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ASEAN ANALYSIS

Asean Affairs  12 December 2010

WEEKLY SUMMARY


By  David Swartzentruber
AseanAffairs     12 December 2010

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These were the most significant stories that were published by Asean Affairs during the week of December 4-December 10.

Philippine block positive for gas
An independent study on hydrocarbon traces discovered in Nido Petroleum Ltd.'s exploration block in offshore Northwest Palawan Basin in the Philippines has confirmed the area's potential for petroleum reserves.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/philippines_news/energy/philippine_block_positive_for_gas

Malaysian auto industry must compete abroad
The local automotive industry must aim to attain economies of scale by enhancing capacity and competing overseas, said the outgoing Secretary-General of the International Trade and Industry Ministry Tan Seri Abdul Rahman Mamat.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/automotive/malaysian_auto_industry_must_compete_abroad

PLN begins drilling for geothermal plant
In a major step toward diversifying Indonesia's overreliance on fuel for power generation, the state electricity company (PLN) said one of its subsidiaries had started drilling the Tulehu geothermal field in Maluku. The company plans to open a 20 megawatt geothermal plant in the province to make use of the alternative energy source.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/energy/pln_begins_drilling_for_geothermal_plant

Capital inflows to make decisions more difficult
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the level of foreign capital flows in the country is not alarming but this could make policy decisions more difficult. BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said foreign exchange (FX) flows driven by both push factors-like excess liquidity abroad, search for yield and risk appetite-and pull factors-such as prospects of sustainable growth, favorable exchange rate dynamics, interest rate differential-could "indeed complicate the conduct of monetary policy in the Philippines."
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/philippines_news/investment/capital_inflows_to_make_decisions_more_difficult

Thailand's Banpu set to double output
Banpu Plc, Asean's largest coal miner, wants to nearly double its coal output to 46 million tonnes next year, because of the acquisition of Sydney-based Centennial Coal and more coal from Indonesian mines.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/energy/thailand_s_banpu_set_to_double_output

Foreign investors say Vietnam still lags
Celebrated as a new "Asian Tiger", 20 years ago, Vietnam has lagged behind its neighbors and needs further reforms in order to catch up, foreign investors say.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_news/economy/foreign_investors_say_vietnam_still_lags

Drug patents are sticking points in FTA
Drug patent restrictions by the United States and the European Union in trade negotiations with emerging countries will harm the Thai pharmaceutical industry and affect local patients, according to Thai researchers.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/trade/drug_patents_are_sticking_points_in_fta

Philippines, China sign arms deal
The Philippines, one of America's staunchest allies in Southeast Asia, is ready to sign an agreement with China for military hardware.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/philippines_news/politics/philippines_china_sign_arms_deal

Indo industry complains of infrastructure
Even though Indonesia's manufacturers are expected to nearly double their growth this year, the business community remains critical of infrastructure problems that are increasing production costs and creating bottlenecks.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/infrastructure/industry_complains_of_infrastructure_problems

Agri-giant to expand in China, Vietnam
Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), the Thai agribusiness giant, is expanding foreign investment in China and Vietnam in agriculture, real estate and retail.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/investment/agri_giant_to_expand_in_china_vietnam

Laos inaugurates controversial hydropower dam
Laos on Thursday inaugurated its biggest hydropower plant, a controversial project hailed by supporters as vital to the impoverished nation's development but long opposed by environmentalists.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/laos_news/energy/laos_inaugurates_controversial_hydropower_dam

Malaysia to look at South Korea's nuclear technology
Malaysia is keen to look into Korea's acknowleged leadership in nuclear technology including smart nuclear reactors or small scale nuclear reactors, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/energy/malaysia_to_look_at_south_korea_s_nuclear_technology

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