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Showing posts with label Development. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Development. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 September 2019

#Thailand - “We could move the capital”, says Thai PM


Citing overcrowded conditions in Bangkok, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said moving the capital is a possibility.
 
He made the comment at the seminar “Connecting Thailand with the World”, hosted by the Office of the National Economics and Social Development Council in Muang Thong Thani on Wednesday (September 18), and also vowed to extend the registration deadline for low-income earners to receive state welfare.

“There are two possible approaches to moving the capital,” Prayut said. “The first is finding a city that’s neither too far nor too expensive to move to. The second is to decentralise the urban area to outer Bangkok to reduce crowding.”

The second approach would preserve Bangkok’s important landmarks, he said, while government and business facilities could be relocated to the city’s perimeter, reducing the need for so many people to travel in and out of the city centre and thus easing traffic jams.

Moving the capital is just an idea and would require extensive research as to the economic and social impacts, Prayut said, but it is a possibility under his administration.

“Past governments were never able to pull this off, fearing it would cause irreparable conflict in society,” he said. “The first priority now is to establish mutual understanding among the people to make sure they and the government are on the same page.”

Earlier this year Indonesia’s president announced that the capital of the world’s fourth-most populous country will be moved from Jakarta on the crowded main island of Java, though no new location has been chosen. 

Prayut also said at the seminar 14.6 million citizens had registered as low-income earners eligible for state welfare, though he believes the number should be higher.

“Some people missed the registration deadline, so the government will extend it indefinitely to make sure no one is left behind,” he said.

Source - The Nation

Friday, 22 March 2019

Vietnam - Ha Giang draws tourists and travellers

A view of impressive terraced rice fields in Vietnam’s northernmost province of Ha Giang

THE breathtaking landscape created by imposing karst mountains and impressive terraced rice fields, together with the unique ethnic culture of the local Hmong people, has turned Vietnam’s Ha Giang province into a magnet for tourists and travelers.

The country’s northernmost province is home to the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark – the first Global Unesco Geopark in Vietnam.

In 2016, the province released a resolution on policies to promote tourism development. These policies support individuals and enterprises who invest into hotels, resorts, restaurants, community tourism and cave tourism.

At present, there are 20 tourist companies with representative offices in the province. In addition, more than 200 restaurants, 618 hotels with nearly 6,000 rooms, and 37 cultural villages offering community tourism have contributed significantly to provincial tourism development. 
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 Last year, among the 1,150,000 tourists to visit Ha Giang, 250,000 were foreigners. Total revenue from tourism reached more than $43 million. 

This has helped Ha Giang stamp itself on the country’s tourism map. It is one of 24 national key tourism spots and has been selected by the international press as one of the most interesting destinations in Vietnam. 

However, receiving an increasing number of tourists each year, there are many remaining matters that could harm further tourism development. 

While a limited traffic network at some places are inaccessible, poor tourism infrastructure is sometimes unable to satisfy tourists’ demands. Viet Nam News/Asia News Network

Source - PhnomPhenPost 
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Friday, 1 March 2019

Vietnam Airlines to launch new routes to #Cambodian tourist hotspots

Ha Long Bay draws tourists with a magnificent scene of more than 1,500 limestone karst islands popping up from turquoise waters.

 National carrier Vietnam Airlines will launch new routes from Vietnamese tourist destinations to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville in Cambodia.


The launch follows the recent signing of a three-year (2019-2021) agreement between the carrier and Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism on tourism development cooperation.

Present at the signing ceremony in Phnom Penh were Vietnam Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The carrier said it will launch new routes from Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province and Da Nang City to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.

The route between Danang and Siem Reap with 4 flights per week is expected to open this April while the schedule for other routes is yet to be specified.

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 Currently Vietnam Airlines operates 56 flights a week on the Hanoi - Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City - Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City - Phnom Penh routes.

It will organize events, including conferences, to promote Cambodian tourism at fairs and other venues, the airlines said. Ways to improve the quality of human resources in tourism was also discussed by both parties.

Vietnam Airlines is currently offering free tickets to Cambodian officials and experts traveling for tourism promotion purposes. Outstanding Cambodian tourism students will also have the opportunity to work for the airline.

Other initiatives include marketing and demonstration programs to improve travel and accommodation services in Cambodia.

Duong Tri Thanh, general director of Vietnam Airlines, said: "We are delighted to be the 'air ambassador’ for Cambodia in aviation and tourism."


   Vietnam Airlines has been flying to Cambodia for more than 40 years. In 2018, it carried more than 700,000 passengers between the two countries.

Cambodia Angkor Air, a joint venture between Vietnam Airlines and the Cambodian government, currently operates 56 flights from Siem Reap to Da Nang and from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville to Ho Chi Minh City.


Source - VN Express 
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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

#Cambodia - Kratie to become a priority tourist destination

A beach in the Mekong River in Kratie province

The province of Kratie, in the country’s east, is poised to become a priority tourist destination and a national heritage site.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon on Monday unveiled plans to turn the province’s capital into a “prime tourism destination” and a “heritage city”.

Prime destinations are important attractions but are not as crucial to the tourism sector as the country’s main tourist draws – the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap and the coastal areas.

Minister Khon said the decision to turn Kratie into a priority destination and a heritage site was based on the city’s many tourist attractions, particularly the dolphins that can be spotted in the Mekong River.

“If there are dolphins in the Mekong River, there are tourists; however, no dolphins, no tourists,” Mr Khon said.

Other noteworthy products and sites in the province with great tourism potential include the Koh Trong pomelo, colonial buildings, stunning river beaches, and a slew of eco-tourism sites, the minister said.

He reminded the city’s authorities of their responsibility to boost the quality of these products and sites to meet and exceed tourists’ expectations.

“We must continue improving the quality of services and products in the province and create new tourism products,” he said. “We must work hard to develop Kratie province into a prime destination and a heritage site, organise new events on the beach and in the river, keep the city and the province clean, improve hygiene in public toilets, and protect the environment,” Mr Khon said.
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“Tourism officials must also strive to improve tourist boats so that they offer a quality service, and drivers must wear proper uniforms,” he added.

Mr Khon told Kratie’s provincial tourism department to focus on revamping infrastructure like tourist booths, parking areas, and public toilets while improving services and products at stores, tourist boats, restaurants, and food courts.

Chuk Chumnor, spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism, told Khmer Times that the government also wants to turn Battambang and Kampot into heritage sites. He said the ministry is working with Unesco to register these cities as national heritage sites first, and world heritage sites at a later stage.

“We are also working with Unesco to register Kratie city as a heritage site, together with Battambang and Kampot. These three cities boast beautiful French buildings,” Mr Chumnor said.

“We are committed to strengthening the quality of tourism services and products, social order and security as well as improving eco-tourism sites in the province,” Mr Chumnor said.
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Thoun Sinan, chairman of the Cambodian chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, said the priority destination scheme is a strategy that aims to increase opportunities for socioeconomic development through tourism investment and development.

“To develop these priority destinations, the Ministry of Tourism, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and Unesco, has studied and produced the necessary documentation to register these cities as national heritage cities and Unesco world heritage sites.

“Battambang, Kampot, and Kratie could become world heritage sites, which will draw public attention to them and help develop them in a sustainable manner while preserving their urban and natural heritage,”
Mr Sinan said.

Last year, Kratie province welcomed about 349,000 visitors, a 15.2 percent year-on-year increase. 25,990 of them were foreigners, mostly French nationals, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Source - Khmer Times

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

#Cambodia - ‘Xi pushing further Preah Sihanouk investment’


As China continues to invest in Preah Sihanouk province, despite fears raised by residents over the recent influx of its nationals, an official from the Asian giant on Monday said President Xi Jinping is pushing for further investment in the coastal area.

“Cambodia and China are good friends and good neighbours. Jiangsu is a Chinese province [and] we are pushing for more cooperation with Cambodia,” Huang Xiqiang, the deputy director-general of the Foreign Affairs Office of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government, told visiting Cambodian journalists to the southern Chinese province on Monday.

“President Xi Jinping regards [Preah Sihanouk province] as a role model of cooperation between China and Cambodia.”

Preah Sihanouk has seen huge growth in the manufacturing, tourism and gambling sectors, and a local real estate agency director said further investment in manufacturing would “help transform Cambodia from an agricultural to an industrialised nation”.

Bilateral trade between Jiangsu and Preah Sihanouk, which have just signed an agreement to become sister provinces, was valued at $1.2 billion last year. This is equal to one-fifth of China’s total trade with Cambodia and is expected to increase 30 per cent this year, Huang said.
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 Jiangsu province accounts for 10.38 per cent of China’s total economy, with its GDP hitting $1.2 trillion last year. 
 Preah Sihanouk province has increasingly become a hotbed for Chinese investment in the Kingdom, and its geography has proven strategic in pushing Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative in Southeast Asia.

“We encourage enterprises to invest in Cambodian production, from resources and labour to technology,” Huang said. “In the past, [investment] was more focused on garment manufacturing. In the future, we will cooperate in technology. This is a win-win strategy.”

Huang said the Preah Sihanouk Special Economic Zone has 125 enterprises and has created 21,000 jobs with $500 million in investments. He said the zone plans to create between 80,000 to 100,000 jobs.

Emerging Markets Consulting senior consultant Ngeth Chou said he welcomed an increase in investment in Preah Sihanouk province’s manufacturing, which he said would largely benefit the Kingdom.

He added that investment in the sector would help Cambodians acquire new skills and stable incomes, as opposed to growth in the gaming industry, which has been blamed for causing social problems.

“Casinos do not offer as many economic benefits as the manufacturing sector, because investment in factories could help Cambodia benefit greatly, from the use of local raw materials to [the creation of] a skilled workforce, as well as reduce migration.”
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 However, Chou suggested that for sustainable development, the Cambodian government must also create mechanisms to control the nature of investment, such as insisting on the use of local human resources and raw materials.

Key Real Estate director Sorn Seap said that while the influx of Chinese has raised property prices in Preah Sihanouk, more investment in manufacturing would help create new jobs and technology for the future development of Cambodia.

“It will help transform Cambodia from an agricultural to an industrialised nation, and promote the Kingdom’s image on the international stage,” Seap said.

Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Yun Min, who visited Jiangsu province last week to strengthen city-level relations, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Jiangsu provincial statistics showed that 200,000 of its residents visited Cambodia in 2016.
The increase of tourists led to direct flights between Jiangsu and Cambodia’s international airports, Huang said.

Source - TheNation
 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

#Myanmar, (Burma) Golf tourism needs long drive out of bunkers.

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Myanmar is far from a golf tourist destination despite having many courses in different cities, said U Phyo Wai Yar Zar, vice chair of Myanmar Tourism Federation.

Speaking to The Myanmar Times, he said that golf tourism has a potential niche market but the local courses are not up to the expectations of international golfers.

“We have to try hard if we want to make Myanmar a golfing destination. We can count the number of courses that are of international standard. But that number cannot be compared with other regional countries which have already developed the game and facilities,” U Phyo Wai Yar Zar said.

There are no more than 10 tour agencies offering packages, including golfing.
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In Vietnam, there are 32 international courses. Myanmar has about 60 courses in the whole country.

Daw Su Su Tin, vice chair of Myanmar Tourism Marketing Committee, said, “Some tourists have tried golf courses in neighboring countries. A few tours operators are offering a golf program in their itinerary but we cannot promote golfing tourism too much.”

“Myanmar has fine weather, not as expensive as other countries and has a huge potential for golf tourism development,” she said.

U Phyo Wai Yar Zar added, “People know Myanmar as a cultural tourism centre. Perhaps now is the time to promote traditional sport related tourism like chinlone (caneball) and other Myanmar sporting events.”
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“Chinlone as a sporting event cannot be found in other countries. Relevant government departments should make it popular as a tourism product,” he said.

“Also, the golfing market is for high-end tourists who are mostly big spenders. Other facilities such as high-end restaurants and amenities need to be developed,” he said.

Currently, there are no more than six or seven international fine dining restaurants in Yangon.
U Phyo Wai Yar Zar said, “We should first get the primary requirements done up and then continue with other things,” he said.


“As I know, there’s no website, specific market figures on golfing for tourists. Concerned authorities need to build up the human capital first and the required infrastructure before promoting golf as a product,” he said.

“We have no information yet about the various courses and it is hard to find out who are those interested in golfing in Myanmar. Golfing is the best way to attract visitors as part of tourism,” U Phyo Wai Yar Zar said.
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Source - mmtimes
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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Bangkok - Changing city landscapes

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RESIDENTS in Bangkok and neighbouring areas like Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan are seeing changing landscapes and new landmarks emerging in different areas – as many mass-transit projects are now under construction.

Several urban and suburban areas of the capital now have elevated structures overhead, with train tracks on bridges crossing the Chao Phraya River, old buildings disappearing, and new junctions in the making. 
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A lot more changes will be visible when many projects – some underground, some elevated and others a combination of the two – are completed in a few years’ time. 
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Many shop-houses and buildings have been expropriated for train stations, both above ground and elevated. Many areas adjacent to the train routes have already witnessed a boom in real estate development, with condominium projects having sprung up for people who prefer the convenience of rail travel to go to work or school.
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Tha Phra Intersection, on the Thon Buri side of Bangkok, will house a key interchange station for the Metropolitan Rapid Transit’s Blue Line. When construction of the Blue Line’s extended section is finished in October 2019, it will complete the circular route – the only one in the country.
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The three-way Fai Chai Junction will become a four-way intersection when construction of a new road is completed. The junction also houses one of the Blue Line stations being built under Charan Sanitwong Road. During World War II, spotlights were installed at this junction to help anti-aircraft guns find Allied bombers attacking at night. That is where its name comes from – Fai Chai means ‘flashlight’. The area saw frequent bombings as strategically significant targets such as a train station and a naval dockyard were located there. 
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Physical changes are also taking place or in set to occur in areas such as Tao Poon, Bang Sue, Rat Burana and Bang Pho in Bangkok, as well as Bang Yai district in Nonthaburi and the Samrong area in Samut Prakan.
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Given there are plans for Bangkok to have a mass-transit network that extends over 500 kilometres, it’s safe to say the dramatic changes to the city’s landscape will go on for some time – over a decade, if there are no further delays.
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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Vietnam - Gov’t set to relax farmland ceiling

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Viet Nam News MEKONG DELTA — The Government is considering relaxing limits on individual farmland holdings, a move largely welcomed by experts despite misgivings about some negative social impacts. 
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Allowing larger land holdings will greatly facilitate modernisation of the country’s agriculture sector, many experts say.
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Currently, the allocation quota of farmland for annual crops for each household or individual must not exceed 2-3 hectares. Many people have been arguing for sometime that this limit runs counter to the needs of co-operatives and businesses engaging in industrialised, large-scale agricultural production.
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The national average land allocation for each household is extremely small at around 0.5-0.7ha. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) reckons that in order to overcome poverty, on average, each rice cultivating household must own at least 2ha.
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In a recent resolution, the government tasked the MARD, the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment, and the Ministry of Justice, to prepare amendments to the existing Law on Land by the end of this year, with the focus on rectifying farmland quotas.
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Vũ Trọng Khải, former rector of the School for Training Rural and Agriculture Development Management Experts, said the government should have done this long ago.
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“The existing allocation quota that has been in place for years has actually hindered agricultural production,” he said.
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Khải pointed out the fact that the Law on Land also contains contradictory clauses, in that it stipulates a ceiling on how much land a farmer can own, but imposes no such limit on businesses.
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“That’s why some people still can work around this limit. Sáu Đức, a farmer I know in An Giang Province, had accumulated some 70 hectares of farmland years ago, despite the restriction. However, the ‘excessive’ land parcels are all registered under his relatives’ names. When he was able to open a company, he used the company’s legal entity to gather back all the parcels, and now he owns some 150 hectares,” Khải said
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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Indonesia offers Lombok airport to Australia

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Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has said that the Indonesian government will offer an Australian company the opportunity to jointly manage Lombok International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara.
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The offer came after a meeting between Budi and Australian Regional Development, Regional Communications, and Local Government and Territories Minister Hon Fiona Nash on Thursday.
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"We are offering an airport operator in Australia the chance to jointly operate Lombok airport," Budi said. Currently, the Lombok International Airport is managed by state airport operator Angkasa Pura (AP) I.
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 The airport has not yet been able to turn a profit and as such the minister hopes that the cooperation will increase traffic and spur further development of the airport.
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The meeting also highlighted possible cooperation between the two countries in tourism and aviation, especially in remote and border areas.
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The development of airports in border areas such as Rote Island and emerging tourist destination Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, were also discussed during the meeting.
Indonesia has invited private companies to take part in developing airports because of limited funds in the state budget.
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Australia mentioned the Christmas Island as well as an area in Brisbane as possible locations for collaboration in area development.

Fiona also welcomed the business talks between the two countries. "Certainly there are various ways to extend our opportunities in front of us," she said. (bbn)
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source: TheJakartaPost
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