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U.S.A.–Vietnam relationship is important for the region, says Gates

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 3:51 am




U.S.A.–Vietnam relationship is important for the region, says Gates


QĐND – Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 20:44 (GMT+7)

PANO – U.S Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, was welcomed to the Hall of Hanoi National University by hundreds of students of the university and cadets from Military Science Academy.


His first visit to Hanoi as Secretary of Defence coincides with the city’s 1,000 year Anniversary, the 15th anniversary of Vietnam–U.S.A. diplomatic relations and 10 years after U.S President Bill Clinton’s visit to this very university.


The younger generations of the U.S.A. and Vietnam now live in a peaceful environment and better mutual understanding than in the war era and the time U.S.A. imposed economic embargoes on Vietnam.


Gates’ official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart, General Phung Quang Thanh, and his participation in the first ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus, signal the rapid development in the two countries’ diplomatic ties.


ADMM Plus gathers defence ministers and representatives of defence ministers from 10 ASEAN countries and the association’s eight dialogue partners. It is good news as defence heads from 18 countries gather in Hanoi, a city for peace, to discuss peace and cooperation in Asia Pacific.


Gates said that he agreed “right on the spot” when General Thanh invited him to attend the first ADMM Plus, a forum expected to provide opportunities for peace, stability and cooperation.


The U.S.A.–Vietnam relations started after the Vietnam War when the two sides committed to find missing soldiers from the war.


He said that the Vietnamese government returned the remains of some U.S. service members as a gesture of goodwill, said Gates.


“And it was this initial cooperation that led us to where we are today – with a vibrant relationship that now spans a range of issues – trade and investment, education and health, and most relevant to my remarks, security and defence,” said Gates in his speech.


Earlier, in his introduction about Mr. Gates, Vu Minh Giang, Deputy Director of Hanoi National University, mentioned President Clinton’s visit to the education institution. He reminded Gates of Clinton’s regret that Vietnam and U.S. lost many chances to cooperate in the past, solely due to a lack of mutual understanding.


Listing the collaborative efforts of the two sides over the years, Gates held that these would provide invaluable opportunities to build knowledge and trust between the two countries’ defence institutions.


“The growing U.S.A.–Vietnam relationship is not only important for the U.S and Vietnam but also for the region as a whole,” Gates stressed.


He said that Vietnam has been a leader in promoting greater multilateral cooperation.


“It’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year is an excellent example,” said Gates.


“In fact, Vietnam’s vision to push forward on such collaboration is one reason I’m here today,” he added.


When promoting mutual understanding can help promote cooperation, peace and Vietnam–U.S.A. relationship, ADMM Plus is a cornerstone forum that lays foundation for cooperation in a sensitive area of security and defence.


“This meeting represents a historic and very welcome move to a higher level of regional security dialogue, with defence ministers formally coming together for the first time to build tangible coopreation on range of security issues,” Gates stressed in his speech to the students.


He said that, by allowing defence ministers to more exchange of views and by developing the operational infrastructure for future efforts, this forum will build trust and transparency in the whole region.


While ADMM Plus can build those, it is reasonable to believe that not only the youth in Vietnam and U.S.A., but also in the region, can live in their tomorrows, a future of peace and prosperity.


Ngoc Hung


Source: QDND

After rocky spell, dong/dollar establish stable relationship

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm




After rocky spell, dong/dollar establish stable relationship


QĐND – Monday, June 21, 2010, 22:26 (GMT+7)

SBV has confounded critics who said Vietnam’s currency was getting out of control.


The State Bank (SBV) has succeeded in stabilizing the interbank exchange rate at 18,544 dong per dollar, while purchasing dollars to build up reserves.


SBV has reported that in the first quarter of 2010, Vietnam’s foreign currency reserves increased by two billion dollars.  Meanwhile, the World Bank forecasts that reserves may reach $17.5 billion by the end of 2010 after dipping to $15.2 billion late last year.


Foreign currency supply and demand have been in balance and liquidity high.  Banks are able to manage their foreign currency positions themselves without buying dollars, yen and euros from the State Bank. Export companies, which have earnings in foreign currencies, now sell their foreign currencies to banks instead of hoarding dollars, as was common several months ago. From mid-April to mid-May, the State Bank purchased $1 billion from banks.


The dong/dollar exchange rate quoted by commercial banks is now sometimes lower than SBV’s ceiling level (the interbank exchange rate plus three percent). On June 15, commercial banks were trading dong for dollars at 18,945-18,990 to $1.  The exchange rate on the curb market has sometimes been even lower than the rates quoted by commercial banks, something that’s rarely seen. In mid-June, the curb rate was 19,010 dong to the dollar.


With the dong/dollar exchange rate has been stable, enterprises have lost interest in speculating against the dong, and individuals are less apt to buy dollars to keep under their pillows.  Thus dollar deposits at banks have increased more slowly than dong deposits.


According to SBV, dong balances held by clients of credit institutions increased by 2.89 percent in May, and foreign currency deposits by 1.19 percent.


Meanwhile, the demand for loans in foreign currencies has increased rapidly. SBV says outstanding loans rose 1.86 percent in May – dong credit was up 1.53 percent, while foreign currency credit was up 3.16 percent.  That’s considered to reflect a preference for the lower interest rates still in effect on foreign currency loans now that fears of further dong devaluation have eased.


Foreign currency loans typically bear somewhat lower interest rates lower than  dong loans.  In the recent past, however, businesses did not dare to borrow in dollar because they feared they’d have to repay in more expensive foreign currencies.


If the current rapid increase of the loans in foreign currencies continues, an imbalance of the foreign currency supply and demand could emerge by the end of 2010.


Le Xuan Nghia, Deputy Chairman of the National Finance Supervision Council, points out that most of the foreign currency loans are short term loans due in less than one year). Do Minh Toan of ACB Bank says many, mostly with 6-9 month terms, will come due in September and October. Pham Hong Hai of HSBC predicts a dollars squeeze then, because businesses will be hunting for dollars to pay debts back to banks.


There’s a cyclical factor, too.  The demand for dollars always increases sharply in the last months of years because businesses need dollars to import goods. In September and October of 2009, businesses in HCM City alone spent $3 billion to import goods.


Source: VNN


Source: QDND

MERCOSUR, ASEAN establish working relationship

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Buenos Aires (VNA) – Foreign ministers from the South American common market group (MERCOSUR) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are expected to meet in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia on November 25 to discuss measures to increase bilateral cooperation.

This will be the first official meeting between ministers from the two organisations, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said, adding that this marks the beginning of a systemized process of dialogue between them.

One of the topics on the agenda at the closed-door meeting will be a specification of areas that could expand trade turnover between the two groups.

Two-way trade between MERCOSUR nations and ASEAN members reached 11.75 billion USD during 2007, a modest sum given the size of the two groups and their potential for trade.

The two sides attending the meeting are scheduled to seek ways to establish a system of political dialogue in order to effectively work together to enhance their achievements at international forums.-