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  • Evolving diplomacy

    Amid Cambodia-Vietnam border tensions, a 'special' relationship evolves

    PHNOM PENH -- After years of calm neighborly relations, tensions are again rising on Cambodia's eastern border with Vietnam. In May, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party launched a campaign to address alleged Vietnamese encroachments al

    July 30, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Southeast Asian capital markets

    Thailand sells itself as gateway to Mekong region

    BANGKOK -- The Stock Exchange of Thailand is hitting the road this year to promote its wares to potential customers. But unlike previous attempts to flog Thai stocks to overseas investors, its motivation now is to educate foreign companies -- partic

    July 30, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Myanmar politics

    Thein Sein eyes second term and more reforms

    NAYPYITAW -- Myanmar's President Thein Sein signaled that he intends to pursue his ambitious reform program beyond national elections in November to the end of his current term in early 2016, and rejected recent charges that reforms had stalled and

    July 30, 2015 02:10 am JST
  • Myanmar makes way for foreign beverages

    YANGON -- The world's big breweries and beverage makers are rushing into Southeast Asia's last frontier. Netherlands-based Heineken and Myanmar's Alliance Brewery on July 12 jointly opened a beer factory in Yangon. The Dutch company sunk abo

    July 30, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Mobile payments take Wing in Cambodia

    PHNOM PENH -- In Cambodia, where one often hears that "cash is king," sending money around the country used to be a risky business. Until just a few years ago, most money was sent by road, where it could be lost or stolen -- or take days to reach it

    July 30, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Kazumi Nishikawa: Why Asian business must lead regional integration

    Economic integration in Asia, particularly within the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is progressing well, thanks to increased supply-chain links, as well as government-led initiatives such as the ASEAN Economic Community. H

    July 30, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • As the economy grows

    Myanmar can look forward to more credit cards, bank branches and ATMs

    YANGON -- In late May, Kanbawza Bank, Myanmar's leading private lender, began issuing credit cards, initially focusing on its affluent customers. A standard plan sets the credit limit at up to 300,000 kyat (about $241). The bank received 600 applica

    July 29, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Thitinan Pongsudhirak

    Greek drama presents moral lesson for developing Asia

    The Greek crisis highlights the emerging reality that established international institutions and power structures dating back to the second half of the 20th century are no longer capable of dealing with global demands and expectations. For Asia, thi

    July 29, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Charging up

    Laos pushing electric bikes, tuk-tuks

    VIENTIANE -- Electric-powered motorbikes and three-wheelers are making gains in Laos as the Southeast Asian nation seeks an economic jolt from vehicles exploiting its abundant sources of electricity, such as hydropower. Chinese appliance manufac

    July 28, 2015 09:52 pm JST
  • Daniel Wu

    TPP progress could reinvigorate Asian togetherness

    Signs that the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks could advance to an agreement in principle by the end of the year might give new life to negotiations for an alternative regional free-trade pact. In particular, Indonesia has shown new keenness to

    July 28, 2015 05:45 pm JST
  • Nicholas Spiro

    Southeast Asia slowdown tests investors' will

    Singapore's economy has practically ground to a halt. As recently as the second half of 2014, it grew 3.75%. But a flash estimate for second-quarter gross domestic product showed the economy contracted 4.6% from the previous quarter, much worse than

    July 28, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Toward regional enforcement

    Thailand, Malaysia step up efforts to tackle Rohingya trafficking

    BANGKOK -- Human-trafficking crises in Malaysia and Thailand have come under increasing international scrutiny since the persecution of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority came into the public eye beginning in April, putting intense pressure on the c

    July 28, 2015 03:18 am JST
  • Wigmaking in Laos

    Japan's Aderans opens new plant

    BANGKOK -- Aderans said Monday that it has placed a start-to-finish wig production plant into service in Laos. Located in the southern province of Savannakhet, the plant cost $5 million to build. It will handle all aspects of wig production, fro

    July 28, 2015 01:12 am JST
  • U.S. upgrades Malaysia, Cuba in trafficking report

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The United States upgraded Malaysia in an annual report on human trafficking on Monday despite calls by human rights groups and nearly 180 U.S. lawmakers to keep the Southeast Asian country on a list of worst offenders in fai

    July 27, 2015 10:20 pm JST
  • ASEAN friction

    Neighbors may not welcome Thailand's SEZs

    BANGKOK -- The Thai government is eager to promote special economic zones planned for the country's border provinces, but the move could compromise broader efforts at regional integration. The SEZs, which will offer corporate tax exemption and ot

    July 27, 2015 07:00 am JST
  • Nikkei PMI

    'Problems ahead' for South Korea, Taiwan: Markit economist

    LONDON -- The numbers coming out of a manufacturing-specific purchasing managers' index published by Nikkei paint a troubling picture for South Korea and Taiwan, while they show Vietnam to be a country on the rise. The manufacturing PMI can serv

    July 27, 2015 01:30 am JST
  • Promoting Indian industry

    Ex-Im Bank to help manufacturers gain Southeast Asian footholds

    NEW DELHI -- The Export-Import Bank of India will help domestic companies expand into Southeast Asia by securing industrial space for them, starting in Vietnam, Chairman and Managing Director Yaduvendra Mathur recently told The Nikkei. Prime Min

    July 27, 2015 01:05 am JST
  • Bilateral relations

    South Korea gets pragmatic in its dealings with Japan

    SEOUL -- After getting nowhere with the stick, South Korea is trying the carrot approach with Japan. Seoul's diplomatic tack now involves reaching out, building bridges and being willing to compromise -- to an extent, at least. One sign of this

    July 26, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • WTO members seal trillion-dollar IT trade deal

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- World Trade Organization (WTO) members finalized a deal on Friday to cut tariffs on $1 trillion worth of information technology products in a boost for producers of goods ranging from video games to medical equipment. The

    July 24, 2015 01:12 pm JST
  • Lex Rieffel

    Unlocking Myanmar's state-owned enterprise 'black box'

    The concept of transparency has been a goal of government policy in Myanmar since President Thein Sein was inaugurated in March 2011. From an economic development perspective, after the "black box" of military expenditures, the next most significant

    July 23, 2015 01:00 pm JST