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           Noel Jones, Ph.D
                                Former staffer
   The World Bank and International Monetary Fund

ASEAN’s AEC 2015 and Vision 2020
This ASEAN Emerging Issues Paper presents a number of key challenges facing the region at this time, particularly as it moves towards the full implementation of the AEC by 2015 and the ASEAN Vision 2020 which have both been endorsed by members. .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
11 April 2011
    Vol.1 No.10

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The Editor's Corner


AEC progress may confound skeptics
          As managing editor of Asean Affairs I receive and review news reports about Asean on a daily basis.

One particular slant of stories that usually come from outside Asia is that the kickoff of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 may not happen or it is open to question or somehow the deadline won’t be met. The problem with such comments is that they are undocumented comments and unsuitable for inclusion in a “news” story.

Journalists call this editorializing and such a practice usually represents poor reporting and equally poor editing.

At this time I would like to offer two news items that suggest strongly the Asean Economic Community is on its way.

The chairmanship of Asean is now occupied by Indonesia for this year. On Friday, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told a meeting of Asean finance minister meeting in Jakarta to liberalize financial services, develop capital markets and manage capital flows. He also prodded them on moving more quickly on the Asean Single Window customs initiative. The latter would allow member states to exchange import and export data.

In the capital markets sector, seven stock exchanges in six Asean countries yesterday joined to launch a new investment portal aimed at promoting Southeast Asia among international institutional investors.

The website, formally launched yesterday to coincide with the Asean Finance Ministers' meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali, will serve as an investment gateway for the Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City bourses. With three years left to complete projects, the AEC is coming to your doorstep.


Top News from Southeast Asia

April 10, 2011


These were the most significant stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of April 2-April 8:

Indonesian shipments to Japan plunge
Indonesia’s exports to Japan, a key buyer for this nation’s commodities and energy resources, declined by 25 percent to $809 million in March, the Central Statistics Agency announced on Friday. period of 2010.

Malaysia bourse to become competitive 
Bursa Malaysia's new CEO, Datuk Tajuddin Atan, will have a mandate to make the local exchange more competitive and to “enhance the Malaysian capital market's position as a destination of choice for listings and investments regionally,” the stock exchange said in statement yesterday.

THAI should exit state-enterprise status  
THAI Airways International should shed its status as a state enterprise so the government would stop meddling in its affairs, advocates a think-tank for the Thai Finance Ministry.

Vietnamese textiles thrive  
The volume of apparel orders and prices has increased, catapulting Vietnam to among the five largest countries in apparel export revenue. This means that the Vietnamese garment and textile sector will be able to realize the target of exporting US$12.5-13 billion of apparel products.

Financial cooperation a must for Asean  
Financial cooperation will serve as the starting point to deeper market-driven integration of Asian economies, and the focus now should be on regional cooperation to support market integration, trade and investment in the region, according to Bandid Nijathaworn, Thailand's contender for the first directorship of the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (Amro).

US solar firm sells Vietnam on solar  
Vietnam has taken yet another step toward generating renewable energy.

Malaysia -London exchanges in talks  
Bursa Malaysia is believed to be in preliminary talks with the London Stock Exchange to collaborate on the trading of each other's shares, according to sources.

Nippon Steel to make Thai investment  
Nippon Steel Corp, Japan's largest steelmaker, will invest US$300 million (9.07 billion baht) to build a plant in Thailand to produce high-grade steel for the automobile and electrical appliance industries.

Thailand gains from improved trends  
mproving economic trends in the United States and Europe and rising farm prices will drive economic growth this year to the level seen before the 2008 global downturn, says the World Bank.

Canberra kills SGX/ASX merger  
The Australian government said on Tuesday it intended to reject the Singapore Exchange’s proposed $7.8 billion takeover bid for Australian stock-exchange operator ASX on national interest grounds.

China looks to cooperate with Asean in sea dispute  
China is looking at cooperating with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in tapping natural resources of disputed areas in the South China Sea, the Chinese ambassador to Manila said.

W Java to explore eleven geothermal spots  
The West Java provincial administration plans to conduct geothermal explorations in 11 points in West Java, Governor Ahmad Heryawan said.

Hyundai begins Cambodian car assembly line  
Hyundai's first Cambodian car assembly plant in Koh Kong province will officially launch in coming weeks, but is already assembling up to 100 vehicles per month.

Bali Confronts Its Problems 
While most Indonesian government officials seem allergic to criticism, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said on Wednesday that he had no problem with Time magazine labeling the island a “hellish” holiday destination.

Asean finance ministers discuss “Hot Money”  
Southeast Asian finance ministers meet today in Bali for talks expected to focus on capital controls to shield the region’s booming economies from destabilizing “hot money” inflows.

Thailand, Cambodia reach agreement on border  
Thailand and Cambodia have resumed Joint Boundary Commission talks in Indonesia to try to resolve their border spat which has seen bilateral relations plunge to their lowest point in years.

Forex reserves climb to new record  
The Philippine’s foreign exchange reserves surged by almost half to register a new high in the first quarter of the year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Thursday.

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