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Asean Affairs 12 June 2011
By David Swartzemtruber
AseanAffairs 12 June 2011
These were the most important stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of June 4-June 10.
Yudhoyono proposes renegotiation with foreign companies
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's call to renegotiate contracts with foreign companies received mixed reaction on Friday, with some industry players calling it an empty threat.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/economy/yudhoyono_proposes_renegotiation_with_foreign_companies
Najib: Asian countries shouldn't choose
Asia countries shouldn't have to choose between being allies of the US or China and must avoid another Cold War-style polarisation in the region, Malaysia's prime minister said on Friday.
Philippines scolds China
The Philippines, along with Vietnam, criticized recent Chinese military activity in the South China Sea amid fears that small confrontations in disputed areas there could lead to armed conflict.
THAI Airways takes first privatization steps
The Finance Ministry has agreed to reduce its shareholding in Thai Airways International and eventually privatise the national carrier, according to Areepong Bhoocha-oom, the ministry's permanent secretary.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/aviation/thai_airways_takes_first_privatization_steps
Foreign trade deficits in Vietnam
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has drawn attention to a sudden spurt in the trade deficit run up by foreign firms, and urged relevant agencies to investigate the reasons.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_news/trade/foreign_trade_deficits_in_vietnam
Foreign firms don't support Yudhoyono "renegotiations"
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's push to renegotiate oil and gas contracts with foreign companies would set a bad precedent, industry players said.
Bangkok is top Asian tourist draw
Despite last year's violence in the city and lingering political uncertainties, Bangkok is ranked first among Asian cities based on the estimated number of international arrivals by air and the level of visitor expenditure this year, according to the findings of a study conducted by a leading credit-card company.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/tourism/bangkok_is_top_asian_tourist_draw
Tata Motors backs Thai tax reform
Tata Motors says it welcomes a restructuring of vehicle taxes in Thailand as long as the system is transparent and authorities can ensure that automakers do not try to exploit loopholes.
Indonesia's competitiveness rises
Indonesia's global competitiveness has increased significantly since 2005 but work needs to be done to improve the country's public health, information technology, infrastructure and fight against corruption, a report revealed.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/economy/indonesia_s_competitiveness_rises
Asean customs heads meet in Myanmar
Union Minister of Finance and Revenue U Hla Tun has called for a role for customs departments to realize the Asean Community, stressing the need for encouraging commodity flow integration, earning revenue for the state and handling border trade in line with policy and law, an official media reported Wednesday.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/asean_news/trade/asean_customs_heads_meet_in_myanmar
Cambodian trade with China doubles
Bilateral trade between Cambodia and China reached US$498 million in the first quarter, soaring 216 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/cambodia_news/trade/cambodian_trade_with_china_doubles
Dawei financing moves forward
Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) expects to conclude loan agreements with creditors to finance its Dawei megaproject in Myanmar within this year.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/investment/dawei_financing_moves_forward
Cross-border economic moves accelerate
Thailand's Siam Cement announced on Monday that it has spent US$100 million on expanding in Indonesia, buying a ceramic tile producer and a distributor. The action suggests that in Thailand at least, corporate thinking is shifting.
Vietnam-China sea tensions rise
Vietnam protested to China Thursday after what it claimed was a "premeditated" attack on an exploration ship in its waters, but Beijing hit back, warning its neighbour against violating its sovereignty.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_news/politics/vietnam_china_sea_tensions_rise
Thailand needs more skilled workers
Thailand will face an oversupply crisis in the midlevel labour market if workers do not improve their skills to compete with their counterparts in Vietnam and the Philippines seminar on vocational study was told.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/labor/thailand_needs_more_skilled_workers