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Asean Affairs    18  September  2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     18  September 2011

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These were the most newsworthy stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of September 10-16.

Cambodian growth projected at 6.8
The Asian Development Bank yesterday countered Prime Minister Hun Sen’s prediction that gross domestic product growth will reach 8.7 percent this year, citing a smaller projection of 6.8 percent in its annual Asian Development Outlook update.

Najib announces major law changes
Malaysians received a significant Malaysia Day present in the form of greater civil liberties and democratic reforms under sweeping changes announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Top rice exporters to meet
The world's two biggest rice exporters, Thailand and Vietnam, will hold talks today (Sept. 16) on future trade arrangements and the effects from the Thai government's revival of the crop mortgage scheme.

Floods on their way to Bangkok
Water runoff from the north is threatening Bangkok as overflow from the Chao Phraya River has flooded part of Bang Pa-in district in Ayutthaya.

Vietnam: Xayaburi dam may cause earthquakes
The Xayaburi dam project in northern Laos might increase the probability of earthquakes in a region already prone to seismic activity, according to a recently translated report from Vietnam.

100,000 Indonesians face food crisis
Almost 100,000 people in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province were facing a serious food crisis, an official said on Tuesday.

Goldman, Morgan move on Indonesia
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are each in talks to buy an Indonesian brokerage firm to expand their reach into the booming capital market of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, sources said.

Myanmar releases prisoners
Myanmar has released about 20,000 prisoners this year under an amnesty program, the country's foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Central Thai bank OKs debt level
The Thai government's budget deficit of 350 billion baht for fiscal 2012 is suitable for economic needs as it keeps public debt in check, says Prasarn Trairatvorakul, the Bank of Thailand governor.

Razak hopes medical school halts “brain drain”
It is hoped the newly-opened Perdana University, a collaboration with two renowned international medical universities, will prevent a brain drain of top medical graduates from Malaysia.

Philippine FDI increases
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows rose by more than a fourth in June on the back of the Philippines’ sound macroeconomic fundamentals and improved investor risk appetite, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Monday.

Wage hike debate continues in Thailand
A rapid increase in wages would be economically disruptive and could lead to higher unemployment as companies shed jobs to reduce production costs, economists told a seminar yesterday.

Philippines urged to delay wind, solar projects
The Federation of Philippine Industries is urging the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to defer the issuance of feed-in tariff (FIT) rates for wind and solar power projects as these technologies are still too expensive to use as mainstream power sources.

UN to aid Vietnam in social policy, climate change
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will support Vietnam in creating development policies, focusing on social security, law reform and the capacity to cope with climate change.

Extremists killed in the Philippines
Philippine soldiers killed three Al-Qaeda-linked extremists in a gun battle in the southern Philippines on Sunday, a military commander said.

SBY invites criticism of his anti-graft program
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono used the occasion of his 62nd birthday — and his party’s 10th — on Friday to reaffirm his administration’s commitment to tackling corruption.
READ MORE: indonesia_news/politics/sby_invites_criticism_of_his_anti_graft_program

US looks at investment in Laos
U.S. companies, whose investments trail far behind those of China, Vietnam and Thailand in communist Laos, are turning their attention to the poor but fast-growing nation, an official said Thursday.

Malaysia to set minimum wage
Malaysia is currently gearing up for its own version of minimum wage. The National Wages Consultative Council Bill has already been passed since the middle of this year after a four-hour heated debate at parliament to make way for the implementation of minimum wage in the country.

Pheu Thai wants Thaksin back
In case there has ever been a question about it, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yumbamrung said on Friday that the Pheu Thai party would continue to pursue an amnesty for fugitive former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. After all, his youngest sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is the current prime minister.

Investors buy land around HCM City
The land market in three neighbouring provinces of HCM City, Binh Duong, Long An and Dong Nai, is showing signs of recovery, with 85 lots in the IJC Commercial Town project in Binh Duong Province's My Phuoc District selling out in the morning in their first day on offer late last month.

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Today's  Stories    10  September  2011 Subsribe Now !
• SBY invites criticism of his anti-graft program Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• “Ideological tourism”-a risk to Indonesia’s security Asean Affairs Premium
• US looks at investment in Laos
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

•Textiles and Garments Industry

•Coffee industry

•Leather and footwear industry

•Shrimp industry

• Malaysia to set minimum wage
• Singapore to speak “Good English”
• Floods devastating rural Thailand
• Pheu Thai wants Thaksin back
• Investors buy land around HCM City pp

Asean Analysis             11  September  2011

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Asean Stock Watch   September  2011

• Asean Stock Watch-September 9 p

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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