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Archive for December 4th, 2008|Daily archive page

DPRK tightens borders with RoK

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has decided to allow just 880 of Republic of Korea (RoK)’s officials and managers to remain at the joint industrial complex Kaesong from December 1.

The figure represents only one-fifth of the total 4,200 RoK citizens who stayed in the complex before Pyongyang’s decision, the RoK’s Unification Minister Lee Ha Joong said.

Additionally, the DPRK also decided to suspend the operations of an inter-Korean railway route and suspend tours to Kaesong.

From December 1, the DPRK will open its border gates with the RoK six times a day, down from nineteen times a day. –

Vietnam among top ten of German investors’ destinations

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Berlin (VNA) – Vietnam has become potential and attractive market for German investors thanks to the country’s dynamic development, young, learning and diligent and skilled labour force, local media said.

The “German Wave” newspaper issued last weekend said 30 years after end of the war, Vietnam has become one of Asian economies gaining the highest economic growth. The country obtained an average annual growth rate of 8 percent with strong development of export with such main items as rice, coffee, tea, rubber and fish.

The paper attributed Vietnam ’s advantage for foreign investors as well as multi-nation companies to development of high tech zones and young labour force.

According to the paper, more German companies want to find niches in the Southeast Asian nation since Vietnam became an official member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in January, 2007.

More than 20 German economic missions visited Vietnam to inquire into the market in 2008. At present, some 250 German companies are operating in Vietnam , focusing on trade, production and services, Jan Noether from the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Vietnam , said. He added that German companies ranked Vietnam among top ten of their most attractive destinations for investment in the world.

However, the paper said, Vietnam should overcome difficulties and challenges to maintain high economic growth, promote infrastructure construction to catch up economic development and enhance vocational training to meet the current development and integration.-

ADB helps improve farming technology in China

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide an 83 million-USD loan to help three Chinese provinces to improve farming technology and practices, ADB said on December 2.

Around 600,000 farm households from Gansu, Henan and Shandong will benefit from the loan, the bank said in its statement.

The bank added that these provinces have the average rural household income making up only two-third of the national average, and their farm sizes are small, each averaging only 0.28 hectare. Besides, farmers in the areas have limited access to markets and technology to diversify into higher-value crops.

To help address the problems, the project will introduce high- value crops, improved farm and livestock management, advanced farm technologies, and better cultivation practices in some 120,000 hectares of land in the three provinces.

Under the project, about 29 partnerships will be developed between private enterprises and farmers through contract-farming arrangements to strengthen farm productivity, food production, and processing capacity to take advantage of growing domestic and overseas markets.

“Contract farming is a relatively new concept in the country,” Raymond Renfro, economist of ADB’s East Asia Department said, adding that through this concept, loan proceeds go directly to the private farm enterprises or agroenterprises, which in turn will work directly with farmers.

The project will focus on boosting production of wheat, corn, cotton seed, and other related products such as oil cake, vegetables, and grapes for wine and juices, according to the ADB.-

WB okays to 120 mln USD for Chinese eco-farming project

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Beijing (VNA) - The board of executive directors of the World Bank (WB) has approved a loan of 120 million dollars to fund an eco-farming project in China, the World Bank’s (WB) China Office announced on December 3.

Farmers in central China ‘s Anhui and Hubei provinces, Chongqing Municipality , Hunan province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwestern China would benefit from an improved rural environment and better living conditions as a result of the project, according to the office.

The WB loan would cover half of the project costs, with the other half being financed through counterpart funding.

The project would assist farmer households to integrate the use of biogas into their agricultural production systems. The loan would be used to build biogas digesters, and improve kitchens, animal sheds, and toilet facilities in the households.

The project would also help develop local extension and training facilities for rural energy and agricultural services, provide equipment and materials for the service systems, training for technicians and farmers, and support farmer biogas organisations.

The funding will be provided over the next five years, to be allocated over the next 20 years.-

RoK and Japan to set up police hotline

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Seoul (VNA) – Police chiefs of Seoul and Tokyo agreed on December 4 to set up a hotline and strengthen cooperation to combat cyber crime, local media reported.

Kim Seok-ki, commissioner of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, reached the agreement with Toshiro Yonemura, superintendent general of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department, during the latter’s visit to Seoul, Yonhap news agency said, citing the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s police agency.

“The talks were held in response to the growing need for police cooperation between the two countries to cope with the surge in cyber crime, voice phishing, gang violence and other international crimes,” the agency said in a statement.

A police hotline will be opened between the cyber investigation units to enable officers to exchange emails and phone calls to share crime information and investigation progress, it added.

The Internet and telephone serve as the latest tools to steal confidential data from government computer systems and garner illegal profits from abroad.

Kim also proposed to cooperate in preventing indiscriminate attacks and mass killing that have been recently growing in both countries amid an economic slump and increased wealth polarisation.

Seoul and Tokyo also plan to set up a trilateral hotline with Beijing, according to Yonhap.-

Cambodia’s rice production increases by 12 percent

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Cambodia’s production of un-milled rice increased 12 percent this year with a surplus of 2.8 million tonnes, up 300,000 tonnes over last year’s figures.

“This surplus has come from the use of better seeds and improved farming practices,” said Cambodian Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Chan Sarun at a conference on November 30.

The Cambodian government expects total production of un-milled rice to hit 6.8 million tonnes, which would represent a million-tonne gain over last year, according to a preliminary evaluation conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. –

Thailand invests 2.6 bln USD in Laos’ hydropower plant

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Vientiane (VNA) – Kharnchang Public Company, Thailand’s second largest contractor, has signed a deal with the Lao government to develop a 1,260 megawatt hydroelectric power station in a project worth about 90 billion baht (2.6 billion USD).

The project in Xayaburi province involves 10 turbine units that would supply total output of about 7,400 GWh a year, the company said in a statement last weekend.

About 10 percent of the power generated would be reserved for local consumption in Laos and the rest would be sold to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, the statement said.

It will take 8-9 years to build the power plant from 2010, and the project will last for at least 27 years. –

Cambodia’s tourism sector to set up task force

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Hanoi (VNA) - Cambodia’s tourism sector is set to form a task force next week to address the Thai political crisis that has caused foreign arrivals in the Kingdom to plummet, the country’s newspaper reported on December 3.

The task force will consist of 10 institutions, including airlines, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants and government departments, and will develop a national strategy to attract foreign tourists, Ho Vandy, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.

He said the Ministry of Tourism approved the task force on December 2 and it would convene next week.

Bangkok’s major airports have been occupied by anti- government protesters since last week, leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded. The crisis has hit Cambodia ‘s tourism industry hard, as about a third of the Kingdom’s visitors arrive via Thailand.-

Malaysia to invest six bln USD in Iran’s gas fields

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Hanoi (VNA) - Malaysia will invest 5 to 6 billion USD via buy-back contracts in two Iranian gas fields of Ferdous and Golshan, Iran’s Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari has said.

The MoUs on oil and gas development projects were signed among National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) and Malaysian SKS Company, according to news reports.

According to the MoUs, Iran will send heavy and ultra heavy oils to Malaysia to be refined. Golshan gas field is located in Iran’s southern Hormuzgan Province and holds 42 to 56 trillion cubic feet of gas, and Ferdous field, in another Iran’s southern province of Bushehr, is estimated to contain gas reserves of 9 to 10 trillion cubic feet.

Iran, which holds estimated recoverable oil reserves of 138 billion barrels and produces oil of some 4.2 million barrel per day (bpd), depends heavily on the foreign funds, especially in gas and oil sector, to fulfill its ambitions on developing the country.-

ASEAN chief announce postponement of 14th ASEAN Summit

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Secretariat announced on December 3 the postponement of the 14th ASEAN Summit.

The announcement was made after Thailand has said it will postpone the 14th ASEAN Summit to a date to be fixed later after consultations with ASEAN member states.

“This was not an easy decision to make and I thank Thailand for weighing carefully all the factors before deciding to postpone the Summit. I appreciate very much the consideration Thailand has given to the ASEAN member states’ concerns,” ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said.

He added: “The postponement of the Summit should not distract us or detract from what we in ASEAN are doing for the well-being, livelihood and welfare of the peoples in this region.”

“I will be exploring ways and means of minimising the adverse impact on the works of ASEAN. Some initiatives and projects in the pipeline by certain ministerial bodies will be given due consideration to proceed without having to wait for the Summit. In this connection, I am looking forward to consulting with ASEAN Foreign Ministers in the coming days,” he said.-

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