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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        10 January 2011

Indonesia may lift import duties to ease prices

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Indonesia may lift import duties and value-added tax from several food commodities in an effort to maintain price stability and national food security.

Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa told a news conference that it was likely that rice, wheat, soy and animal feed would be freed from import duties and VAT.

"We expect that the regulation will become effective next week. It's still being discussed by the corresponding ministries," Antara quoted him as saying.

"This is a fiscal approach in order not to push prices even higher. We will do everything to stabilize our staple foods."

However, sugar will not be included in the import duty exemption, Hatta said, in order to protect local farmers and provide them incentives to boost sugar production.


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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

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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