Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Vietnam: Japanese investors worry about inadequate infrastructure

December 2, 2008

Some 78% of Japanese businesses said roads in Vietnam need to be improved while 60% said the power supply and 45% said seaports need to be upgraded.

VietNamNet Bridge – The Japan Bank for International Cooperation’s (JBIC) survey in the 2008 fiscal year reveals that Japanese investors continue to worry about underdeveloped infrastructure in Vietnam, particularly roads, ports and power systems.

JBIC’s survey was compiled based on 620 questionnaires collected from Japanese companies overseas. According to the survey, 2008 is the third consecutive year that Vietnam ranks third among countries and regions that have medium-term business potential, after China and India.


Low labour cost is still the main reason why Japanese investors see Vietnam as a country with investment potential. Other elements include market development potential, risk diversification, and abundant human resources.


However, according to Matsuda Noriyasu, chief representative of JBIC in Vietnam, many Japanese investors say labour costs in Vietnam have increased and become a new concern.


Notably, only 48% of Japanese businesses appreciate the “market development potential” of Vietnam, compared to 53.4% last year.


Matsuda Noriyasu said Japanese companies continue to worry about underdeveloped infrastructure in Vietnam, especially roads, ports and power. “This is the most serious matter to Japanese producers,” JBIC’s survey noted.


Some 78% of Japanese businesses said roads in Vietnam need to be improved while 60% said the power supply and 45% said seaports need to be upgraded.

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Pressure on India and Pakistan to prevent Mumbai fallout

December 2, 2008

India demanded Pakistan hand over its most wanted man as sign of faith as diplomatic efforts to prevent the nuclear-armed rivals from heading toward a confrontation over the Mumbai attacks intensified on Tuesday.

By C. Bryson Hull

The Times of India and television channels reported New Delhi renewed a demand Pakistan hand over 20 militants wanted in India, including Dawood Ibrahim, a Mumbai underworld don blamed for bomb blasts in the city in 1993 that killed 260 people.

U.S. Message to Pakistan: Battle Terror, Not India

 Mumbai: In India, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Pressures Pakistan

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa was in New Delhi on a scheduled visit while U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was due to arrive on Wednesday following the militant attacks that killed 183 people in India’s financial capital.

India has blamed Islamist militants based in Pakistan and issued a note of protest to its old enemy on Monday demanding decisive action.

“It was conveyed to the Pakistan high commissioner that Pakistan’s actions needed to match the sentiments expressed by its leadership that it wishes to have a qualitatively new relationship with India,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Azam Amir Kasav, an injured suspected militant, lies on a bed ... 
Azam Amir Kasav, an injured suspected militant, lies on a bed in this undated handout picture released by Mumbai police on November 30, 2008.(Mumbai Police/Handout/Reuters)

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Obama Can Offer An Opinion on Some Topics “When Hell Freezes Over”

November 20, 2008

During two years of campaigning for the White House, Barack Obama stood before cheering and adoring crowds and pontificated about … almost everything.

Now the cheering stops.

Case in point: Prsident-elect Obama chose to answer a question about college’s football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) on “60 Minutes.”  The feedback was chilling.

“The President-elect can fool around with our business when hell freezes over,” a college football bowl organizer told us.

Chris Dufresne  of the los Angeles Times wrote, “The troubling part about the ’60 Minutes’ interview was how much Obama knew about world matters and how little he knew about college politics.  Obama sounded like the guy at the corner bar who talked a good game but didn’t have all his facts.  Where were his advisors?”

Commissioner in Chief? 
Barack Obama, interviewed on “60 Minutes” again called for an eight-team playoff in major college football, a proposal that can’t happen until after the 2014 season. Photo from CBS

Obama told “60 Minutes” last Sunday night he was going to “throw my weight around a little bit” in trying to force the playoff issue.

“That skinny F*** has no weight, absolutely zero, in the BCS matter,” said a Bowl organizer.


Well, the President of the United States may be the most powerful man in the world but on certain issues he has to just pass on the question.

On Mr. Obama’s “pardon” of Senator Joe Lieberman, the Independent who supported Obama rival John McCain for the White House, left leaning bloggers are up in arms.

“Apparently, the American people didn’t vote for change,” complained Markos Moulitsas, founder of, in an entry posted on his site that was laced with anger and sarcasm.

Ah, the thrill of victory and the agony of the critics!

College Football Heavies Dont’s See Obama Has Any Place In Their Game
Obama’s Lieberman support angers bloggers

Mitt Romney Says: Let Detroit Go Bankrupt

November 19, 2008

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

Published by The New York Times
November 19, 2008

I love cars, American cars. I was born in Detroit, the son of an auto chief executive. In 1954, my dad, George Romney, was tapped to run American Motors when its president suddenly died. The company itself was on life support — banks were threatening to deal it a death blow. The stock collapsed. I watched Dad work to turn the company around — and years later at business school, they were still talking about it. From the lessons of that turnaround, and from my own experiences, I have several prescriptions for Detroit’s automakers.

First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic makers is not higher than that of foreign producers.

That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car. Think what that means: Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon. Of course the Avalon feels like a better product — it has $2,000 more put into it. Considering this disadvantage, Detroit has done a remarkable job of designing and engineering its cars. But if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.

Second, management as is must go. New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries — from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations.

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Bill Clinton’s Foreign Deals May Complicate Hillary’s SecState Bid

November 15, 2008

Former President Bill Clinton‘s globe-trotting business deals and fundraising for his foundation sometimes put his activities abroad at odds with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and it could cause complications for her if President-elect Barack Obama picks her to be secretary of state.

By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer

In this Oct. 20, 2008, file photo Democratic presidential candidate ...
In this Oct. 20, 2008, file photo Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. greet supporters at the end of a rally in Orlando, Fla. Former President Bill Clinton’s globe-trotting business deals and fundraising for his foundation sometimes put his activities abroad at odds with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and it could cause complications for her if President-elect Barack Obama considers her to be secretary of state.(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

During her own presidential campaign, the New York senator criticized China for its crackdown on protesters in Tibet and urged President George W. Bush to skip the Olympics in Beijing. Her campaign was embarrassed by reports that her husband’s foundation had raised money from a Chinese Internet company that posted an online government “Most Wanted” notice seeking information on Tibetan human-rights activists that may have been involved in the demonstrations.

Hillary Clinton has campaigned as a champion of workers’ rights. Earlier this year, Brazilian labor inspectors found what they called “degrading” living conditions for sugar cane workers employed by an ethanol company in which Bill Clinton invested.

In the Senate, Clinton was an outspoken critic of a proposed deal under which a Dubai company planned to buy a British business that helped run six major U.S. ports. Meanwhile, the company, named DP World, privately sought Bill Clinton’s advice about how to respond to the controversy in Washington over the port plan, which the company later abandoned.

Obama met quietly with Hillary Clinton on Thursday at his headquarters in Chicago, and some Democrats were enthusiastic amid speculation the pair discussed the job of secretary of state. She declined Friday to say anything about the matter, and Obama is understood to be considering other candidates as his top diplomat, including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and retiring Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.

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Decline, Failure of American Business, Industry and Government: BBC Experts Give reasons

November 7, 2008

This week the BBC’s host of World Business News and Global Business Peter Day is in Dublin talking to two brothers who are rarely in the same country at the same time about the legacy of the Puritan Gift. They review the evolution and failure of American business from Puritan times to the Harvard Business School and the meltdown of 2008…

Will Hopper is a banker.  Along with his briother Ken, he wrote a book about the decline of American business and government….


The BBC Reports (Audio report):

Stocks likely to recover no matter who’s president

November 2, 2008

Wall Street prefers Republicans, McCain supporters argue. But stocks have done better under Democratic presidents, Obama supporters fire back.
When it comes to the stock market — especially this turbulent market — does it really matter who is elected president?

Yes and no.

By MADLEN READ, AP Business Writer

Politicians do influence the economy — and they’ll play a big role in how the country emerges from this current crisis. But analysts say neither presidential candidate can be a cure for what’s ailing Wall Street.

Wall street broker William F. Lawrence looks at a monitor as ... 
Wall street broker William F. Lawrence looks at a monitor as he works on the trading floor of New York Stock Exchange shortly after the market opened Tuesday, Oct.28, 2008 (AP Photo/David Karp)

“The economy is a big, big machine, and the president is one government bureaucrat,” said Ron Florance, Wells Fargo Private Bank Director of Asset Allocation.

Moreover, most analysts believe the battered stock market has nowhere to go but up next year, no matter who ends up in the White House — and history will probably give the victor credit even if he actually had little to do with the rally.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” Florance said.

Still, the stock market is just one part of the economy, and under either Barack Obama or John McCain, the United States needs to recover from a downturn whose severity has not yet been determined. And either candidate will face a budget deficit of around $500 billion when he’s sworn into office — a shortfall expected to climb to $1 trillion next year.

Because of the deficit, the financial climate might end up affecting the new president’s policies more than his policies will affect the financial climate.

“This whole financial crisis will largely serve as an agenda buster for at least the first year,” said John Lynch, chief market analyst at Evergreen Investments.

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Obama’s prime-time ad skips over budget realities

October 30, 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing budget pressures he would face in office.

By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer

Obama’s assertion that “I’ve offered spending cuts above and beyond” the expense of his promises is accepted only by his partisans. His vow to save money by “eliminating programs that don’t work” masks his failure throughout the campaign to specify what those programs are — beyond the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

In this still from video provided by the Obama Campaign, Democratic ... 
In this still from video provided by the Obama Campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama., speaks during a live event in a 30-minute infomercial to be broadcast on prime-time television Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008.(AP Photo/Obama Campaign)

A sampling of what voters heard in the ad, and what he didn’t tell them:

THE SPIN: “That’s why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year.”

THE FACTS: His plan does not lower premiums by $2,500, or any set amount. Obama hopes that by spending $50 billion over five years on electronic medical records and by improving access to proven disease management programs, among other steps, consumers will end up saving money. He uses an optimistic analysis to suggest cost reductions in national health care spending could amount to the equivalent of $2,500 for a family of four. Many economists are skeptical those savings can be achieved, but even if they are, it’s not a certainty that every dollar would be passed on to consumers in the form of lower premiums.


THE SPIN: “I also believe every American has a right to affordable health care.”

THE FACTS: That belief should not be confused with a guarantee of health coverage for all. He makes no such promise. Obama hinted as much in the ad when he said about the problem of the uninsured: “I want to start doing something about it.” He would mandate coverage for children but not adults. His program is aimed at making insurance more affordable by offering the choice of government-subsidized coverage similar to that in a plan for federal employees and other steps, including requiring larger employers to share costs of insuring workers.

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China: Global Financial Turmoil Hits “World’s Factories”

October 15, 2008

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

GUANGZHOU, China — Global financial turmoil has sent gale-force winds across some factory floors in China , and barely a breeze across others. The differing fates of factory owners such as David Xu and James Jiang illustrate why China Inc. displays some resilience in the face of the global crisis.

Xu’s factory makes television sets of such low quality that they can’t sell in the United States and Europe . So he markets them in the Middle East , and sales are brisk.

“We don’t feel much,” Xu said of the financial turmoil. “I’m not worried.”

It’s a different story for Jiang. His factory makes low-cost musical keyboards for hobbyists and students. They sell in Target’s Australian stores and Fred’s Inc. , a discount store chain in America’s Southeast and Midwest. Orders now only trickle in.

“Nobody has money,” Jiang grumbled. “I think the orders may drop in half.”

Over the past few years, China has opened up vast new markets. Today, only half of its exports go to the United States , the European Union and Japan . The rest go to expanding markets in places such as South Africa , Russia , India and oil-rich Middle Eastern states. So in times of crisis, some factories may suffer severely while others escape unscathed.

A stroll Wednesday through the opening day of the Canton Trade Fair, the largest such fair in China and one of the biggest in the world, underscores the acumen of China’s strategy of diversifying markets. Arab merchants in dishdashas walked beside Russian vendors, German middlemen and Sudanese importers. Chatter occurred in a dozen languages. Translators were a hot commodity.

Some vendors reflected on the….

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Vietnam Starts Building Largest Petrochemical Complex

September 26, 2008

BA RIA-VUNG TAU, VIETNAM: Construction of a southern petrochemical complex at the Long Son Oil and Gas Industrial Zone in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province began on Thursday (25 Sept) in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.

Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported that the project, with an investment capital of almost US$4 billion (RM13.7 billion), will be capable of manufacturing over 3 million tonnes of products a year and will be the largest of its kind in the country.

It is a joint venture by Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam),

Vietnam National Chemical Corporation (Vinachem), Vina SCG Chemicals under the Thailand Cement Group, and Thai Plastic and Chemicals.

According to PetroVietnam General Director Tran Ngoc Canh, once the complex is operational in 2013, it will be the country’s only manufacturer of petrochemical products including PE, PP and PVC.

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