Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Sept. 11

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BANGKOK -- Thailand's new Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin delivered his government policy statement to parliament on Monday, highlighting immediate measures to drive economy with a digital money handout and energy price cuts.

The country's key drivers of growth, including tourism and spending, are experiencing a sluggish recovery, leading to the risk of an economic recession, Srettha told a joint sitting of the National Assembly, adding that stimulus measures are necessary to reinvigorate the economy.

"The 10,000-baht (around 280 U.S. dollars) digital money distribution to all areas down to the grassroots level will kick-start the economy, creating jobs and economic activities, while the government will earn revenue," he said. (Thailand-PM-Policy Statement)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- The sales value of the manufacturing sector amounted to 144 billion ringgit (about 30.8 billion U.S. dollars), which decreased 3 percent in July, official data showed Monday.

The sales value of the manufacturing sector fell for the second consecutive month in July, narrowing to negative 3 percent year-on-year, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said in a statement.

The deterioration was primarily influenced by the petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic sub-sector. (Malaysia-Manufacturing Sector)

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MANILA -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) that flowed into the Philippines dropped year-on-year by 3.9 percent in June to reach 484 million U.S. dollars, the Philippine central bank said Monday.

The latest figure brought the country's FDI net inflows in the first half of 2023 to 3.9 billion dollars, diving 20.4 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

The slowdown in FDI may be due largely to investor concerns over "weak growth prospects amid persistent global uncertainties," the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said. (Philippines-FDI-H1)

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DHAKA -- Bangladesh and France on Monday signed two agreements to enhance cooperation in various fields, including infrastructure and satellite.

The documents were inked in the presence of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and French President Emmanuel Macron in Dhaka, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) reported.

A Credit Facility Agreement between the Economic Relations Division of Bangladesh and the France Development Agency on Improving Urban Governance and Infrastructure Program was signed at the event.

Besides, a Letter of Intent on Cooperation between Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited and Airbus Defence and Space SAS of France related to the Bangabandhu-2 Earth Observation Satellite System was signed. (Bangladesh-France-Deals)

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SEOUL -- One worker was killed and three others injured on Monday as a boiler pipe exploded at a thermal power plant in central South Korea, according to Yonhap news agency.

The pipe exploded in the boiler room on the fifth floor of the power plant's main building in Seocheon county, about 170 km south of the capital Seoul, at around 10:54 a.m. local time (0154 GMT).

High-pressure steam leak left a 50-year-old worker in cardiac arrest and three others injured with burns. The 50-year-old was sent to a nearby hospital but confirmed dead later, while the others were under treatment. (South Korea-Thermal Power Plant-Explosion)

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SEOUL -- South Korea's jobless claims rose last month amid the lingering worry about economic downturn, labor ministry data showed Monday.

The number of new applicants for job-seeking benefits stood at 87,000 in August, up 7.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Employment and Labor.

The number rebounded this year on the mounting concerns about the economic slowdown, driven by the continued export fall and the faltering housing market. (South Korea-Jobless Claims) Enditem

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