Around the Region: Southeast Asian News


Around the Region: Southeast Asian News


The head of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was quoted as saying Cambodia is among the world’s fastest-growing economies, although it faces a series of challenges. The Japanese national said the rapid economic growth has been fuelled by strong gains in industry, services and agriculture. These gains have brought the nation from a low-income country to the point where it may soon be regarded as a middle-income nation.

The ADB suggests the numbers of people living in poverty have declined from 50 percent of the population in 2007 to around 19 percent in 2012. Despite this growth, the ADB admits that many people who are now classed as being officially out of poverty are, nonetheless, living only just above the poverty threshold.


AT the end of January, the Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Albert del Rosario, met with his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh Minh, in Manila for the inaugural meeting of their Joint Commission and the pair concluded a Strategic Partnership.

Their joint statement noted the two countries agreed to ‘elevate the and intensity of bilateral exchanges between [them].’

The meeting makes it quite possible that a formal strategic partnership agreement between Vietnam and the Philippines could be reached this year, which would make it the third such agreement after the United States and Japan.


For the third successive year Changi Airport has been voted as the World’s Best Airport at the 2015 World Airport Awards. It was voted in top place ahead of Seoul’s Incheon International and Munich Airport in Germany.

The award is the sixth time Changi has been chosen in top spot. It was also voted the Best Airport for Leisure Amenities, for the seventh time. With excellent wi-fi and internet connections, rest areas, a swimming pool and cinemas, Changi’s leisure facilities are rated easily the best in Asia. 

The awards are based on 13.02 million customer nominations and represent the views of people from 112 different nationalities. The survey covers 550 airports worldwide.



The Malaysian Medical Association has raised the alarm over the spread of highly infectious tuberculosis (TB) in the country, claiming almost half of all foreign workers had failed their medical tests for the disease.

The president of the Medical Association stated his organisation was especially concerned at the number of illegal workers in the country who have not been screened for TB. Malaysia estimates it has anything from three to six million illegals in the country.

He said that while most Malaysians were vaccinated against TB, those with chronic diseases such as severe diabetes or dengue were in danger, and more likely to be infected.