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Totwoo pendant aims to enhance women’s safety #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 18, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380716?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Totwoo pendant aims to enhance women’s safety

Jan 17. 2020
The newly launched electronic kit in the shape of an apple aims to enhance women's safety in an emergency.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The newly launched electronic kit in the shape of an apple aims to enhance women’s safety in an emergency.[Photo provided to China Daily]
By By Wang Qian | China Daily Global

Running or walking after dark, backpacking in an unfamiliar city, even taking a taxi alone in the middle of the night, can all be dangerous activities, especially for women.

To offer better protection, some technology companies are looking for a way to develop or expand tools that highlight women’s safety.

In Beijing on Jan 10, China’s smart jewelry brand Totwoo launched a kit called Safety, which is expected to combat assaults on women in the country.

If the user feels threatened, pressing the button for four seconds will activate the device that will start recording for 10 seconds. Within 50 seconds, the device will telephone and send text messages to three emergency contacts to alert them, providing a location, first-aid information and audio recordings.

Once a contact responds, the device vibrates and lights up to inform the user. The user can disable the alarm by pressing the button three times in succession.

Around the diameter of a bottle cap, the waterproof piece of jewelry can be attached to a bag, a key or even worn as a necklace.

“In Chinese culture, certain jewelry is sometimes worn as an emblem of safety. Our product brings some truth to that,” says Wang Jieming, who founded Totwoo in 2015.

It makes sense that the company decided to model the trinket in the shape of an apple, the name of which in Chinese is pingguo, sharing the same pronounced ping as ping’an, the Chinese word for “safety”.

Cooperating with China Mobile, the small core module uses a remote SIM, bypassing the need for a physical SIM card. It has certified wireless-charging technology similar to the system used by Apple. Supporting navigation systems such as GPS, Beidou and GSM base station positioning, it can provide accurate location information.

The newly launched electronic kit in the shape of an apple aims to enhance women's safety in an emergency.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The newly launched electronic kit in the shape of an apple aims to enhance women’s safety in an emergency.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Xin Yang, head of the International Security Defense College in Beijing, a private security training school established in 2011, says an independent device can enhance women’s safety in an emergency, because “mobile phones are often the first item an assailant will attempt to snatch or destroy”.

Reports of females being attacked while out running, taking a taxi or traveling alone have stoked fear and anxiety among women.

According to the World Health Organization, one in three women worldwide have experienced sexual or physical violence in their lives.

According to a 2019 study by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment, 68 percent of women in the United States reported being harassed in public spaces like streets, trails and parks.

In 2018, Didi Chuxing, China’s leading ride-hailing online platform, came under scrutiny after two female passengers in China were killed by the drivers, raising public concern not just over women’s safety, but loopholes in the company’s driver vetting system.

Late last year, Didi relaunched its Hitch carpooling service, with improved safety features and more rigorous mechanisms for driver and passenger verification. The service allows registered car owners to accept rides each day along preset routes.

Didi has upgraded its existing emergency button to allow users to make a one-click call to police. For long-distance rides, the app records audio during journeys. Daily facial recognition protocol for drivers is also being implemented. Drivers are also required to complete a “safety knowledge test” every day before they start picking up passengers.

With such improved safety features, it will be the test bed for a women’s safety program that Didi intends to roll out to other services, the company says.

As well as the platform’s efforts, the market for safety wearables, while not a new one, is growing. Whether it’s a watch, pendant or ring, the chances are that a woman will have one about her person, meaning potentially dangerous situations can be avoided or alleviated with the quick press of a button.

China’s GDP grows 6.1% in 2019, lowest rate in 27 years #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380692?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

China’s GDP grows 6.1% in 2019, lowest rate in 27 years

Jan 17. 2020
Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, answers questions at a news conference in Beijing on Jan 17, 2020. [Photo by Zhou Lanxu/chinadaily.com.cn]

Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, answers questions at a news conference in Beijing on Jan 17, 2020. [Photo by Zhou Lanxu/chinadaily.com.cn]
By China Daily/ANN

China’s year-on-year GDP growth reached 6.1 percent in 2019, compared with 6.6 percent in 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

Growth in the fourth quarter was 6.0 percent, the same as the third quarter.

The country achieved its economic growth target of 6 to 6.5 percent set for the whole year of 2019, and registered an annual GDP of 99.0865 trillion yuan ($14.4 trillion).

China’s per capita GDP reached $10,276 in 2019, Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS said at the news conference on national economic performance.

Despite the easing, the national economy was generally stable in 2019 with main projected targets for development achieved, laying a solid foundation for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, said the NBS in a statement.

The country registered a 5.7 percent industrial output growth last year, compared with 6.2 percent in 2018.

Fixed-asset investments expanded by 5.4 percent year-on-year in 2019, versus 5.9 percent growth for the previous year.

Retail sales increased in 2019 by 8.0 percent year-on-year, down from 9.0 percent in 2018, the NBS said.

China’s surveyed urban unemployment rate nationwide was 5.2 percent in December and was kept between 5.0 percent and 5.3 percent for the year, the bureau said.

The NBS also said that the economy faces mounting downward pressure, and the country will take coordinated steps to ensure steady economic growth, the bureau said in a statement.

New electric vehicle sales slow in 2019 #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 14, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380527?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

New electric vehicle sales slow in 2019

Jan 14. 2020
Cars made in China are ready for export in Lianyungang Port, Jiangsu province. [Photo by Wang Chun/For China Daily]

Cars made in China are ready for export in Lianyungang Port, Jiangsu province. [Photo by Wang Chun/For China Daily]
By China Daily/ANN

Minister: China will not cut subsidies substantially for the emerging sector

As new energy vehicle sales in China fell by 4 percent last year, the segment’s first decline in the country, industry experts have urged new measures, especially non-monetary ones, to fuel its development.

Chinese and international carmakers delivered 1.206 million electric cars and plug-in hybrids in China last year, down from 1.256 million in 2018, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

“The fall was primarily the result of a cut in government subsidies in late June 2019,” said Chen Shihua, deputy secretary-general of the association.

“Due to the small scale of the segment, new energy carmakers are losing money. The sharp fall following the subsidy cut shows the segment is still in need of policy support, at least measures to facilitate their use,” said Chen.

At an industry forum on Saturday, Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said the government will not reduce the subsidies substantially this year to stabilize the market and ensure the segment’s healthy development.

China started to finance the segment in 2009 and has been phasing out since then.

Miao said the ministry is working on guidelines for the segment’s development and will promulgate them soon.

Dong Yang, vice-president of leading industry think tank China EV 100, urged the authorities to clarify the policies as soon as possible so that carmakers are prepared. “Give them something they can be sure about. They need a stable policy and environment,” said Dong.

Despite the temporary setback, Miao said China’s new energy vehicle industry has gained a lead globally and the country will continue the strategy to consolidate the momentum.

“There is no change in the sound and long-term development of new energy vehicles,” he said.

China overtook the United States as the largest market for new energy vehicles in 2015. Since then, annual sales in China have accounted for more than half of the global total.

By the end of last year, there were around 3.8 million electric cars and plug-in hybrids in China, according to data from the Ministry of Public Security.

China’s overall vehicle sales fell by 8.2 percent on a yearly basis to 25.77 million units last year, following a 2.8 percent dip in 2018, said the association.

It expects vehicle sales to fall by another 2 percent this year because of the slowing economy and the ongoing trade friction between China and the United States.

Miao said on Saturday that he expected the overall vehicle market to hit the bottom in 2020 or 2021 and then rebound.

Last year, most of the carmakers in China were affected. SAIC Motor, the country’s largest carmaker, delivered 6.24 million vehicles, down 11.54 percent year-on-year.

GM, the country’s second bestselling foreign carmaker, saw its sales in the country fall by 15 percent from a year earlier to 3.09 million units. The company delivered 3.65 million vehicles in 2018 and 4.04 million units in 2017.

Great Wall Motors saw a meager growth of 0.69 percent from 2018, with its total sales hitting 1.06 million units.

Honda was one of the few that was insulated last year. With its two joint ventures, the Japanese carmaker sold a company-record 1.55 million cars in the country last year.

Most premium carmakers saw their sales rise despite the headwinds that have lingered for two years.

Swedish carmaker Volvo sold 161,436 vehicles in China last year, up 18.2 percent year-on-year.

Volvo said its sport utility vehicle models served as a particular highlight as the company gained market share in China, the United States and Europe amid stagnating global car markets.

Mercedes-Benz delivered 693,443 vehicles of its namesake brand in the country, up 6.2 percent year-on-year and was China’s best-selling premium vehicle brand.

Hubertus Troska, a board member of Daimler AG responsible for the China region, termed 2019 as “remarkable” for the company’s operations in China, as it contributed to nearly one third of its global sales.

Audi’s China sales grew 4.8 percent year-on-year last year to 688,888 units. Lu Yi, executive vice-president of Audi China, said he expects the premium segment to grow further this year, although it is hard to say by how much it will grow.

Vietnam aims to ensure water security by 2030 #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 13, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380472?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Vietnam aims to ensure water security by 2030

Jan 13. 2020
More than 500ha of rice in M’Drak District, the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak, is damaged by extreme hot weather in August, 2019. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Anh

More than 500ha of rice in M’Drak District, the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak, is damaged by extreme hot weather in August, 2019. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Anh
By Viet Nam News

HA NOI — By 2050, 60 per cent of farming areas in Vietnam will be equipped with water-saving irrigation systems, according to the country’s Water Management Strategy, which was recently approved by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung.

The strategy aims to foster innovations and build action plans to ensure water resources for farming, socio-economic development and daily use.

It hopes to maintain a stable water supply for 85 per cent of rice cultivating areas by 2030 and innovative farming methods applied in some 60 per cent of rice cultivating areas by 2050 nationwide.

Disaster-prone regions including the coastal centre, Central Highlands and Mekong Delta are priorities, especially in terms of environment protection, aquatic ecosystem conservation and sustainable development.

The Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s rice bowl and home to 21 million people, has been suffering from severe drought and saline intrusion in recent years.

According to the National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting, the region will see a drop of 30-45 per cent in water flow by February 2020. In the next few months, drought and saline intrusion may be as devastating as the historic drought in 2016.

From June to October 2019, rainfall in the upper Mekong region decreased 35 to 40 per cent, leading to the lower water level in the upper part of the Mekong River.

Facing the situation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development urged Mekong Delta provinces to start cultivating the winter-spring rice crop earlier than usual, in October instead of November, and store water.

In mid-2019, central provinces and the Central Highlands were hit by a extreme and prolonged heatwave.

Hot weather caused lower water levels in reservoirs, dams and rivers leaving millions of people facing water shortages last summer. — VNS

Taal Volcano erupts, Philippine govt orders evacuation #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 13, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380462?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Taal Volcano erupts, Philippine govt orders evacuation

Jan 13. 2020
DANGER LEVEL Lightning strikes as volcanic activity intensifies on a rainy Sunday afternoon, as shown in this photo taken from Picnic Grove in nearby Tagaytay City. —RICHARD A. REYES

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1212107/taal-volcano-erupts-2#ixzz6ArvfsgFg 
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

DANGER LEVEL Lightning strikes as volcanic activity intensifies on a rainy Sunday afternoon, as shown in this photo taken from Picnic Grove in nearby Tagaytay City. —RICHARD A. REYES Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1212107/taal-volcano-erupts-2#ixzz6ArvfsgFg Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook
By Inquirer/ANN

Picturesque Taal Volcano belched steam, ash and small rocks on Sunday, prompting the government to order the evacuation of residents in nearby villages and ask tourists to leave the Tagaytay, Batangas and Cavite areas as precaution for an imminent eruption.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised the danger level to 4 late on Sunday, meaning a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours or days.

Earlier in the afternoon the volcano, which draws many tourists to the province of Batangas, blasted steam and ash up to 1 kilometer into the sky amid signs of its restiveness in recent months.

Phivolcs also recorded a swarm of earthquakes, some of them felt and with rumbling sounds, on Volcano Island and in villages at Agoncillo town in Batangas.

 

The southwest part ofthe island was showered with ashfall, Phivolcs said in a statement.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or tourists being stranded in affected villages frequented by foreign and local visitors.

 

Heavy ashfall in outlying areas prompted authorities to advise residents to wear masks.

Gov’t orders evacuation

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte had given orders for the evacuation of residents of villages near the volcano.

In a statement, Panelo gave assurance that government agencies “are now working closely with the provincial government of Batangas to ensure the safety ofthe residents, including their evacuation.”

As of 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, the evacuation, on boats and water ambulances, of close to 6,000 people from Volcano Island to the mainland towns of San Nicolas, Talisay, Agoncillo and Laurel was still going on, Alex Masiglat, spokesperson for the Batangas disaster council, reported.

Later, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that 6,000 people had been evacuated in Batangas, mostly from the towns of San Nicolas, Balete and Talisay.

Local authorities had yet to evacuate residents in the lakeside towns of Batangas and in Tagaytay City in Cavite province, famous for its scenic views of Taal Volcano.

In a statement, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat asked tourists to leave the Tagaytay-Batangas-Cavite area for their safety. Local visitors began to leave under open umbrellas in the afternoon as ashfall came down on Tagaytay Ridge.

“The skies turned sepia and you could actually hear the fine ash falling on the roof like termites,” said Lawrence Ramos, a resident of Dasmariñas City, Cavite, 30 km from the volcano.

Ashfall also showered in Silang and Amadeo, in Cavite, and in Calamba, Santa Rosa and San Pedro City in Laguna province.

Classes in school at all levels for Monday were called off in the entire Calabarzon Region, Central Luzon, and Metro Manila.

Magmatic intrusion

At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Phivolcs raised the danger level around Taal two notches to level 3, indicating “magmatic intrusion that is likely driving the current activity.”

Level 5, the highest, indicates an ongoing eruption.

If increasing unrest continues, Phivolcs said, eruption is possible “within day to weeks.”

Phivolcs warned the public to stay away from Volcano Island, in the middle of the lake where the volcano lies, and asked nearby coastal communities “to take precautionary measures and be vigilant of possible lake water disturbances related to the ongoing unrest.”

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said the volcano had been showing moderate to high level of seismic activity since March last year.

On Sunday, Phivolcs recorded three earthquakes,the first at 7:35 a.m. followed by two more at 10:43 a.m. and 2 p.m.

A seismic swarm, or a sequence of seismic events in the area in a short period of time, began around 11 a.m. and went on for a couple hours.

At 1 p.m. a phreatic explosion caused by hydrothermal activity began at Taal’s main crater, spewing ash and steam that rose as high as 100 meters.

Allan Loza, a science research specialist at Phivolcs, said that historically phreatic explosions happen before major eruptions.

“But there were instances when they did not. That’s why we’ll have to keep on monitoring,” he said.

Phivolcs said it also observed a slight inflation of the volcano edifice.

Flights suspended

Flights over Taal were suspended following Solidum’s advice to airlines that smoke from the volcano posed danger to airplanes.

The Manila International Airport Authority issued the advice of flight suspension after 6 p.m., affecting both outgoing and incoming flights.

Solidum also advised the public that Taal’s main crater is strictly off-limits, as sudden steam explosions may take place and high concentrations of toxic gases can be released from the volcano.

Taal is the Philippines’ second most active volcano, with 34 recorded eruptions, the last one in 1977, which caused no casualties or damage.

Two of Taal’s most destructive eruptions happened in 1911, killing 1,335 people, and in 1965, killing about 200 in nearby villages.

One of the world’s smallest volcanoes, Taal is among about two dozen active volcanoes in the Philippines, which lies on the “Ring of Fire,” a seismically active region of the earth that is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.—With reports from Julie M. Aurelio, Jeannette I. Andrade, Meg Adonis, Maricar Cinco, Dexter Cabalza, AP and Inquirer Research

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1212107/taal-volcano-erupts-2#ixzz6Aruk18rT

Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Former U.S. vice president praises Taiwan as ‘free and open society’ #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 13, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380456?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Former U.S. vice president praises Taiwan as ‘free and open society’

Jan 12. 2020
By The China Post/ANN

WASHINGTON (CNA) — Joe Biden, a former vice president of the United States and Democratic Party aspirant for the presidency in 2020, called for stronger ties with Taiwan in a tweet Saturday congratulating President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on her election victory.

“Congratulations to President Tsai and the people of Taiwan for another successful election,” wrote Biden, saying: “You are stronger because of your free and open society.”

“The United States should continue strengthening our ties with Taiwan and other like-minded democracies,” he tweeted.

Biden was elected the 47th U.S. vice president with President Barack Obama in 2008. He earned a second term as vice president when Obama was re-elected to the presidency in 2012.

In Taiwan’s presidential election on Jan. 11, Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party beat her two rivals, the Kuomintang’s Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and James Soong (宋楚瑜) of the People First Party (PFP), with a record 8.17 million votes, or 57.13 percent of the valid ballots cast.

Tsai’s vote total was the highest ever recorded for any candidate in a presidential election in Taiwan, breaking the previous high of 7.66 million votes received by Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in the 2008 election. The voter turnout for the presidential race was 74.9 percent.

The victory has been attributed to Tsai’s firm stance on defending Taiwan’s sovereignty and democratic system from Chinese encroachment.

Many U.S. officials and congressmen also congratulated Tsai on her victory, including Clark Cooper, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs.

“The free and fair elections in #Taiwan is #democracy in action,” Cooper said on his Twitter page.

He also retweeted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s congratulatory statement, in which Pompeo praised Taiwan for having once again demonstrated the strength of its robust democratic system through the Jan. 11 election.

Expressing thanks for Tsai’s leadership in developing a strong U.S.-Taiwan partnership, Pompeo lauded Tsai for seeking stability with China “in the face of unrelenting pressure.”

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Cory Gardner, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, extended his “warmest congratulations” to Tsai on winning a second presidential term.

In a statement Gardner said he was honored to host Tsai in Denver last year, and “it’s been a privilege working closely with her to advance the friendship between our nations during my multiple visits to Taipei.”

“As China continues its aggressive campaign to delegitimize Taiwan, it’s critically important for the United States to reaffirm our support for Taiwan’s resilient and vibrant democracy, and to further grow the bonds of friendship between the people of Taiwan and the United States,” he added.

Jim Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted on the committee’s official Twitter page his congratulations to Taiwanese people for holding another successful democratic election, and to Tsai on her victory.

“The United States values our important partnership with Taiwan,” he wrote.

Also offering congratulatory comments on Taiwan’s election was Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the influential Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.

Menendez lauded the democratic system in Taiwan as an inspiration for those who strive for the freedom of speech and assembly, the rule of law and respect for human rights around the world.

He said he looks forward to working with Tsai in efforts to strengthen the links between American and Taiwanese people in the years ahead, while Rubio said he looks forward to strengthening U.S.-Taiwan relations in years to come.

At the House of Representatives, Michael McCaul, the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Ted Yoho, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, both tweeted to congratulate Tsai on her re-election.

McCaul tweeted that the people of Taiwan have spoken loud and clear once again — they will defend their democracy against Chinese Communist Party (CCP) coercion. “The U.S. stands with them,” he said.

Calling Tsai a champion of freedom, Yoho said he looks forward to strengthening the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.

Korea urged to pay conscripts better #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 13, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380454?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Korea urged to pay conscripts better

Jan 12. 2020
Soldiers sing a marching song at an army basic training graduation in the southwestern city of Gwangju, South Korea. (Yonhap)

Soldiers sing a marching song at an army basic training graduation in the southwestern city of Gwangju, South Korea. (Yonhap)
By The Korea Herald/ANN

All able-bodied men in South Korea must serve in the military for about two years. A reminder that the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, the constitutional duty has rarely invited questions about whether soldiers are duly compensated for their service.

That now shows signs of change.

Both the public and the government are increasingly aware of soldiers’ right to due monetary compensation, shifting away from considering military service as a statutory civic duty without adequate financial return, experts say.

“There’s the growing public understanding that we can no longer urge soldiers to serve active duty out of their allegiance or commitment to the country,” said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University.

Besides, the intense debate regarding the legal minimum wage here has had an impact, he said.

“We’ve recently had and continue to see a heated debate about setting the minimum wage, and while doing that, I think, we’ve come across the military sector as well — whether conscripted soldiers are paid right doing what they do.”

Currently, Korea’s conscripted soldiers earn far less than the country’s minimum wage.

The wage for drafted soldiers recorded a 33 percent on-year jump in 2020 and is expected to rise further in 2022, when it will reach half of the monthly minimum wage workers received on average in 2017.

The wage for drafted soldiers recorded a 33 percent on-year jump in 2020 and is expected to rise further in 2022, when it will reach half of the monthly minimum wage workers received on average in 2017.

Starting this year, sergeants will receive an increased monthly stipend of 540,900 won ($466). Corporals and privates will receive slightly less. The hike marks a 33 percent on-year jump.

That is about 40 percent of the country’s minimum monthly wage in 2017.

In 2022, soldiers will receive about 50 percent of the 2017 minimum wage, which is 676,100 won ($582) a month. The raise was one of President Moon’s key campaign promises.

Soldiers’ pay hikes were one of reasons behind the record high defense budget.

The budget for this year is set at 50.15 trillion won, out of the total national spending of 512 trillion won, up from 40.3 trillion won in 2017. Of the 50 trillion won, 410 billion won is to be spent on service personnel’s compensation and welfare. The government expects defense expenditure to reach 57 trillion won in 2022.

While most Koreans support the wage hike for conscripted soldiers in the long run, they remain divided over how fast to bring about that change and how far it should go.

Young people who have recently been discharged demand better treatment of conscripts.

“We’re talking about ‘fair compensation’ for the service soldiers deliver for about two years. I don’t think half of minimum wage is enough. In fact, I think we could raise it more,” Choi Keun-seok, a 25-year-old Seoul resident, said.

“Soldiers who spend their time in the military should at least get half of what they would have otherwise earned if they worked as civilians,” said Nam Young-woo, a senior at Chungbuk National University.

Professor Kim Yun-tae, who teaches sociology at Korea University, said military service now entails proper compensation.

“An increasing number of people are championing for ‘fair compensation’ to be offered to soldiers,” he said.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)

Japanese govt congratulates Tsai, seeks deeper ties #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 13, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380450?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Japanese govt congratulates Tsai, seeks deeper ties

Jan 12. 2020
By The Japan News /ANN

The Yomiuri Shimbun: The Japanese government welcomed the victory of Tsai Ing-wen, leader of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, in the island’s presidential election on Saturday.

“The government of Japan congratulates … Ms. Tsai on her victory again,” Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said in a statement released on that day.

“Taiwan is an important partner and a precious friend of Japan,” Motegi pointed out. “We share basic values and enjoy close economic relationship and people-to-people exchange.

“The government will work toward further deepening cooperation and exchanges between Japan and Taiwan.”

Tsai attaches importance to relations with Japan and frequently posts in Japanese on her Twitter account. In October 2015, prior to assuming the presidency, Tsai visited Japan and met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. During the visit, she was escorted on a trip to Yamaguchi Prefecture, Abe’s home base, by Nobuo Kishi, the prime minister’s younger brother and a member of the House of Representatives.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to pay a state visit to Japan this spring, and current relations between Japan and China are relatively stable. However, as Chinese government ships have been more frequently navigating near the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, the Japanese government is seeking to strengthen ties with Taiwan over China’s assertive expansion into the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

The Japanese government plans to continuously seek Taiwan’s lifting of import restrictions on Japanese food products, which were imposed in the wake of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.Speech

Viet Nam to select quality foreign investment #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 12, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380415?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Viet Nam to select quality foreign investment

Jan 11. 2020

Saddles made at Taiwanese firm Pro Active Global Vietnam, located in Dai Nang Industrial Park in the southern province of Binh Duong. Disbursed capital of FDI projects reached US$20.4 billion in 2019. VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

Saddles made at Taiwanese firm Pro Active Global Vietnam, located in Dai Nang Industrial Park in the southern province of Binh Duong. Disbursed capital of FDI projects reached US$20.4 billion in 2019. VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
By Viet Nam News
Viet Nam is earmarking environmentally friendly, high tech investment to best serve the sustainable growth of the country.

The message was delivered by Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung at the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) in Ha Noi on Friday.

Appreciating the contributions made by foreign direct investment (FDI), he said: “FDI is again a bright spot. For the first time, disbursed capital of FDI projects reached US$20.4 billion in 2019.”

He added last year the total registered capital reached more than $38 billion, the highest in the last 10 years.

Dung told the forum: “Viet Nam will continue to select quality FDI projects with high value-added content, high technology and innovation to help the country enter the global value chain faster.”

Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and co-chairman of the VBF Consortium, Vu Tien Loc said that local enterprises should work more closely with FDI to make good use of market expansion opportunities and reform.

He added: “It is also a way to facilitate FDI businesses to take deeper roots in Viet Nam’s economy, through the value chains established with domestic businesses.”

Regarding public-private partnerships (PPP), Loc said: “Viet Nam needs up to $25 billion for infrastructure development projects each year.”

He suggested foreign investors should join PPPs to finance the country’s development in the future.

Telling Viet Nam to prioritise “a sustainable economy”, Virginia Foote, co-chair, Vietnam Business Forum Consortium thought innovation could be “the next chapter of Viet Nam’s success.”

She told the forum: “Viet Nam is well known for its talents in science, internet.”

Foote said she believed the country could benefit further from the digital economy with innovations of IT and Fintech, IoT and other smart industries.

But Fred Burke, head of BVF’s investment and trade working group said: “Viet Nam still confronts serious obstacles to maximise its tremendous potential.”

He raised concerns of the foreign investors in the capital limit in the local fintech, saying: “Non-cash payments are critical to innovation, smart cities, and Industry 4.0 but the current draft decree amending Decree No. 101/2012 / ND-CP that imposes a foreign-ownership cap may affect some foreign fintech companies in the country.”

Burke thought the limit could drive out current innovation and prevent other foreign investment while most of the local fintech start-ups raised institutional capital from foreign investors.

As the result, it would restrict the ability of the local fintech firms and make them less competitive with others in the region, said Burke.

Seck Yee Chung, Vice President, Singapore Business Group in Viet Nam said: “The Government should continue efforts to streamline the foreign investment licensing and approval process. This can be achieved with the use of emails of courier between licensing authorities and regulators. ”

Chung also asked the Government to develop the use of online applications for foreign investment and M&A approvals.

VBF is organised twice a year, providing regular policy dialogues between the Government and business community aiming at a favourable business environment and sustainable economic development in Viet Nam. — VNS

Promoting intra-ASEAN economy for a cohesive and proactive bloc #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published January 12, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/ann/30380414?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Promoting intra-ASEAN economy for a cohesive and proactive bloc

Jan 11. 2020

Vu Ho, director general of the ASEAN Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaks at the symposium. — VNA/VNS Photo

Vu Ho, director general of the ASEAN Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaks at the symposium. — VNA/VNS Photo
By Viet Nam News
Enhancing intra-ASEAN trade and investment is important for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN.

This was stated by Vu Ho, director general of the ASEAN Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a high-level symposium on intra-ASEAN trade and investment in Ha Noi on Friday.

The director general also said that unprecedented transformation in the global economy and technological advances had brought great potential for peace and sustainable development, as well as economic integration.

However, countries were also facing great challenges regarding competition and anti-globalisation movements, he pointed out.

Therefore, the key question for the ten-member group was how to maintain its strength and cohesiveness, as well as handle the impact of strategic competition, Ho said, stressing that ASEAN’s potential for a stronger intra-bloc economy and investment had yet to be fully tapped.

Over more than five decades of establishment and development, ASEAN had witnessed many economic achievements, but it was clear that the potential for promoting the intra-bloc economy and investment was still great, Ho noted.

At the 34th and 35th ASEAN Summits, ASEAN leaders reaffirmed their commitment to intra-ASEAN investment.

ASEAN countries also set a goal in 2017 to double intra-bloc capital flows by 2025 and better prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.

Ho said the enhancement of the regional economy and investment would help with the realisation of ASEAN’s priorities in the future.

He noted that there remained many barriers to intra-bloc investment, including those regarding institutions, policies and logistics, which needed to be addressed, adding that the symposium was expected to gather ideas and recommendations from experts and policymakers to promote regional economic integration.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said ASEAN had made strides in integration since the establishment of the ASEAN Free Trade Area, with intra-bloc trade climbing from US$89 billion to $200 billion last year.

Trade between Viet Nam and the bloc also increased from $4 billion to $18 billion during the period.

With a population of 600 million, ASEAN has become the world’s sixth largest economy and a typical example of economic integration, with its economic growth rate higher than the global average and pace expected to continue in the coming years.

The official suggested ASEAN strengthen its unity and maintain its cohesiveness to overcome challenges in the context of rising protectionism.

Businesses hoped for transparency in intra-ASEAN investment, he said, calling on regional countries to work together to identify and remove barriers facing investors.

ASEAN was one of the most dynamic regions in the world and the fifth largest economy with gross domestic product (GDP) reaching about US$3 trillion in 2018, said Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN Secretariat.

ASEAN was also the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of trade of goods with a total value of more than US$700 billion.

Regarding foreign investment (FDI), FDI growth in ASEAN was about 4.4 per cent, much higher than other developing economies, making ASEAN the third largest FDI receiving economy in the world.

However, intra-bloc trade currently accounted for only 23 per cent of the bloc’s trade, which was relatively low compared to other regions, he said.

Intensity of intra-bloc trade had also decreased significantly in recent years, he added.

Agreeing with Aladdin D. Rillo, former Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh also said that the process of economic integration would bring many benefits to ASEAN member countries and the community in the context of increasing trade tensions and protectionism.

Intra-ASEAN trade had increased slightly over the years, Vinh said. Although the volume of trade had increased, the percentage of trade between ASEAN countries was still quite low, he added.

In order for ASEAN to achieve its goal of doubling intra-bloc trade by 2025, Rillo said that intra-ASEAN trade needed to achieve an average annual growth rate of 9.1 per cent.

The deputy secretary-general proposed some solutions to increase intra-bloc trade which are focusing on researching product groups with high commercial value; strengthening financial integration to support trade; and continuing to promote rules-based ASEAN trade.

He also suggested enhancing trade and economic integration through new initiatives such as tariff reduction, trade promotion measures, and economic integration inside and outside the region.

He also said that ASEAN countries needed to strengthen co-operation in trade and services and reform institutions as these were also the major components in promoting the ASEAN Economic Community. — VNS

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