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Blog Masonry

[Premium] Country Update: 30 March – 12 April 2019
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Indonesia Fourth Presidential Debate Excites as Election Nears (30 Mar) The fourth presidential debate between incumbent Joko Widodo “Jokowi” and Prabowo Subianto occurred on 30 March, Saturday, and covered ideology, governance, security and foreign affairs. The two candidates sparred over issues such as Indonesia’s defence budget, which...

Commentary: Making sustainable consumption of palm oil the norm in Asia
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By Chen Chen Lee and Lau Xin Yi For The Jakarta Post Relations between the European Union and Malaysia and Indonesia hit an obstacle when Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Indonesia’s Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan recently threatened to boycott EU’s products if the bloc...

[Premium] ESG Update: 22 March – 5 April 2019
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Haze/ Resources/ EU Indonesia threatens to quit Paris climate deal over palm oil (27 Mar) Indonesian leaders have announced that they are considering leaving the Paris climate deal if the European Union proceeds to phase out palm oil in renewable transportation fuel. The announcement comes after the...

[Premium] Chairman’s Note (01/2019) – Thailand’s Upcoming Election
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March 2019 | As a number of you have asked, I thought to share some observations about the upcoming election in Thailand, our region’s second largest economy. This is especially after the dramatic development when Princess Ubolratana briefly offered to serve as Prime Minister and the...

Commentary: Thailand must take action for cleaner air in Asean
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By Simon Tay and Liyana Othman For Bangkok Post When complaints are made about the haze crisis and air pollution in Southeast Asia, most usually think about fires in Indonesia's provinces, which have been a recurrent problem for over two decades. However, the situation this year has been different...

[Premium] Digital Economy Update: 22 March – 5 April 2019
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Tech Business FIS Acquires Worldpay for US$43 bn in Largest Deal Made in Payments Industry (18 Mar) Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), a US financial services provider, announced that it will purchase Worldpay, a major cards payments player in the UK, for US$43 billion. The deal is...

[Premium] Country Update: 16 March – 29 March 2019
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Indonesia Jokowi Mulls Creating New Ministries for Investments, Exports (12 Mar) President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) said on 12 March that he was considering forming new ministries to tackle declining investment and export growth figures. The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) had reported an 30% decline in foreign investment...

Security and Prosperity in the Asia-Pacific
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The rapid growth in the Asia-Pacific’s economic and political power has significant implications for global governance. Asia-Pacific countries such as Japan, India and China, and regional bodies such as ASEAN, are increasingly informing, influencing and seeking to shape international standards and norms. At a London conference...

Commentary: Myanmar — investors should be cautious but take the risk
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By Simon Tay For Nikkei Asian Review A humanitarian crisis that has been brewing at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh since 2016 is reaching a critical point. At Cox's Bazar, just inside Bangladesh, an estimated 740,000 displaced Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar's Rakhine State are encamped in...