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Asean Affairs 1 May 2011
By David Swartzemtruber
AseanAffairs 1 May 2011
These were the most important news stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of April 23-April 29.
Fitch gives favorable ratings to Indonesia financials
The outlook for Indonesia’s major finance companies is “generally stable,” according to Fitch Ratings, reflecting favorable domestic economic prospects that helped finance firms bring in strong earnings last year.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/finance/fitch_gives_favorable_ratings_to_indonesia_financials
Malaysian rare earth plant faces scrutiny
An independent panel of international experts will be appointed to review the safety of the rare earth plant project in Pahang, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/environment/malaysian_rare_earth_plant_faces_scrutiny
Asean developing garment plans
As global clothing retailers move away from China, Asean countries are looking to benefit by integrating production facilities in Asean.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/asean_news/textiles/asean_developing_garment_plans
Myanmar exploration deals on tap
Myanmar’s state oil firm is set to sign contracts with companies from China, Singapore and South Korea for oil and gas exploration, state news media reported.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/myanmar_news/energy/myanmar_exploratio_deals_on_tap
Boeung Kak Lake dispute continues
Phnom Penh officials have agreed to meet with representatives of Boeung Kak residents today, following the release of 11 Cambodian villagers who were beaten and arrested on Thursday during a protest against their impending eviction, local media report.
Garments, textiles lead surge in Vietnamese exports
The country's export revenue in the first four months of the year surged 35.7 percent over the same period last year to reach US$26.94 billion, the Vietnam General Statistics Office estimated.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_news/trade/garments_textiles_lead_surge_in_vietnamese_exports
Thai business wants border battles stopped
Businesspeople are calling for a quick resolution to border disputes with Cambodia, warning that continued clashes will hurt border trade and bilateral investment sentiment.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/trade/thai_business_wants_border_battles_stopped
Indonesia Shouldn’t Renegotiate China FTA
Indonesia should focus on increasing its competitiveness rather than try to renegotiate the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement, economists and business executives said.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/trade/indonesia_shouldn_t_renegotiate_china_fta
Lao dam threatens Mekong Delta
Local experts have voiced their concerns over the grave consequences of building the Xayaburi Dam in Laos, saying it would seriously jeopardize the southern Mekong Delta, causing a decline in the volume of sediment and irreversible environmental impacts.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_news/environment/lao_dam_threatens_mekong_delta
Thai panel delays nuclear plans
The Thai government has decided to delay the construction of proposed nuclear power plants by three years even as the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organisation (JNES) said that Thailand should not fall back on the recent experience of Japan to decide on nuclear power policy.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/energy/thai_panel_delays_nuclear_plans
Indonesian government criticized on radical group
Two of Indonesia’s highest institutions have blasted the government for either missing the rapid formation of the extremist Indonesian Islamic State or worse, allowing it to occur. READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/security/indonesian_government_criticized_on_radical_group
US forces could return to the Philippines
High-level visits in the Philippines' Subic Bay Freeport by US officials have raised the prospect of a return of the United States’ military presence in this former naval base in the wake of disasters that hit Japan, which have delayed the planned US military build-up in Guam.
Indonesia’s Yudhoyono asks for help with radicals
In an acknowledgment that religious-based violence posed a serious threat to the nation, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on Indonesians not to rely on the police but to help stamp out extremism’s spread from inside their communities.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/security/indonesia_s_yudhoyono_asks_for_help_with_radicals
World Bank: Malaysia needs more reforms
Although Malaysia has taken steps to restructure its economy via the Economic Transformation Programme, more deep-seated reforms as laid out in the New Economic Model (NEM) have slowed as the government seeks a balance between tackling more immediate problems and long-term transformation.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/politics/world_bank_malaysia_needs_more_reforms