Vietnam still sees high trade deficit with China

Vietnam still sees high trade deficit with ChinaAlthough Viet Nam’s exports to China in the first month of 2017 surged nearly 40 per cent, trade deficit with the Chinese market remained high at US$2.45 billion. Viet Nam’s exports to China in January increased by 38.6 per cent to $1.85 billion while its imports from the country rose by 9.3 per cent to $4.3 billion. The Ministry of Industry and Trade reported that Viet Nam’s exports to China increased by 38.6 per cent to $1.85 billion while its imports from the country rose by 9.3 per cent to $4.3 billion. In January, Viet Nam also saw high trade deficit of $1.64 billion with South Korea as its exports to the market valued at $860 million while its import revenue rose to $2.5 billion. Viet Nam mainly imported computers, electronics products, spare parts, machines and equipment.

February 15, 2017 09:56 UTC

Flood tide causes erosion in Bến Tre

BẾN TRE — Flood tide during the past three days has caused serious erosion in the coastal area of Thạnh Hải Village, Bảo Thuận Commune, Ba Tri District, in southern Bến Tre Province. Another unusual occurrence was that normally, the highest flood tide occurred in the last month of lunar years. But this year, the highest flood tide occurred in the first month of the lunar year, Ngoặt said. The flood tide destroyed 2,000sq.m of vegetables and farm products of the locals, which were going to be harvested. Police, militiamen and border guards were on hand to assist in addressing problems caused by the flood tide, Ô said.

February 15, 2017 09:31 UTC

Govt bans 2,4-D, paraquat in Việt Nam

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has issued a diktat prohibiting the use of plant protection products containing paraquat and 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) in Việt Nam. The decision to eliminate the two herbicides from the list of plant protection chemicals was made after scientific evidence showed that the chemicals posed a danger to both humans and the environment, Plant Protection Department said. According to the ministry’s decision, several products containing 2,4-D and paraquat used in Việt Nam currently would be removed from the list of plant protection drugs. “The prohibition on the use of paraquat and 2,4-D herbicide will ensure safe agricultural products and human health,” Trung said. The application of advanced technologies for plant protection will be improved to help farmers get higher yields, he added.

February 15, 2017 09:17 UTC

Large amount of money withdrawn via OMO

HÀ NỘI — The State Bank of Việt Nam withdrew a large amount of money worth VNĐ177 trillion (US$7.79 billion) via the open market operation and the issue of Treasury bills in the past week. A report from the Saigon Securities Incorporate (SSI) showed that the central bank issued 14-day T-bills worth VNĐ50 trillion in the week. According to the SSI, the withdrawing was made after the central bank had to pump a large amount of money to the banking system to support the liquidity before Tết (Lunar New Year) when the capital demands surged sharply. The rates for one-week, two-week and three-week loans also stood low at 2 per cent, 2.9 per cent and 3.8 per cent against 4.67 per cent, 4.73 per cent and 4.8 per cent at the end of previous week. SSI forecast that interest rate on the inter-bank market would continuously decline next week.

February 15, 2017 09:17 UTC

Nguyên forces tie in chess championship round 2

HÀ NỘI — Phạm Lê Thảo Nguyên tied with Aleksandra Goryachkina in the first match of the second round of FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship held on Tuesday in Tehran, Iran. Việt Nam’s International Master (IM) Nguyên, who is lower than her Russian Grandmaster rival in the Elo rating, forced the match to end after 38 moves. The tables turned after Ukrainian player decided to sacrifice a piece for three pawns and later on missed a killing fork. The ex-World Champion Anna Ushenina decided to change the queen on the 10th move and increased her advantage. The second match will be organised late on Wednesday in Espinas Palace Hotel in the Iranian capital.

February 15, 2017 09:11 UTC

Textile firm investigated for pollution

Textile firm investigated for pollutionVietNamNet Bridge – The Viet Nam Environment Administration (VEA) will collaborate with the Hai Duong Department of Environment to tackle the “environmental incident” recently caused by a Chinese textile company, said Luong Duy Hanh, director of the VEA’s Environment Protection and Control Department on Monday. The Pacific Crystal Textile Company, located in the Lai Vu industrial park in Hai Duong Province, was fined VND672 million (US$29,372) last week for violating regulations on wastewater treatment. According to Hanh, the Pacific Crystal company was not a target of inspection of the VEA’s 2016 environmental inspection plan. Pacific Crystal began operations at its $425 million plant in December 2015. The VEA had warned these companies about environmental pollution risks that might sprout from their textile dyeing processes, he said.

February 15, 2017 07:51 UTC

Crystal ball gazing

Crystal ball gazingMr. Don Lam, CEO and Founding Partner of VinaCapital, tells VET’s Nguyen Ha about the economic scenarios and investment opportunities in 2017. Vietnam Opportunities Fund (VOF), our flagship fund, had a fantastic year. VCG Partners Vietnam Fund (VVF), our open-end, UCITS-compliant fund, posted solid 12.8 per cent growth. These are particularly interesting because we can play an active role in helping a company grow, generally have better investment terms, and tend to produce strong returns. From our perspective, we believe that the government is moving in the right direction to facilitate further investment into Vietnam.

February 15, 2017 07:18 UTC

VN still sees high trade deficit with China

HÀ NỘI — Although Việt Nam’s exports to China in the first month of 2017 surged nearly 40 per cent, trade deficit with the Chinese market remained high at US$2.45 billion. The Ministry of Industry and Trade reported that Việt Nam’s exports to China increased by 38.6 per cent to $1.85 billion while its imports from the country rose by 9.3 per cent to $4.3 billion. In January, Việt Nam also saw high trade deficit of $1.64 billion with South Korea as its exports to the market valued at $860 million while its import revenue rose to $2.5 billion. Việt Nam mainly imported computers, electronics products, spare parts, machines and equipment. According to the General Statistics Office, Việt Nam’s export turnover touched $14.34 billion in January 2017, of which mobile phones and components were still the leading export products, accounting for 16.2 per cent of the total earnings, followed by textiles and garments at 15 per cent and computers, electronics and components at 10.5 per cent.

February 15, 2017 05:16 UTC

British FM hails new Gambia leader, vows stronger ties

BANJUL, Gambia — UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited The Gambia on Tuesday, where he hailed the arrival of a new government and its bid to rejoin the Commonwealth group of former British colonies. The visit was his first to Africa as Britain’s top diplomat, becoming the first British foreign minister to visit The Gambia since it gained independence in 1965. His talks with Barrow cemented moves by The Gambia to rejoin the Commonwealth, Johnson told journalists. "President Barrow is determined to take Gambia back to the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth is ready to welcome Gambia back," Johnson said, vowing to do whatever possible to "speed up" the process. Britain could help develop the tourism sector to help give Gambians greater economic security with Britain’s help, Johnson said.

February 15, 2017 05:13 UTC

Indie icon Jens Lekman finds adulthood has a disco beat

NEW YORK — Suffering from writer’s block so severe he felt physically ill, singer Jens Lekman found a way to jumpstart his creative energy - forcing himself to write and release a song, a "postcard", every week. Lekman’s new album, Life Will See You Now, comes out on Friday with, after his years of darkness, a surprise - the joy is back. Lekman goes further than before with electronics, with songs such as the sensory, readily danceable What’s That Perfume That You Wear? In an essay to introduce the album, Lekman described one’s 30s as "like your teenage years, but without all the cool role models". Traditional album sales have plummeted, which he called a "nightmare scenario" for an indie pop artist.

February 15, 2017 05:03 UTC

Sheriff lifts evacuation order for residents near California dam

The Butte County Sheriff’s Department announced it had reduced the evacuation order to a warning, allowing people in downstream communities from Oroville Dam - 120 kilometers north of Sacramento - to return home. The department urged some 188,000 impacted residents to "remain vigilant and prepared as conditions can rapidly change" -- saying that authorities could issue another evacuation order if necessary. The goal is to lower the water level by at least 15 metres below the top of the reservoir. The California Department of Water Resources had indicated that the water level was dropping at eight to 10 centimetres per hour. The Oroville Dam, completed in 1968, is 770 feet high, the tallest in the country.

February 15, 2017 05:02 UTC

US will not insist on two-state solution in Mideast: White House official

WASHINGTON — The White House signaled a sharp break with decades of support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Tuesday, on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House. "A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve," the official said on condition of anonymity. President Trump will host Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday, and is expected to express his desire to help broker a solution to the conflict. For the better part of half a century successive US governments, Republican and Democrat, have backed a two-state solution. Obama often warned that Israeli settlement construction could make a two-state solution impossible, and that a one state solution would put the future of the Jewish state in question.

February 15, 2017 04:55 UTC

White House tries to insulate Trump from Russia scandal

WASHINGTON — The White House battled Tuesday to insulate Donald Trump from a scandal over his top aide’s contacts with Russia, as it emerged that the president was aware of the problem for weeks before acting. The White House had painted Trump’s final decision as based on Flynn having misled Vice President Mike Pence. Flynn is the third Trump aide to step back amid questions about his ties to Russia since the mogul began his improbable White House bid. Amid the tumult, the White House denied that Trump had instructed Flynn to discuss the possibility that Obama-era sanctions would be rolled back. No, no, no," said White House spokesman Sean Spicer, when asked whether such a conversation took place.

February 15, 2017 04:55 UTC

S. Korea confirms Kim Jong-un’s half brother murdered

SEOUL — South Korea confirmed Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother has been murdered in Malaysia, confirming reports of his assassination at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. "Our government is certain that the murdered man is Kim Jong-nam," said Chung Joon-hee, a spokesman for Seoul’s unification ministry that handles inter-Korea affairs. He was put into an ambulance and was being taken to the Putrajaya Hospital when he was pronounced dead," he said. South Korean reports had earlier suggested the two female assassins had used poison-tipped needles during the killing, before fleeing in a taxi. Kim, 45, is believed to have been in Malaysia on a passport bearing the name Kim Chol, a known alias, according to South Korean media.

February 15, 2017 04:44 UTC

Unqualified works at schools stopped: Ministry official

Unqualified works at schools stopped: Ministry officialVietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training will soon officially ask that schools nationwide review their facilities and stop using any deemed to be unsafe, according to the vice head of the ministry’s Department of Facilities and School Equipment, Pham Hung Anh. The toilet at Krong Na Kindergarten in the Central Highlands’ province of Dak Lak collapsed last week, causing injuries to a student. Hung Anh told Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper that almost all schools across the country had toilets that met standards issued by the Ministry of Science ad Technology and the Ministry of Education and Training. Some school toilets failed to meet standards, as the schools were converted from other buildings, he said. The kindergarten in Dak Lak that prompted the review was one of the converted schools, he said.

February 15, 2017 04:18 UTC

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