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Vietnam Today

Uniform ASEAN time zone considered

Released at: 14:20, 30/03/2015

Uniform ASEAN time zone considered

Change could potentially benefit a variety of enterprises.

by Minh Tuyet

Indonesia and Malaysia have recommended a uniform time zone for ASEAN members, an idea first suggested by Singapore back in 1995.

Economic experts believe a suitable, united time zone would bring huge benefits. A more integrated ASEAN community could be more efficient in a variety of ways. If the stock exchange had the same time zone across nations, trading floors would open at the same time, providing some protection for investors from sudden fluctuations in the market.

Singapore's suggested time zone to be adopted (GMT+8) was given as a possibility, which aligns with Hong Kong and Shanghai. This is only one hour later than Japan, the largest stock exchange in Asia. Moreover, it is also the same as other important stock exchanges in Asia such as Malaysia and the Philippines.

Additional benefits include easier trade, international payments via financial institutions, organization of international events and better flight schedules.

ASEAN members are considering the proposal as well as which time zone would prove most suitable.

Any change would likely have most impact on Myanmar and Indonesia, who are one and a half hours different from the proposed schedule. Based on the current suggestion people in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia would need to wake up one hour earlier to take advantage of the synchronized schedules.

Across China, a relatively larger area, a uniform time zone has been implemented, although whether the move is right for ASEAN countries is yet to be determined.

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  • time zone

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