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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
25  July  2011
    Vol.1 No.24

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The Editor's Corner


Asean has a good week
          When the 18th Asean Summit concluded on May 8 the results, particularly in the field of diplomacy were anemic as little progress was made in the hottest issue of the day-the Thai-Cambodia border conflict.

Later, at the Asean defense ministers meeting, a truce was established that has held in place. With the recent ruling of the International Court of Justice establishing a Demilitarized Zone, things have at least calmed down on the border for a while, pending the arrival of Indonesian observers.

But moving on to the Asean Forum meeting of Asean foreign ministers, greater success has been achieved through the signing of an agreement between China and Asean to guidelines on a potential code of conduct governing activities in the resource-rich and strategically important waterway.

Although critics were quick to point out that the agreement had been “watered down,” the agreement is a sign of progress rather than the diplomatic stalemate that occurred in the Thai-Cambodia issue. The agreement marks a good turn at bat for Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

In addition, another Asean boost came from the private sector as one of the world’s most dynamic low-cost air carriers, AirAsia, has decided to move its headquarters from Malaysia to Jakarta.

On Thursday, group chief executive Tony Fernandes, sais the region’s largest low-cost airline plans to open its base in the capital at South Jakarta’s Equity Building in October. The move was undertaken to change Air Asia’s image from a Malaysian operation to a Southeast Asian airline.

Fernandes said “Asean is based in Jakarta, and Indonesia will be the largest economy in Asean in times to come … And I like it there.”

Another factor is AirAsia plans to take advantage of easy access to the Asean Secretariat in advance of the “open skies” agreement that will go into effect in 2015. That agreement will lower barriers for air travel between the region’s capitals.

Fernandes, who is Malaysian, said he had already bought a home in Jakarta within walking distance of the new office. “I don’t like the Jakarta traffic,” he said.

Another factor that wasn’t stated in the report was that Indonesia provides a market for air traffic that is substantially larger the Malaysian market.

Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency data showed that air traffic in Indonesia grew 22 percent to 53.4 million passengers in 2010 on the back of demand from the middle class for domestic flights. That is higher than the 9 percent average increase recorded by Asia-Pacific carriers, according to data from the International Air Transport Association.

The Indonesia National Air Carriers Association forecasts passenger growth at 10 percent to 15 percent this year.

Watch for more dynamic developments out of Indonesia as the country continues to take its place on the world stage.


Top News from Southeast Asia

July 24 , 2011


These were the most important stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of July 16-July 25.

US-ASEAN Business Council meets in Malaysia
The US-ASEAN Business Council concluded a two-day Senior Executive Business Mission on Thursday with its largest delegation to Malaysia in more than a decade.

Thailand needs change to compete 
Reforms in strategic sectors and education are needed for Thailand to maintain competitiveness with other regional economies, as the new government's policies threaten to make the country less attractive to foreign investors, say business leaders.

Energy firms reject Indo “new” deals  
Oil and gas producers on Thursday rejected calls to renegotiate their contract deals, saying that their existing agreements must be respected.

South China Sea agreement reached 
In a milestone agreement, China and Asean on Wednesday agreed on a preliminary set of guidelines to allow dialogue and cooperation in the disputed South China Sea.

Foreign business makes Aquino wish list 
Before President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s second State of the Nation Address, foreign business executives praised efforts to combat corruption in his first year in office, but admitted that a great deal of work remains to attract long-term investments into the Philippines.

Pheu Thai wage policy could kill FDI  
Thailand may lose as much as 100 billion baht (US$3.4 billion) per year in foreign direct investment (FDI) if the Pheu Thai Party moves ahead with its promise to increase the minimum wage to 300 baht per day nationwide, says the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Arrival of AEC poses challenges 
The advent of the Asean Economic Community in 2015 will prompt Asian businesses to seek more interim management services to stay competitive, says Martin Schneider, the chairman and CEO of Brainforce AG.

ICJ orders demilitarized zone in border dispute 
The UN's highest court has ordered Thailand and Cambodia to immediately withdraw their troops from a disputed area around an ancient temple on the border between the two Asian neighbours.

Yudhoyono wants energy conservation 
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono led a meeting on food stock and fuel efficiency on Monday.

Poll: No Thaksin meddling in Cabinet selection  
Most Thais do not want fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to dominate or interfere in the formation of the new Cabinet, according to an ABAC poll released on Sunday.

Dwindling rice surplus may prompt price surge 
A large rice surplus is forecast to shrink by the end of the decade if more farmland in top exporting nations is put to industrial use and weather conditions worsen, keeping prices high as a growing world population boosts demand.

Indonesia considers banning ore exports 
The Indonesian government is drafting a mining regulation that in the next three years could see the export of raw minerals banned, a senior minister has said.

Thailand should reduce income gap 
Economists are advising the new government to focus more on income distribution, as it is an efficient way to strengthen the country's economic fundamentals.

Thai exchange to meet international standards 
The Stock Exchange of Thailand plans to amend its regulations on capital securities trading to be in accord with international standards. The SET expects the amended rules will come into effect in July 2012.

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