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  • Nehru, Tang: Malaysia's big chance to help shape ASEAN's new era

    By the end of 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community is to be born -- and as the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Malaysia will be its presiding midwife. Using an elaborate scorecard, each of ASEAN's 10 members has been asked

    January 22, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Stephen Grenville: Low oil prices provide a fleeting chance for reform

    If the global price of oil had jumped by 50%, there is little doubt that economic commentators would be calling it a disaster for world growth. The price has in fact fallen by more than 50% since last June, but this ray of good news has not yet pier

    January 22, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Vietnam economy

    Bad loans presage more bank rationalization

    HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vietnam's troubled finance sector is likely to see between six and eight bank mergers in 2015 as part of a strategy to almost halve the number of commercial banks by the end of 2017 from over 30 at present. The State Bank of

    January 20, 2015 12:40 am JST
  • Executive women in Asia

    Philippines leads the region with its women in management

    SINGAPORE -- The Philippines is leading Asia with its high percentage of women in management positions, according to a recent report by the International Labor Organization. A ranking complied by the ILO shows the Philippines to be the only Asian co

    January 19, 2015 07:30 pm JST
  • Overland trade routes

    Southeast Asia building web of highways

    TOKYO -- In addition to upgrading port facilities, Southeast Asian countries are also expanding their transnational highway network to expedite regional trade and transportation. The Neak Loeung Bridge, Cambodia's longest overpass, could open as

    January 17, 2015 07:01 am JST
  • Port-building

    Southeast Asia moves to bulk up maritime corridors

    TOKYO -- Southeast Asian countries are rushing to build much-needed port infrastructure to handle the surge in maritime trade, with the Philippines and Indonesia leading the pack with huge investments. The Port of Manila, which handles 80% of th

    January 17, 2015 05:06 am JST
  • City Mart expansion

    Myanmar retailer plans to double stores in 3 years

    YANGON -- City Mart Holding, one of the fastest growing retailers in Myanmar, plans to double the number of its outlets in the next three years. "We now have 19 supermarkets under the name of City Mart -- 18 in Yangon and one in Mandalay, and se

    January 17, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • On legal thin ice

    Taxi dispatch apps fighting for piece of Vietnam

    TOKYO -- More Vietnamese are using taxi dispatch apps on their smartphones. But the Vietnamese government is hinting that it may more tightly regulate the fledgling industry. And one municipality has introduced its own "official" competing app.

    January 16, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Curtis S. Chin and Jose B. Collazo: Asia infrastructure needs reform, not more development banks

    Amid talk of the "Asian century," one of the most important questions is how best to finance the continent's tremendous infrastructure needs. Whether crumbling roads in the Philippines or power blackouts in India, the region's physical infrastructur

    January 15, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Ruth Banomyong

    Is ASEAN rail connectivity an impossible dream?

    On Dec. 31 this year, 10 Southeast Asian nations will launch the ASEAN Economic Community -- an ambitious economic integration program to become a unified market with a single production base. To reach this goal, it will be crucial for the Assoc

    January 14, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Outsourcing and staffing

    Nippon Manufacturing Service bolstering profile in Asia

    TOKYO -- Nippon Manufacturing Service is stepping up its operations in Asia, with plans to start dispatching Cambodian personnel to Thailand in spring and expand its contract manufacturing business in China. The Tokyo-based temporary staffi

    January 14, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Vietnam's "Mystery blogs"

    Online rumor mills could create political chaos

    HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vietnamese are increasingly turning to social media and what some call "mystery blogs" for information not covered by the mainstream press. And so it was that, late in the evening of Jan. 9, people gathered at Da Nang Internation

    January 14, 2015 10:00 am JST
  • Asia-Pacific economy

    ESCAP forecasts 5.8% regional growth in 2015

    BANGKOK -- Asia Pacific countries are set for 5.8% growth in gross domestic production in 2015, slightly more than the 5.6% estimated for 2014, according to a survey released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Paci

    January 13, 2015 11:00 pm JST
  • Indonesian, Thai auto markets

    Sluggish new car sales seen for 2014 with little relief in 2015

    BANGKOK -- New car sales have been slowing in Indonesia and Thailand, the biggest and second-biggest auto markets in Southeast Asia, and a rebound in 2015 looks unlikely for both. This trend spells tough times ahead for Japanese carmakers, which

    January 11, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Vikram Nehru and Yun Tang

    Malaysia's big chance to help shape ASEAN's new era

    By the end of 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community is to be born -- and as the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Malaysia will be its presiding midwife. Using an elaborate scorecard, each of ASEAN's 10 members has been asked

    January 9, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Vietnam's highway system

    Japan's Toppan Forms to make toll payment cards

    TOKYO -- Toppan Forms has won an order to produce 600,000 smart cards for paying tolls on new highways under construction in Vietnam. The prepaid cards will be compatible with Sony's FeliCa contactless technology. The order came from a Ho Ch

    January 9, 2015 05:36 am JST
  • Vietnam's craving for cash

    Plastic payment yet to win trust in much of the country

    HO CHI MINH CITY -- Tuyet Anh, an office worker in Ho Chi Minh City, recalled one of the more inconvenient aspects of her life as a student: Financial support from her family came in the form of cash, which meant that each month she had to carry a b

    January 8, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Policy options

    Southeast Asia eyes economic boost on back of cheap crude

    HANOI -- Southeast Asian countries, most of which are net oil importers, are pursuing more aggressive policies to reinvigorate their economies thanks to the increased flexibility offered by sharply lower crude prices. The State Bank of Vietnam a

    January 8, 2015 06:18 am JST
  • Investors see most promise in Indonesia

    TOKYO -- The ASEAN Economic Community, to be launched at the end of 2015, is raising hopes for growth in Southeast Asia, as it will remove tariffs and accelerate cross-border movement of people, goods and capital within the region. Indonesia top

    January 8, 2015 12:00 am JST
  • Most experts see yen weakening in 2015

    TOKYO -- The majority of foreign exchange market players anticipate the yen to weaken further against the U.S. dollar in 2015, although the Japanese currency already lost value significantly last year following the Bank of Japan's additional monetar

    January 8, 2015 12:00 am JST