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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        7  June 2011

Export increase shows Indo FTAs working

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Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu says the improving performance of Indonesia's non-oil-and-gas exports in the first quarter indicate that the free-trade policy is working "more effectively".

Indonesia's non-oil-and-gas exports in the first quarter grew by 29.3 percent to US$50.3 billion, compared with the figure in the same period last year.

This growth exceeded the government's earlier target of between 12 and 15 percent.

"It is also important to note that on a month-to-month basis, April's export value was also the highest compared to previous Aprils," Mari said Monday, as quoted by

"Those figures signals that the external markets, especially those in Asia, are recovering, and that our partnerships in the [Free Trade Area] and [Economic Partnership Agreements] have resulted in a more effective push for our non-oil-and-gas exports," she added.

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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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