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Asean Affairs  9 January 2011


By  David Swartzentruber

AseanAffairs     9 January 2011

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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These were the most significant stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of January 3-January 7.

Alternative fuels in Thailand gain
Alternative fuel development in Thailand is moving forward in 2011, as global oil prices are still rising and the country is committed to energy saving and fossil fuel consumption reduction. Alternative fuel development in Thailand is moving forward in 2011, as global oil prices are still rising and the country is committed to energy saving and fossil fuel consumption reduction.

Vietnam opens new airport
Vietnam has opened its new airport, the Can Tho International Terminal, to serve 3 to 5 million passengers every year, news agencies reported.

Bangkok moves on mass transport
This year Bangkok kicks off a massive mass transport building program with a goal of increasing its web of electric train coverage to more parts of one of Asia's largest.

Terminal expropriation turns off investors
The biggest impediment to attracting German and other European investors to the country is the unsettled dispute over the takeover by Manila of a modern facility at the major airport here, according to Germany's ambassador to the Philippines.

Cambodian lake residents threaten China boycott
Cambodian villagers from the embattled Boeung Kak lakeside community threatened Wednesday to boycott Chinese products if a Chinese firm reportedly involved in the development project set to displace thousands of lakeside residents does not send a representative to negotiate compensation.

Work begins on new Vietnamese hydro plant
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Wednesday attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the US$1.8 billion, 1,200MW Lai Chau hydro power plant, the third in northwest Vietnam.

Asia scrambles as food prices skyrocket
Record high food prices are moving to the top of the agenda for many Asian policymakers as the prospect of higher inflation in 2011 poses a major threat to the region's strong revival from the global financial crisis.

Maybank makes bid for Kim Eng
Malayan Banking Bhd., Malaysia's biggest lender by assets, offered to buy Singaporean brokerage Kim Eng Holdings Ltd. in a deal valued at S$1.79 billion (US$1.4 billion), accelerating its expansion in Southeast Asia.

Thai IPO offers expected to be numerous
The first six months of 2011 should continue to see an increase in initial public offerings (IPOs), financial advisers say.

Singapore's income gap a worry
Challenges of dealing with a widening income gap in Singapore are here to stay, say political watchers and economic analysts, while MPs say the key to narrowing the gap is upgrading low-wage workers.

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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