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Archive for November 13th, 2008|Daily archive page

New bio-diversity law goes through National Assembly

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The National Assembly passed a law on bio-diversity on Nov. 13, encouraging different approaches to investment and the application of scientific advances and local knowledge to ensure bio-diversity sustainability.

The newly-approved law offers numerous stimuli, including preferential tax and investment policies and mandates to collect tourism fees as well as a range of benefits for any individuals or institutions who take part in bio-diversity conservation.

Legislators said the new law runs in accordance with international conventions which Vietnam subscribes to and brings it up-to-date with both national and global environmental developments.

The law gives top priorities to the conservation of specific natural eco-systems and endangered species whilst strictly controlling access to genetic sources in order to ensure biological security.

The new law imposes a full ban on the poaching of wildlife as well as any other action that poses a threat to the eco-system in areas designated for natural conservation.

“The cultivation and culture of hybrid species that cause harm to natural conservation parks are strictly banned,” said the law.

Numerous articles are dedicated to international cooperation in the field with the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and East Sea region prioritised for the signing and implementation of programmes of cooperation in bio-diversity conservation.

Schemes to protect migratory species and the bio-diversity corridor in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as other countries sharing a common interest in biology also take priority for the country’s international cooperation programmes.

Recent surveys conducted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment revealed that national bio-diversity is concentrated in original forests, wetlands and mountainous areas, particularly limestone hills, and sea and island ecologies.

Vietnam ranks among the top 15 countries in the world for its number of animal species, and makes the global top 20 for bird species and is included in the top 30 for the number of plant and amphibian species that are threatened with extinction.

Efforts are being made to implement the Governmental strategy on natural reserves until 2010 to cope with a degradation of bio-diversity as a result of climate change.

The country now boasts 126 natural reserves covering a total of 2.5 million ha of land, making up 7.6 percent of the national landmass area.

The 9 chapter-85 article law regarding bio-diversity will come into force on July 1, 2009.-

ADB encourages cleaner, greener energy use in Asia

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a statement on November 11, pledging to issue a 3 million USD grant to expand its clean energy programme to involve more developing member countries.

ADB will explore a number of energy efficiency market opportunities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan through a broad range of policies and financial support.

These countries join China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam in being identified by ADB as having significant potential for clean energy investments, the Manila-based bank said in its press release.

The grant will be used to assist in developing projects for possible ADB funding that will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security through the greater deployment of clean energy technologies in their respective energy markets.

In addition to investments aimed at improving energy supply efficiency and harnessing renewable energy and cleaner fuels, ADB is also promoting energy efficiency among end-users in its projects.

The grant supports the Energy Efficiency Initiative (EEI), launched by ADB in 2005, to ramp up ADB’s financial commitment to clean energy to 1 billion USD a year, from 2008 onwards. ADB crossed the 1 billion USD threshold in June 2008.

The grant will enable ADB to sustain its level of clean energy investments above its annual target of 1 billion USD until 2010, it added.-

WB cuts global growth estimate to 1 percent

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The World Bank (WB) said on November 11 that it has lowered its global economic growth estimate for 2009 to 1 percent from 3 percent projected in June due to the spreading global financial turmoil.

This was announced in WB’s new economic outlook and support measures unveiled ahead of the weekend summit of the Group of 20 developed and developing economies.

The bank’s global growth forecast is much lower than the estimated increase of 2.2 percent by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on November 6. Earlier the IMF forecast the growth of 3 percent.

WB has also cut its growth forecast for developing nations to 4.5 percent for 2009 from an earlier projected 6.4 percent, and that it expects high income economies, including Europe, Japan and the United States , to contract 0.1 percent compared with its earlier projection of 2 percent growth.

The bank also said that it will expand support for developing countries with new commitments of up to 100 billion USD over the next three years partly to protect the most vulnerable and support countries facing big budget shortfalls amid the financial turbulence. –

DPRK decides to close border with RoK

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has said that it will shut all land borders with the Republic of Korea (RoK) from next month and accused its neighbour of provocation “beyond the danger level”.

The DPRK on November 12 announced that a measure to strictly restrict and cut off all the overland passages would take effect from December 1, the State-run Korean Central News Agency reported.

The border closure with the RoK will effectively close the Kaesong industrial complex in the DPRK, which is funded by the RoK.

On the same day, the RoK expressed regret over the DPRK’s decision to partially shut their border with the RoK, saying it would have a negative impact on inter-Korean relations.

“DPRK’s announcement that it will take measures to limit passage across the border is regrettable,” Kim Ho-nyoun, spokesman for the RoK’s Unification Ministry was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying in a statement.-

China to build nine nuclear plants

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Beijing (VNA) – At least nine nuclear power plants will be built over the next two years, the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) said in a news release on November 11.

Of the nine new plants, six will use the AP1000 technologies imported from American firm Westinghouse, the CAEA was quoted by China Daily as saying in its release. AP1000 is third-generation technology and more efficient and safer than its predecessors.

The three other projects use homegrown second-generation technologies.

The construction of the six plants in coastal provinces – two in Guangdong, two in Zhejiang, and one each in Fujian and Shandong – will begin at the end of this year or early next year, according to the CAEA.

China’s existing 11 nuclear plants have combined installed capacity of 9.1 gigawatts, about 1.3 percent of the total.-

India and Republic of Korea to sign FTA

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:27 pm

New Delhi (VNA) – After two-and-a-half years of talks, India and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have concluded a negotiation on a free trade agreement that is likely to come into effect in 2009.

“The deal is done and the agreement will be signed by December,” a senior Commerce Ministry official was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying.

“It will go to our cabinet (for approval) while the Koreans would need a nod from their National Assembly,” the Indian official said, adding the deal was likely to come into effect next year.

The India-RoK agreement would abolish duty barriers for 90 percent of goods traded between the two countries, amounting to 11.2 billion-USD worth of bilateral commerce.

A recent study by the state-run Korea Institute for International Economic Policy has said the pact could boost two-way annual trade by as much as a third.

The Republic of Korea’s key exports to India are automotive parts, petroleum products, synthetic resins, electrical goods and mobile phones.

India’s largest export to the RoK is naphtha, a product used as feedstock for petrochemical firms, accounting for more than half of exports to the country in 2007.

India has already signed free trade pacts with Thailand and Singapore and is negotiating similar deals with Japan, the European Union and China.-

China approves multi-bln USD economic development projects

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Beijing (VNA) – The Chinese government on November 12 approved economic development projects with a combined investment of more than 200 billion yuan (29 billion USD ), thus helping boost domestic demand and offset slowing exports, according to Xinhua news agency.

These infrastructure projects included a gas pipeline from the northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region to the southern economic hubs of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, at an investment of 93 billion yuan; and the Guangdong Yangjiang nuclear power plant and the expansion of the Zhejiang Qinshan nuclear power plant at a combined cost of 95.5 billion yuan.

Another 17.4 billion yuan would go to water conservancy projects in regions of Xinjiang, Guizhou and Jiangxi and civil airports in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and east China’s Anhui province.-

WB Group raises aid pledges for developing countries

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:26 pm

New York (VNA) – The World Bank Group has decided to increase financial support for developing countries to help these countries weather the spreading global financial crisis.

Making the announcements on November 12, ahead of a G20 summit this weekend, the WB Group said it’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) could make new commitments of up to 100 million USD over the next three years.

This year, lending could almost triple to more than 35 billion USD compared to 13.5 billion USD last year, the group said.

“The global financial crisis, coming so soon after the food and fuel crises, is likely to hurt the poor most in developing countries,” WB Group President Robert B. Zoellick was quoted as saying.

The increase in financial support will protect the poorest countries facing budget short-falls, and help sustain long-term investments upon which recovery and long-term development will depend.

At the same time, WB lowered its growth forecast for developing countries to 4.5 percent for 2009, compared to a previous projection of 6.4 percent.-

Indonesia to host Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Meeting

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Indonesian Broadcasting Agency will host the 45th Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) General Assembly and Associated Meetings in Bali on November 19-25.

“Five hundred top executives in broadcasting agencies throughout the Asia-Pacific region and other parts of the world will get involved in commissioned discussions on sports, technical broadcasting and other programmes,” President of Indonesian state-owned broadcasting agency Parni Hadi was quoted by news agencies as saying.

The technical broadcasting forum will discuss digital technologies and others related to high-tech broadcasting.

It will also set up a development programme to join hands to organise an international broadcasting festival and to establish a news- exchange system called Asiavision.-

Work on Laos-Thailand bridge to start early next year

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Vientiane (VNA) – Work on the Third Lao-Thai Friendship Mekong River Bridge will officially start in January 2009, linking Khammouane province of Laos and Nakhonphanom province of Thailand.

The bridge can be served as a link connecting Thailand, Laos and Vietnam and boost trade, investment and tourism among the three neighbouring countries.

Investors of the project declared time schedule for the bridge construction shortly after the Thai Government gave nod to an additional fund to offset the price increases of energy and input building materials.

The Thai budget, which increased the original allocation of 1,347 billion baht (roughly 3.84 billion USD) to 1,885 billion baht should be sufficient to pay for all the construction expenses.

Both the Lao and Thai officials believe the project has been well prepared and will be started as schedule.

Initially, the Thai Government wanted to start the construction in July 2008, immediately after the completion of the survey and design of the bridge, according to the Thai news agency (TNA).-