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Asean Affairs 8 May 2011
By David Swartzemtruber
AseanAffairs 8 May 2011
These were the most important stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of April 30-May 6.
Laos to vote for communist-dominated assembly
Voters in Laos go to the polls today (May 30) to choose a legislature that will be entirely controlled by the ruling communists, despite signs of growing clout in recent years.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/laos_news/politics/laos_to_vote_for_communist_dominated_assembly
Malaysian PM calls for reform
Malaysia’s economic competitiveness will continue to be threatened if it continues to depend on cheap foreign labor and is reluctant to innovate, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Thai PM says government ready for ICJ
Cambodia's request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for legal clarification to settle the border dispute around the Preah Vihear temple is not unexpected, according to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/politics/thai_pm_says_government_ready_for_icj
Lao-China railway project hits delays
Laos' ambitious plan to build a 7-billion-dollar high-speed railway track linking its border with China to Vientiane has stalled on Chinese politics and social and environmental concerns.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/laos_news/transport/lao_china_railway_project_hits_delays
Indo VP goes after China investments
Indonesian Vice President Boediono has called on Chinese businesses to open factories in Indonesia to benefit from the country’s wealth of natural resources, favorable labor conditions and growing domestic market.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/investment/indo_vp_goes_after_china_investments
Indonesia still needs reforms
When Standard &Poor’s upgraded Indonesia’s sovereign credit rating to BB+ in April, it meant all three mainstream ratings agencies had the country at just one notch below investment-grade level.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/investment/indonesia_still_needs_reforms
Iron ore exploitation destroys lake
Ba Be Lake in the Vietnamese national park of the same name, is slowly being filled up with rock and earth from the exploitation of iron ore.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_news/environment/iron_ore_exploitation_destroys_lake
Thailand’s CP eyes new markets
Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) has identified India, Vietnam, Russia and the Philippines as its top priority markets for expansion in a five-year business plan as these countries have potential growth in population, variety of consumption, low numbers of competitors and lack of farm technology.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/companies/thailand_s_cp_eyes_new_markets
Gas supplies dwindle as Japan buys
The Thai Energy Ministry is preparing measures to cope with fuel shortages caused by Japan's nuclear power crisis.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/energy/gas_supplies_dwindle_as_japan_buys
Reducing corruption key to Asia's growth
Reducing corruption and improving government accountability are the greatest challenges to making Asia the world's wealthiest region by 2050, says a draft report for the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/asean_news/politics/reducing_corruption_key_to_asia_s_growth
Indonesia to introduce Shariah equities index
The Indonesia Stock Exchange plans to launch its first index of Shariah-compliant companies next week as part of efforts to diversify the country’s investor base and attract more investment from the Middle East.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/capital_markets/indonesia_to_introduce_shariah_equities_index
No press freedom in Cambodia
The targeting of Cambodian journalists through defamation and disinformation legislation and the closure of an opposition newspaper were responsible for a decline in Cambobia's world ranking for press freedom last year, according to a report released yesterday.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/cambodia_news/politics/no_press_freedom_in_cambodia
Challenges loom for Malaysia
Malaysia's march towards the "Asian Century" as described by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its latest report will depend on how well the country confronts the difficult economic, political and social questions cropping up as reforms take place.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/economy/challenges_loom_for_malaysia
Thai mutual funds get good grades
Thailand's mutual fund industry ranks third after the United States and Singapore for information disclosure, regulations and taxation policies.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/investment/thai_mutual_funds_get_good_grades
VW to build factory in Indonesia
Volkswagen, Europe's biggest automaker, plans to build a factory in Indonesia by the end of this year at the latest, Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat said.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/automotive/vw_to_build_factory_in_indonesia