JAKARTA — After a year waging war on foreigners fishing illegally in the country’s waters, Indonesia’s straight-talking maritime minister wants to make the fight a global one and have such activities declared a transnational crime. “I’m pushing for illegal fishing to be a transnational crime, as there are too many other crimes linked to it, such as arms-smuggling, drugs,” said Susi Pudjiastuti, a businesswoman who was appointed Indonesia’s minister of maritime affairs and fisheries in October 2014 by President Joko Widodo, also a former entrepreneur. “We are starting now. Papua New Guinea, Norway, seems they agree. A few European countries will agree with us, Pacific countries, a few of them,” Pudjiastuti told the Nikkei Asian Review.
YANGON — One of the tropes the National League for Democracy will have to address before it takes office next April is the view that the party is light on concrete policies and untested in government. The latter is unavoidable, given that the army did not allow the NLD to govern after it won 80% of seats in the country’s flawed 1990 elections. As for economic policy, the party has a few ideas. “We have a plan, and we presented it in the early stages of the campaign,” said Soe Win, a member of the NLD’s central executive committee, referring to the election manifesto the party published in September. The NLD said it will keep the budget deficit under 5% of gross domestic product, cut the number of ministries and attempt to curb corruption in the bureaucracy, crack down on tax evasion, increase the independence of the central bank and focus on boosting agricultural productivity — a particularly important step given that around 70% of the population lives in the countryside.
YANGON – Mitsubishi might be among the Japanese brandnames lining up to invest in Myanmar, with deals done for revamping Mandalay’s airport and building a power plant at the proposed Dawei Special Economic Zone in Myanmar’s far south, but that didn’t hinder a senior company representative from telling it like it is to some Nay Pyi Taw government representatives. “There are too many laws, frankly speaking. We have to study so much to enter into the country,” said regional Asia and Oceania CEO Toru Moriyama, speaking at a business seminar in Yangon hosted by Nikkei, the Japanese media conglomerate. While Myanmar has passed several new codes aimed at attracting investors and pepping-up economic reforms, such as the 2012 Foreign Investment Law, some moth-eaten laws remain in place, such as the 1914 Companies Law and, even older, the 1872 Evidence Act.