to plug gaps in three major power projects in Vietnam.

Asean looks at trade deals, SMEs
The members of Asean need to remain vigilant in the face of growing global risks and harness their members' competitive strengths through deeper integration in order to remain relevant, senior ministers say.

HCM tourism rises, so do problems
Although the number of foreign tourist arrivals rose by 10 percent in the first seven months of 2011, the HCM City tourism industry has been facing challenges. Deputy Director of HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism La Quoc Khanh and Nguyen Van My, director of Lua Viet Travel Company spoke with Le Hung Vong and Thuy Ha about these issues.

Laos’ labor force is 3.7 million
The current size of Laos’ labor force aged between the ages of 16 and 65 is 3.7 million people with the majority of them in agriculture.

Malaysia is ivory transit point
More than 20 tons of illegal ivory have passed through at least two Malaysian ports since 2003, earning the country an unsavory reputation as a trans-shipment hub for the multimillion dollar trade and the figure involves only those shipments seized.


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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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