Singapore

Taiwan applies to join trade deal days after China
Asia, China, Singapore, World

Taiwan applies to join trade deal days after China

Taiwan applies to join trade deal days after China Taiwan has applied to join the Asia-Pacific region's biggest free-trade pact. (AFP photo) TAIPEI: Taiwan has applied to join a major trans-Pacific trade deal, officials confirmed Thursday, days after China said it also wanted to become a member of the agreement. Signed by 11 Asia-Pacific countries in 2018, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is the region's biggest free-trade pact and accounts for around 13.5% of the global economy. "Most of [the CPTPP's] member countries are Taiwan's key trade partners, accounting for over 24% of Taiwan's international trade," cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng told reporters. "Taiwan can't be left out in the world and has to integrate into the regional econ...
Reopenings face even more delays
Business, Singapore, World

Reopenings face even more delays

Visitors arrive on Koh Samui, Surat Thani province, when the island reopened on July 15. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan) The reopening plan for five provinces might be delayed by a month to Nov 1 as each province's vaccination rate still falls short of 70% coverage, leading Chiang Mai to put its faith in the domestic market instead. Thanet Phetsuwan, deputy director for communications and marketing at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the October plan may be postponed to Nov 1 because of the condition that each area must inoculate 70% of its population. It came after TAT had a meeting with a working group under the Public Health Ministry about the reopening proposal before it was submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). The public health ministry also ...
Cloud competition heats up with new data centre
Asia, Business, China, Singapore, World

Cloud competition heats up with new data centre

Cloud competition heats up with new data centre Mr Supparat attributes data centre growth to the rise of over-the-top platforms and content provider services in Thailand. Competition in Thailand's data centre market is expected to intensify, driven by the launch of the STT Bangkok 1 data centre, developed by ST Telemedia Global Data Centres Thailand (STT GDC Thailand). China plays a major role in the segment, with tech powerhouse Huawei claiming three data centres in Thailand, while internet giant Tencent has two here and e-commerce heavyweight Alibaba reportedly aims to establish one. According to global tech research company Gartner, Thailand's spending on public cloud services is expected to surge 31.7% year-on-year to 26.8 billion baht in 2021 and 28.2% to 34.4 billion baht in 2022...
Tensions grow as US, allies deepen Indo-Pacific involvement
Asia, China, Conflict, Singapore, World

Tensions grow as US, allies deepen Indo-Pacific involvement

BANGKOK (AP) — With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines, and the launch of a European strategy for greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. and its allies are becoming more assertive in their approach toward a rising China. China has bristled at the moves, and the growing tensions between Beijing and Washington prompted U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the weekend to implore U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to repair their “completely dysfunctional” relationship, warning they risk dividing the world. As the U.N. General Assembly opened Tuesday, both leaders chose calming language, with Biden insisting “we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs,” and Xi tel
Park Hotel Group loses third management contract; Park Hotel Farrer Park rebranded
Asia, Singapore, World

Park Hotel Group loses third management contract; Park Hotel Farrer Park rebranded

SINGAPORE - Park Hotel Group has lost its third management contract - this time, for Park Hotel Farrer Park, following the winding up of a firm that used to own the Singapore-based hospitality group. The 300-room hotel in Little India, owned by RB Capital, is now managed by IHG Hotels & Resorts and rebranded to Holiday Inn Singapore Little India on Sept 7 ahead of a renovation for its relaunch. IHG now manages three of RB Capital's Singapore hotels and nearly 1,000 rooms here - Holiday Inn Singapore Little India, Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay and InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay. Executive director of the Park Hotel Group Tan Shin Hui told The Straits Times that the company "had a good run managing Park Hotel Farrer Park since 2012, and the time has come to move on to other p...
Economies on the brink push SE Asia to reopen
Asia, Business, Singapore, World

Economies on the brink push SE Asia to reopen

Economies on the brink push SE Asia to reopen FILE PHOTO: Labourers work at Hung Viet garment export factory in Hung Yen province, Vietnam Dec 30, 2020. (Reuters) Even as they struggle with one of the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreaks, nations across Southeast Asia are slowly realising that they can no longer afford the economy-crippling restrictions needed to squash it. On the factory floors of Vietnam and Malaysia, in the barbershops of Manila or office towers of Singapore, regulators are pushing forward with plans to reopen, seeking to balance containing the virus with keeping people and money moving. That’s leading to a range of experiments including military-delivered food, sequestered workers, micro-lockdowns and vaccinated-only access to restaurants and offices. In contrast to Eu
S’pore eases restrictions for travellers from more countries; those from Indonesia can transit here
Singapore, World

S’pore eases restrictions for travellers from more countries; those from Indonesia can transit here

SINGAPORE - Passengers with travel history to Indonesia within the last 21 days prior to departure for Singapore will be allowed to transit in the Republic again, following a ban which started on July 12. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (Sept 17) that as the Covid-19 situation in Indonesia has improved, these travellers can transit in Singapore from 11.59pm on Sept 22. As for travellers from Indonesia entering Singapore, MOH said they will be required to undergo an on-arrival Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. They previously needed an antigen rapid test in addition to a PCR test on arrival. These travellers from Indonesia will still be subject to restrictions applicable for visitors from countries deemed by Singapore to be of the highest risk of Covid-19 infect...
Trade politics get very messy
Asia, Politics, Singapore, World

Trade politics get very messy

Trade politics get very messy Geopolitics in Asia Pacific have become increasingly complex and drawn growing interest from outsiders since the US, the UK and Australia announced a new alliance known as AUKUS to enable Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines. The partnership, formed this month in response to China's expansionist drive in the South China Sea and increasing belligerence toward Taiwan, prompted Canberra to scrap a US$90-billion deal for 12 new diesel-electric submarines from France. An infuriated France withdrew its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra but the storm blew over after President Emmanuel Macron spoke on the phone with his US counterpart Joe Biden last Wednesday. Washington has also ruled out the possibility of Japan and India joining AUKUS. India, fo...
Migrant workers and Covid limbo
Asia, Business, Singapore, World

Migrant workers and Covid limbo

Migrant workers and Covid limbo Among the most vulnerable groups affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Asean's migrant workers find themselves living in limbo. Losing jobs, being stranded and lacking access to health care and essential services, migrant workers are struggling to survive, especially as the spread of the Delta variant is prompting new restrictions on a global scale. According to a policy brief recently released by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Asean region is projected to see 9.3 million fewer workers in employment in 2021 than expected in the absence of the pandemic, compared to 10.6 million fewer workers in 2020. This year could also see working-hour losses of 7.4% while labour income losses sre affecting all countries in Asean. The Philippines has repo...
Energy crossroads
Asia, Business, Singapore, World

Energy crossroads

Asian countries are taking big steps toward green goals, but huge energy appetites will be fed mainly by fossil fuels in the near term. A solar plant in Tay Ninh, Vietnam is among the many renewable power projects developed by Thailand-based B.Grimm Power Plc. Supplied/B.Grimm Power The coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on nearly all forms of economic activity and the energy sector is no exception. Mobility restrictions and lockdowns have put energy resilience to the test as demand plunges and many projects come to a standstill. The oil and gas sectors were hit particularly hard, with the price of oil nosediving, stalling exploration and hurting production. Prices have since recovered but new challenges are emerging. Most notably, exploration firms are questioning the longer-te...