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Vietnam and Thailand head toward $20 billion in two-way trade

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Việtnam and Thailand are poised to reap the benefits of a US$20 billion two-way trade deal by 2020.

A meeting of the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation wrapped up in Thailand yesterday.

The two-day meeting was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh together with the Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.

The two sides agreed to create favourable conditions for businesses of the two countries to increase investment and business cooperation as well as to facilitate agricultural import and export activities between the two countries.

The two sides also agreed to promote cooperation and share experience in rice research, production and export.

They stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation in sub-region connection, particularly in connecting road, water and air transport between Việtnam and Thailand as well as among ASEAN countries.

The two sides committed to continue promoting and expanding cooperation in culture and education, including increasing the teaching of Vietnamese and Thai languages in each country.

Việtnam, for their part, is applauding the Thai Government for its decision to expand fields that Vietnamese workers will be licensed to work in Thailand.

As Thailand is Chair of ASEAN this and Việtnam following next year, the two sides agreed to work with member countries to promote the key role of ASEAN in regional issues, including the South China Sea. Both sides stressed the strategic importance of ensuring peace and maritime and aviation security and safety, and maritime safety.

SOURCE: Vietnam News

 

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Myanmar

Former pageant queen in Myanmar sides with ethnic armies opposing military coup

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Photo via Facebook/ Htar Htet Htet

A former pageant queen Htar Htet Htet has been vocal about her opposition to the military takeover in her home country, Myanmar. But recently, she took her stance even farther by posting a photo of herself in a black combat outfit with an assault rifle, showing support for the ethnic armies fighting against the state military.

The Myanmar military took over the civilian government in February, ousting the state counsellor who had won the election in a landslide. Since then around 750 people have been killed by security forces.

Ethnic armies that occupy border regions have opposed the military takeover, including the prominent armed wing of the Karen National Union. Recently, Karen troops attacked and took over a state military outpost near the Thai border. Around 2,000 people have fled to Thailand to escape the violence.

The 32 year old, who represented Mynamar in the 2013 Miss Grand International pageant in Thailand, wrote on Facebook saying “the time has come to fight back.”

“Whether you hold a weapon, pen, keyboard or donate money to the pro-democracy movement, everyone must do their bit for the revolution to succeed.

I will fight back as much as I can. I am ready and prepared to give up everything. I am even ready to pay with my life.”

Former pageant queen in Myanmar sides with ethnic armies opposing military coup | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

More than 15,000 foreigners arrested since January for illegal border crossings

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Photo via Facebook/ Kanchanaburi News

Thousands of foreign nationals have been arrested this year for illegally crossing land borders into Thailand. Due to fears that those entering Thailand illegally and evading the mandatory 14-day quarantine could possibly lead to the spread of Covid-19, particularly more contagious variants of the virus, Thai authorities say they will take tough legal action on illegal migrants and labour traffickers.

From January 1 to May 9, a total of 15,378 people have been arrested for illegally crossing land borders into Thailand. Out of the people arrested, 6,072 were from Myanmar, 5,114 were from Cambodia and 882 were from Laos.

The Thai Immigration Bureau is working with border patrol officers to tighten security along Thailand’s borders, the bureau’s chief Sompong Chingduang told the Bangkok Post.

“Those who enter Thailand illegally will be prosecuted under the immigration law, the communicable diseases and the emergency decree.”

In Thailand’s last wave of Covid-19 infections in December and January, fingers pointed at illegal Burmese migrants as the epicentre of infections were concentrated at a fishing hub in Samut Sakhon, affecting a large migrant worker population.

With the recent wave of infections peaking drastically higher than the past outbreaks in Thailand and said to be linked to the more contagious variant of the virus first found in the UK, health officials are now tightening security and control measures along the borders to prevent more cases.

Border security is also being increased to prevent the emergence of the variant of the virus first detected in India. The director of the Health Science Centre of Emerging Diseases at Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of medicine made a post on Facebook saying he was concerned the variant could be imported into Thailand and cause another wave of infections.

“In the next few months, the variant found in India may slip across the border into Thailand from Myanmar. Business operators are now importing illegal migrants again… If the border is left unchecked like this and no tough measures are imposed in Bangkok and adjacent provinces, brace yourselves for a fourth wave. The current third wave will pale by comparison.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Vietnam

Beaches closed in Vietnam following rise in Covid-19 infections

Maya Taylor

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A beach in Hoi An, Vietnam. PHOTO: Flickr/Vannier.j.fr Vannier

Several beaches have been closed in Vietnam as the country battles a resurgence of the Covid-19 virus. Officials in Hai Phong City have closed Do Son and Cat Co beaches following news that 47 new infections had been reported in the country’s capital, Hanoi. In Quang Ninh province, which is 150 kilometres east of the capital, Tuan Chau, Quan Lan, and Ti Top beaches have all been closed until May 23, in an effort to discourage visitors from Hanoi.

In the central province of Quang Nam, health officials have also decided to close beaches in the picturesque World Heritage town of Hoi An. In Da Nang, which has more than 30 kilometres of beaches, the authorities have shut them indefinitely until the source of the recent outbreak is identified and isolated. 5 new infections have been reported in Da Nang and 1 in Hoi An.

The beach towns of Nha Trang and Phu Yen in the central region have erected barriers to limit access to the beaches, but have stopped short of an outright ban. In Quang Binh province, tours to the famous caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park have also been suspended. The popular tourist attraction is a UNESCO World Heritage site and its Son Doong cave system is believed to be the largest in the world.

Between April 28 and May 10, Vietnam has experienced a rise in Covid-19 infections, with 637 new cases reported after a relatively clear period since mid-March. It’s understood 25 cities and towns are affected, including Hanoi, with 10 government hospitals in lockdown.

On the whole, Vietnam has been praised for its handling of the pandemic, with outbreaks quickly contained, mass testing carried out, and a centralised quarantine programme implemented. Since the start of the pandemic, the country has reported 3,571 infections and 35 deaths.

SOURCE: TTR Weekly

 

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