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Asean Affairs  24 April 2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     24 April 2011

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These were the most important stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of April 16-22.

New city near Singapore moves forward
A new metropolis three times the size of neighboring Singapore is taking shape in the foothills of southern Malaysia, where officials and investors have equally huge ambitions for the city.

Emerging economies reject IMF plan
Representatives of emerging nations rebuffed an International Monetary Fund (IMF) plan to guide them on managing huge flows of capital into their economies, viewing it as a way to constrain their actions rather than help.

Indonesia’s economic development plan
Indonesia expects to become the world’s 12th-largest economy by 2025 through stimulating domestic growth with its planned economic corridor scheme and programs to improve regional connectivity.

Oil drilling starts in Leyte
A group led by Australia’s Otto Energy Ltd. has begun drilling operations in onshore Northwest Leyte.

Vietnam’s IT industry languishes
Despite its huge potential, Vietnam’s software industry has failed to develop as rapidly as it could have.

Cambodia to launch first satellite
The Royal Group received a concession to launch Cambodia’s first satellite into orbit, creating what the company sees as another integral step forward for the Asean economy, officials said. READ MORE:

Malaysia wants foreign investments
Malaysia announced $3.7 billion in new investments on Tuesday, hoping to jump-start foreign interest in its economy even as other Asian countries try to stem speculative inflows in search of higher-yielding markets.

Asean countries short on Internet freedom
A report from the US-based Freedom House titled “Freedom in the Net 2011” gives poor grades to some Asean countries for the degree of free expression they allow on the Internet.

Mekong dam decision deferred to ministerial level
The intergovernmental panel of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) has deferred the final decision on the construction of the Xayaburi dam in Laos to the ministerial level, following concerns raised by Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Thai interest rate raised
The Bank of Thailand has sent a firm signal that interest rates will continue to rise in the near future in light of higher commodity prices and the temporary impact of Japan's disaster.

Indonesia FDI jumps 12 percent
Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board has announced that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indonesia rose 11.6 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

Dollar rises above Vietnamese black market rate
The official exchange rate for the US dollar rose above the black market rate yesterday for the first time, following recent moves by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) to fix the forex market. READ MORE:

Indo bomb targeted church
A massive 150-kilogram bomb buried beneath a gas pipeline in Serpong, Tangerang, on Thursday morning was targeting the nearby Catholic Church in a Good Friday attack, Indonesian officials said.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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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
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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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