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Archive for November 21st, 2008|Daily archive page

APEC CSOM focuses on economic crisis

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Conclusive Senior Officials Meeting (CSOM), a preparatory step for the APEC Peru 2008 Leaders Week taking place in Lima, Peru on November 16-23, was held on November 16 and 17.

Among other issues, the global economic crisis, APEC’s support to the Doha Round Negotiations and regional economic integration are some of the topics on the agenda at the meeting.

Officials from all 21 Member Economies said that APEC should bring into play its role in coping with the effects of the global financial crisis, as well as in boosting economic development.

They agreed to request to APEC economic leaders to make a separate declaration regarding the current global economic situation. They also agreed to urge APEC economic leaders to demonstrate their support for the action plan agreed at the G-20 summit, which was held in the US on November 15.

The meeting approved a cooperative plan aimed at coping with fluctuations in global food prices. A strategy to minimise the risks of natural disasters during 2009-2015 was also approved by the officials.

One of the most noteworthy topics discussed at the meeting was that of regional economic integration through the establishment of an Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area.

Other topics included cooperation in fighting corruption and terrorism, health cooperation, economic and technical assistance, corporate social responsibility, and APEC reforms.

The Vietnamese delegation actively participated at the meeting, particularly in the formulation of a plan regarding food security cooperation.

Vietnam also stressed its priority to regional economic integration and food security, as well as efforts to tackle the financial crisis and deal with natural disasters and emergency situations. –

APEC ministerial meeting opens in Peru

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Buenos Aires (VNA) – The 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting opened in Lima, the Peruvian capital, on November 19 to make final preparations for the APEC Ecnomic Leaders’ Meeting on the weekend.

The two-day ministerial meeting, held at the National Museum in Lima, will discuss global economic issues, APEC’s support for the WTO Doha Round negotiations and the APEC regional economic integration, Peruvian International Trade and Tourism Minister Mercedes Araoz said at the opening session.

Others topics to be discussed include corporate social responsibility, human security, APEC institutional reform, trade and investment, structural reform, anti-corruption and transparency, economic and technical cooperation, climate change and APEC food system, she said.

The foreign and trade ministers from the APEC member economies will also prepare documents for the Economic Leaders’ Meeting, scheduled for November 22-23, she added.

The ministers will prepare a report to hand to economic leaders of the 21 APEC economies, which containing recommendations related to major APEC themes, such as trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, regional economic integration, food security, Roha Round support and financial crisis.

Minister Araoz pointed out that restoration of prestige on the market after the financial crisis is the biggest challenge for the regional economy.-

Asian parliaments to discuss financial crisis

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm

The 3rd Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) slated to take place on November 27-29 is to focus on Asia’s preparedness for and role in overcoming the global financial crisis.

According to Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Agung Laksono, who will chair the upcoming APA meeting, the participants will also discuss the role of every Asian country in stepping up their poverty eradication efforts, exchanging parliamentary codes of ethics, and other matters relating to the preservation of their natural resources.

Under the theme of “Asia and the need for a new global financial architecture”, this year’s APA meeting is expected to bring together 250 delegates from 39 countries across Asia, Antara news agency reported.

The DPR Inter-parliamentarian Cooperation Board (BKSAP) chairman Abdillah Toha added that the meeting is expected to adopt 15 resolutions on a wide range of issues, including concerted efforts to tackle the global crisis, poverty reduction and environmental preservation.

APA is a regional organisation of Asian countries’ parliaments. It currently has 39 member countries that meet once a year.-

China opens new free-trade harbour area

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm

Beijing (VNA) – China opened a new harbor on November 20 in an attempt to create a free-trade zone operation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Xinhua news agency reported.

The Yangpu Bonded Harbor Area is China’s fourth facility of this type to receive preferential tax rates. The harbour, with a first phase covering 2.3 square kilometres, will be expanded to 9.21 square kilometres once its three stages are completed.

It is located in the Yangpu Economic Development Zone (YEDZ), in south China’s Hainan Province.

Li Lanxue, chief of Haikou Customs, said that the Yangpu port would offer tax breaks on imports and rebates on domestic commodities. Inter-company transactions will be exempt from value-added and consumption taxes, in addition to preferential policies in YEDZ.

“The bonded harbour zone will focus on the transfer, storage, logistics, processing and trade in energy and raw materials, and will eventually become an ASEAN-orientated business centre,” Li was cited as saying.

The three other bonded harbor areas are in Yangshan of Shanghai, Dongjiang of Tianjin and Dayaowan of Dalian, Liaoning Province.-

Sweden grants 28 mln USD for Lao development

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Vientiane (VNA) – The Swedish government has pledged to grant an aid package of 28 million USD to help Laos carry out projects to improve socio-economic development during the 2009-2011 period.

An agreement to this effect was signed in Vientiane on November 19 by the Lao Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Bounthavy Sisouphanthong and the Swedish Ambassador to Laos Lennart Linner.

The sum will be invested in projects and programmes to broaden farmers’ access to social services and markets, improve standards of teaching, preserve natural resources, and establish a national system of research.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Lao Deputy Minister Bounthavy said that the sum will be sourced from the Swedish Development Authority (SIDA) and that, over the past three decades, Swedish support has contributed significantly to improving the rate of Laos’ socio-economic development, particularly in its efforts to reduce poverty.-

Cambodian army appoints first female general

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia has appointed Mem Sam An, the current deputy prime minister as its first female army General, local media reported.

The title was conferred by King Norodom Sihamoni at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Mem Sam An, 55, represents the south-western province of Svay Rieng. She was named the first female deputy prime minister of the Kingdom in late October.

She was formerly the minister of the National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection. Prior to the promotion, she held the rank of senior lieutenant general.-

Bomb blast in Thai Gov’t House kills 1, injures 22

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:41 pm

A bomb blast in Thailand’s Government House in the early morning of November 20 killed one protester and wounded 22 others from the anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).

The incident occurred after a rifle grenade attack at the PAD encampment, the Thai news agency (TNA) reported.

Witnesses said the explosion occurred around 3.30 am, when an explosive device fell into the Government House compound which the protesters have occupied since August 26.

The PAD’s initial investigation suggested that the projectile was likely to have been from a military issue M-79 rifle, fired into the compound from outside.

Following the attack, PAD volunteer guards blocked all entrances to Government House and rushed the injured to nearby hospitals.

The protest alliance core leaders called an urgent meeting to seek measures to prevent future attacks and pressed the authorities to locate the assailants.

PAD protesters have seized Government House and vowed not to leave until the government steps down.-

Cambodia launches Vietnam-built radio station

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia officially launched a new radio station on November 20, the third such gift from Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications.

The 2kW FM radio station, located in Sihanouville, is expected to help promote the dissemination of Cambodia’s state policies, as well as scientific and technological knowledge to the local people.

The inauguration was attended by the Cambodian Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith, local authorities and representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith expressed his thanks to the Party and state of Vietnam for the gift, which he said is an indication of the fine solidarity and friendship that exists between Cambodia and Vietnam.

Earlier this year, Vietnam transferred two similar FM radio stations to Cambodia, which are located in Svay Rieng and Campot provinces.-

17 Asia-Pacific airlines meet on aviation safety in Indonesia

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Jakarta (VNA) – The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) is holding Asia Pacific Aviation Safety Seminar 2008 (APASS 2008) at Jimbaran, Bali of Indonesia, on November 20 and 21, to discuss latest developments in aviation safety, the Antara news agency has reported.

Some 150 participants from 17 airlines in Asian and Pacific countries and regions are taking part in the seminar hosted by Garuda Indonesia, said Emirsyah Satar, the Indonesian state-owned carrier Garuda President Director.

Director Satar emphasises that the “Asia Pacific Aviation Safety” seminar was important because it will discuss the most crucial aspect of aviation, namely safety.

Toping the working agenda are ways to improve the airline industries, especially in terms of aviation safety. The two-day seminar also attracted aircraft manufacturers, suppliers, aviation safety experts and academicians.

The outcome of the seminar will be helpful for the government to develop and improve the safety aspect of aviation in Indonesia, the Indonesian official said.-

Vietnam bans all acts of illegal animal trade

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Vietnam’s consistent position is to actively engage in the preservation of wild animals and to strictly prohibit all acts of illegal trade in wild animals, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The ministry made the remark on November 19 in reply to correspondents’ questions about Vietnam’s reaction to information that a video recording broadcast on a South African television station shows a Vietnamese Embassy staff buying rhino horn.

“The Ministry has asked the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa to verify information and has decided to recall Vu Moc Anh to explain the issue,” it said.

Vietnam is a member of CITES (Convention on Illegal Trade of Endangered Species) and its policy is to strictly punish any acts of illegal trade in wild animals in accordance with both Vietnamese and internationally applicable laws, the ministry added.-