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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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    ASEAN Seeks to Develop ICT Infrastructure

    Nov. 26 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is strongly promoting information and communication technology (ICT) through the ASEAN ICT Master-plan. During a recent meeting, Singapore’s Minister of Communications and Information, Yaacob Ibrahim, explained ASEAN’s plan for building ICT capabilities throughout the region.  He stated that “the most important step for us is to[…..]

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    Thailand’s Chiang Mai to become an ASEAN MICE Hub

    Nov. 14 – The Thai province of Chiang Mai is working with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau in order to make the area a MICE city for Thailand and an industrial hub for the wider ASEAN region. The term MICE refers to meetings, incentive travels, conventions and exhibitions. Chiang Mai’s plan is made up[…..]

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    Challenges Await the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework

    By Matthew Davis Nov. 4 – Following periods of regional instability resulting from the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the recent global financial crisis, there has been great impetus for establishing a pan-ASEAN banking presence. In promoting such financial integration, the ASEAN nations hope to capitalize on economies of scale, a larger consumer base and[…..]

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    Thailand Auto Market Accelerates Into Overdrive

    By Edward Barbour-Lacey Oct. 29 – Thailand is increasingly gaining a reputation as the “Detroit of the East,” in reference to the golden age of Detroit when it was the world’s automobile factory. Thailand is well on its way to becoming one of the most attractive places in the world to manufacture automobiles. One of[…..]

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    Work Permit and Visa Applications in Malaysia

    Oct. 24 – Malaysia has a flexible visa policy that allows a majority of countries to enter without a visa for business trips that do not last longer than 90 days, including foreign nationals from the United States, France, Australia, Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, it is important to check ahead of time[…..]

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    Indonesia to Relax Tourism Visa Process

    Indonesia, currently hosting the annual APEC CEO Summit, will relax its tourist visa application process in a move that should help increase the numbers of travelers visiting the country.

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    Xi Again Proposes an ASEAN Infrastructure Bank

    Chinese President on tour visiting Indonesia & Malaysia prior to APEC Summit Indonesia Oct. 3 – Chinese President Xi Jinping has again suggested the development of an ASEAN Bank that would invest in infrastructure throughout the region and that China would be prepared to invest in. China is not a member of ASEAN. Xi was[…..]

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    ASEAN Meeting Held in Indonesia, Leaders Pledge Inter-ASEAN Support

    Sept. 19 – The leaders of the capital cities within the 10 ASEAN countries have begun to enhance inter-ASEAN relations through increased cooperation in response to preparing for upcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) – an initiative for the creation of a single ASEAN market, which is slated to be complete by the end of 2015[…..]

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    Laos Expands Rail Projects

    Sep. 3 – At the end of August a Thai contractor, Sermsaguan Construction Company Ltd., began construction on facilities at Laos’ Thanalaeng station. This station is the start of a railway linking Laos’capital city Vientiane with Thailand’s Nong Khai province. This is just one of many upcoming rail projects for Laos. The first phase of[…..]

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