Economics

Talks between Australia and China over the anti-dumping dispute failed last year after Canberra challenged Beijing’s tariffs on its wines. Photo: AFP
Australia rejects China’s request for WTO mediation in anti-dumping row

Beijing had requested a WTO panel to be established to hear grievances over Canberra’s anti-dumping measures on products including railway wheels and wind towers.

26 Jan 2022 - 10:53AM
“I sat down in the middle of the kitchen with my head in hands, going through various stages of grief.” Photo: Shutterstock
Big phish: how Asia’s cyber scammers stay one step ahead of the banks

A series of scams that cost OCBC Bank users in Singapore at least US$6.33 million shines a light on how phishing scams across Asia are getting ever more sophisticated.

26 Jan 2022 - 8:53AM
Facebook’s CPO Chris Cox speaks online about the metaverse during the 2021 Web Summit in Lisbon. Photo: EPA-EFE
From Syahrini’s NFTs to Axie Infinity, Southeast Asia’s metaverse is opening up

Indonesia is showing strong appetite to developing virtual initiatives as tech giants such as Facebook eye building their own metaverses in Southeast Asia.

23 Jan 2022 - 12:00PM
Beachchairs on Phu Quoc island, Vietnam. Photo: AFP
Why Phu Quoc is the billionaire’s choice for a big fat Indian wedding overseas

Vietnam is promoting the idyllic island of Phu Quoc as a place for tourists to tie the knot as it hopes to give its Covid-hit economy a boost.

21 Jan 2022 - 11:52AM
Flying off the shelves: crocodile meat from Wichai’s farm in Thailand is in high demand due to a surge in the price of pork. Photo: Kobboon Chatrakrisaeree
Thai reptile farmers upscale their businesses as crocodile meat demand soars

For those who can stomach it, crocodile is a cheaper and more protein-rich alternative. At this rate, reptile farmers may need to upscale their businesses.

21 Jan 2022 - 11:46AM
Australian wines at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. China’s tariffs on Australian wine have angered Canberra. Photo: AP
China seeks WTO arbitration on Australia’s anti-dumping tariffs

Beijing is to formally challenge Canberra’s stance on railway wheels, wind towers and sinks in move that follows Australian complaint about Chinese wine tariffs.

21 Jan 2022 - 5:00AM
Harvested palm oil fruit bunches are loaded onto a truck at a plantation in Malaysia. Palm oil imports from some firms are banned by the US over allegations of labour abuses. Photo: Bloomberg
Malaysia’s labour rights record under scrutiny as investors prioritise ESG

With more Malaysian firms accused of labour abuse, analysts warn the country’s reputation as a global production base could suffer.

20 Jan 2022 - 8:31AM
A Lao trainee learns signals from her Chinese mentor ahead of the opening of the Boten-Vientiane high-speed rail. Photo: Xinhau
Chinese veg influx spooks Thais as progress on belt and road rail slows

With the Laos part of the Kunming to Singapore rail project up and running, Thai traders are struggling to compete as Chinese imports arrive faster and fresher than ever.

20 Jan 2022 - 10:33AM
Workers walk near a tugboat pulling coal barges at a port in Palembang, Indonesia. Photo: Reuters
Concerns about Indonesian coal spread as Malaysia’s TNB seeks alternatives

As Jakarta’s restrictions drag on, Malaysia’s largest power firm is turning to suppliers including Australia, South Africa and Russia.

18 Jan 2022 - 1:05PM
Delivery riders for Zomato and Swiggy wait to collect orders outside a restaurant in Mumbai, India. Photo: Bloomberg
‘I ride 300km a day to make ends meet’: life as a gig economy worker in India

Four people share the good bits and the bad gigs as they navigate a life without bosses – or the promise of a regular pay cheque.

17 Jan 2022 - 2:57PM
A police officer checks documents at a Covid-19 checkpoint. Photo: AP
‘May God guide us’: Filipinos fear Omicron will ‘paralyse’ nation

Just under half the country has been double-vaccinated, while the Duterte administration has ruled out another punishing lockdown ahead of polls in May.

17 Jan 2022 - 8:41AM
People protest against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar. File photo: AP
Chinese firms urged to exit from Myanmar mines amid escalating violence

As the junta’s bloody crackdown on dissent intensifies, experts and advocates call on Chinese firms to take a more ethical approach and withdraw their investments.

16 Jan 2022 - 7:35PM
Mukesh Ambani has bought an indirect stake worth US$98 million in New York City’s Mandarin Oriental hotel. Photo: The Aviary
Ambani’s New York deal makes him latest Indian tycoon to buy foreign hotels

Asia’s second richest man has joined a growing list of Indian hoteliers like the Oberois and Tatas snapping up stakes in the global hospitality sector.

14 Jan 2022 - 3:58PM
Shipping containers sit stacked at the Port of Brisbane, Australia. Photo: Bloomberg
Australia’s supply chain chaos creeps into Hong Kong food exports

Canberra has moved to ease Covid-induced labour shortages that tripped up domestic supply chains, but Asian importers are starting to feel the squeeze.

14 Jan 2022 - 11:33AM
Candles are lit at the J-Village soccer training centre in Fukushima prefecture on the 10th anniversary of the nuclear disaster. Photo: Kyodo
Tokyo embarks on nuclear projects with US that could power Japan for decades

Driving Tokyo’s nuclear ambitions are both a need to reduce carbon emissions and secure domestic energy sources in case of a geopolitical crisis.

13 Jan 2022 - 10:03AM
Coal is unloaded from a barge at the Suralaya coal power plant in Cilegon, Indonesia, in September. Photo: AFP
Coal industry breathes sigh of relief as Indonesia signals end to export ban

Fourteen vessels are poised to depart the country imminently, easing industry concerns of a looming supply shortage.

11 Jan 2022 - 7:34PM
McDonald’s Japan has brought in a temporary ban on large and medium portions of French fries, citing supply chain issues.
Super fries me: is McDonald’s fries ban a supply chain issue or clever marketing?

As the fast food giant halts the sale of medium and large fries, citing supply chain issues, fans spot a loophole: just buy more small ones. Cynics wonder if that was the point all along.

11 Jan 2022 - 8:00AM
A tug boat pulls a coal barge along the Mahakam River in Samarinda, East Kalimantan province, Indonesia. Photo: Reuters
Indonesia may allow coal exports to resume from Tuesday

News likely to be welcomed by regional economies such as the Philippines, whose energy secretary Alfonso Cusi wrote to Jakarta last week urging a rethink.

10 Jan 2022 - 8:09PM
People take Covid-19 tests at Pattaya’s ‘Walking Street’. Photo: Vijitra Duangdee
‘Like a bomb has hit us’: Omicron punctures hope for Thai businesses

The rapid spread of Omicron this year has smashed into Thailand’s economy in the middle of peak vacation season.

9 Jan 2022 - 5:00PM
President Joko Widodo, right, and PT Kalimantan Industrial Park Indonesia consortium chief Garibaldi Thohir at last month’s groundbreaking ceremony in North Kalimantan. Photo: Twitter
Is Indonesia’s latest China-backed industrial park a threat to ‘homes, livelihoods’?

The US$132 billion project in North Kalimantan promises to spur Indonesia’s ‘economic transformation’, the president says, but activists fear the environmental impacts of the hydroelectric dams being built to power it.

8 Jan 2022 - 11:34PM