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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.

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.

Finding A New Path for Vietnam’s Exports

With the establishment of the ASEAN Economy Community, Vietnamese exports stand to gain from the elimination of tariffs. But free trade also means the country will need to ensure its products remain attractive amid fiercer competition. Thi Huong of Vietnam Economic News looks at how the textile and agriculture industries plan to tackle this challenge in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

Fragmentation Impeding Success of Asean Exchanges

The target of creating a fully integrated ASEAN stock market remains elusive with 10 very fragmented and diverse markets in the region. More support from individual countries is urgently required for the realisation of a borderless capital market. Chan Yi Wen of the Business Times explains the slow pace of financial integration in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

Intra-ASEAN Physician Mobility: Less Appealing

If the ASEAN Economic Community is opening the door to medical professionals, why aren’t more doctors crossing borders for work in the region? Marlon Alexander Luistro of ‘The Filipino Connection’ finds out why in his story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship 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.

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.

Healthcare Within Borders

Indonesian doctors are undecided if the freer movement of skilled medical practitioners across Southeast Asia, as part of the ASEAN Economic Community’s plans, will be a bane or boon for them and their patients. Amanda Siddharta of ‘Tempo’ magazine looks at the possible impact on the country’s healthcare system in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

Including Low-skilled Workers into ASEAN’s Labour Framework

Intra-ASEAN labour migration has increased fourfold since 1990 to 6.5 million in 2013. The majority consists of semi-skilled and unskilled workers, but they are little seen in ASEAN’s integration plans. What safeguards have ASEAN put in place to protect them? Not much, as Saifulbahri Ismail of Channel NewsAsia finds out in his story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

How Will MRAs Affect the Mobility of Professionals?

The freer flow of professional talent across the region is one of the key goals of the ASEAN Economic Community. But can the increased mobility of selected professionals actually be achieved? Saifulbahri Ismail of Channel NewsAsia looks into the challenges of liberalising jobs in his story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

Pe Thit Ti – ASEAN Law

Pe Thit Ti, who hails from Aung Lan town in Myanmar’s Magway Region, lets his artist’s pen speak for him. He has had more than 10 art shows from 2000 to 2015.

Fabian Chan has been a graphics journalist with Thomson Reuters in Singapore for almost 10 years now. Before that, he did illustrations, caricatures, editorial cartoons and infographics for the ‘Straits Times’ and ‘The New Paper’. Although Fabian works purely with a computer these days, he still enjoys the old-school way of pencil to paper. He is […]

  Soe San Win has been a cartoonist for 36 years in Myanmar, with interests in doing editorial cartoons and comics.

Cheah Sinann is a Malaysian self-taught and self-syndicated cartoonist based in Singapore. He draws ‘Budi & Saltie’ – a green-oriented daily cartoon strip about a Borneo boy and his pal, a huge saltwater crocodile that is featured in the ‘Borneo Bulletin’. Against the backdrop of South-east Asian rain forests and swamps, ‘Budi & Saltie’ tackles issues […]

Porhour Ly is a sophomore majoring in digital arts and design at Zaman University, Cambodia. Porhour is also a member of a youth organisation that works on education, environment and employment issues and handles its graphic design needs.

Joaquin Miguel Ruiz is a 27-year old freelance and graphic designer and illustrator. He is also a part-time lecturer of graphic design courses at the Communication Department of De La Salle University-Manila, in the Philippines. With roughly 6 years of design experience, his portfolio consists of design work such as logos, event collaterals for local […]

  Ludwig Ilio was born in the Philippines and has lived in Singapore since 1997. He started drawing in Philippine newspapers in 1985 and joined ‘The Straits Times’ in 1996. Since 2008, his weekly cartoon feature ‘Saturday by Ludwig’ has appeared in ‘The Business Times’ (Singapore). Ludwig earned an architecture degree from the National University in Manila.

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.

In ASEAN, Women Empowerment Low on Priority List

Will the rights of women and children ever be a priority in ASEAN? Not likely, according to civil societies who believe political and economic concerns will always be addressed before socio-cultural issues. Natashya Gutierrez of Rappler reports 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.

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