News

ASEAN RESPONSES TO COVID-19 [22 – 29 MAY]

Monday June 1, 2020 5:37 AM  About 6 days ago

Indonesia is bracing for a “new normal” to relieve economic pressure, even as new daily Covid-19 cases remained high. The Philippines will ease lockdown Metro Manila on 1 June, while Thailand extended its state of emergency to 30 June as a precaution against a second wave of Covid-19 outbreak. Malaysia and Myanmar tightened border control measures to prevent more imported Covid-19 cases from illegal immigrants. Cambodia’s Covid-19 containment efforts won praise from the World Health Organization (WHO), yet concerns are looming about its rising unemployment rate. Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia made more moves to attract supply chain relocation investments. Singapore unveiled its fourth stimulus budget, bringing its Covid-19 economic stimulus package to USD65.5 billion or 19.2% of GDP – the largest in Southeast Asia.

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ASEAN RESPONSES TO COVID-19 [15 – 22 MAY]

Wednesday May 27, 2020 9:48 AM  About 11 days ago

Cambodia lifted its entry ban against foreign travelers from six countries. Singapore unveiled a three-phase economic re-opening scenario from 2 June, including resumption of passenger transit through Changi Airport. While domestic tourism has resumed, Thailand and Vietnam remained cautious of international border re-opening to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 outbreak. The situation in Malaysia remained stable, with double digit daily cases throughout the week. Indonesia, meanwhile, reported yet another peak in daily Covid-19 cases, and there are concerns of increased community-transmitted infections during the Idul Fitri holiday on 24-25 May. Vietnam has secured another supply chain relocation investment, while Indonesia is preparing grounds for a potential one from the US. Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Cambodia secured new international assistance commitments to help finance their Covid-19 public health and economic support measures.

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Southeast Asia: Political Pawn or Proxy

Tuesday May 19, 2020 6:35 AM  About 19 days ago

As a locus of the strategic competition between the United States and China, Southeast Asia strives to maintain a delicate balance between the two great powers. However, the outbreak of Covid-19 complicates the dilemma of Southeast Asia. Politically, the United States is distancing itself from Southeast Asia at the time when China is widening its sphere of influence. What does this mean for Southeast Asia and how are the countries responding? Listen to the full podcast by Inside Asia Podcast where Asia Group Advisors CEO Adam Schwarz discusses how Southeast Asia is managing the coronavirus as well as the economic and geopolitical fallout from the pandemic.

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ASEAN Responses To Covid-19 [08 – 15 MAY]

Monday May 18, 2020 3:02 AM  About 20 days ago

This week saw further easing of restrictions across the region, except for Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Vietnam reported 24 new imported cases, but the risk of community transmission remains low as patients have been under strict quarantine upon arrival. While migrant community cases remain high, Singapore is still on track for a gradual economic reopening by early June as general community cases are steadily declining. Indonesia, meanwhile, continues to see large daily case increases and the highest fatality count in the region. To bolster growth, Vietnam and Thailand are drumming up initiatives to promote domestic tourism, while the Philippines has resumed its national infrastructure development program. Despite earlier projections of a contraction, Malaysia’s economy grew by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2020. Vietnam and Cambodia have lifted rice export bans, relieving some pressure from the regional food supply chain.

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COVID-19 is increasing strategic uncertainty in Southeast Asia

Thursday May 14, 2020 3:40 AM  About 24 days ago

The outbreak of the Covid-19 has spawned significant debate and discussion on what a post-pandemic global world order will look like and what it entails for Southeast Asia. In an op-ed published on Atlantic Council, Asia Group Advisors CEO Adam Schwarz argues that it is too soon to see any re-aligning in the foreign policy sphere, but mis-steps by either power — ranging from more aggressive Chinese behavior in the South China Sea to politically mandated moves by the US to re-shore manufacturing supply chains – could change the geopolitical balance in Southeast Asia.

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ASEAN Responses To Covid-19 [01 – 08 MAY]

Monday May 11, 2020 6:34 AM  About 27 days ago

Most countries, except Myanmar and Indonesia, saw a slowing in the growth rate of infections this week. Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines have flattened the curve; Singapore is believed to have passed the peak of daily confirmed cases although the figure will remain in the high-hundreds for a period of time. The situation in Cambodia remained stable for the second consecutive week. Some countries have shifted their focus from containing the spread of the coronavirus to post-pandemic economic recovery. Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia have allowed most economic activities to resume at full capacity, while Indonesia and Singapore will progressively re-open the economy in phases in the coming weeks. The Philippines and Myanmar are focusing on providing financial assistance to businesses. Vietnam is the first Southeast Asian country to allow its domestic tourism industry to resume operations although Indonesia has resumed limited domestic and international land, sea, and air transport. This week reaffirmed previous expectations that elections in Singapore and Myanmar will proceed as planned despite the pandemic.

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ASEAN Responses To Covid-19 [24 APRIL – 01 MAY]

Monday May 4, 2020 3:40 AM  About 1 month ago

Infection rates have begun to decline across the region even though Singapore and Indonesia continued to see large daily increases. Testing capacity also improved slightly across the board although the Philippines and Indonesia are struggling to reach daily testing targets. Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand have entered the recovery phase, beginning with the easing of movement restrictions. A common theme that emerged last week was the concerns of abuse and violation of human rights. Governments in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Cambodia have been accused of suppressing freedom of expression and cracking down on opposition under the pretext of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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ASEAN Responses to Covid-19 [17 – 24 April]

Thursday April 30, 2020 9:35 AM  About 1 month ago

This past week saw a surge in cases in Singapore and Indonesia, while the number of new infections in Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia trended downward. The number of new infections jumped in Myanmar but at a slower rate than Indonesia and Singapore. On a positive note, Vietnam and Cambodia did not record any new cases in the past week, though many observers believe Cambodia’s results are due to severe undertesting. Vietnam is the only country in Southeast Asia to begin easing its social distancing mandates. Thailand, which has achieved significant progress in containing the spread of the coronavirus, will likely extend its state of emergency until the end of May. The rest of Southeast Asia has also extended lockdown policies in varying degrees, with many countries worried that internal travel due to Ramadhan and other public holidays will exacerbate the spread of the virus. Governments across the region continued to commit new funding to assist those affected by the virus.

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AGA supports EU-ABC to engage with the highest levels of government

Monday December 9, 2019 10:04 AM  About 6 months ago

From 26-29 November Asia Group Advisors had the opportunity to assist EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) in its 2019 Business Mission. EU-ABC had 76 registered delegations representing 37 companies from various industries. The delegation had the opportunity to engage productively with President Joko Widodo, numerous ministers and 19 government ministries in just 4 days.

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Indonesia Maju and the implications for business

Monday December 9, 2019 10:03 AM  About 6 months ago

On 6 November, Associate Director for Indonesia and Southeast Asia Lauren Adams joined the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmChamSG)’s expert panel to discuss what to expect from Indonesia President Jokowi’s new cabinet and implications for investments and businesses in the market.

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