The ASEAN Post recently published an article about the fact that while a large portion of people – including children - in Southeast Asia are starving, tonnes of food is wasted every day. The image is a terribly depressing one and shows the peculiarities of the world that we live in today.
In October last year, Brunei hosted the Brunei Islamic Capital Market (BICAM) Conference 2018, at the Rizqun International Hotel where more than a dozen international experts in Islamic finance met, deliberated and raised awareness on growing Islamic capital markets.
Malaysia and Indonesia have long been rivals – battling over territorial supremacy, diplomatic issues and even cultural appropriation.
From alleged theft of traditions to the superiority of their national football teams, bragging rights between these two ASEAN countries have been as hot an issue as the fiery sambal (chili sauce or paste) they are both so proud of.
ASEAN has to do more to attract private investment for key sustainable infrastructure programmes as the region makes the transition to a low carbon economy.
In line with its Thailand 4.0 goals, the Land of Smiles has been on an active lookout for foreign investors willing to finance projects under this initiative. South Korea recently expressed keen interest in doing so during the 60th anniversary of South Korea-Thailand diplomatic relations late last year.
Last October, Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma revealed that he was in discussion with the Indonesian government regarding the possibility of opening an institute to train tech entrepreneurs in the country. This, he said, would help Indonesia meet the skill demands of Industry 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
Indonesian ride-hailing service Go-Jek’s value has been estimated at US$10 billion by a United States (US) market intelligence company, putting it in the ranks of start-ups called decacorns.
Is an ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on the cards?
The idea which was first proposed in 2016, was one of many on the agenda during the 16th ASEAN-Canada Dialogue in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, last month. Both parties agreed to continued implementation of the ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action (2016-2020) which includes working towards a potential ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement.
With a growing middle class and high internet penetration rates, fintech firms are mushrooming all over the country. In 2016, there were only around 50 firms operating in Indonesia and it is believed that there are now more than 150 fintech firms running in the country.
In 2018, Malaysia had its first change of government since independence from the British over six decades ago. Malaysians had high hopes for the newly elected government; expecting radical changes and improvements in governance. However, there has been a sense of disappointment and growing frustration as the new government there continues to show no real progress since coming into power.
In November 2018, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo's running mate Ma'ruf Amin - who is also the chief of the country's top Islamic clerical body, the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) - revealed plans to make halal (permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law) certification mandatory by this year.