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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   4 June 2013  

Indonesia abandons plan to set up $7b plantation firm

Indonesia's government has abandoned a plan to combine state-owned agricultural commodities' companies worth US$5.6 billion (S$7 billion) to set up what would have been one of the world's largest plantation firms, the minister in charge said on Monday.

State-owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan declined to specify the reasons behind the government's decision, but officials involved in the merger said the plan had run into several bureaucratic and taxation hurdles.

The government had first proposed setting up the holding company in February 2012. Some officials in Iskan's ministry said the plan may be revived if the project manages to gain the necessary government approvals.

"The plan is unsuccessful," Iskan told Reuters. The 15 state firms that were slated to be merged produce palm oil, rubber, coffee, cocoa, tea, rice, cassava and sugar.


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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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