Asean News

Indonesian islands listed for sale online

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Two of Indonesia’s islands have been listed for sale on, an international property website managed by Ontario-based Private Island Inc., which specialises in island properties.

Ajab Island in Riau Islands province and Tojo Una Una Island in Central Sulawesi have been listed on the website since Tuesday.

Nam Phou developer turns spotlight on history for Visit Laos Year

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Nam Phou has long been considered the heart of Vientiane and is a landmark for both locals and visitors.

Its iconic surrounds, central location and the attraction it holds for tourists are set to make the fountain square even more of a focal point during Visit Laos Year 2018.

Export growth hits 7-year high but outlook more muted

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) - Non-oil domestic exports grew 9.2% in 2017, but December figures miss estimates as electronics shipments slow.

A global electronics boom propelled Singapore's export growth to a seven-year high last year - but an underwhelming showing last month hinted that this pace will be tough to sustain.

While trade demand is set to remain robust, exports are expected to grow at a more sedate pace this year, economists said.

FEATURE: Masks evoke emotions through innovative drama

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Magic of the Mask, a performing arts piece comprising theatre, dance and live music, delighted packed houses that turned up to watch the innovative performance in Vientiane earlier this month.

Directed by Maria Lexa from the USA, the two-night show was a collaboration and vibrant cultural exchange featuring Lao and Japanese dancers and American musicians who performed at FangLao’s Black Box venue.

FEATURE: Japan urges continued pressure on North Korea

TOKYO (The Straits Times/ANN) - Japan is keeping up with its efforts to get countries around the world to exert maximum pressure on North Korea, citing its lack of concrete commitment to achieve denuclearisation.

While the two Koreas are back on talking terms, Japan is keeping up its push for countries around the world to exert maximum pressure on the North.

Dialogue on Pakbaeng Hydropower Project begins

CHIANG RAI PROVINCE, Thailand (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The first dialogue meeting of the Pakbaeng Hydropower Project on the Mekong River yesterday took place to further react with the recommendations raised by the Mekong River Commission in regards to the PNPCA process of the project.

FEATURE: A better way to take in Vientiane’s sights

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Residents of the capital have probably noticed two distinctive buses running on main roads offering sightseeing services around Vientiane’s iconic landmarks.

While tour buses overseas are often constructed without roofs, the local climate dictates that the Trolley Bus Tour of Laos is covered to protect passengers from rain and strong sunlight but the vehicles are windowless to let visitors take in the city’s sights and smells.

FEATURE: Unesco listing both a boon and bane for George Town, Penang

PENANG, Malaysia (The Straits Times/ANN) - Tourism has boomed since the city was named a heritage site in 2008, but locals lament the gentrification and rising costs.

PSA posts 9.8% growth in global container volumes

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) - Brisk business in Singapore and overseas boosts throughput to 74.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

Port operator PSA International recorded a 9.8 per cent growth in the total number of containers it handled across the world last year, boosted by brisk business both in Singapore and overseas.

FEATURE: Singapore takes the hot seat: Steering Asean amid challenges

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) - As Singapore becomes chairman of the grouping, it hopes to get members to share a common vision on terrorism, climate change and trade.

Singapore knows what it wants to push for as it takes over from the Philippines as chairman of Asean this year.