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    ASEAN 5 Prepares for Integrated Payment System

    The five largest members of ASEAN – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand have agreed to implement an integrated payment system to enable real time gross settlement (RTGS) systems to be in effect by next year.

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    ASEAN Tourism Forum Conference Concludes on Positive Note

    SINGAPORE – At the 33rd ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Sarawak, Malaysia last week, ASEAN nations reported a 12 percent increase in tourist visits since 2012. Adopting the theme ‘ASEAN – Advancing Tourism Together,’ Malaysian Minister of Tourism and Culture Nazri Abdul Aziz declared the ATF a resounding success by highlighting the ASEAN community’s rapid[…..]

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    IMF Boosts Philippines Expected Growth to 6.3 Percent

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised this year’s growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.3 percent, up from a previous estimate of 6 percent. The upgrade is based partly on a slightly more optimistic outlook of advanced economies, and partly on the on-going reconstruction work that will be required as a result of the[…..]

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    ASEAN CEOs Most Confident On Growth

    HANOI – A report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that CEOs based in ASEAN are far more bullish about growth prospects than any other region globally. The 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, which measures investor confidence, puts ASEAN-based Chief Executives at 45 percent optimistic as against 39 percent globally. ASEAN CEOs also expressed stronger long-term confidence[…..]

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    Malaysia to Open Up To Foreign Auto Manufacturers

    As the country seeks to regain its position as an Asian auto hub, Malaysia has eased restrictions in its auto market with foreign investors now being able to manufacture all types of hybrid and electric passenger cars, including small passenger cars. The changes were announced on Monday as part of the country’s new National Automotive Policy (NAP). […..]

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    Southeast Asian M&A Deals in 2013 Highest on Record

    SINGAPORE – According to a recent report from Mergermarket, during the first three quarters of 2013 Southeast Asia saw 273 merger & acquisition deals. Totaling US$49.8 billion, this was the highest result on record in terms of both deal value and deal count on Mergermarket’s records. This is up 4 percent compared to 2012’s Q1-3 result[…..]

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    Indonesia’s Ban on Raw Mineral Exports Takes Effect

    On Sunday, January 12th, Indonesia’s controversial ban on raw mineral ore exports took effect an hour after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed off on some eleventh hour exemptions. The rationale behind the ban is to encourage the domestic processing of raw mineral ore into higher value metal products.  The hope is that a greater share[…..]

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    Philippine Ports Authority set to Upgrade Infrastructure for ASEAN 2015

    The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has announced that it will pursue several major port projects this year in preparation for the Philippines’ integration with the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. PPA General Manager Juan Sta. Ana explained that repairs to ports damaged by typhoon Haiyan and the modernization of ports in Iloilo, General Santos, Cagayan[…..]

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    Made in ASEAN: Vietnam Cuts Import Taxes for ASEAN-made Vehicles

    Ho Chi Minh City – As of January 1, 2014, vehicles imported from other ASEAN countries to Vietnam are eligible to receive a 10-50 percent tax cut following the 2008 ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). The new tax rate for vehicles imported into Vietnam from ASEAN nations is displayed in the following chart: ASEAN[…..]

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    January 2014 ASEAN Regional Meetings

    There are a number of important forums being held in January, including the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Retreat and the Preparatory Meeting of Senior Officials. The key meetings of note for our readers are as follows.

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