March 29th, 2011
BBC World Service, which is a U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office-funded Broadcasting Services Organization in 32 languages world wide, will close its broadcasting operations in Azeri, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Russian, as well as in five languages of Balkan Republics due to the drastic budget cuts by the British government from Saturday March 26.
The broadcasting operations are going to close in Serbian, Portuguese, Macedonian, Albanian, and English in Balkan republics Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. Read the rest of this entry »
January 26th, 2010
Lao Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavat praised cooperation between Laos and Vietnam over the years as a Laos inspection committee met with Vietnamese officials in Hanoi yesterday.
For the second straight year, Vietnam has been the largest investor in Laos’ economy with 48 projects worth US$1.42 billion in total capital, followed by China and Thailand.
“There are many bright prospects for bilateral economic ties,” said Prime Minister Somsavat, who is also the chairman of the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Sup-Committee. “Laos has strong potential for hydro-electricity, land, and minerals while Vietnam has capital, capability, and technology.”
January 22nd, 2010
Vietnamese entrepreneur Dao Trong Cuong, owner of Than Chau Ngoc Viet (Vietnam’s Gemstone and Jewelry) Company, isn’t afraid to show off his wealth.
When a Vietnamese newspaper asked him why he chose to import a Hummer from the U.S. for US$300,000, Cuong simply said, “I like big, manly things.”
So, naturally, when a 35-ton jade stone was put on the market in Myanmar last year, Cuong purchased it for US$2 million with plans to make the world’s largest jade Buddha statue.
The stone, which currently stands 10 feet tall, 6 feet 6 inches wide, and 6 feet 6 inches deep, will retain its height, but is expected to be trimmed down to about 16 tons over the next two years while as many as 50 artists complete the sculpture. Read the rest of this entry »
January 19th, 2010
Vietnam plans to sell $1 billion of 10-year dollar-denominated bonds in an attempt to curb inflation, an expanding trade deficit, and a weakening national currency (the dong).
The sale could occur as early as this week with a coupon rate of not greater than seven percent, according to Vietnam’s central bank.
“The new issue should have an absolute yield of around 6.85 percent to 7 percent,” said Sergey Dergachev of Frankfurt-based Union Investments. “Vietnam is economically much weaker, with significant twin deficits and a highly managed exchange rate.”
The proceeds of the sale will help fund Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, Vietnam National Shipping Lines, Song Da Corp., and Vietnam Machinery Installation Corp., the State Bank of Vietnam said in a statement on their website.
The sale may also help the floundering Vietnamese dong which depreciated 5.4 percent last year against the dollar and is currently trading at VND18,420 to USD1.
May 13th, 2009
In a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee yesterday, Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc unveiled the details of the government’s US$8 billion stimulus package.
US$5.2 billion of the funds will go towards infrastructure and development projects, US$1.6 will come in the form of tax breaks for enterprises and individuals, and a further US$400 million will serve welfare purposes.
During the meeting, Minister Phuc also downgraded Vietnam’s expected yearly growth in gross domestic product (GDP) to 5 percent from the original forecast of 6.5 percent.
May 11th, 2009
Vietnam has recently completed a US$1.8 billion deal with Russia that will send six Kilo-class attack submarines to the Southeast Asian nation.
This move by Vietnam may be in response to China’s military buildup in the region and its growing economic influence in Southeast Asia.
Vietnam has been troubled by civilian unrest recently in protest of a growing Chinese presence in the country and the prospect of “Sinification.”
May 4th, 2009
A coalition of Asian nations consisting of China, Japan, South Korea, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to set up a US$160 billion emergency liquidity fund to help combat the global financial crisis.
“Poverty is worsening in many countries. Businesses are struggling. The extremely urgent climate change agenda could be affected,” said Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting in Bali. “If all this goes unchecked, down the road we could see social and political unrest in many countries.”
China, Japan, and South Korea will provide the bulk of the finances with contributions of US$38.4 billion each from China and Japan, and US$19.2 billion from South Korea.
ASEAN members will be responsible for the remaining 20 percent, or US$32 billion.
The fund will target social spending, health, education, credit-guarantees, and clean energy.
April 13th, 2009
China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi recently discussed his country’s plans regarding Southeast Asia after the ASEAN summit in Pattaya, Thailand was cancelled due to anti-government protests.
Following the failed summit, Yang unveiled Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s plan for a US$ 10 billion investment in infrastructure as well as a US$15 billion line of credit to ASEAN members.
“China plans to establish a US$10 billion China-ASEAN investment cooperation fund to promote infrastructure that connects it to ASEAN nations,” said Yang on the flight back to China, according to state media. “It will also offer a credit of US$15 billion to ASEAN countries, including preferential loans of US$ 1.7 billion for cooperation projects.”
While China is not a member of the ASEAN, it recently appointed its first ambassador to the association and remains a very influential player in the region.
March 20th, 2009
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Vietnam and China have mutually agreed to launch the “China-Vietnam Friendship Year” in 2010.
As a part of this year of friendship, both countries have vowed to resolve their border disputes in a peaceful and effective manner as well as enhance cooperation in science, technology, agriculture, and athletics.
Furthermore, the two sides have agreed to jointly tackle the worldwide financial crisis with a win-win strategy that will include high-level exchanges that will achieve mutual political trust.
Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo stated that he hopes the event will establish, “long-term stability, future orientation, good-neighborly friendship, and all-round cooperation.”
March 6th, 2009
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) pledged 2.4 million Euros on Thursday towards a three-year project that will target Indochina’s rapidly diminishing rattan industry.
Rattans are a climbing palm with tough stems that are largely used in the production of wickerwork, such as furniture and baskets.
More than 90 percent of the rattan used in the region comes from natural forests which are being harvested at an aggressive rate and at the cost of severe damage to the environment.
The WWF’s plan includes steps that will make processing environmentally cleaner and more efficient so that the natural forests and rattan stocks of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia may be brought to a sustainable level.