Archive for the ‘development’ Category

Vietnam Tightens Oil, Energy Ties to Russia

November 8, 2008

Thirty-three years after the fall of Saigon, Vietnam is never far from the American psyche, as witnessed during the presidential campaign. In a frisson of nostalgia for what might have been, U.S. oil companies can only note with regret the announcement last week by the Kremlin that in the wake of talks between the Russian and Vietnamese presidents, their governments have concluded an agreement on further cooperation on geological exploration and hydrocarbon production by their Vietsovpetro joint venture.

For those with a sense of history and irony, in 1975, several months before the fall of Saigon, U.S. Ambassador Graham Martin, commenting on Mobil’s and Pecten’s recent Dua-1X and BH-1X oil well discoveries in the South China Sea off Vietnam, opined that if the South Vietnamese government could hang on, oil revenues from the new finds could benefit from the surge in oil prices in the wake of the 1973 Arab oil embargo to finance the war.

By John Daly
Western geological exploration of South Vietnam’s offshore South Continental Shelf began in the late 1960s. Mobil and Shell subsidiary Pecten drilled offshore in the Nam Con Son and Cuu Long basins and found the largest oil fields in the South China Sea. The prize that they uncovered was significant, with Nam Con Son estimated to contain 20 percent and Cuu Long 30 percent of Vietnam’s total hydrocarbon resources. But the course of the war meant that changing military and political realities would shortly overwhelm both the South Vietnamese government and the dreams of the Western energy concerns.

Saigon fell on April 30, and Martin evacuated on the last helicopter to leave the embassy. Vietnam’s new government immediately canceled all foreign concessions granted by the now defunct South Vietnamese government, leaving Mobil with lost millions in investment and a bunch of now useless geological data.

Visiting Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet, left, hands ...
Visiting Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet, left, hands over a medal to Russia’s OAO Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller in the Moscow Kremlin on Monday, Oct. 27, 2008. Russia and Vietnam agreed Monday to boost their energy cooperation and explore new prospective oil fields.(AP Photo/ Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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Vietnam: The Importance of “One UN” Initiative

March 30, 2008

Overview: According to recent U.N. reports, In Vietnam…

“The UN, at country level, is fragmented,with built-in inefficiencies, and that the development impact of the UN’s work would be enhanced if planned, implemented and monitored better together. The question was not ‘should the UN reform’, but ‘how do we reform’ to achieve the best results for those the UN is here to serve:

the Government and people of Viet Nam.
Flag of the United Nations

Considering incrementalism the worst enemy of innovation, an ambitious reform vision was drafted. The objective of the One UN Initiative was to establish a One (integrated) United Nations. The paper outlined the necessary UN reform measures within the context of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and its contextualization in Viet Nam, the Hanoi Core Statement on Aid Effectiveness (HCS).

The HCS calls on donors to align to national development strategies and national systems, to reduce the transaction costs associated with delivering ODA, to focus more on managing for development results and to establish systems of mutual accountability.

The Prime Minister [of Vietnam] was closely engaged in the One UN Initiative for a transformed UN, integrating the participating Agencies, with unity of purpose, coherence in management and efficiency and effectiveness in operations.

He approved the ‘Agreed Principles, Objectives and Instruments’ to achieve One United Nations in Viet Nam and the Terms of Reference for the Tripartite National Task Force (TNTF). The TNTF, comprising of the Government Aid Coordinating Agencies, representatives from the donor community and the participating UN Agencies, was charged with the responsibility to advance UN reform by providing effective oversight of the process, and to operationalize the roadmap….

From: VietnamNetBridge
March 30, 2008

Vietnam attaches great importance to reforming United Nations development activities, one of which is the “One UN” Initiative, a Vietnamese diplomat has affirmed.

Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh made the statement at a consultation meeting of the United Nations General Assembly entitled “System-wide Coherence” and the implementation of “One UN” Initiative held in New York on March 28.

“Vietnam shares the position of the Group of 77 that the “One UN” initiative, like any other in the process of UN development cooperation reform, should ensure the ownership and leadership of the host government and be flexibly tailored to suit the specific conditions and circumstances in each individual country,” Minh said.

According to the Vietnamese diplomat, while the initiative is meant to improve the efficiency of UN development assistance, “it should not be considered a substitute for adequate resources which are essential to development assistance itself.”

The deputy minister also pointed out many complicated tasks that remain to be completed, including both the implementation of mutually agreed plans and the solution of technical issues concerning the management and execution of programmes of UN agencies.

“That necessitates a strong consensus among UN agencies as well as their adequate and active cooperation for the common goals of the “One UN” initiative,” he said, emphasising that “the Government of Vietnam appreciates the cooperation extended to the country by UN agencies and other development partners in these reform efforts and looks forward to receiving their continued valuable support.

Vietnamese deputy permanent representative to the UN
Ambassador Bui The Giang stressed that “as a responsible member of the UN, Vietnam holds that participation in and contribution to its reform is a must-do obligation with a view to bringing about a new and stronger vitality to this organization which will in turn yield greater benefits to its members.”

The “One UN” Initiative is being carried out on a trial basis in eight countries: Albania, Cape Verde, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uruguay and Vietnam.

(Source: VNA)

Vietnam-US ties better than ever, says ambassador

January 25, 2008

VietNamNet Bridge – A leading Vietnamese diplomat said the Vietnam-US relations is currently better than ever and it is being boosted extensively and intensively by both sides.

Newly-appointed Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Le Cong Phung made the remark while meeting with the press in Washington on January 23 – one day after he presented his credentials to US President George Bush.

The formerly deputy foreign minister repeated a statement made by President Bush in his meeting that the US places importance on and will continue to foster partnership with Vietnam under a bilateral cooperation framework and will co-ordinate with the Southeast Asian nation in resolving regional and international issues.

Phung said during his tenure, he would try his best to lift the Vietnam-US ties to a new height and increase cooperation and dialogues between the two countries in order to ensure prosperity, stability, peace and cooperation for the two peoples.

During the meeting, with the participation of journalists from big media agencies like Washington Post, Washington Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, AFP and AP, the ambassador answered their questions on Viet Nam’s foreign and socio-economic development policies as well as the country’s policies in resolving divergences in bilateral relations.

Is Vietnam Asia’s next superstar?

January 2, 2008

EE Times Asia
January 1, 2008 

China is hot, and so is India. And Vietnam? Sizzling.

Intel Corp. is partly responsible for Vietnam’s meteoric rise in investors’ hot list. Ever since the chipmaker announced two years back that it would allocate $300 million (which later increased to $1 billion) for the establishment of an assembly and test facility in the country, Vietnam has been making the headlines all throughout 2007.

There is the $5 billion plan of the Foxconn Technology Group, the Panasonic research activities, the Toshiba software development center, Olympus’ digital camera plant move, STMicroelectronics’ R&D facility, and Samsung’s handset and printer production talks among others.

“It’s really a combination of internal and external factors,” remarked Huy Do, chairman and president of Vietnamese Strategic Ventures Network, a group of entrepreneurs, executives, inventors and other professionals supporting the global Vietnamese technology and business community.

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Vietnam-to-China road to be built

December 14, 2007


Vietnam will get a $1.1bn (£542m) loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build a highway linking its capital Hanoi with mainland China.

Once the highway is completed in 2012, drivers will be able to make the trip in less than one day, reducing the time from two or even three days.

The ADB said the project would help stimulate the economy in Vietnam’s poor north-west region.

The poverty-fighting body added the loan was the biggest in its history.

Vietnam’s economy has been rapidly expanding over the past decade as the communist government has supported free market policies, but development has tended to cluster around the country’s urban centres and port cities.

The ADB said that the reduced travel time would increase employment opportunities in Vietnam’s north-west region, where communities have not been able to join in the country’s new prosperity.

“Vietnam needs modern highways to help remove the country’s transportation bottlenecks, accelerate economic growth and ultimately expand economic opportunity for Vietnamese families,” said John Cooney, a director of the ADB.

Cross-border benefits

The 244km (151 mile) highway will stretch from Hanoi to Lao Cai, on Vietnam’s border with China’s Yunnan province.

It will operate as a toll road, with analysts predicting that it will generate sufficient revenue to recover the entire loan within its first 10 years of operation.

Bank officials say it will increase Vietnam’s ability to export agricultural and maritime products to China.

At the same time, Chinese exporters will benefit from a faster route to global markets as Vietnam’s Hai Phong and Cai Lan ports are significantly closer to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, than the Chinese port that they currently use.

Vietnam economy set to keep surging

October 13, 2007

The Bangkok Post
October 12, 2007

As Vietnam’s success story continues to remain vibrant and the county moves closer to usurping Thailand’s position as the second-largest economy in the 10-member Asean grouping, economists say economic growth could flirt with double digits for the next five years.

”The macroeconomic fundamentals of the country continue to remain very strong and we do not see any reason to doubt that their growth could be less than 9% per year for the next five years,” said Sriyan Pietersz, head of research at JP Morgan Securities, who leads the Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan research desks for the firm.

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China blasts Taiwan-Africa summit

September 8, 2007

BEIJING – China on Saturday blasted planned meetings between Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian and African allies this weekend.

Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian

Chen was scheduled to meet leaders from Burkina Faso, Gambia, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, and Swaziland on Sunday — an apparent attempt to cut into rival China’s growing influence in the region.

Discussions will center on how Taiwan can help them with health care, information technology, and development.

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Peace and Freedom note: Earlier this year President Hu Jintao of China traveled to several African nations, making deals for oil, gas and minerals all along the way.  As long as China refuses to admit that Taiwan is an independent nation and the people and leadership of taiwan refuse to act like some state belonging to China, these ugly disagreements will continue.