Officials in the Lao People's Democratic Republic say they are ready to further lift lockdown restrictions. Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia's only landlocked country have remained steady at 19 for over a month, and there are zero reported deaths.
After a strict nationwide lockdown was partially lifted earlier this month, restaurants, some retail and service businesses like salons and auto shops were allowed to open, but people could not travel outside their provinces. Offices were allowed to reopen if they adopted "rotating shifts," the Nikkei Asian Review reported.
The country's National Task Force for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced at a Friday press conference that more offices and businesses will resume normal operations on Monday, May 18. Some schools will reopen and certain sports activities will be permitted, reports The Laotian Times.
WASHINGTON - How countries respond to and manage the Covid-19 pandemic is a new factor in risk assessments, analysts say, as companies increasingly look to South-east Asia as an alternative to China as a manufacturing and supply engine.
"Companies definitely evaluate how countries are managing Covid-19 risk as they make investment decisions in the current environment," said Ms Kellie Meiman Hock, managing partner at global consultancy McLarty Associates.
"In particular, transparency in government response is critical," she added. For instance, decisions regarding essential versus non-essential industries must be consistent to allow companies to reasonably assess the impact of movement restrictions on their business, she told The Straits Times.
It was that time of the year again, as I have written previously, when the US-Philippines Society (USPS) held its Board of Directors Meeting and Business Mission here in Manila.
The society was launched in 2012 and I remember flying to Washington DC with our chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan, to attend its inaugural ceremonies.
With headquarters in the US capital, USPS was launched with a mission of enhancing and strengthening relations, and, simultaneously, raising awareness of today’s Philippines through programs on business, governance, culture, shared history, education, strategic issues, and conflict resolution.
Its programs reach policy makers and influencers in DC and beyond, likewise attracting interest from the growing Fil-Am community in the US.
Now on its eighth year, USPS is recognized as the premier organization in both countries that promote Philippines-US relations.
NDO/VNA - Vietnam hopes to push up its comprehensive partnership with the US for the long-term benefits of the two peoples, National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien said on March 3.
Receiving Alexander Feldman, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council, in Hanoi, Hien also said the two sides should further accelerate the implementation of measures aimed at intensifying the bilateral relations, especially in economy – trade, defence – security, science and technology, education and training, health care, environment, and humanitarian activities.
Hien expressed his hope that the council will continue closely cooperating with and serve as an important bridge in bringing US businesses to Vietnam, thus helping strengthen the bilateral relations.
Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia - Presiden Jokowi menerima delegasi US-Asean Business Council di Istana Negara pada Kamis, 5 Desember 2019. Wakil Menteri Luar Negeri Mahendra Siregar menjelaskan hasil pertemuan tersebut cukup positif.
Simak informasi selengkapnya dalam program Profit di CNBC Indonesia (Kamis, 05/12/2019) berikut ini.
WASHINGTON will begin negotiations for a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Manila next year in a move that will secure market access for Philippine exporters to the United States in the face of global trade uncertainty.
American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Executive Director Ebb Hinchliffe said the US government is prioritizing the conclusion of its regional trade deal with Canada and Mexico. As such, all efforts to negotiate a bilateral FTA with trading partners, including the Philippines, are suspended to make way for the North American agreement.
However, in his recent meeting with Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) executives, Hinchliffe said he was informed negotiations for an FTA with the Philippines will begin after the US finalizes its trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
Indo Pacific trade mission leads to new deals and deeper ties
Washington - In support of the goal of President Donald J. Trump to increase American commercial activity across nations in the Indo-Pacific region, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross led a business delegation including of 16 companies to Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam from November 3 to November 8. This mission spawned new partnerships as well as several business agreements, potentially representing billions in investments.
“The Trump Administration is building new relationships across the Indo-Pacific, creating a bright future, not only for the United States, but for countries across the region,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Last year, trade between Indo-Pacific nations and United States increased to a record of nearly $2 trillion – tying our great countries ever-closer together.”
The Indo-Pacific region needs huge investment -- especially in sectors like energy and transportation -- to support and sustain its dynamic growth.
With 'significant' presence in energy sector in Bangladesh, the US companies are also interested in investing in the country especially in energy segment.
The US officials and business executives made the observations at the second Indo-Pacific Business Forum held on Monday in Bangkok, Thailand while highlighting a wide range of commercial deals and new efforts to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific.
They predicted that energy demand in the Indo-Pacific region would increase by 60 per cent by 2040.
The State Department and USAID invested nearly US$ 600 million since July 2018 in energy, infrastructure, digital, trade and governance programming.
Companies from the US are increasingly looking at the Philippines as possible alternative location for their existing operations in China amid trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
John Goyer, executive director for Southeast Asia at the US Chamber of Commerce, said that US investors have noted the efforts of the Philippine government to further improve its business climate, The Philippine Star noted.
Goyer cited the latest Doing Business Report by the World Bank that showed that the Ease of Doing Business ranking of the Philippines jumped 29 notches to 95th from the previous 124th position.
“I think that demonstrates that you see an ongoing effort in the Philippines to improve the business climate, improve the investment environment and so I think that countries are paying attention and that there are business opportunities in that market for sure,” Goyer said.
Chief of the US-ASEAN Business Council for Indonesia L. V. Vaidyanathan was also present at the meeting.
At the meeting with some 50 businessmen grouped in the council, President Jokowi was accompanied by several Onward Indonesia Cabinet ministers comprising Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif, Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto, Communication and Informatics Minister Johny G. Plate, and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahendra Siregar.
In his address, the president stated that Indonesia’s economic growth is relatively better in comparison with that of other nations.