A medical worker takes a sample in downtown Yangon on September 22 from a woman who was quarantined after coming into contact with a COVID-19 patient.
This Week's News Spotlight:
15 APAC countries sign world’s largest trade pact RCEP | How Shopee is leading e-commerce in Southeast Asia | Thailand to allow medical use of opium, cocaine, and morphine | Vietnam economy shines despite Covid-19 | Myanmar considers relaxing Covid-19 restrictions
15 APAC countries sign world’s largest trade pact RCEP - CNA
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that it has taken eight years, 46 negotiating meetings, and 19 ministerial meetings.
15 Asia-Pacific nations signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on Sunday, the world’s largest trade agreement. The pact has been in the works for 8 years and involved 10 ASEAN countries, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia. These parties account for 29% of global GDP.
How Shopee is leading e-commerce in Southeast Asia - Business Insider
Shopee’s COO Terence Pang is on Business Insider’s list of 10 leaders transforming retail in Asia.
Southeast Asia’s e-commerce sector is valued to be around USD 38 billion, and forecasted to surpass USD 150 billion by 2025. Singapore-based Shopee is five years old and the region’s leading e-commerce platform, based on monthly active users. The business utilises a mobile-first strategy—the company claims that more than 95% of orders on the platform are made via mobile
Thailand to allow medical use of opium, cocaine, and morphine - Coconuts
In December 2018, a legislation was passed that made medical marijuana legal in the country.
More than 100 drugs including cocaine, morphine, and opium will be decriminalised for medical and research use in Thailand. The new regulations come into effect in July next year. Government organisations and approved pharmacies and health workers will be allowed to use these substances, and can only be sold for medical treatments, research, or “government benefit”.
Vietnam economy shines despite Covid-19 - BBC
Vietnam has had 1,288 Covid-19 cases and 35 deaths.
Despite Covid-19, Vietnam’s economy is expected to grow 2.4% this year according to the International Monetary Fund. The country has managed to minimise economic damage from Covid-19 and is the only Southeast Asian country that is projected to grow this year. The country has been praised for its quick and swift public health measures, such as developing testing kits and using strategic testing and contact tracing.
Myanmar considers relaxing Covid-19 restrictions - The Irrawaddy
Myanmar is reporting more than 1,000 cases a day.
Myanmar’s State Counselor’s Office says that the country is considering relaxing its Covid-19 restrictions, including stay-at-home orders, to relieve impact on the economy. The country has imposed stay-at-home orders on approximately 75 townships. Under these orders, only essential businesses and organisations and garment factories can open.
Loosening restrictions might mean relaxing stay-at-home orders and resuming domestic flights nad other forms of travel within the country. However, the relaxations have not been confirmed.