One month after Myanmar’s coup, the international community is still struggling to form a cohesive response. But foreign companies working in the country are seeing mounting criticism and questions as activists work to leverage investors’ influence over Myanmar’s economy and military revenues.
Malaysia has announced a partnership with Huawei as part of a push to become a regional leader in cybersecurity and increase the technical skills of its workers. Malaysia’s government appears unconcerned about Huawei’s reputational issues and the news comes amid ongoing cybersecurity controversies in Myanmar and Cambodia.
Southeast Asian governments remain divided about how to regulate cryptocurrencies even as the popularity of digital assets surges. Regulators need to take concrete steps as cryptocurrencies increase the threat of online financial fraud and have been used to fund terrorism.
The Myanmar military’s political power is tied in part to its web of private enterprises across the energy, mining, banking, telecom and other industries. These military-owned companies have hindered development and are the clearest target for foreign governments and companies as they move to support Myanmar’s growing resistance.
Asia’s drug syndicates are becoming increasingly sophisticated as the region’s narcotic trade continues to expand despite the pandemic, major arrests and record drug seizures.
A new report shows rising trust in the US among Southeast Asia’s upper classes, along with anxiety about China’s dominance and a continued commitment to neutrality.
Thai Beverage is preparing to take its brewery business public on the Singapore Exchange in an IPO that could raise over US$2 billion. The firm behind Chang Beer is one of Thailand’s largest conglomerates and the IPO represents a stark contrast as the country’s economy struggles with the impacts of the pandemic and rising wealth inequality.
The Myanmar military’s coup is a gluttonous grab for still more power despite the generals’ already entrenched role in the recent civilian governments. The country voted overwhelmingly for another Aung San Suu Kyi government last November and was already struggling under the impacts of COVID-19 and a recent surge in its civil wars.
The arrest of Tse Chi Lop, head of Asia’s largest drug syndicate, does little to alter the structures that facilitate the region’s booming narcotics trade. From Myanmar’s ethnic armies and state-backed militias to Hong Kong triad organizations, the profits driving the trade will continue—Tse Chi Lop, like any link in the supply chain, is replaceable.
China’s restrictions on overland trade and security concerns in Shan State have created challenges for Myanmar’s seafood industry, raising costs and threatening to make business unsustainable.