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Asean Affairs  6  February 2011


By  David Swartzentruber

AseanAffairs     6 February 2011

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These were the most important news stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of January 29-February 4:

Suu Kyi appeals for investment, support
Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called for investment in her country, which she says has been "left behind".

Chi-East rolls out in Japan, HK, S'pore
Chi-East, the "dark pool" joint venture between Singapore Exchange and Nomura's Chi-X, said on Monday it has completed the roll-out of its trading platform for securities listed in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

Thai government predicts 4.5 percent growth
Thailand's economy should grow by 4.5 percent this year in the face of external challenges, mainly related to concerns about debt problems in other countries, according to the government'sFiscal Policy Office (FPO).

European solar company eyes Philippines
Amsterdam-based SunConnex plans to invest in solar power projects across the Philippines.

Malaysia: high-income nation
Malaysia's upcoming Financial Sector Masterplan (FSM) will revolve around transforming the country into a high-income nation, strengthening its position in Islamic finance and managing and retaining the talent pool.

Construction of high-speed Laos railway starts
The Lao government wants to start construction work on a 481-kilometer, high-speed railway linking Laos to China and Thailand in April.

Philippine economy on fastest pace in 24 years
The Philippine economy grew at its fastest pace in 2010 since the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, expanding 7.3 percent due to strong domestic demand fueled by the billions of dollars overseas Filipino workers sent home.

Asean studies efficient energy investment
A benchmarking study on energy efficiency investments among countries in the Southeast Asian region will kick off in the Philippines in February.

Asean exchanges study trading link
Four Asean exchanges, working together with NYSE Technologies, have completed the design study of the technology framework for the Asean Trading Link.

Asean economies may overheat
Fast-growing Asian economies face a risk of overheating and may need to tighten monetary policy further, the head of the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.

China biggest deficit creator to Indonesia
China is the biggest trade deficit creator in Indonesia's trade balance compared to any other country, reaching US$5.6 billion (Rp 50.5 trillion) throughout 2010, a top official at the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) says.

Sugar giant invests in renewable projects
Mitr Phol, Asia's largest sugar producer, will invest 3.7 billion baht (US $123 million) in its new renewable energy projects in Thailand and expand the group's power business to neighbouring countries, starting with a biomass plant in China.

U.S. continues pressure on Myanmar
The United States said Wednesday it was premature to ease sanctions on Myanmar and urged the regime to take more steps following the recent elections.

Total Malaysian trade in 2010 topped US$38.6 billion
Malaysia's total trade in 2010 surpassed the RM1 trillion mark to register RM1.169 trillion (US$38.6 billion), attributed to an impressive growth last year, that boosted demand for both manufactured goods and commodities globally.

Manila slips in global outsourcing ranking
THE Philippines' ranking as a preferred location for business process outsourcing (BPO) and call-center operations fell a notch mostly because of lack of skilled people, according to a survey of multinational companies.

Thai firm plans wind energy project
Glow Energy Plc, a unit of France-based GDF Suez listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, is ready to spend US$300 million to develop two wind turbine projects in Chaiyaphum generating a combined 100 megawatts.

Fight against graft in Indonesia
The guilty verdict for former tax director Bahasyim Assifie has set a new precedent in the country's justice system because for the first time judges applied the legal principle of reverse burden of proof, analysts said on Thursday.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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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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