Asia News In Brief

19:15' 07-08-2017
Since June, Chinese and Indian troops have been engaged in a stand-off over a 90 square km area in the Doklam Plateau of the Himalayas, connecting China, India and Bhutan.

    Recently, Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency warned of an increase in forest fire threats due the ongoing drought in the country that was expected to worsen. — Reuters pic

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Photo: themalaymailonline.com

    CHINA

    Border territory dispute with India

    Since June, Chinese and Indian troops have been engaged in a stand-off over a 90 square km area in the Doklam Plateau of the Himalayas, connecting China, India and Bhutan.

    The dispute began when India sent troops to stop Chinese road-builders from working in the area. China claims the area belongs to China, according to a treaty signed with Britain in 1890, and says it will defend the area “at all costs”. However, the treaty is ambiguous, and seemingly also places the area in Indian territory.

    China and India held a border war in the region in 1962, based on the same treaty.

    Indian PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping both attended the recent Group of 20 meeting in Germany, but did not hold a meeting that might have defused tensions.

    JAPAN                      

    Thailand key market for watch maker

    Japanese watch maker Seiko hopes to entice more customers in Thailand, particularly young people, to boost sales in Southeast Asia, according to Kyodo News.

    Senior executive vice president Minoru Ishiguro said that the ratio of revenue from the Asian market, excluding Japan, is expected to rise from 20% to 25% by 2020, with Thailand being an important driver, as it is the company’s biggest and most influential market in the region.

    The medium-priced sport watch Prospex is the most important product contributing to Seiko's growth in Thailand, said Ishiguro, adding that the country is also the fastest-growing market for Prospex.

    MALAYSIA

    Malaysian firefighters to fight Indonesian forest fires

    Malaysia is poised to assist Indonesia in battling forest fires in the country.

    The Malaysian Government is seriously worried about forest fires in Indonesia, and is ready to send firefighters to help the neighbouring country put out them at any time.

    Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency has recently issued a warning about a rise in forest fire threats due to the ongoing drought in the country. The threat is expected to worsen as some hot spots have already been detected in Aceh, causing haze in the area.

    However, Indonesian authorities have assured Malaysia and Singapore they will not experience haze, because they have already taken steps to extinguish the fires.

    PHILIPPINES

    Republic of Korea to support crime fighting         

    The Republic of Korea (RoK) will extend its support to help increase the investigation capabilities of the Philippines' police force, RoK's news agency Yonhap reported. The two sides reached the cooperation agreement at a ceremony in Quezon City on July 12.

    Officials at the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) said that it will join the Korea National Police Agency in spending 7.5 billion won (US$6.6 million) by next year to transfer investigation techniques in 17 fields to the Philippine police, including forensics, evidence analysis, data management and suspect tracking.

    Moreover, about 270 patrol cars and motorcycles, and 120 science investigation kits will be provided to the Philippine police, while about 150 Philippine police officers will get training in South Korea.

    THAILAND

    Rail link to China approved

    Last month Thailand approved over US$5 billion for the construction of the first stretch of a high-speed railway that will ultimately connect to China, according to the South China Morning Post.

    Construction began in Laos late last year. When completed, trains will be able to travel south from Kunming in Yunnan province through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia to Singapore.

    The rail link is part of China's “One Belt, one Road” infrastructure plan, for which China will provide the design, technology, signalling systems and technical training. Thai firms would be responsible for construction.

    Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha made use of an executive order last month to clear the 179 billion baht (US$5.37 billion) construction costs for the 850 km project, which will take four years to complete.

    Thailand has also agreed to build a 700km high-speed rail connection between Bangkok and the Thai city of Chiang Mai using Japanese technology.

    Economy to expand by 3.6%

    Thailand’s Finance Ministry says the country's economy will expand by 3.6% this year, as previously forecast. Last year, the Thai economy grew by 3.2%.

    The latest report published by the ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office demonstrated that the recovery of the global economy will encourage Thai exports, which are forecasted to rise by 4.7% this year.

    Exports and government spending will drive the economy, while private investment in the construction sector is likely to slow down.

    Earlier this month, the Bank of Thailand increased its 2017 economic growth forecast from 3.4% to 3.5%, with exports up 5% instead of the 2.2% projected previously.

    VIETNAM

    Vietnam to become EU’s largest ASEAN trade partner

    Vietnam hopes to become the European Union’s largest trade partner in ASEAN, once the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into effect in 2018.

    Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that Vietnam could also emerge as the most promising destination in Southeast Asia for European businesses. Once in effect, the EVFTA will attract investment from the EU into Vietnam, opening up opportunities for the two sides to access each other’s market.

    The EU will remove about 85.6% of tax lines on Vietnam’s exports, with the rate rising to 99% in another seven years. Meanwhile, Vietnam will liberalise 65% of import duties on EU exports, with about 99.8% of EU goods exported to Vietnam enjoying a zero percent tax rate ten years later.

    Statistics from the MoIT reveal that the Vietnam-EU trade in 2016 expanded by 8.93% from the previous year to US$45.07 billion.

    Phung Nguyen and Span Hanna

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Vocabulary Rating Review

    •   Good contents
    •   Average Contents
    •   Not as good
Keywords: forest firesseikowatch maker

Updated News