September 9, 2012
Southeast Asia Realtime…..As part of a social experiment and advertising campaign for Heineken, Texas-born adventurer Justin Bratton traveled from Shangdu in Inner Mongolia to Bangkok, following parts of the Spice Route traversed by Marco Polo in the 13th century. The catch is that he carried no cash – dozens of bottles of Heineken beer, which he then traded for rides, information and other travel essentials.
And according to the BBC…..Beer has been brewed in Asia for 7,000 years but it’s only in the past few years that it has overtaken Europe and the Americas to become the biggest beer-drinking continent. It’s also the fastest growing beer market – a sign of a young, upwardly mobile, and increasingly hedonistic population.
Mobile Payments Today says…..Visa is beginning to push electronic payments in Thailand in an effort to promote adoption and acceptance of its payment products. But wasn’t Visa going to Myanmar? According to CNN…..In a sign of the world’s growing rapprochement with Mynamar, credit card giant Visa has announced it is entering the market of the once isolated Southeast Asian nation.
And according to Bloomberg…..MasterCard Inc. (MA) became the first payments network to issue a license to a Myanmar bank as the Southeast Asian nation moves toward integrating with the global financial system after decades of military rule.
And Leopard Capital’s Kenneth Stevens, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, discussing Myanmar’s Parliament passing a long-anticipated law that lays the ground rules for global companies planning to move into the country’s long-restricted market…..Under the new law, Myanmar would offer more incentives to investors than do some countries with an established track record of supporting foreign investors, such as Thailand and China, said Kenneth Stevens, a managing partner at investment firm Leopard Capital. Still, he said, the law lags the investment regime in newer emerging markets such as Cambodia and Laos.
At World Finance…..Proving to be excellent at harnessing natural resources, Mongolia, Myanmar and Mozambique are all strong countries attracting wider investment opportunities.
YAHOO! NEWS says…..Online universities blossom in Asia. Web-based courses dramatically boost opportunities for students and are often cheaper than those offered by traditional bricks-and-mortar institutions.
Southeast Asia Realtime…..Cambodia Says No Strings Attached in Recent Chinese Aid. The latest loans are just “encouragement from China’s premier Wen Jiabao” Mr. Cheam Yeap said, adding that China doesn’t ask for anything in return.
In India, there is fighting about who gets to sell drugs. The Economist…..Foreign drugmakers, facing paltry growth in the West, are eyeing India hungrily. Rising incomes and rates of chronic disease may push sales from $12 billion in 2010 to $74 billion in 2020, according to PwC, a consultancy. But tapping this growth means having patents that protect intellectual property (Link also contains video).
According to Bloomberg, Vietnam is in trouble…..Vietnam risks becoming the biggest East Asian economy to seek an International Monetary Fund rescue loan since the region’s financial crisis more than a decade ago as it moves to support a faltering banking system…..While at the same time, according to FE Trustnet…..A number of high-profile arrests in recent weeks demonstrate the government’s determination to bring corporate governance up to international standards.