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Commentaries

08 Apr Questions and realities for a new Myanmar

Myanmar changed more than its government last week. For the first time in more than 50 years, a democratic and non-military President is in office. An historic new chapter begins for the country that some have dubbed Asia’s “last frontier economy”. The focus is understandably on...

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10 Mar Fighting of fires must continue under blue skies

Blue skies breed amnesia. With the clear skies, many may now struggle to recall the urgency and anger over the smoke haze pollution in the region. Last year was one of the worst on historical record for fires and it was barely six months ago that...

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04 Feb Keeping ASEAN united: What the US can and cannot do

ASEAN leaders will soon converge in the United States for a Summit with President Barack Obama. The Sunnylands summit, late into Mr Obama’s last year in office, is a marker of the American pivot to the region. His administration should be credited with giving closer...

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07 Jan How ASEAN should navigate a tricky 2016

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...

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30 Dec Global, regional order under pressure, and changing

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...

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27 Nov Palm Oil: The Good, the Bad and the Coy

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...

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