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Archive for November 8th, 2008|Daily archive page

ASEAN signs pacts to liberalise air service

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has moved closer to a unified aviation market as ASEAN transport ministers signed several agreements on November 6 to fully liberalise freight and all air services in the region, the Philippine “Inquirer Net” reported.

The three agreements, namely the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalisation of Air Freight Services, the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on Air Service, and the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Inter-State Transport will move restrictions on air and air freight services and allow regional airlines to fly to any of the capitals of the ten member countries.

The pacts were signed by the ASEAN transport chiefs, who are in Manila for the 14th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting in Manila , the Philippines from November 6-7.

The three pacts were the “last three transportation agreements that will complete the ASEAN Economic Community Integration of Transportation by 2015,” Philippine Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza was cited as saying.-

Cambodia likely to hit annual rice production targets

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia is likely to achieve its rice production goal of 7 million tonnes by year’s end, a slight increase from the 6.7 million tonnes reported last year.

“This year is much better than previous years,” first deputy president of the National Committee for Disaster Management Nhim Vanda was quoted by Phnom Penh Post as saying.

“We have not had any serious natural disasters like in previous years,” he said, adding that despite two months of drought in July and August, the country had received plenty of rain earlier in the year and throughout the rice-planting seasons.

The newspaper also quoted Chan Tong Yves, secretary of state at the ministry, as saying that production this year was in line with predictions. “It may slightly increase over last year’s yield,” he said, attributing the rise to an increase in the amount of land devoted to rice planting.-

ADB helps ensure food safety in the Philippines

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting the Philippines’ efforts to improve food security and cut poverty amid a sharp surge in global food prices, said a Philippine newspaper.

The Japan Special Fund, through the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is providing a 1 million USD technical assistance grant to finance a full analysis of the Philippines’ agriculture and irrigation sectors.

It will draw up an investment project design for upgrading and extending irrigation services on existing irrigated land, Philippine GMANews said.

Unlike many previous projects, farmers and other beneficiaries will participate in the design, development, and management process of the Irrigation System Operation Efficiency Improvement Project, the newspaper said

It quoted Ian Makin, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist with ADB’s Southeast Asia Department as saying that “The impact of the proposed project will be increased farm household incomes and reduced rural poverty. The aim is for around 40,000 hectares of irrigated land to benefit from upgraded infrastructure and services by 2016″.

The Philippines is a major global importer of rice. International grain prices, including rice, rose by 40 percent between March 2007 and March 2008, prompting the Philippine Government to announce a series of measures to boost production.-

Low-cost carrier AirAsia – top brand from emerging markets

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The low-cost carrier AirAsia has been recognised as the leading brand to watch in the UK Trade and Investment’s New World Brands annual report.

The Malaysian News Agency (Bernama) cited the report as saying that AirAsia is the only Southeast Asian company to make the list of top-ten brands from emerging markets across Brazil, Russia, India and China.

“It is a great achievement for AirAsia to be recognised as a top new world brand. It reflects our hard work and pioneering attitude towards making air travel an affordable reality for everyone across Asia,” the airline was quoted as saying in a statement.-

IMF says Cambodian economic growth to slow in 2009

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Cambodia’s economy will grow by a modest 4.8 percent next year due to slowdowns in key sectors and a drop in foreign direct investment caused by the global economic crisis, the International Monetary Fund said on November 7.

After a robust start to the year, growth momentum eased over the course of 2008 and, more recently, the economy has begun to experience adverse effects from global financial stress, the IMF was quoted by news agencies as saying in a statement.

Foreign direct investment in 2009 is expected to be 25-30 percent lower than the 750 million USD the country has received this year.

Garment exports – Cambodia’s main dollar-earning industry – will weaken further, as will the tourism industry. Construction, which has benefited from a recent real estate boom, will also slow down “partly as a result of tighter global liquidity conditions,” the IMF statement said.

The country has enjoyed double-digit growth over the past few years, posting an annual average of 11.1 percent in the 2004-2007 period. However, IMF’s deputy division chief for Asia and Pacific Department David Cowen was quoted as saying that Cambodia’s economic growth this year would drop to around 6.5 percent, a similar projection to that given by the Asian Development Bank last month.-

Russia to consider writing off debt for Cambodia

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Phnom Penh (VNA) – Russia has agreed in principle to write off 70 percent of a 1.52-billion USD debt incurred by Cambodia during the 1970-1980 period.

This announcement was made during a visit to Cambodia from November 3-6 by a Russian Duma delegation led by its Vice President Valery A. Yazev.

While in Cambodia, President Yazev met with Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim, and National Assembly President Heng Samrin.

During those meetings, the Russian delegate expressed hopes that relations in legislation between the two countries would be strengthened, giving impetus to the development of bilateral ties. The two sides also discussed a series of issues of mutual concern including cultural exchanges, trade, investment, energy and nuclear power.-

PM asks for tough measures against polluting Vedan

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked the people’s committee of Dong Nai province and relevant ministries to take strict measures against the Vedan company’s violation of environmental laws.

The Government’s Office issued a dispatch on November 6 detailing the PM’s instructions regarding the case.

He asked local authorities to cooperate with relevant agencies to ensure effective implementation of the penalties imposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) on the company.

If Vedan does not abide by these decisions, the chairperson of the people’s committee of Dong Nai province may impose further, more severe punishments, including permanent suspension of its operations.

The MoNRE and the Dong Nai people’s committee must draw experience from their lack of coordination and communication in the prevention and treatment of these acts of pollution, and report to the PM before the end of November.

The Government leader assigned the MoNRE, the Ministries of Justice and Public Security, and the Government Inspectorate with reviewing and making proposals to the National Assembly for any necessary amendments to existing laws regarding environmental protection.-

Visionary German organisation honoured

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Germany ’s Christoffel Blindenmissuin organisation (CBM) has been awarded the Friendship Order of the Vietnamese State President for its outstanding contribution to improving the life of people with disabilities, particularly the sight-impaired in Vietnam over the past 30 years.

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan presented the order to CBM at a ceremony that took place in Hanoi on Nov. 7.

Since 1982, CBM has implemented a comprehensive eye-care programme at the Central Eye Institute and the HCM City Eye Hospital , as well as a further 14 provinces and cities nationwide.

CBM has also carried out three projects on functional rehabilitation for the blind in the central provinces of Thua Thien-Hue and Nghe An and assisted in providing care for blind children at Nguyen Dinh Chieu School in Hanoi .

The total funding poured into these projects in Vietnam by CBM between 1982 and 1999 stood at almost 5 million DEM, in addition to funding of more than 3 million EUR between 2000 and 2008.

These projects have helped Vietnam to train numerous ophthalmologists and eye surgeons, provide initial eye consultations, supply medicine and equipment for mobile eye check-ups and surgery, and to perform free cataract surgery on patients who could otherwise not afford it.

As a result of the CBM projects, more than 1,000 grassroots medical workers have received eye care training and more than 7,200 poor people suffering from blindness due to cataracts have received eye surgery each year.

Dr. Margreet Hogeweg, an ophthalmologist and health advisor with CBM was also presented with the “For People’s Health” insignia of the Health Ministry at the November 7 ceremony for contribution to Vietnam ’s ophthalmological sector and community health care system.

Speaking at the ceremony, the CBM representative expressed CBM’s pride at cooperating with Vietnam to improve the quality of people’s lives and pledged to develop additional projects on health care for the community, including an eyesight programme running until 2010 and four projects to tackle preventative blindness in Vietnam .

CBM, established in Germany in 1908, began its activities in Vietnam in 1982.-