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         Dr.Jochen Wirtz
            Associate Professor of Marketing,
       and Director of the UCLA – NUS EMBA
        NUS Business School,
National University of Singapore

How Effective are Loyalty Reward Programs in Driving Share of Wallet?
Many markets, especially as competition stiffens during an economic slowdown, are a battleground for a share of the customer’s wallet. Marketers, in the hope of retaining customer loyalty, have embarked on loyalty reward programs.More

pSave Our Planet (IV) a huge success
SOP for Schools:
“Save The Planet For the Children”
By students of Garden International School, Bangkok
Friday, March 18, 2011,
Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

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Weekly NewsLetter
17  October  2011
    Vol.1 No.35

Please click here to view this Newsletter in your web browser

The Editor's Corner


Changes in Myanmar continue
Changes in Myanmar continue to amaze the world outside after decades of blatant military suppression.

The latest event is a new labor law that allows workers to form unions and to go on strike.

The law was signed by President Thein Sein on Tuesday and replaces the 1962 Trade Unions Act.

The legislation states that workers, with the exception of military and police personnel, may set up a union with a minimum of 30 members and come up with their own name and logo.

Employers must be given up to 14 days notice of industrial action and unions must specify in advance how many people will take part in the strike, it said.

The law also states that employers in breach of the new rules risk a 100,000 kyat fine (US$125) or one year in prison, while employees face a fine of 30,000 kyat ($38).

The law also states that employers in breach of the new rules risk a 100,000 kyat fine (US$125) or one year in prison, while employees face a fine of 30,000 kyat (US$38).

On the negative side of the new law is that a number of labor activists still remain in prison and in that situation, workers may be reluctant to exercise their new rights.

International organizations approved of the new law and a spokesman of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy said it was “welcome” although not approving of all the law’s features.

A confidence-building measure would be for the government to release the imprisoned labor activists.

It will be interesting to see the reaction of Myanmar’s nine Asean partners and how that will impact Myanmar’s bid for the 2014 Asean chairmanship, which remains a vexing issue for the 10-member regional grouping.


Top News from Southeast Asia

October  16 , 2011


These were the most newsworthy stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of October 8-14.

Foreign sell-off could hurt Asian economies
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that a sell-off by foreign investors in developed markets could trigger a loss of faith in the capital markets in emerging nations across Asia, including Indonesia.

Skills gap in Philippines labor force
The World Bank on Thursday cited skills gaps as serious bottlenecks for innovation and productivity among Filipino companies. READ MORE: Bangkok prepares for possible flooding Rising sea levels predicted this weekend have fueled fears of severe flooding in Bangkok.

Glencore to rescue Bakrie Group
Glencore, the world’s biggest commodities trader, is expected to sign a deal within days for a US$800-$900 million loan to Indonesia’s Bakrie Group to help it refinance a $1.35 billion facility that became unexpectedly due, sources said on Thursday.

FDI rises 250 percent in Cambodia
Foreign direct investment in Cambodia soared 250 percent year-on-year through August even despite the West’s economic woes, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said yesterday.

Nigeria plans Indo refinery
Nigeria plans to invest Rp 24 trillion (US$2.68 billion) in Indonesia to fund the construction of three oil refineries, an official says.

Myanmar frees prisoners
Myanmar freed dozens of political prisoners on Wednesday, including a comedian who is one of its most famous dissidents, in a further sign of change in the authoritarian state after decades of repression.

Japanese firm hit by floods
Minebea Group of Companies, one of the largest Japanese investors in Thailand, may revise its investment focus in Ayutthaya due to risks from flooding.

Asia’s trade to double
Asia’s trade volume will almost double by 2025 and will be the key driver of world trade growth despite current global economic headwinds, HSBC said in a report on Tuesday.

Malaysian budget criticized
While it is undeniable that the goodies-packed and “perceivably optimistic” Budget 2012 has injected some feel-good factors into the lives of Malaysians, reality check has caused some quarters in the private sector to question the viability of the government's fiscal deficit target and economic growth projections.

Cambodia’s flood toll rises
With the death toll from flooding in Cambodia climbing to 206 over the weekend and lengthy sections of banks along the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers at risk of collapse, the government was urged yesterday to call for international assistance.

Thai central bank estimates flood damage
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has estimated the economic damage from nationwide flooding at 60 billion baht (US$2 billion), or 0.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), Finance Minister Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala said on Monday.

Vietnam’s flood death toll rises
The toll from the worst floods to hit Vietnam's Mekong Delta in a decade has reached 24, most of them children, the government disaster authority said on Monday, as it reported a further six deaths.

Indonesia rebrands as global force
When Indonesia’s ambassador to the United States hands out his folded business card, it often raises eyebrows.

Myanmar VP to China on dam dispute
Myanmar's vice-president, Tin Aung Myint Oo, will visit China this month to discuss the suspension of a controversial dam built and financed by Chinese firms, a senior Myanmar official said on Friday.

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