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How ASEAN are Filipinos?

Separated from mainland South-east by vast oceans, the Philippines is often seen as more interested in the West than in its own neighbours. Will the ASEAN mindset grow in the Filipino psyche now that the ASEAN Community has been launched?

INDONESIA: Controls on Agricultural Imports Protect Whom?

Indonesia controls – through reference pricing – the imports of products like shallots. It’s meant to protect local producers, but there often isn’t enough supply and consumers find the prices of this basic kitchen spice high. What’s the balance between a barrier to trade and a protection tool for domestic interests? Kanis Dursin reports for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, part of the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ media programme.

Letting the Puppets Tell an ASEAN Story

A rich mix of puppetry artists has been busy creating a joint ASEAN performance to tell a common story we can all identify with, Johanna Son reports in this Q & A. Coming soon — performance at the ASEAN Summit in Lao PDR, September 2016.

 

 

THAILAND: Firm on Protecting the Palm Oil Sector

The third largest producer of palm oil in the world, Thailand is facing domestic and international challenges in its management of the prized crop. Although oversupply, high costs and lack of competitiveness in terms of pricing are ongoing concerns, the country is adamant about protecting the sector, as Kornchanok Raksaseri of ‘Econ News’ finds out in this ‘Making AEC Work’ story, part of the ‘Reporting ASEAN:2015 and Beyond’ programme.

THAILAND: Unified Halal Standard Still A Big Issue in ASEAN

Thailand is a major exporter of halal products, but hasn’t found it easy to export to Indonesia, home to the biggest Muslim population and thus the biggest consumer base for halal products. Thai officials propose that ASEAN pushes for a unified halal standard, but this does not seem likely anytime soon,  explains Sathapat Phaethong (@Sathapat_P) of ‘Sawasdee ASEAN’ in this video report for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, part of the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ media programme.

Business Tries to Cut Through the Haze

As this year’s haze episode affects Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand, businesses are trying to look beyond governments to address this recurring problem – by using market and consumer tools. Candida Ng reports.

 

 

Women Sow Seeds of Enterpreneurship in Agriculture

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 (Reporting ASEAN) – Who knew that agricultural products like coffee could be a force for good, empowering communities, notably women, to engage in profitable yet sustainable livelihoods?

Five Decades On, Is ASEAN Ready to Grow Up?

Strong outside, weaker inside? ASEAN needs to address its internal contradictions before it can achieve true integration and be considered a regional powerhouse. Ahead of the ASEAN Community’s launch, Johanna Son takes a closer look at the ASEAN way in this story for ‘The Irrawaddy’ under the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ series.

Protecting the Marginalised

There are concerns that only one percent of Southeast Asia’s workforce will benefit from the ASEAN Economic Community’s Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs), leaving more than 9.5 million migrant workers in the region bereft. Amanda Siddharta of ‘Tempo’ magazine takes a look at what it will take for the rights of these workers to be protected.

Q&A: ‘We Need to Be Understood Better’

ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General AKP Mochtan talks to Johanna Son about the need for media to tell more ‘complete’ stories about ASEAN issues, especially during the year the Community is to be put in place.

Hue: ASEAN’s City of Culture

Hue, the former capital of Vietnam, was chosen as ASEAN’s third City of Culture for 2014-2015. Duong Thi Mong Thu of Vietnam Television takes a look at how the city keeps its heritage alive for residents, while showcasing it to the world in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

ASEAN Countries Slow in Funding Women Empowerment

Less than a fifth of all projects under a 2012-2016 ASEAN Work Plan to promote and protect the rights of women and children have been completed due to a lack of funding by member states. Natashya Gutierrez from Rappler looks into the reasons for the slow disbursement of funds in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

Fellowship Applications Open: Tell Us Your Story!

Do you have a creative, original story about the ASEAN Community and ASEAN that must be told? IPS Asia-Pacific and Probe Media Foundation Inc (PMFI) are inviting journalists, photojournalists and television journalists to apply for the fellowship reporting program called ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’.

Achievements of the 21st ASEAN Summit

SINGAPORE, 20 Dec 2012 (ISEAS Perspective) – The 21st ASEAN Summit was held in Phnom Penh, from 17 to 20 November 2012. I have not come across any balanced assessment of the achievements and shortcomings of the Summit. Several reports in the popular media have focused on one or two issues, such as, the disagreement over the sentence in the Chairman’s closing statement that there was an ASEAN consensus not to internationalise the South China Sea issue. In this essay, I wish to summarise what I consider to have been the most important achievements of the Summit as well as to indicate what ASEAN’s main challenges are.

Towards Disaster-resilient ASEAN Community

Dec 16 (The Star) – ONE of the key challenges in building the Asean community is coming up with tangible outcomes that benefit the people directly. This is a tall order, since many of Asean’s objectives are at the regional level.

Cambodian Activists Challenge ASEAN Policies

PHNOM PENH, Dec 13 2012 (IPS) – For a brief moment last month, mainstream international media turned the spotlight on Cambodia, one of the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs), as a high-level visit from U.S. President Barack Obama and the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gave this country of 14.3 million people a glamorous edge.

ASEAN Member Countries Should Complement, Not Compete

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 (The Star) – With Asean forging ahead with its Asean Economic Community (AEC) plans, member countries of South-East Asia should seek to create a synergy based on their strengths rather than out-do each other.

Can ASEAN Keep Aiming For New Goals Without Having Reached Old Ones?

Dec 17 (ISEAS Perspective) – As the deadline of 2015 draws closer, it is apparent that ASEAN will miss many of its goals as stipulated in its three Blueprints of ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). Yet, ASEAN has continued to embark on even more ambitious goals: creating an “ASEAN common platform” on major global issues by 2022 in order to play an increased role in the community of nations, and launching negotiations on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which ASEAN hopes to complete by the year 2015.

A Lot More Talk by ASEAN Than Action

JAKARTA, Nov 26 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – Faced with a continuing stream of foreign vessels that harvest its marine resources illegally, Indonesia has stepped up efforts to have the problem resolved at the regional level. But it is not finding it easy to push for action within ASEAN, despite all the discussions about illegal fishing among the members of the regional organisation.

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