Top Story: UCITS future in Asia questioned
UCITS has enjoyed unprecedented success penetrating Asia but the party may be ending for the investment vehicle as three Asian initiatives prepare to challenge the European brand. In one example, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) has a project to facilitate the cross-border offering of collective investment schemes within Asean. ACMF has completed the development of a regulatory framework and is working on implementation details.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—At a gala dinner this evening, the US-ASEAN Business Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce welcomed Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein for the first visit to Washington by a head of state from Myanmar since 1966. The Chamber’s Vice President for Asia Tami Overby and Council President Alexander Feldman spoke to leaders from both the business and policymaking communities, and offered their support for continued progress in bilateral trade and economic relations. The Honorable William Burns, Deputy Secretary of State, and The Honorable Derek Mitchell, U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar, also gave remarks.
Top Story: Trans-Pacific Partnership pact to benefit Malaysian businesses
MITI secretary general Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria said there are special accesses to safeguard SMEs that have been discussed in the TPP negotiations. “In all the agreements that we do we make sure the SMEs are taken care of. There are safeguards, flexibilities we look for special access for SMEs. In fact, there is a whole session on SMEs and SME developments. It is important to say that we do not give away everything. We know the concerns of SMEs, we know the concerns of our sensitive sectors and these have been taken on board. We do not make decisions without getting the clearance from the government.”
Top Story: ASEAN ends first round of RCEP negotiations
Members of the negotiating panel agreed to take into consideration “the different levels of development of the participating countries” and will include provisions for special and differential treatment for the least-developed ASEAN member states. The second round of consultations is scheduled for Sept. 23 to 27 in Australia.
Top Story: Singapore calls for improved ASEAN financial reporting standards
At a recent symposium held by the International Federation of Accountants, Josephine Teo, Singapore's Minister of State for Finance and Transport, called for a rise in the standards of financial reporting in ASEAN. She said that an important step towards more efficient and integrated capital markets would be the harmonization of standards across the region, and that, to attract investors, it would help to have a high quality financial reporting regime and strong corporate governance practices applied consistently across the ASEAN economies.
Top Story of the Week: Export growth to US slows
TOP STORIES The US Department of Commerce reported that Cambodia's exports to the United States experienced slow growth in Q1 2013 of $695 million, a rise of 0.2% from the corresponding period last year. Economists attributed these figures to the gradual economic recovery in the United States and Cambodia's efforts to diversify its international export markets. Cambodia's opposition members have called for a number of electoral reforms in advance of elections due to take place on July 28. Chief among these complaints are inconsistencies in voter registration and that only the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) are allowed to be observers at polling stations.
Top Story of the Week: Crucial reforms at stake in Philippine elections
LOOKING AHEAD Mid-Term Elections on Monday, May 13. TOP STORIES The Philippines is currently holding mid-term elections for more than 18,000 positions ranging from local to national government. President Benigno Aquino is banking on his high approval ratings to translate into a large win that will allow him to cement his reforming agenda. Secretary of Finance, Cesar V. Purisima announced that the government will lobby Congress at the next legislative session in July, to in act reforms that will open up some investment areas to foreign nationals, harmonize fiscal incentives and revive the mining industry.
Top Story: Thai Foreign Minister holds talks with U.S. Secretary of State
IN THIS UPDATE: Defense & Security
+ All quiet at border near disputed Phra Viharn temple
+ Busy year ahead for Trade Promotion Dept
Top Story: ASEAN Infrastructure Spending to Top $500B by 2020 (ENR, 5 May)
Economic growth in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia will remain strong at an average 6% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The countries represent the top five economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.
Top Story: Najib seen keeping ‘transformation’ theme with Cabinet picks
After fielding a ‘transformation’ team in the 13th general election (GE13), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is expected to form a ‘transformation’ Cabinet. He needs a strong team with new ideas to continue the national transformation agenda towards making Malaysia a high income and developed nation by 2020. This is important because their performance will be judged by the people who will vote for the party in the 14th general election (GE14).