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Japan Counts on ASEAN Tourists to Boost Economy

Japan’s flagging economy is getting a boost from its neighbours – tourists from Southeast Asia keen to see samurais and indulge in a little shopping. Tourist arrivals from ASEAN have jumped 30 to 40 percent, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. Suvendrini Kakuchi finds out why ASEAN visitors are flocking to Cool Japan.

BURMA: Illegal Timber Trade Still Bedevils in ‘Balding’ Burma

Deforestation is a key concern in Myanmar, where total forest cover has reduced by a third in the last 15 years. The thriving illegal timber trade is to blame, explains Kyaw Hsu Mon of ‘The Irrawaddy’ in her story for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, ‘Reporting ASEAN:2015 and Beyond’ programme.

ASEAN Medical Sector Feels Birth Pains of Regional Integration

Doctors from ASEAN countries should be able to move and work much more easily under the ASEAN Economic Community. But the devil, as always, is in the detail. The mobility of medical professionals faces challenges in mutual recognition agreements, language barriers, licensing exams, and hesitance to accept foreign doctors, reports Marlon Alexander Luistro of The Filipino Connection in his story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

ASEAN Economic Integration Faces Tough Road Ahead

With a year to go before the ASEAN Economic Community is launched, challenges remain in the creation of a single market and production base with free movement of labour, goods and capital. Albert Wai of TODAY looks at what’s needed to make regional economic integration a reality in his story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

Doubts, Anticipation Mix as Cambodia’s SMEs Prepare for 2015

KAMPOT/PHNOM PENH/KAMPONG CHAM, Aug 28 – Cambodia’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are busily preparing for the ASEAN Economic Community’s (AEC) free flow of goods in 2015. They are probably not that different from the other 10 ASEAN member states’ own SMEs.

ASEAN Turns 45 In Precarious Times

BANGKOK, Aug 10 (Bangkok Post) – For the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, turning 45 is hard to do. Its perennial and cliched crossroads may soon become a precipice unless remedial collective action among the group is taken to repair recent setbacks ahead of its summit in November.

A Frustrating ASEAN Summit

BANGKOK, Apr 9 (Bangkok Post) – To say that last week’s summit of the Association of Southeast Nations was disappointing is an understatement. Not too much was expected when the 10 presidents and prime ministers met in Phnom Penh. But even less was actually achieved.

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