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Asean Affairs 6 March 2011
By David Swartzentruber
AseanAffairs 6 March 2011
Discussions may end southern Thai impasse
Merry-go-round on the Mekong
Asean’s new “white gold”
Internet, mobile phones change the world
Threats to the Mekong rise
New dawn for jailed red shirts
Oil, food and money
These were the most significant news stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of February 26-March 4.
Fitch revises Indonesian outlook to positive
Fitch Ratings upgraded Thursday Indonesia’s sovereign rating outlook to BB+ positive from BB+ stable mainly thanks to favorable macroeconomic prospects, paving the way for the country to secure investment grade in the course of one year.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/economy/fitch_revises_ri_outlook_to_positive
Singapore's manufacturing output rises
Singapore's manufacturing output grew at a pace of 10.5 percent in January from a year ago, according to data released by the Economic Development Board (EDB). The increase was more than anticipated.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/singapore_news/economy/singapore_s_manufacturing_output_rises
Brackish water arrives early in Mekong Delta
Salt water intrusion in coastal provinces in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has occurred earlier this year than previous years, affecting thousands of hectares of rice.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_news/environment/brackish_water_arrives_early_in_mekong_delta
AIRASIA X to appoint Y.B. Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz as chairman
AirAsia X expects to appoint Y.B. Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz as the company's new non-executive, independent chairman this week.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/aviation/airasia_x_to_appoint_y_b_tan_sri_rafidah_aziz_as_chairman
Transportation on the Mekong urged
Cambodia is pushing businesses to make greater use of the Mekong for transportation, after an agreement with Vietnam easing restrictions on river transport went into effect last year.
Thailand leads Southeast Asia in vehicles
Half a world away from the cold streets of Michigan, General Motors is getting ready to roll its first diesel engine out of a recently opened factory in eastern Thailand. Nearby, Ford Motor is building a manufacturing plant and Suzuki Motor aims to start producing environmentally friendly cars at a new factory in 2012.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/automotive/thailand_leads_southeast_asia_in_vehicles
Vietnam trade in gold bars banned
Gold bars will be banned on the free market and gold trading tightly controlled under Government Resolution 11/NQ-CP recently issued to stabilise the macro-economy.
Biomass power for Malaysia
Felda Global Group and Tenaga Nasional Bhd have formed a 60:40 joint-venture company, FTJ Bio Power Sdn Bhd to invest RM120mil (US$39.3 million) to set up a plant that will generate electricity using purely oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB).
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/energy/biomass_power_for_malaysia
Arcelor acquires Thailand’s G Steel
Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel company, will become the largest shareholder of Thailand’s financially troubled G Steel Plc after agreeing to pay US$250 million to acquire 40 percent of the SET-listed hot-rolled steel manufacturer.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/investment/arcelor_acquires_thailand_s_g_steel
Philippines central bank hints interest rate hike
The Philippines Central Bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), on Wednesday took on a more hawkish stance, signaling a possible increase in its record-low interest rates in the near term amid concerns over rising inflation.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/philippines_news/finance/philippines_central_bank_hints_interest_rate_hike
Asean agrees on rice reserves
The 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their dialogue partners, China, Japan and South Korea have agreed to establish rice reserves in each country.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/asean_news/commodities/asean_agrees_on_rice_reserves
Thailand 3G auction planned
Thailand's new telecommunications regulator officially has no members yet but it has begun work on two master plans for the industry and national frequency management.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/telecoms/thailand_3g_auction_planned
India-Asean trade to grow 40 percent
India is a fast emerging as a key trading partner for the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), with both parties benefiting from each other’s relative strengths.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/asean_news/trade/india_asean_trade_to_grow_40_percent
Indonesia moves ahead on IPOs
Controversy generated during recent initial public offerings by state companies has not stopped the government’s plans to list even more of its firms.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/investment/indonesia_moves_ahead_on_ipos