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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                      11  August 2011

Asean economy sound

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Indonesian Vice President Boediono said in his opening address at the 43rd ASEAN Economic Ministers' (AEM) meeting in Manado, North Sulawesi, that the economic conditions of all Asean member countries were still sound amid the present global economic uncertainty.

Asean member countries must bring about regional integration and ensure balance and sustainable growth within their countries, he added.

"We Asean member countries must prepare national policies for regional cooperation," Boediono said as quoted by Antara news agency on Wednesday.

Boediono also said Asean had already made remarkable strides in various sectors such as the trade of goods for which tariffs have been reduced up to 99 percent.

Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said the Asean Economic Ministers would discuss developing intra-Asean economic cooperation.

They would also discuss cooperation with their dialog partners, she added.

Among the internal Asean issues to be discussed in the meeting are creating the Asean Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.

She said the ministers would check the progress of the implementation of the AEC blueprints in the trade of goods and services and connectivity as well as efforts to increase intra-Asean investment.

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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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