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Archive for October 2nd, 2008|Daily archive page

Philippines cuts economic growth targets

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm

– The Philippine government on October 1 scaled down its forecast of the country’s economic growth to between 4.4 and 4.9 percent for 2008 in the face of the financial crisis in the US.

The figure is a further reduction from the 5.5 to 6.4 percent target set last month, according to news agencies.

The country originally forecast 2008 GDP growth at 5.7 to 6.6 percent but has since downgraded this in the face of the rising prices of oil and food.

The GDP growth projection for 2009 was also brought down to 4.1 to 5.1 percent from earlier projections of about 6.1 to 6.8 percent, Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto was quoted as saying.

The Philippines in 2007 posted its highest GDP growth in three decades at 7.3 percent.-

Thai PM denies gov’t negotiating with insurgents

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 2:05 pm

– Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat on October 1 denied that the government has been negotiating with insurgents in the southernmost provinces.

The remarks came amid reports that the Indonesian government is ready to coordinate possible talks between the Thai government and the southern insurgents, according to local media.

The prime minister said the insurgency in the southern border provinces is an internal problem which the government had been attempting to address.

Currently, he said, the situation had improved, although a steady number of violent incidents continue to be carried out in the area.

PM Somchai said his government will revise its strategy and what it will implement to cope with the unrest after it presents its policy statement before the House of Representatives.

The premier said the National Security Council and state agencies concerned had already wrapped up a strategic plan to address the insurgency.

More than 3,500 people have been killed since violence erupted almost five years ago in the restive southern region.-

Thailand to increase export volume to ASEAN

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 2:05 pm

– Thailand will increase its export volume to ASEAN markets with the aim of reaching a target of 42 billion USD to compensate for the loss generated from the aftermath of the US financial crisis, said a Thai official.

The market demand in the ASEAN countries have drawn interests in Thailand , Thai Internal Trade Director-General Apiradi Tantraporn said.

According to statistics, trade growth between Thailand and ASEAN countries continued to grow in the last three months, from 46 billion USD in 2005 to nearly 57.6 billion USD in 2007.

Apiradi anticipated exports to ASEAN markets in 2008 may exceed 36 billion USD, and its target is set higher to stand at 42 billion USD in 2009 as well.

She cited major export products to ASEAN markets include automobiles and parts, computers and accessories, chemical products and Para rubbers.-

Myanmar, Thailand combat trans-border animal diseases

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Thailand and Myanmar will cooperate in combating trans-border animal diseases along their borders under the Ayeyawaddy-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) programme, according to news agencies.

Tasks relating to development of livestock breeding in villages along the Myanmar-Thai border and joint combating of trans-border animal diseases by the two countries will be implemented starting November this year under a three-year project until attainment of such a status that animals free from diseases can be traded safely, the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD) of Myanmar was quoted as saying.

As a preparatory move, a Thai delegation from the Animal Development Department had made a study trip to some Myanmar border towns last month, making arrangements to establish animal quarantine laboratories.

The Myanmar side is to offer building and health workers, while the Thai side is to provide technical knowhow and materials, according to news reports.

Earlier in late 2003, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding to help Myanmar fight foot and mouth diseases by setting up five free zones of the diseases in order to boost trade in hoofed animals and their products between Myanmar and the two countries.-

Thai inflation drops to 6 percent in September

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Thailand’s inflation rate dropped to 6 percent in September as compared to 6.4 percent in the previous month as oil prices cool, according to Thai Commerce Ministry.

Inflation soared to a 10-year-high of 9.2 percent in July, prompting the Bank of Thailand to cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.75 percent in August, news agencies reported, adding that inflation in August was up 6.4 percent on the previous year.

The decline of the inflation rate in September was due mainly to a decline in oil prices, Siripol Yodmaungcharoen, permanent secretary of the Commerce Ministry, said. Inflation in the first nine months of the year averaged 6.5 percent, while fuel prices were at 30.9 percent, he added.

The Commerce Ministry forecasts inflation in Thailand over the year at between 6.5 percent and 6.9 percent.-

Belgian-funded environment project launched in Phu Yen

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm

The central province of Phu Yen on Oct. 2 launched the first phase of a project to improve hygiene and environment in its Tuy Hoa city with financial aid from the Belgian government.

Belgium provides 3.46 million EUR in non-refundable aid to the project’s budget of 5.1 million EUR, which aims to collect 90 percent of waste in urban areas and half of the waste volume in rural communes by 2010.

In the first phase, a 4-ha dumping field with a capacity of 658,000 cu.m will be built on a hill, 8 km west of the city’s centre. Construction of the field is expected to take 18 months.

The field will be expanded to 20 ha in the future.

Under the project, the city has also been equipped with specialised trucks and tools for garbage collection.

Some 7 km of alley roads were upgraded to facilitate sanitation work.-

Rice of high standard produced on trial basis

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 2:00 pm

The My Thanh Cooperative in the Mekong delta province of Tien Giang has kick-started a programme to produce rice that matches the Global Good Agricultural Practice (GLOBALGAP) on a trial basis in the Summer-Autumn crop this year.

Around 14.4 ha of rice paddies in My Thanh Nam commune have been chosen for the implementation of the programme which aims to coordinate efforts of scientists, farmers, and enterprises in improving the quality of rice in the region.

Participating farmers are required to apply steps of a production process in line with strict criteria for quality under the supervision of agricultural experts.

The GLOBALGAP standard rice programme is the follow-up of the farmer participatory research (FPR) programme which has been carried out in My Thanh Nam commune since 1995. FPR programme required farmers to refrain from spraying insecticides during the first 40 days after planting in order to produce high-quality and safe rice.

According to the local agricultural department, the My Thanh cooperative has signed a contract to sell rice produced under the GLOBALGAP standard rice programme at a price of 20 percent higher than the usual rice.

The GLOBALGAP is a standard primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food is produced on the farm by minimising detrimental environmental impacts of farming operation, reducing the use of chemical treatments and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety as well as animal welfare.

It is a single integrated standard with modular applications for different product groups, ranging from plant and livestock production to plant propagation materials and compound feed manufacturing.

Tien Giang province is one of the provinces lying along the Tien River in the Mekong Delta, where Good Agricultural Practice has been applied in the cultivation of fruit trees since early 2007.-

Debate on regulations for northern industrial complexes

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Representatives from 28 northern provinces and cities gathered at a seminar held in Hai Phong port city on October 2 to discuss measures to regulate industrial complexes (ICs).

The participants at the seminar, entitled “Sustainable Development of Industrial Complexes: Real Situations and Measures”, agreed that the next step is for the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to introduce and promulgate new regulations regarding IC management in the country.

The ministry should aim to give preference and financial support to ICs in order to develop their infrastructure and environmental treatment systems, they added.

They also agreed that the country’s ICs currently lack an overall strategy, state-managed document system, preferential mechanisms and capital.

According to the MoIT, more than 1,600 industrial complexes will be built on a total area of 73,000 ha in the country by 2010.

The seminar was co-organised by the MoIT’s Department of Local Industrial Development and the Hai Phong Department of Industry and Trade.-

Macro economy sees both positivity and instability

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 1:59 pm

The macro-economy has seen positive signs recently but will remain in a state of instability until the end of this year, according to economist Vo Tri Thanh, speaking at the 2008 Economic Forum in Hanoi on Oct. 2.

Thanh, Chairman of the Department for Research of International Economic Integration Policy under the Central Institute for Economic Research and Management, cited outstanding economic achievements in the first nine months of this year, demonstrating that the Government’s eight solutions to boost the economy have been taking effect.

The consumer price index (CPI), though remaining high has slowed down in recent months. During September, the CPI rose just 0.18 percent over the previous month, the lowest monthly rise so far this year. The macro-economic balance showed an initial improvement with total import value dropping to 5.8 billion USD in September, down from almost 6.3 billion USD in August. The flexible monetary policy that is currently in place has helped to stabilise the foreign currency market and increases securities prices.

Regarding the challenges and risks to the Vietnamese economy during the remaining months of this year, Thanh said that prices of some consumer goods, such as electricity prices would be still kept in check despite the continual fluctuation of global oil prices which, when combined with the effects of salary increases, can result in high risk of inflation.

According to Thanh, difficulties lie ahead in attracting investment capital from overseas sources due to the instability of the global economy.

He said that, in order to maintain stability of the macro-economy, it is necessary to synchronously coordinate both macro and micro-economic policies, continue the process of administrative reform and implement a strict monetary policy, whilst continuing to ensure an adequate supply of capital for important projects and improving the capacity of State agencies’ in the management and supervision of financial and monetary issues.

Ms. Maenner, a representative of the German Organisation for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) – who co-organised the forum, said that the Vietnamese economy has been opened at a certain level.

However, she said, to ensure sustainable growth, Vietnam should promote administrative reforms, ensure data transparency, have mechanisms in place for regular economic analysis and forecast and establish a close working relationship between the government and various management agencies in managing the macro-economy.

During the one-day forum titled “Stabilising the macro economy – challenges and solutions”, about 100 representatives presented reports and shared experiences regarding the management of Vietnam’s international payment balance, monetary policies and exchange rates, increasing the efficiency of state investment capital, adopting measures to develop the securities market, the implementation of policies addressing management of a number of consumer goods and ensuring social security in the current macro-economic situation.

The participants included representatives of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the German embassy –

Local business to export fruit to Russia, Germany

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm

The Lo Ren Vinh Kim Star Apple Cooperative in the Mekong delta province of Tien Giang has completed the signing of contracts to export 50 tonnes of star apples, which meet the GlobalGap standard, to Russia and Germany.

According to the cooperative’s chairman Nguyen Van Ngan, Lo Ren Vinh Kim star apples were valued at 30,000 VND per kilo under the terms of the contract, an increase of 50 percent on the domestic price.

The cooperative possesses 47 ha of Lo Ren Vinh Kim star apple orchards, which have been grown following the GlobalGap (Global Good Agriculture Practice) standard. The acreage is expected to yield 50 tonnes to supply to the Metro company in Ho Chi Minh City as per the signed contract, which will then be exported to Russia and Germany.

The Lo Ren Vinh Kim star apple is currently grown in 13 communes in the Chau Thanh district of Tien Giang province, with a total growing area of 2.300 ha and an average yield of between 13-15 tonnes per ha.

The province plans to expand this acreage to 5,000 ha by 2015.-