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Asean Affairs   19 June  2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     19 June 2011

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These were the most important stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of June 11-June 17.

Indonesian deficit to exceed GDP
The budget deficit may widen relative to economic growth this year, the finance minister said on Friday, as Indonesia seeks to boost spending on projects including infrastructure development.

Malaysia blocks file sharing sites
To combat piracy, Malaysia has declared war on file sharing web sites with 10 websites now blocked by the telecommunications industry watchdog.

THAI privatization now off
Thai Airways International yesterday derailed plans to reduce state ownership and gradually scale back government guarantees for loans taken out by the flag carrier.

Asset Bubble a Concern
Large capital inflows into Asia over the past few years are raising concerns among policy makers of a possible asset bubble building in the coming years.

Philippines continues exploration in Spratlys
Philippines will continue its oil and gas exploration activities in the Palawan Sea despite rising tension with China over the disputed oil-rich Spratlys Group of Islands, the Department of Energy said.

Thai exchange at 1,224 by year-end
Thai stocks have been among the worst performers in the world this year, with the main index off 1.54 percent from January due to worries about domestic political stability and concerns about the global economy.

Nuclear still an option for Asia
In spite of the recent nuclear meltdown in Japan, Asian economies need to explore alternative sources of energy to meet growing demand and spur economic growth, business and industry analysts said on Monday.

Politics may worry Thai investors
Investors continue selling off their shares in the stock market because they are concerned about having red-shirt core members in the next government, Finance Minister and Democrat key member Korn Chatikavanij said on Monday.

US backs Philippines on Spratlys
The Philippines can count on the support of the United States on all matters, including issues with China over the disputed Spratly Islands, according to US Ambassador to Manila, Harry Thomas Jr.

Singapore unemployment lowest in 3 years
Singapore’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest rate in three years amid healthy economic growth, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday.

Philippines credit rating raised
Moody’s Investor Service upgraded the Philippines’ sovereign ratings by a notch to Ba2 due to a “notable turnaround in fiscal management” by the government and signs of rising revenues.

Indonesian geothermal advances
Chevron has drilled 84 wells to a depth of two miles beneath the Indonesian rainforest to tap steam, not oil and gas, that is trapped in the world’s richest store of volcanic energy.

Malaysian halal industry set to grow
The Malaysian halal industry is expected to see tremendous growth due to rising awareness and demand for halal products worldwide.

Bakrie to build infrastructure
Bakrie & Brothers, the holding company for various business units owned by the Bakrie family, plans to spend US$5 billion building infrastructure projects in Indonesia over the next five years, an executive said.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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Asean Analysis    19  June  2011

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ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent

• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore
• Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline
• Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


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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