Southeast Asia Bureau Chief
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Jan 13, 2011

Special Report: Vietnam’s capitalist roaders follow China trail

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (Reuters), Jan 13 – Nguyen Duc Tai was on a mission one sweltering January morning in Vietnam’s commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City.

Flush with cash from his annual bonus, he wanted to buy his wife a new mobile phone, a gift for the coming Tet lunar new year holidays. In a county where the average annual income is about $1,100, a good phone is a big investment. Tai wanted to make the right choice with his 5 million dong ($250).

Dec 10, 2010

Exclusive: Probe reveals Thai troops’ role in civilian deaths

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The Thai military played a larger role in the killing of civilians during political unrest in Bangkok this year than officials have acknowledged, leaked state documents seen by Reuters show.

A preliminary state probe into political violence in April and May concluded Thai special forces positioned on an elevated railway track fired into the grounds of a Buddhist temple where several thousand protesters had taken refuge on May 19.

Dec 10, 2010

Probe reveals Thai troops’ role in civilian deaths

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The Thai military played a larger role in the killing of civilians during political unrest in Bangkok this year than officials have acknowledged, leaked state documents seen by Reuters show.

A preliminary state probe into political violence in April and May concluded Thai special forces positioned on an elevated railway track fired into the grounds of a Buddhist temple where several thousand protesters had taken refuge on May 19.

Nov 26, 2010

Thai Air seeks to end state control

BANGKOK, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Thai Airways International Plc
THAI.BK is forming a plan to end state control and pave the way
for an aggressive regional expansion that includes a new mid-tier
airline and a revamped fleet, its president said on Friday.

The flag carrier, facing increased regional competition, is
negotiating with local and foreign creditors to remove debt
covenants to allow the Ministry of Finance to cut its stake to
49.9 percent from 51 percent, he said.

Nov 24, 2010

Thai c.bank gov carefully weighs more capital controls

BANGKOK, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Thailand’s central bank is
prepared to use more capital control measures including a
Tobin-style tax on international transactions but sees no need
to impose them now, the central bank chief said on Wednesday.
He added that inflation was not a concern at the moment,
reinforcing expectations the central bank would keep its
trend-setting one-day repurchase rate unchanged at 1.75 percent
at next Wednesday’s policy-setting meeting.

In his first interview with foreign news organisations
since taking the helm of the bank on Oct. 1, Prasarn
Trairatvorakul said the Thai economy faces “lots of
uncertainties”.

Nov 19, 2010

Suu Kyi sees army role in democratic Myanmar

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Friday she was willing to work with Myanmar’s military junta who locked her up for 15 years and she would support its new political system if it helped the people.

The comments by the 65-year-old Nobel peace laureate, in an interview with Reuters six days after her release from house arrest, were the strongest yet illustrating her intention and desire to engage the junta to bring about democratic reforms.

Nov 18, 2010

After freeing Suu Kyi, Myanmar courts investors

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Just days after releasing Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, Myanmar’s military rulers have a message for investors with a steely appetite for risk: their isolated country is open for business.

After entering a new era of military-managed democracy following a Nov. 7 election, the secretive junta is courting investment and touting the potential of a country rich in natural gas, timber and minerals with urgent infrastructure needs.

Nov 18, 2010

Analysis: After freeing Suu Kyi, Myanmar courts investors

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Just days after releasing Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, Myanmar’s military rulers have a message for investors with a steely appetite for risk: their isolated country is open for business.

After entering a new era of military-managed democracy following a November 7 election, the secretive junta is courting investment and touting the potential of a country rich in natural gas, timber and minerals with urgent infrastructure needs.

Nov 4, 2010

For some, Myanmar is ultimate frontier market

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Asset manager Douglas Clayton calls it the ultimate frontier market: a country rich in natural gas, timber and gemstones strategically located between China and India with enormous potential for infrastructure.

But as army-ruled Myanmar heads into its first election in two decades on Sunday, mainland Southeast Asia’s biggest country remains one of the world’s most difficult for foreign investors, restricted by Western sanctions, blighted by 48 years of oppressive military rule and starved of capital.

Oct 15, 2010

Thailand may take ‘prudential measures’ on inflows: IMF

BANGKOK, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Thailand could take “prudential
measures” and further liberalise capital outflows if inflows
are sustained and threaten to create asset bubbles, the
International Monetary Fund said on Friday.

Surging inflows into Thailand’s markets could complicate
policymaking in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy, the
IMF said, projecting GDP growth of 7.5 percent this year and
about 4 percent next year as aggressive fiscal stimulus is
rolled back.

    • About Jason

      "As Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, Jason Szep manages text, pictures and television news operations across 10 countries for Reuters. He has been a Reuters correspondent, bureau chief and editor since 1990 and won the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award in 2007. He is a Boston native and has had postings with Reuters in Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Boston and Bangkok. His assignments have ranged from Kabul and Islamabad to the U.S. presidential campaign trail during the 2008 election."
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