Integrity Legal

Archive for the ‘Myanmar (Burma) Business’ Category

16th September 2012

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that leaders from the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (sometimes colloquially referred to as Burma) are set to travel to the United States of America. In fact, popular pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi appears poised to make a sojourn to the US, her first in some time. To quote directly from the official website of Voice of America, voanews.com:

BANGKOK, THAILAND — Burma’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is set to embark on a visit to the United States, highlighted by awards and meetings with senior U.S. government leaders and the Burmese community… In her first trip to the United States in two decades, Burma’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, will be given awards for her long struggle for political reform in Burma and will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama…

Readers are encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in full.

For those unfamiliar with the efforts of Aung San Suu Kyi it should be noted that notwithstanding overwhelming adversity she has remained a staunch supporter of democracy for citizens of Myanmar and was recently elected to that nation’s lower house of parliament. However, she is not the only official from Myanmar who appears set to make a notable trip to the United States. It would appear that the current President of Myanmar, Thein Sein, is also slated to make a US voyage. In order to provide further elucidation regarding these events it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of The Jakarta Globe, TheJakartaGlobe.com:

Naypyidaw, Myanmar. Myanmar leader Thein Sein is to visit the United States for the first time as president of the fast-reforming nation, officials said Wednesday, after Washington waived visa restrictions…“The president will visit the UN and US for three days,” a Myanmar official told AFP, adding that the Myanmar leader is set to leave for the US on September 24. US President Barack Obama last month ordered an exception to a visa ban on Myanmar’s leaders to let Thein Sein travel freely during the UN summit…

The administration of this web log asks that readers click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this story in detail.

Those unfamiliar with current US-Myanmar relations should note that there are a number of restrictions placed upon Burmese leaders when it comes to US travel. Some could speculate that the exception granted to the President of Myanmar in the form of a visa waiver could be a sign of an increased desire to normalize relations between the somewhat reclusive member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the USA. That said, the future status of relations between the US and Myanmar remains to be seen.

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2nd September 2012

It is interesting to note that apparently Mainland China and Taiwan have signed an agreement streamlining currency and banking transactions occurring between these two jurisdictions, to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the Channel News Asia website, ChannelNewsAsia.com:

TAIPEI: Taiwan and China on Friday signed a deal paving the way for Taiwanese banks to take Chinese yuan deposits and make yuan loans, in the latest agreement to boost trade between the former arch-rivals. The memorandum of understanding outlines the new arrangement, known as direct yuan clearing, which is expected to come into force in 60 days, Taiwan’s central bank said…The deal will also allow Taiwanese companies to issue yuan bonds and sell yuan-denominated investment products on the island, Taiwan’s central bank said…

Readers are encouraged to click the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

It will be interesting to see whether the promulgation of the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding noted above will effect the the economies of these two jurisdictions as it could be argued that these changes will foster greater synergy between these two markets which are both very strong in their own right.  This information is noted at the same time that there is speculation that the countries comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) may be the destination for future growth and investment. To quote from the website of the Vancouver Sun, VancouverSun.com

A growing number of U.S. companies plan to shift some operations from China to Southeast Asia in the next two years…a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore showed…According to AmCham Singapore, 92 percent of the executives surveyed said they were positive about investment opportunities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN – a regional grouping that comprises Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei. ”ASEAN is not only a vital U.S. trade and investment partner, it is a bright spot in the global economy,” said AmCham Vice President Tami Overby.

Please click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

Clearly it remains to be seen whether resources, financial or otherwise, will be shifted away from China in favor of ASEAN. In fact, it could be argued that there may simply be growing investment and positive economic activity in the region as a whole which would benefit both regions. In any case, notwithstanding a rather stagnant global economic environment, China and the Nations comprising ASEAN would seem clearly poised for growth in the future.

 

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20th February 2012

In previous postings on this web log the issue of a single travel document for use throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been discussed. ASEAN includes many of the nations which comprise Southeast Asia including: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. At the present time, it is not possible to obtain a visa or travel document which would allow entry into all of these nations as travelers must obtain a visa for each individual country before traveling thereto (in some cases, visas on arrival or visa exemptions may be obtained depending upon the local immigration rules and the passport holder’s nationality). Many travelers find that this situation can make traveling in Southeast Asia rather difficult as obtaining multiple visas from multiple Embassies and/or Consulates can be a time consuming endeavor. In an effort to remedy this situation, many of the ASEAN nations have voiced support for a single ASEAN visa scheme. However, efforts to implement a single ASEAN visa program have yet to bear fruit. Recently, it came to this blogger’s attention that the Vice-President of Indonesia has made comments in support of further efforts to facilitate a single ASEAN visa program. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from a January 13th article posted on the website Philstar.com:

JAKARTA (Xinhua) – Indonesian Vice President Boediono asks the ASEAN to speed up implementation of a joint visa for the region in order to boost the number of foreign tourist arrivals and services in the industry in the region amid the global economic crisis threat, a statement from the vice presidential office said here on Friday…”The goal that we want to reach is not only the increasing number of tourist but also the improved quality of services and the sustainability of the visits,” Boediono said…ASEAN leaders had given commitment for the implementation of the facility during the 11th ASEAN Summit in Bali in Nov. 2011.

Readers are asked to click upon the hyperlink noted above to read this article in full.

There is little doubt that a single ASEAN visa scheme would provide benefits to ASEAN members in the form of increased tourism especially for destinations that are sometimes overlooked by travelers put off by the prospect of processing more than one visa application. One could also speculate that a single ASEAN visa would be beneficial to business travelers wishing to visit more than one ASEAN jurisdiction.

Currently, it does not appear as though a single ASEAN visa scheme will be implemented in the near future, but there is room to hope that progress will be made as it appears there are many officials in the region who support the notion of a single ASEAN visa, at least conceptually. Meanwhile, issues associated with visa procurement in Southeast Asia are evolving. To shed further light upon recent developments it is necessary to quote directly from the website Eturbonews.com:

For now, non-ASEAN travelers have to play with different rules for almost each country…Myanmar just announced at the end of last month to implement e-visa facilities and relax entry into the country.

In an interview conducted by the Myanmar Times newspaper, Union Minister U Tint San declared on February 1 that the government will try to introduce an e-visa system from March that would allow international visitors to apply from anywhere via the Internet before visiting Myanmar. In parallel, the e-visa would allow travelers to enter or exit from any border crossing point. The web address for the proposed e-visa site is www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm . At ATF, Phyoe Wai Yarzar, Secretary of the newly-formed Myanmar Tourist Board, explained that e-visa facilities would, in fact, be the most efficient way for the government to balance the absence of diplomatic representations.

They are also rumors that Vietnam would work on a e-visa solution. There is already the possibility of getting a pre- E-visa clearance in certain cases. But the procedure remains expensive and on a case-by-case basis. Officials from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism admitted during the ATF that lengthy visa formalities are certainly a major handicap to the development of tourism. Nothing official has been announced so far, but it seems that the government seems to realize that it has to change the way visa is provided if Vietnam does not want to lose out tourists to other destinations.

The administration of this web log encourages readers to visit the hyperlink noted above to read this article in detail.

In the past, the process for obtaining a visa to enter Myanmar (Burma) could be quite cumbersome. It has been this blogger’s relatively recent experience that obtaining a Myanmar visa is somewhat time consuming, but not particularly difficult compared to visa procurement for other nations in the region. Hopefully, the developments mentioned above will lead to further streamlining of visa processing for those wishing to enter countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar (Burma).

Although it remains to be seen when a single ASEAN visa scheme will be fully implemented ASEAN members appear committed to such an endeavor which will likely provide benefits for all concerned.

For related information please see: Thailand visa

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13th January 2012

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that new attention is apparently being directed toward the positive aspects of backpacking in Southeast Asia. In order to shed further light upon these developments it is necessary to quote directly from an article posted on the official website of the Sydney Morning Herald:

Every now and then on the Laos hippy trail you spy a traveller wearing a T-shirt that reads “Been There Don Det”. Most people think it is yet another pun based on the ‘hilarities’ of the language barrier (see “Same Same But Different”) but actually it’s an inside joke for those who had ventured far enough south to visit a small island hidden in the mist of the Mekong River. South of the capital Vientiane, the Mekong breaks its banks creating an anarchic sprawl of islands called Si Phan Don, which translates to “4000 Islands”.

The administration of the web log recommends that these readers click on the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this truly insightful article in further detail.

On a related note, it also came to this blogger’s attention that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) appear to have signed a memorandum of understanding with India in an effort to boost tourism in the Southern Asia region. For further elucidation it is necessary to quote directly from The Jakarta Post via the Asia News Network:

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and India have agreed to promote cooperation in tourism to help boost travel between the subcontinent and the Southeast Asian region. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation was signed by Aseantourism ministers and their counterpart during Asean Tourism Forum in Manado, North Sulawesi, on Thursday…

Again, the administration of this blog recommends that readers click on the hyperlinks noted above to gain full insight into this developing story.

Tourism seems to have been a traditional source of revenue in the for both the Kingdom of Thailand and the Greater ASEAN region. Hopefully the signing of the memorandum noted above will provide economic benefits for both the ASEAN region as well as the Indian Sub-Continent. That stated, with the increasing velocity of economic expansion in Asia as a whole there is strong evidence to suggest that tourism may prove to be simply a gateway to further economic integration between all of the global economies. How these trends will play out in the future remains to be seen. However, the benefits of tourism could arguably be a true “win-win” situation for both the tourist as well as the host nation. ASEAN itself is a prime example of how tourism and increasing levels of tourists can lead to more robust levels of economic activity as a whole.

For further information regarding legal issues in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

For more general insights regarding visa issues in Thailand please see: Thai Visa.

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5th October 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that exporters in Australia are expecting a robust economy in Asia in the future. In order to provide further explanation it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the Herald Sun, HeraldSun.com.au:

AUSTRALIAN meat exporters are hoping Asia’s dynamic economies will deliver boom times, with the industry forecasting gains of up to 20 per cent in markets such as Thailand once the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is underway from 2015. Amir Gun Mohammad, a regional representative for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), says the expected boost has followed the rapid development of the local food services industry, a growing middle class and expanded trade opportunities. ”Hopefully it will be very, very good for us. I think Thailand has been seen to be a major player in the ASEAN region. They export a lot to other parts of ASEAN,” Amir Gun told AAP. Amir Gun said once the ASEAN free trade system was in place Australian beef and livestock importers would face an easier path to regional markets…

This blogger encourages readers to click upon the aforementioned hyperlinks to learn further details from this interesting article.

There are many who feel that the economies which comprise ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) are likely to continue to show signs of economic integration along with the concomitant economic benefits that come therewith. Hopefully such possible circumstances will accrue to the benefit of all concerned.

The economies in the ASEAN jurisdictions are not the only foreseeable beneficiaries of possible future economic luster. In fact, China appears to be viewed by many as a possible economic powerhouse in coming decades. This is not to say that this will accrue to the disadvantage of other economies since global economics is not always a “zero sum” game. The growth of a sustainable middle class in any of the Asian jurisdictions is likely to create tangible economic rewards on a local, regional, and global scale. To provide further insight into the encouragement of Chinese small business it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of China Daily, ChinaDaily.com.cn:

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has urged stronger financial support for China’s smallbusinesses and better regulation of private lending activities to prevent risks of capital shortage from spreading.

This blogger strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this interesting and concise article in detail.

Clearly tangible benefits can be garnered by both the Chinese and ASEAN economies through bi-lateral relations, but when viewing this in conjunction with the fact that Australia and the US maintain a strong economic relationship with ASEAN and her component jurisdictions there is at least an inference which can be made to support the conclusion that there is likely to be dynamic economics at play in Asia’s future. Meanwhile, this economic dynamism can have ancillary benefits for the global economy.

How future economic events will transpire remains to be seen, but there are strong indicators that all of the economies mentioned above have bright futures indeed.

For information regarding legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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31st July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that there are increasing instances of Western commentators discussing the Pan Asia Gold Exchange (PAGE). As these discussions can have implications for the wider business community it may be prudent to quote directly from an article written by Ned Naylor Leyland and posted on the website 24hgold.com:

Today was the inauguration ceremony replete with myriad ministers and mandarins from central and regional government. This initiative is supported at the highest levels in China with SOEs as shareholders, the support of the Beijing Gold Exchange and SAFE (State Administration of Foreign Exchange). PAGE are buying into the concept that leverage has its limits and that leasing must also be carefully monitored…The biggest bombshell however, is the offer of Rmb contracts for international investors, agreed by SAFE. The international part of the Exchange’s business is expected to be available by Q4…

This blogger strongly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks noted above to read this insightful article in detail.

Issues related to business and capital movement in the jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) have been of increasing interest to those who monitor international trade and geopolitics. Meanwhile, many in the business community would appear to be anticipating how the ramifications of further business in China will impact Greater Asia and the global economy. Hopefully, these developments will be beneficial for all concerned.

In news pertaining to American immigration, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is apparently trying to encourage further use of the T visa. To quote directly from the Daily Journal website, DailyJournal.net:

PHILADELPHIA — Federal immigration officials are working with authorities in Philadelphia and other cities around the U.S. to try to increase the use of a special visa to help victims of human trafficking, a visa that has been underutilized since its creation nearly a decade ago. At issue is the nonimmigrant “T visa,” which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials say is an underutilized tool that can be used to help victims of human trafficking who have been brought into the country — using deception in many cases — and then used as sex slaves or forced into other types of involuntary servitude. There is a 5,000 yearly cap on the visa, which allows eligible victims and family members to stay in the country up to four years. But fewer than 5,000 have been approved in total since it was instated in 2002…

The administration of this web log asks that readers click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this article in detail.

Unfortunately, the scourge of human trafficking has yet to be fully eradicated in either an international or national context. Hopefully, USCIS can effect some change to this situation through astute use of the T visa noted above. Meanwhile, as noted previously on this blog, there are other agencies of the United States government taking proactive measures to decrease incidents of human trafficking. Hopefully these efforts results in tangible benefits for all people since the issue of human trafficking is something which effects everyone.

For information pertaining to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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5th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Union of Myanmar (sometimes colloquially referred to as Burma) may soon see some new direct flights between Yangon (Rangoon) and other cities in Southern Asia, In order to provide further insight into these developments it might be prudent to quote directly from the official website of the Peoples’ Daily Online, PeopleDaily.com.cn:

Myanmar Airways International (MAI) will launch a direct flight service to link Yangon with Jakarta and Bali in November this year, the local Weekly Eleven reported Monday. Aimed at boosting bilateral trade between the two countries, the planned direct flight is prompted by the Myanmar President U Thein Sein’s recent visit to Indonesia in May this year. As part of the cooperation between the two countries in the tourism sector and for both having historic cultural heritage, beautiful scenery and beaches, Thein Sein said plan is also underway to launch Yangon-Singapore-Jakarta flights which will be finalized at the second meeting of the joint commission for bilateral cooperation to be held in Myanmar at this year-end…[sic]

The administration of this web log encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this story in detail.

As a member of the ten member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Myanmar seems to have become increasingly integrated into the broader Southeast Asian economy. This current situation stands in rather stark contrast to that nation’s position in the relatively recent past. As mundane as airline routes may seem to the casual reader at first glance it should be noted that such events can have tremendous implications for business travelers and can also result in wholly new business opportunities as it becomes increasing less difficult to travel to a particular destination. All of the ramifications of this announcement remain to be seen, but it seems likely that there will be positive economic benefits for all of the jurisdictions concerned.

Meanwhile, in news pertaining to the United States and the United Kingdom it recently came to this blogger’s attention that London is home to a new statue honoring a former President of the United States of America. In order to shed further light upon this situation it may be best to quote directly from an article written by Ravi Somaiya and posted on the official website of The New York Times, NYTimes.com:

LONDON — Passers-by at the American Embassy, in the heart of London’s upscale Mayfair district, were greeted Monday morning by the disembodied voice of Ronald Reagan drifting through the air from large speakers — a prelude to the unveiling of a $1 million bronze statue of the former president here to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth…The statue of a smiling Reagan, dressed in a crisp suit, was paid for by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation as part of a worldwide effort to promote his legacy, according to the organization’s executive director. Similar events have been held in the last few days in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary…

This blogger asks readers to click on the relevant hyperlinks above in order to read this interesting article in full.

It would appear that many around the globe feel as though President Reagan was deserving of an enduring tribute for his efforts to further the cause of international freedom. Hopefully the statue noted above will act as a long term reminder of the need to be ever vigilante in the struggle to maintain the principles of liberty and justice.

For information pertaining to legal service please see: Legal.

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20th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that it appears Malaysia (a member nation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN) will not be hosting other ASEAN nations at the Langkawi International Dialogue (LID). To provide further insight it may be best to quote directly from an article written by M. Saraswathi and posted on the website Bernama.com:

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Bernama) — There are no plans to include Asean nations in the Langkawi International Dialogue (LID) as it will be too big to manage, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today. Malaysia would maintain the present dialogue format between the African and Caribbean countries, he said. “No. We don’t want too many countries to be involved. We will maintain the present format of African and Caribbean countries,” he said when asked if Malaysia intends to include Asean countries in LID at a press conference here today. This year’s dialogue is being attended by African leaders such as Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili of Lesotho, Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso, Ugandan Vice-President Edward Sekandi and Kenyan Vice-President Stephen Kalonzo…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the appropriate hyperlinks noted above to learn more from this insightful article.

In this blogger’s opinion, one of the positive aspects of the ASEAN community, for the membership, is a sort of general flexibility. It could be inferred from the quotation above that Malaysia has a strong trade relationship with certain countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Such relationships make the Malaysian economy rather unique compared to her other counterparts in the ASEAN community. This uniqueness would seem to create various levels of comparative advantage for the Malaysian economy. Concurrently, the other jurisdictions of ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) are able to receive a kind of refractive benefit from Malaysia’s strong trade relations in Africa and the Caribbean since ASEAN nations are able to streamline their direct trading with Malaysia herself. How ASEAN will evolve in the future remains to be seen, but it is clear that ASEAN is quite unique amongst the various regional organizations around the globe. Hopefully, this uniqueness will result in tangible benefits for the citizenry of the various ASEAN countries and for ASEAN’s trading partners as well.

On a related note, China was in the news recently as it is being reported that China is expanding her foreign reserves into non-dollar denominated assets. To shed further light upon these developments it may be best to quote directly from an article written by Jamil Anderlini and Tracy Alloway and posted to the Financial Times website, FT.com:

China began diversifying away from the US dollar in earnest in the first four months of this year, most likely by buying far more European government debt than US dollar assets, according to estimates from Standard Chartered Bank. China’s foreign exchange reserves expanded by around $200bn in the first four months of the year, with three-quarters of the new inflow invested abroad in non-US dollar assets, the bank estimated. “It certainly appears that China’s finally following through on its policy to diversify its foreign reserve holdings away from the US dollar,” said Stephen Green, the bank’s chief China economist.

This blogger asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to find out further details. Frequent readers of this web log may recall that the United States and China are apparently cooperating with regard to ASEAN engagement, but this news came amidst announcements that China had divested rather sizable holdings in US Treasuries. As China continues to show further economic dominance on the global stage it will likely prove interesting to see how this nation invests her financial resources. Hopefully as China and ASEAN continue their economic growth it will accrue to the benefit of all concerned.

For information related to immigration from Asia please see: K1 Visa Thailand or Legal.

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19th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the nations of China and India have made arrangements to resume military exchanges. In order to provide further insight to the reader it may be best to quote directly from the Associated Press on the official website of Yahoo, Yahoo.com:

BEIJING – An Indian general led a delegation to Beijing on Sunday as the two countries moved to resume exchanges between their militaries after a yearlong freeze. Maj. Gen. Gurmeet Singh and seven accompanying officers arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a weeklong visit that will also include meetings with Chinese counterparts and stops in the business and shipping hub of Shanghai and the far-northwestern territory of Xinjiang. Such exchanges were suspended by India last year in protest over China’s decision to issue visas to Indians from disputed Kashmir in the form of a document stapled into their passports rather than a stamp. The decision appeared to question the legitimacy of Indian rule in Kashmir and was considered a concession to Pakistan, India’s arch rival with which China maintains close ties…

Readers are encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this story in full.

It is not difficult to infer that a resumption of military exchanges between China and India could have ramifications for virtually all countries around the world, at least to some degree. This is certainly important information for those who live in either India or China. The same could also be said for those living in Greater Asia as the resumption of military exchanges could have an impact upon the geopolitics of the whole continent. Meanwhile, those living in one of the jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are prudent to note these developments as both of these countries are likely to be increasingly important trading partners with that organization in the future. Furthermore, it should be noted that China and India are currently associated with the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) grouping of countries which many consider to be of increasing importance on the world stage.

With ASEAN in mind, the reader should note that China and India are not the only jurisdictions that are engaging in military exchanges as it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Navy is conducting a naval exercise in conjunction with some of the ASEAN member states. To quote directly from an article written by Gilbert P. Felongco and posted on the official website of GulfNews.com:

Manila: The US Navy is conducting a naval exercise with its forces from the five member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) amid rising tensions in the troubled South China Sea. Dubbed the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (Seacat) 2011, the drills were launched last Tuesday in the Malacca Strait, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea and will run until Friday…The drills will focus on real-time information exchange, coordinated surveillance operations, tracking, and eventual conduct of visit, board, search and seizure operation, he said…

Those reading this web log are strongly encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more on this developing story.

The United States Armed Forces have been known to conduct exercises in many places and it would appear that the exercise noted above is designed to coordinate efforts between ASEAN members and the United States. Readers in the Kingdom of Thailand may note that the United States routinely works with the Thai military in undertaking exercises such as Operation Cobra Gold. Hopefully all such endeavors will accrue to the benefit of all concerned in the USA, Thailand, ASEAN, China, India, and Greater Asia.

For information related to doing business in Thailand please see: Legal.

 

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29th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that there may be some geopolitical tensions arising in Asia in connection to issues associated with the use of water. To quote directly from a very insightful article apparently written by Santha Oorjitham of the New Straits Times and posted by chellaney on the blog Stagecraft and Statecraft:

[T]he lower Mekong states of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam have a water treaty. India has water-sharing treaties with both the countries located downstream — Bangladesh and Pakistan. There are also water treaties between India and its two small upstream neighbours, Nepal and Bhutan. But China, the dominant riparian power of Asia, refuses to enter into water-sharing arrangements with any of its neighbours. Yet China enjoys an unrivalled global status as the source of trans-boundary river flows to the largest number of countries, ranging from Vietnam and Afghanistan to Russia and Kazakhstan…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above in order to read more from this fascinating article. For readers who are unfamiliar with matters pertaining to Asia, particularly Southern Asia or Southeast Asia, it should be noted that water issues can be extremely important for Asian political actors and policy makers. Issues associated with water can have ramifications upon the economies, political institutions, and business environments in Asia and around the globe. As regional associations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and nations such as India and China begin to become increasingly important players on the international stage it stands to reason that water issues pertaining to Asia will be considered increasingly important by those seeking news and information about the area.

Meanwhile it also recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is taking measures in an effort to transform that agency into a more electronic environment compared to the current primarily paper-based environment in which it now apparently finds itself. To quote directly from a USCIS Executive summary as posted upon the website ILW.com:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS or Agency) is undertaking an agency-wide effort to move immigration services from a paper-based model to an electronic environment. This effort is known as USCIS Transformation. Transformation will deliver a simplified, Web-based system for benefit seekers to submit and track their applications. The new system is account-centric and will provide customers with improved service. It will also enhance USCIS’s ability to process cases with greater precision, security, and timeliness. In March 2011, the Office of Transformation Coordination and the Office of Public Engagement hosted a series of listening sessions and webinars with participants representing customers, attorneys and community-based organizations (CBOs). The purpose of these listening sessions was to inform USCIS about the benefits and challenges of moving to an electronic environment…

Those interested in learning further about this transformation from the USCIS Executive Summary are well advised to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to find out more.

This blogger is personally pleased to see the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), an agency under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, taking measures to create a more efficient system for adjudication of immigration and visa related petitions or applications. Frequent readers of this blog may have taken note of the fact that USCIS is the initial adjudicator of petitions for the K-1 visa (US fiance visa) as well as the CR-1 visa (US Marriage Visa) and the IR-1 visa. Hopefully, USCIS’s transformation will result in more streamlined processing of the aforementioned petitions.

For related information please see: US-Thai Treaty of Amity or Consular Processing

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