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Asean Affairs   5 June  2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     5 June 2011

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These were the most significant news stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of May 28-June 3.

US to continue Myanmar sanctions
US lawmakers this week proposed to extend sanctions on Myanmar, saying that the regime has not made true efforts to improve treatment of its people despite a political transition.

Thai exports rise
Thailand’ export index in April rose 25 percent year on year but the export value of some goods dropped, according to the Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC). TNSC chairman Paiboon Ponsuwanna said a survey of 25 industries showed the export index in April was 129.6, up 25 percent year on year, while the export price index was 149, up 32.8 percent year on year. The export volume index was 112.4, up 10.4 percent on year.

Laos fears growing Chinese presence
At casinos in the Laos town of Boten, guests are greeted with a deferential "ni hao", "hello" in Mandarin Chinese.

Indonesia needs to reduce red tape
Bureaucracy is the main obstacle standing between the government and its target of becoming one of the world’s 12 largest economies by 2025, economists say.

Asean governments need to forego fuel subsidies
Asean governments have a narrow window of opportunity to pare back politically popular fuel subsidies on their own schedule before budgets or bond holders force their hands.

Philippines growth slows
Economists say the Philippines’ slowdown in the first quarter forecasts weaker growth for the rest of the year.

BMW expands Malaysia production
BMW Group Malaysia will be ramping up production at its local assembly facilities in Kulim, Kedah, by 50 percent for 2011, in line with its increased investment and the creation of more skilled jobs within the Malaysian automotive industry.

Indonesia leads coal exports through 2020
Indonesia will lead global growth in thermal coal exports in the next decade with producers Bumi Resources and Adaro Energy becoming two of the top three coal exporting companies worldwide by 2015, an energy consultancy firm said on Tuesday.

Thailand tells court to drop case
The International Court of Justice should drop Cambodia's petition on Preah Vihear temple, Thailand says.

Vietnamese state firms told to sell dollars
State-owned groups, corporations and enterprises that are over 50 percent State-owned will have to sell foreign reserves (US dollars) to commercial banks from next month, pursuant to a circular released yesterday by the State Bank of Viet Nam, in a move seen by many as controversial.

Thai political parties pitch stronger markets
Thai political parties are promising to push forward with developing the competitiveness of the Thai capital market, linking regional markets and improving people's financial literacy to create a strong investment culture.

Vietnam asks China to stop harassment
Vietnam has demanded that China immediately cease actions violating Vietnamese sovereignty and hindering Vietnamese fishing boats operating in the waters of the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

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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