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2 APRIL 2012

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CAPTURES

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CARI

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ISSUE 70

Clogged airports hamper SE Asia carriers ASEAN

The airports of major ASEAN cities are not properly equipped to meet the demands of the region’s growing aviation industry. ASEAN airport terminals and their surrounding infrastructure have not kept up with the increasing number of international passengers and carriers in the region

Planes are commonly forced to circle overhead or be idle on the tarmac at the overcrowded airports in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, and Bangkok, as passengers are delayed by queues at immigration desks, security checkpoints and baggage carousels ASEAN airlines collectively ordered US$47 billion worth of aircrafts for the coming

decade, but the deals could be under threat because of the inability of airports to keep pace ASEAN governments are gradually investing in new terminals and improving congestion around airports Reuters (26 March 2012)

ASEAN Major Airports’ Capacity

Source: Airport Technology News


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Thai Banks Poised for AEC expansion

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Thailand approves

tax incentive

Thailand, ASEAN

to boost Thailand’s banks are in a strong position to expand and compete regionally. According to Deloitte, the Thai banking sector is well-prepared and financially strong after years of compliance to the Bank for International Settlements’ regulation and preparation for Basel III requirements Despite their credentials, Thai banks need to strategise beyond domestic demand

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Leading banks have given attention to financial services in Vietnam Bangkok Bank operates two branches in Vietnam, while Siam Commercial Bank owns 33% of the Vinasiam Bank, and Kasikorn Bank has local partnerships with the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and VietinBank The Nation, Thailand (26 March 2012)

Vietnamese economic restructuring urged to speed up

Vietnam

investment Thailand The Thai government approved a series of measures designed to encourage investment and revive manufacturing in the flood-hit Pathumthani and Ayutthaya provinces. Thailand’s Board of Investment (BoI) will waive corporate tax for 8 years, up to 150% of the value of an investment in the two provinces Tariffs on imported machinery, designed to encourage replacement of damaged equipment will be waived The BoI also approved 11 new projects in electricity gerneation worth US$2.7 billion Channel News Asia (28 March 2012)

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Myanmar’s

opposition party wins by-elections Myanmar

The Vietnam Centre for Economics and Policy Research (VEPN) highlighted the country’s low productivity and lack of competitiveness due to of an overreliance on public sector driven growth. VEPN Director Dr. Nguyen Duc Thanh criticised the government’s growth strategy of channelling investments into stateowned enterprises State-owned enterprises have grown large enough to be able to abuse

government policies, circumvent procedures, and crowd the private sector out of the economy Underdeveloped financial markets hinder private sector activity due to the lack of credit Loose monetary policy combined with unproductive investments is destabilising the Vietnamese economy and encouraging inflation VEPN’s policy recommendations include SOE reform, inflation-targeting monetary policy, price stabilisation, transparency, and communication with the public Tuoi Tre News, Vietnam (26 March 2012)

The National League for Democracy (NLD) and its leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, won 43 out of 44 contested parliamentary seats in the 1 April byelections. The NLD will assume 43 of the 644-seat national parliament or 6.6% The electoral results are not expected to change balance of power in parliament where the pro-junta Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and military hold more than 80% of the seats International observers and media were invited to monitor the elections, however were only given 5 days to organise and had to keep a distance of 500 yards from the polling stations Elections were not carried out in three Kachin constituencies due to security concerns US Campaign for Burma (1 April 2012)

DISCLAIMER: The news articles contained in this report are extracted and republished from various credible news sources. As such, CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI) does not make any guarantee, representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, reliability or fairness of any such information and opinion contained in this report. Should any information be doubtful, readers are advised to make their own independent evaluation of such information.


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MYANMAR MONITOR

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi resumed campaigning on 31 March after recovering from an illness she contracted in the Mergui Archipelago Bloomberg (26 March 2012)

In keeping with economic reforms, Myanmar’s central bank reconfirmed that its currency will enter a managed float on 1 April at the rate of 818 kyat to the dollar, close to its black market value The Star (28 March 2012)

Three key industries emerge as the Myanmar’s pillars of economic reform; telecommunication, real estate, and energy have undergone the most liberalisation in terms of new licences granted to foreigners Channel News Asia (28 March 2012)

Representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, the United States, European Union, Japan, India and Australia were in Myanmar to observe and monitor the April elections Reuters (29 March 2012)

Following the postponement of byelections in three northern Kachin state, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) declared that it would not interrupt Sunday’s elections and would assist in guaranteeing security measures The Irrawaddy (29 March 2012)

Prime Minister Najib Razak led a delegation of 50 representatives from Malaysian firms and four diplomats to Naypyidaw to explore investment opportunities in agriculture, timber, construction, and telecommunications

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CAMBODIA hosted the 16th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting

ASEAN The 16th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM) concluded with a joint statement that agreed to advance cooperative initiatives in financial cooperation and capital market integration. ASEAN finance ministers and central bank governors agreed to operationalise the $485.2 million ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF) and the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF) The ministers agreed to implement the pilot program for the ASEAN Single Window, the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff

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Nomenclature (AHTN) and signed the ASEAN Agreement on Customs The working level of finance cooperation continued with the Working Committee on Financial Service Liberalisation, ASEAN Capital Market Forum, and the ASEAN Working Committee for Capital Market Development, and the ASEAN Forum on Taxation The currency swap project under the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) will be discussed in the ASEAN+3 Ministers’ Meeting in May 2012 AFMM Joint Statement (30 March 2012)

ACC Wants More Malaysian Involvement ASEAN, China, Malaysia

The ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) called on the Malaysian private sector to use the services, activities, and information provided by the centre to promote Malaysia in China The ACC plans to provide ASEAN member countries with shops, rent-free for the first three years, in Yiwu, Zhejiang province in order to promote ASEAN products in China

The ACC is also following up on its recent investment trips in Vietnam and Cambodia with visits to other ASEAN member states In cooperation with the tourism industry, the ACC is promoting Malaysian tourism through its website, mini-blog, and a planned publication of travel guides for Chinese tourist travelling to ASEAN Bernama (26 March 2012)

What is the ASEAN - CHINA Centre?

The Irrawaddy (28 March 2012)

What : The objectives of the ACC include the promotion of Sino-ASEAN cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, education and culture. It also serves as the sole provider of authoritative information between Chinese and ASEAN public and private and institutions When : ASEAN and Chinese leaders inaugurated the ACC in 2011 at the 14th ASEAN-China Summit in Bali Where : The ASEAN-China Centre is headquartered in Beijing

DISCLAIMER: The news articles contained in this report are extracted and republished from various credible news sources. As such, CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI) does not make any guarantee, representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, reliability or fairness of any such information and opinion contained in this report. Should any information be doubtful, readers are advised to make their own independent evaluation of such information.


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AEC will force Thai SMEs to compete more effectively

Thailand Thai SMEs must endure competitive pressures and enhance their performance ahead of the AEC’s inauguration in 2015. Thailand’s fall in exports stems from higher labour costs, which is a result of from the government’s new minimum wage policy The textile industry is most likely to move to Cambodia and Myanmar, while seafood processors shift to Indonesia and Myanmar where production costs are lower Although the export industries in electrical appliances, fruit and vegetables, leather, beverages, and tobacco is performing well, businesses and policy makers must be responsive to growing competition CEIC Database ( Feb 2012)

MCOT, Thailand (27 March 2012)

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Ban Ki-moon Hails ASEAN Efforts in Democratising Myanmar ASEAN, United Nations

The Secretary- General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, praised ASEAN’s contribution towards Myanmar’s democratisation process. Ban Ki-moon also lauded ASEAN’s previous dispute resolution efforts in handling the Thai-Cambodian border

dispute and brokering peace between the Filipino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Myanmar held a by-election for 45 of 664 parliamentary seats on 1 April 2012, in which former political detainee Aung San Suu Kyi contested

Myanmar invited observers from ASEAN member states, 25 European Union countries, Japan, and India to monitor the elections Bernama (23 March 2012)

Editorial Team: Manissa van Geyzel, Han Fang Rong, Soley Ómarsdóttir, Chayut Setboonsarng, Ahmad Syahid Consultant Editor: Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz Designer: Iqbal Hakim DISCLAIMER: The news articles contained in this report are extracted and republished from various credible news sources. As such, CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI) does not make any guarantee, representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, reliability or fairness of any such information and opinion contained in this report. Should any information be doubtful, readers are advised to make their own independent evaluation of such information.

CARI Captures Issue 70 (2 April 2012)  

Captures is CARI’s weekly news monitoring report, each time presenting the top 10 stories affecting ASEAN

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