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Friday, February 29, 2008

ASEAN countries suffer huge economic loss from poor sanitation

BALI, Indonesia, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Four countries in Southeast Asia, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam have suffered 9 billion U.S. dollars economic loss annually due to poor implementation of sanitation, about 2 percent of their combined GDP, a recent study conducted by the World Bank has said.

The study said that Indonesia, the biggest Southeast Asia economy, had suffered the most losses of 6.3 billion U.S. dollar per year.

Indonesia has struggled to save its state budget from the impact of the global economic slowdown, soaring oil price and commodities, as well as high inflation pressure. The government has planned to widen the budget deficit from 1.7 percent of the GDP or 73.3 trillion rupiah (about 7.97 billion U.S. dollars) to 2percent of the GDP or 83.7 trillion rupiah (some 9.1 billion U.S. dollars).

"Should sanitation be improved, the losses can be reduced and it can help reduce the deficit," an expert of the World Bank who goes with single name Saputra told Xinhua at a workshop on sanitation here.

Health and water impacts are the largest contributors to overall costs, said the study. The health costs were dominated by premature death, especially in youngsters, while water-related costs were dominated by access to clean drinking water, it said.

Overall 4.8 billion U.S. dollars were lost annually to sanitation-related diseases, of which 3.35 billion U.S. dollars lost in Indonesia, one billion U.S. dollars in the Philippines, 260 million U.S. dollars in Vietnam, and 187 million U.S. dollars in Cambodia, it said.

Diseases resulted from poor sanitation impact expenditure patterns, productivity and the income of household, government and enterprises, it said. On water, countries which have abundant internal freshwater resources, suffered significant freshwater pollution from human activities.

ASEAN countries have a combined population of 580 million with a gross domestic product of 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars.
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Exotiq RE reveals expansion plans

By Robert Carry

Exotiq Real Estate has revealed that it plans to further expand its services in Southeast Asia with Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia all set to be targeted.

The resort-based realtor, founded in 2001, currently has 11 offices in six locations spread across Indonesia and Thailand and a database of 4000 property listings is also planning to open offices in Australia and New Zealand.

Dominique Gallmann, one of the founders of the brand and current director for operations in Indonesia, said the company´s open approach has been key to its success to date: “We provide transparency in a largely unregulated marketplace with high quality, un-biased, property advice that is difficult to find in an environment where agents are typically trying to sell their own developments.”

The massive number of units Exotiq has on file has also been key to successfully matching buyers and homes. Angus MacLachlan, co-founder and director for operations in Thailand explains, “Each office in the network specializes in its local territory and contributes its listings to a central database. This allows us to pull together virtually every decent property on the market, creating enormous choice for our clients.” Read more!