ASEAN Update: ASEAN and China Agree on South China Sea Code of Conduct Framework

 
 
ASEAN Update | June 1, 2017
Authors: Matt Solomon, Mario Masaya, Shay Wester and Ben Black

 
LOOKING AHEAD

June 15: Digitizing the Vietnamese Economy: Empowering SMBs for the Global Market (Ho Chi Minh City)

June 21st: ASEAN-BAC – US-ABC Exclusive Consultation

The Council is invited to hold an exclusive consultation session with ASEAN-BAC on June 21. Agenda of the consultation session is still under discussion with ASEAN-BAC. For more information, please contact Mario Masaya at mmasaya@usasean.org

July 31st: ASEAN Secretariat Business Mission (click for event page)
 

THE COUNCIL'S TAKE

ASEAN and China Agree on South China Sea Code of Conduct Framework

Top ASEAN and Chinese officials met on 16 and 17 May in Guizhou, China to develop a framework for formulating a code of conduct in the South China Sea. Agreement on a specified pattern of behavior is crucial to the maintenance of political and economic stability in the highly disputed maritime region of the South China Sea, and any reconciliation that could be made at this meeting was highly anticipated. Incidents between vessels of ASEAN states and China have increased in frequency and severity in recent years as tensions mount, particularly over fishing areas and shipping lanes previously recognized as international water. While the finalized code of conduct has not been set, reaching a consensus on an initial framework within which leaders will soon establish these rules is a significant step. Officials were clear to state that this code of conduct does not represent a procedure for territorial dispute resolution, but is intended to aid in the maintenance of the status quo with limited hostility. The Philippines and China will meet separately this week to begin bilateral discussions on their specific points of dispute. 

Digital Economy and Trade Facilitation to be Focus During Singapore's Leadership of ASEAN 

Singapore's Minister of Trade and Industry has announced that the city-state wants to promote e-commerce companies and focus government efforts on expanding the digital economy in the coming years. He further stated that these will be the primary initiatives that the country will champion when it chairs ASEAN in 2018, and that measures are already being drafted to support those efforts across the ASEAN region. Among those provisions are lower barriers to entry into the region and within the region for companies as well as an ASEAN-wide self-certification scheme for exporting companies that meet certain requirements. These are significant steps to aiding the existing growth in the e-commerce and digital economy sectors, where it is clear that ASEAN has immense potential for growth. It seems likely that 2018's ASEAN Secretariat will focus on moving the e-commerce and digital economy agendas forward at an exciting pace. The Council welcomes this proposed area of focus by Singapore when it serves as ASEAN Chair in 2018. The Council’s Digital Data Management in ASEAN publication (available here) and ASEAN E-Commerce White Paper (available here) will continue to be used as advocacy tools in recommending reforms and best practices to support ASEAN in reaching its e-commerce economic potential. ASEAN’s e-commerce market is expected to reach $50 billion by 2020. In April, the Senior Officials for the 2017 ASEAN Economic Ministers(AEM) meeting endorsed a workplan around e-Commerce including elements related to Trade Facilitation, which contained many recommendations the Council advocated for in a previous dialogue. The next steps will be to have ASEAN Ministers endorse the work plan at the AEM meetings in August. 

"ASEAN Matters for America Matters for ASEAN" Updated Report is Launched

The US-ASEAN Business Council, alongside the East-West Center and the ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute, , have released an updated version of the “ASEAN Matters for America” report, a multi-faceted project to highlight and explore the relationship between the United States and the member states of ASEAN. A launch event was held on May 16 at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center with remarks from several congressional officials and dignitaries from ASEAN countries. The project will raise awareness among the general public and government officials as to the existing depth of the U.S.-ASEAN relationship and the incredible potential for future growth and progress. The project's recently published booklet includes highlights, such as an overview of how ASEAN's $2.4 trillion GDP and 3rd largest population make it of strategic importance to business and government, as well as specific details such as export data to ASEAN by U.S. Congressional District. The US-ASEAN Business Council aims to distribute this informational booklet to every congressman, state governor, and large city mayor in the United States. More information on the project can be found at aseanmattersforamerica.org.
 

ADVOCACY UPDATE

Participation at ASEAN Trade Facilitation – Joint Consultative Committee (ATF-JCC) 

The Council, together with ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) and EU-ASEAN Business Council, was invited to attend the 7th ATF-JCC Meeting on March 26th, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand, to provide input into the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for Trade Facilitation 2017 – 2025. Some of the Council's recommendations in the meeting included:  simplification of certificates of origin, facilitation of e-Commerce shipments, and increasing transparency in customs valuation procedures. Please click here for our joint presentation to the ATF-JCC. The Council, through the umbrella of ASEAN-BAC, is again invited to the open session on drafting the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for Trade Facilitation 2017 – 2025 on June 20/21/22. For more information, please contact Shay Wester swester@usasean.org

Partnering with US-ACTI on ASEAN e-Commerce Development Workshop 

The Council is supporting USAID’s ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment project (US-ACTI) on its workshop with the newly-formed ASEAN Coordinating Committee on e-Commerce (ACCEC) in Singapore on June 14. The ACCEC was set up in November 2016 to coordinate ASEAN’s e-commerce initiatives and to develop an ASEAN Agreement on E-Commerce. The goal of the workshop is to provide private sector input on the ACCEC’s efforts to promote e-commerce A draft agenda is available here. For more information, please contact Shay Wester swester@usasean.org 

Engaging with ASEAN to Develop an ASEAN Regional Framework for Public-Private Partnerships to Promote Technology Development and Harmonized Standards in the Agricultural Sector
On May 15, the Council participated in an ASEAN Regional Workshop on Public-Private Partnership Framework for Technology Development in the Agriculture Sector in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  At the workshop, the Council made a presentation to the ASEAN officials on the private sector’s perspectives on barriers, best practices, and lessons learned in formulating PPP’s which included: selection of inappropriate/low impact projects; private sector constraints such as funding and capacity; unclear benefits to participating farmers; lack of monitoring and evaluation and poor prospects of sustainability; and insufficient focus on post project opportunities.  This engagement followed the Council’s participation in another regional agricultural sector effort focused on increasing the use of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA’s) to support greater regional harmonization of food safety standards and regulations.  For more information, please contact Sunita Kapoor at Skapoor@usasean.org

“Digital Tools for SMEs” Workshop in Thailand

On May 23 the US-ASEAN Business Council conducted  a one-day workshop entitled “Digital Tools for SMEs” in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop, sponsored by UPS, vice-chair of ASEAN Committee, was organized by the Council in close collaboration with Thammasat Consulting Networking and Coaching Center, the Office of SMEs Promotion Thailand (OSMEP), and the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). Over 80 SMEs learned about good business practices in the digital economy presented by the U.S. multinational companies. Besides UPS, Council member companies such as Microsoft, Seagate, and PayPal participated in this workshop. The topics of the workshop covered challenges and opportunities for Thai SMEs; optimizing the online experience and e-supply chain; cloud computing; storage solutions for SMEs; and digital payment. The participants joined consultation sessions led by UPS and Thammasat Consulting Networking and Coaching Center at the end of the workshop. 

 

IN THIS UPDATE

Regional Affairs
Revisit the 'consensus rule'
High hopes for single digital platform for Asean e-commerce
Turkey to become sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN
PH BOI to hosts ASEAN 2017 events for various industries in the regional trade bloc
Seize the opportunities ASEAN offers: AirAsia chief
Highlights from the World Economic Forum on Asean 2017
Philippines' Duterte says Turkey, Mongolia could join ASEAN
Singapore to push e-commerce and digital economy as ASEAN leader next year
Hun Sen takes to world stage as Cambodia hosts WEF
Deputy FM suggests ASEAN-US priorities
ASEAN leaders endorse search for novel ideas on 50th anniversary
Meeting to finalize COC framework
Asean tells EU to practice equal opportunity, recognize certifications
ASEAN economic community opens greater job opportunities in the region
Young Population, Growing Digital Economy Will Bring Prosperity to Asean: WEF

Regional Trade Initiatives
Trans-Pacific Partnership: 'Malaysia must not quit'

Joint Media Statement of The Third Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting

Customs
Joint Media Statement of The 26th Meeting of The ASEAN Directors-General of Customs

Defense & Security
ASEAN, partners to enhance cooperation in combating transnational crime
AFP chief: There is pressing need to secure ASEAN
ASEAN military heads vow to beef up cooperation vs terrorism
China, ASEAN agree on framework for South China Sea code of conduct
Southeast Asia building up maritime defenses

Economics
Malaysian VC association joins forces with regional counterparts
After 50 years of progress, it's time for ASEAN's next economic revolution
Asean emerges winner in WEF
Myanmar’s trade turnover with ASEAN countries hits 9.6 billion USD

Energy
DOE opens ASEAN+3 energy forum, bares PH LNG plan
Coal Key To South East Asia Growth, Says New Report
ASEAN Energy Storage Devices Market Blueprint and Forecasts, 2014 to 2020 - Press Release - Digital Journal
ASEAN to boost cooperation in energy - News VietNamNet
‘Clean coal can reduce emissions in SEAsia’
New report: HELE coal technology key to growth in South East Asia
Coal projected to be largest source of power in ASEAN by 2030

Yanfei Li: Services the next frontier in Asian energy revolution

Financial Services
ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea agree to enhance financial safety nets

Food & Agriculture
Agribusinesses can help ASEAN achieve the SDGs

Health & Life Sciences
New index shows disparity among regions in healthcare access and quality
Private firms fill the healthcare void amid rapid growth in Southeast Asia
Asean to buy vaccines in bulk

ICT
Asean COST-72 to promote social, economic development
SWIFT calls on ASEAN to improve connectivity
Asean internet economy worth $50B, home to 230M digital consumers
Asean the 'next frontier' for e-commerce boom

ASEAN-Korea digital partnership | Eleven Myanmar

Infrastructure
CGIF forges partnership on LCY greenfield project bonds
ASEAN infrastructure gap turns negatives into positives
Beijing makes grand plans for infrastructure

7th ASEAN Airport Interdiction Task Force
Lessons from Asean for Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative

Manufacturing
Asean-S. Korea partnership to grow - Regional | The Star Online
Asean car sales set for solid year as motorbike market saturates

ASEAN auto demand predicted to grow in 2017 | Eleven Myanmar

 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Revisit the 'consensus rule' NST Online 25th May 2017
ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) was formed pursuant to the Bangkok Declaration on Aug 8, 1967 by Malaysia and four of her closest neighbours — Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

High hopes for single digital platform for Asean e-commerce The Straits Times 25th May 2017
At the Asean Conference early this month, Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang set out Singapore's vision when it assumes the chairmanship of Asean next year. Singapore's plan is to facilitate the execution of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) 2025 plan which follows through on the AEC 2015 road map.

Turkey to become sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN DailySabah 25th May 2017
Turkey is planning to become a sectoral dialogue partner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by the end of this year, Daily Sabah learned from diplomatic sources.

PH BOI to hosts ASEAN 2017 events for various industries in the regional trade bloc Philippine Information Agency 24th May 2017
MAKATI CITY, May 25 -- As the country assumes chairmanship of the ASEAN 2017, the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) will be hosting five significant events namely the 13th ASEAN Electronics Forum, 2017 ASEAN Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Summit, ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit, ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Investments’ Linking ASEAN MSMEs with ASEAN and Global MNEs, and the ASEAN Printing Industry Forum.

Seize the opportunities ASEAN offers: AirAsia chief Frontier Myanmar 23rd May 2017
PHNOM PENH — Seize the opportunities it offers. That’s the message from AirAsia founder and CEO Mr Tony Fernandes, who was speaking at an event to discuss the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the region’s development.

Highlights from the World Economic Forum on Asean 2017 Phnom Penh Post 23rd May 2017
More than 700 people, including world leaders, analysts, businesspeople and journalists, gathered at Phnom Penh's Sokha Hotel last week, as the capital hosted the annual World Economic Forum on Asean for the first time. From Prime Minister Hun Sen's rebuke of reporters to a debate on dethroning cash in the Kingdom and an analysis of what the Fourth Industrial Revolution will mean for Asia, catch up with some of the main events.

Philippines' Duterte says Turkey, Mongolia could join ASEAN Channel News Asia 22nd May 2017
DAVAO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday (May 16) he would push for the inclusion of Turkey and Mongolia in a grouping of Southeast Asian nations, dismissing concerns about their geographic location.

Singapore to push e-commerce and digital economy as ASEAN leader next year Pinset Masons 8th May 2017
Singapore wants e-commerce companies to expand and the digital economy across South East Asia to grow, the government's minister for trade and industry has said as it looks to take over as chair of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) next year.

Hun Sen takes to world stage as Cambodia hosts WEF Financial Times 9th May 2017
Hun Sen, Cambodia’s prime minister and Asia’s longest ruling leader, will welcome the World Economic Forum to town just weeks before a vote that will test his 32-year rule. Phnom Penh’s three-day WEF event kicks off on Wednesday and comes after the premier appeared at the organisation’s flagship meeting in Davos in January — sparking criticism from campaigners over his government’s record on corruption and human rights. Mr Hun Sen has long courted overseas credibility while clamping down on rivals in a Southeast Asian country that is a leading Chinese ally in the region. The main opposition Cambodia National Rescue party and its leaders have faced a barrage of legal action in the run-up to June’s local elections, which will be a bellwether for national polls in 2018.

Deputy FM suggests ASEAN-US priorities vietnamnews.vn 9th May 2017
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng proposed several priorities in ASEAN-US co-operation in his speech to the ASEAN-US Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Washington DC on Thursday, the first such meeting since US President Donald Trump took office. The priorities include developing micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, promoting innovation, digital economy and marine co-operation, people-to-people exchanges and responding to non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism and cyber attacks. Dũng underscored the need to protect Mekong River water resources and respond to climate change. The Deputy FM said continued US support for ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture is significant to peace, stability and connectivity. Read more at http://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/375906/deputy-fm-suggests-asean-us-p....

ASEAN leaders endorse search for novel ideas on 50th anniversary astro awani 29th May 2017
CIMB chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said on its 50th anniversary, the ASEAN organization has made significant progress. The ASEAN heads of government participating in the World Economic Forum on ASEAN meeting in Phnom Penh in May have endorsed a proposal to study new ideas for the ASEAN organization on its 50th anniversary.

Meeting to finalize COC framework the star 16th May 2017
KUALA LUMPUR: Senior Asean and Chinese officials are meeting in China this week to finalise the draft framework for the Code of Conduct (COC) in the contested South China Sea.

Asean tells EU to practice equal opportunity, recognize certifications NST Online 4th May 2017
KUALA LUMPUR: Asean nations’ protest against the European Union’s (EU) Resolution on Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rainforest showed increasing awareness and cooperation among developing nations in dismantling barriers to trade.

ASEAN economic community opens greater job opportunities in the region Antara News 16th May 2017
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community framework can create more job opportunities in the blocs member countries, Director of ASEAN Economic Cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ade Petranto stated.

Young Population, Growing Digital Economy Will Bring Prosperity to Asean: WEF Jakarta Globe 12th May 2017
A young population and the prospect of a growing digital economy are expected to bring prosperity to people in Southeast Asia, participants in a panel discussion at a World Economic Forum event in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, said on Thursday (11/05).

 

Regional Trade Initiatives

Trans-Pacific Partnership: 'Malaysia must not quit' NST Online 25th May 2017
MALAYSIA should not drop out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) despite the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement.


Joint Media Statement of The Third Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting ASEAN 22nd May 2017
The Ministers from the 16 RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) attended the 3rd RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held on 21-22 May 2017 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam to take stock of the status of RCEP negotiations including the challenges faced following the conclusion of the 18th round of negotiations held on 2-12 May 2017 in Pasay City, Philippines. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to meet the Leaders’ mandate for a swift conclusion of the RCEP negotiations in delivering the vision in the Guiding Principles and Objectives for the RCEP Negotiations.

Customs

Joint Media Statement of The 26th Meeting of The ASEAN Directors-General of Customs ASEAN 18th May 2017
The 26th Meeting of the ASEAN Customs Directors-General was held from 16 to 18 May 2017 in Bali, Indonesia. The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Heru Pambudi, Director General of the Directorate General of Customs and Excise of the Republic of Indonesia. The Meeting was attended by all 10 ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat.

Defense & Security

ASEAN, partners to enhance cooperation in combating transnational crime Xinhua 24th May 2017
VIENTIANE, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and dialogue partners on Wednesday committed to enhance their cooperation efforts in combating transnational crimes in a bid to maintain security at and across borders in the region.

AFP chief: There is pressing need to secure ASEAN Philippine News Agency 23rd May 2017
There is a strong need to secure the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional bloc given its economic leverage and potential, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said. He said ASEAN has become a "rising global economic force" due to its strategic location and economic activity — abundant resources, a more integrated market, and a large combined Gross Domestic Product from its members.

ASEAN military heads vow to beef up cooperation vs terrorism Manila Bulletin News 22nd May 2017
Top military officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) vowed to work together to fight terrorism which poses threat to peace and security in the region. In a statement Sunday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said the military chiefs from the regional bloc signed the joint statement aimed at enhancing joint military exercises, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capacities The move also seeks to beef up efforts to formalize the ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM) which was first agreed upon by all defense chiefs during the 12th ACDFIM held in Malaysia in 2015, to become a mechanism to combat the prevalence of violent ideologies and create a coordinated response to non-traditional threats like disasters.

China, ASEAN agree on framework for South China Sea code of conduct ABS-CBN News 18th May 2017
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) took a step towards easing tensions in the South China Sea, state media reported Thursday, agreeing to a framework for a "code of conduct" to prevent incidents in the disputed waters. The competing claims to the sea, which is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits, have for decades made it one of Asia's potential military flashpoints. The issue has come to a head in recent years as China has pursued a strategy of building artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities in the region, provoking strong reactions from other claimants as well as the US, which argues Beijing's actions threaten freedom of navigation and overflight through the strategically vital waters.

Southeast Asia building up maritime defenses Nikkei Asian Review 17th May 2017
From Singapore to the Philippines, Southeast Asian nations are spending big on submarines and other vessels to ramp up their naval capabilities amid rising tensions in the South China Sea. The five major Southeast Asian countries have all increased defense spending by double digits in the five years through 2016, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Indonesia and Vietnam have both seen a more than 60% boost. Seven countries in the region ranked among the world's top 40 arms importers last year, accounting for over 9% of global imports.

Economics

Malaysian VC association joins forces with regional counterparts Tech In Asia 25th May 2017
The Malaysian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (MVCA) is now part of the ASEAN Venture Council (AVC) after officially signing up to the regional network at the ASEAN Venture Summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. With four of ASEAN’s key VC associations now on board, the AVC could have a positive impact on growth prospects for startups across the bloc.

After 50 years of progress, it's time for ASEAN's next economic revolution World Economic Forum 24th May 2017
This year on 8 August, South-East Asia celebrates an important anniversary: it will be 50 years since the Bangkok Declaration, which established the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), was signed. The organization at the time was much smaller, with a combined population of just 184 million. Member states were largely undeveloped; even Singapore, the wealthiest member, only had a GDP per capita of $600. Indonesia, the largest and poorest member, had a GDP per capita of $56. Almost three-quarters of ASEAN’s population lived in rural areas.

Asean emerges winner in WEF Khmer Times 23rd May 2017
The three days of the World Economic Forum on Asean have wrapped up with a commitment to build a more closely connected community focused on providing better lives for its people, strong leadership in the region, effective public-private cooperation, and as a forum to attract business investment.

Myanmar’s trade turnover with ASEAN countries hits 9.6 billion USD Vietnam Plus News 23rd May 2017
Hanoi (VNA) – Myanmar’s trade turnover with member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) hit 9.6 billion USD in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which ended in March.

 

Energy

DOE opens ASEAN+3 energy forum, bares PH LNG plan Philippine Information Agency 25th May 2017
PASAY CITY, May 25 (PIA) -- The Philippines played host to the 3-day 6th ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, Korea) Oil Market and Natural Gas Forum and Business Dialogue recently at the Sofitel Hotel as the country deals with increasing domestic demand for fuel amid the declining supply of indigenous natural gas.

Coal Key To South East Asia Growth, Says New Report PNG Industry News 24th May 2017
A new report from the ASEAN Centre for Energy and the World Coal Association claims that high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal technology will provide affordable and reliable electricity to more than 600 million people in the region while dramatically reducing emissions. This was contained in a press release from the Minerals Council of Australia, which lobbies on behalf of coal producers and other big miners. The report conducts a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of climate, energy and sustainable development policies in ASEAN nations, which are set to increase their electricity demand in coming years. The report can be read here: http://www.minerals.org.au/file_upload/files/publications/1._ASEANs_Ener...

ASEAN Energy Storage Devices Market Blueprint and Forecasts, 2014 to 2020 - Press Release - Digital Journal Digital Journal 24th May 2017
Future Market Insights has announced the addition of the “Energy Storage Devices Market: ASEAN Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2014 - 2020" report to their offering. Valley Cottage, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/18/2017 -- Rise in the energy demand and depleting fossil fuels is pushing the market towards non-conventional sources of energy. Energy demand is expected to increase by 70% between 2012 and 2035. The existing conventional sources of energy are depleting at a much faster rate than expected and their depletion is equally proving detrimental to the climate. Although renewable sources of energy will help in addressing all the environmental issues, this technology is still at its nascent stage and needs more investment in R&D to harness its full potential. This has led to the market inclination towards energy storage devices. These storage devices store energy to harness it in future. This balances the demand and supply gap for future purposes.

ASEAN to boost cooperation in energy - News VietNamNet VietNamNet Bridge 24th May 2017
The ten members of the ASEAN Council on Petroleum (ASCOPE) agreed this week to boost cooperation. PetroVietnam has cooperated with other regional partners to establish boundaries of joint oil exploration areas since its entry into ASCOPE in 1996. ASCOPE’s members made the commitment at their 83rd national committee meeting in Viet Nam held from May 15 to 17 in the central city of Da Nang. The participants agreed to promote the reuse of waste catalysts in refineries, upgrade and expand refineries, optimise the model of heat exchanger cleaning and rank the optimal level of operating capacity.

‘Clean coal can reduce emissions in SEAsia’ The Manila Times 24th May 2017
Investing in low emissions coal plants in Southeast Asia is one of the most efficient strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the region, a new report by the Asean Center for Energy (ACE) and the World Coal Association (WCA) claimed. The report, “Asean’s Energy Equation—the role of low emission coal in driving a sustainable energy future,” said that the Asean could accelerate achievement of emissions reduction goals under the Paris Agreement while still meeting growing electricity demand through the use of critical and supercritical coal generation plants.

 

New report: HELE coal technology key to growth in South East Asia Energy Bangla 20th May 2017
High-efficiency, low-emission (HELE) coal-fired electricity generation technology will play a critical role in South-East Asia’s future economic prosperity and climate policies, according to a new report from ASEAN Centre for Energy and the World Coal Association (WCA). The new report confirms that HELE) coal technology will provide affordable and reliable electricity to more than 600 million people in the region while dramatically reducing emissions.

Coal projected to be largest source of power in ASEAN by 2030 The Jakarta Post 18th May 2017
Following increasing demand in recent years, coal is projected to overtake natural gas by 2030 to become the largest source of power in Southeast Asia.


Yanfei Li: Services the next frontier in Asian energy revolution- Nikkei Asian Review 24th May 2017
Modern life is characterized by a constant quest for energy. Every day, we refill our gas tanks, charge our phones or replace the batteries in our devices. This need for energy can provoke anxiety when we cannot find power plugs to charge our laptops in classrooms, conference rooms or restaurants. We sometimes worry whether we have switched off the stove or air conditioner before leaving home. Then there are the bigger issues, such as energy costs and the environmental impact caused by energy production and consumption. We consume more energy all the time, but the experience of using it is hardly satisfactory

Financial Services

ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea agree to enhance financial safety nets Business World 6th May 2017
Finance ministers and central bank governors of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and their China, Japan and Korean peers meeting here on the sidelines of the 50th anniversary of the Asian Development Bank's Board of Governors agreed on Friday to help each other enhance resilience to financial shocks and to promote trade and investments.

Food & Agriculture

Agribusinesses can help ASEAN achieve the SDGs CSR Asia 24th May 2017
The results are in, and after nearly a year of research, collaboration, and analysis, CSR Asia is publishing two reports that highlight how the Agribusiness sector can play a fundamental role in achieving long-term regional sustainability in ASEAN. The reports are written for agribusiness companies that are, or want to be more engaged with smallholder farmers, aware of gender empowerment approaches, and seek to adopt inclusive business or/and gender transformative business models. These reports were developed as part of the Gender Transformative and Responsible Agribusiness Investments in South East Asia (GRAISEA) Programme, which is funded by the Government of Sweden. Led by Oxfam and involving a range of partners, including CSR Asia, the programme aims to improve livelihoods for small-scale producers in ASEAN through more responsible and inclusive value chains, private sector investments, and where women demonstrate economic leadership. The Agribusiness and the SDGs report focuses on the role that the agribusiness sector in ASEAN can play in helping with the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from ending poverty and hunger to responding to climate change and sustaining our natural resources, food, and agriculture.

Health & Life Sciences

New index shows disparity among regions in healthcare access and quality Asia Insurance Review 23rd May 2017
A much anticipated ranking of healthcare quality in 195 countries released last week showed the large inequity of access to good healthcare in regions across the world. Australia was the best performing of the APAC nations at no. 6. Japan just missed top 10, coming in at 11th, but virtually all the countries are in Western Europe, where almost every nation has some form of universal health coverage. The top three nations in the Healthcare Access and Quality Index, published by medical journal The Lancet and said to be the first Index of its kind, were Andorra at no. 1, Iceland and Switzerland. The others rounding up top 10 were Sweden (4th), Norway (5th), Finland (7th), Spain (8th), Netherlands (9th) and Luxembourg (10th).

Private firms fill the healthcare void amid rapid growth in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia Globe Magazine 15th May 2017
Ambulances and emergency services are just one of the major gaps remaining in the region’s public health systems. Although there are vast differences between the quality of healthcare provision in, say, Malaysia and Myanmar, public healthcare is generally deeply underfunded. According to the World Health Organisation, Southeast Asian governments contribute an average of 4% of GDP to healthcare funding, compared to roughly 12% for affluent members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, from New Zealand to Norway and Chile to the Czech Republic. But it’s not just NGOs filling those gaps: private firms are also in on the act. “While much of Southeast Asia’s public healthcare sector struggles with growth and funding issues, the region’s private healthcare market continues to enjoy solid growth, especially in the more developed areas such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand,” international professional services firm Deloitte says in its 2015 Healthcare Outlook report for the region.

Asean to buy vaccines in bulk philstar.com 1st May 2017
The Philippines and nine other countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are looking at the possibility of buying in bulk to address the issue on supply inadequacy of affordable vaccines in the region. Zulkifli Ismail, member of the ROTA Council for Malaysia and secretary general of the Asia Pacific Pediatric Association, said the lack of supplies and expensive pricing were raised during three-day 6th Asian Vaccine Conference held here from April 27 to 29. “The ASEAN is looking to work for whole procurement of vaccines. The 10 ASEAN countries will have to talk to each other and agree on certain vaccines and buy them in bulk so that prices will decrease,” Ismael told The STAR.

ICT

Asean COST-72 to promote social, economic development Eleven Media Group 25th May 2017
The Asean COST-72 meeting on May 24 was chaired by Dr Tung Ciny, the Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH) of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

SWIFT calls on ASEAN to improve connectivity GMA News Online 23rd May 2017
Member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must improve regional connectivity to achieve the goal of financial inclusion, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) said Tuesday.

Asean internet economy worth $50B, home to 230M digital consumers ZDNet 19th May 2017
Southeast Asia's digital economy is now worth more than US$50 billion, but remains highly fragmented with multiple players battling for the increasingly lucrative region.

Asean the 'next frontier' for e-commerce boom Bangkok Post 15th May 2017
E-commerce in Southeast Asia is ripe for fast-paced growth scenario given the region's huge population and growing middle class, but countries need to address existing challenges to help the business reach its full potential, says a Google executive.


ASEAN-Korea digital partnership | Eleven Myanmar Eleven Myanmar 24th May 2017
We have seen several transitions in the manufacturing process through the previous industrial revolutions, which gave birth to mass production and automation. Today, we are entering the Industry 4.0 era that represents another phase of automation, where computers and machines are equipped with artificial intelligence and can understand and control sudden problems in the production line with little or no input from human operators.
 

Infrastructure

ASEAN infrastructure gap turns negatives into positives Times of Malta 23rd May 2017
If a spending deficit of $1.2 trillion in six key Asian economies and a rising tide of protectionist rhetoric in Europe don’t seem the most promising combination of business prospects, think again.

Beijing makes grand plans for infrastructure Sky news 22nd May 2017
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines has taken the limelight in Southeast Asia not only as the host of the ASEAN Summit this year, but also as a center of infrastructure development in the region given the government’s aggressive infrastructure push.


7th ASEAN Airport Interdiction Task Force Brunei's No. 1 News website 11th May 2017
The increasing number of ASEAN strategies in upholding the Drug-Free ASEAN reflects a growing understanding that the drug issue cannot be tackled by one country alone. Although Brunei Darussalam's 2016 drug situation was well contained, the country also recognised that even with its best efforts, it cannot address the drug problem alone. Awang Haji Muhd Jaffari bin Haji Mahadi, Acting Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau underlined the matter at the Opening Ceremony of the 7th ASEAN Airport Interdiction Task Force, AAITF Meeting, yesterday

Lessons from Asean for Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative TODAYonline 24th May 2017
Analysts the world over have thoroughly scrutinised the recently-concluded Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, from the forum outcomes’ significance and China’s emergence as a global leader to the invitation list.

Manufacturing

Asean-S. Korea partnership to grow - Regional | The Star Online The Star Online 24th May 2017
We have seen several transitions in the manufacturing process through the previous industrial revolutions, which gave birth to mass production and automation.

Asean car sales set for solid year as motorbike market saturates Financial Times 17th May 2017
FTCR’s first quarter survey of the Asean auto market indicates healthy demand for the rest of the year across the region’s largest five economies. Our Auto Purchase Index, which measures the six-month outlook for auto sales, ticked upwards in Indonesia and Thailand and showed small declines for Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam


ASEAN auto demand predicted to grow in 2017 | Eleven Myanmar Eleven Media Group 23rd May 2017
Viet Nam News/ANN - Việt Nam’s Auto Purchase Index (API) declined to 14.6 in the first quarter from 15.5 as consumers plan to delay purchases until 2018 when the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement eliminates tariffs on cars imported from the regional countries.