Latest ASEAN news

Middle East companies with an ASEAN focus upbeat about business growth in the region

Dubai, UAE: Middle East companies focusing on ASEAN are positive about business growth in the region. This is according to a survey[1] commissioned by Standard Chartered for its “Borderless Business: Middle East-ASEAN Corridor”, a strategic report that explores high-potential opportunities for cross-border growth in this corridor. All surveyed Middle East companies expect business growth over the next 12 months, with over 80 per cent of them projecting an annual increase in both revenue (82%) and production (81%) of over 10 per cent.

Mohamed Salama, Head, Client Coverage, Head, Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking (CCIB), MENA, and Head, CCIB, UAE, said: “ASEAN is a fast-growing trade bloc with increasing economic and financial influence. As Middle East countries look to diversify their economies away from oil, regional businesses are exploring new avenues of investments and ASEAN has emerged as the preferred option due to multiple regional and country-level alliances. The region provides unparalleled trade and investment prospects across various sectors such as refinery and petrochemicals, real estate and infrastructure.”

He added: “ASEAN’s focus on becoming future-ready in areas such as digital and renewable energy offers Middle East companies and investment firms’ ample opportunities to invest, develop and provide solutions to meet their sustainability goals. Given our unique global footprint, Standard Chartered has the right mix of local knowledge and expertise across all ASEAN markets to better help our clients leverage these potential opportunities and strive for continued success.”

The report also revealed that access to the large and growing ASEAN consumer market (60%), access to a global market enabled by a network of Free Trade Agreements (58%) and diversification of production footprint (51%) are regarded as the most important drivers[2] for expansion into the region, according to senior executives of the surveyed Middle East companies. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is also expected to attract more investments into the 10-nation bloc. All respondents agreed that the ratification of the RCEP agreement will lead to more investments from their company. Close to 70 per cent[3] expect their company to increase investments by more than 50 per cent over the next 3-5 years.

Of the ASEAN markets targeted for growth, 69 per cent of survey respondents said they are focusing on expanding in Singapore to capture sales and production opportunities. This comes after the top choice of Malaysia (78%) and is followed by Indonesia (67%). Among the Middle East companies keen to tap Singapore for expansion opportunities, 94 per cent consider the city-state a major regional R&D / Innovation centre while 87 per cent of the surveyed executives view Singapore as a desirable hub location for regional procurement. The same number of respondents (87%) agreed that Singapore is an ideal place to set up their regional sales & marketing headquarters.

The survey also showed Middle East companies recognising a wide range of risks within the region. The top three identified risks are the COVID-19 pandemic or other health crises (69%), understanding of regional regulations (49%) as well as geopolitical uncertainty and trade conflicts (47%).[4] Furthermore, the respondents agreed that adapting their business model to industry practices and conditions within ASEAN (64%), sourcing funds and managing liquidity (56%) and building relationships with suppliers and adapting supply chain logistics (51%) are the most significant challenges[5] in the next 6 to12 months.

To drive resilient and rebalanced growth in ASEAN and mitigate these risks and challenges, the survey respondents considered executing digital transformation programmes (60%), driving sustainability and ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) initiatives (53%) and entering new partnerships / joint ventures to increase market presence (47%) as the most important areas[6] for their companies to focus on. To support their growth, these companies said they are seeking banking partners with foreign exchange hedging and comprehensive multi-currency settlement services (64%), extensive trade financing services (58%), and strong cash management capabilities (53%) [7].

Rino Donosepoetro, Vice Chairman, ASEAN & President Commissioner Indonesia, Standard Chartered, said: “The Middle East and ASEAN enjoy increasingly close economic ties. In 2020 alone, Middle East companies invested USD700 million into ASEAN, a three-fold surge from 2017. We continue to see a growing number of opportunities for Middle East businesses in the region. Apart from being a destination for energy exports, ASEAN is emerging as a promising economic partner for Middle East companies’ expansion into growth sectors such as refining and petrochemicals, infrastructure and real-estate, renewable energy, retail and consumer goods, and digital infrastructure and services. As the only international bank with a presence in all 10 ASEAN markets, Standard Chartered is well-positioned to help our Middle East clients diversify into new non-oil sectors and leverage the tremendous opportunities the region has to offer.v

Cambodia, New Zealand to boost bilateral trade and investment

Cambodia and New Zealand are keen to promote their bilateral cooperation in trade and investment.
During a meeting with New Zealand’s Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Phil Twyford, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak said that the two sides are committed to further boosting their bilateral trade and investment growth.

Sorasak and a team from the Ministry of Commerce had a virtual meeting with Twyford and his colleagues on Tuesday.

The two sides exchanged views on economic and trade cooperation progress under the regional framework, with a briefing on the progress of the Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA). It is one of Cambodia’s other economic priorities for 2022 under the fourth key strategic goal of Asean globalisation for growth and development. The minister also urged to expedite negotiations on the remaining issues to complete the AANZFTA with its deadline in 2022.

He also briefed on the progress of the ratification process on the Regional Comprehensive Agreement (RCEP) of the Asean Member States, which is completing domestic procedures for its full entry into force. It is an economic priority achievement under Cambodia’s Asean chairmanship for 2022.

Meanwhile, Royal Academy of Cambodia researcher Hong Vannak reiterated that the volume of bilateral trade between Cambodia and New Zealand is small compared with markets like the US, Europe, and China. But New Zealand has a large Cambodian population living there.

“There is an RCEP mechanism where we can enhance bilateral trade relations,” he said, adding, “With New Zealand, Cambodia does not have a bilateral free trade agreement yet, as Cambodia and New Zealand trade is not dominant. At the same time, Cambodia has increased bilateral trade agreements with China and South Korea and Japan,” he pointed out.

For original article, please read here

Author: Sok Sithika

Source: Khmer Times 

Good Potential of Myanmar dried tea for German tea market penetration

Germany is the second largest importer and exporter of dried tea in EU. Hamburg, a seaport city in Germany, is famous as the Tea Capital and tea companies, Service providers such as laboratories and German Tea Association exist in this city. Germany use dried tea which is imported for domestic consumption and re-exports it to more than 100 countries, with 65% of its exports to EU. In Germany, green tea and black tea are the most commonly consumed, with an average of 28 liters per capita in 2020. 

German people prefer black tea and they use it by bombinating natural herbs, fruits and vegetables for health. 

Specialty teas are also being imported by German companies as high quality and unique aromatic teas and are chosen as a selection from tea consumers. Consumers are now more interested in drinking dry tea instead of coffee. It is important to get organic certification for Specialty Tea and Fair Trade Certificate has become a market requirement. Germany is also an important gateway for specialized tea in EU. The German Tea and Herbal Infusions Association is a merger of the German Tea Association and the Herbal Infusions Association since 2020.

Dry tea from Myanmar is imported by German companies which are Teegschwendner Company and Chardo Company. Myanmar Fermented Tea products are now available on the German online marketplace ( and other Myanmar tea companies are working to expand their reach into the German retail and online markets. As tea products from Myanmar are specialty tea quality, Myanmar exporters will need to make efforts to expand their exports to Germany and Europe, where demand is high.


Thai ambassador to Laos visits Savannakhet Special Economic Zone C – Savan Park, Savannakhet Dry Port

A site visit by a Thai delegation led by the Thai ambassador to Laos has brought new hope of boosting investment in Savan Park and Savannakhet Dry Port, which is currently attracting investors from Europe and Asia.
The purpose of the site visit on Thursday was to learn about the development of Savan Park and Savannakhet Dry Port, which are ideally located in a strategic position close to Thailand and Vietnam, with a logistics system that is linked to the region and the rest of the world, bolstered by the newly-opened Laos-China Railway.

During the site visit by the Thai delegation, led by Ambassador Jesda Katavetin, the General Manager of Savan Park, Mr Tee Chee Seng, highlighted the overall development of Savan Park and the Savannakhet Dry Port.  

He informed the guests that the Savan Seno Special Economic (Savan Park Zone C) is strategically located along the East West Economic Corridor (EWEC) and was developed on 234 hectares of wasteland into an industrial, commercial and logistics hub.

“Because of the strategic location setup of the EWEC by JICA, Savan Park SEZ realised the potential to develop this area into a free trade industrial zone,” he said.

Mr Tee also said that plenty of investors in the region were now looking to invest in Laos because of the incentives offered, the country’s political stability, the relative lack of natural disasters, low initial investment cost, and the low or zero import duty paid by importing countries on products that are “Made in Laos”.
“We welcome Thai investors to explore cross-border business opportunities and investment in this zone,” Mr Tee said.
With more than 6,000 students graduating in Savannakhet province each year, there are no problems with labour shortage, he added.
Mr Tee said Savannakhet province is training people in the skills needed for employment in the zone and the number of foreign employees was dwindling as more local people gained essential skills.
According to his report, some 65,000 Lao workers returned home from neighbouring countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many of them now willing to work in Laos instead of overseas.[read more...]

Matrade: Malaysia’s E&E exports to perform well despite Covid challenges, chip supply shortage risks

 KUALA LUMPUR (March 29): The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) expects the country’s electrical and electronics (E&E) exports led by semiconductor devices and integrated circuits (ICs) to perform well this year, despite the ongoing pandemic challenges and the global risks of chip supply shortage.

“In years of accumulating experience serving multinational companies in Malaysia and abroad, Malaysian manufacturers will continue to serve as a manufacturing hub for the E&E sector in the region, to meet the demands from the global customers,” said Naim Abdul Rahman, the corporation’s director of E&E, ICT, machinery and equipment. 

Malaysia’s E&E trade performance continued its upward momentum in January and February, with E&E exports rising by 19.6% year-on-year to US$20.18 billion during the period, Naim said in a webinar titled “Boosting Malaysian SME's Competitiveness on the Global Stage” organised by SEMI Southeast Asia and Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association on Tuesday (March 29).

In terms of major export products and markets, Naim said a similar trend is noticed whereby all top five export products recorded remarkable growth, while semiconductors remained as the largest E&E export products.

The top five export products for E&E include semiconductors and ICs; telecommunication equipment and parts; automatic data processing (ADP) machines; parts and accessories for office machines and ADP; and electrical machinery and apparatus.

By markets, Naim said Singapore was the largest, followed by the US, mainland China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

“Matrade is always ready to connect Malaysian E&E companies with global customers and buyers wishing to outsource their E&E products and services for use back home or as support to their global operations,” he added.

SEMI Southeast Asia president Linda Tan told the webinar that the E&E industry is a key driver of Malaysia’s industrial development, contributing significantly to export earnings, investments and employment.

This, she said, stimulates the growth of new economic clusters, especially in relation to manufacturing related services such as testing and engineering.

“Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) form a crucial part of this industry, but to continue leveraging on the growth of the E&E, which by nature is a global ecosystem, SMEs must grow their presence beyond Malaysia,” she said.

Malaysia Productivity Corporation director-general Datuk Abdul Latif Abu Seman said the government will prioritise incorporating advanced technology among SMEs under 12th Malaysia Plan, serving as a powerful gamechanger for the economy.

“It enables SMEs to transform, compete and penetrate global markets. SMEs will be equipped with the skills to digitalise their business process with automation, big data and artificial intelligence, in line with the National Fourth Industrial Revolution Policy and Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint,” he said.

Abdul Latif said SMEs require a larger pool of skilled talents equipped with the needed skill sets, which is vital in meeting the new competitive landscape.

“Clear and supportive policies, along with an optimum regulatory and business environment, are crucial to attracting more foreign direct investment that allows a higher degree of knowledge and technological diffusion between SMEs and larger firms,” he said.


Source: The Edge Market

Malaysia, Indonesia palm oil trade to benefit from world economic growth — MPOC

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Malaysia and Indonesia will be the focus of international oils and fats trade this year, supported by the projection of a 4% world economic growth and higher demand for vegetable oils, said the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).

Chief executive officer Wan Aishah Wan Hamid said demand for vegetable oils is growing in tandem with the economic recovery but supply disruption had caused vegetable oil prices to record high levels, especially over the past few months.

“Palm oil prices skyrocketed in February 2022 and established new record highs, supported by current low stocks and lower production in the two major palm oil-producing countries, Indonesia and Malaysia,” she said in her presentation during the Palm Oil Internet Seminar (Pointers) on Monday (March 28).

Themed “Assessing 2022: Managing Opportunities and Risks”, the seminar features six presentations covering topics such as supply and demand of oils and fats, prices and the market outlook, opportunities for palm oil in Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa markets, among others.

The seminar runs from March 28 until April 1.

Wan Aishah noted that Indonesia and Malaysia contribute up to 85% of global palm oil production.

Among other vegetable oils globally, 30% of oils and fats production comes from Indonesia and Malaysia as well.

She said the MPOC forecast Malaysia’s crude palm oil (CPO) production to be at 18.9 million tonnes this year, up from 18.1 million tonnes last year.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s CPO production is poised to derive at 47.1 million tonnes from last year’s 45.2 million tonnes.

On price forecasts over the medium term, she said the Russia-Ukraine conflict remains the single biggest factor in price direction.

CPO prices will likely remain between RM5,700 and RM6,300 per tonne until May this year if the conflict drags on, she said.

As for the long-term price outlook, Wan Aishah said lower-than-expected supplies, higher demand, volatility in Brent crude oil prices and geopolitical tensions remain key factors in determining price direction.

“It is forecast that there will be a price correction for all vegetable oils but only in the third quarter of 2022, but palm oil will likely be traded at the RM4,500 to RM5,500 per tonne level,” she shared.

Palm oil prices have been steadily rising since the third quarter of 2021 due to lower-than-expected production in both Malaysia and Indonesia.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in a demand surge for palm oil as it is the most abundantly available.

As a result, palm oil prices increased by 21% to US$1,990 (about RM8,384.86) per tonne on March 2, 2022 from the US$1,640 per tonne level registered on Feb 25, 2022.

Palm oil, which is usually traded at a discount to soybean oil, has seen the price gap narrowing and eventually trading at a premium to soybean oil from Feb 28 until March 7, 2022.

Sunflower oil prices increased abruptly to US$3,000 per tonne from March 8 until March 10, 2022.

As for export destinations for palm oil for January to February 2022, exports to India rose 32.56% to 409,465 tonnes, exports to China slipped 17.43% to 163,148 tonnes, and exports to Turkey jumped 125.96% to 160,104 tonnes.

Meanwhile, exports to the Netherlands eased 4.7% to 120,619 tonnes and for Kenya (the fifth top highest export destination of Malaysian palm oil) it soared 132.45% to 112,902 tonnes.

Exports of Malaysian palm oil to 10 countries for the first two months of 2022 improved to 2.26 million tonnes from 1.85 million tonnes in 2021, up by 22.16%.

Source : The Edge Market

Palm biodiesel conference aims to bolster cooperation, investment

JAKARTA (March 21): The third Palm Biodiesel Conference that will take place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on March 24 is an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and investment, as well as addressing the challengers in developing sustainable and environment-friendly, carbon neutral and renewable energy.

Co-organisers Indonesia Biofuels Producer Association (APROBI) and Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) opine that palm biodiesel is part of energy transition that also contributes to the decarbonisation of the transport sector.

Therefore, better understanding, support and collaborative actions by palm oil producing countries, the associations and other stakeholders are key for the future of biodiesel and biofuel, the co-organisers noted in a statement Monday (March 21).

Supported by the Malaysian Biodiesel Association, Thai Biodiesel Producer Association and Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle, the conference will run in parallel with the first Energy Transition Working Group Meeting of G20 under the G20 presidency of Indonesia 2022.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto and Malaysian Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin will officiate at the conference.

It will feature leading industry speakers such as Indonesia Biofuels Producer Association vice-chairperson Paulus Tjakrawan, Malaysian Biodiesel Association president U.R. Unnithan, CPOPC executive director Tan Sri Yusof Basiron and Thai Biodiesel Producer Association chairman Sanin Triyanond.

This event will also feature a virtual exhibition engaging business players and relevant stakeholders of palm oil downstream products presenting their products offerings, latest innovations, investment and cooperation.

Source: The Edge Market

Malaysia has helped 400 micro, small and medium enterprises go international through Dubai Expo — PM

DUBAI (March 30): Malaysia has provided the opportunity to more than 400 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to go international through their participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said it was a space for the companies to expand their business and explore new opportunities abroad.

“The government bears the cost of the participation fee for all MSMEs at the Expo 2020 Dubai, they only have to pay the cost of accommodation and plane tickets.

 “This proves the government's commitment to help, support and empower MSMEs. I want more MSMEs to be able to spread their wings to the international level which can help create more employment opportunities, further improving the living standards of Malaysian families," he said in his speech at the Dubai Expo 2020 Appreciation Ceremony here on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said in celebrating cultural diversity, the Malaysian Pavilion also held various cultural collaborations, including with Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Poland, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Kingdom as well as the ASEAN Pavilion,

He also welcomed the statement by Science Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba on Malaysia participating in Expo 2020 Dubai’s five-year legacy programme.

"We want the Malaysian Technology and Innovation Hub to be a source of inspiration for future innovators," he said.

Earlier, the Prime Minister spent time visiting the Malaysian Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai, which began on Oct 1, 2021, and ends on Thursday.

Also present were Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Adham Baba, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Rural Development Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Deputy Minister of Works Datuk Arthur Josep Kurup.

The Edge Market

Cambodia: Auto, electrical biz to boost value chain positions

The Royal Government of Cambodia has committed to implementing a comprehensive cross-ministerial action plan that will make it easier for investors to set up automotive and electrical businesses in Cambodia and increase the cost-competitiveness of their operations.

Cambodia’s goal will be to move up the value chain into more complex and higher value-added components in the automotive and electrical manufacturing sectors, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng said.

“The government is encouraging the use of environmentally-friendly vehicles, such as electric ones. This roadmap will provide the wherewithal for connectivity to local and global value chains, and enable Cambodia to shift to higher-value chain positions,” Heng said.

The announcement follows 2019 data from the World Bank suggesting that the Kingdom is ready to advance its manufacturing industries and climb further up the Global Value Chain (GVC) ladder.

“While Cambodia has seen rapid growth in limited manufacturing GVCs for many years, particularly garments and footwear, the country has not yet transitioned to the next stage of GVC participation of advanced manufacturing and services. Examples of such stages of participation are motor vehicles parts and components, electronics assembly, medical devices manufacturing, and the services segments of value chains such as design or marketing and branding,” Heng pointed out.

Over the next decade, Cambodia aims to become an Automotive component manufacturing hub, making a wide range of low-to-medium complexity components for export. A more mature components ecosystem will also allow Cambodia to scale up four-wheeler assembly in the future.

In the near term, however, Cambodia will focus on the ongoing opportunity to grow the manufacturing of simpler, more labour-intensive automotive components for export (e.g., wiring harnesses, seats and simpler electronic and electrical components), while increasing backward linkages for locally assembled two-wheelers.

For full article, please read here

Author: Josh Downs 

Source: Khmer Times 

5 Best Practices for a Successful Technology Deployment

Technology is the backbone of most companies’ strategic vision to address customers, markets, and industry demands. However, evaluating, selecting and then deploying a new business application across an organization’s operations can seem like a daunting task. And, while software technologies are increasingly important to an organization’s growth, their successful deployment and internal adoption can also invite expensive failure. Therefore, whether launching a new software technology across operations or migrating from one to another, having a precise evaluation and selection process in place drives operational effectiveness. It also reinforces transparency and fluidity throughout the organization.

In fact, employing a thorough evaluation mapping process is one of the most powerful tools that an organization has at its disposal. Failed technology initiatives are tied to an enormous loss of resources –namely lost time and money. Without an established evaluation and selection process, organizations run the risk of confusion, delays and conflicts within their teams’ operations. So, before rushing to deploy a new technology, businesses should take these important, but oftentimes, overlooked five best practices into consideration:

1. Establish Required Features and Resources

The most important factor is to have a well-defined process plan that identifies software requirements. This will create a clearer picture of user stories, integration points, and automation needs that may be lacking. Defining existing pain points within current processes is as significant as defining the new requirements and a desired process plan of the proposed business application solution.

Clearly outlining required features and identifying key resources helps determine and prevent any pitfalls that could stall a deployment. Moreover, in identifying key resources, it is vital to keep the lines of communication open with key stakeholders and assign responsibilities to all participants in the early stages of the project. It is critical to create a “single team” mindset, establishing requirements based on the needs of departments, staff and executives.

It is also important to consider the intricacies of deployment, looking at on-premise vs. in the cloud, assessing how many locations and how many users as well as permission levels. By doing so, it will ensure that the initiative will meet everyone’s expectations. Points to consider: Do you have an internal and vendor agreement with the timeline and project plan structure? What is your current system missing that you wish it could do? Would a new technology improve some aspect of your operation?

2. Understand Customer Needs

Another key factor to take into account is how this newly deployed business application will serve your customers. Conducting an audit of the existing system will reveal how customers are currently being served as well as uncover gaps. This assessment is an essential component in determining how to move forward. Increasingly, organizations are relying on technologies that balance consistency and flexibility to further extract speed-to-market benefits. In an age when customers expect exactly what they want when they want it, forward-thinking organizations need to consider a 360-degree approach to fully realize the true value of any technology investment.

By fully understanding the customer, primary speed-to-market goals will be incorporated that can be realized from day one. Points to consider: Who is using it? Is it working well? Where are the service gaps? Does the staff have the right skills and knowledge to support it? How quickly or slowly can you implement this software? How well does it adapt to new market requirements? What are the expectations with future enhancements or upgrades from the applications provider?

3. Mind The Budget

In order to create budgetary parameters, organizations must closely examine the cost/benefit analysis and corporate ROI thresholds ahead of starting the project. By utilizing a modeling technique, organizations will be able to estimate project effort, development hours, staff size, risk propensity, hardware requirements, and more. Another aspect to examine is the necessary staff hours needed to maintain the projected timeline. If not considered, sufficient resources will not be allocated, which could result in unmet deadlines as well as additional expense.

Further, an important area to review is any upfront and hidden costs as well as ongoing investment expenses (maintenance, operating expenses, upgrade costs, extra features, support staff, etc.). It is necessary to project these costs for the next three to five years in operational budget plans. Points to consider: If replacing a legacy system, what are the associated costs? What are the cost implications to add or remove users, resources, functions or features? Is there flexibility to get a better rate for longer-term contracts? How will this deployment impact my budget today and over the course of the next three-to-five years?

4. Incorporate Security at Every Level

A new business application deployment should not compromise any security best practice; instead, it should seamlessly work with and comply with existing security standards. Robust security becomes even more critical during a deployment period. The software provider should assess the amount of security and compliance the organization requires. The implementation of vital security tools such as multifactor authentication can strengthen security against potential cyber threats. Hence, it is important to establish who can access data as well as have the ability to adjust and revoke permissions levels, as needed.

Points to consider: Is the software provider aligned with your security strategy? Does it integrate well with your existing security standards? Does the software offer ongoing support and fixes? How frequently is data backed up? What does disaster recovery look like? What security assurances are provided by the software vendor and for how long?

5. Set the Integration Parameters

Lastly, you need to fully recognize what level of integration is required during implementation by reviewing the current technology stack and identifying its associated benefits, challenges and costs. Depending on the level of integration, it might require additional hours to get all systems fully operable. Furthermore, the true success of a new or upgraded technology deployment into an organization is not achieved without understanding the overall operational benefits of the new system. Therefore, before going live, it is imperative to load test and closely examine how the business application solution behaves against your original requirements as well as typical daily scenarios and business processes.

By closely scrutinizing the capabilities of the new system against the original requirements, businesses will be well-positioned to determine its current and future effectiveness. Points to consider: Does this solution integrate into your existing system given the organizational and customer pain points? How easily will the software integrate with your corporate application architecture? Is there anything additional needed to integrate smoothly across the organization? In closing, undertaking a business application roll-out is no small task. However, having a carefully vetted evaluation plan in place will ensure a smooth execution.

By employing these recommended best practices, organizations will be on the right track towards a successful deployment that will enable improved efficiencies, increased team productivity levels as well as optimized business operations. As a result, the entire organization will be able to address not only current market demands but anticipate future ones.

Thailand Issues New Incentive Package for Electric Vehicle Industry

In February 2022, Thailand released new government incentives for its electric vehicles (EV) industry as part of its ambitious plan to transform 50 percent of its total auto py 2030 an d b ecome a production base for cleaner vehicles in Southeast Asia. The new incentive package includes significant exemption in import duty and excise tax for a wide range of EV models, not to mention previous subsidies announced in February.

The EV incentive package reflects ASEAN’s gradual investment into environmentally friendly transportation to align with the global shift to electric vehicles by major car manufacturers. According to a 2021 EV report, the total stock of ASEAN electric-powered vehicles reached 3.4 million in 2019 and is forecasted to rise amid improving economic development, growing population, and concern for the environment.

Within Southeast Asia, Thailand has consistently ranked first in terms of total auto production output, and 11th in the 2019 global ranking. The country annually manufactures 2 million internal combustion engine vehicles for major brands, such as Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi. In an attempt to preserve its leading reputation in the automotive industry, Thailand plans to attract 400 billion baht (US$12.08 billion) in investments over the coming years and support the production of 1.2 million EVs and 690 charging stations by 2036.

What is included in the incentive package?

The latest incentive package announced includes: 

-         A 40 percent reduction in import duty for completely built-up (CBU) of battery EVs priced up to 2 million baht ($61,805) and a 20 percent reduction for those priced between 2 million ($61,805) and 7 million baht (US$211,278) from 2022 to 2023; and

-         Excise tax cut from 8 percent to 2 percent for imported EVs, which is predicted to add 7,000 EVs in the first year.

The incentives will initially apply to some 27 model types of EVs comprising of:

-         Eco-cars with 10 seats or less;

-         Electric pickups;

-         Hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks;

-         EVs with 10 seats or less; and

-         Plug-in four-door passenger pickups.

The package is a follow-up to earlier February subsidy programs to encourage EV production and purchases, which include:

  • A 70,000 baht (US$2,111) subsidy is available per EV unit for passenger cars with 10 to 30 kWh battery capacity for completely knocked-down (CKD) and CBU units;
  • A 150,000-baht (US$4,523) subsidy for each EV unit for passenger cars with more than 30kWh battery capacity for completely knocked-down (CKD) and CBU units;
  • An 18,000-baht subsidy for electric motorcycles from eligible car producers between 2022- 2023;and
  • Exemption of import duties on important electrical components: batteries, traction motors, compressors for battery EVs, battery management systems, drive control units, and reduction gear between 2022-2025.

The subsidy programs are funded by 3 billion baht (US$90.4 million) from the 2022 central budget and from the longer-term 40-billion-baht (US$1.2 billion) investment in the EV industry between 2023 - 2025.


source : ASEAN Briefing

Vietnam extends support for investment sector in Laos

Vietnam has agreed to continue to assist the investment sector in Laos, especially through technical training for planning and investment officials.

An agreement on Vietnam’s support was signed on Monday by Laos’ Minister of Planning and Investment, Mr Khamjane Vongphosy and Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment, Mr Nguyễn Chí Dũng.
Under the agreement, Vietnam will provide training on private investment and special economic zones, how to manage and allocate funds for public investment projects and foreign aid projects, collection of statistics on administration, and training in the Vietnamese language.

Vietnam will also continue to be a bridge for mobilisation and dissemination to attract more qualified investors from Vietnam.

Vietnam agreed to support the modernisation of the Lao planning and investment sector by updating and developing a state-of-the-art professional management programme to be used by the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment and to be available to the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment later this year.

The agreement also provided for increased cooperation between the two Ministries of Planning and Investment in the field of planning and investment.

The ministries will promote cooperation between the two countries and promote investment management for businesses in each country, as well as play a central role in jointly encouraging enterprises that have entered into agreements to implement the set plans and resolve outstanding issues concerning investment projects that have been approved. Read more...