All posts tagged AEC

Foreign Affairs Operation Centre opens in Phuket

Published ธันวาคม 26, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Inspector-General Nares Nantachot greets Tourist Police officers in Phuket at the grand opening of the Foreign Affairs Operation Centre./Kritsada Mueanhawong

Inspector-General Nares Nantachot greets Tourist Police officers in Phuket at the grand opening of the Foreign Affairs Operation Centre./Kritsada Mueanhawong

PHUKET: A Foreign Affairs Operation Centre was opened in Phuket on Tuesday morning, in preparation of the Asean Economic Community starting (AEC) next month.

The centre will mostly focus on coordinating with other AEC law enforcement agencies to tackle transnational crime, provide tourist services and assist alien workers.

“Apart from the positive impacts the AEC will have on Thailand, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has voiced his concerns with regards to national security issues, such as border disputes, illegal immigration and transnational criminal activity,” said Region 8 Police Commander Tesa Siriwato.

“We will be able to hold video conferences, allowing us to quickly connect to all necessary officials, including those at remote police stations, immigration offices and even overseas embassies.”

Hitachi may work on Manila subway

Published พฤศจิกายน 9, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Japanese engineering giant Hitachi, builder of the Shinkansen high-speed railway lines, has expressed interest in participating in the Philippine government’s plan to improve the transport network in Metro Manila.

Hitachi chairman and chief executive Hiroaki Nakanishi confirmed this at a press briefing after the opening of the Social Innovation Forum, a two-day event in Tokyo that the company organised. Nakanishi said Hitachi and Japanese and Philippine officials were in talks about projects aimed at improving the railway system in the Philippines. “On the subway, we have already started the discussions on making clearer feasibility studies about that,” Nakanishi said. “The next step will be the formulation of a feasibility study.”

However, Nakanishi said he could not provide other details about the possible partnership.

Hitachi, a century-old Japanese firm, has shifted its focus from producing electronics and hardware products to big infrastructure projects such as transport networks, energy systems, and urban development. The Japanese conglomerate is best known as the builder of Japan’s “bullet train”, the Shinkansen.

Foreign visitors to Vietnam increase

Published พฤศจิกายน 8, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Foreign visitors to Vietnam will continue to increase by this year-end and beyond partly because of a positive visa policy, said an official of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the VNAT, said that after 13 consecutive months of a drop in numbers, the total number of foreign tourists recovered from July this year.The figure gained a year-on-year surge of 5.1 per cent to 593,566 foreign tourists in July, of 7.5 per cent to 664,985 in August and 8.3 per cent to 626,324 in September.

That meant the tourism industry had overcome difficulties of the past but it could not reach its target on increasing the number of foreign visitors to 8 million for this year, he said.

The recovery in arrival numbers was mainly due to positive effects of visa exemptions for five Western European countries.

After the visa exemptions, visitors from the United Kingdom increased by 16 per cent, from Italy by 25 per cent and from Germany by 15 per cent. Spanish visitors went up by 9 per cent and visitors from France rose by 8 per cent.

The increase in visitors from Western European supported the growth of foreign visitors while visitors from China, Vietnam’s largest tourist market, dropped. By this year-end, the domestic tourism industry expects the growth to continue because the remaining months are part of the tourist season, Tuan said.

If the recovery continues, Vietnam will receive 7.8 million foreign visitors for this whole year, a figure similar to 2014.

To retain the growth, the VNAT has suggested to the government that visa exemptions be given to visitors from 19 key tourism markets, especially European countries.

The government should increase the days of visa exemption from the current 15 under the law on entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners to attract more foreign visitors because they often undertake long journeys, he said.

Business players see opportunity from AEC

Published ตุลาคม 26, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Business groups have said that the upcoming economic integration, known as the Asean Economic Community, will create more opportunities than threats to local businesspeople, as they will gain greater access to a bigger market.

The Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo), Indonesian Retailers ssociation (Aprindo) and Indonesian Food and Beverage Association (Gapmmi) have come with one voice, positively welcoming the single market, which is set to open at the end of this year.

“For us, the single market is an opportunity for Indonesian carmakers as the market could expand,” Gaikindo secretary-general Noegardjito said recently at a discussion held by Maybank in Jakarta.

According to Noegardjito, the country has huge potential, particularly in car exports to its Aseanneighbours, as it supplies only around 222,000 units for the Southeast Asian region, where demand hits around 3.2 million units a year.

Indonesia’s car manufacturers produced 740,385 units during the January-August period of this year, of which 30 per cent was exported to Asean countries.

The country is now the second-largest car manufacturer in the region after Thailand, which produced over 1.8 million units last year.

According to data from Gaikindo, Indonesia’s auto production gradually increased from 1.07 million units in 2012 to 1.29 million last year, while Thai production declined from 2.4 million units in 2012 to 1.8 million units last year.

The AEC – which comprises Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – is set to provide freer movement of goods, people and services in the region. It will also form a giant bloc of 620 million people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$2.7 trillion.

Voicing a similar view, Aprindo chairman Roy Mandey said Indonesian retailers welcomed the upcoming single market as it would provide more market options.

He said, however, that the government needed to facilitate local businesspeople by providing guidance on the best places outside Indonesia to market products, among others.

Roy added that local retailers did not have to worry about the possible inflow of foreign retailers into the Indonesian market as long as local food and beverage product supplies met national demand.

Some retailers from neighbouring countries have started eyeing the Indonesian market, which accounts for 40 per cent of Southeast Asia’s market. Malaysian retail conglomerate Texchem Resources and Philippine fast-food icon Jollibee stated previously that they would enter the Indonesian market.

Proper safeguards needed for long-term AEC benefits

Published ตุลาคม 26, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


The Mekong River is hit by drought and flooding. This will only be intensified by global warming.

The Mekong River is hit by drought and flooding. This will only be intensified by global warming.

Asean countries need to integrate appropriate safeguards to ensure inclusiveness and sustainability in any benefits to be brought about by the Asean Economic Community (AEC), experts said recently.

At a Bangkok symposium on “Shared solutions: Safeguarding sustainable development in theMekong region”, Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, senior energy economist at the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia, said AEC will propel infrastructure investment in the Mekongregion.

The benefits of AEC for the subregion include faster and more dynamic economic growth, stronger Asian voices in international forums, an alternative to global multilateral institutions, less poverty and better social indicators.

Yet, the benefits outweighed its costs – greater divide between rich and poor, loss of independence of national economic policies, weaker economic linkages with non-Asian countries and a loss of national culture and identity.

He called for proper environmental safeguards. This issue is challenging as Asean has a diverse mix of environmental and natural resources, a different environmental governance structure, dynamic legal regime, land tenure and taxation, and absence from region-wide institutions and systems to regulate, manage and monitor social and ecological impacts.

To improve regional cooperation, it is important to establish a standard approach that is programmatic, systematic, sequenced, targeted and transparent; to adopt a coherent framework for safeguard policies, legislation, tools and initiatives that compliment and strengthen each other; and to integrate policies in the administrative and legislative dimensions.

Networking and institution building, data and information management, education and training, international best practices and dispute settlement are the strategies to achieve the target.

“Asean is different from the European Union, which has a wide range of diversity. We need to learn how they can move forward with this diversity. Both government-to-government and business-to-business cooperation, coordination and collaboration are needed. Development will largely depend on how far we are going,” he said.

At the event, Matthew Baird, of Environmental Counsel Asia, stressed the importance of climate change and environmental impact assessments (EIAs). Countries in the region need to seriously take into consideration the two factors for all investment projects.

“It is time for an Asean framework convention on EIA to ensure the bloc will see further developments in the near future,” he said.

The framework convention should cover regional EIA capacity-building, access to information and public participation, registration and training of EIA consultants, transboundary EIA assessment, strategic environmental assessment and screening lists for projects.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, compared to the climate in 1961-90, the average global temperature will increase by 1 degree Celsius from 2010-39 and 3-4 degrees from 2070-99.

Average rainfall will decrease by 20 millimetre from 2010-39, then increase by 60mm from 2070-99. Globally, water has been projected to be a key indicator of these changes. The increase in fossil fuel consumption for economic development directly leads to an increase of carbon dioxide emissions as the major man-made cause of climate change.

Actions on climate change were part of the United Nations’ new 17 sustainable development goals. Countries are being invited to submit their action plans on the issue to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, as the world is expected to strike a new universal climate change agreement at the UN climate conference in Paris in December.

The Paris agreement will go into effect in 2020, empowering all countries to act to prevent average global temperatures rising above 2 degrees Celsius and to reap the many opportunities that arise from a necessary global transformation to clean and sustainable development.

Over 50 countries have submitted their action plans, including four Asean members – Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia.

During the Union Nations General Assembly last week, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said, “We have no hope of ending extreme poverty unless we tackle climate change”.

According to data from the World Wildlife Fund, across the Mekong region, temperatures rose by 0.5-1.5C in the past 50 years. The region is vulnerable to climate change with expected impacts on the region’s terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems.

According to a report by the Asian Development Bank, Thailand’s temperature increased from 1-1.8C in the past 50 years, while Vietnam’s temperature increased by 0.7C during this period.

The climate change action plans of the countries in the subregion mainly involve energy policies.

Thailand targets to boost the renewable energy portion to 20.3 per cent by 2022. Vietnam’s renewable energy portion will be raised to 5 per cent by 2020 and 11 per cent by 2050. Cambodia aims to raise both the electrification rate and renewable portion to 100 per cent by 2020. Laos aims to extend electricity access to 90 per cent of households by 2020 and increase renewable energy to 30 per cent by 2025.

Seree Nonthasoot, Thailand’s representative to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, said human rights and environmental issues are interlinked.

Asean should adopt people-oriented and gender-responsive development programmes, and needs to develop a CSR (corporate social responsibility) strategy for the grouping. The current discussion on CSR and human rights should be broadened to include other stakeholders.

“Asean needs to incorporate human rights into community vision. Development of regional guidelines and closer cooperation among regional stakeholders is essential. Alignment between NAPs (national action plans) and existing human rights action plans is also needed,” he said.

Philippines ‘safe’ from external shocks : S&P

Published ตุลาคม 2, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Credit rating Agency Standard & Poor’s has tagged the Philippines as the world’s strongest major emerging market, citing its buffers that would insulate the economy from external shocks.

In a report this week, S&P said Asian economies in general were more resilient to adverse global trends than Latin American counterparts. Countries in this region are expected to fare well in the face of a slowdown in China, Asia’s biggest economy.

“Latin American sovereigns are, on average, more vulnerable than sovereigns in Asia,” S&P said.

The Philippines will be the least affected by worsening global conditions among all countries covered by the S&P report.The least vulnerable sovereigns in S&P’s ranking are the Philippines, Poland and Mexico, followed by Pakistan and Hungary. These countries have low direct economic ties to China, have low risk of domestic financial leverage, and are only moderately vulnerable to higher global interest rates.

Key risks to emerging markets, S&P said, are the tightening of global liquidity conditions as a result of the US Federal Reserve’s awaited interest-rate increase, unwinding of high levels of debt built up during years of loose monetary conditions, and China’s slowdown.

S&P said it ranked each emerging market’s overall vulnerability by using a simple average of its ranking on each of the three different measures of risk, from 1 (most vulnerable) to 22 (least vulnerable).

To arrive at each risk score, the agency used a number of economic variables. For instance, to measure a country’s vulnerability to a US rate increase, S&P looked at indicators such as foreign debt stock, levels of short-term debt, and external financing needs relative to an economy’s steady dollar income streams. Venezuela, Argentina, Turkey, Colombia and Peru are the emerging market sovereigns that may be the most vulnerable currently to the combined effect of the three key risks of tightening global liquidity, financial deleveraging and a Chinese slowdown

The Philippines was the least vulnerable economy to the Fed’s rate hike, the fourth-least vulnerable to deleveraging, and fifth-least to a slowing China.

S&P noted that the Philippines’ exports to China accounted for less than two-tenths of gross domestic product (GDP). Trade between China and the Philippines likewise declined 0.86 percent since 2013.

Malaysia must work through external shocks

Published ตุลาคม 2, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Malaysia must always be prepared for external shocks that are beyond its control and maintain the forward momentum to stay on track to becoming a high-income nation by 2020, its prime minister said.

Malaysia must always be prepared for external shocks that are beyond its control and maintain the forward momentum to stay on track to becoming a high-income nation by 2020, its prime minister said.

Najib Razak said that despite being in an age of great technological innovation and increased opportunity, his country was still at the mercy of often-unpredictable global economic factors.

“The current volatile economic situation being faced by us in Malaysia and the rest of the world is a case in point,” he said in his opening address at the Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council’s fifth annual meeting in New York City.

GSIAC was set up to boost Malaysia’s efforts in science and innovation, using science to help advance the country’s “high-income economy” agenda.

Chaired by the prime minister, it comprises global industry leaders from cutting-edge fields, prominent academicians, and members from the New York Academy of Sciences, with Malaysian corporate leaders and officials from key ministries.

The Najib said that while there was modest growth in the global economy, heightened uncertainty and volatile financial markets as well as the sharp fall in the price of petroleum and other primary commodities, it was not all bad news.

He reiterated that the fundamentals of the Malaysian economy remained strong, as supported by five indicators.

There was a 5-per-cent growth rate in gross domestic product, a reduced negative fiscal deficit with strong capitalisation and ample liquidity in the financial system, and positive results from transformation programmes, such as the 1.8 million new jobs since the launch of the Economic Transformation Progra-mme in 2010.

At the end of Najib’s speech, everyone present spent a minute of silence in memory of one of the architects of GSIAC, the late Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, or JJ as he was affectionately called.

After a short video of the times Jamaluddin had spent with the council over the past five years, the prime minister paid tribute to his “very dear friend and someone who has done much for the nation”.

Later, at a high-tea gathering for students and Malaysians organised in conjunction with the prime minister’s visit, Malaysia’s ambassador to the United States, Senator Dr Awang Adek Hussin, also paid tribute to JJ, saying his shoes were too big to fill and his absence was always felt at such events.

Najib echoed his sentiments and shared that he had known JJ since 1973 when they were both students.

Jamaluddin, 63, was killed in a helicopter crash in April.

Saigon Port gearing up for share listing

Published ตุลาคม 2, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Saigon Port Joint Stock Company is pre|paring the necessary documents to register shares with securities authorities by the end of this year and to begin trading soon after.

This information was announced at the first shareholders’ meeting of the company this week in Ho Chi Minh City.

The operator of Vietnam’s most important port, with a 155-year history, sold more than 35.7 million shares, or 16.51 per cent of the company, in its initial public offering on June 30 on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange.

VietinBank and VPBank acquired some of these shares, holding 9.07 and 7.44 per cent respectively. After the IPO, state-owned Vietnam National Shipping Lines, better known as Vinalines, held a 65.45-per-cent stake.

After a board election, seven of the nine members of the board of directors, including the chairman, are Vinalines personnel. VietinBank and VP Bank have also placed one representative each on the company’s board and supervisory team.

A legal representative of the company said Vinalines planned to sell more stakes to private investors but declined to disclose the specific time.

On September 21, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung allowed Vinalines to sell more shares to slash state holdings in Saigon Port to as little as 20 per cent in a bid to restructure the state-owned-enterprises sector.

The company has a charter capital of 2.16 trillion dong (Bt 3.5 billion) with a total asset value of 3.95 trillion dong.

Saigon Port operates important ports in southern Vietnam including Nha Rong Khanh Hoi, Tan Thuan I, Tan Thuan II and Phu My Steel Port. The port company accounts for 10.5 per cent of the overall throughput in the country’s south.

It is planning to link with real-estate giant VinGroup to form a company to build a |commercial centre, passenger terminal and apartments on the site of Nha Rong Khanh |Hoi port after the port is relocated next year. The venture company, of which Saigon Port will hold a 26-per-cent stake, will receive a total investment of 11 trillion dong. It expects to start the sale of products in 2018 with a planned dividend of more than 10 per cent per year.

Saigon Port plans total sales of 992.5 billion dong and net profit of 64.2 billion dong for |2015.

Asean, Canada agree to double trade to Bt675 bn

Published สิงหาคม 27, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Asean economic ministers and the Canada-Asean Business Council (CABC) concluded a consultation meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and came up with a target to double Asean-Canada trade in 2020 from 19 billion Canadian dollars (Bt675 billion) currently.

Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed, who chaired the meeting, said the target was achievable given Canada’s growing interest in the region.

“A five-year road map for economic cooperation between Asean and Canada was also approved at the meeting. The priority will be to develop the region’s small and medium enterprises.

“We want the road map, which begins next year, to be aligned with the ‘Asean Vision 2025’, and Canada has indicated its willingness to increase participation in the capacity-building of AseanSMEs in various sectors, including technology,” he said.

Also present at the meeting, held alongside the 47th Asean Economic Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings, were Canadian Deputy International Trade Minister Christine Hogan, Aseansecretary-general Le Luong Minh and CABC president Wayne Farmer. – Bernama

Vietnam active in Asean meetings: Deputy PM

Published สิงหาคม 8, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


HANOI – Vietnam participated in the 48th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 48) and related meetings held recently in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said.

The Deputy PM said after the meetings ended on Thursday that Vietnam was dedicated to itsAsean commitments and to the establishment of the Asean Community, as well as increasingAsean linkages and narrowing development gaps among member states.

He said Vietnam submitted proposals on bolstering co-operation within Asean and between the bloc and partner countries. The country also completed its tenure as the co-ordinator between Aseanand the European Union (EU) in the 2012-2015 period.

Minh said Asean ministers were determined to establish the Asean Community by the end of this year.

He said that AMM 48 and related meetings were not only significant in terms of linkages within Asean, but also between the bloc and its partner countries.

He said the meetings discussed the following priority issues: Asean’s post-2015 development orientation; how to increase Asean’s central role after becoming a community; and how to enhance relations between the group’s member states and other countries.

According to the Deputy PM, the establishment of the Asean Community at the end of this year marks the start of a new process. Asean ministers discussed visions for Asean’s development in the next 10 years, which are expected to be approved in the form of orientation outlines later this year.

The visions outline the importance of citizens being at the centre of the community – not only benefiting from the co-operation mechanism but also actively contributing to the development of the community.

Ministers also underlined the need to enhance the central role played by Asean, saying that it was necessary to have a common voice on all issues in order to promote unity and harmony.

Minh said the different meetings between Asean foreign ministers and their partners, such as Asean+1 with South Korea, Canada and Japan; the 16th Asean+3 with China, South Korea and Japan; the 5th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, India, New Zealand, Russia and the US; and the 22nd Asean Regional Forum, which provided plans and visions for the intensification of relations between the bloc and individual countries or groups of countries.

He added that the meetings also involved the discussion of peace, security and development in the region, including enhancing co-operation on terrorism and preventing extremism.

The Deputy PM said ministers expressed concern over developments in the East Sea, saying they impacted on security, peace and stability in the region and beyond. They said that the situation in the East Sea had been further complicated recently, causing reasons for concern.

In the AMM 48’s joint communique, the ministers voiced serious concern over the recent and ongoing developments in the East Sea (also known as the South China Sea).

They also emphasised the need for all parties to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), while expressing their determination to accelerate the negotiation of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

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