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Asean Affairs  22 May 2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     22 May 2011

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These were the most important stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of May 14-20.

Experts to review Lynas project
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has agreed to appoint an expert team to review the health and safety aspects of the proposed rare earth processing facility to be undertaken by Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd in Gebeng, Pahang. The review will take place from May 29-June 3. READ MORE:

Philippine economy grows
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga expects economic growth to grow by more than 6 percent during the first three months of this year due to a strong agricultural growth.

Thai footwear industry awaits AEC
Chanin Jitkomut has high hopes for the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, as he intends to make Thailand the regional footwear leader as president of the Thai Footwear Association.

Toyota resumes operations in June
The Philippines’ largest vehicle assembler, Toyota, plans to returns to normal operations next month, after the disruption caused by Japan’s triple disaster at the end of the first quarter.

Indonesia can bridge West-Islam
Indonesia has been able to prove its hope of bridging Islam and the West, Indonesian Ambassador to Germany, Eddy Pratomo said.

Party formally approves Yingluck
As her fugitive brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, proclaims her as his "clone," Yingluck Shinawatra has formally been voted the No.1 candidate on the Pheu Thai party list system to compete against the Democrat Party's Abhisit Vejjajiva for the next premiership in Thailand's July 3 election.

Vietnamese seaports to use e-customs
Seven seaports will experimentally apply electronic customs declarations effective June 9 under a new decision by the Prime Minister.

Fall in commodity prices-“temporary”
Growth concerns and inflationary pressure continue to plague the commodity markets, which are experiencing the worst rout since 2008 when the subprime crisis came to a head.

Malaysia launches green economy
Malaysia is launching an ambitious plan to build a “green economy” with the help of an advisory council that includes economist Jeffrey Sachs and the UN climate change chief.

Philippines competitiveness ranking slips
Despite improved macroeconomic indicators and private sector efficiency, the competitiveness ranking of the Philippines dropped two notches and remained the cellar-dweller among the Asia-Pacific countries covered by the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) 2011.

Kasikorn Bank finances solar projects
Kasikornbank is preparing to help the developer of Asean's largest solar power project raise 21 billion baht as the bank seeks to maintain its leadership in renewable energy financing, says Krisada Lamsam senior executive vice-president.

Vietnam asserts islands sovereignty
Vietnam has affirmed its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos and protested against China's recent actions concerning the two island groups. READ MORE:

Talks move forward on Trans-Pacific trade deal
Asia-Pacific nations said on Thursday they were making progress on reaching a free trade framework by November as the United States urged negotiators to look beyond deadlocked WTO talks.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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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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