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Forget Typing?
To make one thing very clear, this is not another IPad review. However, I just borrowed a friend’s IPad for the weekend and wow! 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
30 May 2011
    Vol.1 No.16

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The Editor's Corner


Is the global economy improving or declining?
          It seems that the global economy is at a crossroads. Some experts say it will decline, others say it’s going to improve.

Companies had ridden a worldwide recovery to boost sales and profits, supporting equity price increases, Noriel Roubini, co-founder and chairman of Roubini Global Economics, told a conference in Budapest. Now, signs of a global economic slowdown may drag down stock prices, he said.

“Until two weeks ago I’d say markets were shrugging off all these concerns, saying they don’t matter because they were believing the global economic recovery was on track,” Roubini said.

“But I think right now we’re on the tipping point of a market correction. Data from the U.S., from Europe, from Japan, from China are suggesting an economic slowdown.”

However, on Friday, stocks rose, preventing the fourth straight weekly loss for the MSCI All-Country World Index, and commodities gained after the Group of Eight leaders said the global economy is strengthening. The US dollar fell.

The strengthening world economy will pave the way for reductions in debt, G-8 leaders said. Europe vowed to fight its fiscal woes with “determination,” while President Barack Obama promised a “clear and credible” U.S. deficit-reduction strategy. Equities gained even after consumer spending in the U.S. climbed less than forecast and sales of previously owned American home plunged 12 times more than projected.

“The world is healing economically,” said Philip Orlando, the New York-based chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors Inc., which oversees $358.2 billion. “I’m delighted to see the G-8 take a longer-term view of things, especially because some investors have been focused on the near term.”

The crux of the matter will boil down to how well world leaders in the Group of Eight make good on their commitments at formal economic meetings. Sometimes they follow through and sometimes they don’t.

A decline in the global economy will impact Asian economies that are dependent on export growth and the fallback will be to maintain or increase the amount of domestic consumption. However, rising oil prices means consumers have less to spend on other needs and wants.

An interesting few months are ahead for the global economy.


Top News from Southeast Asia

May 29 , 2011


These were the most significant stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of May 21-May 27.

New Singapore cabinet leaders for eco-city
Cabinet reshuffle will see a completely new slate of leaders taking charge of the Tianjin Eco-City, with many of the key people stepping down and others being transferred to different portfolios.

Hot money continues Philippine surge  
Transactions in foreign portfolio investments in the first week of May has already surged by more than a third, reflecting investors’ improved risk appetite for emerging assets.

Malaysia aims to be regional auto hub  
Having a larger automotive total industry volume (TIV) can help boost Malaysia's competitiveness and steer the country to become a regional manufacturing hub, said Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief executive officer Madani Sahari.

Mangroves restored on Krabi Island Krabi  
Island in Thailand has long been a popular tourist destination, but now the southern province is becoming known for something more creative-using its low-profile islands in a carbon capture and storage project.

Yuan to become third reserve currency 
The Chinese yuan looks set to become the third most popular currency for settling trades in the next six months, according to an HSBC trade confidence survey.

Philippines posts record fiscal surplus  
The Philippines posted a record budget surplus last month, the highest in more than two decades, after it failed to meet its expenditure program for the period. Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed Monday the national government posted a P26.26 billion (US$605 million) surplus in April, a record high for the last 25 years or more.

P&G plans to Invest US$100 million in Indonesia 
Procter & Gamble Co (P&G) (PG.N) will invest US$100 million in the oleochemical sector in Indonesia, the country's industry minister MS Hidayat said on Monday.

Kasikorn expands in China 
Kasikorn Bank plans to further expand in China despite stronger regulations by the mainland's central bank to prevent the economy from overheating.

Work halted on Vietnamese port  
Construction of the Van Phong International Port in Vietnam’s southern central province of Khanh Hoa has been suspended for one year with no indication of a resumption date.

Vietnamese trade deficit continues to rise  
The Vietnamese trade deficit increased to US$6.6 billion in the first five months this year compared to $5.4 billion in the same period of last year due to higher import value, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

More 3G users in Asia  
Qualcomm Inc. expects 3G subscriptions in Southeast Asia to increase substantially in the next two years, but added emerging markets still have significant room to expand their wireless networks.

Indian coal miner seeks Indo stake 
Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, is in advanced talks to buy up to a 40 percent stake in Indonesia's Golden Energy Mines in a deal valued at between $750 million and $1 billion, three sources with direct knowledge said on Thursday.

Bangchak invests in solar  
Thailand’s Bangchak Petroleum Plc plans to spend about 50 billion baht (US$1.64 billion) to increase its solar power capacity by four times to 500 megawatts.

Rice crisis could reappear  
Repeating the 2008 rice crisis that led to riots in the developing world cannot be ruled out as the cost of other agricultural goods surge, the International Rice Research Institute has warned.

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