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Australian tourists may prefer Bali to Thailand

Australian arrivals to Bali increased by 30% to 400,000 last year. Australians ranked fifth in terms of tourists coming to Thailand last year with 646,027 arrivals, a drop of 6.98% from the year before.

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Bali may become a more desirable destination for Australian tourists than Thailand if the Kingdom's political problems are prolonged, says Silachai Surai, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Australia and New Zealand office.

Continued political troubles could see Thailand lose its preferred position with Australians which it took from the Indonesian island in 2004.

“Bali is highly competitive and is cheaper at US$900 per trip compared to $1,000 a trip to Thailand,” said Mr Silachai.

“Travelling from Australia to Bali is just three hours. If Thai political instability continues, it’s likely that we will lose to Bali.”

Australian arrivals to Bali increased by 30% to 400,000 last year.

Australians ranked fifth in terms of tourists coming to Thailand last year with 646,027 arrivals, a drop of 6.98% from the year before.

Thailand’s political turmoil, including the seizure of Bangkok's airports and riots on the capital's streets, saw Australian arrivals fall far short of the targetted 700,000 arrivals.

via Aussies may spurn Thailand for Bali.

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Asean

The Indonesia-Singapore Bilateral Investment Treaty Comes into Effect

Through the upgraded DTAA, the tax rate on branch profits was reduced from 15 to 10 percent, and the tax rate on royalties for copyrighted works of literature, arts, and film, and eight percent for the use of industrial, scientific, or commercial equipment was lowered from 15 to 10 percent.

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The Indonesia-Singapore Bilateral Investment Treaty Comes into Effect

The latest Indonesia-Singapore Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) came into effect on March 9, 2021, and replaces the previous BIT, which was signed in June 2006 and expired in June 2016.

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Ecommerce

Will South-east Asia’s tech giants turn to SPACs to boost post-pandemic growth?

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Will South-east Asia’s tech giants turn to SPACs to boost post-pandemic growth?

– SPACs have become a hot-button topic in global finance
– The vehicle is widely used to help tech start-ups go public
– Both Singapore’s and Indonesia’s exchanges are set to allow SPACs
– Several South-east Asian tech unicorns may use SPACs to list publicly

South-east Asia is seeing a wave of interest in special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, with various major tech players considering them as a means to fast-track public listings. In parallel to this, several exchanges in the region are moving to allow SPAC listings, with a view to boosting post-coronavirus growth.

SPACs are shell companies set up by investors and then listed on a given stock exchange. Their sole function is to acquire a private company, enabling it to go public without having to go through a traditional initial public offering (IPO).

A SPAC does nothing beyond its essential function – it neither produces nor sells anything, and a SPAC’s only assets are the funds raised from its own IPO.

Crucially, people who buy into a SPAC do not know what its eventual acquisition target or targets will be. This is why SPACs are often referred to as “blank cheque companies”: they give the founders a free rein to back their choice of private company. A key feature of SPACs is that they are often headed by big-name business executives or fund managers, who trade on past successes to inspire trust in investors.

While they are far from a novel phenomenon, SPACs have become a hot button topic in recent times: SPAC initial offerings quadrupled last year, with the vehicles raising a record $80bn.

Merging with a SPAC enables a company to go public and raise capital more quickly and painlessly than with a traditional IPO, circumventing some of the volatility that Covid-19 unleashed on global markets. At the same time, they function rather like venture capital, helping investors to buy into high-growth start-ups on the ground floor.

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