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Asean Briefing : Malaysia Raises Minimum Wage, Formosa’s US$500 Million Settlement in Vietnam

Singapore is ASEAN’s most developed economy and offers a wide range of investment opportunities for companies seeking to tap into the city state’s rich pool of talent and extensive global trade networks.

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Since first implementing a minimum wage in January of 2013, the Malaysian government further increased minimum wage payments to workers as of July 1, 2016.

Malaysia Raises Minimum Wage to Enhance Automated Production

This is part of the government’s New Economic Model, which aims to make Malaysia a high-income economy by 2020. Officials believe that the extra cost to employers will encourage a shift towards an increase in productivity and investment in technology, thereby reducing reliance on labor-intensive manufacturing practices.

In addition, a rise in the minimum wage may inspire Malaysians to take jobs with increased salaries and decrease the Malaysian economy’s reliance on foreign workers. Understanding this policy will likely be of great importance for wage sensitive industries as well as companies seeking to supply consumer goods to the Malaysia market.

Vietnam’s US$500 Million Settlement

Formosa’s US$500 Million Settlement Set to Usher in New Era for Environmental Enforcement

Dead fish washed ashore. Polluted water. Fishermen losing their economic livelihood and having their well-being threatened. A Taiwanese company implicated. This is not 2016; the year is 2008, and we are looking at the Thi Vai river in southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, with an MSG factory upstream owned by Vedan. This was the first prominent case of environmental regulation being enforced upon a major foreign firm.

Comparing Vedan’s case with Formosa’s makes the selective enforcement of regulations quite clear, and this could very well have a negative environmental fallout. Nevertheless, although an unofficial settlement was reached, saving Formosa’s operations in Vietnam for the time being, there are reasons to believe that Formosa will mark a turning point in the prosecution of cases of this calibre moving forward.

Protection for intellectual property in Singapore

A Guide to Trademarks in the Republic of Singapore

Singapore is ASEAN’s most developed economy and offers a wide range of investment opportunities for companies seeking to tap into the city state’s rich pool of talent and extensive global trade networks.

These conditions have not been lost on foreign investors whose capital flows have propelled Singapore to become Asia’s top hub for finance and, more recently, startups.

That said, the innovative and sensitive nature of corporate branding in Singapore mandates a strong protection for intellectual property on the part of host states, and a firm understanding of trademark laws on the part of investors. This is of particular importance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which may not have the resources to engage in drawn-out legal battles.


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Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email [email protected] or visit www.dezshira.com.

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Asean

Supporting disadvantaged women key to achieving SDGs in ASEAN

The study, which holds a gender lens up to each of the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, confirms that when two or more forms of discrimination overlap, barriers increase

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Supporting disadvantaged women key to achieving SDGs in ASEAN, new data shows

JAKARTA, 1 March 2021 – Women and girls across South-East Asia who are members of an ethnic minority, live in a rural location, or suffer from poverty are at greatest risk of being left behind despite the region’s recent progress in gender equality, according to a new report by ASEAN and UN Women.

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Ecommerce

Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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Startups

Vietnam Loship secures investment from Skype co-founder

This capital injection marks Loship as the first portfolio company of MetaPlanet in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

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Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Loship, Vietnam’s fast-growing one-hour-delivery e-commerce startup, has announced its latest investment from Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.

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