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INSIGHTS

3-on-3 with Dr. Maung Maung Lay

Myanmar’s military government opened the country’s economy to much fanfare in 2011. But the last frontier market in ASEAN remains one of the most unfriendly to businesses, according to the latest joint study by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. Myanmar is ranked...

3-on-3 with Dr Sarasin Viraphol

Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group was the first foreign investor to enter China when Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping opened the economy in 1979. Its registration number in China is 001. Today, the agribusiness giant employs some 80,000 people for its US$9 billion (S$11 billion)...

MH17 and Ukraine: Keeping two tragedies separate
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Two weeks after the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, international experts and observers still do not have full access to the crash site to conduct a proper investigation. This is partly due to the intensifying fighting between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russia rebels...

Latin America – China and Japan’s new battleground?
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Just two days after Chinese President Xi Jinping finished his nine-day tour of Latin America, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Mexico last week to begin his nine-day visit to the region. The timing seems to suggest that the two Asian powers are vying for...

Is Southeast Asia softening?
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It appears that Southeast Asia might face slower days ahead. The region’s predicted growth rate has been reduced to 4.7 per cent, according to a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The revised forecast attributes the downgrade to political and economic road bumps in...

China removes oil rig, so what’s next?
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China has towed away its oil rig from disputed waters in the South China Sea ahead of schedule, insisting the rig simply completed work earlier than expected. Chinese officials claim an incoming typhoon prompted the departure, while Vietnam has moved its coast guard and patrol...

‘Modinomics’: A Modest Start
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In the wake of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s optimistic election campaign, investors are taking a close look at India’s new 2014/2015 budget, unveiled last week. Promising “good days” for India, the budget comes ahead of a new trade agreement due to be signed between...

The ISIL caliphate: Crisis or chimera?
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In the infancy of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, alternately known as ISIS), most would have dismissed its influence on Southeast Asian security as tenuous at best. However, ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s recent declaration of a caliphate on June 27 has...

Southeast Asia and the Resurgence of Piracy
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Recent months have seen the resurgence of piracy in the region, leading one United Nations agency to call Southeast Asia a “piracy hotspot”. In fact, there were about eight armed piracy-related attacks at the start of 2014 in the Strait of Malacca, according to a...