ASEAN

All the latest ASEAN news

  • Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia – surprise spikes in Covid infections

    For Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand, the Covid situation was ‘under control’. Everything was going fine and the countries were mulling re-opening borders to general travel. Well everything was going fine, until it wasn’t. In just 3 bewildering weeks, Thailand has gone from ‘let’s re-open Phuket’ to setting up thousands of field hospital beds. The daily infection totals over the past…

  • Malaysia joins calls to hold emergency ASEAN summit over Myanmar political situation

    Malaysia is joining calls to hold an emergency ASEAN summit to discuss the political turmoil in its neighbouring country of Myanmar. Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin says he supports Indonesia’s president who originally proposed the emergency meeting. Muhyiddin says the continued use of lethal violence against unarmed civilians was unacceptable, and urged Myanmar’s military leadership “to change its course and choose…

  • Thailand calls on Myanmar military to release detainees and to de-escalate the situation

    Thailand is urging Myanmar to release everyone who was detained by the military following last month’s coup. Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement today calling on a de-escalation of the country’s situation where many have been injured and even killed in protests. “As a neighbor, sharing a long common border, and with the Myanmar and Thai peoples having…

  • Britain to apply for membership with Asia Pacific free trading bloc

    In the wake of Britain’s Brexit and separation from the EU trading bloc, the UK is now applying to become part of the free trade bloc made up of 11 Asia and Pacific nations. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership also includes Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand, a potential market population of around 500 million. The countries generate more…

  • Christmas across Asia: How Thailand’s neighbours celebrate

    Those of us living in Thailand (and those who holiday here in more “normal” times), are familiar with what Christmas looks like in the Land of Smiles. But what about other Asian countries? Here’s a round-up of what the festive season looks like for some of our neighbours. Indonesia Despite being a primarily Muslim nation, Christmas is celebrated by many…

  • Air Asia to focus on ASEAN expansion, as CEO expresses cautious optimism for 2021

    Air Asia’s chief executive, Tony Fernandes, says the low-cost carrier is planning to expand its presence in Southeast Asia and is in talks to form 3 new airlines. He points out that people still want to travel, and that demand makes him hopeful air travel could be back to its pre-Covid numbers within 6 – 12 months. “At the right…

  • Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16

    First day of the week with another Thailand News Today, all the latest news from around Thailand and the region. Hoteliers to discuss how to revive Thailand’s crippled hospitality industry The Tourism and Sports Ministry is holding a talkfest with15 hotel operators expected to join to discuss recovery solutions for the battered industry. Some top executives are planned to pitch…

  • 15 Asia-Pacific countries form the world’s largest trade bloc, the great RCEP reset

    After 8 gruelling years of negotiation, 15 countries have signed onto the largest free trade bloc in history. In a joint statement, the leaders of the countries, signatories of the trade deal, say RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) will form a crucial part of economic recovery once the pandemic is over. The deal excludes the US, which withdrew from a…

  • Asian trade deal to be signed today

    Today, 15 countries are set to sign a wide-reaching Asian trade deal to help them recover from the Covid pandemic. Such countries as China, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan are part of the pact which also includes 10 south east Asian economies – the 10 countries of ASEAN. The deal is seen as a Chinese-led alternative to the…

  • South East Asian leaders foreshadow a pivot to the US in the new administration

    So what will the presidency of US President-elect Joe Biden mean for south east Asia? And how will it differ from the administration of President Trump? South east Asia already knows Joe Biden from his term as US vice president from 2008 – 2016, and his “Asia pivot” that provided high-level diplomacy and resources with strategic trade relationships. The Obama-era…

  • Vietnam plans to keep borders closed and not rely on vaccine strategy

    The Vietnamese Covid-19 task force says it plans to maintain its strategy of containing the coronavirus rather than “rush into a vaccine”, even if a successful vaccine becomes available, that could pose a financial burden the country. Vietnam, despite a month-long surge around Da Nang, has been able to largely contain the local outbreak. Yesterday the world’s Covid numbers reported…

  • Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand

    Vietnamese finance officials are downgrading expectations for a recovery of the south east Asian nation’s economy in 2021. The normally fast-growing gross domestic product in 2020 has stalled due to a huge drop in local and global demand, and the absence of international tourism. The booming economy, growing at an average of 6% per year since 2012, will struggle to reach…

  • Thai Health Minister accepts chairman role with WHO Regional Committee

    Thailand’s Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, has been appointed chair of the World Health Organisation’s Regional Committee for Southeast Asia. The colourful and controversial minister made the announcement at a press conference yesterday afternoon. He says 14 countries put his name forward for the role, which has a fixed term of 1 year, partly due to Thailand’s success in controlling the…

  • Thailand planning land and rail passageway, bypassing congested Strait of Malacca

    Thailand hopes to shorten shipping time by bypassing the busy Strait of Malacca with a 100 kilometre highway and railway passageway. Discussions are underway to construct 2 deep seaports on both sides of the country’s southern coast, which would be linked via rail and highway. The latest proposal replaces the Kra Canal plan, which was talked about for decades. That…

  • UN decries “enforced disappearance”, calls for an end

    The United Nations is calling on all countries in Southeast Asia to criminalise state abductions and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The organisation’s Human Rights Office says it’s “profoundly concerned” over continuing reports of enforced disappearances, after Wanchalearm Satsaksit, an activist living in exile, was abducted in Phnom Penh on June 4,…

  • AirAsia revenue nosedives 98%

    As Asia’s budget airlines struggle for survival, AirAsia Group Wednesday reported its revenue plummeted 98% year-on-year. The unaudited consolidated second quarter results of AirAsia Group, identified as the Consolidated Group (Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia) 1 reported revenue of 119 million ringgit, (around 888 million baht) down 96% from 2.9 billion ringgit (21.6 billion baht) in the second quarter of 2019.…

  • Philippine Embassy fires back at xenophobic Thai Rath headline

    Leading Thai daily Thai Rath has incurred the wrath of the Philippines Embassy in Thailand with their tabloid headline reporting about Filipino teaches coming to Thailand. The first 165 arrived a few days ago. Up to 3,000, mostly Filipino, are expected in the next month or so Filipino teachers are a common sight in schools around Thailand teaching English. The…

  • Rohingya boat incident leaves 24 feared dead off Malaysian coast

    A Rohingya boat incident has left at least 24 people feared to have drowned off the coast of Malaysia after a sole survivor swam to shore on the resort island of Langkawi. The 27 year old, named Nor Hossain was detained by police after arriving on the island. A search and rescue operation was launched using 2 aircraft and 2…

  • South east Asia’s budget airline dilemma

    South east Asia’s low-cost carriers are staggering as demand plunges, and countries are ever-wary about re-opening their borders, raising questions whether they will be needing any new planes in the short to medium term. Malaysia’s AirAsia Group and Vietnam’s VietJet are publicly canvassing their cashflow and funding problems. Indonesia’s Lion Air has shelved a planned flotation this year. But prior…

  • Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia battling new Covid-19 cases in SE Asia

    Indonesia, The Philippines and Singapore are leading the way in South East Asia, contributing the most number of new cases of the coronavirus in the past week (worldometers.info). In the past 24 hours The Philippines (1,841), Indonesia (1,462) and Singapore (327) have added the highest number of new Covid-19 cases in the ASEAN region. In The Philippines the numbers have…

  • PM proposes limited regional travel at Asean summit

    The Covid-19 crisis has severely restricted international air travel, but that didn’t stop a summit of Asean nations yesterday hosted by Vietnam and held by teleconference. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha called on fellow Asean members to begin discussion about reopening certain limited lines of interregional travel, to begin the recovery from the pandemic’s impact on the regional economy. No specific time…

  • Thailand’s eastern economic zone lobbies for increase in foreign business visitors

    Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor is pushing for more foreign business people to be allowed to enter Thailand when the country reopens for international visitors. No date has yet been confirmed for this. The EEC is a special economic region consisting of the eastern provinces of Chonburi, Chachoengsao, and Rayong, with the purpose of developing these provinces into an important ASEAN…