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Archive for January 7th, 2009|Daily archive page

China, Japan to hold 9th strategic dialogue

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Beijing (VNA) – China and Japan will hold their 9 th strategic dialogue in Tokyo on January 9, Xinhua news agency reported on January 5.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya and Japan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka will head delegations to the dialogue, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang.

The two sides will exchange views on bilateral ties and other international and regional issues.
China and Japan have held eight rounds of strategic dialogues. The last round was held in Beijing in February, 2008.-

ASEAN chief calls on members to appoint permanent representatives

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Jakarta (VNA) – Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Surin Pitsuwan has called upon member countries to appoint their permanent representatives to the bloc.

Speaking at a ceremony to receive Singapore’s Permanent Representative at the ASEAN Secretariat on Jan. 5, the ASEAN chief said: “We are pleased to receive Ambassador Lim Thuan Kuan… I hope that the rest of the member states will also appoint their Permanent Representatives to ASEAN very shortly.”

Singapore has become the first member state appointing Permanent Representative to ASEAN. The appointment of Ambassador Lim commenced with effect from January 2009.

According to the ASEAN Charter, which recently came into force on Dec. 15, 2008, each ASEAN member state shall appoint a Permanent Representative to ASEAN with the rank of Ambassador based in Jakarta.

The Permanent Representatives will collectively constitute the Committee of Permanent Representatives whose tasks include supporting the work of the ASEAN Community Councils, coordinating with ASEAN National Secretariats and other ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies, as well as liaising with the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat.-

Abnormal downpours drench the South

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2009 at 3:36 pm

HCM City (VNA) – Unseasonal rains have hit Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbouring provinces over the last few days, creating an abnormal weather pattern in the south, according to an expert.

HCM City , provinces southeast of the city and some Mekong Delta provinces have experienced very heavy downpours for the last three days.

Strong winds and thunder often accompanied the rains. The rainfall was relatively high, up to 45mm in Dong Nai, Tien Giang, and Kien Giang provinces as well as Can Tho city.

Le Thi Xuan Lan, deputy head of the Southern Meteorology and Hydrology Forecasting Centre, said the unseasonal rains could last for a few more days, creating an unusual weather phenomenon in the last month of the year.

For the past many years, the weather at Christmas and New Year time has been dry and cool. People in the south are used to enjoy the finest weather and clear skies during the festival season.

Lan attributed the abnormal weather pattern to a cold front moving from the north to the south and thick clouds over the Ca Mau sea, which have triggered sporadic downpours in many parts of the south.

The unseasonal rains have sparked worry among local flower and bonsai growers about an unsuccessful horticultural harvest this season. Apricot plants, that are bought heavily for the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival, are blooming too early.

Lan said a cold front had also hit northern, central and south central provinces , triggering torrential rains in south central coastal areas, especially from Quang Ngai to Khanh Hoa provinces.

The rainfall is expected to measure from 40 to 70mm in the next few days. River water level in these provinces is likely to rise to the third warning level, the dangerous level for flooding.

Despite unseasonal rains in the last month of this year, the threat of prolonged severe drought spell could be predicted for early months of 2009.-

New human case of deadly Avian flu

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm


Hanoi (VNA) – Director of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine and Environment Nguyen Huy Nga on Jan. 6 confirmed that the first new case of avian influenza type A/H5 since last March had been discovered in Thanh Hoa province.

on Jan. 2, an 8-year-old girl living in Dien Trung Commune, Ba Thuoc District was hospitalized with such symptoms as fever, cough, sore throat and difficult breathing.

“Results of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) laboratory tests on Jan. 3 show positive for avian influenza type of A/H5,” said Nga.
“At the moment, the girl is recovering,” he added.

An epidemiological investigation revealed that the girl and her family ate diseased birds a week ago. Other fowls have been falling sick and dying in the area.

The department proposed that NIHE and Thanh Hoa’s Preventive Medicine and Environment Department should quarantine the area and send staff to handle the outbreak.

It also recommended people should not eat sick chickens and report all dead or sick birds to local authorities. They should also only eat cooked food, drink water that has been boiled and wash their hands frequently with soap.

According to health ministry’s statistics, Vietnam has had a total of 107 type A/H5N1 positive cases since December 2003, of which 52 proved fatal.-

Exporters lay groundwork for 2009

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm



HCM City (VNA) – Despite the global financial crisis that is seriously affecting the country’s economy, many exporters are in reasonable shape, thanks to their good preparations.

More than 15,000 workers at the Thai Binh Footwear Joint Stock Co, for instance, have begun to execute this year’s business plan, which targets export value of over 100 million USD.

“A few years ago, the company invested 5 million USD in installing a complete production line,” Nguyen Duc Thuan, general director of the country’s biggest footwear exporter, said.

It employs 400 designers who create 35,000 models for all four seasons every year based on demand in importing markets.

Thai Binh sells directly to four large importers in the US and Japan .

The footwear industry also came under pressure last year from an EU anti-dumping tax on leather shoes. Vietnamese companies quickly switched to other kinds of footwear lilke sports shoes and fashion shoes for women and children. They achieved total exports of 4.8 billion USD, or a fifth higher than in 2007.

Textile and garment industry has seen export contracts and prices fall by 20 percent due to the recession. Many companies are cutting their margins while others are eyeing the local market.

According to the general director of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Corporation, Vu Duc Giang, the industry would explore new markets like the Middle East and Africa this year.

The signing of a bilateral trade agreement with Japan would help garment firms export to the East Asian country.

The corporation plans to open 20 more supermarkets around Vietnam .

For the Sai Gon 3 Garment Joint-stock company y, export was up 80 million USD and profits 20 percent last year.

“We carried out many cost-cutting campaigns and maintained our quality,” Pham Xuan Hong, general director of the company said.

In 2009, its turnover target remains unchanged from last year, but it eyes 20 percent lower profits.

Leading exporter Viet Tien Garment Company has a brand name trusted in many foreign markets. The company has thus managed to sign several major deals, targeting a 10 percent increase in exports to 190 million USD.

Viet Tien will also launch more luxury and popular products in the local market this year. It will soon hire 500 workers who have been laid off by other garment companies.-

Bird flu cases under control

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Although 2% of the nation’s poultry is affected, officials are managing.


HA NOI — Viet Nam has managed to place bird flu under control after the disease appeared in some households, said the director of the Veterinary Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bui Quang Anh.


But the risk of recurrence remains high as nearly 2 per cent of the country’s poultry were still affected with the H5N1 strain of the virus, Anh said at a workshop in Ha Noi yesterday.


In 2008, bird flu was discovered in 80 communes in 27 cities and provinces nationwide. The number of poultry killed and culled reached more than 106,000, down 70 per cent from 2007, according to the Veterinary Department.


The achievement was partly attributed to the successful implementation of the second phase of vaccination for poultry in 2008. As part of the plan, 260 million fowls were vaccinated.


In 2008 there was also an outbreak of blue-ear disease in pigs in 26 cities and provinces, which killed more than 300,000 pigs. The disease was eventually controlled in September 2008, Anh said.


The foot-and-mouth disease in livestock also hit 14 provinces in 2008, affecting more than 2,400 bulls and buffaloes and 67 pigs.


To prevent recurrence of the diseases this year, the veterinary sector will continue to speed up information campaigns and education tasks, targeting illegal poultry traffickers across borders and farmers, Anh said.


The sector will also improve planning for poultry and water fowl breeding, restructure poultry trading, raise hygiene standards in slaughter houses and strengthen the inspection and supervision of the transport and slaughter of poultry, he said.


To prevent foot-and-mouth among livestock, the veterinary sector will speed up vaccination work as part of the national plan to stamp out the disease during the 2006-10 period. Localities are responsible for vaccinating livestock in high-risk areas.


Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has signed a decision to provide central Nghe An Province with 300,000 doses of foot-and-mouth disease vaccine, and 3,000 litres of Benkocid antiseptic free of charge from the national reserve system.









New case of deadly
Avian flu


Director of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine and Environment Nguyen Huy Nga yesterday confirmed that the first new case of avian influenza type A/H5 since last March had been discovered in Thanh Hoa Province.
Last Friday, an 8-year-old girl living in Dien Trung Commune, Ba Thuoc District was hospitalised with such symptoms as fever, cough, sore throat and difficult breathing. “Results of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) laboratory tests on Saturday show positive for avian influenza type A/H5,” said Nga.
“At the moment, the girl is recovering,” she added.
An epidemiological investigation revealed that the girl and her family ate diseased birds a week ago. Other fowls have been falling sick and dying in the area.
The department proposed that NIHE and Thanh Hoa’s Preventive Medicine and Environment Department should quarantine the area and send staff to handle the outbreak.
It also recommended people should not eat sick chickens and report all dead or sick birds to local authorities. They should also only eat cooked food, drink water that has been boiled and wash their hands frequently with soap.
According to health ministry’s statistics, Viet Nam has had a total of 107 type A/H5N1 positive cases since December 2003, of which 52 proved fatal.


The foot-and-mouth disease was discovered in the central province on December 19. It has since spread across almost 10 districts, according to the province’s Department of Veterinary.


Anh added that authorised agencies would keep a close watch on the origin of pigs to combat blue-ear disease.


Ha Noi’s efforts


The Ha Noi Veterinary Department has increased inspection of the slaughtering and trade of poultry to ensure food safety for local consumers for Tet.


It has also focused on speeding up information campaigns and food safety education and hygiene standards. It has also sterilised poultry wholesale markets such as Ha Vi market in Thuong Tin District, Minh Khai market in Tu Liem District and Ba La market in Ha Dong District.


Ha Noi currently has more than 1.6 million pigs and 14 million live fowls. Together, they meet an estimated 70-75 per cent of local citizens’ demand for fresh products.


The city has built 41 safe slaughtering houses and more than 70 supermarkets specialising in trading safe products.


High-risk areas


In HCM City, many “hot spots” of unquarantined poultry trading stores have appeared. Along Pham Hung Street in Binh Chanh District, more than 10 live poultry trading stores opened temporarily.


Unquarantined poultry products are also available in some markets in Thu Duc and Go Vap districts.


According to Huynh Huu Loi, head of the municipal veterinary department, measures to stamp out all these “hot spots” have proved ineffective.


“It is essential to establish close co-operation between veterinary workers and local authorities to deal with the problem,” he said.


More education on food safety and hygiene is needed, he said.


Nguyen Xuan Binh, deputy director of a veterinary centre in HCM City, said the southern region is experiencing cold weather – a favourable condition for the H5N1 virus to breed.


“It is dangerous for unquarantined poultry slaughtering and trade to exist without the supervision of veterinary workers,” he said.


“Veterinary workers have tested samples of poultry products in some markets in Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Tien Giang, Long An, Tra Vinh and Ben Tre and found 3 per cent of tested poultry products in Long An and Tien Giang Provinces are positive for H5N1,” he said.


Local citizens in HCM City consume between 100,000-200,000 live fowls each day, 50 per cent of which were transported into the city from other provinces. —

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