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Archive for April 10th, 2010|Daily archive page

Ba Vi Tourism Week to kick off in mid-month

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Ba Vi Tourism Week to kick off in mid-month

QĐND – Saturday, April 10, 2010, 21:8 (GMT+7)

The People’s Committee of Ba Vi district, on April 7th, held a press conference to announce the Ba Vi Tourism Week, entitled “Da River-Tan Mountain Tourism”, in response to the National Tourism Year 2010 and towards the Great Festival to mark 1,000 years of Thang Long-Hanoi.

The tourism week, expected to be opened on April 16th, will start Ba Vi tourism season, aimed at attracting 1.3 million tourists in 2010.

Reportedly, various art performances and special sports events, such as dragon dance, parachuting, and water-skiing, will also be held during the opening ceremony of the Tourism Week.

Also on this occasion, the event’s organising board will also offer several discount progams for visitors.

Source: HNM

Translated by Vu Hung

Source: QDND

Hanoi-Vinh air route to be resumed next week

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Hanoi-Vinh air route to be resumed next week

QĐND – Saturday, April 10, 2010, 21:8 (GMT+7)

The first flight between Hanoi and central Vinh city will be launched on April 12th, using ATR 72 aircraft, said Ho Duc Phuoc, Vice Chairman of the central Nghe An Provincial People’s Committee.

Early next week, leaders of Nghe An province will have a working session with Vietnam Airlines for a flight on May 19th to celebrate the 120th birthday of President Ho Chi Minh.

There are now two domestic air routes from Vinh to Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi, using Airbus 320 and ATR 72 aircraft. In 2009, over 280,000 air travelers flew on the Vinh-HCMC route, an increase of 156%.

Source: TPO

Translated by Vu Hung

Source: QDND

VN to export 2 m tonnes of rice in 2nd quarter

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 5:16 pm

VN to export 2 m tonnes of rice in 2nd quarter

QĐND – Saturday, April 10, 2010, 21:8 (GMT+7)

Local food companies expect to export around 2.1 million tonnes of rice in the second quarter of this year, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).

The VFA said demand on the world rice market remains unstable, driving down the short-term prices for the staple.

At present, Vietnamese exporters are still finalizing contracts to export 800,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines. Yet, 25 percent of the package has been sold through foreign intermediaries at relatively low prices.

Pham Van Bay, VFA Vice President said local exporters are now facing more competitive contestants – Myanmar and Pakistan–which offer rice at lower prices.

Therefore, he said, the VFA will provide flexible guidance to farmers and companies in order to increase their exports to the world in the coming time.

The VFA advised farmers not to hastily sell off their stores, confirming that the second state acquisition of rice, 500,000 tonnes, will be conducted at the unchanged price level of 4,000 VND (over 0.2 USD) per kg of unhusked rice.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

First Vietnam tra fish company granted GAP certificate

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 5:09 pm

First Vietnam tra fish company granted GAP certificate

QĐND – Saturday, April 10, 2010, 21:12 (GMT+7)

The NTACO Joint Stock Company (NTACO) has received the Global Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) certificate, becoming the second seafood business and the first tra fish company in Vietnam to be awarded the certificate.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the Global GAP certificate was granted by the Dutch food standards agency, the CUC, to the company’s 30-ha farm in My Thoi Ward, Long Xuyen City in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.

With this certificate, the value of NTACO’s products is expected to increase by over 15 percent and the company will have more opportunities to penetrate into strictly controlled markets.

In the first quarter of this year, NTACO’s export turnover reached 3.7 million USD, up 70 percent compared to the same period last year. At present, the company’s tra and basa fish products are sold to more than 40 countries and territories worldwide.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

US$ 90 million added to environmental project in HCMC

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm

US$ 90 million added to environmental project in HCMC

QĐND – Saturday, April 10, 2010, 21:13 (GMT+7)

The World Bank (WB) had accepted to fund a further US$ 90 to the project which aims to improve the Nhieu Loc –Thi Nghe area environmental sanitation in Ho Chi Minh City, as revealed by Ms. Phan Hoang Dieu, the Project Management Board Director, on April 9th.

The WB has also allowed the extension of the project until December 2011, instead of the June 2010 deadline.

With the additional funding, the total investment in the project has now risen to US$ 289 million.

According to officials, the project’s further funding and completion extension resulted from a more practical projection. Since 2001, when the project started, the cost of materials has sharply increased and several unexpected difficulties have emerged during the implementation.

Source: TT

Translated by Thu Nguyen

Source: QDND

“For the city I love” campaign reaches Danang city

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm

“For the city I love” campaign reaches Danang city

QĐND – Saturday, April 10, 2010, 21:13 (GMT+7)

About 1,000 local youth and students in Danang city took to the streets on April 9th to carry out various activities promoting the environmental protection in response to the “For the city I love” campaign with the mottos “Think Green, Live Green”.

The ambassador of the campaign, Miss Vietnam 2006, Mai Phuong Thuy, joined the local youths in a number of effective activities such as tree-planting in Thanh Nien Park, the repainting Cham Sculpture Museum, cleaning of residential areas, beaches and public areas, as well as cycling for the environment.

Earlier, similar activities promoting the campaign took place in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The “For the city I love” campaign in Dang Nang will end on  April 30th.

This is the first large program campaign to help the green movement in Vietnam  launched by the UNESCO-CEP Center, in cooperation with the provincial and municipal People’s Committeess,  and the Akzo Nobel Vietnam Paint Company.  The aim is to promote the slogan “Think Green, Live Green” within the community.

Source: TTO

Translated by Mai Huong

Source: QDND

Hanoi plans green, elegant, modern capital

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Hanoi plans green, elegant, modern capital

QĐND – Saturday, April 10, 2010, 21:8 (GMT+7)

A master plan for the capital of Hanoi through 2030 with a vision to 2050 has received special attention from the public as it is expected to create an image of a “green, civilised, and modern” city.

The plan has been adjusted many times and is now in the phase of collecting ideas from the public, experts, ministries and agencies. This once again affirms the importance and historical significance of the capital planning.

Compared to the capital planning adjustment 10 years ago, Hanoi now has a total area of 3,300, 3.6 times larger, and a double population, with 6.2 million people, making it one of the largest capital cities in the world.

However, strategic development plans and orientations are required to build Hanoi into a civilised and modern city that still preserves its thousand-year-old cultural values.

The Hanoi Capital Construction Master Plan for 2030 with a Vision to 2050 submitted to the municipal Party Committee recently is viewed as rather comprehensive.

Under the plan, Hanoi will have a population of around 9.1 million by 2030 and over 10 million by 2050. Its nucleus urban areas will accommodate 4-4.6 million people and the downtown core, including the Old Quarter, will have a maximum population of 800,000 citizens.

Five satellite urban areas, including Hoa Lac, Son Tay, Xuan Mai, Phu Xuyen-Phu Minh and Soc Son will have a population size of between 127,000 and 750,000 dwellers each.

The consulting unit PPJ, a consortium made up of the architectural firms Perkins Eastman of the US and Posco E&C and Jina from the Republic of Korea, has proposed setting up a green belt along the Day, Tich and Ca Lo Rivers. The belt will account for 68 percent of the city’s total natural area.

In the downtown core, the density of green trees and water surface is expected to increase to 7-15 sq.m per head in 2030 from the current figure of 1-2 sq.m.

In the long run, the land fund for the administrative urban area, including the National Administrative Centre, is planned to be placed at in the bottom of Ba Vi Mountain and adjoining the northern side of the Hoa Lac Urban Area.

A new traffic axis will be formed from the Hoang Quoc Viet-Pham Hung T-junction to the Ba Vi Mount, connecting the Thang Long and Xu Doai cultures. Along the axis, there will be cultural, historic and entertainment works, including systems of museums, exhibitions and art centres.

To accommodate the capital city’s trade activities and local travel demand by 2030, Hanoi will have eight more bridges and one tunnel across the Red River alongside building a new national railway and upgrading rail lines in the outskirts.

The Noi Bai International Airport, the largest in the northern region, will be expanded to raise its transport capacity to 20 million, 25 million and 50 million passengers in 2020, 2030 and 2050 respectively.

The Old Quarter will be restored so that it still maintains its historical values, existing scenes and a common living space.

The relics of ancient Thang Long, the Long Bien Bridge and a system of thousands of temples, pagodas, ancient villages and craft villages in the outlying districts of Son Tay, Quoc Oai and Dan Phuong will be restored and repaired.

According to the consulting unit, the total investment for the city’s infrastructure development is estimated at around 60 billion USD by 2030 and 89.9 billion USD by 2050, of which, 16.8 billion USD will be poured into traffic works.

The Hanoi Capital Construction Master Plan is expected to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval at a session in May this year. After getting the NA approval, the planning map will be displayed during the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi in order to enable the people to see the face of the capital city in the next 40 years.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Dozens injured in clashes in Thai capital

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm

 Anti-government protesters clashed with security forces in Thailand’s capital Saturday, leaving dozens injured as soldiers used tear gas and water cannon to try to disperse demonstrators.

Anti-government protesters try to break a barrier to enter Thaicom compound in Pathum Thani, north of Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, April 9, 2010

Protesters hurled rocks and shots were heard as troops tried to restore order in Bangkok’s historic district, where tensions escalated after weeks of mass rallies by “Red Shirt” protesters seeking to overthrow the government.

Emergency services said 47 people had been hospitalised.

Shots were fired in the air but it was not clear whether blanks or live ammunition was used, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

“At Phan Fa bridge, the authorities must finish dispersing the protesters before nightfall,” said army spokesman Sunsern Kaewkumnerd, referring to one of the Reds’ protest sites in the old city.

Dozens of Reds tried to force their way into a military base but were repelled with water cannon.

The army said it had deployed armoured personnel vehicles at some locations in the city to prevent the Red Shirts from forcing their way inside as authorities moved to crack down on the demonstrations in the old district.

“It’s an operation to reclaim areas from protesters under the state of emergency rule,” government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn told local television.

Thousands of demonstrators also continued to occupy a key intersection in the main commercial district of the Thai capital.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has insisted he would not cede to the Reds’ demand for snap elections, after they stormed a television broadcaster Thursday and managed to put their channel back on air for a few hours.

Tens of thousands of police and soldiers have been mobilised to restore order, but top Reds remained defiant in the face of signs that the army might also be preparing to disperse the demonstrators in the commercial hub.

“I’d like to tell Abhisit that you can come and crack down on our rally anytime,” a Red Shirt leader, Nattawut Saikuar, said from the rally stage set up in the heart of Bangkok that has become the focus of the protests.

“We want to stay until you dissolve the House.”

The Reds, many of whom support ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, accuse the government of being illegitimate because it came to power with military backing in 2008 after a court ousted Thaksin’s allies from power.

The Reds managed to restore their anti-government People Television (PTV), which was shut down Thursday under emergency rule aimed at quelling the turmoil. But troops later retook the building, pulling the plug again.

“The station is now totally under military control,” said Sunsern.

Arrest warrants have been issued for many of the top leaders of the red-clad movement, but so far none are reported to have been taken into custody.

Abhisit, who remained holed up at an army barracks, insisted his government would not back down.

“I instructed all officials, police and soldiers that we have no right to be disheartened or fail with this mission,” he said late Friday, adding that the top priority was to uphold the rule of the law.

A grenade exploded at the Police Crime Suppression Division unit in a northern suburb of Bangkok early Saturday but no one was hurt, officials said — the latest in a series of minor blasts.

The rallies are the latest chapter in years of political turmoil in Thailand pitting Bangkok’s ruling elite against the mainly poor and rural Reds.

The country has been riven by political tensions since a bloodless coup ousted telecoms tycoon-turned-premier Thaksin in 2006.


Source: SGGP

China says trade deficit proves yuan not to blame

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm

China said Saturday its first trade deficit in six years proved the nation’s exchange rate did not play a decisive role in global economic imbalances amid pressure to allow the yuan to appreciate.

International critics say Beijing has kept the currency artificially low to boost exports, resulting in massive trade surpluses with the United States and Europe. The issue has become a major sore point in Sino-US relations.

But China has defended its exchange rate policy as necessary for the survival of Chinese manufacturers and to support jobs growth.

Customs authorities announced on Saturday that the nation had posted its first trade deficit in six years in March, at 7.2 billion dollars.

Exports rose 24.3 percent to 112.1 billion dollars from the same month a year earlier, while imports soared 66 percent year-on-year to 119.3 billion dollars, they said.

Commerce minister Chen Deming had warned last month that the deficit was likely, but said it would only be a short-lived phenomenon for the nation’s export-dependent economy.

And on Saturday the ministry, which is reluctant to allow a stronger yuan, was swift to respond to the figures.

“Under the situation where the yuan exchange rate was maintained basically stable, China’s trade surplus continued to shrink, with a deficit occurring in March,” Yao Jian, spokesman for the ministry, said in a statement.

“This again shows that in an era of economic globalisation, the deciding factor for balanced trade is not the exchange rate, but other factors such as the relationship of supply and demand in the market.”

Mark Williams, London-based senior China economist at Capital Economics, said the nation’s deficit “might win it some respite from pressure to do more over its exchange rate.”

“But the calm won’t last. China’s trade surplus will soon reappear. Indeed, the surplus that matters most politically — that with the US — is already rising again and not far off a record high,” he added.

Ken Peng, a Beijing-based economist for Citigroup, agreed. “It could alleviate some of the external pressure, but this is a temporary trade deficit and the yuan is not the only reason for global imbalances,” he said.

Brian Jackson, senior strategist at Royal Bank of Canada, said China could still let its currency appreciate for domestic reasons, and “not to placate international pressure.”

“They will want to move because it’s in their own domestic interest to do so, in terms of dealing with inflationary pressures,” he said.

Jackson added the deficit was partly the result of seasonal factors, as Chinese exports tend to pull back at the beginning of the year after having surged in the previous quarter ahead of the US holiday season.

“There has also been an adjustment in the yearly trade balance,” he said.

“If you do a 12-month rolling sum of the trade balance, that shot up to very extreme levels from 2006 to 2008, and it started to come back down.”

The financial crisis took its toll on China’s exports, forcing the world’s third largest economy to start adjusting its focus onto domestic demand.

Beijing has tried to play down expectations for a strong pick-up in exports this year, with commerce minister Chen saying last month that it could take up to three years to return to pre-financial crisis levels.

And China’s growth has rebounded much faster than the rest of the world, which has led its imports to grow faster than its exports.

The Asian nation returned to double digit growth in the last quarter of 2009, and expanded by a total of 8.7 percent for the whole year on massive public spending and rampant bank lending.

Source: SGGP

Philippine diaspora begins voting for next president

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 1:42 pm

More than half a million Filipinos living overseas, who help pump billions of dollars into the Philippines’ economy, Saturday began voting for a new president.

A Filipino woman fills in the ballot at a polling station in Hong Kong April 10, 2010. (AFP)

Nine million Filipinos live outside the Philippines with many working as maids, nurses, construction workers and sailors and the 590,000 registered voters can cast their votes until May 10.

In Hong Kong an army of voters — at least 80 percent are female domestic helpers — was expected to flood the consulate-run polling station on Sunday, their usual day off, said election official Victorio Dimagiba.

“I think we’ll have a very high turnout tomorrow and in the coming weeks,” Dimagiba told AFP.

Foreign department spokesman Eduardo Malaya said in Manila that Filipinos around the world will cast their votes in 93 embassies and consulates to elect the successor to President Gloria Arroyo. Turnout is expected to be high.

Hong Kong and Singapore, which have a combined 128,000 voters, will serve as a testbed for a computerised system being used for the first time this year said Commission on Elections (Comelec) official Armando Velasco.

“Through this (overseas voting), we will know whether or not this really works,” Velasco told reporters, acknowledging popular concern that automated elections, aimed at curbing fraud and speeding up the process, will not work.

The machines are due to be used by 50 million voters in the Philippines itself on May 10.

Those outside Hong Kong and Singapore would vote by mail or by visiting their embassies or consulates to fill out ballots.

The Philippines’ economic diaspora send billions of dollars every year to their families, helping make ends meet in a country where one in three people lives on a dollar or less a day.

Polls show the battle is shaping up as a contest between two senators, Benigno Aquino, son of the late democracy icon and former Filipina leader Corazon Aquino, and multi-millionaire developer Manuel Villar.

Domestic helper Marina Saranglao, 47, believes Aquino is the best bet to lead her native country.

“Most of (the candidates) are corrupt, but not Aquino,” Saranglao told AFP.

In Singapore, domestic helper Susanita Salmorin, 50, cast her vote for Aquino, saying his family’s political legacy assured her that he would make a good leader.

“It’s because of the experience of his father, and his mother was a president…. They have a record of good service,” she said.

Source: SGGP