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    Japan Cements Future Ties with ASEAN

    Dec. 27 – During a meeting in Tokyo marking the 40th anniversary of Japan-ASEAN relations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged ¥2 trillion (about US$20 billion) in aid and loans to Southeast Asian countries over the next five years in a move signaling both tighter cooperation between Tokyo and the Southeast Asian block, and an attempt[…..]

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    World Economic Forum Assesses ASEAN’s Rising Energy Demand

    By Shawn Greene Dec. 26 – The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Accenture have issued the Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report 2014 which assesses energy systems across countries, and examines how the international community can move towards a future of sustainable energy. The 104-page document assesses economic growth, environmental sustainability, and energy security across[…..]

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    ASEAN Receives Maritime Security Support

    Dec. 17 – Japan and the ASEAN nations strengthened economic and maritime ties this month during the Japan-ASEAN summit held in Tokyo. The gathering of high-level officials pledged to “strengthen regional cooperation frameworks for peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region,” according to a joint-press release issued by the two nations. Following the delegation’s[…..]

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    ASEAN Infrastructure Fund Grants First US$25 Million Loan to Indonesia

    Dec. 10 – The Asian Development Bank’s new ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF) has granted its inaugural loan to an Indonesian electricity project. The US$25 million loan will go towards developing power links and expanding transmission networks from Java to Bali. Improvements are needed to solve widespread power outages and blackouts that are negatively impacting Indonesia’s[…..]

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    Myanmar and the Philippines Sign Several Trade and Investment Agreements

    Dec. 9 – Myanmar and the Philippines strengthened business and trade relations this month with the signing of several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) designed to foster greater economic cooperation between the two nations. In total, six agreements were reached during President Thein Sein’s visit to the Philippines last week, ranging from renewable energy initiatives to[…..]

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    Indonesia Focuses on Improving Investment Climate

    Dec. 6 – In Indonesia, securing long-term investment remains a high priority following a summer of sudden capital outflows. “We need to implement breakthroughs to improve our investment climate,” said Perry Warjiyo, Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank. “That’s the key to attracting foreign direct investment.” There has been some progress in[…..]

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    Political Unrest Threatens Thailand’s Long-Term Prospects

    While frequent political upheaval in Thailand has not significantly harmed overall economic stability, it has constrained Thailand’s long-term economic growth and development. By Shawn Greene Dec. 2 – More than three weeks after the Thai Senate rejected a highly controversial bill that would have provided amnesty for political offenses dating back to the 2006 coup,[…..]

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    December 2013 ASEAN Regional Meetings

    Dec. 2 – While December is a relatively slow month for regional ASEAN meetings, there are still a number of important forums being held in December, including the ASEAN-European Union Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting and the 40th anniversary summit for the establishment of ASEAN-Japan relations. The key meetings of note for our readers are as[…..]

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    ASEAN’s Demographic Dividend

    Oftentimes referred to as ASEAN’s demographic dividend, ASEAN countries’ decreasing dependency ratios have the potential to translate into significant GDP growth if accompanied by effective government policies that liberalize trade, attract FDI, and mobilize capital and labor productively.

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    Slow Progress in Timor Leste’s Bid for ASEAN Membership

    Nov. 18 – Cautiousness and mixed feelings among the ASEAN member states continue to slow progress in Timor Leste’s bid to join the 10-member regional bloc. In September, Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao spent five days in the Myanmar cities of Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw to strengthen diplomatic relations with the country set[…..]

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