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Archive for November 26th, 2008|Daily archive page

US importers welcome DOC’s decision on Vietnamese apparel

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Washington (VNA) – The US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (AITA) has welcomed the Department of Commerce (DOC)’s decision to conclude review of Vietnam’s certain textile and apparel products.

AITA Executive Director Laura Jones, who has been highly critical of the Bush administration’s monitoring programme from the outset 18 months ago, praised the DOC’s final conclusion, and said: “The fact that three Administration reviews have consistently found no evidence of dumping confirms that this programme never should have been established in the first place.”

She charged that the monitoring forced importers to change sourcing plans, adding to costs and undermining efficiencies and diverted apparel orders to other sources and “did not bring a single order or job to the United States.”

The AITA Executive Director urged the incoming Obama administration to “focus on positive initiatives and not make the mistake of thinking monitoring is a replacement for sound business decisions.”

In its Nov.21 press release, the DOC officially announced that there is insufficient evidence to warrant self-initiating an antidumping investigation into Vietnam’s certain textile and apparel products.-

Singapore, Japan share water management expertise

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Tokyo (VNA) – Singapore and Japan will share their expertise on water management with developing countries that are facing water resources scarcity, Singapore’s Foreign Ministry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency said in a joint statement on November 26.

The two countries are organising a 12-day workshop on water resources management for government officials, mainly from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, according to Kyodo News.

The workshop, held in Singapore until November 28, is part of the Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme for the 21st Century in which Singapore’s Foreign Ministry and Japan work together to help developing countries with their expertise.

At the event, Singapore and Japan experts will share their integrated water policy strategies for secure, sustainable, and safe water supply and sanitation as well as discuss exploration of new technological options for countries with scarce water resources.

As many as seventeen officials from the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Botswana, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Palestine and Uzbekistan are attending the workshop.

Singapore depends mainly on neighbouring Malaysia for its water resources but has in recent years managed to reduce its reliance on imported water by setting up high tech-water recycling and desalination plants.-

Laos, Cambodia to boost investment cooperation

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Vientiane (VNA) – Laos and Cambodia have agreed to strengthen their friendship and increase bilateral cooperation between the two, particularly in investment relations in the near future.

The Investment Protection Agreement governing this consensus was signed by Lao Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongloun Sisoulith and his Cambodian counterpart, Ho Nam Hong on November 24.

The agreement was signed during the two-day official visit to Laos by Cambodian Prime Miniter Hun Sen, who is to attend the 5 th summit of the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle, taking place in the Lao capital of Vientiane from November 26-27.

On the first day of his stay in Laos, the Cambodian Prime Minister held talks with Lao Prime Minister Buasone Boupphavanh. The two leaders expressed their pleasure at the two countries’ traditional relationship and spoke highly of their mutual assistance in socio-economic matters for the sake of the people of the two countries.

On November 25, Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Lao President Choummaly Xayasone.-

Thai PM affirms not to step down despite protest

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has affirmed that he will not step down or dissolve the House of Representatives despite the latest rally staged by anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protestors, said government spokesman Nattawut Saikua.

“The prime minister insisted that he was elected by voters. And if he will have to lose his job, it must be in line with the law or democratic principles. He won’t make his political decisions due to pressure from outside the system,” the spokesman was quoted by Thailand news agency (TNA) as saying on November 25.

PM Somchai would continue with his work after returning to Thailand from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru , according to the spokesman.

On the same day, Thailand’s Army chief Gen. Anupong Paochinda ruled out the possibility of a military coup to topple the government, explaining the coup could not solve problems.

Gen. Anupong said the army has prepared plans and security forces to handle groups of anti-government protestors occupying different areas.

He was quoted by the Bangkok Post’s website as saying that security forces from the army, air force, navy and police will be divided into two groups. The first group will watch over the protesting groups in different locations while the second group will prevent groups with different political views from clashing each other.-

Thai anti-gov’t protesters block road to int’l airport

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The anti-government PAD’s latest protests has turned violent as thousands of protesters blocked the entrance to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport in preparations for a protest of the returning home of Thai PM Somchai Wongsawat from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Peru.

People’s Alliance for Democracy protesters were expected to spend the night as PM Somchai’s plane has been delayed and would not arrive until night of November 26, according to Thailand news agency (TNA).

The flight, which PM Somchai is on, will land at another airport outside Bangkok instead of Suvarnabhumi to avoid confrontation with protesters, government spokesman Nattawut Saikua was cited by TNA as saying.

On November 25 night, civil aviation authorities in the Thai capital closed Suvarnabhumi Airport after hundreds of anti-government protesters broke through police lines and flowed into the busy terminal, disrupting airport operations, in an attempt to stop PM Somchai from returning to the country.

Acting Airports of Thailand (AoT) president and Acting Suvarnabhumi Airport Director Serirat Prasutanont announced shortly after 9pm that the airport cancelled all departing flights.

For the time being incoming flights are still arriving, but airport operations have been greatly disrupted.

The airport chief said in a statement that airport authorities had tried to negotiate with the protesters.

Flights out of the airport have to be cancelled temporarily for the safety of passengers, until the situation returned to normal, said Director Serirat.-

Malaysian budget airline to connect Asia and Europe

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysia’s AirAsia X announced on November 26 that it will fly to London from next March, with fares starting at 150 USD, becoming the first budget airline to connect Asia and Europe.

AirAsia X will schedule five flights a week between the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur and Stansted Airport on the outskirts of London.

AirAsia’s Group Chief Executive Tony Fernandes was quoted by new agencies as saying that he hoped to attract Europeans who would explore the region through AirAsia’s extensive route network in Southeast Asia.

“AirAsia X’s London-Kuala Lumpur route is the realisation of a long-held ambition to open up affordable access between Malaysia and Europe for both (Southeast Asian) and European communities,” he said in a statement.

AirAsia X currently flies to Australia’s Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne, and Hangzhou in China.-

Flight from Ha Noi to

Flight to Hue from

Cambodia expects 500 mln USD of donors’ commitment

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia is scheduled to host the annual consultative group (CG) meeting from December 3-5 in a bid to raise 500 million USD in official development assistance following a dialogue with international donors, according to local media reports.

The meeting will be attended by representatives of the donor countries and almost 100 officers from relevant Cambodian agencies.

Observers said this year’s CG meeting comes amid increasing concerns by non-governmental organisations about the government’s policies towards the poor.

Pact Cambodia, one of the three largest NGOs working in Cambodia, has called upon Prime Minister Hun Sen to select land, agriculture, natural resources management as well as human resources development and governance building as prioritised areas to receive international aid.

Operating in Cambodia since 1991, Pact Cambodia has contributed hugely to building the capacity of local organisations, helping to empower people so that they can earn a dignified living, raise healthy families and participate in democratic life.-

Thai PM returns home amid political crisis

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat landed in the northern city of Chiang Mai on November 26 after Thailand’s army chief urged him to end the political crisis by calling for fresh elections, Thai news agency (TNA) reported.

PM Somchai, who earlier attended the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Peruvian capital of Lima, refused to comment on the army chief’s plea.

The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters have besieged the Government House for almost three months and seized Suvarnabhumi Airport for 24 hours in a bid to prevent the PM’s return.

Amidst the rising anti-government demonstrations, Thai Army Chief Anupong Paochinda urged the coalition government to “return power to the people” by dissolving parliament.

Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with senior government officials, business leaders and academics at the Army headquarters, Gen. Anupong also urged the PAD protesters to end their rallies immediately and evacuate the key government and public establishments that they are currently occupying, including Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Gen. Anupong said the only way to end the crisis would be for the government to let the people decide. The government still has the power and the proposal for the PM to stage a general election is for him to make to solve the problem, he said, adding that he will not stage a coup as it would not help putting an end to the political unrest.

“Violence only aggravates the problem,” he was cited by the TNA as saying.

However, the main leaders of both the pro-government UDD and the anti-government PAD shrugged off the army chief’s proposal for the government to call a snap election. The PAD has insisted that they would not end their rallies until PM Somchai resigns.-

Cambodia imposes flight ban on Siem Reap Airways

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Cambodian government has slapped a temporary flight ban on domestic carrier Siem Reap Airways amid concerns over its safety standard, local newspaper reported on November 26.

“The government has decided to stop flights temporarily and replace them with flights from its parent company, Bangkok Airways,” Chea Aun, Director General of the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.

He noted that air service was needed to cater for foreigners, diplomats and tourists, and that the length of the ban would depend on the company’s response to questions about its safety record.

Siem Reap Airways issued a statement to travel agents on November 20, announcing the airline’s suspension of service and assuring all travelers that their reservations would be honored.

It added that all previously scheduled flights with Siem Reap Airways would be picked up by Bangkok Airways, which would accept all tickets issued for the banned carrier.

Bangkok Airways would operate four daily flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap according to normal flight schedules and beginning on November 22, effectively the start date of the temporary ban, the statement said.-

Trao Reef Marine Ecosystem Protected Area is operational

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 at 4:03 pm

A ceremony to launch the Trao Reef Marine Ecosystem Protected Area will be held on Nov. 27 in Van Ninh district of the central costal province of Khanh Hoa.

The Trao Reef is the first locally managed protected area in Vietnam to be officially recognised by the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee.

The reef is located on Van Phong Bay. The 25ha area was an important marine resource exploited by the community prior to 2000. Overuse of the natural resources damaged nearby coral reefs, such as Can Reef and Sun Reef.

Protection of the area began in 2001 with the implementation of a pilot project which received permission from the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee and technical and financial support from the Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD).

Of particular importance is the fact that Van Ninh district communities were directly involved in the formation and implementation of the Trao Reef Marine Reserve. The result is that it is considered to be the first local, small scale marine reserve in Vietnam .

The reserve model has successfully helped with the recovery of valuable coral reefs, improved habitat for valuable fisheries resources, and contributed to marine environmental protection. Tam Hai commune in Quang Ninh province and Phuoc Dinh commune in Ninh Thuan province are learning from this model, according to experts from the MCD.

Although the Trao Reef doesn’t meet current Vietnamese requirements for marine reserve status, the achievements of this model have made a positive contribution to coastal resource management, both locally and nationally.

The Van Ninh People’s Committee is cooperating with the provincial department of Natural Resources and Environment and Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as the MCD, to work towards finalizing the legal status of the Trao Reef.

“The Khanh Hoa People’s Committee has recognized the local community’s contribution and authority in marine ecosystem environment management and protection. Meanwhile, the Van Ninh People’s Committee has created a legal basis for encouraging local authorities and the community to continue managing and protecting biodiversity and the marine ecosystem environment in the Trao Reef coastal zone in particular, and in the surrounding coastal zone in general,” said Dao Van Luong, head of the Agriculture and Rural Development Office in Van Ninh district.

“The recognition of the Trao Reef as a marine protected area is not only a great sense of accomplishment and encouragement for community members who have contributed to the area’s protection, but is also an example of effective cooperation among three sectors – the local community, state management offices at all levels, and civil society – towards the common goal of protecting the environment and marine resources for future generations,” MCD director Nguyen Thu Hue said.

Many activities will be held during the launch ceremony on Nov. 27 to improve community knowledge of the Trao Reef Ecosystem Protected Area.-