These are the top stories making the front pages of major newspapers from across Southeast Asia today.
Get up to speed with what’s happening in the fastest growing region in the world.
Singapore exports fall 14.6% in Q2 amid slowing electronics demand
Singapore exports took a tumble in the second quarter, shrinking by 14.6 percent on the back of slowing global demand for electronics and sluggish trade conditions. This was a sharp fall from the 6.4 percent contraction in non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) in the first three months of the year, according to Enterprise Singapore (ESG) data released on Tuesday. It also marked the third consecutive quarter of negative year-on-year Nodx growth. - The Straits Times
France opens criminal probe into Nora Anne's death
The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal probe into the death of an Irish-French girl, whose body was found near a jungle stream in Malaysia. The remains of Nora Anne Quoirin, 15, were found on Tuesday, 10 days after she went missing from a rainforest resort about 70km south of Kuala Lumpur. An autopsy begun on Wednesday morning had yet to conclude, Malaysian police said, adding that forensic pathologists were still working to determine the cause of Quoirin’s death. French prosecutors regularly launch investigations on cases involving French citizens abroad. Nora’s mother is from Belfast while her father is French. - New Straits Times
New Cabinet: Fresh effort to boost economy
With Indonesia’s economy softening and facing pressure from around the world, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo plans to overhaul the Cabinet to address economic issues to boost exports, investments and the digital economy. President Jokowi, who is to take up his second five-year term starting in October, said the upcoming lineup of Cabinet ministers has been finalised and is to be announced in the near future. While the number of ministries would remain the same at 34, several ministries would be given new economy-related tasks, with an aim to improve exports and the current account deficit - which the President said was the country's biggest economic problem at present. - The Jakarta Post
US invests in Thai solar energy project
The United States has funded a Thai energy developer for its feasibility study of a solar power project in Thailand as part of its Indo-Pacific commitment. Thomas Hardy, director of the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), said yesterday's grant signing ceremony marked an important milestone in the USTDA's role in Thailand. "It is a manifestation of the Indo-Pacific vision laid out by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last year. It is our commitment to investing in visionary companies looking to transform the energy sector," he said at the event. - Bangkok Post
Vietnam’s e-commerce market may rank third in Southeast Asia
Vietnam could have Southeast Asian's third-largest e-commerce market by 2025 with US$33 billion. According to the E-Business Index 2019 report drafted by the Vietnam E-Commerce Association, the scale of Vietnam’s e-commerce market in 2018 was US$9 billion. The report also forecast the compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 2015-2018 period was 25 percent and the market would reach US$33 billion in 2025, behind only Indonesia at US$100 billion and Thailand at US$43 billion. - Vietnam News
Chea is ‘legally innocent’
The defense lawyer for the late Khmer Rouge Brother Number Two Nuon Chea claimed on Wednesday that his death rendered him “legally innocent”. Hence, Doreen Chen called on the Supreme Court Chamber of the UN-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) to declare him as such. In November last year, the ECCC, commonly known as the Khmer Rouge tribunal, convicted Chea of genocide, crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions in Case 002/02. - The Phnom Penh Post