Welcome to Your Week in Asia.
The selection process for the Bank of Japan's next governor has reached a climax this week, with the government set on Tuesday to present to parliament the economist Kazuo Ueda as the candidate to succeed Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda.
Meanwhile, the Singaporean government will present its draft budget for fiscal 2023 on Tuesday, where support measures are expected for households and businesses amid rising costs. Another Asian financial hub, Hong Kong, will release its latest population data on Thursday, showing how coronavirus restrictions and a draconian national security law have affected flows of its people.
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Singapore eases COVID rules
Singapore will no longer need travelers not vaccinated from COVID-19 to show coronavirus test results or buy related travel insurance, as it further stands down leftover pandemic safeguards. Masks, which were needed for travel on buses and trains, will no longer be required to be worn on public transport.
BOJ new governor
The government is scheduled to present candidates for the BOJ's new governor and deputy governors to parliament. The government plans to nominate Kazuo Ueda, an economist and former member of the BOJ Policy Board, to the governor post.
The Singaporean government will deliver its budget statement for the 2023 fiscal year. As the city-state wrestles with the rising cost of living and inflation, various support measures are expected to be laid out to cushion the impact on local households. For businesses, more help is anticipated in digital adoption and skills training to raise productivity amid higher business costs and slowing economic growth.
Ahead of the announcement, the government is due on Monday to update its annual growth rate, which it previously forecast to come in between 0.5% to 2.5% in 2023.
Japan's H3 rocket maiden launch
Japan is scheduled to see the maiden launch of its next-generation rocket, H3, from the Tanegashima Space Center, 1,000 km southwest of Tokyo. The 63-meter two-stage rocket represents the first major upgrade to the nation's rocket program in more than 20 years and is expected to fill the gap left by the withdrawal of Russia's Soyuz rocket from the international market following the war in Ukraine.
IISS Military Balance 2023 report
The British think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies releases Military Balance 2023, an annual assessment of military capabilities and defense economics of 173 countries and regions worldwide. The report will attract particular attention in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Western assistance to Ukraine and tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
Hong Kong population data
New Hong Kong population estimates for 2022 will be released on Thursday. There was a net outflow in the first half of 2022, with 113,200 people leaving the financial hub, and more are expected to follow after a year of stifling coronavirus restrictions and a draconian national security law. The exodus of people has weighed on the economy, with business chambers warning of a brain drain.
China house prices
China reports housing price indexes for January, which could provide a gauge of demand on the back of policy support rolled out by various local governments.
Monetary policy: Indonesia, Philippines
China, Russia, South Africa naval drills
South Africa will host the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy and the Russian Navy for a 10-day multilateral maritime exercise in waters off Durban. This is the second such trilateral exercise, following the one in 2019, which seeks to share operational skills. It coincides with the anniversary of the Ukraine war.
Munich security conference
The annual Munich Security Conference takes place in the south German city from Friday to Sunday, where leaders of governments, international organizations and businesses will gather from around the world to discuss security issues. Almost exactly a year after Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, world leaders are likely to discuss the cohesion of allies, their commitment to supporting Ukraine, and threats to the international rules-based order.
The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council is due to release Thailand's 2022 gross domestic product on Friday. Analysts expect the Thai economy to have grown around 2.5% to 3%, thanks to the return of international tourists and more private consumption.