Economy

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, pictured here at the Greater Mekong Subregion Summit in Bangkok on Dec. 20, is keen to boost foreign investment in Thailand. © Reuters

Thai economy

Junta sends clear message: More foreign investment a must

BANGKOK -- "Today is a happy day for Thailand, and if we succeed today we will be making history," Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told more than 2,000 Thai and foreign businesspeople at the mid-December launch of his government's new investmen...

  • Reforms in Indonesia

    Widodo's efforts face market test amid rupiah's plunge

    JAKARTA -- Indonesia is caught in financial market turbulence triggered by plunging crude oil prices. The rupiah has plummeted in value to the lowest level since August 1998 following the Asian currency crisis. The level was last experienced when...

  • Telkom, XL Axiata go 4G

    Indonesian mobile carriers hope network upgrades draw data customers

    JAKARTA -- Indonesia is shooting for a quick expansion of fourth-generation mobile Internet services in 2015, hoping to nurture the growing smartphone market. Three mobile carriers have announced their readiness to implement 4G Long-Term Evoluti...

  • Road to recovery

    Winter bonuses see biggest jump in 24 years

    TOKYO -- The average winter bonus in Japan rose 5.53% on the year to 775,194 yen ($6,459) including tax, marking the biggest jump in 24 years and fueling hopes for a recovery in the country's sluggish consumption. The weighted per-worker figure c...

  • The cost of growth

    Southeast Asian wages fast approaching China levels

    HANOI (Nikkei) -- Southeast Asian labor costs are surging in line with the region's relatively strong economic growth, with minimum monthly wages in Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia set to increase by 20-30% in 2015 from a year earlier. Minimum mo...

  • Sinking oil prices

    Bank of Japan's Kuroda warns of slower inflation

    TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan is facing a fresh challenge from the plunge in crude oil prices, a headwind in its quest to achieve an inflation target of 2%. The drop in crude will "push down prices in the short term," Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda told a pre...

  • ADB upbeat

    Bank chief dismisses ruble contagion concerns, commends Thailand

    BANGKOK -- Asian countries should not be overly worried about potential fallout from the Russian currency crisis, sliding oil prices and volatile commodity markets, as their economies are more soundly buttressed against external developments than the...

  • Fiscal woes Down Under

    Australian budget struck by falling commodity prices

    SYDNEY -- Plunging commodity prices and weak growth are taking a severe toll on the Australian government's budget, which has ballooned into a deficit of 40.4 billion Australian dollars ($33.2 billion). Despite its vow to restore the budget to he...

  • Japanese government bonds

    Ultralong JGB issuance seen rising by 2 trillion yen in fiscal 2015

    TOKYO -- Japan appears likely to increase the issuance of 30- and 40-year government bonds by about 2 trillion yen ($16.6 billion) in fiscal 2015. The government hopes to take advantage of current low interest rates so as to hold down its future inte...

  • President calls for 'drastic steps'

    Kyrgyzstan mulls gold mine's nationalization

    BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyzstan government is edging closer toward nationalizing Kumtor, the former Soviet republic's biggest exporter, employer and taxpayer, following a string of legal claims by foreign investors aggrieved about other projects. In a ...

  • BOJ stands pat on policy

    TOKYO (Dow Jones) -- The Bank of Japan stood pat on monetary policy Friday, opting to gauge the effects of its expanded stimulus campaign, despite a rapid fall in global oil prices that threatens its efforts to generate 2% inflation. Investors ha...

  • Solar power

    China's rural poor turn sun rays into yuan

    BEIJING -- There is not much money in Anhui Province, but there is plenty of sun. "I couldn't even use a fan in the summer," said Ni Chuanjiang. "I couldn't afford to." Ni recently lost both his wife and mother to cancer. The 50-year-old has ...

  • Cheap oil

    Plunging prices spark cheers, jitters

    NEW YORK -- Continued slides in crude oil prices are bringing about benefits in developed economies. Cars were lined up at a gas station in Oklahoma City in the central U.S. in early December, as drivers filled up their tanks with gasoline that w...

  • Abenomics redux

    Stimulus package to weigh in at nearly $30B

    TOKYO -- The government will budget some 3.5 trillion yen ($29 billion) for measures meant to rekindle economic growth, bringing more fiscal firepower to bear on Japan's slump than previously expected. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet will app...

  • Japanese feed-in tariffs

    Solar power sales price to drop again

    TOKYO -- Japan will again cut the government-set price of solar power under the feed-in-tariff system, aiming to encourage businesses to generate electricity from other renewable resources. The feed-in-tariff program, introduced in July 2012, req...

  • Keeping rural Japan young

    Scholarship funds to create incentive for taking hometown jobs

    TOKYO -- Students who agree to resist the allure of major cities after graduation would receive tuition assistance under a program the government hopes will help rejuvenate small-town Japan. The idea is to encourage young people to stay in their ...

  • Indonesia development

    President Widodo targets 8% growth by 2019

    JAKARTA -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo unveiled his government's medium term development plan on Thursday and set a target for gross domestic product annual growth of 8% by 2019. The president identified five areas in need of focused investm...

  • Putin says Russian economic crisis could last for 2 years

    MOSCOW (Kyodo) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday the country's economic crisis could last two years under the most unfavorable external economic scenario. Speaking at his annual press conference, Putin said the ruble's recent plun...

  • Taiwan economy

    Central bank holds interest rate

    TAIPEI -- As expected, Taiwan's central bank left the benchmark interest rate untouched at 1.875% on Thursday for a 14th consecutive quarter. A few hours after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled its intention to raise interest rates in 2015, Tai...

  • TV digitization

    Philippines looks to complete broadcasting transition in 5 years

    MANILA -- The Philippine government has set the stage for a long-overdue shift to digital television. President Benigno Aquino last year announced that the country would use Japan's Integrated Services Digital Broadcast-Terrestrial, or ISDB-T, st...