Economy, Gaza war and China ties dominate

Presidential candidates Anies Baswedan, Prabowo Subianto, and Ganjar Pranowo, along with their vice presidential candidates, are posing for photos after the first presidential candidate debate at the General Election Commission (KPU) office in Jakarta, Indonesia, on December 12, 2023. Indonesia is preparing to hold general elections for president and vice president for the 2024-2029 period … Read more

More bodies found after sudden eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Marapi, raising confirmed death toll to 22

Family members carry the body of Muhammad Alfikri, 19, a Mount Marapi eruption victim, in Bandar Buat, Padang, West Sumatra province, Indonesia, December 5, 2023, in this photo taken by Antara Foto.  Antara Foto | Via Reuters Rescuers searching the hazardous slopes of Indonesia’s Mount Marapi volcano found 11 more bodies of climbers who were … Read more

Southeast Asia haze returns as peatland fires fan global warming fears

In this photo taken on Oct. 10, 2023, a man looks at a forest fire as it approaches houses in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra in Indonesia. Al Zulkifli | AFP | Getty Images With El Nino in full force, officials are bracing for the worst transboundary haze in southern Southeast Asia since before the pandemic … Read more

Global rice markets are in crisis amid ‘artificial’ shortage

Rice is a crucial staple for over half the global population and the world is bracing for its most significant shortage in 20 years. India’s export ban on rice is reverberating through global rice markets, threatening food security if developing nations cannot afford or access rice. “The only shortage out there right now would really … Read more

Southeast Asia looks to renewable power for energy security

The floating solar photovoltaic power plant by EDPR Sunseap Group, a unit of Energias de Portugal SA, in Woodlands, in Singapore, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Bryan van der Beek | Bloomberg | Getty Images Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. As energy demand grows, the region is turning to … Read more

Cocoa farmers face mounting challenges as El Nino rages on

A woman spreads cocoa beans during the sun-drying process in the backyard of her house in Asikasu, Ghana on December 19, 2020. Cristina Aldehuela | Afp | Getty Images El Nino is here to stay — and that’s bad news for cocoa crops which are highly sensitive to weather changes.  Frequent extreme weather events caused … Read more

Indonesia’s China-backed high-speed train sparks concerns of debt trap

Indonesia is starting trial runs for its first high-speed train, which will connect the capital Jakarta to a neighboring city of Bandung, after years of delays and cost overruns plagued the project. Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images A $7.3 billion high-speed electric rail line between Indonesia’s two biggest cities is set to be launched … Read more

Asia food inflation fears rise as rice prices surge

An undated stock photo of a market stall with piles of many varieties of Vietnamese rice in Ho Chi Minh city grocery. Vietnam is one of the largest exporters of quality rice, Asia’s most important staple food. Bicho_raro | Istock | Getty Images A perfect storm may be brewing in Asia. Rice prices surged to … Read more

Australia and Indonesia signed a ‘win-win’ EV battery deal: Analyst

Mining giants Australia and Indonesia have signed a “win-win” EV battery deal, said Sabrin Chowdhury, head of commodities analysis at BMI, a research unit of Fitch Solutions. Indonesian President Joko Widodo met his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Tuesday during a three-day state visit to Australia. In addition to their commitment to regional peace and … Read more

Japan signed a critical minerals deal with the U.S. — but it’s still losing the global EV race

Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yasuhide Mizuno speaks at a news conference in Tokyo, on Oct. 13, 2022. Sony and Honda’s joint mobility venture unveiled a new EV prototype in January. Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images Japan is gearing up to be a larger player in the EV space by signing a critical minerals … Read more