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Asean Affairs    28  August  2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     28  August 2011

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These were the most important news stories filed by Asean Affairs during the week of August 20-26.

Manufacturing investments up in Malaysia
Total approved manufacturing investments expanded by almost 120 percent year-on-year to RM16.4bil in the second quarter this year, the fastest pace since the first quarter of 2008, bringing the total approvals to RM28.6bil in the first half this year, according to the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida).

Who’s in charge in Myanmar?
Five months after a nominally civilian government took power in Myanmar, the country is awash in uncertainty about who is really in charge.

Chaos reigns in Thai parliament
A Thai parliamentary session to debate the policy statement delivered by the new Pheu Thai government was thrown into chaos on Wednesday night before it was cancelled for a lack of a quorum.

Indonesia should receive more capital
Economist A. Prasetyantoko says foreign capital inflows to Indonesia will increase after Moody’s ratings agency downgraded Japan's debt rating on Wednesday.

Suu Kyi sees hope of “real change”
Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said Wednesday she believes the country's army-backed president wants "real positive change" amid warmer relations between the regime and its most famous critic.

Vietnam to raise minimum wage
Vietnam will increase minimum wages by up to almost half in its major cities from October 1 in a bid to help workers cope with one of the world’s highest levels of inflation.

Petronas to pull gas from marginal fields
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and its production sharing contract (PSC) partners are embarking on a RM15bil upstream project to extract gas from fields off Peninsular Malaysia, which also includes a new 200km pipeline. The company describes the fields as “marginal and challenging”.

Aquino pledges stronger defense of sea claims
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday vowed a stronger military defense of the country’s West Philippine Sea claims as the Philippine Navy’s newest warship sailed into Manila Bay from the United States.

Cambodia signs deals with China
Cambodia has agreed to acquire Chinese-made Z-9 helicopters for US$195 million in one of 26 memorandums of understanding agreed to by the countries.

Thailand growth rate revised downward
Economic growth this year has been revised down to a range of 3.5 percent to 4 percent from the previous projection of 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent due to the slow global economy.

Laos inflation drops below GDP
The inflation rate in July was 7.13 percent, the first time in three months it has being below target gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

Major solar investment in Thailand
SunEdison, North America's largest solar energy services provider, plans to invest more than US$100 million next year in solar power plants in Thailand through a local partnership.

Thai auto exports to recover
Exports of Thai-built automobiles continued falling last month on lower production in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan six months ago, according to Surapong Phaisitpattanapong, spokesman for the automobile industry club at the Federation of Thai Industries.

Villagers detained after protest
More than 100 villagers from four provinces were detained and questioned by Phnom Penh officials yesterday morning after they tried to distribute flyers urging the government to protect Prey Lang forest.

Philippines FX surplus surges
The Philippines’ foreign exchange surplus surged by sevenfold last month amid inflows from the central bank’s investments, coupled with strong remittances from overseas Filipino workers. READ MORE:

Income gap-Thai government priority
The new Thai government is determined to promote change, establish a balance in Thai society and narrow the income gap between rich and poor, says Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.


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Asean Analysis    28  August  2011

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ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
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• 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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