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Archive for November 18th, 2008|Daily archive page

Brazil, Indonesia to sign strategic partnership

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Brazil and Indonesia are to sign a strategic partnership at the start of a three-day visit by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on November 18, according to foreign media reports.

The deal, to be inked in Brasilia, will open the way to joint actions in areas such as biogenetics, biofuels, the fight against hunger, and science and technology, Brazil’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

President Yudhoyono was to be greeted by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ahead of the signing ceremony on November 18.

During his visit, the Indonesian president is expected to travel to Sao Paulo to see a factory run by Embraer, Brazil’s plane-maker, and a biofuel plant, and meet business leaders in Rio de Janeiro.-

Thai and Indonesian exports to Malaysia to be graded

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysia is to grade all import commodities from Thailand and Indonesia, including fruit and vegetables from April 1, Bernama news agency said.

The commodities will be examined and graded in accordance with standards set by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) before they are sold to the public.

Fama’s deputy director-general Sahbani Saimin was quoted as saying that the regulations imposed on importers, wholesalers and retailers are aimed at increasing the quality of products to ensure they meet international standards.

According to Sahbani, a commodity is considered perishable if it is bought in large quantities without a special packaging system and graded according to international standards.

He added that the packaging system needed to be compatible with the measurement, quality and quantity of the product, as well as being clean and durable in order to give maximum protection to the product.-

ADB says food aid put to good use in Cambodia

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has hailed the implementation of the first phase of its 40 million USD emergency food programme in Cambodia as a success.

“This assistance is making a very real difference to the lives of Cambodia’s most vulnerable residents,” ADB’s country director Arjun Goswami was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post on November 17 as saying.

He added that the Cambodian government deserved praise for its efforts in ensuring that the programme reached those who are most in need.

Meanwhile, the Cambodian government on the same day launched an investigation into complaints that the food aid was not distributed fairly, alongside ADB observance.

The ADB did not announce the number of complaints but described them as “relatively limited” in quantity.-

Foreign employers to stay in Philippines forever

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Foreign businessmen who hire more than 10 Filipino staff will now be allowed to stay in the Philippines indefinitely, according to new agencies.

On November 17, Filipino President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo passed Executive Order (EO) 758, which provides mechanisms and legal grounds for the Special Visa on Employment Generation (SVEG).

The special visa will be granted to a “qualified, non-immigrant foreigner who actually employs at least 10 Filipinos in a lawful, sustainable enterprise, trade, or industry,” according to the government’s new rules.

The businessman’s spouse, dependents or unmarried children below 18-years-old are also entitled to indefinite residency rights, it said.

The Philippines’ Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan was quoted by news agencies as saying that President Arroyo signed the new laws in the hope of providing more jobs for Filipinos as the country readies itself for an economic slowdown due to the global financial crisis.

According to local news reports, the number of unemployed Filipinos reached 2.9 million by April of this year.-

ADB, Australia continue helping Laos reduce poverty

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Vientiane (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank and the Australian government have decided to extend non-refundable aid worth about 17 million USD to help Laos develop its tourist industry and to reduce poverty in the country.

An agreement underscoring the aid was signed late last week in Vientiane.

Accordingly, the Australian government agreed to inject 10 million AUD (roughly 7 million USD) into the poverty reduction programme, scheduled to be implemented during 2008-2011.

The ADB has contributed 10 million USD to the second phase of a sustainable tourism development programme in the Sub-Mekong region. This phase will be carried out in the Lao capital of Vientiane, as well as the provinces of Bokeo, Luang Namtha and Savannakhet.-

ASEAN seeks ways to boost healthcare cooperation

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Vientiane (VNA) – ASEAN medical practitioners and health experts have gathered in Vientiane, Laos to seek ways to increase cooperation between regional nations in a bid to increase the efficiency of anti-epidemic efforts in the region.

At the 13th conference of the association of ASEAN doctors, organised along the theme of “Community Healthcare in ASEAN”, doctors and health experts exchanged experiences in implementing a range of effective systems to combat diseases and prevent their spread among communities.

Participants at the conference shared the latest information regarding disease across the region, paying special attention to information relating to outbreaks of newly-discovered diseases. It also discussed methods of treating patients and preventing outbreaks of disease.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.-

New hydropower plant set for southern Laos

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Vientiane (VNA) – A group of foreign companies will proceed with a hydropower plant in the border area between Champassak and Attapeu provinces, after completing a two-year feasibility study, local media reported on November 18.

SK Engineering and Construction, Korea Western Power and Ratchaburi Electricity Generation Holding signed an agreement with the Ministry of Planning and Investment last week to develop the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower plant project, according to the Vientiane Times.

Under the agreement, the companies will spend a further 18 months designing the plant, selecting an exact location and assessing the social and environmental impacts of the project.

The Lao government has established a committee to assess the project and decide whether to grant a concession agreement which would allow investors to begin construction of the power plant, it said.

The power plant will have a generation capacity of 390 MW and will be able to produce about 1.776 Gwh annually. The project is expected to cost about 500 million USD.

If the project proceeds, the Lao government will hold a 24 percent share in the project and will take total ownership of the plant after 25 years.-

Indonesia sends more troops to Lebanon

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesian military will send 1,136 soldiers from its headquarters in Cilangkap, Jakarta, to join the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), according to local media.

Indonesian military commander in chief General Djoko Santoso said the United Nations (UN) had entrusted Indonesia to help in the mission.

“The UN and Lebanese have appreciated the role of the Indonesian military in Lebanon over the past year which is why the UN has requested we send our soldiers again,” Santoso was quoted by Antara news agency as saying.

The personnel will leave Indonesia in four installments. The first installment comprising around 270 people, is scheduled to depart on November 18.

Indonesia already sent 105 military personnel to Lebanon last month.-

Delta farmers flood HCM City with rice

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

HCM CITY — Roadside stalls have sprung up around HCM City, selling rice at half the market prices.

They have been put up by farmers from the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, who said that because of low prices offered by traders and a large influx of rice from Cambodia, they had to bring their wares to HCM City to recoup their money.

Near Binh Dang Market in District 8, these stalls are selling rice at VND5,000 to VND5,800 per kg, compared to VND10,000 and higher on the market.

Along To Ky Street, sellers from Long An, Tien Giang, and Tay Ninh provinces have set up around 20 stalls.

The impromptu market opens at 8am and closes at 9pm, and sells rice mostly in bags of 25 or 50 kg. While they sell many varieties, according to rice seller Nguyen Ngoc Nuong, IR 50404 rice costing VND5,800 is the most popular.

Nuong said she sold more than 10 tonnes every day.

“We are going to continue selling here until we cannot sell any more,” she said.

At Binh Dang Market, a rice seller said he sold four to five tonnes daily and could supply any amount. The sellers said up to seven trucks arrived here every day with rice from the delta.

Tran Ngoc Trung, director of Phuoc My company based in Ba Dac Rice Wholesale Market in Tien Giang Province, said there were huge stocks of low-quality rice, mainly IR 50404, in rice mills and warehouses.

To quickly liquidate the IR 50404 stocks, farmers have been hiring trucks since the beginning of November to carry rice to other provinces to sell in 50-kilo bags. —

Highlands counts dollars as sturgeon farming takes off

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

HCM CITY — Sturgeon farming is becoming increasingly popular, since the country has many areas conducive to breeding this high-value fish, according to experts.

Sturgeon is a cold water species that is very popular in Russia and many other parts of the world.

It can easily adapt to waters averaging 18-25 degrees in temperature, but needs clean water and recycling of water.

Realising the growing demand for sturgeon meat and eggs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development began a pilot breeding project in the northern provinces of Hai Duong and Lao Cai in early 2005, Le Anh Duc, director of Viet Nam Sturgeon CoLtd, a private farm, said.

In 2006, some companies began to breed sturgeon in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong.

Last year HCM City-based Ha Quang Company successfully hatched nearly 200,000 sturgeon eggs imported from Russia and raised the fish in cages in Tuyen Lam Lake in Da Lat.

Around 50,000 sturgeon fries are being raised in the province this year.

Vladimir Voronin, a Russian expert, said he was astonished to see the fish’s growth in the Central Highlands after discovering that they attained an average weight of 2.7 kilogrammes in 18 months. In Europe it takes them four years to reach this size.

Lam Dong authorities also plan to breed Russian sturgeon in Ka La and Da Nhim lakes and hope to achieve a yield of 300 tonnes a year.

Duc said his company planned to expand sturgeon breeding to other parts of the country where the climate is suitable.

According to experts, supply of sturgeon meat and eggs only meet 10 per cent of the world demand. Globally, the fish’s meat fetches around 10 euros (US$12.50) per kg and its eggs 1,500 to 5,000 euros.

It is a major motivation for Viet Nam to breed this lucrative fish, Duc said.

Didier Corlou, a member of the French Culinary Academy and former chef at the Metropole Hotel in Ha Noi, and others who have tried the sturgeon bred in Viet Nam have said the fish’s meat was delicious and similar to sturgeon from natural sources.

They also have a high content of DHA, Omega 6, Omega 3 and other vitamins, research has shown. —