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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   20 December 2012 

Indonesia and Malaysia aim for $30b in trade by 2015


Encouraged by booming bilateral trade and investment between Malaysia and Indonesia in recent years, leaders of both countries have set to achieve US$30 billion (90 billion ringgit) in trade by 2015.

Both Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who met during their annual consultation here yesterday, had agreed to open up their economies further to each other to spur bilateral trade and investment.

Najib said the figure was ambitious but judging by the trend, it was possible, citing the 2010 trade figure which was at $14.7 billion (44.1 billion ringgit) and $18.3 billion (54.9 billion ringgit) last year.

“We want to see Indonesia increase its investment in finance and banking. We believe that the economic integration between the two countries will be further strengthened as under the leadership of the President, Indonesia’s economy has grown positively,” Najib said in his remarks to the press after the meeting.

The Prime Minister said to further increase trade, the joint trade investment committee of both countries would look into the matter of non-tariff barriers.

Susilo, who was present, concurred with Najib, saying that both of them agreed that in the long term, there were still many areas waiting to be explored.

“We are thinking of long-term strategic economic cooperation apart from strengthening existing cooperation in tourism, education and military,” said Susilo.
On the maritime border, the leaders wanted a more intensive effort so that the matter could be resolved at the appropriate time.

However, they cautioned that any solution must be accepted by the people of their respective country.

Susilo said as two close neighbours, there would be hiccups along the way but they should not hinder the existing strong relations.

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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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