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Archive for August 5th, 2008|Daily archive page

Beijing says Olympic preparations in place

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:07 pm

– From power supply to traffic service, and from air quality to food safety, Beijing is ready for the Olympic Games in all aspects, according to the city government on August 4.

The capital was fully prepared in energy and water supply, transport services, air-quality control, public hygiene, health services, commodity supplies, hotel booking, tourism services and entertainment, the city government spokesman, Liu Zhi, was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying at a press conference in the 2008 Beijing International Media Centre.

“Besides these, we have a strong backup from Beijing residents,” Liu Zhi said, adding that many of them have greatly contributed to the Olympics preparatory work.

He said many locals had picked up English, learned foreign etiquette and applied to be volunteers.

“After seven years of hard work, Beijing is opening its arms,” he said.-

Philippine Supreme Court stops deal with MILF

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

– The Philippine Supreme Court has blocked the signing of an agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) scheduled to take place on August 5.

The court’s ruling on August 4 was in response to a petition filed by southern Philippines officials who oppose the signing of the agreement in Malaysia, according to news agencies.

The planned deal has sparked massive street protests in the country’s south amid fears that non-Muslim areas would be covered under the deal and give the MILF control over large swathes of lands in southern Mindanao island.

A Philippine delegation led by Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo had boarded flights to Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, for the event when the decision was issued, prompting the Manila government to abruptly cancel the ceremony.

The court ordered the Philippine government to submit a draft of the agreement later this week, and defend its merits on August 15.-

Cambodia delays temple talks with Thailand

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

– Cambodia said it will not hold further discussions with Thailand over disputed border territory until a new government is formed, said a senior Cambodian official.

The military standoff at the Preah Vihear temple, and more recently at Ta Moan Thom and Ta Moan Touch temples in Oddar Meanchey province, was not yet an “emergency”, Cambodian Information Minister and government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said on August 4, adding that his country is giving priority for forming a new government.

Following the new government’s formation, another round of talks between Cambodian and Thai foreign ministers and border committees will take place, he said.

Official election results in Cambodia are scheduled to be released on August 9, and a new National Assembly must convene within 60 days of their release.-

Da Lat closes slaughterhouses

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Da Lat resort city in Central Highlands Lam Dong province has withdrawn business licences from 57 slaughterhouses which are located among residential areas, for polluting the environment.

Since the beginning of this month, meat sold on the market must be slaughtered in the public slaughterhouse, which is equipped with a waste-water treatment system.-

Ministry raises steel export tax

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm

The Ministry of Finance on August 4 raised the export tariff of steel from the current 10 percent to 20 percent in a bid to curb increasing exportation by local steel makers.

The raise, which applies to non-alloy steel, will be effective from August 11, the ministry said.

Local steel ingot producers in May began exporting products due to a sharp drop in domestic demand. Van Loi Steel and Cast Iron Co. shipped 10,000 tonnes to the Philippines , and Dinh Vu Steel Co. exported 30,000 tonnes to countries in Southeast Asia .

The two firms said that they were forced to export, as they could not sell the product on the domestic market. They said the Government’s lowering of the targeted growth rate as part of the anti-inflation campaign had resulted in the delay of many construction projects.

The Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) last month asked for Government permission to allow members to raise steel products prices in line with the increasing cost of input materials, namely steel ingots.

The association, which represents more than 20 leading steel makers in Vietnam , said prices of finished steel products should be raised to match regional and world levels to minimise losses.

According to VSA, Vietnam will need 4 million tonnes of steel ingots this year. Domestic producers are anticipated to supply only 50 percent of this amount, with the remaining volume to come from imports.-

Vinaconex to list almost 150 million shares

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Vietnam Construction and Import-Export Corporation (Vinaconex) will soon list 149,985,150 shares worth nearly 1.5 trillion VND (90.9 million USD).

In the first half of this year, Vinaconex earned 6.25 trillion VND, 26 percent more than the same period last year, and made a pre-tax profit of 280.37 billion VND, an increase of 57 percent.-

Saigontel profits up over 85 percent for year’s half

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Saigon Technology and Telecom JSC( Saigontel) earned revenue of 677.14 billion VND (41 million USD) in the first half of the year, 86.5 percent more than the same period last year.

Post-tax profits totalled 100.88 billion VND, an increase of 96 percent.

This year, the company has set revenue targets at 1.2 trillion VND and post-tax profit at 225 billion VND.-

Real estate companies invest in Nha Trang

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Real estate enterprises have recently made huge investments into high-grade apartments and resorts in the central coastal city of Nha Trang , Khanh Hoa province.

Nha Trang has attracted around 1 million visitors, both local and foreign tourists, so far this year, a year-on-year increase of 29 percent. The city is looking to lure 1 million foreign arrivals in the 2010-2015 period.

Ongoing infrastructure upgrades to the airport and roads are making the area much more attractive to investors.

In the near future, Cam Ranh airport will receive over 3 trillion VND (182 million USD) to upgrade the buildings and runway.

Vo Lam Phi, chairman of the Khanh Hoa People’s Committee, said that Nha Trang will become a tourism-urban-zone with high quality tourism products.

At present, many real estate projects are being built in the coastal city, such as Phu Quy tourist zone, Nha Trang Diamond resort, and Diamond Bay .

General director of Sofitel Vinpearl Resort and Spa, Michael Brabsche, said that the company will continue to build on Hon Tre Isle in the near future, with plans for a restaurant, a 10,000sq.m spa resort and an entertainment area with a golf course and high-grade villas.

Nha Trang bay is one of the 29 most beautiful bays in the world, according to on-line polls, with its moderate and warm temperature and a clean atmosphere. Hotels in the city are usually fully booked for most of the year.

The city has just hosted the Miss Universe 2008 pageant.-

WB branch helps improve country’s credit access

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm

A World Bank arm will continue to help the National Registration Agency of Secured Transactions (NRAST) increase access to finance in Vietnam through improved and secure lending.

The recent signing of an agreement by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) marks the start of a second phase of technical assistance that will target further legal reforms at the secured transactions registry and support the procurement, set-up, and management of the nation’s first web-based registry system.

The project will run from this month to December 2009.

Poor access to credit has significantly constrained private sector growth in Vietnam.

The lending environment has been heavily reliant on collateral while private firms have been restricted from applying for credit because they cannot use moveable assets like equipment, receivables, and inventories as collateral.

IFC, through its Mekong Private Sector Development Facility (MPDF) advisory services programme, has helped the government expand the range of assets to be used as collateral, and helped simplify procedures for creating security interests. MPDF has also helped the Ministry of Justice with the simplification and modernisation of the registration system.

During the first phase, MPDF analysed Vietnam ’s lending environment through a survey of the country’s financial sector.

The findings enabled the ministry to better understand the concerns of the country’s lending institutions, as well as the issues facing the private sector in accessing credit.

A second survey will be conducted at the end of Phase II to measure the impact of technical assistance on reforms in the legal framework and registration process.

It will also determine the impact of the operation of the web-based registry on increasing access to credit.

The findings will be used to measure the enforceability of legal and institutional reform, and will also serve as a basis for recommendations for further improvements.-