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Asean Affairs  27 March 2011


By  David Swartzentruber

AseanAffairs     27 March 2011

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These were the most significant stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of March 19-25

Thai prime minister passed no-confidence vote
Thailand's prime minister comfortably survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Saturday following a heated debate that provided an introduction to what can be expected during elections planned for later this year.

Japanese tragedy unlikely to derail economic recovery
The past week has been dominated by the tragedy in Japan, with problems at the Fukushima nuclear power station being the focus of attention and driving huge gyrations in investment markets.

Philippines hopes to create a million jobs
The Aquino administration plans to create a million jobs a year and to triple per capita income through higher economic growth and infrastructure investment in the next six years.

Australian take on SGX merger
Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan on Monday dismissed reports that a proposed A$8.4 billion (S$10.6 billion) merger between the Australian and Singaporean bourses is likely to be rejected.

World Bank concerned about Asian subsidies
The World Bank is concerned about the fiscal burdens of Asia-Pacific and East Asian countries, urging their governments to cut, Vikram Nehru, the World Bank's chief economist for the Asia-Pacific region, said. Several countries including Thailand have subsidised their food and energy prices, which will clearly increase their governments' long-term fiscal burden.

Malaysia faces water crisis
Not many would believe that there is an impending water shortage in Malaysia, especially if they are Kuala Lumpur folks who are often caught in traffic jams caused by downpours. But if climate change alters the favourable rainfall pattern, we will have to come to terms with water rationing or other drastic water conservation measures.

Vietnam develops ports to draw Chinese exports
Vietnam is pouring $21 billion into building ports for the world’s largest container ships in a drive to draw export industries from China.

Work on solar cell plant starts in Vietnam
Work started on Vietnam's largest solar cell plant in Ho Chi Minh City's Cu Chi district on March 22. The US$1 billion plant funded by the US-based First Solar Group will have four production lines turning out thin-film solar power panels and a recycling factory.

Activists join forces against Laos' Xayaburi Dam plan
A group of 263 non-governmental organizations from 51 countries has called on Laos to cancel its proposed hydropower dam project on the Mekong River in Xayaburi province, representatives of the group said Tuesday.

Sanctions against Myanmar seen as highly counterproductive
According to media sources in Yangon, European diplomats held talks with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and other Myanmar activists on Tuesday about the possible lifting of Western sanctions, an opposition party leader said.

Delayed decisions on subsidies costs Indonesia
Pushing back plans to reduce subsidized fuel usage because of worries about rising inflation is risking the country's fiscal health, analysts say.

Asean corporate governance launches in 2012
A region-wide corporate governance ranking initiative will be launched next year as part of a broader plan aimed at developing the Asean capital market.

Indonesia has expertise for nuclear plant
The Nuclear Energy Agency [Batan] says Indonesia has the expertise required to build and maintain a nuclear power plant in the country.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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• Bank of America sees Asian inflation
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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?

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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