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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 19 December 2014  

VN halts Australia fruit imports
Viet Nam plans to cease the import of 38 kinds of fruits from Australia from 2015, the agriculture and rural development ministry's plant protection department announced the day before yesterday.
The department's decision follows the fruit fly epidemic that has affected fruit production in Australia.
Head of the department Nguyen Xuan Hong told the Vietnam Plus news website that though fruit flies do not cause serious harm to human health, the fruits could possibly spread the outbreak. Thus, it became necessary to suspend the import of Australian fruits to protect the country from the epidemic.
Hong added that customs officers are now required to carefully check all batches of Australian fruits reaching Viet Nam to ensure that they are safe for customers.
Hong said the import of fruits will be resumed as soon as Australia announces that the country is free from the fruit fly epidemic, and the imported fruits meet Viet Nam's quarantine standards.
Statistics show that in the first ten months of 2014, Viet Nam imported 2,000 tonnes of Australian fruits, most of them being apples, pears and oranges, besides grapes and cherries.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, fruit flies cost AU$300 million (US$245.2 million) a year in terms of loss of export markets--VNS

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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