Myanmar observes Martyrs’ Day today, commemorating the assassination of nine leaders of the pre-independence interim government on July 19, 1947. Those killed were the Prime Minister Aung San, Thakin Mya, Ba Cho, Abdul Razak, Ba Win, Mahn Ba Khaing, Sao San Tun, Ohn Maung and Ko Htwe. The national day is observed with a state ceremony and national flag flown at half-mast.
Did you know? Myanmar’s temple city of Bagan became UNESCO World Heritage Site on 6 July. The temples were built in the capital city of Pagan Kingdom during the glory days between the 9th to 13th centuries. Also known as ‘The City that Tramples the Enemies’, the complex hosts more than 2,200 ancient temples and pagodas. Rent a bike to roam around the temples or take a hot-air balloon flight to enjoy the breath-taking view of Bagan!
Happy Khao Phansa day to our friends in Thailand! Also known as ‘the rains retreat,’ Buddhist monks take this opportunity to retreat inside their temples to study and meditate. There are many festivals held all over Thailand on this day, such as the colourful candle festival in Saraburi and Ratchathani, Surin, Suphan Buri and Aquatic Phansa Festival in Ayutthaya.
ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR ) is looking for a consultative relationship with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs ) or institutions that are actively involved in advancement, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedom. Submission of applications are open all year round. Send the application form and all supporting documents to aichr @asean org, now! For more details: http://bit.ly/CSO-AICHR
We wish our friends in Myanmar a blessed and prosperous full moon day of Waso! The holy day commemorates Buddha's First Sermon and the beginning of the Buddhist Lent. There are several traditions in celebrating Waso, such as bringing offerings to monks who retreat in their pagodas, young and older generations bonding together, flower picking, or ordination ceremonies. In Myanmar, it is not advisable to get married or move houses during the lent period.
We wish our Buddhist friends in Thailand a blessed Asahna Bucha day. This holy day for Buddhists comes every first full moon of the eighth lunar month to commemorate Buddha’s first sermon known as ‘Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion.’ Ceremonies are held in temples across the country. Flowers are offered in honour of Buddha together with a performance called ‘wian tian’ where people walk clockwise around the main shrine of the temple carrying a candle, incense sticks and lotus flowers.
Do you know? Four ASEAN countries are some of the largest outperformers in global connectedness index where international trade flows exceed expectations. The spike in rank is notable in Cambodia with garment industry being featured prominently in its trade and FDI. Viet Nam, on the other hand, is upping their game in the textile manufacturing and high tech products. Meanwhile, Malaysia consistently ranks in the top 20, and Singapore tops in trade and information. See the chart below for the global rank and learn how the other ASEAN countries perform: http://bit.ly/DHLIndex2018
We wish the happiest birthday to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. As the 29th Sultan of his line, His Majesty has reigned since 4 October 1967. His birthday is usually observed with military parades with 21-gun salute, fireworks, and cheers as the people wish the Sultan a happy birthday.
ASEAN is known as a major global trade hub as well as one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world. As about 90% of world trade is facilitated by maritime shipping, the number of international ports is on the rise in order to facilitate the growing trade volume. Do you know the total number of international ports in ASEAN?
FDI inflow to ASEAN rose by 12% to US$ 137 billion in 2017. Wholesale and retail trade rose by 75% to US$ 38.9 billion and became the largest industry recipient, overtaking the finance and manufacturing sectors. Manufacturing investment increased by 57% to US$31.6 billion. Meanwhile, the finance and insurance sector took quite a blow with a US$ 25.7 billion drop. Click on the picture to see the key areas of investment in ASEAN!
The rich diversity of ASEAN culture is strongly reflected by more than one thousand languages spoken in the region, especially indigenous languages which include dialects from other parts of Asia, sign language and migrant language. However, due to the switch to national language, linguistic assimilation, and English as a valuable tool for socio-economy, some of the indigenous languages are in the brink of extinction. In the Year of Indigenous Language, let’s raise awareness and try to preserve the unique identity and tradition of ASEAN’s indigenous languages. See picture for the list of endangered languages in ASEAN:
It’s World Population Day today! Do you know that ASEAN has a total population of 660,718,687 people as of 2019. At 270,625,568, Indonesia has the biggest population in the region, followed by the Philippines with 108,116,615 people while Brunei Darussalam has the smallest population at 433,285. However, do you know which country in ASEAN has the biggest population growth rate in 2019? Click the picture to reveal the answer! The result might surprise you.
ASEAN and EU launched a High-Level Dialogue on Environment and Climate Change yesterday in Bangkok, Thailand. The dialogue provided space for exchanging views and discussing main priorities areas related to the environment such as 'SMART Green ASEAN Cities' and circular economy. Read the full release, here: http://bit.ly/2G5yhKa
In preparation for the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Relations and 5th anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand Strategic Partnership in 2020, both sides reviewed and discussed ways to take the relations to a greater height. Read the full release of the 7th ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting: http://bit.ly/ASEANNZ7JCC
Did you know? Starting 2010, one city from an ASEAN member country is designated as the ASEAN City of Culture for two consecutive years in order to promote ASEAN identity. Cebu of the Philippines was chosen as the first ASEAN City of Culture for 2010-2011. Cebu then passed the baton to Singapore for 2012-2013, then onto Hue of Viet Nam for 2014-2015, Bandar Seri Begawan of Brunei Darussalam for 2016-2017 and lastly to the current ASEAN City of Culture, Yogyakarta of Indonesia for 2018-2019 period. Are you ready for the next ASEAN City of Culture? Where do you think it will be? Comment below!
If you visit Cambodia, make sure to visit one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country - the Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk. Translated as “the temple in the richness of the forest,” the site was identified as Ishanapura, the capital of the Chenla Empire that flourished in the late 6th and early 7th centuries AD. The brick and sandstone elements in the temple architecture lay the ground for the unique Khmer style of Angkor period.
Most of you guessed it correctly! The distinct feature of each fabric surely makes it easier to identify. From left to right, pina silk from Philippines, luntaya acheik from Myanmar and to tam silk from Viet Nam. The handwoven fabric can be used traditionally or with a modern twist, both of which are equally stylish.
Handwoven fabrics are one of the most valued and cherished heritages of ASEAN. Each country has distinct materials, patterns and threading techniques. For example, songket can be found in Indonesia and Malaysia, Ikats silk can be found in Cambodia and Thailand, jong sarat from Brunei and many more. Can you name the origin countries of these fabrics? Stay tuned and we will reveal the answer tomorrow! #ASEANQuiz
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT ) sector in ASEAN has grown 9% annually in the past five years and it contributed over US$113 billion to ASEAN GDP in 2017. ICT is the core of digital integration that will enable ASEAN to compete more effectively in the global economy. See the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020 to get more insight: http://bit.ly/ASEANICT2020
The 5th ASEAN Youth Video Contest finalists are on our YouTube channel! Watch to see how our finalists translate the theme "Renewable Energy: Powering ASEAN's Bright Future" into a cinematic narrative promoting sustainable development in the region! Smash the like button on your favourite video before 9 July to vote for the Most Liked Video! Watch them here: http://bit.ly/Top10AYVC2019 #AYVC #5ASEANYouthVideoContest #RenewableEnergy
Do you know, in the Asia-Pacific region, ASEAN is leading the progress of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs ) on affordable and clean energy; industry, innovation and infrastructure; and quality education. However, more efforts are needed for economic growth; climate action; and peace, justice and strong institutions. ASEAN is committed to leaving no one behind in its community development, with the support from all sectors – policy makers, private sectors, communities and individuals. See the ASEAN-China-UNDP SDG Localisation in ASEAN Report for more insights: http://bit.ly/SDGLocalisation
Today, ASEAN and the Republic of Korea (ROK ) agreed to further strengthen their strategic partnership at the 23rd Senior Officials Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan. Both sides are committed to advancing cooperation in areas of mutual interest to make the partnership more robust as this year marks the 30th anniversary of their dialogue partnership. Read more: Bit.ly/23ASEANROK
ASEAN is well-known for its three-wheeled transportation, such as rickshaw and tuk-tuk. In Cambodia, tuk-tuk, also known as remorque, is powered by a motorbike that is attached to a carriage that can take up to 4-5 people. Indonesia has three-wheeled scooters called Bajaj and traditional bicycle rickshaws called becak that can still be found in several cities. Laos’ version of tuk-tuk is known as jumbos and can fit up to 12 people. In Malaysia, on the other hand, bicycle rickshaws are decked with colourful ornaments and loud music to attract tourists. Trishaws in Myanmar still use bicycle and can fit 2 passengers. Meanwhile, in the Philippines you can try a wide variety of tuk-tuk and rickshaw. In Thailand, samlor is compact and effective to navigate the dense traffic of Bangkok. Lastly in Viet Nam, the rickshaws which are known as xích lô are still widely used.
In an effort to curb plastic pollution, some plastic alternate tools are coming to the surface. People have started using metal, bamboo, rattan utensils or tupperware for eating and drinking, bringing their own groceries bag, or using banana leaves for packaging. Recently, Viet Nam came up with straw made of sedge grass, locally known as co bang. More sustainable alternatives are coming to the market now, what’s your favorite plastic free tools? Share in the comment below!
According to Greenpeace report, between 2016 and 2018, the ASEAN region saw plastic waste imports grow by a staggering 171%, from 836,529 to 2,265,962 tonnes. ASEAN tries to tackle this issue by implementing the Marine Debris Framework (read here: http://bit.ly/FrameworkMarineDebris ), sending back the imported waste to the original countries, and finding solutions to reduce single-use plastic. Recently, Bali officially bans all single-use plastic while Thailand reportedly will also ban 3 kinds of plastic at the end of 2020. Let’s put the brakes on plastic use and waste!
Do you know, during the 34th ASEAN Summit last week, the ASEAN Leaders adopted “The ASEAN outlook on the Indo-Pacific”. The Outlook recognizes the potential for cooperation with other regional mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions on issues of common interests through innovative, inter-disciplinary and complementary approaches based on the relevant ASEAN-led mechanisms. Read more: http://bit.ly/ASEANOutlookIndoPacific
Do you know an ASEAN youth that is active in green initiative and environmental outreach in the region? They might be the eco-champion we are looking for! ASEAN Youth Eco-Champion Award is looking to recognise an outstanding individual who have made significant contributions in protecting the environment. Submit your nomination by filling the nomination form, providing a CV, minimum 2 letters of reference, high resolution photos, and other supporting documents to https://environment.asean.org/ayeca-2019/ before 15 July 2019. Self-nomination is highly encouraged!
The most exported agricultural product from #ASEAN is palm oil, valued at US$ 28 billion. Next in line is crude rubber with US$ 14 billion in value, rice (husked and broken rice ) at US$ 8.9 billion, crustaceans at US$ 5.9 billion and coffee at US$ 4 billion. See more details in the chart below! For more interesting figures of ASEAN, check: www.aseanstats.org
Previously, we learned that half of ASEAN land for agriculture in ASEAN is used to grow staple grain. Today we’d like to share that the five major food commodities from ASEAN are rice, maize, soybean, sugarcane and cassava. In 2017, the production of soybean decreased significantly by 23%. See the growth rate of these commodities on ASEAN Key Figures 2018: http://bit.ly/ASEANKeyFigures2018
We discussed about ASEAN agricultural sector in the past week. Do you know what are the top 5 exported agricultural products from ASEAN? Stay tuned and we will reveal the answer tomorrow! #ASEANQuiz