Indian villagers in Kongthong village, in India’s eastern Meghalaya state. Photo: AFP

Drones connect South Asian villages to life-saving services ‘like never before’

South Asia is betting on drones to connect to remote areas that were previously barely accessible for even essential services.

2 Jun 2023 - 7:30PM
Anti-dumping duties imposed on barley in 2020 after bilateral relations deteriorated had rendered the export uncompetitive in the Chinese market. Photo: Bloomberg

Australia ‘hopeful’ barley exports to China will resume soon amid warming ties

Australia’s trade minister said on Thursday that Beijing had indicated its review of anti-dumping duties, imposed in 2020 amid a deterioration in relations, would soon be complete.

1 Jun 2023 - 6:00PM
PricewaterhouseCoopers is embroiled in a scandal over the misuse of confidential Australian government tax plans. Photo: Reuters

‘Absolutely filthy’: Can PwC tide over crisis as Australia tax scandal rages?

The accounting giant’s CEO and nine partners have stepped down after the company was accused of disclosing confidential government tax information to private clients.

1 Jun 2023 - 1:39PM
Tourists watch a sunset on the island of Phuket in Thailand. Photo: Reuters

Green and keen: the new breed of Chinese traveller shaping eco-tourism

‘Travelling in coaches, eating only Chinese food’ is far less common after the pandemic. Instead, many people want nature, camping and homestays, say experts, and the sector should fully embrace that.

31 May 2023 - 4:15PM
The Woodlands causeway to Singapore from Johor. Photo: Reuters

‘Demand is high’: Singaporeans eye cheaper trips to Malaysia as ringgit plunges

Singaporeans are taking advantage of the weak ringgit for more trips across the border, triggering a shortage of the currency.

31 May 2023 - 4:19PM
Garment workers during a lunch break in Dhaka. Bangladesh remains dangerously dependent on its ready-made garment industry, which accounts for some 82 per cent of export revenues. Photo: Reuters

‘New poor’: climate change, Covid, inflation add to inequality in Bangladesh

The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said Bangladesh has millions of ‘new poor’, hovering just above poverty line and at high risk of falling below it.

30 May 2023 - 3:01PM
A view of Enoshima Yacht Harbour in Fujisawa, Japan. Photo: Shutterstock

Japan cuts red tape for private jets, superyachts to lure ultra-rich tourists

More than 10 per cent of tourist spending in Japan comes from a tiny number of ultra-rich visitors, and the government wants to encourage more of them to visit – and more frequently.

29 May 2023 - 7:11PM
Scam tasks have evolved from asking victims to notionally “rent” industrial equipment in exchange for handsome rents to liking online posts and rating content online. Photo: EPA-EFE

Scammers in India up their game with likes-for-cash jobs on social media

Cybercrimes are not new to India but a new wave of such crimes is spreading, in which victims are promised money for liking social media content.

28 May 2023 - 2:00PM
Malaysia remains heavily reliant on coal and natural gas to power homes and industries. Photo: EPA-EFE

Will Malaysia put energy exports to Singapore before its green economy plans?

Malaysia sees boosting renewable energy exports, principally to Singapore, as the logical way to fund its ambitious energy transition plans.

28 May 2023 - 9:30AM
Some young people have started their own side ventures as a way to bring in extra income. Photo: Shutterstock

How Gen Z side hustlers in Asia make juggling multiple jobs work for them

Risks of the side hustle culture include overwork, stress and legal implications of holding a second job in addition to the full-time one, but some Gen Z say it helps keep their passion and interests alive.

27 May 2023 - 9:30AM
An elderly woman receives a vaccine injection in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: EPA-EFE

AI is key to Asia’s policies for elderly, climate, jobs: India’s Tata

Firm says multilingual AI can help bring rarely accessed services to remote areas, monitoring the likes of eye issues and falls, pollution and traffic. However, senior executive says big challenge will be ensuring AI is used ethically.

26 May 2023 - 7:58PM
Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida said that providing support for families to have children was his government’s “most important policy”. Photo: AP

As Japan’s population crisis deepens, why is Kishida holding back funding?

Japan’s PM Kishida will not introduce taxes or raise existing ones to address the nation’s population crisis, even as his administration prioritises providing support for families to raise children.

25 May 2023 - 9:30AM