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Asean Affairs   30  July  2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     30 July 2011

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These were the most significant stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of July 23-July 29.

Suu Kyi calls for Myanmar ceasefire
Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday called on the army and ethnic insurgents to end a decades-long civil conflict in her first direct letter to the country's new president.

Malaysian firm to build pipeline to China
A virtually unknown Malaysian company, PanelPoint Sdn Bhd, plans to build the first natural gas pipeline network between Asean and China worth US$100 billion.

New Jakarta airport building planned
With an ambitious Rp 11.7 trillion (US $1.4 billion) revamp of Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport planned, state airport operator Angkasa Pura II is looking financing.

Rising prices in Asia
Rising inflationary pressures in Asian economies are prevalent even as global growth weakens, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

Asean navies to cooperate more fully
Southeast Asian naval chiefs pledged closer cooperation on Wednesday as they held their first formal talks amid regional concern over China's activities in the South China Sea.

Green energy in Indonesia pushes ahead
Indonesia can’t get enough power to feed its booming economy.

Malaysian FDI to hit US$ 10 billion
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Malaysia rebounded more than six fold last year to US$9.1bil from the US$1.4bil in the preceding year, UN Conference on Trade and Development's (Unctad) annual investment survey reports.

Thai drug companies look at AEC
Thai drug and medical supplies businesses should pursue new opportunities in Southeast Asia to benefit from the Asean Economic Community that will take effect in 2015, according to Pacific Healthcare (Thailand) Co (PHCG).

SBY warns of subsidy cuts to infrastructure
Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono vowed on Monday to boost spending on infrastructure next year at the cost of subsidy cuts on programs including fuel and electricity to trim the budget deficit.

Vietnamese inflation rises dramatically
The consumer price index (CPI) increased 14.61 percent during the first seven months of this year, according to figures released by the General Statistics Office on Saturday.

Accountants leave Malaysia for higher wages
In spite of continued interest in accountancy courses at Malaysian universities and colleges, mid-tier accounting and auditing firms are finding it difficult to hire and retain their accountants.

New Thai government could lift inflation
Spending by the new government aimed at stimulating short-term demand could keep inflation "stubbornly high", warns the Bank of Thailand.

Budget tweaking could finance new Thai programs
The new Thai government should be able to find about 200 billion baht (US$6.6 billion) to support some of its ambitious spending programs by making adjustments to the 2012 fiscal budget, according to Budget Bureau director Valairat Sriaroon.

Yudhoyono has big plans for Indonesia
Indonesia has immense potential and ambitions as an emerging-market superstar, but is stymied by basic infrastructural potholes. But Indonesia plans to change all that in the next five years. READ MORE:

Indonesia to overtake Thailand in autos
Indonesia looks set to overtake Thailand with the largest automotive industry in Southeast Asia on the back of its rising middle class, an automotive industry executive said on Friday.

Thai wage hikes may lead to major layoffs
The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce says that increases in the minimum wage and salaries for new graduates in January next year could lead to layoffs of as many as 500,000 workers and closures of up to 200,000 businesses as a worst case, according to a new survey.

Singapore needs foreign talent
Former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said Singapore would not be able to move forward if it were to depend solely on talent from its own population.

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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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