Asean News

Asean keen to seal major trade pact

MANILA (The Straits Times/ANN) - Leaders to take stock of progress on regionwide free trade pact when they meet in Manila today.

Asean leaders have instructed officials to try and conclude a regionwide free trade pact by the end of this year, the grouping's top official said.

Duterte avoids mention of China in Asean welcome address

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - While Asean is expected to come up with a code of conduct among parties with claims on the disputed South China Sea, President Rodrigo Duterte did not mention China and avoided using a contested term in his welcome address during the opening of the Asean Summit in Manila.

Former Thai PM lodges an appeal over $490 million tax bill

BANGKOK (The Naton/ANN) - Submission by ex-PM now means case may not be heard in court for two years.

Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has appealed his baht 17.6-billion ($490 million) tax bill, so his alleged tax-evasion case will likely not reach the tax court for about two years.

Central Bank of Malaysia implements more measures to strengthen economy

LABUAN, Malaysia (Sin Chew Daily / ANN) - Bank Negara governor Muhammad Ibrahim said the Central Bank would continue introducing more new measures to strengthen the fundamental of Malaysian economy.

Jobless rate for S'poreans and permanent residents holds steady

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) - Fewer workers losing jobs even as total employment shrinks, largely due to work permit holders leaving

Unemployment for Singaporeans and permanent residents held steady after the first three months of this year in a patchy labour market that reflects the uneven growth in the economy.

‘Get rid of trade barriers’

KUALA LUMPUR (The Star/ANN) - Asean still has a long way towards integrating its 10 economies due to a high number of trade barriers in the grouping.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said between 2000 and 2015, non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and measures (NTMs) rose from 1,634 to 5,975.

Asean leaders wrestle over China at summit

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte faced pushback on Saturday at a regional summit over his efforts to weaken Southeast Asian resistance to Chinese expansionism in the contested South China Sea, diplomats said.

Duterte was due to release a chairman’s statement at the end of the one-day Association of Southeast Asian (Asean) leaders meeting that ignored an international tribunal ruling rejecting China’s sweeping claims to the strategically vital waterway.

Honeylet gives Asean spouses tour of National Museum in Manila

President Rodrigo Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avanceña (center) poses with spouses of Asean leaders in front of the iconic “Spoliarium” painting at the National Museum. JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/

President Rodrigo Duterte’s partner Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña toured the spouses of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders at the National Museum on Saturday.

Duterte calls for respect for independence in debut as Asean host



President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) leaders to respect each countries’ independence in the region and find their place in the international arena.

Duterte debuted as host of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) summit here in Manila, the first test of his diplomacy as host.

Asean must cut nontariff barriers

(Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN)

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak wants the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to reduce nontariff barriers by at least half for the regional bloc to become the fourth-largest economy by 2050, a tall order that seeks to reverse the rising protectionism within the ten-member group.