Asia News In Brief

14:40' 07-07-2017
ASEAN and China have sought to raise tourist arrivals, considering tourism links as an important part in cultural exchanges and cooperation, and encouraging the sector’s growth and inclusive socio-economic development.

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    CHINA

    ASEAN and China want to raise tourist arrivals

    ASEAN and China have sought to raise tourist arrivals, considering tourism links as an important part in cultural exchanges and cooperation, and encouraging the sector’s growth and inclusive socio-economic development.

    The number of Chinese tourists to ASEAN countries hit 19.8 million in 2016, an annual increase of 6.4%, while there were 10.34 million visitors from the bloc arriving in China the same year, up 57.8% against 2015, said Secretary-General of the China-ASEAN Centre Yang Xiuping at a workshop on sustainable tourism development in Beijing on June 20.

    She added that the total number of visitors between the two sides has exceeded the 2020 target of 30 million.

    According to Sun Bo, Deputy Head of market and international relations of the China National Tourism Administration, China has become one of the biggest overseas tourists markets for the ASEAN countries.

    The administration always highly appreciates tourism cooperation and has developed close cooperative relations with the bloc.

    LAOS

    NA Chairwoman visits Vietnam

    The Lao National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotu, along with a high-ranking delegation, arrived in Hanoi on July 3 for a six-day visit to Vietnam.

    The delegation engaged in activities celebrating the 55th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam-Laos diplomatic ties, and marking 40 years since the Vietnam-Laos Treaty on Amity and Cooperation was signed in Son La province.

    Vietnam and Laos have built strong relationships in various fields in recent years, especially in politics. The two countries have collaborated closely at regional and international forums, contributing to each nation’s development and maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

    Vietnam is running 408 projects worth US$3.7 billion in Laos, contributing to the country’s socio-economic development and creating jobs for many local labourers.

    PHILIPPINES

    China reiterates support in terrorism prevention

    Last month China reiterated that it will support Philippines in the fight against terrorism. The remarks were made by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a press conference after a meeting with his Philippine counterpart, Alan Peter Cayetano, in Beijing.

    China has sent its first shipment of emergency supplies and equipment to the Philippines, and will continue supporting the country if necessary, said Mr Wang. He added that Beijing is willing to collaborate with regional countries in information exchange, law enforcement and fighting cross-border terrorism and other issues, in order to maintain peace and stability in the region.

    The cooperation between China and the Philippines since the normalisation of bilateral relations last October was also reviewed.

    China is the Philippines’ largest trade partner. The two sides have signed 22 cooperation documents in infrastructure, trade, agriculture, energy, tourism and other fields. There was a significant increase in the Philippines' exports to China in the past seven months.

    People fleeing Marawi face epidemics and mental anxiety

    People forced to flee from their houses in Marawi on Mindanao island, as the result of fighting between Islamic gunmen and the military, are susceptible to epidemic disease and mental problems.

    Among 389,300 refugees, more than 70,380 went to 79 government shelters, while the rest stayed with relatives, according to the country’s Social Welfare Agency.

    The aid teams are trying very hard to deal with epidemics in the shelters. Local authorities said that skin and digestion-related diseases have reached alarming levels. Different diseases killed more than 20 people at hospitals, while many others suffered from anxiety and shock.

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte introduced a martial law on the south Philippines island in May, when rebel forces carried out attacks after a government raid to seek Isnilon Hapilon, the alleged leader of the Philippines branch of Islamic State.

    More than 400 people have been killed during clashes so far.

    THAILAND

    Rice exports reach 5.5 million tonnes

    During the first five months of this year Thailand has exported 5.5 million tonnes of rice, and the country expects to reach its export target of 11 million tonnes.

    Thailand remains the world’s major rice exporter, with around 5.5 million tonnes of rice already sent out during the first five months of 2017. If the tendency goes on, the country will export up to 11 million tonnes of rice by the end of the year, with a value of 10 million Baht (over AUD$388,000), just breaking the previous record of 10.8 million tonnes in 2014.

    The increase in rice export volume has been driven by high overseas demand and falling global rice supplies.

    Thailand's National Rice Policy Committee will schedule a meeting on June 26, where the Ministry of Commerce will put forward a plan to release the remaining rice in government stockpiles from July to August. It is hoped that all stockpiled rice will be released by the end of September.

    VIETNAM

    Petrol imports to meet rising demand

    Vietnam will continue importing petroleum products for the next five years, as major oil refineries in the country are unable to cope with the rising local demand.

    A report by Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co Ltd, which manages and operates the Dung Quat oil refinery, shows that annual demand for petroleum products is estimated at some 6.5 million tonnes and for diesel at some 8.5 million tonnes in the 2018-22 period.

    Meanwhile, the two major oil refineries, Dung Quat and Nghi Sơn, have a total production capacity of six million tonnes of petrol and some seven million tonnes of diesel per year, satisfying 92% and 82% of domestic demand respectively.

    This will mean an average shortage of some 0.8 million tonnes of petrol and 1.8 million tonnes of diesel in Vietnam every year. The lack would be solved by importing petroleum products from other countries in the region, including China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Republic of Korea.

    The General Statistics Office reported that nearly five million tonnes of petroleum products, worth over US$2.6 billion, were imported in the first five months of this year, down 6.8% in volume but up 27.4% in value against the same period last year.

    Vietnam to hold ASEAN Song Contest

    The ASEAN Song Contest 2017 will be held in the north central province of Thanh Hoa from August 18-21.

    The Voice of Vietnam Radio is organising this first-ever event with the aim of promoting cultural exchange between ASEAN countries and their three partners, namely China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

    It is also hoped that the contest will enhance friendship and cooperation of those countries as well as creativity and music talents in the ASEAN community.

    Contestants aged 18-35 from the 10 ASEAN countries are eligible for the event.

    Phung Nguyen and Span Hanna

     

     

     

     

     

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Keywords: asean countrieslao national assembly chairwoman pany yathotupetrol imports

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