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Blog Masonry

Asia will be able to enter a new period of growth
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Asia's economy is undergoing economic structural changes that poses some risks. But if these risks are overcome, countries will undergo a new phase of growth. The SIIA invited business leaders and academic experts to have a discussion on whether factors such as the economic structural imbalance...

ASEAN should stop human trafficking, for its own people’s sake
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Regional leaders inaugurated an ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nations) Community at the end of last year to bring their 10 countries closer — not only for economic integration, but also on security and political issues as well as social and cultural affairs. One test for...

How ASEAN should navigate a tricky 2016
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Many turbulent events in 2015 were symptoms of a world lacking in optimism and growth, and facing possible changes in the global order. Even as social and economic uncertainties continue, competition is increasing among major powers, especially between the US and China. There is not much...

Global, regional order under pressure, and changing
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The decision by the United States Federal Reserve to raise interest rates is newsworthy, and not only for this month. The US economy is at last recovering — with some sturdiness, even if not strongly. This marker can be seen in a longer trajectory. Keeping rates...

3-on-3 with Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid: ASEAN Economic Community

We interviewed Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid, Chairman of the ASEAN-Business Advisory Council and Visiting Senior Fellow at the Southeast Asia International Affairs Programme at LSE IDEAS. Dr. Majid spoke at a panel on “ASEAN Economic Community 2015 – What Now, What Next?” at the SIIA's...

3-on-3 with Frank Lavin: US elections and Trans-Pacific Partnership

We spoke with Frank Lavin, former US Ambassador to Singapore and former Director of the Office of Political Affairs at The White House. Mr. Lavin gave an evening talk at the SIIA called "The 2016 U.S. Presidential Race: An Inside View" on 23 September 2015. We asked...

3-on-3 with Nina Hachigian: US-ASEAN and US-China

The SIIA spoke with Ambassador Nina Hachigian, the US Ambassador to ASEAN. Ms. Hachigian was recently part of the Hatakeyama Panel concerning ASEAN Regional Integration and the Roles of Japan, China & USA at the 2015 ASEAN Asia Forum on October 1. We asked her...

ASEAN-Taiwan Relations – What’s Next?
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As Taiwanese citizens head to the polls next year, the newly elected president shoulders the responsibility of setting the tone for the future of cross-strait relations. Even though the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has strong support in the polls, the recent Xi-Ma meeting does suggest...

Palm Oil: The Good, the Bad and the Coy
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A recent call in France to boycott Nutella had many Italians going nuts. “We should stop eating Nutella,” French Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal urged in a television interview. Her reason: the iconic chocolatehazelnut spread by Italy’s Ferrero Group is made with palm oil. “Oil palms...

Mobilizing Mass Efforts to Fight the Haze in Southeast Asia
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The recent haze crisis has set a few new records in the region. Given the massive human and environmental costs, it will go down in history as one of the worst environmental disasters in Southeast Asia. The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has...