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Archive for November 11th, 2008|Daily archive page

Cuba, Russia sign nine cooperation agreements

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Havana (VNA) – Cuba and Russia boosted their economic and commercial relations with the signing of nine new bilateral governmental and entrepreneurial accords last week.

The agreements were signed by Russia Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and the Cuban Council of Ministers’ Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz during Sechin’s visit to the Caribbean nation.

According to the agreements, Russia will provide 20 million USD in credit to Cuba as well as technical support in financial, nickel and oil industries. Russia will also supply wheat to the country.

Cabrisas said during his meeting with Sechin that the latter’s trip showed the political determination of the two countries to boost friendship and bilateral cooperation.

Russia is Cuba’s tenth trading partner. Two-way trade turnover between the two countries reached 350 million USD in 2007 and increased nearly 20 percent in the first half of this year.-

China to spend 146 bln USD on quake reconstruction

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Beijing (VNA) – China will spend 1 trillion yuan (roughly 146.5 billion USD) over the next three years to rebuild infrastructure in area ravaged by the May 12 earthquake, according to the China Post newspaper.

Citing a report by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the newspaper said the funds would have the goal of making “basic living standards and economic development match or exceed pre-quake levels”.

The budget, allocated to 51 of the hardest-hit counties in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, would include 120 billion yuan for health, education and other basic services, the NDRC said.

Other funds would be used for housing construction, industrial development, environmental protection and big-ticket infrastructure projects, including a multi-billion yuan railway connecting Sichuan capital Chengdu with the quake-damaged town of Dujiangyan.

The 8 magnitude earthquake hitting the Southwestern province of Sichuan on May 12 killed 80,000 people and left about 10 million homeless.-

Cambodia, Thailand move ahead in border talks

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia and Thailand have made a “big step” by agreeing to an agenda for defusing tensions related to territorial claims over Preah Vihear temple, Cambodia’s lead negotiator said on November 10.

Officials started their three-day negotiations on November 10 in the Cambodian tourist hub of Siem Reap, hoping to hammer out territorial claims and ending a four-month military dispute that spilled into a deadly shootout near the ancient Preah Vihear temple last month.

“We have moved forward with a big step in resolving the border issue,” said Va Kimhong, head of Cambodia’s border committee.

Va Kimhong added the two sides have also agreed make it a priority to demarcate
territory around the 11th century Khmer temple as soon as it is cleared of
landmines and determine the location that needs to be measured in area around Preah Vihear temple.

In earlier opening remarks, Va Kimhong said only about 60 percent of the border between the two countries had been demarcated, despite an agreement to have lines properly drawn by the end of 2006.

Tensions between the two neighbouring countries have been simmering since July this year when the 900-year-old temple was granted World Heritage status by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Culture Organisation (UNESCO). UNESCO’s decision has irritated a section of the Thai population, who claimed that the temple must belong to the Thai Kingdom.

Following the breakdown of a round of talks last month, troops from the two countries clashed on the disputed land on October 15, killing two Cambodian soldiers and injuring seven Thais.-

Bomb blast near Govn’t House injures 2 Thai protesters

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Two Thai protesters were injured after a small bomb went off on November 11 at the site of a months-long anti-government rally.

The explosion took place near the stage inside the grounds of the prime minister’s offices, where supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) have been camped out since August, according to news reports.

“We don’t know what kind of bomb it was because as usual they (PAD) don’t allow police in immediately to examine the site inside Government House,” police officer Colonel Somchai Chueyklin was quoted as saying.

The bomb comes after another explosion at the same site on November 8 left three protesters injured.-

Indonesia launches new tsunami warning system

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia’s recently-launched tsunami early warning system (InaTEWS) would signal warnings five minutes after a tsunami-potential earthquake occurs, Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) said.

“Through intensive development within a short period we were able to produce a system that can detect tsunami in just five minutes after a quake,” BMG chairman Sri Wowo B. Harijono was quoted by Jakarta Post as saying at the official InaTEWS launching in Jakarta on November 11.

InaTEWS is comprehensive early warning system that uses Decision Support System (DSS) technology, an interactive software-based system intended to help decision makers compile useful information from raw data, documents, personal knowledge, and/or business models to identify and solve problems and make decisions.

InaTEWS is the brainchild of 18 governmental institutions and five donor countries: Germany, Japan, China, the US, and France, according to the newspaper.-

Malaysia helps India build first monorail system

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysia’s Scomi Engineering Bhd and its Indian partner, Larsen and Toubro Ltd have won a 1.85 billion ringgit (over 518 million USD) contract to build a monorail system in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India.

Scomi Engineering, which is part of the oil services group Scomi Group Bhd, estimates that its share of the job will be worth 823.3 million ringgit (230.62 million USD), Malaysian media reported on November 11.

The monorail project awarded to the consortium by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will cover the design works, development, construction and commissioning and maintenance of the monorail system.

Works on the 19.54 km monorail system will begin from the west side of Mumbai at Gadge Maharaj Chowk (Jacob’s Circle) heading northeast to Chembur through Wadala.

The first phase is expected to be completed within 30 months and the whole project will be completed after five years under construction.-

Cassava price hit after factory fire

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 10:48 am

QUANG NGAI — The Quang Ngai provincial People’s Committee deputy chairman, Truong Ngoc Nhi, is trying to save the price of cassava for farmers unable to sell their crop to the fire-damaged Tinh Phong Cassava Processing Factory.

The official has asked the management board of the damaged factory to store the cassava until processing can resume.

If not, he wants the central province’s Dong Xuan Cassava Factory or the Son Hai Cassava Factory to take the crop.

But the effort may be in vain.

As farmer Nguyen Thi Dao explains, she will have to sell her cassava to retailers for VND400,000 (US$23) per tonne – about half the price the processors pay – before it rots.

Hundreds of her fellow cassava growers are in the same plight. Their collective 11,000ha of crop is dedicated to the Tinh Phong Cassava Processing Factory which buys it for about VND900,000 ($53) per tonne.

Tinh Phong Cassava Processing Factory director Tran Ngoc Hai has undertaken to have the production line with its daily capacity of 100 tonnes repaired.

“But it would take at least two months for the factory to resume work,” he said.

The fire, last Saturday, spoiled 50 tonnes of cassava flour and thousands of litres of oil before being put out.

Initial estimates put the damage at more than VND3 billion ($182,000).

More than 2,000 litres of the leaking oil has been mopped up and the provincial People’s Committee has ordered the factory’s management to clear the surrounds of the oil and cassava flour. —

SCIC wants to invest in EVN power projects

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 10:47 am

HA NOI — The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) says it is seeking approval from the Government for it to invest in power projects.

SCIC is proposing to work closely with Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) to invest in additional electricity supplies deemed vital to the country’s economic development. Co-operation between the sovereign wealth fund and the national electric utility would be undertaken on the principle that the two public corporations would hold at least 51 per cent of the capital in any electricity projects developed with SCIC funding, ensuring State control of key projects.

SCIC general director Tran Van Ta said that, upon approval of the proposal by the Prime Minister, SCIC would invest immediately in some EVN projects which are short of capital or behind schedule due to slow capital disbursement.

“We will join these projects in the role of financial investor,” Ta said.

SCIC also stated that it was still in talks with the leaders of EVN and of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to discuss details for carrying out the proposal.

As the State’s strategic investor, SCIC represents State interests in various former State-owned companies following their equitisation. But SCIC is also considering pouring some of its massive store of capital into key industries deemed essential to the nation’s sustainable economic development, making power projects a leading candidate for investment from the sovereign fund – particularly following EVN’s announcement in August that it lacked the capital to continue 13 planned projects.

Following the EVN announcement, a number of foreign and domestic investors – including Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) , have expressed interest in fronting financing for the projects. Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has also issued a decision approving some foreign partners to work with these domestic giants in reviving these 13 projects. —

Denso to build auto parts in north

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 10:47 am

HA NOI — Hamanakodenso Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Japanese Denso Corporation, established a new company last month to produce auto parts in Hung Yen Province.

The new company, Hamaden Viet Nam Co Ltd (HDVN), is scheduled to begin operations in June 2010 with 1.3 billion yen (approximately US$12.6 million) in capital.

The company will initially invest around 2.2 billion yen (approximately $21.2 million) to build a factory to produce automotive sensors and solenoid valves in Thang Long Industrial Park 2 in the northern province of Hung Yen.

Construction of the factory is expected to begin in February 2009 and to be completed by September 2009.

The factory expected to create approximately 800 new jobs by 2012.

The factory will produce sensors for the ASEAN market, as well as solenoid valves for world-wide markets, except for Japan. The sensors will include those used to control engine air-intake, and the solenoid valves will be used to send vaporised gasoline from the tank to the engine.

HDVN is Hamanakodenso’s second overseas company. Their first is a production company in Indonesia that produces horns.

Denso Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global supplier of advanced technology, systems and components.

Its customers include major global car-makers. World-wide, the company employs around 119,000 people in 32 countries and regions, including Japan.

Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008 totalled $40.2 billion.

Viet Nam has attracted many Japanese auto part suppliers, including Takanichi Viet Nam Company, Yazaki FDS Viet Nam Ltd Company and Harada Viet Nam Ltd Company. —

Sugar crop enough for 2009

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2008 at 10:46 am

Farmers harvest sugarcane in Ben Tre Province. Sugar output from the 2008-2009 crop is expected to be 1.28 million tonnes, enough to meet domestic demands for next year. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai

HCM CITY — Sugar output from the 2008-2009 sugarcane crop is expected to be 1.28 million tonnes, enough to meet domestic demand for next year, according to the Government.

The country has 290,000ha under sugarcane now, 16,600 ha fewer than the last crop, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said.

With an estimated yield of 57 tonnes per ha, sugarcane output will be over 16.5 million tonnes.

Following the 2008-2009 crop, Kien Giang and Tri An sugar plants will resume operations, increasing the total number of plants in the country to 40 and daily processing capacity to 105,750 tonnes of sugarcane.

Globally, sugar yield will be slightly lower than last season while consumption is rising, the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) has forecast.

Prices will remain unchanged or rise, it says.

Sugar prices have globally been higher this year compared to last year.

In London, it fluctuated between US$321 and $412 per tonne compared to $303 – 352 last year.

In Viet Nam it has risen by VND400-3,000 per kilogramme since last December to VND7,500-11,000 ($0.44 – 0.65).

This is around VND2,000 higher than in other countries, giving rise to widespread smuggling, which has caused local producers many difficulties.

Tra Vinh mill pledges

Farmers in Tra Vinh Province are transporting nearly 2,000 tonnes of sugarcane every day to the Tra Vinh Sugar Plant.

The plant has a production capacity of just 1,500 tonnes per day but continues to buy all the sugarcane farmers bring.

At VND540,000 ($32) it pays them for a tonne, farmers earn a profit of VND7 million ($416) per hectare.

The plant is expanding capacity and has pledged to buy all the sugarcane the farmers grow. —