AEC 2015: Practical Events
With the Asean Economic Community (AEC) now well and truly into its countdown to start date phase (31 December this year being that kick-off), numerous inter-regional business and infrastructure activities are either being started, in progress or have been completed. The following comprise a number of these AEC-focused events from around the Southeast Asian region.
Myanmar: India is expected to complete the reconstruction of the Sittwe port and its associated transport facilities along the Kalandan River by the end of May this year. The project is designed to facilitate bilateral trade between Myanmar and India.
When completed it will have almost halved the current travelling distance between Kolkata and Mizoram in north-eastern Myanmar.
Vietnam: With beer consumption up by eight percent to 3.2 billion litres in Vietnam in 2014, the makers of Chang and Singha in Thailand are looking to both buy a stake in Sebeco, the Vietnamese beer manufacturer and distributer which controls about 46 percent of the local market. The Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation, as Sebeco is officially known, makes 333 and Saigon beer. The present Thai marketplace for beer fell to 1.93 billion litres in 2014, down from 1.97 billion litres the previous year.
Indonesia: A joint venture between GM China, SAIC Motor and Wuling Motors, called SGMW, is planning to invest the equivalent of US$700 million to build a factory near Jakarta, beginning in August 2015. The new company will manufacture low-cost microvans and will have the capacity to produce 150,000 vehicles a year.
Vietnam/Laos: Tourism numbers into Laos grew almost 10 percent in 2014 to 4.2 million visitors and a Vietnamese company has secured a 50-year lease to build and operate a public park and tourist resort in the World Heritage Listed town of Luang Prabang.
Cambodia: One of Cambodia’s chief rice millers and exporters, QC Rice Co., has signed an agreement with a Chinese company to import around US$4 million worth of agricultural machinery. In return, the Chinese company’s partner has agreed to import 250,000 tonnes of rice from QC Rice. The deal benefits both the Chinese and the Cambodians, with the latter in real need of quality agricultural machinery to help streamline and improve the efficiency of rice cultivation in Cambodia.
Also in Cambodia, one of the biggest consulting companies in the world, KPMG, has purchased the Phnom Penh-based Premier Consulting. The audit and tax consultancy and its infrastructure will now form part of the KPMG global brand and represents a vote of confidence in Cambodia’s business environment. KPMG aims to expand its services within the country and the region in general ahead of the AEC launch.