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Posts Tagged ‘Laos news’

22nd June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has seen the launch of a dedicated television channel. To provide more insight upon these developments it may be best to quote directly from the website MyThaiPhotos.com:

Tonight saw the official launch of ASEAN TV which is a new channel that serves 10 member countries in the English language. It’s actually been around for nearly two years as a project by MCOT. However they have now joined with the Nation group who run Thailand’s first 24 hour news channel. This co-operation between MCOT and the Nation means we will now get another 24 hour English language news channel in Thailand.

This blogger encourages readers to use the hyperlinks noted above to read the full details of this recent announcement.

There are many positive benefits that could be accrued to the people of the various ASEAN jurisdictions as a result of the launching of a television channel dedicated to ASEAN affairs. As ASEAN becomes increasingly important in an economic context it stands to reason that those in the ASEAN region and around the globe will be seeking information regarding the various economies which comprise this important organization. Meanwhile, ASEAN seems to be becoming increasingly important geopolitically (along with the so-called BRICS nations) so a news channel dedicated to providing insight into the political events occurring in the ASEAN jurisdictions (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) would appear to be something of a necessity for those who wish to remain informed regarding current events therein.

In rather unrelated news (but likely pertinent for readers of this web log) it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the sovereign State of Michigan may see TSA-related legislation similar to that proposed in the sovereign State of Texas. In order to provide some insight into these developments it may be best to quote directly from the website of the Daily Tribune, DailyTribune.com:

An Oakland County lawmaker is taking aim at the Transportation Security Administration and how its agents perform airport passenger security checks. State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, wants to make it a misdemeanor for any TSA employee to “conduct an intrusive, personal search on citizens without reasonable cause.” McMillin referenced a recent incident at Detroit Metropolitan Airport “where a 29-year-old special needs passenger was subject to an allegedly intrusive search.” “The federal government is not God,” McMillin said Friday. “It doesn’t get to decide what it can do to our citizens. This is one law that needs to be in place…”

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read more on this story.

Readers may recall that a recent posting on this blog discussed the so-called Transportation Security Administration‘s (TSA) recent harassment of a mentally challenged man in Michigan. It would appear as though that story has caused concern among Michigan legislators. This concern would seem to have manifest itself in the form of possible legislation. That stated, as of the time of this writing, there has yet to be any actual passage of such legislation on the State level. Hopefully, the developments noted above will result in benefits for all concerned.

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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.

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8th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the issue of inflation has been on the minds of policymakers in some of the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Officials is Laos and Cambodia were recently noted by media outlets in those jurisdictions to have commented upon this issue. To quote directly from the official website of the Vientiane Times, VientianeTimes.org.la:

The government is concerned about rising inflation in Laos, triggered by the high price of oil and food, which is expected to impact on the economy and poverty reduction efforts. Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Bounthavy Sisouphanthong said on Thursday the government is studying measures it can take to minimise the impacts on the economy and livelihoods of local people… Dr Liber warned that the government needs to respond to the situation quickly, as rising inflation will cause more serious impacts on the economy and efforts to reduce poverty levels. The government cabinet’s monthly meeting was held in Vientiane on April 25-26 and assigned the relevant sectors to study measures to minimise the impacts of rising fuel prices on the economy.

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read further from this interesting article. Clearly, Lao officials are aware that inflation may become an acutely pressing issue at some point, but it would seem, at least for now, that measures are being considered to respond to issues pertaining to inflation in Laos.

Meanwhile, Laos is not the only ASEAN member nation whose officials are analyzing the issue of inflation. It would seem as though authorities in the Kingdom of Cambodia are also concerned about the possibility of inflation. To quote directly from the official website of the Phnom Penh Post, PhnomPenhPost.com:

Cambodia should expect price inflation of 6 percent this year, according to a United Nations report released yesterday, which government officials said was a tolerable level…Minister of Economy and Finance Deputy Secretary General Ros Seilava said at the report’s release in Phnom Penh that 6 percent inflation for 2011 was a manageable level. “A six to seven percent increase in inflation is expected this year, however to a certain level, this could be tolerated,” he said.

Again, the administration encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to gain further perspective and insight into this issue in a Cambodian context from a well written and informative posting.

It would seem apparent that issues associated with inflation are likely to be of possible concern for those conducting business in Cambodia or business in Laos going forward. The same may also be true for those conducting business in the neighboring Kingdom of Thailand. In any case, inflation is an important economic issue that must be discussed. It is certainly a positive sign that officials in Laos and Cambodia are aware of these issues, but the ramifications of possible future inflation have yet to be fully realized. Issues associated with inflation are a cause for concern in countries such as the United States, but in the context of so-called “developing nations” this issue can be extremely important. Therefore, those interested in the issue of inflation in a Southeast Asian context may be prudent to continue following this developing story.

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