Gd news for SE Asia. China has reported better-than-expected trade data, adding to optimism that growth in the world’s second-largest economy may be rebounding.Exports, a key driver of expansion, rose 14.1% in December from a year earlier. Most analysts had forecast a figure closer to 4%.Imports also rose, climbing 6% and indicating stronger domestic demand.
The US has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Indonesia’s restrictions on imports of horticultural and animal products. BBC report. Other agricultural exporters like Australia and Thailand have been unhappy about Indonesia’s restrictions too.
Thailand is considering measures to help companies cope with the country’s rise in the minimum wage (35% up from level of last year), but has rejected business warnings of job losses, factory closures and a shift by some manufacturers to neighbouring countries
Thailand’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.75% on Wednesday, as expected, saying the global economy continued to recover while growth this year could be higher than thought and inflation was stable.
The International Monetary Fund has warned that a credit boom in Cambodia poses a threat to economic growth. Banks have been cutting interest rates to win customers and private sector credit has increased by almost a third in the past 12 months, the fund said.
A $US200m deal with Masan Group by KKR is the largest by a private equity firm so far in Vietnam. It comes in addition to an earlier $159 million investment by KKR. Masan is Vietnam’s leading fish, soya and chilli sauce producer. As well as sauces Masan makes instant foods such as noodles, cereals and coffees. The firm estimates that 90% of local households use its products.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20954875
Japan was in talks with the Philippines on Thursday to enhance maritime co-operation amid their separate territorial rows with China.
“We talked about the challenges that we appear to be facing in view of the assertions being made by China,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters after meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, in Manila.
Part of the co-operation may include 10 new patrol vessels from Japan to boost the Philippine coast guard, as well as communication equipment, Mr Del Rosario said.