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Archive for August 12th, 2008|Daily archive page

Malaysia’s tourism goal likely to fall short

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia will miss this year’s target of 22.5 million tourist arrivals because of the higher cost of promotions, stiff competition from other destinations and domestic uncertainties, a local media report.

Tourism Malaysia plans to seek a revision of the target set by the government, Business Times Online of Malaysia reported. It quoted Tourism Malaysia Director-General Mirza Mohammad Taiyab as saying on August 11 that “it will be a challenge to reach the 22.5 million tourist arrival target”.

The country’s tourism industry now expects that it will attract 21.5 million tourists this year, one million short of the initial target, the newspaper said, adding that the figure will be 3 percent higher than the 20.9 million arrivals last year.

The shortfall of one million tourists is likely to cause some 602 million USD loss in foreign receipts for Malaysia.-

Malaysia, Indonesia to cooperate in media programmes

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysia and Indonesia will undertake two joint programmes from this week to pave the way for a wider cooperation in information dissemination.

Malaysia’s Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek was quoted by Malaysia News Agency (Bernama) as saying that the programmes were a weekly news programme called “Warta Serumpun” and a photo and image exhibition on the independence of both countries.

The photo exhibition, involving Bernama and Information Department of Malaysia and Indonesia’s News Agency (Antara) and Communication and Information Ministry, will be held in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur simultenously from August 15 to September 1.

Warta Serumpun which involves Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) and Television Republic Indonesia (TVRI) will be aired every Sunday from August 17 at midnight in conjunction with Indonesia’s Independence Day.-

Cambodia: FUNCINPEC not to hold ministerial posts

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:40 pm

– Ministerial posts in a coalition government between the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the FUNCINPEC party will be held by CPP’s members, said Cambodian government’s spokesman Khieu Kanharith.

Speaking on his website, spokesman Khieu Kanharith, who is also Cambodian Minister of Information, added that the new government may establish one more ministry, the Ministry of Finance, bringing Cambodia’s total ministries to 27.

The new government will also appoint at least one more secretary as well as under-secretary at each ministry, the spokesman said, adding that there will be at least four FUNCINPEC members to be chosen as secretaries at the ministries.

FUNCINPEC General Secretary Nhiek Bun Chhay is expected to be re-appointed the deputy prime minister.

The National Election Commission (NEC) announced on August 9 that the CPP captured 90 of the 123 seats in Parliament while Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), 26; Human Rights Party (HRP), 3; and Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) and FUNCINPEC, each having 2.-

India to open trade under FTA with ASEAN

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:39 pm

– India will eliminate or substantially reduce duties on almost 96 percent of the items it trades with ASEAN but protect the sensitive agriculture sector by keeping over 300 items out of the free trade agreement with the 10-nation group.

The other sensitive areas which New Delhi will protect from the FTA include textiles and chemicals, the two areas of strength for the ASEAN, an Indian high-level official was quoted by Press Trust of India (PTI) as saying.

While India protected its sensitive industries like textiles and chemicals, the ASEAN shielded its turf on automobiles and steel, the PTI said.

The two sides have resolved their differences on the level of protection and the demand for market access for products mainly palm oil, the PTI said, adding that the agreement will be signed at the India-ASEAN summit in December in Bangkok.-

Bird flu fatality rate drops in Indonesia

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:39 pm

– The bird flu fatality rate in Indonesia this year dropped from its level last year, said Bayu Krisnamurthi, executive chairman of the National Commission of Bird Flu Control and Alertness (FBPI).

“The fatality rate in 2007 was 88.1 percent, and in the first semester of 2008 it was recorded at 84.2 percent,” FBPI Chairman Bayu Krisnamurthi was quoted by Antara news agency as saying.

“The decrease has not made us relax, but at least it is a positive sign,” he said.

In 2006, 43 people were confirmed to have been infected with the virus, and 34 of them died. In 2007, 27 people were infected, and 23 died.

During the first half of this year, FBHI had recorded 19 bird flu cases and 16 of the sufferers died. Around 42 percent of the patients had had direct contact with infected poultry.-

Expats help to build bridges

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Eleven overseas Vietnamese individuals are doing their part to prevent the high number of drownings that happen every year in remote areas by initiating projects to build transport bridges.

Hailing from Canada, the US, Japan and Australia, members of VK Group have been relying on both their personal pocketbooks and international support to accomplish their mission since 2004.

Each bridge has been designed specifically for the geographic features of the south.

So far, ten provinces, from Tien Giang to Ca Mau, have benefited from the 75 concrete bridges, far more than the 10 the group had hoped for thanks to financial support from friends across the globe.

“Everybody is grateful to them for this, especially parents and students,” said Pham Thanh Tang, principal of the Ngoc To Commune High School in Soc Trang province.

“We no longer worry about the risk of ferry drownings that our students braved every day,” Tang said.

Five of his students were killed in a ferry accident on June 24 of this year.

The three bridges in the commune have transformed daily life there, which once depended completely on precarious rowboats to cross waterways. Five hundred students use the bridges to get to school and 950 households transport goods across them.

“We want to improve the quality of life of our compatriots, especially in protecting children,” said Nguyen Van Cong, an engineer at VK Group.

VK Group is planning 51 more bridge projects for ten other provinces in the Mekong Delta.

Visit HYPERLINK http://www.pontvk.org or http://www.pontvk.org to find out how you can help.-

Businesses join employees in overcoming inflation

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:37 pm

A number of businesses have provided their employees with accommodation and allowances to help them survive in the context of rising inflation.

The Sai Gon Paper Company has provided free accommodation and lunch to its workers since early this month, said head of the company’s Board of Directors Cao Tien Vi. The company also plans to open a kindergarten for their workers’ children.

Meanwhile, other businesses have raised their employees’ salary, saying stabilising workers’ life is the top priority of their company. A representative of the Gia Dinh Textile and Garment Company said that profit has become the company’s second target after workers’ welfare.

According to the Talent Net Personnel Consulting Company and the Global Consulting Company Mercer, up to 56 percent of the total 120 businesses under their surveys have assisted their workers to battle inflation by raising their wages by around 10 percent. The remaining businesses have assisted their employees with travel expenses and free lunch.

Talent Net General Director Tieu Yen Trinh said that businesses would rather have their profits reduced to keep their employees working.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) is considering the minimum salary for 2009 scheme to be submitted to the Government for approval.

According to the minimum salary raising roadmap for the 2007-2012 period that has been approved by the Government, each year the minimum salary will be raised from between 20-23 percent in the domestic sector and 13-15 percent in the foreign-invested sector.

However, the price hike factor has not yet been considered in the minimum wage raising scheme, said Deputy Head of the MOLISA’s Salary Policy Department Hoang Minh Hao. Once the new minimum pay is applied, employees’ salary has been reduced already.

He said that his department will put forward the detailed increasing pay level for the following years based on the forecasted economic growth and inflation rate.

Last March, the Prime Minister asked the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs to coordinate with relevant ministries to develop a decree on readjustment of minimum wage, including the minimum wage for the domestic and foreign-invested sectors, to present to the Government in September.

The minimum monthly salary for workers now stands at 540,000 VND. According to the General Statistics Office, rising consumer price index has resulted in the sharp increase in per-capita spending, reaching 886,000 VND per month, doubling last year’s average spending level.-

Vietnam Airlines launches Hanoi-Nagoya direct air route

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:36 pm

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) launched its direct service from Hanoi to Nagoya township of Chubu, the third biggest economic hub of Japan , on August 12, announced the carrier.

The direct flights connecting Hanoi and Nagoya will be offered on every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday on A321 Airbus.

After an inaugural ceremony held in Nagoya at 10h30 (local time) in cooperation with the Japanese side, VNA’s plane with nearly 160 passengers on board for Flight No. VN967 began its travel from Nagoya to Hanoi.

Vietnam Airlines is now the sole carrier to operate the Hanoi-Nagoya direct service, and Nagoya is its fourth destination in Japan, after Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka .

VNA General Director Pham Ngoc Minh said that the opening the new direct service is part of Vietnam Airlines’ plan to complete its network of air routes to Japan, a key market of VNA.-

Int’l trade fair opens in Mekong delta city

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:35 pm

An international trade fair of 162 domestic and foreign businesses opened in the Mekong delta city of Can Tho on August 12.

On show are products of broad spectrum ranging from telecom, electronics, electricity, construction materials, real estate, fine arts, jewelry to health care facilities and pharmaceuticals.

They also include plant varieties, which are suitable to Mekong delta’s natural conditions.

During the week-long fair, seminars on software solutions and IT products as well as the region’s tourism potential will be held.-

First int’l electrical equipment expo to open in December

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2008 at 1:35 pm

– More than 200 domestic and foreign enterprises will showcase their products at an international exhibition on electrical equipment to be held for the first time in Hanoi from December 11-13.

Technological equipment for thermo and hydro power plants as well as environmental protection equipment in electricity production will be showed.

Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on August 12, Chairman of the Vietnam Power Industry Association Hoang Thai An said the exhibition will offer a chance for domestic and foreign businesses to promote trade and cooperation in order to successfully implement the country’s electricity development strategy.

He said he hoped that the exhibition will offer a chance for electric companies seek their partners and sign cooperation contracts.

It will also become an annual event of the electricity sector, he added.

During the event, seminars and forums on power development strategies, investment projects and prospects of the electrical technology and equipment market will be held.

Over the past years, despite efforts made by the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) and its members, power supplies have not yet met the country’s demand for economic development and daily use.

A recent survey conducted by KPMG, a multinational consultancy company, shows that Vietnam’s electricity sector is one of the most attractive areas to investors due to Vietnam’s rapid economic growth and increasing power demand.-