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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  27 October 2014  

European business confidence rising

HCM CITY (VNS)— The business confidence and outlook of European businesses in Viet Nam continued to rise, according to the 16th quarterly EuroCham Business Climate Index (BCI) survey.

The survey, conducted in September 2014 and released on Thursday, revealed that in the third quarter, the BCI climbed from 66 to 74, approaching previous levels in the first quarter of 2011. The increase was attributed to high hopes and expectations regarding current negotiations on the European Union-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement.

"We see a clear trend where the European business community is excited and gearing up for the future. The signing and, more importantly, the realisation of the FTA, will be crucial steps in assuring that these preparations have not been made in vain," European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) executive director Csaba Bundik said.

Nearly half of respondents assessed their current business situation as positive while only five per cent found it to be very poor. Notably, the major change came from respondents that perceived the business situation as negative, declining from 21 per cent last quarter to a single digit at eight per cent this quarter.

Of those surveyed, a majority had a positive business outlook and perceived a future FTA to assist in realising this positive business environment.

According to the survey, up to 61 per cent of EuroCham members thought the macroeconomic situation in Viet Nam would stabilise and improve while 24 per cent said the situation would not change, and 15 per cent expected it to deteriorate.

Meanwhile, the inflation rate estimates of third quarter respondents was higher, increasing from 4.26 per cent to 4.61 per cent.

With high expectations of macroeconomic stability and improvement as well as general expectations of an improved business outlook, a moderate rise in inflation is a logical and expected outcome, the survey said.

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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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