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Chinese officials tout ‘made in Vietnam’ zones on border amid trade row with US
09.07.2018 He Huifeng & Keegan Elmer (SCMP) - A spiralling trade conflict between Beijing and Washington is an unwelcome development for China, but officials in Guangxi – where seven “cross-border trade zones” with Vietnam are planned – see an opportunity.
In the Guangxi region, home to museums dedicated to late Vietnamese communist leader Ho, officials are now touting with renewed vigour the idea of the cross-border zones, where exporters from China could assemble products and label them as “made in Vietnam”. [read more]

Gegen Plastikmüll - Jetzt kommt der Strohhalm aus Bambus nach Frankfurt
09.07.2018 (Frankfurter Neue Presse) - Frankfurt. Die EU-Kommission will Strohhalme und weitere Plastikprodukte verbieten. Auch die Mitgliedsbetriebe der Initiative Gastronomie Frankfurt (IGF) wollen schrittweise Plastikartikel in ihren Restaurants und Lokalen abschaffen. Als Alternative zu den herkömmlichen Strohhalmen testen sie derzeit unter anderem Trinkhalme aus Bambus.
Bisher testen 17 IGF-Mitgliedsbetriebe zwei Monate lang die Bambustrinkhalme aus Vietnam, weitere werden sich in den nächsten Wochen anschließen. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnamese women earn a living out of waste
07.07.2018 Vishal Gulati (The Gulf Today) - With over 20 million tourists visiting per year, this port city — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — produces approximately 27,000 tonnes of urban waste per year. Most of the solid waste here, the country’s first “eco-city” — known for its pagodas, temples, ancient wells and tombs — was once finding its way into the ocean, streams and landfills, threatening the environment and the health of communities.
Now, household and tourism industry waste is sorted into three categories — recyclable, biodegradable and persistent — and disposed of under a pilot evolved by UN agencies with the involvement of locals, mainly women. [read more]

Neuer Handel mit EU-Visa aufgeflogen
06.07.2018 (Die Presse) - Brüssel. Ein Jahr nach dem Ende des ungarischen Programms, im Rahmen dessen Tausende Chinesen gegen den Kauf ungarischer Staatsanleihen EU-Visa erhielten, wurde ein neues, ähnliches Unterfangen bekannt. Die ungarische Investigativplattform „Direkt 36“ berichtet, dass mehrere der Firmen, die von 2013 bis 2017 für die Umsetzung des vor allem in China beliebten Visa-Programms zuständig waren, nun in Vietnam werben, ungarische Aufenthaltstitel vermitteln zu können.
Konkret bieten diese Firmen, die teilweise in Steueroasen ansässig sind und ihre Eigentümerstruktur verschleiern, die Verschaffung eines EU-Visums im Gegenzug für den Kauf ungarischer Immobilien bereits ab einem Wert von umgerechnet 50.000 Euro an. [Weiterlesen]

Critically Endangered Giant Fish on Menu at Luxury Restaurants
02.07.2018 By Rachel Nuwer (National Geographic) - Vietnamese restaurateurs are illegally sourcing rare Mekong River megafish from Cambodian fishermen.
From the outside Nha Hang Lang Nghe, in Danang, looks like any other respectable restaurant in Vietnam.
Yet the veneer of wholesome normality masks a dark truth: Critically endangered giant river fish are Lang Nghe’s signature dish. Although it’s illegal to sell them in Vietnam, signs at the entryway entice diners with photos of imperiled Mekong giant catfish (“tasty meat, rich in omega-3”) and giant barbs (“good for men”), [read more]

Vietnam smartphone makers break from Samsung empire
02.07.2018 Atsushi Tomiyama (Nikkei Asian Review) - HANOI -- Vietnamese companies, including some that are new to the sector, plan to launch or expand production of smartphones, in a challenge to foreign makers, especially Samsung Electronics, which dominates the market in the country.
Vingroup, the biggest property developer in Vietnam, has announced a plan to produce smartphones starting in 2018, while home electronics maker Asanzo is set to produce 600,000 smartphones in 2018, up 50 times from the previous year. [read more]

NGOs take Formosa Plastics to task over marine disaster in Vietnam
20.06.2018 (Focus Taiwan) - Taipei (CNA) - Scores of Vietnamese expatriates in Taiwan and local activists staged a rally in Taipei on Wednesday, demanding that the Formosa Plastics Group take responsibility for the 2016 marine disaster caused by toxic industrial waste from its steel plant in Ha Tinh, Vietnam.
"Formosa Plastics, shoulder corporate social responsibility," the protesters shouted outside Sunworld Dynasty Hotel in Taipei, where the company was holding its shareholders meeting.
They also demanded that Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp, which had suspended operations for a year in the wake of the disaster in April 2016, monitor pollutants in the marine environment and make the information public. [read more]

Une tortue verte meurt après avoir ingéré trop de plastique
11.06.2018 (Paris Match) - Les vétérinaires ont tenté pendant deux journées de sauver la tortue après son échouage sur une plage mais en vain.
Sacs plastiques, élastiques, filets de pêche: quelques jours après le décès d'une baleine, une grosse tortue verte, espèce protégée, est morte en Thaïlande d'avoir ingurgité trop de plastique.
La Thaïlande fait partie des pays qui rejettent le plus de plastiques dans les océans. Chine, Indonésie, Philippines, Vietnam et Thaïlande déversent chaque année plus de quatre millions de tonnes de plastique en mer, soit la moitié du total des rejets dans les mers du monde, selon l'ONG de référence Ocean Conservancy. [en savoir plus]

G7 : des Vietnamiens manifestent à La Malbaie pour l'environnement
09.06.2018 Un texte de Roxanne Simard (Radio Canada) - Les manifestants étaient peu nombreux dans la zone de libre expression à La Malbaie samedi, en marge du G7. C'est finalement un regroupement de Vietnamiens, qui dénonçait les actions du gouvernement communiste vietnamien en matière d'environnement, qui a retenu l'attention.
Une centaine de Vietnamiens ont manifesté à La Malbaie, en cette dernière journée du sommet. Alors que le premier ministre vietnamien prenait part à des rencontres concernant l'environnement, les manifestants craignaient que ce ne soit que de la poudre aux yeux. [en savoir plus]

Sommet du G7: la sécurité dissipée d’ici le 20 juin à La Malbaie
09.06.2018 Arnaud Koenig-Soutière (Le Journal de Quebec) - ... LA MALBAIE | Le Sommet du G7 est maintenant chose du passé à La Malbaie, mais ce n’est que d’ici le 20 juin que les mesures de sécurité visible seront complètement dissipées.
La «zone de libre expression» s’est justement animée pour la dernière journée du Sommet du G7, samedi, alors que plus d’une centaine de manifestants s’y sont réunis sur l’heure du midi, dont des membres de la communauté vietnamienne et un groupe nationaliste québécois. Les protestataires vietnamiens ont été les premiers à débarquer sur place un peu avant midi, eux qui arrivaient notamment de Montréal, Sherbrooke et Toronto.
Une catastrophe écologique a bouleversé le Vietnam, en 2016, après qu’un déversement de produits toxiques attribué à une aciérie taïwanaise ait entraîné la mort de plus de 100 tonnes de poissons.  [en savoir plus]

50 nations 'curbing plastic pollution'
05.06.2018 By Roger Harrabin (BBC) - Fifty nations are now taking action to reduce plastic pollution, according to the biggest report so far from the UN.
It reveals that the Galapagos will ban single-use plastics, Sri Lanka will ban styrofoam and China is insisting on biodegradable bags.
But the authors warn that far more needs to be done to reduce the vast flow of plastic into rivers and oceans. [read more]

Plastic wasteland: Asia's ocean pollution crisis
05.06.2018 (AFP) - About eight million tonnes of plastic waste are dumped into the world's oceans every year, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic being tipped into the sea every minute of every day.
More than half comes from five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, according to a 2015 Ocean Conservancy report.
They are among the fastest growing economies in Asia, where much of the world's plastic is produced, consumed and discarded -- most of it improperly in countries where waste management is at best patchy. [read more]

Les mers d'Asie, poubelles plastiques de la planète
05.06.2018 Par Jenny VAUGHAN avec les bureaux d'Asie de l'AFP (France Soir) - Au Vietnam des sacs plastiques recouvrent la mangrove, en Thaïlande une baleine est morte après en avoir ingurgité 80, les îles indonésiennes n'ont parfois plus rien de paradisiaques: en Asie, les effets de la pollution plastique sont dramatiques.
Chine, Indonésie, Philippines, Thaïlande et Vietnam: à eux seuls, ces cinq pays asiatiques rejettent chaque année plus de quatre millions de tonnes de plastique dans les mers du monde, soit la moitié du total des rejets, selon l'ONG de référence Ocean Conservancy. [en savoir plus]

Plastikmüll
05.06.2018 Joachim Eggers (DW) - Zum Weltumwelttag rufen die UN zum Kampf gegen den Plastikmüll auf. [Video ansehen]

Los mares, vertederos de plástico del planeta
05.06.2018 Sonia Arrieta (El Diario Vasco) - El mar se ha convertido en un vertedero difuso, carente de fronteras, que permite a la basura extenderse por todo el planeta. Las cifras son alarmantes. El plástico se expande de forma cada vez más rápida y las oenegés ponen la mirada en consecuencias de la proliferación de plásticos en la naturaleza. Aunque por ahora el foco está lejos de nuestras costas, las corrientes, tarde o temprano, acabarán acercando la basura a nuestros arenales.
En Asia, los efectos de la contaminación por plástico son dramáticos. Esta semana en Tailandia, una ballena ha muerto tras haber engullido 80 bolsas de plástico, en Vietnam, las bolsas cubren los manglares y las islas indonesias pierden a veces su aspecto paradisíaco. [seguir leyendo]

Southeast Asia's plastic "addiction" blights world's oceans
05.06.2018 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - ... As World Environment Day on Tuesday takes place and the United Nations calls for the "biggest-ever worldwide cleanup" of plastic pollution, experts are focused on Southeast Asia, home to four of the world's top marine plastic polluters.
From major cities like Bangkok and Jakarta to beach resorts in the Philippines and Vietnam, plastic bags and bottles are the ubiquitous face of pollution in the region.
In Thailand, where two million tonnes of plastic waste is produced a year, plastic is an "addiction," said Geoff Baker, an anti-plastic campaigner with Grin Green International. [read more]

En el Día del Medio Ambiente, el mundo le declara la guerra al plástico
05.06.2018 (Infobae) - Un informe de la ONU encendió las alarmas sobre la producción de plásticos y la ínfima proporción de los mismos que son reciclados cada año
Unos 5 billones bolsas de plástico son consumidas cada año en el mundo y sólo una ínfima proporción es reciclada, afirmó el martes la ONU en un informe en el que se describe un fenómeno "desalentador".
En este informe divulgado con motivo del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, la ONU afirmó que si las formas de consumo y de gestionar los desechos no cambian, tendremos unos 12.000 millones de toneladas de residuos plásticos en el año 2050. [seguir leyendo]

Dramáticos tsunamis de plástico
05.06.2018 (LaTeja) - Mares de Asia emplastican al planeta. Si no hacemos nada de aquí al 2025 habrá 250 millones de toneladas de residuos en las aguas mundiales.
En Vietnam, las bolsas de plástico cubren los manglares, en Tailandia una ballena murió tras haber tragado 80 de estas bolsas, y las islas indonesias pierden a veces su aspecto paradisíaco. En Asia, los efectos de la contaminación por plástico son dramáticos.
China, Indonesia, Filipinas, Tailandia y Vietnam echan cada año más de cuatro millones de toneladas de plástico en los mares del planeta, esto es, la mitad de la cantidad total, según la oenegé Ocean Conservancy. [seguir leyendo]

Drastic plastic: Vietnam beach awash with tide of blue waste
04.06.2018 Kham Nguyen, Thinh Nguyen (Reuters) - THANH HOA, Vietnam - There’s almost more plastic than sand on this long, tree-lined beach: Plastic helmets, plastic furniture and the plastic leg of a shop mannequin all jut out of an ocean of blue plastic bags.
Just south of the capital Hanoi, the once-peaceful and clean beach of Da Loc in Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa province, has been slowly suffocating under the weight of plastic waste for decades.
“Plastic bags have been waste here since the first day we started using them,” said Pham Thi Lai, 60, a local seafood processor. [read more]

Vietnam: Mehr Sonne und Wind, aber auch mehr Kohle?
04.06.2018 Wolfgang Pomrehn (Telepolis) - Vietnam hat sich den Ausbau erneuerbarer Energieträger vorgenommen. Premierminister Nguyen Xuan Phuc kündigte in einem Gespräch mit der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters an, die jährliche Strommenge dieses Sektors von derzeit 58 Milliarden Kilowattstunden (TWh) auf 101 TWh im Jahre 2020 und 186 TWh im Jahre 2030 auszuweiten. Diese werden voraussichtlich überwiegend mit neuen Windkraft- und Solaranlagen erzeugt, denn das Wasserkraftpotenzial ist nach Angaben der Nachrichtenagentur weitgehend ausgeschöpft.
Allein im Mekong-Delta im Süden des Landes sind derzeit 14 neue Kohlekraftwerke geplant, wie vietnamesische Umweltschützer im Internet schreiben. [Weiterlesen]

Nguy Thi Khanh: Die Welt ein bisschen besser machen
30.05.2018 (Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung) - Nguy Thi Khanh leitet das Green Innovation and Development Center Vietnam (GreenID) und kooperiert mit der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Südostasien im Aufbau eines Netzwerkes für erneuerbare Energien. 2018 gehörte sie zu den Personen, die mit dem Goldman Environmental Prize ausgezeichnet wurden.
Der Goldman Environmental Prize ist einer der renommiertesten Auszeichnungen für Umweltschutzaktivistinnen und -aktivisten weltweit. In diesem Jahr geht er zum ersten Mal nach Vietnam – und setzt damit international ein wichtiges Zeichen, dass der Ausbau erneuerbarer Energien im Land Fortschritte macht. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam’s first Goldman Prize winner pushes for energy conservation
29.05.2018 by Michael Tatarski (Mongabay) - Khanh Nguy Thi is an environmental pioneer in Vietnam. She has led her NGO, the Hanoi-based Green Innovation and Development Centre, or GreenID, to the forefront of policy discussions surrounding clean energy development in the country.
Her efforts to reduce Vietnam’s reliance on coal-fired power plants has resulted in both real policy changes and international renown in the form of the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize. Khanh spoke with Mongabay by phone from her home in Hanoi and shared more about her work. [read more]

Vietnam hit by iodine deficiency again
27.05.2018 (The Star) - HANOI: Iodine deficiency, which can causes mental retardation, has come back to Vietnam, especially in mountain communities, the country’s National Hospital of Endocrinology said.
In the 2005 to 2006 period, 93% of families used sufficient amounts of iodine, mostly in the form of iodised salt, and few people suffered goitre.
A key reason for the iodine deficiency comeback is that Vietnam’s iodised salt mandate was repealed in 2006 and programme administration budgets were slashed by 90%, said the Iodine Global Net­work, a non-profit organisation for the sustainable elimination of iodine deficiency worldwide. [read more]

The Hanoi People's Committee identifies ten possible disasters
25.05.2018 (AsiaNews) - Hanoi – The risks include radioactive dust from three nuclear power plants in southern China, damages to a dyke on the Red River, as well as fires, explosions and collapses affecting about 1,600 obsolete apartment buildings. Authorities also fear the fall of an elevated trains on city streets.
One of the risks identified is radioactive dust from three nuclear power stations located in southern China, which could pollute the city's air and water sources.
The plants – a 1,000-megawatt plant in Guangxi, a 600-megawatt plant in Guangdong and a 650-megawatt plant on Hainan Island – are located near the northern border of Vietnam and became operational in 2016. [read more]

EDAG entwickelt erstes E-Auto für Vietnam
25.05.2018 (FuldaInfo) - Wiesbaden. Der Deutsche Entwicklungsdienstleister EDAG hat von dem Unternehmen VinFast Manufacturing und Trading Company Limited den Auftrag zur Gesamtentwicklung des ersten Elektrofahrzeugs für den vietnamesischen Markt erhalten. Das Start-up-Unternehmen der vietnamesischen Vingroup plant, mit zwei konventionell angetriebenen Fahrzeugmodellen und einem rein elektrisch betriebenen City-Fahrzeug den Automobilmarkt in Vietnam und darüber hinaus zu erobern. Qualitativ hochwertige und bezahlbare Autos – so lautet die Erfolgsformel von VinFast. [Weiterlesen]

Hanói, el Comité del pueblo individua ‘10 posibles desastres’
25.05.2018 (AsiaNews) - Hanoi - Entre los riesgos están los polvos radioactivos provenientes de las 3 centrales nucleares situadas en el sur de China. Otro escenario desastroso es el daño en el dique que está en el Río Rojo. Incendios, explosiones y colapsos podrían interesar a unos 1.600 habitantes de la ciudad.
Entre los riesgos individuados en el proyecto están los polvos radiactivos radioactivos provenientes de las 3 centrales nucleares situadas en el sur de China, que podrían contaminar el aire y las reservas de agua de la ciudad. Los establecimientos citados incluyen un establecimiento de 1.000 megavatios en Guangxi, uno en Guangdong y uno de 650 en las islas Hainan. Todos iniciaron a funcionar en el año 2916. [seguir leyendo]

Vietnam to temporarily stop accepting scrap plastic imports
24.05.2018 (Waste Dive) - A letter from Vietnam's Tan Cang-Cai Mep International Terminal (TCIT) obtained by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) notes there has been "overcapacity" at the Tan Cang-Cat Lai Terminal, causing the terminal to temporarily stop accepting scrap materials.
The letter says that, "in order to maintain service quality and facilitate import-export activities of all enterprises," Tan Cang-Cai Mep has laid out new restrictions on imports. [read more]

US slaps steep import duties on Chinese steel shipped from Vietnam
23.05.2018 (Business Times) - THE US Commerce Department on Monday slapped heavy import duties on steel products from Vietnam that originated in China after a final finding they evaded US anti-dumping and anti-subsidy orders.
US customs authorities will collect anti-dumping duties of 199.76 per cent and countervailing duties of 256.44 per cent on imports of cold-rolled steel produced in Vietnam using Chinese-origin substrate, the Commerce Department said in a statement. [read more]

USA erheben Zölle auf chinesischen Stahl aus Vietnam
22.05.2018 (Handelsblatt) - Die US-Regierung sieht in Stahlimporten aus Vietnam eine Umgehung der Zölle auf chinesische Produkte – und reagiert mit neuen Barrieren.
Washington Die USA haben Zölle auf Stahl aus Vietnam angehoben, der nach Washingtoner Darstellung aus China stammt. Durch den Umweg über Vietnam sei versucht worden, Antidumpingzölle auf chinesischen Stahl zu umgehen, hieß es am Montag vom US-Handelsministerium. Importeure korrosionsbeständigen Stahls und kaltgewalzten Flachstahls müssten nun Sicherheiten für mögliche Zölle von 39 bis 256 Prozent hinterlegen. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam Is A Test For What Happens When The U.S. Abandons Climate Diplomacy
22.05.2018 By Alexander C. Kaufman (Huffington Post) - The Asian country’s energy needs are growing and coal power is a tempting solution.
... Nearly a year after President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accords, Vietnam has effectively become a canary in the coal mine for how closely other nations will stick to the global agreement’s goals as the U.S. abandons them.
Vietnam is under pressure, attempting to balance rapidly increasing energy demands with growing concerns over climate change ― and it’s finding a generous coal-friendly patron in China.
During the final years of the Obama administration, however, the U.S. urged Vietnam to pursue renewable energy and cleaner-burning natural gas instead. Vietnam enthusiastically signed onto the Paris Agreement in April 2016 and since then has received roughly $40.5 million in aid from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Green Climate Fund. [read more]

New Chinese dam on the Mekong to have devastating environmental consequences
22.05.2018 by Peter Hung (AsiaNews) - With an investment of almost US$ 5 billion, China is set to build the Sambor dam in Cambodia. According to experts, it will have a very negative impact on the natural environment and on the Cambodians and Vietnamese living in the Mekong Delta. The great river provides food security to about 60 million people living in the settlements along its course.
Vietnamese communities living along the banks of the Mekong River are very concerned about the destructive impact of a new Sino-Cambodian dam on the region's ecosystem.
Once completed, the Sambor Dam will be the largest hydroelectric power station on the Mekong River. The Mekong provides food security to about 60 million people living in settlements along its course, which runs from the Tibetan plateau through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam to the South China Sea. [read more]

This Clean Energy Champion Is Out To Break Vietnam's Coal Habit
21.05.2018 Jill Baker (Forbes) - In 2017, the city of Hanoi enjoyed just 37 days of clean air the entire year, with contaminant levels four times those deemed acceptable by the World Health Organization.
Vietnam is addicted to coal. Its economy has grown over 6%, on average, since the turn of the century, among the fastest of its Southeast Asian peers, yet that growth is fueled by coal, the most polluting fuel source on the planet.
This April, however, the decarbonization movement was given a boost of international recognition, as the esteemed Goldman Environmental Prize for grassroots advocacy was awarded to the first Vietnamese recipient, 42-year-old clean energy champion Nguy Thi Khanh, who hopes to end Vietnam's reliance on coal and persuade the country to take a greener approach.
Vietnam’s per capita carbon emissions quintupled from 1990 to 2013. Global warming is a major threat to Vietnam, where rising sea levels are predicted to swallow up nearly half of the Mekong Delta, the source of much of Vietnam’s food, in coming decades. [read more]

Formosa Plastic's 2nd furnace in Vietnam steel mill starts production
19.05.2018 (Focus Taiwan) - Taipei, May 19 (CNA) The second furnace of Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group (FPG)'s steel mill in Vietnam has started production on a trial basis, a step which is expected to generate additional revenue for the group.
According to Vietnamese media, FPG held a ceremony on Friday for the trial production of the second furnace owned by its subsidiary, the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp., located in the Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh Province.
The Ha Tinh steel mill was slapped with a fine of more than US$500 million after it was accused by the Vietnamese government of releasing toxic substances into the nearby sea in April 2016. [read more]

Vietnams leise Kaffee-Revolution
18.05.2018 Katharina Wecker (DW) - Die indigenen K'Ho wollen den Ruf Vietnams als Kaffeeproduzent verbessern, indem sie hochwertigere Biobohnen anbauen. Der zweitgrößte Kaffeeproduzent der Welt kann mehr als löslichen Kaffee, sagen sie.
Rolan Co Lieng schlendert durch ein Gewächshaus und kontrolliert die gelben und karamellbraunen Kaffeebohnen, die seit Monaten auf Netzen trocknen. Sie nimmt ein paar in die Hand und riecht daran. Sie werden bald geschält, geröstet und dann in Vietnam, Japan und Deutschland verkauft. [Weiterlesen]

Future development - Vietnam’s manufacturing miracle: Lessons for developing countries
17.05.2018 Sebastian Eckardt, Deepak Mishra, and Viet Tuan Dinh (Brookings) - If you are reading this blog post on a smart phone, there is a good chance that you are looking at a device that was made in Vietnam. Worldwide, one in 10 smartphones is produced in Vietnam. Mobile phones are Vietnam’s number one export, generating export revenues of more than $45 billion in 2017. ...
Overall, Vietnam’s manufacturing sector remains relatively small. Most of the sector is driven by foreign direct investment (FDI), which accounts for close to 90 percent of manufacturing exports. Many of the newly created jobs in manufacturing are in basic assembly which requires manual labor but does not necessarily add a lot of value (per worker). [read more]

Study Says China-Backed Dam Would Destroy Mekong
17.05.2018 By Stephen Wright (U.S. News & World Report) - BANGKOK (AP) — A Chinese-backed plan for Cambodia to build the Mekong River's biggest dam would destroy fisheries that feed millions and worsen tensions with Vietnam, the downstream country with most to lose from dams on the waterway, according to a three-year study commissioned by the Cambodian government.
The report, posted this month on the website of the U.S.-based organization that conducted the study, said the Sambor dam would "generate large power benefits to Cambodia, but at the probable cost of the destruction of the Mekong fishery, and the certain enmity of Vietnam." [read more]

Pollution Clouds Vietnam's Rapid Economic Growth
15.05.2018 Ha Nguyen (VOA) - HO CHIN MINH CITY —
The air quality in Vietnam overall does not quite rival that in China or India when it comes to pollution. But it is bad and getting worse. And all that toxic air comes with a cost, whether in the money spent to upgrade to cleaner fuels, or in the health problems Vietnamese will suffer as a result.
Environmental economist Le Viet Phu says sooner or later there will be a price to pay. [read more]

'Adapting to uncertainty' needed in face of climate shocks - experts
15.05.2018 by Zoe Tabary (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - LONDON - What do an Ethiopian coffee grower, a Colombian fisherman and a Vietnamese rice farmer have in common?
All three saw their income and way of life threatened by the devastating El Niño weather pattern in 2015-16, climate experts said at a London event Tuesday.
The last El Niño, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, was linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods in 2016. [read more]

China will keinen Plastikmüll mehr importieren — das hat Folgen für Deutschland
14.05.2018 (Business Insider) - Die deutsche Recyclingbranche verspricht sich von dem chinesischen Importstopp für Plastikabfälle neue Geschäftschancen. „Für Kunststoffabfälle ist die Tür nach China zwar zu, aber Recyclate für die kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie sind begehrt — auch in China“, sagte Thomas Probst vom Bundesverband Sekundärrohstoffe und Entsorgung der Deutschen Presse-Agentur.
Plastikmüll geht zunehmend nach Vietnam oder Malaysia
Seit dem 1. Januar dürfen Plastikabfälle und andere Abfallsorten nicht mehr nach China eingeführt werden. Seither zeige sich, dass der Müll stärker nach Vietnam oder Malaysia exportiert werde, sagte Probst. [Weiterlesen]

Certains poissons du Vietnam pourraient être toxiques
11.05.2018 Marie-Ève Dumont (TVA Nouvelles) - Des poissons et des crevettes qu’on importe du Vietnam seraient «potentiellement toxiques», s’inquiète un cardiologue québécois d’origine vietnamienne qui demande au Canada de faire des vérifications sur place.
«On fait affaire avec un pays qui est éco-irresponsable. Je crains qu’il nous exporte des produits pas chers qui sont potentiellement toxiques et on n’a pas les ressources nécessaires pour vérifier», s’insurge Dinh Huy Duong, cardiologue à l’Hôpital Charles-Le Moyne, qui s’intéresse aux pratiques de son pays natal. [en savoir plus]

Investment floods into Mekong Delta
09.05.2018 Yukako Ono (Nikkei Asian Review) - BANGKOK -- The Mekong Delta once sheltered Viet Cong guerrillas as they battled U.S. forces during the Vietnam War. Today the area is the country's "rice bowl," providing half of the national rice supply. It is also becoming an increasingly attractive investment destination for domestic and foreign companies.
In 2009, the Vietnamese government unveiled plans to create roughly 100 industrial parks and woo heavy industry factories to the Mekong Delta, but opposition from residents and environmental activists forced a rethink. A new 30-year development plan introduced in March focuses more on the region's agricultural advantages and aims to attract investment in high-tech agriculture and renewable energies, such as wind and solar power. [read more]

La « guerre du sable » : prémices d’un conflit informationnel majeur
07.05.2018 (Infoguerre) - Phénomène impossible à chiffrer la guerre du sable présente des tendances lourdes. Présenté comme une ressource illimitée, sa surexploitation est expliquée par la demande exponentielle du secteur de la construction en particulier en Chine. La dynamique démographique et l’accès facile à cette matière première réputée gratuite, génère un commerce parallèle et l’essor de mafias.
Dans un article des article des Echos paru le 24 février, Pascal Peduzzi, responsable  chercheur au Programme des Nations unies pour l’environnement indiquait « nous devons nous inquiéter de l’offre à venir de sable c’est certain. Le sable est plus rare que ce que l’on pensait à présent ».  [en savoir plus]

New port to transform Vietnam's north into industrial gateway
05.05.2018 Atsushi Tomiyama (Nikkei Asian Review) - HANOI -- Vietnam's coastal city of Haiphong will open a deep-water port this month, taking a step toward becoming a key maritime link in the north and enhancing the country's position in the global supply chain.
Haiphong is already known for its existing port. But the port is located on the River Cam, where the water runs seven meters deep at most, meaning the terminal cannot take large container ships. [read more]

Repsol exige a Vietnam indemnizaciones por un proyecto de mil millones
04.05.2018 (Expansión) - Repsol está en conversaciones con la compañía estatal petrolera de Vietnam, PetroVietnam, y las autoridades de ese país para ser compensada por la paralización del proyecto Red Emperor en aguas disputadas con Pekín en el mar de China Meridional.
Según figura en el informe de resultados del grupo, "el valor contable de los activos a 31 de marzo de 2018" en Vietnam "asciende a unos 1.000 millones de euros.
Según Repsol, la ley vietnamita establece claramente que los costes como resultado de la suspensión por las autoridades de actividades en ultramar deben ser completamente compensados. [seguir leyendo]

Der Mekong wird salzig und führt weniger Wasser
03.05.2018 Manfred Rist (NZZ) - Die zahlreichen Staudämme am Mekong sind zwar gute Stromlieferanten. Doch sie verändern den Fluss grundlegend. Nicht nur im südlichen Delta machen sich die Menschen Sorgen.
«Die Dürreperioden sind schlimmer geworden, doch gleichzeitig kommt es häufiger zu Überschwemmungen. Der Fischfang nimmt ab, und das Flussbett erodiert. Derweil sinkt das Mekong-Delta ab, und Salzwasser dringt vom Meer her in die Anbaugebiete ein.» Mit diesen wenigen Sätzen fasst der WWF-Direktor Marc Goichot die jüngsten Entwicklungen im Mekong-Einzugsgebiet zusammen. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam manufacturing improves in April
02.05.2018 (Nikkei Asian Review) - TOKYO - Vietnam manufacturing growth picks up in April with sharp increase in new orders and output, particularly strengthening firms in export markets, according to an industry gauge.
The Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to 52.7 in April, up from 51.6 in March. A reading above 50 signals an improvement, while one below 50 points to a contraction in manufacturing activity. [read more]

Präparierter Thunfisch in der Schweiz aufgetaucht
29.04.2018 (Blick) - Vietnamesische Fischer haben Thunfisch illegal gefärbt, um mehr Geld verlangen zu können. Schweizer Lebensmittelkontrolleure haben die präparierten Fische auch in der Schweiz entdeckt.
Dabei griffen die Fischer auf einen chemischen Trick zurück, um den Fisch frisch aussehen zu lassen. Selbst, wenn er das nicht mehr ist. Das Bundesamt für Lebensmittelsicherheit und Veterinärwesen BLV stellte die Manipulation bei zwei untersuchten Thunfisch-Proben fest. Ursprungsland des Fisches war Vietnam. [Weiterlesen]

Investors excited by Vietnam – the “mini-China”
27.04.2018 By: Alice Gråhns (MoneyWeek) - Vietnamese stocks have produced the best gains in Asia so far this year, says John Reed in the Financial Times, with the benchmark VN Index up 17%. A flurry of flotations has helped drum up excitement, but investors have also been enticed by Vietnam’s ‘mini-China’ story”. It’s a communist state embracing the market and the global trading system, while “positioning itself as a hub for foreign manufacturing”.
The long-term outlook is compelling. Vietnam, “unlike some of its neighbours heading into a demographic slump”, has a young population driving demand for everything from beer to budget travel. [read more]

Caffeine boost - Makers of battery-powered coffee mixture arrested in Vietnam
24.04.2018 Khanh Vu (Reuters) - HANOI - Vietnamese police have arrested five people suspected of using battery chemicals to dye waste coffee beans, the Ministry of Public Security’s online newspaper, Cong An Nhan Dan, said on Tuesday, apparently passing the mixture off as black pepper.
The five, led by Nguyen Thi Thanh Loan, 43, were arrested on suspicion of violating food safety regulations after they were caught mixing coffee waste with a black, tar-like liquid made from manganese dioxide found in the batteries, the report said. [read more]

Beamte beschlagnahmen 12 Tonnen gefälschten Kaffee mit gefährlichen Inhaltsstoffen
20.04.2018 (ThailandTIP) - Dak Nong, Vietnam. Die vietnamesischen Behörden haben bei einem familiengeführten Kaffeeproduzenten ein Razzia durchgeführt und sind dabei auf zahlreiche schädliche Inhaltsstoffe gestoßen, mit denen der Kaffee gepantscht und gestreckt wurde. Neben Schmutz, Steinstaun und schwarzer Farbe wurden auch schädliche Inhaltsstoffe aus Altbatterien gefunden. [Weiterlesen]

Southeast Asian Nations Make Efforts to Reduce Plastic Waste, But They Are Still Not Enough
20.04.2018 (RFA) - Southeast Asian nations are taking measures to reduce pollution from plastic waste and promote the recycling of plastic products in keeping with the focus of this year’s Earth Day on April 22, but efforts in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar are falling short.
After China decided this year to stop accepting low-quality scrap plastic from the West and Japan for recycling, countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand that have attracted Chinese investors in plastic recycling, stepped in ad agreed to accept the messy work of processing plastic waste. [read more]

Hundreds of Villagers Hold Officials Hostage Over Vietnam Power Plant Plans
20.04.2018 (RFA) - Hundreds of villagers in central Vietnam’s Binh Dinh province held five local officials hostage for a day before releasing them late on Friday to demand that authorities free more than a dozen people detained for holding an environmental protest, according to sources.
Residents of My Tho and My An communes, in Binh Dinh’s Phu My district, on Wednesday held a protest against what state media has reported are plans by Vietnam Trading Engineering Construction's (Vietracimex) to construct a wind power plant. [read more]

Vinh diocese holds vigil for the victims of the Formosa environmental disaster
16.04.2018 J.B. An Dang (AsiaNews) - Hanoi – The Vietnamese government has admitted that the 2016 disaster killed at least 115 tonnes of sea fish, 140 tonnes of farmed fish and 67 tonnes of clams. Fishermen from the coastal provinces are still left without a livelihood. A peaceful Eucharistic worship is held in My Khanh parish for families who are losing members forced to leave.
Responding to an appeal by the Justice and Peace Commission, the parishes in the diocese of Vinh, Nghệ An province, held prayer vigils last night for the victims of the environmental disaster caused by the Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Corporation.
In addition to Nghệ An, four other provinces – Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế – are still reeling from a toxic spill in April 2016.  [read more]

Vinh, vigilia diocesana por las víctimas del desastre ecológico provocado por Formosa Group
16.04.2018 J.B. An Dang (AsiaNews) - Hanoi – El gobierno vietnamita ha reconocido que el desastre de 2016 mató cuando menos 115 toneladas de peces de mar, 140 toneladas de peces de piscifactorías y 67 toneladas de almejas. Siguen desocupados los pescadores de las provincias costeras. Como gesto de paz, en la parroquia de My Khanh se llevó a cabo una adoración eucarística por las familias divididas a causa de la migración económica. 
Anoche, en respuesta al llamamiento efectuado por la Comisión Justicia y Paz, las parroquias de la diócesis de Vinh, en la provincia de Nghệ An, organizaron una vigilia de oración por las víctimas del desastre ecológico provocado por la compañía taiwanesa Formosa Plastics Group. Además de Nghệ An, son cuatro las provincias del centro de Vietnam que todavía hoy siguen portando los daños visibles provocados por el imponente derrame de líquidos tóxicos del mes de abril de 2016: Ha Tin, Quang Binh, Quang Tri y Thua Thien-Hue. [seguir leyendo]

Environmental Damage, Corruption as Poorer Southeast Asian States Ship Sand to Singapore
13.04.2018 A commentary by Dan Southerland (RFA) - Sand has become a hot commodity needed to support construction work in Southeast Asia.
The demand for sand has sharply driven up prices for sand in recent years, drawing the attention of unscrupulous local officials, businessmen, and sand-dredging companies.
Unfortunately, the sand dredging has damaged the environment in several countries by disrupting sediment flows and fishing grounds. Vietnam is a prime example of what can go wrong. [read more]

France's Bouygues, EDF sign deals during Vietnam leader visit
27.03.2018 (Reuters) - PARIS - French construction group Bouygues (BOUY.PA) signed a 1.5 billion euro ($1.86 billion) contract to finance, build and operate a metro line in the Vietnamese city of Hanoi, the French presidency said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile state utility EDF (EDF.PA) agreed to enter a consortium in charge of a 1.5 billion euros gas-fired power plant project in Vietnam. [read more]

Aquatic Pollution: Strenuous Struggle of Locals
25.03.2018 Kate Chesterson translation (VNTB) Life threatened by seriously affected aquatic pollution has pressed locals into continual demonstrations, regardless of the fact that some were summoned to work with police or even imprisoned. This has been one of the social affairs currently in the mass media spotlight in central Vietnam during the past few years….
Most recent has been the two times within a month, locals in My An commune, Phu My district, Binh Dinh province took to the street, blocking off National Highway 1A in protest against an aquatic product- processing project currently underway of Thao Loan Ltd. Company. [read more]

Asia braces for US tariffs causing flood of Chinese steel
23.03.2018 Hiroshi Kotani and Akira Hayakawa (Nikkei Asian Review) - BANGKOK/HYDERABAD, India -- With U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum having taken effect on Friday, Asian nations are bracing for an influx of cheap steel.
In the latest sign of a chain reaction of protectionism, Asian producers such as India and Thailand are preparing to increase their own import duties, especially against low-cost Chinese steel.
While China remains only the 10th-largest exporter of steel to the U.S., Chinese steel products are sometimes exported to the U.S. through intermediaries such as Vietnam and South Korea. [read more]

Dramatic Photos Show How Sand Mining Threatens a Way of Life in Southeast Asia
15.03.2018 By Vince Beiser, Photographs and Additional Reporting by Sim Chi Yin (National Geographic) - Vietnam is a prime example of a little-known global threat: the mining of river sand to build the world’s booming cities.
One afternoon last year, Ha Thi Be, 67, was sitting with her son in her tiny coffee shop in the town of Hong Ngu, looking out on the lazy Tien River, the main branch of the Mekong in Vietnam. Suddenly, the ground beneath them gave way. The river bank was crumbling into the water. “We shouted out loud and ran,” she says. “It crashed with a huge sound, boom, boom, boom.”
The main causes of the collapse can be seen floating in many places on the Tien’s murky waters: dredging boats, using rackety pumps to raise from the river bed enormous quantities of sand. [read more]

Vietnam is next target for Amazon, a newcomer in Southeast Asia
15.03.2018 Atsushi Tomiyama (Nikkei Asian Review) - HANOI -- With its move into Vietnam, Amazon.com seeks to cater to a fast-rising middle class, but faces logistical hurdles as well as no shortage of rivals.
The U.S. e-commerce group -- whose founder and CEO Jeff Bezos recently became the world's richest person on Forbes billionaires' list -- will partner with the Vietnam E-commerce Association of online merchants in the Southeast Asian country. [read more]

Vietnamese trainee made to engage in decontamination work in Fukushima
15.03.2018 (Japan Today) - TOKYO - A Vietnamese man who came to Japan under a foreign trainee program was made to engage in radioactive decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture without his knowledge, a foreign workers support group heard Wednesday.
At an event organized by the Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan, the 24-year-old man, who declined to be named, said he would have "never come to Japan" if he had known he would be doing that work near where a nuclear disaster occurred in 2011. [read more]

Vietnam and U.N. to build storm-proof housing for coastal communities
12.03.2018 by Michael Taylor (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - KUALA LUMPUR - Thousands of families on Vietnam's typhoon-battered coast will receive free storm-proof houses, which can help pull them out of poverty, government and United Nations officials said.
Vietnam is one of 10 countries most affected by climate change, according to the latest annual Climate Risk Index published by the research organisation Germanwatch. [read more]

Auch ohne die USA: Elf Länder schließen Pazifik-Handelsabkommen CPTPP
08.03.2018 (Business Insider Deutschland) - Nach der Absage der USA an das geplante Pazifik-Handelsabkommen TPP machen die verbliebenen Länder nun Ernst. Regierungsvertreter aus Kanada, Japan, Australien, Neuseeland, Mexiko, Chile, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei und Singapur unterzeichneten am Donnerstag in Santiago de Chile das Nachfolgeabkommen CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership/Umfassende und Fortschrittliche Transpazifische Partnerschaft).
Die übrigen Staaten stehen aber immer noch für 13,5 Prozent der weltweiten Wirtschaftskraft — insgesamt rund zehn Billionen US-Dollar. Etwa 480 Millionen Menschen leben in dem neuen Binnenmarkt. [Weiterlesen]

TPP 11: How Asia took the lead in free trade
07.03.2018 Yasu Ota, Nikkei Asian Review columnist, Shuichi Maruyama, Nikkei staff writer (Nikkei Asian Review) - SINGAPORE/MEXICO CITY -- The trans-Pacific pact will help business, but hopes remain for a US return.
Duong Ngoc Minh is sometimes called Vietnam's "Catfish King" for his role in creating a global market for panga, a fish known for its low price, white flesh and mild flavor. A type of shark catfish, the panga thrives in crowded aquafarms scattered throughout Vietnam's Mekong Delta region, resulting in plentiful fish at minimal costs. And as the world's appetite for seafood has grown in recent years, so has Minh's 15-year-old company, Hung Vuong, the country's leading panga exporter. [read more]

Vietnamese trainee alleges he was misled into taking part in Fukushima decontamination work
07.03.2018 By Magdalena Osumi (The Japan Times) - The Justice Ministry is investigating a case involving a Vietnamese man brought to Japan under the government’s foreign trainee program who alleges he was duped into taking part in cleanup work in areas devastated by the 2011 nuclear disaster, authorities said Wednesday.
The ministry confirmed by telephone that the officials have been looking into the case of the 24-year-old man who worked for an Iwate Prefecture-based construction firm. The company wasn’t available for comment as of Wednesday. [read more]

First Metro Projects in Vietnam Risk Bigger Problems Than Delays
06.03.2018 By Tali Trigg (Scientific American) - Underground line projects in Saigon and Hanoi are examples of the challenges of transport ventures that are not delayed by technical issues but by a lack of administrative planning, technical cooperation and effective implementation.
Saigon Metro’s first line cost has now tripled compared to its initial cost and is scheduled to go into service eight years after construction started.
In Vietnam, contractors are starting to slow down work until they get their funds, even Japan’s aid agency has taken to criticize the work, and there are already dire warnings of what will happen if it continues at the current pace with Saigon asking for a rescue package. [read more]

Corruption fueling deforestation in Cambodia
05.03.2018 (DW) - Cambodia's forests are being felled at a shocking rate, as poachers and corrupt officials profit from the black market trade in rare wood species, which is being exported to Vietnam — and beyond.
Loggers are illegally felling rare and valuable trees to sell in China and Europe, making Cambodia's deforestation rate among the world's worst. And the army itself has been implicated in the illegal trade, which has also been linked to murder. [read more]

Cómo el café levantó a Vietnam de las cenizas tras el desastre de la guerra
03.03.2018 (BBC) - Si preguntas por ahí de dónde viene el café, las respuestas que te darán probablemente incluirán países como Brasil o Colombia, tal vez Jamaica y seguramente alguno más.
Pero rara vez escucharás: "Vietnam".
No obstante, después de Brasil, la República Socialista de Vietnam es el mayor productor de café del mundo. [seguir leyendo]

Mekong through photographers’ eyes: ‘disaster after disaster’
02.03.2018 (The Third Pole) - Photographers Gareth Bright and Luke Forsyth travelled from the sea to the source of the Mekong and found people struggling to adapt to rapid changes.
“People are losing their culture. For example, in Laos we stayed in a village 60 kilometres south of Luang Prabang. People lived there for 400 years in the same way and they were in relocation camps for the construction of the Nam Kong dam.
In Cambodia, people who had to be resettled didn’t like dams but they weren’t thinking about fish migration or impact on Tonle Sap lake. In Vietnam they were angry with the Chinese and knew about the dams – they had seen the drop in the water levels in the delta. [read more]

EU-Handelskommissarin Malmström denkt über Vergeltung nach
02.03.2018 Von Christoph Hein, Singapur (FAZ) - Die drohenden Strafzölle aus Amerika belasten die Aktienkurse und lassen Asiaten und Europäer näher aneinanderrücken.
... Nicht zuletzt aufgrund der wachsenden Probleme mit Amerika sucht Malmström die Nähe zu den Asiaten. Europa hat in der Region viel Ansehen verloren, weil die versprochenen Handelsverträge nicht vorankommen. Das Freihandelsabkommen mit Singapur – einer „Bastion des Freihandels“, wie Malmström sagte – und dasjenige mit Vietnam müssen seit langem ratifiziert werden.
Während das Abkommen in Singapur an Detailfragen hängt, wie etwa der Unabhängigkeit von Gewerkschaften im rigiden Stadtstaat, wurde es in Vietnam durch die Entführung eines geflohenen Unternehmenschefs am helllichten Tag aus Berlin ausgebremst. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam suspends steel firms after pollution protests
01.03.2018 (PressTV) - Two steel plants in central Vietnam were ordered to suspend production, according to an official statement Thursday, following reports of protests by residents complaining of polluted air and water from the factories.
The temporary suspensions come amid mounting anxiety over the environment in Vietnam where a massive toxic dump by a separate steel plant in 2016 killed masses of fish along the central coast in one of the country's worst-ever environmental disasters. [read more]

Call for release of environmental activists jailed over protesting on toxic spill in Vietnam
01.03.2018 (ClientEarth) - ClientEarth is joining the United Nations experts call to release individuals jailed for protesting against a discharge of toxic industrial chemicals into coastal waters of Viet Nam.
On 6 February 2018, Hoang Duc and Nguyen Nam Phong were respectively sentenced to 14 years in prison for writing about protests regarding the Formosa “marine life” disaster and 2 years for allegedly refusing to obey order of public officials while driving to a protest. Last year, two other bloggers Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh and Nguyen Van Hoa were also sentenced to jail for reporting about the spill.
ClientEarth lawyer Laurens Ankersmit said: “The victims of the 2016 Marine Life disaster should have had proper access to justice against Formosa and the Vietnamese government. Instead, the Vietnamese government has jailed individuals speaking out about the disaster.” [read more]

Cambodia, Laos losing the last of their trees
27.02.2018 By Dan Southerland (Asia Times) - Despite official pledges to halt the trade, smugglers in Cambodia and Laos are finding ways to illegally ship timber to neighboring Vietnam. The precious hardwood is often used in furniture factories that ship their products largely to China.
Powerful officials and Cambodian businessmen are reported to be supporting and profiting from the smuggling.
The wood is typically sold by the kilogram to middlemen before it is illegally exported to Vietnam, where it is used mainly by the local furniture industry, with most of the furniture being exported to China and Hong Kong. [read more]

Vietnam: Asiens aufsteigender Drache
24.02.2018 Von Sven Heckle (Börse-Online) - Mit starken Kursgewinnen honoriert die vietnamesische Börse das kräftige Wirtschaftswachstum. Läuft es weiterhin so gut, könnte der Sprung vom Frontier Market zum Emerging Market folgen. Es ist eine alte Weisheit, dass Erfolg dort zu finden ist, wo Glück auf eine gute Vorbereitung trifft. Vietnam zählte im vergangenen Jahr zu den glücklichen Volkswirtschaften, die von einem starken Wachstum der Weltwirtschaft ebenso profitierten wie von der zunehmenden Risikobereitschaft internationaler Investoren. Gleichzeitig war das Land mit einer wachsenden Produktionskapazität, einer aufstrebenden Mittelschicht und einem stabilen makroökonomischen Umfeld extrem gut vorbereitet.
Eine große, junge, gut ausgebildete Bevölkerung sowie niedrige Arbeitskosten, die in etwa nur bei einem Drittel der Löhne von China liegen, machen Vietnam zu einem der gefragtesten Standorte für ausländische Direktinvestitionen. [Weiterlesen]

Southeast Asia is in the grip of a biodiversity crisis
23.02.2018 (Asian Correspondent) - RICH in wildlife, Southeast Asia includes at least six of the world’s 25 “biodiversity hotspots” – the areas of the world that contain an exceptional concentration of species, and are exceptionally endangered. The region contains 20 percent of the planet’s vertebrate and plant species and the world’s third-largest tropical forest.
Traditional medicine in Vietnam and China represents a threat to a huge array of species, but most notably the pangolin, which is the most trafficked animal on the planet. Sadly, the use of endangered species in medicine shows little sign of abating. [read more]

Inhaltliche Unterschiede zwischen TPP und CPTPP
23.02.2018 Manfred Rist (NZZ) - Auf Druck der USA waren bei den ursprünglichen TPP-Verhandlungen etliche Anliegen eingebracht worden. Einen Teil davon haben die elf Vertragsstaaten im CPTPP-Abkommen nun ausgeklammert. Dazu gehören insbesondere:
1. Entgegen dem ersten Entwurf wird es für Unternehmen schwieriger, Regierungen wegen Verstössen gegen Investitionsbestimmungen verklagen. ...
5. Vorschriften zur Zulassung freier Gewerkschaften und Anpassungen des Arbeitsrechts innerhalb bestimmter Perioden in gewissen Ländern (wie Vietnam) sind bis auf weiteres suspendiert. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam’s new internet law will make the economy lag
22.02.2018 Author: Phan Le, ANU (East Asia Forum) - Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) thinks it is killing two birds with one stone by passing new laws regulating data storage. But it could soon find out it has no use for two dead birds while the stone flies off and damages the economy.
In June 2017, the MoPS proposed a draft cybersecurity law that requires all foreign online service providers (including Facebook, Google and Twitter) to store their Vietnamese users’ data exclusively in Vietnamese data centres — a practice known as ‘data localisation’. [read more]

Final version of TPP deal released; rules pushed by U.S. shelved
22.02.2018 (The Asahi Shimbun) - WELLINGTON/SYDNEY--The final version of a landmark deal aimed at cutting trade barriers in some of Asia-Pacific's fastest-growing economies was released on Wednesday, signaling the pact was a step closer to reality even without its star member the United States.
More than 20 provisions have been suspended or changed in the final text ahead of the deal's official signing in March, including rules around intellectual property originally included at the behest of Washington. [read more]

Why are foreign banks fleeing Vietnam?
20.02.2018 By Pham Chi Dung (Asia Times) - Vietnam has seen a growing number of foreign banks withdraw from its under-banked economy, the latest indication that all is not as well as Communist Party officials often claim. The foreign flight started in 2015, gathered pace in 2016 and accelerated dramatically last year.
With high public debt and low foreign reserves, Vietnam has limited financial resources to bail out bankrupt banks and maintain system stability. That may explain why premier Phuc warned in January 2017 that the national fiscal system “may collapse” if rising public debt levels are not arrested. [read more]

EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement
20.02.2018 Martin Russell (EPRS) - The free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam has been described as the most ambitious deal of its type ever concluded between the EU and a developing country. Not only will it eliminate over 99 % of customs duties on goods, it will also open up Vietnamese services markets to EU companies and strengthen protection of EU investments in the country.
Although the content of the FTA was already agreed in 2015, ratification has been delayed by a 2017 opinion of the European Court of Justice. The Court argued that some aspects of the EU-Singapore FTA, which is similar to the Vietnam FTA, are ‘mixed competences’, meaning that the FTA as it stands will have to be ratified not only by the EU but also by the 28 Member States. NGOs have also criticised the EU for pursuing closer ties with a politically repressive regime known for its human rights abuses, although the deal includes some safeguards against negative outcomes. [read more]

Vietnam clean water dwindling due to lack of treatment infrastructure
13.02.2018 (Water & Wastes Digest's) - Over the past two decades, Vietnam has seen their water reserves suffer drastic reductions. Due to this, average water consumption levels per person in 2025 are expected to be one fourth of what they were in 1990.
Part of the issue has arisen from a substantially increased population, which has led to a greater magnitude of wastewater being produced without the infrastructure to properly repurpose it. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, there are more than 200 industrial zones throughout Vietnam, while few of those have sustainable wastewater treatment solutions.
Roughly 75% of wastewater produced daily is left untreated and promptly discharged into the country’s environment. [read more]

Karl Marx ohne Bier und Petrol
05.02.2018 Manfred Rist, Singapur (NZZ) - Wie kapitalistisch, weltoffen, innovativ und kreativ ist Vietnam heute? Müssen Investoren diese offenbar so dynamische südostasiatische Volkswirtschaft wirklich im Auge behalten? Grundsätzlich ja, aber zur Aufnahme in der MSCI-Emerging-Market-Index reicht es noch nicht.
Anlässlich eines Workshops in Saigon, den lokale Universitäten in Zusammenarbeit mit der Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW) durchführten, war von Euphorie wenig zu spüren. Das Hauptproblem der anwesenden Jungunternehmer war evident: Zur Unterstützung von Startups rühre heute keine einheimische Bank den Finger. Man befinde sich eben in einer konservativen, risikoscheuen Gesellschaft. Was zähle, seien Beziehungen, auch bei Finanzierungen. [Weiterlesen]

Phu Yen wind farm receives investment go-ahead
02.02.2018 (Modern Power Systems) - A project to build a 300 MW wind farm, to be named HBRE-Phu Yen Wind Power Plant has received investment clearance and will be constructed in Tuy An district, Phú Yên Province, in the south of  Vietnam. Total investment by the HBRE Phu Yen Company will be over VND9 trillion ($396.5 million).
HBRE Group has conducted research for over a year and constructed several wind stations to measure wind perfomance related to the feasibility of the project. The site has an average wind speed of 7-8 metre per second, which gives it huge potential for generating electricity [read more]

Alltag Klimawandel: Leben mit Taifun und Dürre in Vietnam
30.01.2018 Kerstin Schweizer (DW) - Vietnam kommt wegen des Klimawandels kaum zur Ruhe. Immer wieder wird das Land von Stürmen, Fluten und Dürren heimgesucht. Die Menschen in den Dörfern versuchen, sich den Folgen, so gut es geht, anzupassen.
Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) arbeitet mit den Behörden vor Ort zusammen, damit die Menschen weniger abhängig vom wasserintensiven Reisanbau oder dem Fischfang werden.  [weiterlesen & Video ansehen]

Vietnam's FPT scores major software contract from German utility
30.01.2018 (Nikkei Asian Review) - Ho Chi Minh City -- FPT Software, a subsidiary of Vietnamese information technology group FPT, has signed a $100 million contract to provide technological solutions for Germany-based utility Innogy for the period 2018-2024.
FPT Software is expected to provide technological solutions based on SAP (systems, applications and products), the internet of things, and digital conversion platforms for Innogy in the next six years.
The deal was reached after four years of collaboration between the two sides. In 2014, FPT acquired RWE IT Slovakia and started providing IT-related services to Innogy, an affiliate of RWE. [read more]

In Vietnam, life in the shadow of climate change
30.01.2018 Kerstin Schweizer (DW) - Climate change has hit Vietnam hard. The country is beset by storms, floods and droughts. Those living in villages are trying to adapt to the new reality of extreme weather, but it's not easy.
The German development agency GIZ is working with local authorities to help Vietnamese people adapt to the new reality by reducing dependence on rice cultivation, which is water-intensive, and fishing — and promoting other ways to earn a living. [read more]

Hanoi enjoyed just 38 days of clean air in 2017, as pollution levels increased to levels similar to Beijing
30.01.2018 (SCMP) - Air pollution in Hanoi is due to a number of factors, including a rise in construction works, an increase in car and motorcycle use, and agriculture burning by farmers
Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, enjoyed little more than one month of clean air last year as pollution levels rose to match China’s smog-prone capital, Beijing, preliminary findings of a new report showed.
Annual average air pollution in Hanoi in 2017 was also four times higher than those deemed acceptable by the World Health Organisation’s air quality guidelines, according to a report by the Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID).
And the situation is likely to get worse, according to the Hanoi-based non-profit organisation. [read more]

Vietnam: viviendo a la sombra del cambio climático
30.01.2018 Kerstin Schweizer (DW) - El cambio climático está golpeando con fuerza a Vietnam. El país se ve afectado por tormentas, inundaciones y sequías. Quienes viven en las aldeas intentan adaptarse a la nueva realidad, pero no es fácil.
Agencia Alemana para la Cooperación Internacional (GIZ, en sus siglas en alemán) está trabajando con las autoridades locales para ayudar a los vietnamitas a adaptarse a la nueva realidad, reduciendo su intensiva dependencia al agua para el cultivo de arroz y la pesca, y promoviendo formas alternativas para ganarse la vida. [seguir leyendo]

Asien-ETF: Im Aufwind
29.01.2018 Von Patrick Landthaler (ETF Extra Magazin) - In fast allen aufstrebenden, asiatischen Schwellenländern haben sich die Konjunkturdaten in den vergangenen Monaten weiter verbessert. China, Vietnam, Indonesien & Co. – das Wachstum im vierten Quartal vergangenen Jahres lag jeweils teils deutlich über den Erwartungen. Eine tempore Schwächephase war dem Verfall der Rohstoffpreise geschuldet, doch deren Talfahrt endete bereits im Jahr 2016. Seither geht es auch mit den meisten Emerging Markets wieder bergauf. [Weiterlesen]

Davos: Globalisierung muss weitergehen - Umstrittene Abkommen auch ohne USA
26.01.2018 (RT) - Auf dem Weltwirtschaftsforum in Davos verkündete der kanadische Premierminister Justin Trudeau am Dienstag, dass das Transpazifische Handelsabkommen TPP ohne die USA fortgesetzt wird. Die elf verbliebenen Partnerstaaten hätten sich auf einen neuen Vertrag geeinigt. Dieser soll Anfang März unterschrieben werden.
US-Präsident Donald Trump hatte das bereits ausgehandelte Abkommen für eine Transpazifische Partnerschaft (TPP) kurz nach seinem Amtsantritt aufgekündigt. Er setzt stattdessen auf Einzelvereinbarungen mit anderen Staaten und kritisiert auch andere Freihandelsabkommen wie Nafta. [Weiterlesen]

Shark fins found drying on embassy roof in Chile
23.01.2018 (Lailailaila) - Vietnamese ministries are scrambling to clarify a controversial report that claims officials in Chile have been drying shark fins on the roof of the Vietnamese embassy.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked the Foreign Ministry to verify the information and cooperate with Chilean government agencies to deal with the matter in accordance with local laws. Chile passed a nationwide ban on shark finning in 2011.
On Friday, Chilean newspaper El Mostrador published photos of shark fins drying on the roof of a building it said was the commercial office at the Vietnamese embassy in Providencia, a district in Chile’s capital Santiago.
There were “at least 100 shark fins” on the roof on Thursday afternoon, the report said in Spanish. [read more]

Vietnam: Die ersten Klimaflüchtlinge
12.01.2018 Wolfgang Pomrehn (Telepolis) - Vietnam hat ein Problem. Ein Klimawandel-Problem. Der äußerste Süden des Landes, das Mekong-Delta, ist nicht nur für die Wirtschaft des Landes und die Versorgung seiner Bewohner von besonderer Bedeutung, es ist auch durch das ansteigende Meer besonders gefährdet. Das flache Schwemmland, das sich westlich und südwestlich von Ho-Chi-Minh-Stadt von der kambodschanischen Grenze bis zur Küste erstreckt, liegt nämlich nur wenige Meter über dem derzeitigen Meeresspiegel, wie man sich unter anderem hier überzeugen kann.
18 Millionen der insgesamt knapp 93 Millionen Vietnamesen lebten dort. Im letzten Jahrzehnt sei die Bevölkerung bereits um eine Million zurückgegangen. [Weiterlesen]

Climate change is driving migration from Vietnam’s Mekong delta
11.01.2018 By Alex Chapman and Van Pham Dang Tri (Climate Home) - Saltwater intrusion and drought are destroying crops in one of the most fertile places on earth, prompting an exodus of farmers.
The Vietnamese Mekong Delta is one of Earth’s most agriculturally productive regions and is of global importance for its exports of rice, shrimp, and fruit.
The 18m inhabitants of this low-lying river delta are also some of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change. Over the last ten years around 1.7m people have migrated out of its vast expanse of fields, rivers and canals while only 700,000 have arrived. [read more]

Vietnam To Send 100,000 Workers Abroad Annually
03.01.2018 (Bernama) - HANOI -- Vietnam plans to send 100,000 to 120,000 workers to other countries each year by 2020, according to its Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
In the first 11 months of 2017, 118,859 of its workers, including 44,702 females, worked abroad, said Tong Hai Nam, deputy head of the Department of Overseas Labour under the ministry. [read more]

 
Christenverfolgung in Vietnam
Vortrag und Diskussion mit Peter Kinast (Open Doors Deutschland)
13. Juni 2015

Im Weltverfolgungsindex (WVI) von 2015 liegt Vietnam mit 68 Punkten auf Platz 16. 2014 befand sich Vietnam mit 65 Punkten auf Platz 18.

Christenverfolgung in Vietnam Vortrag und Diskussion mit Peter Kinast

Peter Kinast von Open Doors Deutschland, der Vietnam besuchte und das Leiden der Gläubigen hautnah erlebte, wird vom schweren Los der verfolgten Christen in Vietnam berichten.  [Weiterlesen] - [tiếng Việt]



* Menschenrechte / Human Rights  
Letter from a father: Demand the Vietnamese Authority to review dead penalty for my son Nguyen Van Chuong
19.12.2014 (Dân Làm Báo) - My name is Nguyen Truong Chinh, born in 1945, I am currently residing at Hamlet 1 Binh Dan Village, Kim Thanh, Hai Duong Province. My telephone number is 01626627673 (+84 1626627673). I am writing this letter in desperation, asking you for help by calling on the Vietnamese Government to review my son's - Nguyen Van Chuong - case.
Having a son on dead penalty and soon to be executed, like many normal parents, we could not described the pains and heart aches we have endured in the last 8 years to see my son was unjustly put in jail and was constantly tortured for the crime he did not commit. My son was wrongly accused of murder a police major in Dinh Vu District, Hai Phong City on July 14, 2007 at 21:00 hours. However, at the time the homicide occurred, my son Nguyen Van Chuong was at Hamlet 1 Binh Dan Village, Kim Thanh, Hai Duong Province - our home village which was 40km away from the crime scene, visited friends and relatives as he normally did every weekend. There many alibis and witnesses are willing to prove my son's where about at the time the homicide occurred. [read more]

* Politik - Demokratie  
Streit um Rohstoffe: China baut vierte künstliche Insel
28.11.2014 (Der Spiegel) - Hamburg - Im Südchinesischen Meer lagern große Mengen an Rohstoffen. Jetzt zeigen Satellitenbilder, dass China dort erneut eine künstliche Insel angelegt hat - es ist mittlerweile die vierte. Landebahn und Hafen sind bereits zu erkennen. 
Am Fiery Cross Reef nahe der Spratly-Inseln haben Baggerschiffe demnach in den vergangenen vier Monaten eine drei Kilometer lange und bis zu 300 Meter breite Sandinsel geschaffen. Das Riff habe zuvor großteils unter Wasser gelegen. In den vergangenen Monaten hatte China bereits am Johnson South Reef, am Cuateron Reef und am Gaven Reef künstliche Inseln aufgeschüttet. [Weiterlesen]

* Menschenrechte / Human Rights  
Vietnam: Pervasive Deaths, Injuries in Police Custody
Cover Deaths in Custody and Police Brutality in Vietnam
16.09.2014 (HRW) - Bangkok – Police throughout Vietnam abuse people in their custody, in some cases leading to death, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Vietnamese government should take immediate action to end suspicious deaths in custody and torture of detainees by police, Human Rights Watch said.

The 96 page report, “Public Insecurity: Deaths in Custody and Police Brutality in Vietnam,” highlights cases of police brutality that resulted in deaths and serious injuries of people in custody between August 2010 and July 2014. Human Rights Watch documented abuses in 44 of Vietnam’s 58 provinces, throughout the country and in all five of the country’s major cities [read more]
read the full report



 
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