Economy & Trade

January 2015 ASEAN Regional Meetings


There are a number of important ASEAN regional meetings taking place in January, these include the ASEAN Tourism Forum held in Myanmar and the 117th ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA) Council Meeting, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesia Looks to Foreign Investment to Boost Economy


Indonesia is set to introduce a one stop service for providing ministry licenses, speed up the completion of government tenders by March each year, establish a land bank to fast track infrastructure projects and release a five-year $450 billion infrastructure investment plan.

ASEAN Exchanges: Myanmar Integrates Further


Myanmar’s Deputy Finance Minister, Maung Thein, has announced that the over-the-counter Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre (MSEC) will be replaced with the Yangon Stock Exchange in October 2015. So far, ten companies are expected to meet the criteria for initial listing on the exchange.

Gulf Cooperation Council and Singapore Complete FTA


On January 1, 2015, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Singapore entered into force. The FTA covers trade in goods and services, customs procedures, e-commerce, economic cooperation, government procurement, rules of origin and other matters.

ASEAN Open Skies Policy To Be Implemented in 2015


The ASEAN Open Skies policy will be implemented next year with the goals of increasing regional and domestic connectivity and enhancing regional trade.

Turkey Launches Anti-Dumping Probe into Malaysia, Vietnam Steel Re-Exports


The Vietnam Competition Authority has announced that Turkey’s Ministry of Economy is investigating steel products imported from Malaysia and Vietnam following a complaint by M/s Jindal Stainless Limited.

Thailand’s European Tariff Privileges Withdrawn


The European Union’s generalized scheme of preferences (GSP) will be withdrawn from over 6,200 Thai products on 1 January, 2015. The scheme provides developing country exporters with reduced or nil duties on exports to the EU until they are deemed competitive enough to no longer need such support.

Indonesian Rupiah Shows Signs of Recovery After Steep Declines


The Indonesia rupiah has stabilized after hitting its lowest point since the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis. The currency had fallen to a low of 12,930 rupiah/US dollar on Tuesday morning but later strengthened to close at 12,680. The rupiah made further gains on Wednesday by growing 0.2 percent to 12,658, according to local exchange rates published by Bloomberg. The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), the main price barometer of the local stock exchange, also rose 0.2 percent, partially reversing a 1.9 percent fall on Tuesday.

The Philippines’ Inclusive Business Program to Provide a Range of Incentives to Foreign Investors


The Philippines is currently accepting applications from companies to participate in its Inclusive Business (IB) program. The program is intended to help reduce poverty across the nation by encouraging businesses to set up their operations in areas that have been identified as economically disadvantaged. In return for basing their operations in these areas, businesses will be granted a range of financial and other incentives. The program will initially focus on the areas of Marivetes (Bataan), Cavite, Mactan (Cebu), and Baguio.

Asia Heavyweights Show Interest in Singapore-Malaysia High Speed Rail Link


Japan, China, and South Korea have all shown interest over the last month in bidding for the proposed Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail link. The project was originally announced in September 2010 and if completed will connect Singapore and Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur. Official agreement between the two countries was made in February 2013 to complete the project with the target date of 2020.

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