Asia News In Brief

15:34' 31-08-2017
Malaysia’s Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Industries, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, announced that his country will hold a three-day festival in China to promote its durian.



    Telecom fraud suspects arrested

    In August Cambodian police arrested nearly 400 Chinese nationals on suspicion of operating a telecom scam to defraud victims in China.

    The arrest is part of a regional crackdown, as China fights against telephone and internet scams that have made the losses of billions in US dollars.

    On August 16, 225 Chinese nationals, including 25 women, were arrested in Phnom Penh, Cambodian police said. According to Immigration authorities, another 151 Chinese and three Taiwanese had been arrested in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey province on August 2.

    Those arrested were suspected of using internet voice calls for an extortion scheme, said Thou Saroeun, deputy director of the anti-terrorism police department.

    Since 2011, Cambodia has deported 1,050 Chinese and Taiwanese arrested on suspicion of telecom scams to China.


    Renault-Nissan signs electric car deal

    The Renault-Nissan car manufacturing alliance is teaming up with China’s Dongfeng Motor Group on a locally designed electric vehicle, Bloomberg news reports.

    The joint venture will develop a battery-powered model based on a small sport utility vehicle platform, the first model completely designed in China. Ford Motor, Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW also have electric car brands in partnership with various Chinese companies.

    China, the world’s largest car market, has tightened emissions rules since early this year, following major pollution concerns. From next year, carmakers could face fines under the new regulations.

    The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers says sales of battery-powered vehicles rose 34%, to 204,000 units, in the first seven months of 2017.

    Dongfeng will produce the electric vehicle at a factory in Shiyan, Hubei province. The vehicle is due for release in 2019.


    Pledge for world’s peace and prosperity

    Japan celebrated the 72nd anniversary of the nation’s surrender in World War II on August 15th.

    Speaking at a ceremony attended by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, as well as thousands of people in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged not to recapture the disaster of war, and instead face history with a humble attitude in order to look forward to a peaceful and prosperous world.

    Japan will contribute to world peace and prosperity by addressing a number of challenges, including poverty, which is one of the causes of armed conflicts, he asserted.

    During World War II, more than 800,000 Japanese civilians were killed, many of whom were victims of the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


    RoK reports July trade surplus

    The Republic of Korea (RoK) recorded its 66th straight month of trade surplus in July, according to national customs data.

    Data from the Korea Customs Service indicated that the country's trade surplus increased to US$10.3 billion last month, slightly down from a surplus of US$10.7 billion a month earlier.

    The RoK produced a trade surplus of US$6.7 billion with Southeast Asian countries in July, while it enjoyed an excess of US$3 in trade with China, its largest trading partner.

    The trade surplus with the United States was reported at US$1.6 billion, down from US$1.8 billion recorded a year ago, as the RoK government is trying to reduce its surplus with the world's largest economy.

    In July, exports rose by 19.5% year-on-year to US$48.8 billion, while imports also went up by 15.5% to US$38.6 billion.


    Rice export value falls by 42%

    According to Laos Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the country’s rice export value in the first six months of 2017 fell by 42% compared to the same period last year.

    Its rice exports totalled US$11.2 million  from January to June, lower than the figure of US$19.4 million in the same period last year. Its main importers were Vietnam, Thailand and China, reported China’s Xinhua News Agency.

    Laos exports about 300,000 tonnes of rice every year, according to the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The ministry expects to export 400,000 tonnes this year and hopes the figure will increase to 1 million tonnes by 2020.

    The Laos government also aims to produce 5 million tonnes of paddy rice by 2020 to ensure food security in the country.


    Durian festival to be held in China

    Malaysia’s Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Industries, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, announced that his country will hold a three-day festival in China to promote its durian.

    The festival will take place in the southern Chinese city of Nanning from October 19-21, with 50 booths displaying 250 Malaysian durian-derived products.

    Malaysia hopes that one day it will be recognised for its durian, as Thailand is known for its Tom Yum, the Republic of Korea for kimchi and Japan for sushi.

    The Southeast Asian country’s durian products were first exported to China in 2011. In 2016, over US$4 million worth of 26 different durian-based goods were transported to China by 67 exporting companies.


    2017 International Book Fair held in August

    The 2017 International Book Fair Vietnam took place in Hanoi's Thong Nhat Park August 23-27, with more than 80 booths displaying 40,000 book titles from various domestic and seven foreign companies.

    The event marked the APEC Year of Vietnam 2017, the 40th anniversary of Vietnam’s membership of the United Nations, and 10 years since joining the World Trade Organisation, as well as the 65th anniversary of the domestic publishing sector.

    The fair was an opportunity for book publishers and distributors to meet and exchange experience, while introducing new publications and promoting international cooperation in publishing.

    Separate spaces introduced books on different topics, including sea and islands, integrity and sovereignty, ASEAN, translated books, e-books, and prize-winning books. There was also a separate space for copyright transactions.

    More than 20 events were held, including meetings with authors and seminars to share publishing experience.

    Vietnamese students in IT finals

    Ten Vietnamese students took part in Samsung's 2017 International Programming Contest on August 17 in the Republic of Korea (RoK).

    The contestants had achieved highest scores after the first two rounds of the event, launched by Samsung Electronics in Vietnam on June 1.

    The finals in the RoK put them in competition against 150 participants from India, Vietnam and the host country, in a four-hour test. The three place-getters were Korean.

    The contest is a professional international playground for students to obtain more skills and insight into programming, algorithmic problem-solving, developing ideas, logical thinking and the application of programming knowledge to real life.

    The total value of this year’s contest prize is around US$110,000.

    Phung Nguyen and Span Hanna




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