1:35 p.m. EDT MR TONER: Hello, everybody. Happy Tuesday, as this week crawls on. No, just kidding, sorry. (Laughter.) Got to stay positive. Anyway, welcome to the State Department. A couple things…
Day: August 4, 2015
Press Releases: Assistant Secretary Talwar Travels to Australia, Malaysia and Singapore
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Puneet Talwar will travel to Australia, Malaysia and Singapore August 5 – 13, 2015. In Melbourne, Assistant Secretary Talwar will participate in the Australian American…
Press Releases: Remarks on America and the Asia Pacific: Partners in Prosperity
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much. I’m really glad I practiced going up the stairs. (Laughter.) I was listening to – well, first of all, thank you, Ambassador Wagar. You are doing…
Federica Mogherini to travel to Malaysia to step up EU engagement with ASEAN
Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, will travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 5-6 August as part of the EU’s drive to step up…
The 3rd Edition of MyanmarWater 2015 Returns with Renewable Energy Myanmar 2015 (PR Newswire)
YANGON, Myanmar, Aug. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — UBM Asia is proud to announce the 3rd edition of MyanmarWater, bringing back Myanmar’s most important annual event this year on International Water Supply, Sanitation, Water Resources, Industrial Wastewater Treatment and Purification. For the first time, MyanmarWater will be co-located with two (2) new trade events that are branched out from the successes in other Asia region — Renewable Energy Myanmar 2015 and REVAC Myanmar 2015.
Renewable Energy Myanmar 2015 is the most comprehensive renewable energy trade event in Myanmar and is part of the very successful renewable energy series organised by UBM, which includes Renewable Energy Asia in Thailand, Renewable Energy India Expo in India, Solar Asia and Green Energy in Malaysia.
Having all these shows under one roof with co-related trade events, it is the one-stop venue to view innovative products and presentations from industries’ experts. “We are pleased to be involved in the third edition of MyanmarWater 2015 co-locating with Renewable Energy Myanmar and REVAC Myanmar that will benefit and contribute towards Myanmar’s growth in these industries altogether ,” said Mr. M. Gandhi, UBM Asia’s Managing Director of ASEAN Business.
These trade events also provide an absolutely perfect platform for B2B business networking opportunities with over 5,500 international industry experts and decision-makers, potential buyers as well as partners. These events will highlight the importance of conference and technology symposium sessions with industry experts speaking on industry water and wastewater treatment, renewable energy policies in Myanmar, future plans of refrigeration and ventilation in the country and assisting participants in finding solutions to multiple business problems.
Recognising its importance and advantage, UBM Asia receives full support from local organisations including those from the Myanmar Engineering Society (MES). “The Myanmar Engineering Society (MES) welcomes and supports MyanmarWater, Renewable Energy Myanmar and REVAC Myanmar to benefit our members and local community. We would like to commend UBM for their initiative in organising these major events,” says U. Win Khaing, President of Myanmar Engineering Society (MES).
For free admission to the shows, kindly pre-register online at www.myanwater.com and www.renewableenergymyanmar.com.
Notes to Editors:
About UBM Asia ( www.ubmasia.com)
Owned by UBM plc and listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is Asia’s leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in mainland China, India and Malaysia. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and the US, UBM Asia has a strong global presence in 25 major cities with 30 offices and over 1,400 staff.
With a track record spanning over 30 years, UBM Asia operates in 21 market sectors with 160 dynamic face-to-face exhibitions, 75 high-level professional conferences, 28 targeted trade publications, 18 round-the-clock vertical portals and virtual event services for over 1,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world. We provide a one-stop diversified global service for high-value business matching, quality market news and online trading networks.
UBM Asia has extensive office networks in China, Southeast Asia and India, three of the world’s fastest growing B2B events markets. UBM China has 11 offices in the major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen, where we organise more than 60 exhibitions and conferences. In ASEAN, UBM Asia operates from its offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines with over 50 events in the region. UBM India teams in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad organise 20 exhibitions and 60 conferences every year across the country.
SOURCE UBM Asia ( Malaysia)
Slavery concerns rise over Trans-Pacific Partnership (The Washington Times)
August 4, 2015
By Dave Boyer
Amid accusations that the Obama administration is whitewashing modern slavery by a potential trading partner, U.S. officials on Tuesday called for countries negotiating a major Pacific Rim free-trade deal to resolve disputes that have stalled the pact.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in Singapore that the Trans-Pacific Partnership would benefit people in all 12 of the proposed trading nations and serve as a model for responsible commerce. Talks among the nations’ trade ministers in Hawaii broke off last week without an agreement, just weeks after President Obama won “fast-track” approval in Congress to speed the negotiations.
Details of the TPP remain “to be hashed out,” Mr. Kerry acknowledged, but he said the pact encompassing 40 percent of global trade will be worth the effort.
“It will send a message to people within the TPP and outside of support for good governance, transparency, and accountability,” Mr. Kerry said.
But opponents are intensifying their criticism of the TPP amid reports that political appointees at the State Department downplayed the agency’s annual assessment of human trafficking and gave an improved grade on conditions of modern-day slavery in Malaysia to allow the country to join the pact.
Reuters reported Monday that human rights experts at the State Department concluded that trafficking conditions hadn’t improved in Malaysia and Cuba, and had worsened in China. But senior political staff saw it differently, and successfully pressured the office handling the report to inflate the Trafficking in Persons assessments of Malaysia and 14 other strategically important countries, sources told the wire service.
When the trafficking report was released on July 27, Malaysia and Cuba were removed from the “Tier 3” blacklist, even though the State Department’s trafficking experts believed neither nation had made notable improvements, according to the sources.
The upgrade for Malaysia could smooth the way for completion of the TPP by eliminating a potential barrier to that country’s inclusion in the pact.
A coalition of civil society groups on Tuesday called for an independent investigation of reports of serious human rights and labor abuses at Malaysian plantations operated by Felda Global Venture. The Wall Street Journal documented findings of human trafficking, forced labor and other labor abuses on Felda’s plantations.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to examine Malaysia’s new ranking on human trafficking at a hearing Thursday. Sen. Bob Menendez, New Jersey Democrat and a member of the panel, said he would use “all of the tools at my disposal” to investigate and reverse the new designation for Malaysia.
“The administration has turned its back on the victims of trafficking, turned a blind eye to the facts, and ignored the calls from Congress, leading human rights advocates, and Malaysian government officials to preserve the integrity of this important report,” Mr. Menendez said. “They have elevated politics over the most basic principles of human rights. Upgrades for Malaysia and Cuba are a clear politicization of the report, and a stamp of approval for countries who have failed to take the basic actions to merit this upgrade.”
The White House denied Tuesday that it had any role in influencing the State Department’s decision on Malaysia.
“This a process that lived at the State Department, and the White House was very respectful of the ongoing policy process at the State Department for publishing this report,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
The TPP is the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s efforts to boost U.S. influence in Asia and to serve as an economic counterweight to China. It would erase most tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment among the partners, which do not include China.
Critics, including progressives in the U.S. and most Democratic lawmakers, have complained that the administration is negotiating the deal in secret and that it favors multinational corporations over workers and consumers.
The TPP has been under consideration since 2002, with the U.S. taking the lead role in the talks since 2008. Participants are the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Most Democratic lawmakers opposed giving Mr. Obama trade-promotion authority to negotiate the pact without the ability of Congress to amend it later. With the help of Republican leaders, Mr. Obama won the legislative battle in June, but the negotiations have yet to produce a final deal.
“As with any complex negotiation there remain details to be hashed out, but the reasons why each of the TPP countries is pressing on to work through tough negotiations or even some of the most sensitive areas of the negotiations are very, very clear,” Mr. Kerry said. “Because major economies are committing to TPP’s high standards, its influence will be felt not just in the region but beyond.”
Portrait of a president (The Straits Times)
Family connection: Playwright and director Zizi Azah is the grandniece of Yusof Ishak, Singapore’s first President.
Growing up, Zizi Azah did not tell her friends that Mr Yusof Ishak was her granduncle.
“I was convinced no one wo…
Marco Rubio: Politics Surrounding State Department's Human Trafficking Report Shameful, Dangerous (Rejoice Magazine with Temia Brinson)
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, issued the following statement regarding reports that human trafficking experts were repeatedly overruled and pressured by senior State Department officials into inflating assessments of 14 strategically important countries in this year’s Trafficking in Persons report:
“It’s shameful that President Obama allowed a bunch of political hacks to alter the administration’s human trafficking report to the benefit of perennial violators like Cuba and Malaysia. The president and his administration have set a dangerous precedent that could lead countries to believe that they can negotiate their way out of being named and shamed for their human trafficking abuses, instead of actually adopting reforms and tackling the problem. The decision to favor politics over policy has jeopardized the integrity of the TIP report which has played a vital role in combatting human trafficking the past 15 years. This is a great disservice to the millions of people who have been victimized or are vulnerable to human traffickers.”