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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     14 October  2011                    

Asean trade ministers meet

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The Asean Economic Council (AEC) retreat kicked off at the Palace of the Golden Horses Hotel in Seri Kembangan today, with a meeting among Asean member countries senior economic officials.

The retreat is convened to discuss specific economic policies and inputs to be tabled for consideration by the Asean heads of state and government at the 19th Asean summit in Bali next month.

Senior officials at the retreat are expected to deliberate on specific areas such as promoting equitable economic development programmes; enhancing engagements with dialogue and trading partners; strengthening confidence-building mechanism and trade facilitation measurements.

Tonight, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad will host a working dinner to be attended by Asean secretary-general Dr Surin Pitsuwan and Asean trade and economic ministers.

Among the ministers expected to attend the retreat are Pehin Datuk Lim Jock Seng, Brunei's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Cham Prasidh, Cambodia's Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce; Hatta Rajasa, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs; and Indonesia's Trade Minister Dr Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade.

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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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