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  • News & article

    The digital wake-up call Europe and Asia cannot ignore

    News, Published on 30/10/2013

    » The coincidence was telling. At their autumn summit last week in Brussels, leaders of the 28 European Union countries were expected to discuss the EU Digital Agenda, with the aim to focus on their internal market and agree on common industrial and regulations priorities. This discussion indeed took place. But the issue which dominated their exchanges was a much more political one: can the EU continue to accept to be spied on by the United States, and can Germany _ the continent's economic powerhouse _ not confront Washington after the recent revelations on Chancellor Angela Merkel's electronic communications interceptions by the National Security Agency (NSA)?

  • News & article

    Remove blinders on free trade agreement

    News, Published on 27/10/2013

    » It is no surprise that lifting trade barriers and international economic integration took centre stage at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit held in Bali earlier this month. In the Leaders' Declaration released at the end of the summit, the goal of achieving a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) was reaffirmed and the benefits of such an agreement were lauded. But what is disturbing is the continuing secrecy surrounding negotiations for a major stepping stone along the way to an FTAAP _ the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which includes 12 Apec members including the US and Japan who make up almost 40% of the global economy.

  • News & article

    Myanmar in quest to welcome more `noble travellers'

    News, Published on 19/10/2013

    » Watch out what you wish for. From trash-strewn trekking paths in Nepal to drunken visitors on the beaches of Bali, nations across the Asia and Pacific region have found that the impact of tourism has not been uniformly positive. Will Myanmar be the next to discover that unfortunate truth as cross-border tourism from Thailand, as well as the number of international air arrivals, continues to grow?

  • News & article

    Obama's pivot away from the pivot

    News, Published on 29/10/2013

    » United States President Barack Obama was right to forego the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Bali, Indonesia, and focus instead on dealing with the political pathologies of the US Congress. But his decision, while correct, had the effect of reviving an increasingly common refrain in the East Asian region: What happened to the "pivot"?

  • News & article

    Don't read too much into Obama's Asean no-show

    News, Published on 11/10/2013

    » Not even the sharpest media spin can spare the United States from criticism making the rounds in East Asia over President Barack Obama's inability to show up for the Asean-led summit season this past week. The contrast could not be clearer. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang stand out as China's tag team at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali and later the East Asia Summit in Brunei, which chairs Asean this year.

  • News & article

    The pleasure of doing business, Asian style

    News, Published on 06/10/2013

    » This could easily be labelled Week of the Summits. There are two big ones _ the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) event, followed almost immediately by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, senior government officials and heads of government and industry, from more than two dozen countries, will attend the meetings. But the obvious, if seldom asked, question is, "why"?

  • News & article

    For students, first the cram, then the crush

    News, Sanitsuda Ekachai, Published on 25/09/2013

    » Sunday was Car-Free Day, but traffic in the Muang Thong area on Chaeng Watthana Road was bumper to bumper from 5am.

  • News & article

    Indonesia shows cautious confidence on world stage

    News, Published on 19/07/2013

    » In recent years, Indonesia has emerged as a robust democracy with a dynamic economy. Now, as the largest and most influential member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Indonesia must leverage its newly acquired strength to confront the challenges facing it and its regional partners, while avoiding foreign-policy recklessness.

  • News & article

    Time to impose controls on hazardous e-waste

    Life, Pichaya Svasti, Published on 28/06/2013

    » A few days ago, I read that the Thai Social Enterprise Office had to extend its deadline for accepting donations of old mobile phones from the general public due to the poor response to its appeal. The donated phones were to be given initially to a sample group of 100 needy disabled people under the One Stop Service for the Disabled Project organised in association with the 1479 Call Centre.

  • News & article

    A robust helping hand for displaced Rohingya, please

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 25/02/2013

    » Although the term "Rohingya" is subject to various interpretations, it has been used in recent times primarily to cover the ethnic Muslim minority found in Myanmar's Rakhine State. Rohingya have sadly been in the news because of the violence, discrimination, dispossession and marginalisation to which they have been subjected. The depth of their tragedy cries out for a robust helping hand from their state of origin and the international community.

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