Archive for the ‘ASEAN’ Category

Vietnam’s Catfish Farmers: Off The Hook

December 27, 2007
Thursday December 27, 2007

HANOI, Dec 27 Asia Pulse – The Association of Catfish Farmers of America (CFA) and US catfish processors have removed the names of 27 Vietnamese tra and basa exporters from the list of companies subject to the fourth administrative review, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

On August 31, 2007, the plaintiff in the catfish dumping lawsuit informed the US Department of Commerce (DOC) of the names of Vietnamese companies subject to the fourth annual administrative review.

However, the law firm Akin Gump Straus Hauer & Feld LLp, representing the plaintiff, sent a letter on December 20 to the DOC Secretary, announcing that the plaintiff has agreed to remove the names of 27 Vietnamese companies from the list. The DOC will conduct an administrative review of tra and basa exports to the US by Vietnamese companies between August 1, 2006 and July 31, 2007.

The 27 Vietnamese companies which have been removed from the list of those subject to review are: Afiex An Giang; Agifish; Anvifish Co., Ltd; Basa Co., Ltd; Cataco; Caseamex; Cafatex; Caseafood; CL-Fish Co., Ltd; Seaprodex Da Nang; Coseafex; East Sea Seafoods Joint Venture Co., Ltd; Gepimex 404; limited companies: Hai Nam, Hai Vuong, Hoan An, Hung Vuong, Kim Anh; Mekongfish; Nam Viet (NAVICO); Ngoc Thai; South Vina; Vietnam Fish-One Co., Ltd; Vinh Hoan (ong Thap); Vinh Hoan Corporation; Imex Cuu Long and Vinh Quang Fisheries Corporation.

All other companies named on the August 31, 2007 list will be subject to the fourth review.

The US catfish farmers brought suit against Vietnamese filet tra and basa producers five years ago, the result of which was the DOC’s decision to impose anti-dumping tax rates on Vietnamese companies’ exports. Every year, the DOC conducts an administrative review of named exporters, which decides appropriate tax rates for the companies.

Despite the anti-dumping tax rates imposed on exports to the US, Vietnam is still able to export a large volume of catfish globally, with turnover nearly reaching the US$1 billion level.

The demand for catfish keeps increasing on the world market. Exports to Russia, the second biggest market for Vietnam’s tra and basa fish, resumed after food hygiene problems were settled. Vietnam’s export products now meet the strict requirements set by major importers (the EU, US, Russia and Australia).

In the first three quarters of 2007, the EU remained the biggest importer of tra and basa from Vietnam, consuming 46.2 per cent in terms of quantity and 49 per cent in terms of export turnover. Russia is the second biggest export market for Vietnam’s catfish, followed by ASEAN countries, the US, Ukraine and Mexico.


Vietnam: China’a Seafood Exports Slide as Vietnam’s Boom

Tricky Vietnamese Truth About Catfish

Vietnam praised for intellectual property law

December 20, 2007

VietNamNet Bridge – The international community appreciated what Vietnam has done since its enactment of the 2005 law on intellectual property (IP), said Antonio Berenguer, Trade Counsellor of the European Commission delegation in Vietnam.“The government of Vietnam has issued a number of decrees, documents on IP and then delivered them to its concerned ministries, branches and agencies. That shows Vietnam’s deep care and great priority towards the issue of IP,” the official told reporters on the sidelines of a training course on opposition and appeal procedures for trademarks and industrial designs held in Hanoi, on December 19-20.

He said that Vietnam had shown an early attention to IP when the government established a department on invention (the forerunner of the current National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam) 25 years ago.

Furthermore, Vietnam fully participated in international IP-related conventions, such as the 1883 Paris Convention on the Protection of Industrial Property, the 1886 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

“Thanks to the efforts, the concept of IP has become clear and popular to the Vietnamese public, and this is an important factor for Vietnam to expand trade relations with its partners, including the European Union,” Counsellor Berenguer said.

However, Vietnam has a lot of things to do to further improve the IP protection, he noted. He said he hoped that the EC would support Vietnam more in IP-related projects the like three-year ECAP II project which is scheduled to complete this year.

ECAP II is a cooperation programme between the EC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), aimed at bettering the IP protection in participant countries, thus helping increase trade relations between the EU and ASEAN.

This time’s Hanoi training course is one of the more than 40 activities that have been carried out within the framework of ECAP II.

Vietnam protests Chinese military exercise in disputed islands

November 25, 2007

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam has protested over a Chinese military exercise in the disputed Paracel archipelago and reasserted its claim over the islands, state media reported Saturday.

China‘s act to conduct military exercises in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago violates Vietnam’s sovereignty,” foreign ministry spokesman Le Dung said according to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).”It is not in line with the common perception of senior leaders of the two countries as well as the spirit of the recent meeting between the two prime ministers on the sidelines of the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore and not beneficial to a bilateral friendly relationship,” he said according to VNA.

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Myanmar: Could Protests Push Junta Toward China?

September 25, 2007

by Sarah Stewart

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — “By any normal global international standards, ASEAN hasn’t done much. I suspect many of the policymakers in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore or Jakarta or Manila will admit to that,” said Hiro Katsumata from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

“But this is not surprising because ASEAN needs Myanmar more than Myanmar needs ASEAN,” he said, adding that the region feared the resource-rich nation could turn its back on the grouping in favour of closer ties with China.

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Myanmar protesters hit 100,000 mark

Confident Vietnam seeks larger role

July 8, 2007

 By Umesh Pandey
The Bangkok Post
July 8, 2007

Vietnam is gradually becoming a powerhouse in Southeast Asia and is likely to take a more active position in trade negotiations between various regions and the 10-member Asean grouping, a British diplomat says.”No longer will Vietnam be content to bump along with the Asean backwaters of Burma, Laos and Cambodia. Their sights are set on closing the gap between themselves and the Asean founding members,” Robert Gordon, the British ambassador to Vietnam, said at a recent luncheon talk in Bangkok.

“We can expect Vietnam to take what some would otherwise see as a surprisingly forward position on issues such as the new EU-Asean free trade agreement.”

Hanoi’s growing confidence has resulted in part from membership in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), making the country more attractive for investment at a time when Thailand is struggling to draw foreign capital.

Vietnam: Squarely In the Middle

July 8, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 8, 2007

On Friday, July 6, 2007, in New Delhi, India, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed a new strategic cooperative agreement with India which is designed to build closer strategic relations between the two nations. That same day in Hanoi, the government of Vietnam announced that it supported the “One China Policy” Beijing is pushing in order to deny Taiwan a seat at the United Nations and in other international bodies. Beijing still expects reunification with Taiwan; and now Vietnam has reiterated its support for the People’s Republic on this issue.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of Vietnam (left) is greeted in New Delhi by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.  (Photo: Nhan Dan, Vietnam Communist Government News)

These two events dramatically signal both the plan Vietnam has adopted for dealing with its traditional protagonist, China, and the place this puts Vietnam in Asia both geographically and politically. On many issues Vietnam agrees with China’s position. And yet Vietnam has a large reliance upon aid, cooperation and trade from others such as India, regional Asian allies and the United States.

The New Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and India includes bilateral relations in the political, economic, security, defence, cultural, scientific and technological arenas. The Prime Minister from India H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh represented his government at negotiations, announcement and ceremonies.

The two prime ministers laid the groundwork for this week’s events at the January 2007 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Cebu, Philippines.

During this last week the two nations also agreed to cooperate more fully in international organizations like the United Nations and in regional and multilateral arenas.

Besides the over-arching strategic agreement, India and Vietnam signed eight pacts that include cooperation in the fields of nuclear science, agriculture, fisheries and education.

During the week of meetings, negotiations and consultations, India reaffirmed its commitment to assist Vietnam through grants and concessional lines of credit. Both nations also agreed to work together to establish an Asian community as part of India’s “Look East” policy.

Vietnam hopes that the next steps of its relationship with India will include a free trade agreement. Vietnam also believes it can lure more Indian companies to Vietnam to do business. Vietnam and China are both communist nations and so share an ideology. Additionally, many ethnic Chinese peoples live in Vietnam and many others in Vietnam have adopted Chinese cultural identities. In many places the two peoples seem as one but the Vietnamese take great pride in retaining their own traditions and their own identity.

India supported the communist Vietnamese who went to war against France and then the United States. Therefore, India and the communist of Vietnam have a relationship tracing back more than 50 years. In fact, Prime Minister Nehru of India and President Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam formally established the relationship in 1954.

President Ho Chi Minh once said: “The people of our two countries have got an age-old fraternity. The culture and Buddhism of India traveled to Vietnam since the ancient time”; and this is the only culture that came to Vietnam in a peaceful way. Following the independence for Vietnam in 1945 and India in 1947, friendship and formal cooperation between our two countries gradually came into being.

In January, 2007, Vietnam’s Ambassador to India Vu Quang Diem wrote in India’s national newspaper, The Hindu, “Our two nations have always stood shoulder to shoulder, sharing all the woes in the hardest of times.”Of the current agreement, the Ambassador wrote, “Today, we are reliable partners in the process of building together a new framework for cooperation in the 21st century.”

But India is something of a competitor of China. And India’s “Look East” policy may clash with plans that China has for Asian regional involvement.

And Vietnam has a shadow hanging over its strong economy. Organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International criticize Vietnam for it abysmal record on Human Rights.

Human Rights activist Mike Benge said, “This is the same Vietnamese communist regime responsible for the murder of more than 1 million Vietnamese.”

Vietnam continues to maneuver for its most advantageous position in Asia.

For now, Vietnam remains squarely in the middle.

Mr. Carey is a frequent contributor to The Washington Times.


Confident Vietnam seeks larger role

India, Vietnam Pledge Closer Strategic Ties

“See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”

“Two sides to Triet’s US visit”
From Asia Times

“Of two minds on Vietnam”
The Washington Times

India, Vietnam Pledge Closer Strategic Ties

July 7, 2007

Nhan Dan
Vietnam Communist Government News
July 7, 2007

Vietnamese and Indian Prime Ministers agreed to officially establish a strategic partnership between the two countries at their talks in New Delhi on July 6.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh noted that the strategic partnership marked a new breakthrough in bilateral relations and pave the way for the two countries’ all-faceted co-operation to expand further.

The strategic partnership will support each country’s durable growth and prosperity and work for the sake of peace, stability, co-operation and development in the Asia-Pacific and the world, the two PM said.

To promote this new strategic partnership, the two government leaders agreed to further bolster the two countries’ political ties in addition to establishing a strategic dialogue mechanism at the level of deputy foreign ministers.

They also reached agreement on continuing strengthening security and defence co-operation, especially in training and the sharing of information on anti-terrorism, sea pirates and transnational crimes.

Discussing bilateral relations, the two PMs were of the view that the friendship and multi-faceted co-operation between the two countries have been constantly strengthening and developing fruitfully.

On trade co-operation, the two PMs agreed to continue working to bring two-way trade to US $2 billion in 2010 and US $5 billion in 2015.

In this area, the Indian side said they took note of Vietnam’s request to recognise the Southeast Asian country’s full-fledged market economy and pledged to take necessary measures to enable Vietnamese products to enter Indian markets so as to balance two-way trade.

The Indian PM informed the Vietnamese counterpart on his government’s decision to lend Vietnam a US $45 million credit with preferential treatments for the building of a hydro-electricity power plant.

On regional and international issues, PM Dung expressed his support for India’s “Look East” policy which was tailored to link India closely with Southeast Asia. He said Vietnam is willing to work as a bridge between India and other ASEAN countries so that all can work together for the goal of prosperity and stability in the region.

PM Dung took the occasion to thank India for its active support for Vietnam’s admission to the World Trade Organisation and its candidacy for the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council in the 2008-2009 term.

The Indian PM singled out Vietnam’s support to India’s quest for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.

PM Dung invited his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to visit Vietnam at a convenient time for both sides. Indian PM Singh accepted the invitation with pleasure and the visit will be arranged through the diplomatic channel.

* On the same day, PM Dung was taken through a host of activities, including paying a floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial monument, visiting President Abdul Kalam, and meeting with several Indian leaders.

At his courtesy visit to President Abdul Kalam, PM Dung highlighted India’s aid and co-operation, especially in the fields of science and technology, education and training, credit and agriculture.

Discussing bilateral co-ordination at regional and international forums, the Vietnamese leader reaffirmed his country’s support for India’s bid to become a permanent member of the expanded United Nations Security Council while appreciating the South Asian country for backing its own run for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in the 2008-2009 term.

At the meeting with the Indian National Congress Party Chairwoman Sonia Gandhi and other leaders, PM Dung thanked the Party and the Indian people for their assistance to the Vietnamese people in the struggle for national liberation and re-unification and the present course of national construction.

He said he was pleased to know that the Indian Government, under the leadership governance of the Indian National Congress Party, has been persistent in its policy of enhancing ties with Vietnam.

During his busy working agenda, PM Dung also met Speaker of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) Shri Somnath Chatterjee in which he asked the congressman to call on political circles to make efforts to elevate the two countries’ relationship into a strategic partnership.

Such efforts would bring the two countries’ ties and the relations between the Vietnamese National Assembly and the Indian House of the People to a new level, PM Dung stressed.

At a meeting with General Secretary of the Communist Party of India A.B Bardhan, PM Dung highlighted the reliable and close relations between the two parties.

The Vietnamese public are highly conscious of the support given by the CPI and the Indian people, the Vietnamese leader said.

PM Dung also met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Prakash Karat and reiterated Vietnam’s wish to further strengthen Vietnam-Indian ties.

While receiving the leader of the Opposition of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), PM Dung spoke highly of the contributions of the Party president Shri L. K. Advani and the BJP to the consolidation of Vietnamese-Indian relations, saying that the two parties need further exchanges.

At all the meetings, Indian leaders warmly welcomed the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s visit, describing it as highly important to the two countries as they have recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Earlier on July 5, PM Dung said at the Vietnam-India Business Forum that the Vietnamese State and Government always created favourable conditions for Indian investors in Vietnam, especially Indian major groups to invest in fields such as information technology, electricity, oil and gas, metallurgy, coal, transport, agriculture, fisheries, food processing, health care and medicine.

At the forum, PM Dung witnessed the signing of a US $300 million co-operation agreement on hydro power plant construction, a US $200 million joint venture contract on oil and gas exploitation and an agreement on training.

During the visit, businesses of the two countries signed contracts and business agreements worth a combined US $4.5 billion. (VNA)