ASEAN Region Weekly (30 Aug. 2019)


Telecom regulators in ASEAN have agreed in principle on revenue collection from over-the-top (OTT) service providers operating in the region, though the approaches will have to be figured out by the countries themselves. The regulators met this week in Bangkok at the 25th ASEAN Telecommunication Regulators’ Council meeting, which ended on Thursday. OTT was one of the key topics of discussion as the regulators sought ways to properly regulate operators, including taxation. (Bangkok Post)


During the 2019 High-Level Political Forum held at the United Nations in New York last month, Indonesia presented its second Voluntary National Review (VNR) on SDGs. Only seven countries have done so since the SDGs were adopted in 2015.The review reaffirmed the government’s strong commitment to the SDGs and highlighted progress made as well as challenges faced for SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), in addition to SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals). (Jakarta Post)


The UN has listed the improvement of Lao people’s living conditions as being at the heart of all the development programmes it plans to carry out in Laos in the coming years. (Vientiane Times)


Singapore’s July industrial production dropped 0.4% year-on-year, data showed on Monday, but the fall was much narrower than economists’ forecast. (Reuters)


Measures recently launched by the Bank of Thailand to stem speculative capital inflows have reduced hot money in the system, says a senior central bank official. After the central bank applied the measures to curb such inflows in July, foreign investors allocated their portfolio assets more cautiously for fear that policymakers would impose additional measures, said Vachira Arromdee, the assistant governor for financial market operations. (Bangkok Post)

The baht is expected to strengthen further as the escalation of the China-US trade war hastens foreign capital inflows into Thailand’s “safe haven” bond market while the US Federal Reserves may again cut interest rates. (The Nation)

The government is ready to take further action to support an economy growing at its slowest pace in nearly five years, and sees room for further interest-rate cuts, the finance minister said. (Bloomberg)