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Cambodia Raises its Income Tax Threshold


At the beginning of January, Cambodia reduced the income tax burden on workers in the country. The government has raised its tax threshold from 500,000 riel (US$125) to 800,000 riel (US$200). The previous lowest income tax bracket had begun at 500,000 riel, at a rate of five percent. This change puts approximately US$3.75 a month back into the pockets of workers in Cambodia earning over US$200 per month.

Singapore Signs IGA on FATCA with the United States


On December 9, 2014, Singapore became the first country in Southeast Asia to sign an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on tax information sharing with the United States. The signing follows an in substance agreement reached between Singapore and the US in May 2014. Most countries around the world have been entering into IGAs with the US government since the US introduced a complex reporting and withholding regime through the passage of the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in March 2010.

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.

OECD and ASEAN Release Investment Policy Review of Myanmar


On December 9th, the Second ASEAN-OECD Investment Policy Conference was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, to discuss the continued facilitation and promotion of ASEAN investment for regional integration. The event brought together ASEAN investment policy makers, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members, and industry leaders, to showcase ASEAN’s regional investment integration achievements since the first conference in 2010. Included at the conference was the release of the OECD’s Investment Policy Review of Myanmar, which marked the country as one to watch heading into 2015.

Key Industries for Investment in ASEAN


As ASEAN continues its transition to greater economic integration with the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, the region is seeing strong growth in a number of industries. Among the key business areas are electronics, information and communications technology, textiles and apparel, and medical devices.

Thai Economy Sees Improvement Due to Increased ASEAN Integration


The level of Thailand’s imports and exports has expanded for the first time since April 2013. In year-on-year (YoY) comparisons, both imports and exports have increased. In the Ministry of Finance’s most recent report, June YoY comparisons show the total value of exports is up by 3.9 percent with improvements in both intra-ASEAN and European trade. After signs of slowing this past year, producer and consumer confidence also now appear to be improving.

McKinsey Sees Room for ASEAN Improvement and Future Growth


In its recent report on achieving sustained economic growth in Southeast Asia, the global management consulting firm, McKinsey, highlighted key areas for improvement in ASEAN, particularly the need to improve labor productivity, which still remains low.

Economic Growth Puts Vietnam on Track to Become Largest ASEAN Supplier to the U.S.


The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) predicts that Vietnam will become the largest ASEAN supplier to the United States by the end of 2014 – with a net export value of around US$29.4 billion. This would be a historical achievement for a nation surrounded by supply giants. In fact, Vietnam is likely to become the wealthiest Southeast Asian country in terms of trade. Additional statistics indicate that bilateral trade with the United States will surge to US$57 billion by 2020, cementing Vietnam’s prominence as a valuable hub for foreign investment and trade.

ASEAN Regional Meetings 2014


There are a number of important ASEAN regional meetings taking place in November, including the Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and the 25th ASEAN summit, which will also be attended by high level representatives of China, Japan, Korea, India, the United States, and Australia.

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